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The Branches of the Army are classified as basic and special branches, which are further divided into arms and Services based on the normal functions and roles performed by the soldiers assigned to them. Certain branches are both an arm and a Service. Combined arms are those branches whose members are primarily concerned with combat and combat support. Services are those branches whose members are concerned with providing combat service support to the Army. Certain branches are both an arm and service.

The Branch Chief is Head of the Branch. The respective branch school commandant or director is the assigned branch chief for a basic branch in the Army. Thus, the Corps of Engineers branch proponent is the Commandant, US Army Engineer School. The Military Intelligence branch proponent is the Commanding General, US Army Intelligence Center and School. The Signal Corps branch proponent Commandant, US Army Signal School.

The arms are Infantry, Corps of Engineers, Air Defense Artillery, Field Artillery, Armor, Signal Corps, Military Police Corps, Aviation, Chemical Corps, Special Forces, and Military Intelligence.

The Services are Adjutant General Corps, Corps of Engineers, Finance Corps, Quartermaster Corps, Army Medical Department, Chaplains Branch, Judge Advocate General's Corps, Ordnance Corps, Signal Corps, Chemical Corps, Military Police Corps, and Transportation Corps.

The branches of the Army are classified as the basic branches and the special branches. The special branches are each corps of the Army Medical Department (specifically, Medical Corps, Army Nurse Corps, Dental Corps, Veterinary Corps, Medical Service Corps, and Army Medical Specialist Corps), the Judge Advocate General's Corps, and the Chaplains Branch.

INFANTRY closes with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver in order to destroy or capture him or repel his assault by fire, close combat, and counter attack. Despite any technological advantages that our armed forces might have over an enemy, only close combat between ground forces gains the decision in battle. Infantry rifle forces (infantry, airborne, air assault, light, and ranger) have a key role in close combat situations. The Infantry forms the nucleus of the Army's fighting strength.

ARMOR closes with and destroys the enemy through firepower, shock action, and mobility. The heritage and spirit of the United States Horse Cavalry lives today in Armor. And although the horse has been replaced by 60 tons of steel driven by a 1,500 HP engine, the dash and daring of the Horse Cavalry still reside in Armor. The tank was invented out of military necessity. In the Great War the allies developed the tank to support infantry, batter down strong points of resistance, and serve as a defense against the deadly machine gun. It brought mobility to the battlefield and changed the course of land warfare. The US Army Tank Corps was created on January 26, 1918, with COL Samuel D. Rockenbach assigned as its chief. COL George S. Patton Jr, commanded the 304th US Tank Brigade.

FIELD ARTILLERY The Field Artillery is the Army's Fire Support branch--the "King of Battle." It destroys, neutralizes or suppresses the enemy by cannon, rocket or missle fire and integrate all supporting fires--Field Artillery, tactical air, Naval guns, Army aviation and mortars--into combined-arms operations. Field Artillery puts "Steel on Target" in the right places, at the right time and in the right proportions to assure the success of the maneuver commander's plan--a task that requires thorough understanding of maneuver and fire support doctrine, tactics and techniques.

AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY protect the force and selected geopolitical assets from aerial attack, missile attack, and surveillance. ADA originated from the Coast Artillery Corps which was created after the Revolutionary War to defend the US coasts against naval attack and bombardment. As the US entered WWI in 1917, War Department planners saw the need for an Antiaircraft Artillery (AAA) Corps to protect the ground forces from the new threat of aerial bombardment. At the end of WWII, the AAA Corps was established separately from the Coast Artillery. The AAA Corps grew during the Cold War period as the USSR developed both nuclear weapons and the intercontinental bomber force to deliver them. As the Soviet bomber threat waned in the 1960's, the focus of ADA doctrine shifted to defense of maneuver forces.

COAST ARTILLERY required for its efficient service a great variety of material of different kinds. This material, more so than any other kind of war material perhaps, has experienced a wonderful development during the last quarter-century up to 1900. Since the sea-fronts of coast fortifications are liable to surprise as soon as war is declared, it. is evident that the coast forts must be able to take up the artillery duel with the enemy's fleet, and for this purpose they must be armed and supplied in time of peace; in other words, they must be constantly prepared to enter into battle at any moment.

AVIATION The mission of Army Aviation is to find, fix, and destroy the enemy through fire and maneuver; and to provide combat, combat service and combat service support in coordinated operations as an integral member of the combined arms team. On the modern battlefield, Army Aviation, unlike the other members of the combined arms team, has the organic flexibility, versatility, and assets to fulfill a variety of maneuver, CS, CSS, roles and functions. These cover the spectrum of combined arms operations. Aviation can accomplish each of these roles-within the limits of finite assets and capabilities-during offensive or defensive operations and also for joint, combined, contingency, or special operations.

