16 January 2012

Branches of the Military

I'm mocking someone on Facebook about whether service in the Air Force is military service.  Their panties are in a bunch because they are taking offense for someone whom they like who was in the USAF.

Funny thing is, I tend to get Air Force vets on my side of this argument.  It's one of the classic jokes we veterans tell ourselves.  Right up there with Marines being stupid and sailors being a bit light in the step.

That got me to looking up what the branches of the military really were.

Originally there were five in the US.

Coast Guard
Coastal Artillery
Lighthouse Service

Two of those no longer exist.

By World War Two the Lighthouse Service had become part of the Coast Guard and Coastal Artillery had been absorbed by the Army (with some installations becoming Navy).

World War Two era had

Coast Guard

Today we have

Air Force
Coast Guard (Maybe since they aren't DoD but fall under Navy command in time of war)

Notice the Marines don't get mentioned?  They're part of the Navy the same way that the US Army Air Corps was.  That Corps designation is no accident.

All the jokes aside, I know of damn few veterans who don't mock the other services.  I know even fewer veterans who have no respect for the other services when they indulge in the mockery.  Most of us will also treat the Marines as if they are their own branch because culturally they sure as hell aren't Navy.


  1. I'm reminded of a strip from the "Air Force Blues" webcomic:


  2. We can pick on the Marines cause they're ours, but the rest of you barstards had best leave them alone. ;)
    Yep, interservice rivalry is as old as the services themselves, but when the SHTF we will all hang together.
    And as much as it pains me to say it...of course the Air Force is military.

  3. That's right. Marines and Navy BFF!

    Not that there's anything wrong with that......

    In a bar, having drink, only half listening to some sailor getting harassed by a grunt. There was a crowd of each. Finally the squid stands up. I said, "Oh crap." The soldier stands up. Other sailors stand up......All of the sailors and soldiers start squaring off...and there I am....saying to myself...."hell, I don't even know the guy...but...gotta protect your shipmate." We were outnumbered 2-1.

    Suddenly all the jarheads came in from the backroom where they had been playing pool. They looked at the soldiers...who expected the Marines to join their fellow grunts. And they joined us on our side of the bar. The biggest Marine looked over at the soldiers....said, "WE screw with the guys. That's OUR job. Your job is to sit the fuck down. Who wants to go first?"

    And all the soldiers sat the fuck down.

    And I finished by beer, got the hell out.

    Of course we all pick on the Air Force. Even the Coast Guard does.

    Sad, really.....


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