The US Department of the Army has its marching orders. The group represents one of the three US military departments -- along with the Air Force and Navy -- of the US Department of Defense. As part of its focus, the Army provides ground-based military forces to work to deter and fight wars in addition to protecting the security of the US. The Army has more than 675,000 soldiers, which includes both active duty soldiers and those who serve as reservists. Army personnel are deployed in about 80 countries. The military department operates about 40 forts throughout the US and extends its reach overseas to operate bases in Africa, Europe, Japan, the Middle East, and South Korea.
Nearly 75% of the Army's soldiers are considered active duty; the rest are reservists that belong to either the Army National Guard and Army Reserves. The Army has requested a base budget of about $145 billion for fiscal 2012, as well as an additional $71 billion dog-eared for Overseas Contingency Operations. As part of its budget, the Army has forecast an investment of $1.5 billion to modernize its Black Hawk helicopters and another $1.4 billion to procure more than 30 new and 15 remanufactured CH-47 Chinook Helicopters that will boast upgraded avionics. The Army taps its budget each year to sustain and prepare soldiers worldwide for current and future military endeavors through training efforts and by providing the highest quality equipment.