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U.S. Army

Army, U.S., branch of U.S. armed forces organized to fight any war, local or global, conventional or atomic. The highest ranking officer is the chief of staff, answerable to the secretary of the army, a civilian who in turn is responsible to the secretary of defense and the president. Under the chief of staff come several major commands: the Continental Army Command, responsible for U.S. ground defense; the Air Defense Command; the Army Materiel Command, charged with procuring equipment and weapons for army units; and the Army Combat Development Command, which equips and organizes army units. The total strength of the all-volunteer U.S. Army in 1989 was 760,000. In addition, an almost equal number of men and women serve in the Army Reserve and National Guard. Members of active and reserve units were used extensively in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

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