This classification covers establishments of the armed forces, including the National Guard, primarily engaged in national security and related activities. Establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing ordnance, ships, and other military goods are classified in the manufacturing division. Service academies are classified in SIC 8221: College, Universities, and Professional Schools, but military training schools are classified here. Military hospitals are classified in SIC 8060: Hospitals. Establishments of the Coast Guard primarily engaged in administration, operation, or regulation of transportation are classified in SIC 9621: Regulation and Administration of Transportation Programs.
National security depends not only on the latest defense technology, but also more importantly, upon the human workforce that creates and develops the technology and carries it into action to defend our country. The United States has one of the only major armed forces in world history that has never been used against its own citizens or to permanently annex other nations.
The U.S. Department of Defense is charged with providing the military force needed to deter war and protect the security and interests of the United States and its citizens. Besides its defensive role, the military is the country's largest employer. It provides important training that its employees often utilize in the private sector. The Department of Defense is also a primary source of research and development funding for private sector technology efforts.
The major components of its force are the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces. The Secretary of Defense serves under the President and controls the Department of Defense. Under the Secretary and his Deputy are the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who provide military advice to the President and Secretary. Subordinate to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are the Chiefs of Staff for the Army, Air Force, and Navy, as well as the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Also under the immediate direction of the Secretary of Defense and Deputy are the Department of the Army, U.S. Department of the Air Force, and Department of the Navy. Each department is headed by a Secretary. The Marine Corps is under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Navy.
When a person enters one of the armed forces, he or she forfeits many rights granted by the U.S. Constitution. Military personnel are governed under a legal system that is completely different from that in the private sector. Personnel are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, though the Department of Justice and other federal and state agencies may become involved with some legal matters.
The Army is recognized as the major land fighting division of the U.S. armed forces and is the largest segment of the military. Besides combat-related functions, it conducts intelligence gathering and counterintelligence, formulation of strategy, and numerous other responsibilities. In peacetime, the Army's sole duty is to train its reserves and plan for mobilization in the event of a war. The Army has 12 active and eight reserve divisions. The Army also administers environmental management and construction programs and provides disaster relief assistance. The Army employed 481,266 of all active duty military personnel in 2002.
The Navy is the dominant sea-based fighting division, though it also represents a major share of U.S. air power. The second largest armed forces division, it had about 381,901 members in 2002. The Air Force, which specializes in air and space defense functions, had about 362,330 members. The Marine Corps, which had 172,741 members in 2002, fights on land, sea, and in the air. This elite combat division is usually the "first to fight" on land in a military conflict.
The two types of employees in the military are enlisted personnel and officers. Each service has nine enlisted grades and ten officer ranks. Officers account for approximately 15 percent of the armed forces. Only a fraction of the enlisted personnel are designated combat troops.
In addition to a large fighting force, the Department of Defense oversees the largest arsenal of weaponry and equipment in the world. Tens of thousands of tanks, jets, bombers, missiles, guns, armored personnel carriers, and other equipment complement its troops. Furthermore, its nuclear arsenal is the largest in the world.
In addition to active duty personnel and Department of Defense employees, the U.S. military is backed by 1.4 million reserve and guard forces in the National Guard and Coast Guard. During times of peace, the Coast Guard operates under the Department of Homeland Security. It promotes marine safety and enforces federal maritime laws. In the event of war, the President can place the Coast Guard under the jurisdiction of the Navy.
The National Guard consists of the Army Guard and the Air Force Guard. Although the Guard utilizes many part-time personnel with military training, it is a major component of the U.S. defense force. The Army Guard, for example, represented about 47 percent of the Army's fighting capability in 2002. The Guard is commanded by state or territory governors during peacetime and is commonly used in state emergencies or civil disturbances. During a war, the President or Congress can call the Guard into active duty.
There are five major U.S. military academies. The U.S. Military Academy (West Point) enrolls about 1,200 candidates each year in its elite institution. Candidates must be unmarried U.S. citizens between the ages of 17 and 22 and must present a nomination from a U.S. Representative or Senator. After graduation, officers must serve in the Army for six years. Similarly, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Denver each have about 4,500 students. Entrance requirements are much like those at West Point, though slightly less selective.
Like the Naval and Air Force academies, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, require at least four years of active duty service after graduation. Candidates are admitted to the Coast Guard Academy via a highly competitive national competition. Like those at West Point, Merchant Marine applicants must be nominated by a U.S. Senator or Representative.
Organized defense forces in North America can be traced to the early 1600s. The Continental Congress established the first U.S. army in 1775. The U.S. National Guard originated in 1636, when isolated regiments of North, South, and East Massachusetts combined forces to defend their new-found territory. The National Guard is commonly recognized as the oldest U.S. fighting force and has served the nation in every major conflict since colonial times.