By Buddy Blouin
There comes a point when everyone thinks to themselves, “What does the military do?” It’s a fair question. At a glance, you could simply chalk it up to going to war and call it a day. But in doing so, you’d be missing so, so much. The American Armed Forces have a lot of responsibilities on their shoulders, and it goes much further than combat. It even goes farther than America, as our military serves globally and assists in missions against evil to protect the innocent. Learn more about the many ways troops fulfill their military purpose.

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What Does the Military Do for Our Country?

What is the military to our country? The truth is, the U.S. military continues to be a multi-faceted organization that helps defend our nation and assists those in need. There are countless examples in history of the obvious need for an organized military force. It was our military that birthed our nation through the American War of Independence as we defeated the British Empire. But outside of the battlefield, the U.S. military has plenty of responsibilities, including the following:
  • Humanitarian efforts and food delivery.
  • Intercepting piracy attempts and drug trafficking.
  • Missions to deliver healthcare to areas of poverty.
  • Response after natural disasters.
  • Rescue operations around the world.
  • Law enforcement.
  • Security services and patrolling volatile regions.
There are many other military operations other than war (MOOTW), and thanks to the U.S. military, they're completed and positively affect the lives of people all across the world.

What Does the Military Do When There Is No War?

What does the military do if there are no battles to be fought? Well, there’s a reason we continue to be the most dominant military force in the world, and that boils down to training. Our training and intel continue to elevate those who serve to be the best versions of themselves while creating an elite fighting force capable of handling even the most extreme conditions imaginable. Of course, the MOOTWs are also ongoing and necessary since smaller conflicts can arise. We might even support an ally indirectly should conflict threaten their way of life. But training is at the heart of the American Armed Forces and the successes each branch continues to see on the battlefield.

What Does Each Branch of the Military Do?

Determining the purpose of the military can be tricky when you consider the different branches that come together to make the American Armed Forces as a whole. But when you look at what each one does in the military, the pieces of these collaborative yet defined groups start to fall into place. Here's how each branch of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) serves:


The oldest force in the history of America, the U.S. Army is built to get the job done. Soldiers handle ground missions of all sorts around the world to defend America both internationally and domestically.


It’s not an exaggeration to say that without the U.S. Navy deployed around the globe, conflicts would be more likely to arise in many regions. If there's a threat on, over, or under the water, our Sailors are prepared to handle it.

Marine Corps

While a part of the Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) operates in the water and on land. The specialty of the USMC is to work in areas that require our forces to exit the water and enter the land, though Marines cover a wide range of missions in both wet and dry conditions.

Air Force

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is built to defend and control the skies. This also includes telecommunications. Speed is a cornerstone component of the branch, as Airmen are ready to respond to threats within hours around the world for both combat and humanitarian needs.

Space Force

While the U.S. Space Force (USSF) is the newest branch of the American Armed Forces, they hold an important role in the present and the future. Guardians defend American interests in space, including communications both above and on Earth, as well as space-centric missions.

Coast Guard

Coast Guardsmen work under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime to defend our nation’s borders. During the war, the USCG serves under the Navy. The branch works to protect the environmental, economic, and military interests of America from a naval standpoint.

National Guard

Assisting with homeland security, domestic defense, and emergencies, the National Guard is comprised of both the Army National Guard and Air National Guard. Both in the air and on the ground, these troops serve by ensuring our country is safe no matter the circumstances. So, what does the military do? In a word: serve. It goes much further than a simple answer or a single goal involving violence, and most of us will never know the true scope of it. But that’s because all of the branches of our military continue to make our world a better place through security, humanitarian efforts, and service.

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