The first F-35 Lightning II of the 33rd Fighter Wing arriving at Eglin AFB
AAF Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
An Air Force RQ-4 strategic reconnaissance aircraft
General of the Army Henry H. ("Hap") Arnold
An Air Force KC-46 Pegasus refuels a C-17A Globemaster III
USAAF recruitment poster
An Air Force A-10 demonstrating close air support at Nellis AFB
Tuskegee Airmen War bonds poster
Test launch of a LGM-30 Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg AFB
1943 portrait of WAC air controller
Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base
AAF Training Command patch
Roundels that have appeared on U.S. military aircraft
1.) 5/1917–2/1918
2.) 2/1918–8/1919
3.) 8/1919–5/1942
4.) 5/1942–6/1943
5.) 6/1943–9/1943
6.) 9/1943–1/1947
7.) 1/1947–
USAAF recruiting poster
The SR-71 Blackbird was a Cold War reconnaissance plane.
USAAF insignia from July 1943 to January 1947
The F-117 Nighthawk was a stealth attack aircraft (retired from service in April 2008).
B-17G Fortresses of the 306th Bomb Group
A row of Douglas C-54 Skymasters during the Berlin Airlift in 1949
P-51 Mustang of 361st Fighter Group, 1944
Various Air Force personnel pose during the Air Force's 74th birthday celebration at the Pentagon, September 17, 2021.
Taylorcraft L-2
Organization of the United States Air Force within the Department of Defense
C-47 of the 438th Troop Carrier Group
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USAAF AT-6Cs near Luke Field, 1943
Pararescuemen and a simulated "survivor" watch as an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter comes in for a landing
UC-64 Norseman
U.S. Air Force trainee demonstrating a butt stroke on a strike dummy as part of Basic Military Training.
General Carl A. Spaatz
USAF Airmen training at Lackland AFB
Medal of Honor recipient Major Richard Bong in Officer's Service Dress
A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack aircraft
Awards ceremony at RAF Debden, April 1944, illustrating varying shades of olive drab and the M-1944 "Ike jacket". Light shade 33 on left, dark shade 51 on right. Trousers are shade 33, khaki shade 1, and drab shade 54. The three combinations at right are "pinks and greens".
B-2 Spirit stealth bomber
At the AAF School of Air Evacuation at Bowman Field, Ky., student flight nurses learned how to handle patients with the aid of a mock-up fuselage of a Douglas C-47 transport.
A C-17 Globemaster III, the USAF's newest and most versatile transport plane
Female service dress in OD shade 33 at Randolph Field, 1944
E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system
USAAF flight crew
F-22 Raptor stealth air superiority fighter
First Air Force
KC-10 Extender tri-jet air-to-air tanker
Second Air Force
An MC-12W Liberty at Beale AFB
Third Air Force
MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle
Fourth Air Force
Lockheed U-2 spy plane
Fifth Air Force
RQ-170 Sentinel stealth unmanned aerial vehicle reconnaissance aircraft
Sixth Air Force
VC-25A (Air Force One)
Seventh Air Force
A WC-130J Hercules from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron
Eighth Air Force
An unarmed Minuteman III ICBM shoots out of the silo during an operational test launch
Ninth Air Force
Tenth Air Force
Eleventh Air Force
Twelfth Air Force
Thirteenth Air Force
Fourteenth Air Force
Fifteenth Air Force
Twentieth Air Force

It was created on 20 June 1941 as successor to the previous United States Army Air Corps and is the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force, today one of the six armed forces of the United States.

- United States Army Air Forces

In practice, the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) was virtually independent of the Army during World War II, and in virtually every way functioned as an independent service branch, but airmen still pressed for formal independence.

- United States Air Force
The first F-35 Lightning II of the 33rd Fighter Wing arriving at Eglin AFB

