US Military History 101

The United States military is made up of five branches, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and the Coast Guard.  The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief and it doesn’t get any higher in terms of rank.  The Secretary of Defense is a cabinet member who, with the President, formulates and carries out the directives and polices of the armed forces.  The Secretary of Defense is a civilian and is second to the President  in the chain of command.   In matters of diplomacy that involve the United States military, the President has at his disposal the National Security Council, which includes the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Starting at the Top

The Joint Chiefs of Staff are comprised of all the heads of each of the services, except the Coast Guard.  All of the services work together under the Unified Combatants Command or UCC.  The UCC is composed of forces from at least two military departments and has a broad and continuing mission. These commands are established to provide effective command and control of U.S. military forces, regardless of branch of service, in peace and war. They are organized by geographical basis (Area of Responsibility or AOR) or on a functional basis. UCCs are “joint” commands with specific badges denoting their affiliation.  For example US Special Operations Command or USSOCOM is a joint operations command because it directs all US military special operations regardless of branch.

Why is the Coast Guard not included in the UCC?  The Coast Guard falls under the administration of the Department of Homeland Security and receives its operational orders from the Secretary of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard may be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President or Congress during a time of war.

Let’s Talk Special Operations:

Now that you have an idea of what the United States military is, lets focus on one of the UCCs, US Special Operations Command.  While each of the services maintains a small level of autonomy,  they all have to work together because by definition the United States military is an asset of the United States government.  The military even operates under a different set of laws, the Uniform Code of Military Justice or UCMJ.  So, when a person raises their right hand and swears to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, they give up a lot of civil liberties because they are now considered US government property or an asset.

USSOCOM conducts several covert and clandestine missions, such as unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, psychological warfare, civil affairs,direct action, counter-terrorism and War on Drugs operations. Each branch has a Special Operations Command that is unique and capable of running its own operations, but when the different Special Operations Forces need to work together for an operation, USSOCOM becomes the joint component command of the operation, instead of a SOC of a specific branch.

What mainly relates to the Black Ops Brotherhood Series are Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and Navy Special Warfare Command (NAVSOC/NSW).

Major Reese Thompson was part of MARSOC.  In the second half of the book, you got to see him work closely with NAVSOC.  Books two through nine are all about NAVSOC or Navy Special Operations Command.

 Picture Please:

Okay I’m done making you drink from a fire hose.  Here is the lay out, in relation to the timeline of the books, of Naval Special Warfare Command.  Since the military is living and breathing, as well as missions are better defined,  this chart is different than what’s actually going on right now (2013).  And this is fiction so I reserve the right to create the group(s) necessary to my stories.

This is NAVSOC in relation to the timeline in Hostile Home Front (click on the picture to make it bigger):

Org_HQ Chart

Book Three Dominant Deception and the Navy SEALs

What does it mean? SEAL?

The acronym is derived from their capacity to operate at sea, in the air, and on land. SEAL is always capitalized in reference to members of the Naval Special Warfare community.  SEALs are male members of the United States Navy.

Do you know what a Navy SEAL is?

SEALs are Special Operations Command’s force-of-choice to conduct small-unit maritime military operations which originate from, and return to a river, ocean, swamp, delta or coastline. This littoral capability is considered more important now than ever, as half the world’s infrastructure and population is located within one mile (1.6 km) of an ocean or river.

In Rapid Dominance you see Special Warfare Group Five in the planning stages.  In Hostile Home Front, I go into some detail into Special Warfare Group Five’s mission.   Dominant Deception takes the reader right into the middle of their mission.  Here’s a look at structure of Special Warfare Group Five.

Click on the chart to make it bigger: 

 Org_NSPWG5 Chart

And here you thought erotic romance was all about the hot sex.  Now you know the backbrief… more to follow as the mission continues.