The Military is comprised of 12 Service branches: five Active Duty and seven part-time duty. Part-time duty consists of five Reserve and two Guard branches. Each branch varies greatly in service commitment, location and how its members contribute to the overall mission of protecting our country, though all branches are on the same rank-based pay scale. Knowing the differences between the Services will help you choose which branch fits you best.
Service Branches Compared
|Branch||Full Time||Part Time|
As the oldest branch of the U.S. Military, the Army protects the security of the United States and its resources.
| Army Reserve
The Army Reserve trains part time near home until needed, and members deploy alongside the Army.
Army National Guard
Army National Guard members deploy with the Army on a part-time basis, with a special focus on homeland security and relief programs.
The Marine Corps is often first on the ground in combat situations.
|Marine Corps Reserve
Marine Corps reservists train domestically until needed, then deploy with the rest of the Corps.
The Navy defends the right to travel and trade freely on the world’s oceans and protects national interests overseas.
The Navy Reserve trains service members close to home until they are needed in action.
The U.S. Air Force protects American interests at home and abroad with a focus on air power.
|Air Force Reserve
The Air Force Reserve gives service members the opportunity to train and serve on a part-time basis, as needed.
|Air National Guard
The Air National Guard trains part time to assist in domestic disasters and international conflicts.
The Coast Guard protects America’s waterways and deploys with the Navy during wartime.
|Coast Guard Reserve
The Coast Guard Reserve offers a part-time service opportunity for service members to train near home.