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What Do People Do in the Military? – Military Careers

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

what do people do in the military

Most people think of soldiers in green with firearms slung across their back when they hear the words “the military.” It is dubbed the place where patriots put down their lives for the country and its people. But the military is not just that. There are a lot of people in the military, and they do different things. So, what do people do in the military exactly?

We will tell you in this article. Find out by continuing to read!


Military Description

In any country, the military is the armed force that safeguards the well-being of the country and the people in it. In this article, we will focus our discussions on the U.S military.

So, let’s start with the description of the military.

The U.S military is made up of six service branches: the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard – in that order of precedence. Moreover, there are two uniformed services:

These services (except for the Coast Guard) organize, train, and equip forces. They are arranged under 4 departments, as follows:

  • Department of the Army: The Army
  • Department of the Navy: The Marine Corps and Navy
  • Department of the Air Force: The Air Force and Space Force
  • Department of Defense: The Coast Guard

What People Do in the Military – By Branches


The U.S Army

This is the branch responsible for land service. Its main functions are prompting, and sustaining combat on land, combining armed operations, conducting special operations, establishing joint forces, and integrating power on land. It is made up of the Regular Army, the Army Reserve, and the Army National Guard. There are four commands:

  • Army Forces: Provides Army personnel for combatant commanders.
  • Army Training and Doctrine: Recruits, trains, and educates soldiers and crafts doctrine.
  • Army Material: Designs, sustains, and acquires systems and material.
  • Army Future: Modernize systems.

Army units are further divided into army groups, field armies, corps, divisions, brigades, groups or regiments, battalions or squadrons, companies, batteries or troops, platoons, and sections or squads.

What do people do in the Army?

Army personnel each have a MOS — military occupational specialty. This can be understood as a specific “job.” There are roughly 190 MOS. Some of the common ones that we civilians often hear about are infantrymen, combat engineers, aircraft repairers, mechanics, divers, medics, etc.

Read more on MOS in our other article here.

What do soldiers do on base?

If you are interested in comparing military life and civilian life, check out our article on that here.

The day-to-day life of Army personnel depends greatly on their MOS, rank, and whether they are serving in peacetime or wartime. Nevertheless, a typical day for Army soldiers can be something like this:

  • Start the day with physical training. This is usually around 6:30 in the morning. PT lasts until 7:30 or 8:00 and the soldiers are dismissed.
  • Between 8:00 and 9:00 to 9:30, soldiers prepare to report for work. This includes showers, clothes-changing, eating breakfast, etc.
  • From 9 to 12, you work. This is where your MOS comes into the picture. Sometimes you will take classes or train for that work, but mostly, you will have tasks to complete.
  • After lunch, around 1:00, you return to work.
  • The end of the day is typically at 4:30 in the afternoon. Soldiers are released to enjoy free time.

You can hear Christopher Chaos talk more about this in a video here.

The U.S Marine Corps

This maritime land service branch is in charge of expeditionary and amphibious operations. It has a Regular component and a Reserve component and is further divided into Fleet Marine Force and the Supporting Establishment.

The former performs operations in the Atlantic, Europe, and Africa under the command of the Fleet Forces. The latter also carries our operations, but in the Pacific and Middle East under the Pacific Fleet’s command.

The Marine Corps has a central unit called the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, which comprises a command-, ground combat-, aviation combat-, and logistics combat element. This is further broken down as:

  • Expeditionary Force: The main warfighters during larger crises or contingencies.
  • Expeditionary Brigade: Provide ready deployed MEUs for 30 days.
  • Expeditionary Unit: Provide ready deployed MEUs for six hour missions for 15 days.

The U.S Navy

This maritime service branch engages in sea control, maritime protection, sea lift, power projection, and deterrence. There are eight component forces under its two forces: the Regular Navy and the Navy Reserve.

  • Fleet Forces: Carries out naval and strategic deterrence operations in North America.
  • Pacific Fleet: Carries out naval operations in the Pacific and in Asia.
  • Central Command: Executes operations in the Middle East.
  • Southern Command: Performs naval operations in South America.
  • Naval Forces Europe-Africa: Carries out naval operations in Europe and Africa.
  • Special Warfare Command: Commands Navy SEALs and executes special operations.
  • Sealift Command: Carries out sealift operations.

The U.S Air Force


As implied in the name, this is the air service branch. It has five missions, centering around air superiority, command and control, global strike, global mobility, and global ISR — integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The branch has nine commands:

  • Air Combat: Provides soldiers to attack and perform combat rescue, and air force ground forces for combatant commanders.
  • Air Education & Training: Recruits, educates, and trains airmen and crafts doctrine.
  • Air Force Global Strike: Operates strategic bomber and intercontinental ballistic missile powers as a joint force air component.
  • Air Force Material: Crafts, maintains, and acquires systems and materials.
  • Air Force Reserve: Handles reserve forces.
  • Shield of the Special Operations: Carries out special operations.
  • Air Mobility: Conducts airlift and air refueling operations as a joint force air component.
  • Pacific Air Forces: Carries out air operations as U.S Indo-Pacific Commands joint force air component.
  • Air Forces in Europe and Africa: Facilitate air functions as U.S European Command & U.S Africa Command’s joint force air component.

The U.S Space Force

This branch is made up of three fields of commands, and each of them has their own mission.

  • Space Operations: Carry out cyber, space, and intelligence operations.
  • Space Systems: Research, develop, acquire, and sustain Space Force systems.
  • Space Training & Readiness: Provide training, education, and doctrine expansion.

These are then broken up into garrisons, squadrons, and crews:

The U.S Coast Guard

This branch is responsible for maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement. It was founded in August 1790. Its specific 11 missions are port and waterway security, marine safety, marine living resources, drug interdiction, migrant interdiction, marine environmental security, ice operations, navigation aids, search and rescue, law enforcement, and defense readiness.

The U.S military, as a whole, is headed by the President, who is also the commander in chief. At present, this position is fulfilled by Joe Biden. The President and commander in chief (J. Biden) works with the DoD — Department of Defense and DHS — Department of Homeland Security to craft military policies.

U.S military personnel, in general, include commissioned officers, warrant officers, and enlisted members, from 17 or 18 years old.


Now that you have reached the end of this article, you should know the exact answer to, “What do people do in the military?” Hopefully, you have found this helpful. Leave your thoughts with us in the comments below. Also, please help us share this article with other readers.

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