CORPS OF ENGINEERS Combat Engineers have been a vital and inseparable element of the combined arms team since the battle of Bunker Hill. They are the first in and last to leave a battle. Combat missions for engineers include: bridge building and destruction; minefield emplacement and reduction; and other tasks requiring specialized engineer skills and equipment. Construction engineers build and maintain roads, airfields and facilities to support combat operations. Topographic engineers provide the terrain depiction products and analyses that give maneuver commanders an edge in battle.

MILITARY POLICE CORPS is trained to detect and deter the enemy in the rear area, protecting command posts, communications centers, and vital resources. Today's military police officer enjoys the distinction of a unique role in the Army by having two diverse and challenging missions. First is the ever-present need to prepare for war by leading and training combat ready military police forces that can conduct combat operations against enemy forces in the rear area, and expedite battlefield movement of critical resources. Second is the peacetime garrison environment of law enforcement, criminal investigation, terrorism counter-action, physical security, corrections, and crime prevention. This mission focuses on the human aspects of law enforcement and reflects the military police motto--of the troops and for the troops.

MILITARY INTELLIGENCE Determining an enemy's plans, intentions, and capabilities before they're set into motion is of critical value to military leaders. This is the job of Military Intelligence (MI). The Army must be prepared to fight outnumbered and win in a high-intensity conflict, or to defeat the shadow of guerilla insurgency in a low-intensity situation. In any scenario, Military Intelligence is of paramount importance. With more than 30,000 members, MI is one of the largest branches of the Army. Duties include all aspects of planning, organization, training, and operations of tactical intelligence, counterintelligence, signals intelligence and electronic warfare, security, interrogation, and aerial reconnaissance and surveillance. Military Intelligence is engaged in fighting the "silent war" at tactical, operational, and strategic levels--collecting, analyzing and disseminating intelligence data.

SIGNAL CORPS operations range from tactical combat signal units or as detachment commanders in signal units which operate strategic fixed station telecommunications switching centers, satellite terminals, and radio relay stations. Other duties which involve the research and development of new communications electronics equipment, missle guidance systems, lasers, and computer hardware. Signal officers advise commanders on the employment of cable, switching. radio, and satellite communications systems as well as command signal units at company, battalion, and brigade levels. Opportunities to serve as communications electronics staff officers are diverse and challenging with worldwide assignments at operational levels ranging from the forward edge of the battlefield to the White House Communications Agency in the nation's capital.

CHEMICAL CORPS is responsible for battlefield nuclear, biological, chemical, smoke, and flame operations, including combat operations, logistics, training, intelligence, personnel management, research, development, and analysis.

TRANSPORTATION CORPS Transportation Corps was established 31 July 1942 by Executive Order 9082. Transportation Corps -- The Spearhead of Logistics -- is responsible for terminal, rail, tactical truck, and marine operations ranging from watercraft and marine terminal operations, to highway, movement controls, rail operations transportation automation mobilization, and strategic deployment planning.

ADJUTANT GENERAL'S CORPS runs a series of personnel management systems. These systems impact on unit readiness, morale, and soldier career satisfaction, and cover the lifecycle management of all Army personnel. The AG Corps officer is responsible for both peacetime and wartime personnel systems. These systems cover all personnel activities from accession of new soldiers, to discharge and retirement, as well as specialized wartime personnel systems such as replacement operations, strength accounting, casualty reporting, and postal.

FINANCE CORPS mission is to sustain the combat soldier and commanders in the field with timely and accurate finance and accounting support. This support includes military and civilian pay, the preparation and payment of travel, transoprtation and commercial vendor vouchers, and accounting for the obligation and disbursement of public funds. In addition to providing the traditional military pay support to the individual soldier, the Finance Corps plays an important role in supporting logistical, medical and supply requirements during tactical missions.

JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL'S CORPS The Judge Advocate General's Corps provides legal services for the Army and its soldiers. Judge advocates serve as prosecutors and defense attorneys for criminal trials under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. In addition, they proctice international, operation, labor, contract, environmental, tort, and administrative law. Judge advocates also provide routine legal services for the soldier, retirees, and their families. They practice in military, state and federal courts.

QUARTERMASTER CORPS --the "Sustainer of the Army" -- plans and directs activities which provide soldiers with food, water, petroleum, repair parts, weapon systems, and a multitude of field services. The three occupational specialties of the Quartermaster Corps are Petroleum Management, Materiel / Service Management, and Subsistence Management.

