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The Portal:United States Army Portal

United States Department of the Army Seal

The United States Army is the largest and oldest branch of the armed forces of the United States. Like all armies, it has the primary responsibility for land-based military operations.

The modern Army had its roots in the Continental Army which was formed on June 14 1775, before the establishment of the United States, to meet the demands of the American Revolutionary War. Congress created the United States Army on June 3 1784 after the end of the war to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The Army considers itself to be descended from the Continental Army, and thus dates its inception from the origins of that force.[1]

Control and operation of the Army is administered by the Department of the Army, one of the three service departments of the Department of Defense. The civilian head is the Secretary of the Army and the highest ranking military officer in the department is the Chief of Staff. As of August 31, 2007, the Regular Army reported a strength of 519,471 soldiers.[2] By the end of 2006, the Army National Guard (ARNG) reported 346,288 and the United States Army Reserve (USAR) reported 189,975, putting the approximate combined component strength total at 1,055,734.[3]

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The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. It is often colloquially referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor because the President presents the award "in the name of the Congress". It is bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself "…conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States…"

Members of all branches of the U.S. military are eligible to receive the medal, and each service has a unique design (although the Marine Corps uses the Navy's medal and a specific Coast Guard's version of the medal has never been awarded. The Medal of Honor is often presented personally to the recipient or, in the case of posthumous awards, to survivors, by the President of the United States. Due to its high status, the medal has special protection under U.S. law.

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