Can You Answer All of These Questions About the US Military?



By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: fstop123/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

It is America’s most expensive endeavor, and it makes this nation one the most fearsome on Earth. It’s the United States Armed Forces, a collection of five military branches that can dominate (or destroy) just about any place on the planet in a matter of days … or even minutes. Between the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps, the U.S. projects its power across every continent and sea. Salute this military quiz by giving it your all!

In the earliest days of the nation, there really was no military. Instead, there were simply a few loose confederations of armed men looking to keep order. It wasn’t long, though, before a Stamp Act and rampant haughtiness led to the Declaration of Independence, and the Continental Army. What do you know about the country’s earliest military forces?

The Revenue Marine became the Coast Guard, and the Army Air Force split into an entirely new division. Politics and new technologies created new units, too. Do you recall the various evolutions of the armed forces?

These days, America has a technologically advanced military. From huge tanks to gunships and aircraft carriers, it’s a sight to behold. Seize the day in this U.S. military quiz now!

"Semper Fidelis" is the motto of which military branch?

The Marine Corps is famed for its motto: "Semper Fidelis," which means "always faithful." It's a rallying cry that's been screamed on more than a few battlefields.


What is the smallest branch of the military?

The Coast Guard -- the often forgotten fifth branch of the military -- is the smallest. It has roughly 40,000 active duty personnel.


Who is the top military advisor to the president?

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is incredibly powerful. He (or she) is the top military advisor to the president, and as such, has major influence in the nation's military activities.


George Patton was a famous leader of which military branch?

In WWII, George Patton was an Army genius, consistently bedeviling his German adversaries. But he was equally irksome to U.S. leaders, a reason he kept getting placed on leave.


During which war did the military fail to keep enemy forces out of Washington D.C.?

In the War of 1812, the British invaded and occupied Washington for a day. Then, they burned the White House to the ground before fleeing with glee.


How many times has the U.S. officially declared war?

Sure, American has been involved in hundreds of skirmishes and battles. But the country's military has only taken part in five declared wars, the most recent being WWII.


When was the Air Force established as a separate branch of the military?

It was the Army Air Force during WWII. After the war, in 1947, Congress declared the Air Force as a separate branch of the military. Now in its seventh decade, the Air Force is ridiculously powerful.


What is the F-35 Lightning?

Introduced in 2015, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a futuristic fighter jet. So far, it's only been used by one country in combat -- Israel.


If he wants to, the president can do what with National Guard units in each state?

In times of strife, the president can federalize (or bring under central control) all National Guard units in the country. This helps add to the military's overall reach.


The first American colonial militias were formed to thwart which threat?

In the early days of the colonies, Indian raids were a real threat. Local and state militias were formed to keep Native American hostiles at bay.


The Battle of Yorktown was a major climax to which armed conflict?

At the end of the Revolution, the British troops in Yorktown, Pennsylvania knew the gig was up. They surrendered … and the American military won its first war.


The United States military accounts for how many of the world's total aircraft carriers?

There are only 18 active aircraft carriers on the entire planet. The United States owns 10 of them.


When was the First American Regiment formed?

The First American Regiment was created in 1784, just after the Revolution. It was the country's first peacetime regular army, and it was limited to just a few hundred men.


What was the color of the Army's first uniforms?

George Washington picked dark blue for Army uniforms. And that's the way things remained until the Spanish-American War, when troops realized that blue made them stand out in the much of the Spanish-American War.


About how many reserve personnel does the U.S. military have at its disposal?

In addition to its 1.3 million active duty service members, the U.S. can fall back on its reserves for World War III. Currently, reserves number at around 800,000.


Together, the Navy and Marines make up one of the world's most powerful … what?

The Air Force is the biggest air force on Earth. Combined, the Navy and Marines have the planet's second-largest air force.


What type of ship is the USS Gerald R. Ford?

Commissioned in 2017, the USS Gerald R. Ford is the world's largest active aircraft carrier. It's a gigantic ship, one that can house a crew of around 4,500 sailors.


What battle was the bloodiest day in American history?

On March 23, 1862, the North and South clashed in the Battle of Antietam. In just one day of fighting, there were around 23,000 dead or wounded men on the battlefield.


How many aircraft carriers does the military have?

Famed for their glories in WWII, the U.S. maintains 10 aircraft carriers. These carriers are critical for extending the country's sphere of influence around the world.


How many submarines does the U.S. have?

Since WWII, submarine warfare has steadily declined in popularity with naval commanders. The U.S. has only 54 subs … China has 52.


What happened to the Continental Army after the American Revolution?

The Founding Fathers didn't believe in the idea of standing armies. After they won the Revolution, they essentially dismantled the Army.


About how many nuclear warheads does the military have?

For years, America's nuke stockpile has been dwindling. But with 6,300 warheads remaining, the country still has enough WMD power to render the planet lifeless for a very long time.


How many men and women are in today's military?

The U.S. maintains one of the world's biggest militaries. Right now, there are about 1.3 million men and women serving.


How many U.S. troops were deployed during the Gulf War?

To repel Iraq from Kuwait, the U.S. sent about 270,000 troops to the Middle East. Along with the help of a massive coalition, the allies sent Saddam Hussein's men running for their lives.


Women were first allowed to enlist during which conflict?

Women have always served in some capacity. But it wasn't until WWI that they were allowed to enlist. They took up many office jobs that allowed even more men to take up guns and fight.


Each year, the U.S. allocates about how much money for defense spending?

Currently, the U.S. budgets about $700 billion per year for military spending. That's by far the highest number in the world.


Which branch of the service uses the motto, "Always Ready"?

The Coast Guard lives by the motto "Semper Paratus." They are "Always Ready" and often serve in the middle of hurricanes and other natural disasters.


Which of the following vehicles is most numerous in the American military?

Air power is critical to today's style of warfare. The U.S. has about 3,500 tactical aircraft, 2,800 tanks, and 970 attack helicopters.


The U.S. military currently has about how many tanks?

Gone are the days when armies lined up and bashed each other with nothing but tanks and artillery. But the U.S. still has about 5,800 tanks ready for duty.


Which war featured the greatest number of deaths from enemy fire?

More than 600,000 troops died in the Civil War, but it was diseases -- not bullets -- that killed them. World War II was by far the bloodiest in terms of combat deaths.


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