ORDNANCE CORPS The Ordnance Corps is responsible for keeping the Army's combat forces moving and shooting. Ordnance Corps is the largest Corps in the Army, with companies, battalions, arsenals, depots, groups and division and corps support commands that develop, produce, acquire and support the Army's weapons systems, ammunition, missiles, and wheeled and trached vehicles. The Corps is responsible for managing and maintaining a diverse range of Army materiel from conventional and special ammunition to major weapon and missile systems.

MEDICAL CORPS offers the kind of professional challenges that prevents a doctor's career from becoming a predictable dail routine. The Army Health Care Team represents one of the largest comprehensive systems of health care in the world.

ARMY NURSE CORPS is responsible for tking care of patients, and is exposed to a range of cases which is almost impossible to duplicate in civilian nursing.

MEDICAL SERVICE CORPS The Medical Service Corps is an integral part of the Army Health Care Team. They work together with other members to provide health care services for soldiers, their families, and retirees. The Medical Service Corps is organized into four sections: Pharmacy, Supply and Administration; Medical Allied Sciences; Optometry; and Podiatry.

THE VETERINARY CORPS has assumed new roles and responsibilities not only in animal medicine, but in public health matters and comparative medicine, as a fullfledged member of the Army Health Care Team. Army veterinarians are vital to the management and care of laboratory animal resources and studies, and biomedical research and development. Veterinary officers are assigned wherever food hygiene and nutritional quality, preventive medicine, or animal medicine or research is conducted.

ARMY MEDICAL SPECIALIST CORPS is composed of qualified dieticians, physical therapists and occupational therapists. The minimum educational qualification is a bachelor's degree with a major in a related subject. The Army provides the specialty training through approved dietetic internship, physical therapy courses or occupational therapy clinical affiliations. Men and women in the Army Medical Specialist Corps are assigned to all Army medical centers and most hospitals in the United States and overseas.

Dental Corps All specialties of dentistry are represented in the Army Dental Corps. And its mission is a lot more important than relieving toothaches. To help preserve the strength of the Army, the Dental Corps provides peventative, surgical and restorative dental care to its members.

Chaplain Corps From the beginning of our national history, Chaplains, as soldiers of God, have helped to shape the heritage of America. The United States Army Chaplaincy was officially created by an act of Continental Congress in July of 1775 upon the urgent request of General George Washington. Today's Chaplains, representing over 100 faith groups, provide comprehensive religious support to soldiers and their families in war and peace.


The Branch Proponent is the commandant or director of the respective school or institution that develops concepts, doctrine tactics, techniques, procedures, organization designs, materiel requirements, training programs, training support requirements, personnel requirements, education requirements, and related matters for a branch in the Army.

Specified Proponents are the commander of chief of any agency responsible for a designated area that does not fall within the purview of a branch proponent. The Commanding General, US Army Information Systems Command, is the specified proponent for signal force design for strategic and echelon above corps activities. The Commanding General, US Army Intelligence and Security Command, is the specified proponent for strategic and national level intelligence. Commander, Space and Missile Defense Command, is the specified proponent for ballistic missile defense.

Commanders who are designated branch and specified proponents develop and document concepts, doctrine, tactics, techniques, procedures, organization designs, materiel requirements, training programs, training support requirements, and personnel requirements. They coordinate proponent initiatives with user units.

The Functional Proponent is the commander in chief of an organization or staff element that is the operative agency charged with the accomplishment of a particular function(s). The Commanding General, US Army Information Systems Command, is the Functional Proponent for the Army Portion of the Defense Communications System, Army communications support to other Federal Agencies, Army communications and electronics, and strategic information systems and services. The Commanding General, US Army Intelligence and Security Command, is the Functional Proponent for the intelligence and security units at echelons above corps; national level intelligence security, electronic warfare, and related activities.

Functional proponents perform tasks or missions that affect the day-to-day operation of the Army. As users of the products developed by the other proponents, functional proponents provide feedback on the utility of these products, and provide support of formal evaluation of these products by the combat developer. The functional proponents further enhance the development process by offering their expertise early to appropriate branch, specified, or other functional proponents. In this manner, new technologies and other innovations that would add to the effectiveness or efficiency of current designs can be efficiently adopted.

Commanders or other designated functional proponents assess new initiatives developed by branch and specified proponents and provide feedback to these proponents. They provide support of formal evaluation for new initiatives developed by branch and specified proponents and provide feedback on their effectiveness. They also establish policy and procedures to effect functional proponent activities.

The personnel proponent is the commander or chief of an organization assigned primary responsibility for providing recommendations to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel for career fields. When branch proponents differ from personnel proponents, branch proponents are responsible to their respective branch chiefs.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:34:54 ZULU