15 related topics

Alpha

"Prop and Wings" branch insignia of the Air Service

United States Army Air Service

"Prop and Wings" branch insignia of the Air Service
Junior Military Aviator wings, 1917–1918
SPAD S.XIII in livery of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, 94th Aero Squadron. Note U.S. national insignia painted on wheel hubs.
Nieuport 28 in 95th Aero Squadron markings
U.S. aircraft roundel in Europe, 1918–1919
Goodyear Type R "Caquot" balloon
Formation of DH-4 day bombers
Air Combat – Western Front World War I
Aces Eddie Rickenbacker, Douglas Campbell, and Kenneth Marr of the 94th Aero Squadron pose next to a Nieuport 28.
Curtiss JN-4 trainer
MB-3A of 94th Pursuit Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group
NBS-1 (MB-2) and pursuit in combat practice.
NBS-1s of the 2nd Bomb Group, April 1926
Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell, Assistant Chief of Air Service, 1920–1925
Maj. Gen. Mason Patrick, Chief of Air Service, 1921–1926
Curtiss R-6 racer, 1922 Pulitzer Trophy winner
LUSAC-11 over McCook Field, Ohio
Capt. Lowell Smith, and Lts. John Richter, Virgil Hine, and Frank Seifert conduct first mid-air refueling, June 27, 1923
Douglas World Cruiser Chicago
2nd Lt. Charles A. Lindbergh, March 1925
Lt Gen. James Doolittle
2d Lt. Quentin Roosevelt
Verville in January 1925

The United States Army Air Service (USAAS) (also known as the "Air Service", "U.S. Air Service" and before its legislative establishment in 1920, the "Air Service, United States Army") was the aerial warfare service component of the United States Army between 1918 and 1926 and a forerunner of the United States Air Force.

Henry Harley Arnold, aviation pioneer; Commanding General of the U. S. Army Air Forces

The first Wright airplane arriving at Ft. Myer, VA, 1 September 1908

Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps

The first Wright airplane arriving at Ft. Myer, VA, 1 September 1908
1st Lt. Frank Lahm and Orville Wright in the first U.S. Army airplane, S.C. No. 1, July 27, 1909
Crashed Wright Flyer that took the life of Selfridge September 17, 1908
Henry H. Arnold at the controls of a Wright Model B airplane 1911
Captain Charles Chandler (with prototype Lewis Gun) and Lt. Roy Kirtland in a Wright Model B Flyer after the first successful firing of a machine-gun from an aeroplane on June 7, 1912.
<center>Lt. Selfridge</center>
<Center>Lt. Foulois and Orville Wright 1909</center>
<Center>Thomas Dewitt Milling</center>
<center>Henry "Hap" Arnold</center>

The Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps (1907–1914) was the first heavier-than-air military aviation organization in history and the progenitor of the United States Air Force.

United States Army Air Forces June 20, 1941 – September 18, 1947

The storming of Redoubt No. 10 in the Siege of Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War prompted Great Britain's government to begin negotiations, resulting in the Treaty of Paris and Great Britain's recognition of the United States as an independent state.

Division of Military Aeronautics

The name of the aviation organization of the United States Army for a four-day period during World War I.

The name of the aviation organization of the United States Army for a four-day period during World War I.

The storming of Redoubt No. 10 in the Siege of Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War prompted Great Britain's government to begin negotiations, resulting in the Treaty of Paris and Great Britain's recognition of the United States as an independent state.

As such, it is recognized by the United States Air Force as the third of its antecedents.

United States Army Air Forces: June 20, 1941 – September 18, 1947

United States Army Air Corps

The aerial warfare service component of the United States Army between 1926 and 1941.

The aerial warfare service component of the United States Army between 1926 and 1941.

United States Army Air Corps Recruiting Poster
Formations of Keystone LB-7s (lower) and Boeing P-12s (upper) on aerial maneuvers over Burbank, California, 1930
O-46A at Wright Field
B-6A of 1st Bomb Squadron, 9th BG, 1935. The dual stripes on the fuselage denote the aircraft of the squadron commander.
P-26A in livery of 19th Pursuit Squadron, 18th PG, Wheeler Field, Hawaii
"Gear down" test flight of the Boeing Y1B-9 bomber in 1932. At the time it was faster than any existing pursuit plane.
Interception of the Rex. The navigator for the mission was 1st Lt. Curtis LeMay.
Douglas C-39 transport
Martin B-12A (variant of the B-10) of 31st Bomb Squadron, 7th BG, Hamilton Field, California
Curtiss A-12 Shrike of the 13th Attack Squadron, 3d AG, Barksdale Field, Louisiana
PT-13, Air Corps primary trainer
O-38F
P-12E of 6th Pursuit Squadron, 18th PG 1935–1938, Wheeler Field, Hawaii
Generals Benjamin D. Foulois, Assistant Chief of Air Corps (left); James E. Fechet, Chief of Air Corps; and H. Conger Pratt, Chief of Materiel Division, in 1931.

The Air Corps became the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) on 20 June 1941, giving it greater autonomy from the Army's middle-level command structure.

United States Air Force 18 September 1947 – present

General Henry H. Arnold between 1946 and 1949

Henry H. Arnold

American general officer holding the ranks of General of the Army and later, General of the Air Force.

American general officer holding the ranks of General of the Army and later, General of the Air Force.

