Corps

Corps

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A corps is either a large formation, or an administrative grouping of troops within an armed force with a common function such as Artillery or Signals representing an arm of service. Corps may also refer to a branch of service such as the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

, the Corps of Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

, the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms
Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms
Her Majesty's Bodyguard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms is a bodyguard to the British Monarch. Until 17 March 1834 they were known as The Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners.-Formation:...

, or the Corps of Commissionaires
Corps of Commissionaires
The Corps of Commissionaires is a British security firm that has regional offices around the world.- History :The Corps of Commissionaires was founded in 1859 by Captain Sir Edward Walter KCB. It is the oldest security company in the world. Currently trading as 'Corps Security', the head of the...

.

The military term was subsequently adopted for public service organizations with a paramilitary command structure, volunteer public service organizations, such as the Peace Corps
Peace Corps
The Peace Corps is an American volunteer program run by the United States Government, as well as a government agency of the same name. The mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand US culture, and helping...

, various ambulance corps, some NGOs, and other civic volunteer organizations. Due to this use of the term, it has also spread to some other civic or volunteer organizations that lack the paramilitary structure.

Military formation


In many armies, a corps is a battlefield formation composed of two or more division
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

s, and typically commanded by a lieutenant general
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

. During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, due to the large scale of combat, multiple corps were combined into armies
Field army
A Field Army, or Area Army, usually referred to simply as an Army, is a term used by many national military forces for a military formation superior to a corps and beneath an army group....

 which then formed into army group
Army group
An army group is a military organization consisting of several field armies, which is self-sufficient for indefinite periods. It is usually responsible for a particular geographic area...

s. In Western armies with numbered corps the number is often indicated in Roman numerals
Roman numerals
The numeral system of ancient Rome, or Roman numerals, uses combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet to signify values. The numbers 1 to 10 can be expressed in Roman numerals as:...

 (e.g., XX Corps
XX Corps (United States)
The XX Corps of the United States Army fought from northern France to Austria in World War II. Constituted by redesignating the IV Armored Corps, which had been activated at Camp Young, California on 5 September 1942, XX Corps became operational in France as part of Lieutenant General George S....

).

Australia


In the later stages of World War I , the five infantry divisions of the First Australian Imperial Force
First Australian Imperial Force
The First Australian Imperial Force was the main expeditionary force of the Australian Army during World War I. It was formed from 15 August 1914, following Britain's declaration of war on Germany. Generally known at the time as the AIF, it is today referred to as the 1st AIF to distinguish from...

 (AIF)—consisting entirely of personnel who had volunteered for service overseas—were united as the Australian Corps
Australian Corps
The Australian Corps was a World War I army corps that contained all five Australian infantry divisions serving on the Western Front. It was the largest corps fielded by the British Empire army in France...

, on the Western Front
Western Front (World War I)
Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne...

, under Lieutenant General Sir John Monash
John Monash
General Sir John Monash GCMG, KCB, VD was a civil engineer who became the Australian military commander in the First World War. He commanded the 13th Infantry Brigade before the War and then became commander of the 4th Brigade in Egypt shortly after the outbreak of the War with whom he took part...

.

During World War II, the Australian I Corps
Australian I Corps
I Corps of the Australian Army was its main frontline corps during World War II. Various Australian and other Allied divisions came under its control at different times. In 1940–42, the corps was based in the Mediterranean Theatre...

 was formed to co-ordinate three Second Australian Imperial Force
Second Australian Imperial Force
The Second Australian Imperial Force was the name given to the volunteer personnel of the Australian Army in World War II. Under the Defence Act , neither the part-time Militia nor the full-time Permanent Military Force could serve outside Australia or its territories unless they volunteered to...

 (2nd AIF) units: the 6th, 7th and 9th Divisions, as well as other Allied units on some occasions, in the North African campaign
North African campaign
During the Second World War, the North African Campaign took place in North Africa from 10 June 1940 to 13 May 1943. It included campaigns fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts and in Morocco and Algeria and Tunisia .The campaign was fought between the Allies and Axis powers, many of whom had...

 and Greek campaign
Battle of Greece
The Battle of Greece is the common name for the invasion and conquest of Greece by Nazi Germany in April 1941. Greece was supported by British Commonwealth forces, while the Germans' Axis allies Italy and Bulgaria played secondary roles...

. Following the commencement of the Pacific War
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

, there was a phased withdrawal of I Corps to Australia, and the transfer of its headquarters to the Brisbane
Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

 area, to control Allied army units in Queensland
Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

 and northern New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

 (NSW). II Corps was also formed, with Militia
Australian Army Reserve
The Australian Army Reserve is a collective name given to the reserve units of the Australian Army. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, the reserve military force has been known by many names, including the Citizens Forces, the Citizen Military Forces, the Militia and, unofficially, the...

 units, to defend south-eastern Australia, and III Corps controlled land forces in Western Australia
Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...

. Sub-corps formations controlled Allied land forces in the remainder of Australia. I Corps headquarters was later assigned control of the New Guinea campaign
New Guinea campaign
The New Guinea campaign was one of the major military campaigns of World War II.Before the war, the island of New Guinea was split between:...

. In early 1945, when I Corps was assigned the task of re-taking Borneo
Borneo campaign (1945)
The Borneo Campaign of 1945 was the last major Allied campaign in the South West Pacific Area, during World War II. In a series of amphibious assaults between 1 May and 21 July, the Australian I Corps, under General Leslie Morshead, attacked Japanese forces occupying the island. Allied naval and...

, II Corps took over in New Guinea.

