April 17, 2017
Chapter 9 | Service Identity and Joint Warfighting
The Armed Forces of the United States consist of five military Services—the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. In the 21st century, the days of any Service operating as a truly independent actor are long since past. The five Services fight together as a team, which means they must plan and train as a team. That does not mean that all five play equal parts in every battle or exercise. It does mean that the five are partners in the overall business of defending the United States, its territory, population, and national interests, and, therefore, that the best each Service has to offer must be woven into every battle, exercise, and plan. There can be no “lone wolves” among the five Services, because our security cannot afford free agents. When the Nation is threatened, the Navy doesn’t go to war, nor does the Army; the Nation goes to war, using all its Services’ capabilities in the combination that best suits the particular threat posed and the war plan designed to defeat it.