(1) The United States military is divided into distinct branches. Each branch has a specific purpose and mission statement that explains that purpose. “The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight, and win… in air, space, and cyberspace.” That mission statement of Air Force describes technologies that are relatively new, just like the Air Force is.
(2) The Army, Navy, and Marines were all established in 1775 before the United States had even won it’s independence from Great Britain. The Coast Guard was founded just 15 years later, but there was still no Air Force. The most obvious reason that the Air Force wasn’t created in the 1700’s is that there were no airplanes that long ago.
(3) The Wright Brothers flew their first airplane in 1902. At first, the military was not interested in airplanes, but airplanes did see service in World War I. The planes of World War I were primitive, but they proved to be valuable. The United States government considered making a separate military branch, but felt that the air power should be the Army’s responsibility. This was because airplanes had only been used to support Army troops on the ground.
(4) By 1947, the world had seen World War II. Airplanes played a pivotal role in the war, and they did far more than support troops that were already on the ground. The government decided that it was time to create a whole new military branch. They had seen how important airplanes had been in World War II. On September 18, 1947, the United States Air Force was born.
(5) Today, the Air Force operates completely separate from the Army. It is the second largest branch of the United States military. It is, by far, the largest air force in the world. It has fighters, bombers, spy planes, and even satellites in space. It has a specific mission, unlike any other American military branch. The Air Force has come a long way in the last few decades. It will surely continue to grow and change in the coming decades.