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What Is the Youngest Branch of the Military?

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

what is the youngest branch of the military

What is the youngest branch of the military? The youngest military branch in the U.S is the Space Force. It was founded in 2019, while the oldest branch of the military: the Army, was established in 1775. That’s a difference of 244 years!

Below, we will briefly go through the age of the other U.S military branches and provide more info about the Space Force. So, continue reading, and do not stop until you get to the end!

The Service Branches of the U.S Military

The U.S military has six service branches, as follows:

  • The Army
  • The Marine Corps
  • The Navy
  • The Air Force
  • The Space Force
  • The Coast Guard

When Were the Branches of the Military Established? – Age of Military Branches


1. The Army

This is the oldest service branch in the U.S military. The Army was first formed in 1775, as the Continental Army. It is the Armed Forces’ land branch.

2. The Marine Corps

The Marine Corps is the second oldest service branch. It was also founded in 1775, but its birthday is five months after the Army. The Marine Corps was originally the Continental Marines, but it disbanded and was reestablished in 1798.

3. The Navy

The third oldest service branch is the Navy. It is the U.S’s maritime branch. Like the Army, Marine, and Air Force, the Navy was first founded in 1775. Then, it was the Continental Navy. It disbanded in 1785 but was reestablished in 1794.

4. The Air Force

Fourth on this list of military branches ranked by age is the Air Force. It was initially created as part of the U.S Army in 1907. Eventually, though, it “gained independence,” and was established as its own branch in 1907.

5. The Space Force

This space service branch was formally founded in 2019. However, its history can be traced back to 1945 in the U.S Army.

6. The Coast Guard

This service branch originally started with a small fleet of vessels in the 1790s. Later, it was reorganized, and the modern U.S Coast Guard was officially founded in 1915.

Military Branch Birthdays

Every year, the U.S celebrates the military branches’ birthdays. Here are the dates:

  • The U.S Army: June 14
  • The U.S Marine Corps: November 10
  • The U.S Navy: October 13
  • The Space Force: December 20
  • The Coast Guard: August 4

Within each branch, there are also birthdays for components:

  • The Army’s Reserve: April 23
  • The Marine Corps’ Reserve: August 29
  • The Navy’s Reserve: March 3
  • The Air Force’s Reserve: April 14
  • The Coast Guard’s Reserve: February 19
  • The Coast Guard’s Auxiliary: June 23

What is The Youngest Military Branch?


As said in the beginning, the youngest military branch is the Space Force. In this section, we will learn a bit more about it! Let’s dive in, shall we?

1. Space Force – Mission

In official writing, the mission of the Space Force is to provide operation freedom for the U.S in, from, to space, provide prompt and sustained space operations, which includes protecting the U.S’s interests in space, deterring space-related aggression, and conducting space operations.

Its enumerated duties are covered in the doctrine “Spacepower: Doctrine for Space Forces.”

The force’s three cornerstone responsibilities are:

  1. Provide action freedom for the country in the space domain
  2. Facilitate joint lethality and effectiveness
  3. Provide independent options for U.S leaders to achieve national objectives

It does this with five core competencies:

  • Security relating to space
  • Combat power projection
  • Mobility and logistics relating to space
  • Mobility of information
  • Awareness of space domain

To support these core competencies are seven disciplines:

  • Orbital warfare
  • Space electromagnetic warfare
  • Space battle management
  • Space access and sustainment
  • Military intelligence
  • Cyber operations
  • Acquisitions and engineering

2. Space Force – Structure

The Space Force is under the Department of the Air Force. Hence, it is also under the Secretary of the Air Force. Nonetheless, it still has its own Chief of Space Operations, who organizes, recruits, trains, equips, and manages the force.

Its field organization includes field commands, garrisons or deltas, and squadrons.

  • Field Commands: Led by a Lieutenant General or a Major General; has specific mission focuses.
  • Garrisons or Deltas: Led by a Colonel; has a specific function.
    • The function is usually training or carrying out an operation for garrisons.
    • The function is usually supporting installations for seltas.
  • Squadrons: Led by a Lieutenant Colonel; has specific tactics.


  1. Space Operations Command – Headquartered in Colorado (Peterson Space Force Base).
  2. Space Operations Command West – Headquartered in California (Vandenberg Space Force Base).


  1. Peterson-Schriever Garrison based in Peterson Space Force Base: Mission and medical support.
  2. Buckley Garrison based in Buckey Space Force Base: Mission and medical support.


  1. Space Delta 2 based in Colorado (Peterson Space Force Base): Awareness of space domain.
  2. Space Delta 3 based in Colorado (Peterson Space Force Base): Space electronic warfare.
  3. Space Delta 4 based in Colorado (Buckley Space Force Base): Missile warning.
  4. Space Delta 5 based in California (Vandenberg Space Force Base): Command and control.
  5. Space Delta 6 based in Colorado (Schriever Space Force Base): Cyberspace operations.
  6. Space Delta 7 based in Colorado (Peterson Space Force Base): ISR.
  7. Space Delta 8 based in Colorado (Schriever Space Force Base): Navigation warfare.
  8. Space Delta 6 based in Colorado (Schriever Space Force Base): Orbital warfare.

Aside from the Chief of Space Operations, it is worth knowing the other staff in the force (2022 updated):

  • Vice Chief of Space Operations (VCSO): General David D. Thompson
  • Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force (CMSSF): Roger A. Towberman
  • Director of Staff: Lieutenant General Nina M. Armagno
  • Chief Human Capital Officer: Patricia Mulcahy
  • Chief Operation Officer: Lieutenant General B. Chance Saltzman
  • Chief Strategy & Resourcing Officer: General William J. Liquori Jr.
  • Director of Plans & Programs: Brigadier General Jennifer L. Grant
  • Director of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance: Major General Leah G. Lauderback
  • Chief Technology & Innovation Officer: Lisa A. Costa


Congrats! You now know the answer to, “What is the youngest branch of the military?” and other relevant essentials, such as the age of other military service branches. Hopefully, you have found our article useful and interesting. If you have anything to add or ask, leave us a comment! We also welcome our readers, so do not be hesitant!

Furthermore, you can read the following articles for more knowledge about military branches, such as: 

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