The Beginnings of Defense

The origins of each military branch vary greatly.


Joy Crawford

All military branches have mottos that mean more to them than civilians could understand.

It has been nearly 250 years since the official start of the U.S. military.

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf,” novelist and social justice advocate George Orwell said.

On September 29, 1789, Congress passed an official law establishing this military. Since then, there have been five different branches America’s veterans fall under. These are the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps or Navy. The different branches come with many years worth of history. 

Air Force

The Air Force is the youngest military branch; only being officially recognized in 1947, following World War II. They primarily focus on protection through air, cyberspace and space exploration. With this, they also create technology used in all branches. The forces of the Air Force are used to attack when necessary with great precision and to use its capabilities for combative support.


“The soldier is the Army,” previous general of the U.S. Army George S. Patton Jr. said. “No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.”

When fighting the revolutionary war, unofficial army was led by George Washington, first president of the United States. After having Washington ask twice, the government finally attached it to the official military in 1789. The Army focuses mainly on land operations to solidify the peace, security and defense of the U.S.

Coast Guard

Founded in 1790 by Alexander Hamilton, the United States Coast Guard is within the Department of Homeland Security and it is a military, multi-mission, maritime system. The goal of the Coast Guard is to protect the citizens, economy, environment and security. This is done on the coasts, island waterways and ports.

Marine Corps

Being quick to respond and strike are key factors to the Marine Corps. Their duties include operating radar equipment, gain intelligence, map territory and many more. Being founded only months after the Army, they tend to share duties. Nevertheless, their mission has been said to be unique. They serve on both Navy ships and naval bases and protect the U.S. internationally.


The Navy was founded a month before the Marine Corps, but the branches share several differences. The United States Navy is stationed above and under the sea, because there is already protection on land and in the air. It is worldwide and has around 100 ports internationally. There are 271 ships are deployed throughout every ocean and assisting with the freedom of the seas.