General Henry H. Arnold between 1946 and 1949
A young Henry Arnold at the second-seat controls of a Wright Model B airplane 1911
Colonel Henry Arnold in the War Department in Washington, D.C., April 1918
Major Henry H. Arnold with the first Liberty V12 aero engine completed
Maj. Gen. Mason M. Patrick, Chief of Air Service
The court-martial of Billy Mitchell (standing), November 1925.
Martin B-10B bomber.
B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 381st Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force.
B-29 Superfortress
Marshall (center) and Arnold (right) greeted by General Omar Bradley on Omaha Beach in Normandy, June 12, 1944.
General of the Army

Arnold was an aviation pioneer, Chief of the Air Corps (1938–1941), commanding general of the United States Army Air Forces, the only United States Air Force general to hold five-star rank, and the only officer to hold a five-star rank in two different U.S. military services.

Instructed in flying by the Wright Brothers, Arnold was one of the first military pilots worldwide, and one of the first three rated pilots in the history of the United States Air Force.

Military Aviator Badge, 1913

Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps

Military Aviator Badge, 1913
Members of the 1st Aero Squadron and a Burgess Model H trainer at North Island (later Rockwell Field), San Diego, California, 1915
Members of the 1st Aero Squadron in Mexico, 1916
Lt. Carleton G. Chapman in 1st Aero Squadron Curtiss JN-3 Signal Corps No. 53 preparing to takeoff at Casas Grande, Mexico.
Lt. Herbert A. "Bert" Dargue posing in front of Signal Corps No. 43 at Chihuahua City, Mexico.
Maj. Gen. George O. Squier, Chief of the Aviation Section, USSC 1916–1917; Chief Signal Officer 1917–1918
Curtiss JN-4 trainer
Air Combat – Western Front World War I, Air Service, United States Army

The Aviation Section, Signal Corps, was the aerial warfare service of the United States from 1914 to 1918, and a direct statutory ancestor of the United States Air Force.

United States Army Air Forces 20 June 1941 – 18 September 1947

United States Department of Defense

Executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national security and the United States Armed Forces.

Executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national security and the United States Armed Forces.

President Truman signs the National Security Act Amendment of 1949
Department of Defense organizational chart (December 2013)
2008 OSD organizational chart
Joint Chiefs of Staff/Joint Staff organizational chart
Combatant command areas of responsibility
Defense Spending as a Percent of GDP (1792–2017)
Total United States Defense Outlays 1962–2024, $millions (2019-2024 estimated)
Defense Intelligence Agency
National Security Agency
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
National Reconnaissance Office
Department of the Army
Department of the Navy
Department of the Air Force
U.S. Army
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Navy
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Space Force

On 26 July 1947, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which set up a unified military command known as the "National Military Establishment", as well as creating the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, National Security Resources Board, United States Air Force (formerly the Army Air Forces) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The storming of Redoubt No. 10 in the Siege of Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War prompted Great Britain's government to begin negotiations, resulting in the Treaty of Paris and Great Britain's recognition of the United States as an independent state.

United States Army

Land service branch of the United States Armed Forces.

Land service branch of the United States Armed Forces.

