The U.S. Army has 17 branch choices for future Second Lieutenants to choose from. These Lieutenants will commission into one of these branches and become a member of that distinguished family for his/her time in the Army as well as throughout retirement.
Adjutant General's Corps
Officers in the Adjutant General's Corps serve at all organization levels of the Army where they plan, develop, and operate the Army's personnel management support systems: a vital responsibility in both peace and war. Personnel systems include all life cycle functions such as personnel requisitioning, reassignments, evaluations, promotions, awards and decorations, reenlistment, casualty reporting, strength accounting, and replacement operations. Administrative systems management includes courier and postal services. The Army's Adjutants General shoulder a huge amount of responsibility for the smooth running of day-to-day Army operations.
Air Defense Artillery
Air Defense Artillery encompasses positions concerned with the employment of a family of Air Defense Artillery weapons in support of military land combat operations and against enemy aircraft and missile attacks. Depending upon the mission, Air Defense Artillery units are found defending the ground-gaining combat arms units or critical units/areas against enemy air attack. When not in combat, Air Defense Artillery units maintain an around-the-clock state of readiness to respond immediately to hostile action.
The Armor encompasses positions concerned with the employment of the Armor/Cavalry maneuver forces and combined arms organizations during mobile combat operations. Armor's mission is to close with and destroy the enemy using fire, maneuver, and shock action. The dynamism that distinguished the cavalry of yesteryear is now the hallmark of the Armor, the Combat Arm of Decision.
Aviation is a combat arms branch, which encompasses 80 percent of the commissioned officer operational flying positions within the Army. Army Aviation is concerned with the accomplishment of the assigned mission to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations. Upon completion of flight training, the newly rated officer can expect challenging leadership positions with aviation units.
The Chaplains Branch is a special branch, which has the primary mission to perform or provide for comprehensive religious support for soldiers and their family members in war and peace. Chaplains assist commanders in facilitating the right to free exercise of religion for all personnel. Chaplains are commissioned officers and accredited clergy endorsed by a recognized denomination or faith group for the military ministry.
Chemical officers develop doctrine, equipment, and training to protect the Army against Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction. They also provide the Army with smoke, obscurant, and flame capabilities on the battlefield.
Corps of Engineers
The Corps of Engineers is a Combat Arms Branch which also has combat support and combat service support roles. Engineer officers plan and execute missions relating to engineer support on the battlefield in light, heavy, airborne, and topographic missions. They coordinate and control all facilities and housing support at military installations. On a tactical level, Combat Engineers are responsible for helping the movement of friendly troops (building bridges) and hindering the movement of enemy troops (blowing up bridges). Engineering units are augmented with, among other things, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and bulldozers. Additionally, the engineer officer serves as the Army's component to the Department of Defense (DOD) team charged with mapping, charting, geodesy, and military geographic responsibilities.
The Field Artillery is the King of Battle. They are sound leaders of soldiers as well as astute managers of the most deadly resources on the modern battlefield. They blend a knowledge of tactics and a technical expertise of many weapons systems to provide all types of fire support to the ground-gaining arms. They are experts in the capabilities of cannons, rockets, missiles, naval gunfire, and close air support.
All officers commissioned in the Finance Corps (FC) serve in a variety of financial management and leadership positions in today's Army. The ultimate mission of the FC is to support the soldiers and commanders in the field and provide the Army with expertise concerning all aspects of financial management. Finance officers are required to be both technically and tactically proficient to perform their mission in wartime as well as peacetime. They must continuously develop their professional skills and knowledge in order to stay abreast of evolving doctrine and stay current in the finance and accounting profession.
The Infantry encompasses positions concerned with the employment of the combined arms to close 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 counterattack. Infantry forces fight dismounted or mounted according to the mobility means provided. They form the nucleus of the Army's fighting strength around which the other arms and services are grouped.
Judge Advocate General's Corps
The Judge Advocate General's Corps is a special branch of the Army whose officers are all lawyers. Their duties include all areas of legal practice including criminal law, administrative and civil law, contract law, and international law.
Medical Service officers run hospitals and clinics as patient administrators and provide patient care on the battlefield. There are three functional areas in the Army Medical Corps: Clinical Medicine, Staff and Command, and Research.
Medical Specialist Corps
Medical Specialist Corps Officers are essential in treating and helping the overall health of Soldiers and their families. From medical fields such as occupational therapy and physical therapy to dietician and physician assistant, the Army Medical Specialist Corps includes several areas of specialty. Overall, Army Officers are leaders, and being a leader requires certain qualities such as self-discipline, initiative, confidence and intelligence.
Military Intelligence encompasses the application and integration of all Military Intelligence functions at both the tactical and strategic levels. Officers serving in this specialty plan, conduct, and supervise intelligence collection resources, analysis of the resultant raw intelligence information, and the production and dissemination of finished all-source intelligence in the form of briefings and written reports to the ultimate consumer, the commander.
Military Police Corps
The Military Police Corps encompasses positions concerned with Military Police (MP) support to combat operations, law enforcement, security of U.S. Government resources, criminal investigation, and corrections. The combat support role provides a vital link in our national defense, and the MPs provide the tactical commander with a force that is highly organized, trained, and responsive to the battlefield commander. Military Police also serve as peacekeeping forces in a low-intensity conflict and provide security in war and peace to critical Army facilities and resources.
Ordnance Corps is to develop, produce, acquire, and support weapons systems, ammunition, missiles and ground mobility material during peace and war in order to provide combat power for the U.S. Army. The Ordnance Branch encompasses all functions related to the life cycle management of its three commodities: tank/automotive materiel, munitions materiel, and missile material.
The Quartermaster Corps offers a broad spectrum of opportunities. The Quartermaster Corps officer plans and directs the activities of Army units and organizations engaged in the acquisition, receipt, storage, preservation, and issue of equipment, repair parts, fortification/construction material, subsistence, petroleum products, water, and other general supplies. Quartermaster Officers must be both meticulous in their record keeping and far-sighted in their planning for future needs.
Signal Corps officers must blend together combat leadership skills and technical proficiency as they plan and manage information systems that support the command and control of the Army's forces. Signal officer assignments and career opportunities are diverse and challenging. They direct and control the installation, operations, maintenance, and reconfiguration of networks of information systems for theater/tactical, strategic, and sustaining base operations and the operation of the Army portion of the global defense communications systems.
"Nothing Happens Until Something Moves." No matter how deadly a unit's firepower, it has no effect on the enemy unless that unit can get to the battlefield. The monumental task of moving the Army from one place to another falls upon the Transportation Corps, encompassing those positions related to the multi-modal movement of personnel and cargo over land, sea, and air, anywhere in the world.