America’s Military: Historic Images of the Five Branches

By Nicky M. | Arcadia Staff

Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard: These five different services make up the United States Armed Forces, providing protection and security to the civilians of the United States. In celebration of this year’s Veterans Day, we present vintage photos of the five branches as a thank you to America’s bravest men and women.

A round of cadets stands during their training.The Citizens’ Military Training Camp (CMTC) was hosted at Fort Knox from 1921 to 1940. CMTC was unique in that it mixed recruits of all classes and backgrounds. In this photo, a round of cadets stands during their training.


















Reprinted from The United States Army at Fort Knox by Matthew D. Rector (pg. 34, Arcadia Publishing, 2005).
 

The Marine Band performs in front of the US Capitol in 1899.Many branches of the military have led their own bands over the years. The Marine Band, which still performs today, dates back to 1798. It is the oldest military band in the country. Here, the Marine Band performs in front of the US Capitol in 1899.


















Reprinted from Marines of Washington D.C. by Mark Blumenthal (pg. 24, Arcadia Publishing, 2004).


Four soldiers stand with their adopted dog in 1917.During World War I, army recruits would often keep pets in their camps. These pets were smuggled overseas whenever possible. In this 1917 photo, four soldiers stand with their adopted dog.















Reprinted from World War I Army Training by San Francisco Bay: The Story of Camp Fremont by Barbara Wilcox, from the author’s collection (pg. 9. The History Press, 2016).


Airman Pete Knight lowers himself into the cockpit of an X-15A-2.One of the main duties of the United States Air Force has been to develop and test new aircraft for military use. In this photo, airman Pete Knight lowers himself into the cockpit of an X-15A-2.













 












Reprinted from Edwards Air Force Base by Ted Huetter and Christian Gelzer, courtesy of AFFTC (pg. 90, Arcadia Publishing, 2010).


During WWII, women worked in several mechanical roles, and took over the majority of jobs left vacant by men fighting overseas.The dawn of World War II brought many changes to the US, but perhaps the biggest was the entrance of women into the workforce. During WWII, women worked in several mechanical roles, and took over the majority of jobs left vacant by men fighting overseas.



















Reprinted from Marine Corps Air Station El Toro by Thomas O’Hara (pg. 35, Arcadia Publishing, 1999).


In this 1914 photo, a group of officer students play a naval war game as a part of their stories at the Naval War College in Newport.While being a Navy officer is hard work, getting there can be a little fun. In this 1914 photo, a group of officer students play a naval war game as a part of their stories at the Naval War College in Newport.















Reprinted from The Navy in Newport by Lionel D. Wyld, courtesy of the Naval War College Museum (pg. 58, Arcadia Publishing, 1997).


A Coast Guard team delivers a battery to a south jetty near Mission Bay, in San Diego.Established in 1790, the Coast Guard is the oldest seagoing service in the US, responsible for maritime law enforcement. The Coast Guard is also responsible for the maintenance of offshore aids to navigation, like this team who delivered a battery to a south jetty near Mission Bay, in San Diego.









































Reprinted from The Coast Guard in San Diego by Coast Guard Sector San Diego (pg. 29, Arcadia Publishing, 2010).


In this staged photo, a three-man B-47 alert crew arrives at their aircraft.A post World War II developed aircraft, the B-47 was a mainstay of the US bomber teams until 1965. In this staged photo, a three-man B-47 alert crew arrives at their aircraft.




































Reprinted from Whiteman Air Force Base by Lt. Col. George A. Larson, USAF (Ret.), courtesy of the Offutt Air Force Base, Strategic Air Command Historian Archives (pg. 38, Arcadia Publishing, 2018).


This 1905 postcard shows the crew of the Kentucky with the ship’s main guns.Launched in 1898 and commissioned in 1900, the USS Kentucky remained in service until 1920. This 1905 postcard shows the crew of the Kentucky with the ship’s main guns. The ship served in no major combat while commissioned by the Navy.


















Reprinted from The Navy Capital of the World: Hampton Roads by Amy Waters Yarsinske, courtesy of the author (pg. 72, The History Press, 2010).


The survivors of the SS Pendleton being escorted back to shore after being saved by the US Coast Guard.The Coast Guard is also responsible for helping in maritime search and rescue missions. But in 1952, a nor’esaster broke the SS Pendleton into two off the coast of Cape Cod, and a Coast Guard motor lifeboat was dispatched to help. Despite the terrible weather, a small Coast Guard team was able to save 32 of the 41-man crew aboard the Pendleton, timing their rescue with the stormy ocean waves. This photo shows the survivors being transported back to shore.













Reprinted from The Pendleton Disaster off Cape Cod: The Greatest Small Boat Rescue in Coast Guard History by Theresa Mitchell Barbo and Captain W. Russell Webser, USCG (Ret.), courtesy of Richard C. Kelsey (pg. 61, The History Press, 2010).

This Veterans' Day, we thank the brave men and women of the US Armed Forces and their families for their bravery, and the sacrifies they make every day for the good of all of us back home.
 
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