Military Service (B-2)


Military Service (B-2)


“I have never advocated war except as a means of peace.”
-Ulysses S. Grant
Military service can be voluntary and involuntary. Although many countries have their military service made up of volunteers, in times of war, mandatory military service can be conscripted by governments to ensure that adequate numbers are available for national defense. Some countries have mandatory military service and require that all citizens serve for a period of time, for example, two years in active duty five years in the reserve.  The United States does not have mandatory military service; however, on occasion its government has imposed a draft into military service.
The U.S. has several uniformed services that, throughout its history, have protected the country over land and sea, and in the air.  These services are: the U.S. Army, Marine Corps., Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard and the Public Health Service Commission Corps. Some branches of the U.S. military service date back to the Revolutionary War. The U.S. Army, for example, was first the Continental Army, founded in 1775 to fight in the Revolutionary war. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps were also founded in 1775. Since its inception, young people have given their lives to preserve peace and security and to protect the United States.
The Pentagon located in Washington D.C. is the headquarters for the U.S. Department of Defense (D0D). The mission of the DOD is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of the U.S. The Department of Defense is the U.S.'s oldest and largest government agency. The DOD has 1.4 million men and women on active duty, and 718,000 civilian personnel. It is the nation’s largest employer. Another 1.1 million serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces.
(Source: The U.S. Department of Defense.

Collection Items

Veterans Day Posters 1978 to 2014
Each year since 1978 the Department of Veterans Affairs publishes a commemorative Veterans Day poster. The poster is selected through a competition organized in collaboration with the Veteran’s Affairs National Veterans Outreach Office and the…

The March King: John Philip Sousa 1854-1932
"John Philip Sousa was born in Washington, D. C. in 1854. He received his early education in Washington public schools, while studying music at a private conservatory. When he was 13, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Band as an apprentice musician and…

2001 - Colin L. Powell, First African American Secretary ofState
Colin Luther Powell was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military career, Powell also served as National…

USO Show with Bob Hope, 1944
The United Service Organizations Inc. (USO) is a nonprofit organization that provides programs, services and live entertainment to United States troops and their families. Since 1941, it has worked in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD),…

Benjamin O. Davis Sr., 1st. African American General in the Regular Army & U.S. Armed Forces
"My own opinion was that blacks could best overcome racist attitudes through achievements, even though those achievements had to take place within the hateful environment of segregation." By Brigadier General Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. Benjamin Oliver…

Lieutenant Colonel Mercedes O. Cubria, First Cuban Born Female in the U.S. Army
Lieutenant Colonel Mercedes O. Cubria (1903-1980), a.k.a. La Tia (The Aunt), was the first Cuban-born female officer in the U.S. Army. She served in the Women's Army Corps during World War II, in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and was recalled…

U.S. Army Recruitment Poster
"A war recruitment poster of ‘Uncle Sam’ pointing out and imploring others to join the US army.

The famous war recruitment poster that is well known-today is usually thought of as a made-up man used as a symbol for patriotism. However, Uncle Sam…

We Can Do It!
"An American propaganda poster from 1943 produced to inspire worker confidence.

In 1942, Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller was hired by the Westinghouse Company's War Production Coordinating Committee to create a series of posters for the war…

Corporal Patrick Tillman, Former NFL Player
In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, Pat proudly put his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold to serve his country. This decision was just one of many he made over the course of his lifetime to help others and serve a cause…

Merry Christmas to G.I. Joe
"In this 1968 poster by Carl Hubenthal, an American soldier ""G.I. Joe,"" is sitting in a jungle setting, with a recently unwrapped child's jack-in-the-box toy that closely resembles Bob Hope holding a microphone. On the outside of the box is a gift…
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