The storming of Redoubt No. 10 in the Siege of Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War prompted Great Britain's government to begin negotiations, resulting in the Treaty of Paris and Great Britain's recognition of the United States as an independent state.
General Andrew Jackson standing on the parapet of his makeshift defenses as his troops repulse attacking Highlanders during the defense of New Orleans, the final major and most one-sided battle of the War of 1812
The Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the American Civil War
Army soldiers in 1890
U.S. Army troops assaulting a German bunker in France, c. 1918
U.S. soldiers hunting for Japanese infiltrators during the Bougainville Campaign
U.S. Army soldiers observing an atomic bomb test of Operation Buster-Jangle at the Nevada Test Site during the Korean War
US tanks and Soviet tanks at Checkpoint Charlie, 1961
A U.S. Army infantry patrol moving up to assault the last North Vietnamese Army position at Dak To, South Vietnam during Operation Hawthorne
U.S. Army soldiers preparing to take La Comandancia in the El Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City during Operation Just Cause
M1 Abrams tanks moving out before the Battle of Al Busayyah during the Gulf War
Iraqi tanks destroyed by Task Force 1-41 Infantry during the Gulf War, February 1991
U.S. Army Rangers taking part in a raid during an operation in Nahr-e Saraj, Afghanistan
U.S. Army soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division returning fire during a firefight with Taliban forces in Barawala Kalay Valley in Kunar province, Afghanistan, March 2011
Organization of the United States Army within the Department of Defense
U.S. Army organization chart
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U.S. Army soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment, Maryland Army National Guard conducting an urban cordon and search exercise as part of the army readiness and training evaluation program in the mock city of Balad at Fort Dix, New Jersey
U.S. soldiers from the 6th Infantry Regiment taking up positions on a street corner during a foot patrol in Ramadi, Iraq
The 1st Cavalry Division's combat aviation brigade performing a mock charge with the horse detachment
U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Group patrolling a field in the Gulistan district of Farah, Afghanistan
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U.S. Army Rangers practicing fast roping techniques from an MH-47 during an exercise at Fort Bragg
A trainer with Company A, 1st Battalion 502nd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Strike, 101st Airborne Division assisting Iraqi army ranger students during a room clearing drill at Camp Taji, Iraq on 18 July 2016
U.S. Army soldiers familiarizing with the latest INSAS 1B1 during exercise Yudh Abhyas 2015
A Lockheed Martin Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system used for ballistic missile protection
A U.S. soldier on patrol in Iraq with the support of a Humvee vehicle
3rd Infantry Division soldiers manning an M1A1 Abrams in Iraq
The 2020 Army Greens uniform
An element of the 18th Infantry Regiment, wearing ASUs, representing the United States at the 2010 Victory Day commemoration in Moscow
The Ranger Honor Platoon marching in their tan berets and former service uniform

Two years after World War II, the Army Air Forces separated from the army to become the United States Air Force in September 1947.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff in December 2020.

United States Armed Forces

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States.

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff in December 2020.
Organization of the military services and military departments within the Department of Defense
Logo of the United States Army
U.S. Army Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division return fire during a firefight with Taliban forces in Barawala Kalay Valley in Kunar province, Afghanistan on 31 March 2011.
U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams tanks from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment maneuver in the streets as they conduct a combat patrol in the city of Tall Afar, Iraq, on Feb. 3, 2005.
Eagle, Globe, and Anchor
U.S. Marines with India Company, Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit run on the beach during an amphibious assault demonstration.
A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft attached to VMX-22 prepares to land on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) in the Pacific Ocean.
Logo of the United States Navy
USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) and Carrier Strike Group 3 underway with Republic of Korea Navy ships.
USS Nebraska (SSBN-739), an 
 ballistic missile submarine underway in the Atlantic Ocean.
United States Air Force Symbol
F-22A Raptors in flight.
U.S. Air Force B-2A Spirit stealth bombers flying with Royal Air Force F-35B Lightning II stealth fighters.
Space Force Delta
The Sodium Guidestar at the Directed Energy Directorate's Starfire Optical Range for real-time, high-fidelity tracking and imaging of satellites.
Boeing X-37B spaceplane after deorbiting and landing.
Service mark of the United States Coast Guard
USCGC Hamilton and TCG Turgutries in the Black Sea, April 30, 2021.
Coast Guard Reserve Port Security boat on patrol
Unified combatant commands areas of responsibility
A pie chart showing global military expenditures by country for 2019, in US$ billions, according to SIPRI
Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester, awarded the Silver Star for direct combat
ADM Linda L. Fagan June 2021.

The armed forces consists of six service branches: the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard.

The United States Air Force was established as an independent service on 18 September 1947; it traces its origin to the formation of the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps, which was formed 1 August 1907 and was part of the Army Air Forces before being recognized as an independent service in the National Security Act of 1947.

Seal of National Military Establishment (1947–1949), which was later renamed the Department of Defense.

National Security Act of 1947

Law enacting major restructuring of the United States government's military and intelligence agencies following World War II.

Law enacting major restructuring of the United States government's military and intelligence agencies following World War II.

Seal of National Military Establishment (1947–1949), which was later renamed the Department of Defense.
Seal of the Department of the Air Force, established by the National Security Act of 1947.
President Truman signs the National Security Act Amendment of 1949. Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson leans over the desk. Behind him is Admiral Louis Denfeld, General Omar N. Bradley, and General Hoyt Vandenberg.
The first page of the National Security Act of 1947.
The last page of the National Security Act of 1947. Signed by Speaker of the House of Representatives Joseph W. Martin, Jr. (R-MA), President of the Senate pro tempore Arthur H. Vandenberg (R-MI), and President Harry S. Truman.
President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 on board this VC-54C Presidential transport, the first aircraft used for the role of Air Force One.

The act also created the position of the secretary of defense as the head of the NME It established the United States Air Force under the DAF, which worked to separate the Army Air Forces into its own service.