By Buddy Blouin
Thinking about joining the military? Are you just curious in general? Whatever your reason, comparing the Navy vs. Army is an intriguing topic that many outside of service might not truly realize at first. Not everyone is a “Soldier,” and there are other differences that help outline these distinct military branches. Of course, there are also some similarities to celebrate, as well. Explore the differences between two of the fighting forces keeping us all free around the world.

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Navy vs. Army: Here’s How They're Different

When comparing the Navy vs. Army, it’s clear that while both are illustrious military branches, they are quite different. Sure, they work together to make the world a safer place for Americans and others around the globe, but Soldiers and Sailors are two entirely different groups. If the fighting is done on land, you’re going to be looking at Soldiers from the U.S. Army to handle things. Of course, the Navy works on land, too, but Soldiers are the primary “boots on the ground.” The opposite is true for Sailors, as you’ll find the Navy in charge of naval and maritime operations. As a result of the location and environments in which you’ll find these warriors fighting, you can also expect differing equipment suited for such. For example, the Navy primarily has ships, submarines, and aircraft, but the Army is going to rely on artillery and land vehicles. Training is also going to be different. You wouldn’t want to prepare a Sailor who needs to command the high seas in the same way you’d prepare a Soldier for fighting on land. Both training programs are intense and elite but focus more on the specific tasks at hand. The difference between Army and Navy also includes the nature of their operations. You’re more likely to find the Navy participating in a search-and-rescue mission off of the coast of Japan than you are the Army. Likewise, the Army is going to be more likely to quell resisters or secure locations on land. The organization methods used are also different between the two. The U.S. Navy is going to have fleets and groups, whereas the U.S. Army organizes itself as divisions, corps, and brigades.

The Similarities of the Branches

The differences between the Navy vs. Army are clear, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t several similarities. These collaborations allow for a more cohesive military. Here’s how they're similar:
  • Both the Army and Navy are here to defend the United States.
  • The organization may be different, but there are similarities within each individual structure for maintaining a smooth operation.
  • Each branch trains its warriors to be the best that they can be through rigorous training.
  • Both branches are expected to abide by codes of conduct and follow the laws governing the military (Uniform Code of Military Justice or UCMJ).

Don’t Forget About Football (Like We Ever Could)

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t take a quick look at what the idea of Navy vs. Army means to millions: a hard-fought game on the gridiron. The Navy Midshipmen and the Army Black Knights are two teams presenting their respective academies. Yes, there are other sports, but the king of them all is the yearly standoffs marking the newest rendition of the longstanding football rivalry dating back to 1890. Ordinarily, you can find one of the longest-running rivalries in college football in the Army-Navy game on the second Saturday of December. There are several traditions, including trash talk, patriotism, the singing of each team's alma mater after the game, and the presenting of the game ball to the superintendent of the losing team's academy by the superintendent of the winning team's academy, to look forward to.

Navy vs. Army: What To Consider Before Joining

If you're looking at a military career, it’s important to understand the differences before enlisting. There are differing career opportunities, experiences, and locations, among other things, that each branch will provide. These factors will greatly alter your military career. Comparing the Navy vs. Army is a great step before joining, but at the end of the day, we are thankful to both for the roles they play in securing our nation.

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The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. Left photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Quentin Todd Navy Reserve - Navy Public Affairs Support Element West | Right photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Britton U.S. Army Central




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