Canada


Canada first fielded a corps-sized formation in the First World War; the Canadian Corps
Canadian Corps
The Canadian Corps was a World War I corps formed from the Canadian Expeditionary Force in September 1915 after the arrival of the 2nd Canadian Division in France. The corps was expanded by the addition of the 3rd Canadian Division in December 1915 and the 4th Canadian Division in August 1916...

 was unique in that its composition did not change from inception to the war's end, in contrast to British corps in France and Flanders. The Canadian Corps consisted of four Canadian divisions. After the Armistice, the peacetime Canadian militia was nominally organized into corps and divisions but no full time formations larger than a battalion were ever trained or exercised. Early in the Second World War, Canada's contribution to the British-French forces fighting the Germans was limited to a single division. After the fall of France in June 1940, a second division moved to England, coming under command of a Canadian corps headquarters. This corps was renamed I Canadian Corps
I Canadian Corps
I Canadian Corps was one of the two corps fielded by the Canadian Army during World War II. From December 24, 1940 until the formation of the First Canadian Army in April 1942, there was a single unnumbered Canadian Corps...

 as a second corps headquarters was established in the UK, with the eventual formation of five Canadian divisions in England. I Canadian Corps eventually fought in Italy, II Canadian Corps
II Canadian Corps
II Canadian Corps was a corps-level formation that, along with I Corps and I Canadian Corps , comprised the First Canadian Army in Northwest Europe during World War II.Authorization for the formation of the Corps headquarters became effective in England on...

 in NW Europe, and the two were reunited in early 1945. After the formations were disbanded after VE Day, Canada has never subsequently organized a Corps headquarters.

Republic of China (1911–1947)


An NRA Corps (軍團) was a type of military organization used by the Chinese Republic, and usually exercised command over two to three NRA Divisions and often a number of Independent Brigade
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

s or Regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

s and supporting units. The Chinese Republic had 133 Corps during the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

. After losses in the early part of the war, under the 1938 reforms, the remaining scarce artillery and the other support formations were withdrawn from the Division and was held at Corps, or Army level or higher. The Corps became the basic tactical unit of the National Revolutionary Army
National Revolutionary Army
The National Revolutionary Army , pre-1928 sometimes shortened to 革命軍 or Revolutionary Army and between 1928-1947 as 國軍 or National Army was the Military Arm of the Kuomintang from 1925 until 1947, as well as the national army of the Republic of China during the KMT's period of party rule...

 having strength nearly equivalent to an allied Division
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

.

France


The French Army
French Army
The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre , is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces.As of 2010, the army employs 123,100 regulars, 18,350 part-time reservists and 7,700 Legionnaires. All soldiers are professionals, following the suspension of conscription, voted in...

 under Napoleon used corps-sized formations as the first formal combined-arms groupings of division
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

s with reasonably stable manning and equipment establishments. Napoleon first used the Corps d'Armée in 1805 . The use of the Corps d'Armée was a military innovation that provided Napoleon with a significant battlefield advantage in the early phases of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

. The Corps was designed to be an independent military group containing cavalry, artillery and infantry, andcapable of defending against a numerically superior foe. This allowed Napolean to mass the bulk of his forces to effect a penetration into a weak section of enemy lines without risking his own communications or flank. This innovation stimulated other European powers to adopt similar military structures. The Corps has remained an echelon of French Army organization to the modern day.

United Kingdom


The British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 still has a corps headquarters for operational control of forces. I Corps of the British Army of the Rhine
British Army of the Rhine
There have been two formations named British Army of the Rhine . Both were originally occupation forces in Germany, one after the First World War, and the other after the Second World War.-1919–1929:...

 was redesignated the Headquarters Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps
Headquarters Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps
The Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation High Readiness Force Headquarters ready for deployment worldwide within five to thirty days.-History:...

 in 1994 . It is no longer a purely British formation, although the UK is the 'framework nation' and provides most of the staff for the headquarters. A purely national Corps headquarters could be quickly reconstituted if necessary.

It took command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan on 4 May 2006. Previously, it was deployed as the headquarters commanding land forces during the Kosovo War
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

 in 1999 and also saw service in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, commanding the initial stages of the IFOR
IFOR
The Implementation Force was a NATO-led multinational peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina under a one-year mandate from 20 December 1995 to 20 December 1996 under the codename Operation Joint Endeavour. Its task was to implement the military Annexes of The General Framework Agreement for...

 deployment prior to that in 1996. Otherwise, the only time a British corps headquarters has been operationally deployed since 1945 was II Corps during the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

.

United States



The first corps in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 were legalized during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 by an Act of Congress on July 17, 1862, but Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 George B. McClellan
George B. McClellan
George Brinton McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly as the general-in-chief of the Union Army. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union...

 designated six corps organizations within his Army of the Potomac
Army of the Potomac
The Army of the Potomac was the major Union Army in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War.-History:The Army of the Potomac was created in 1861, but was then only the size of a corps . Its nucleus was called the Army of Northeastern Virginia, under Brig. Gen...

 that spring. Prior to this time, groupings of divisions were known by other names, such as "wings" and "grand divisions". The terminology "Army Corps" was often used. These organizations were much smaller than their modern counterparts. They were usually commanded by a major general, were composed of two to six divisions, although predominantly three, and typically included from 10,000 to 15,000 men. Although designated with numbers that are sometimes the same as modern U.S. Army corps, there is no direct lineage between the 43 U.S. corps of the Civil War and those with similar names in the 20th century due to Congressional legislation caused by the outcry from Grand Army of the Republic
Grand Army of the Republic
The Grand Army of the Republic was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army, US Navy, US Marines and US Revenue Cutter Service who served in the American Civil War. Founded in 1866 in Decatur, Illinois, it was dissolved in 1956 when its last member died...

 veterans during the Spanish–American War. In the Confederate States Army
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

, corps were authorized in November 1862. They were commanded by lieutenant generals and were usually larger than their Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 counterparts because their divisions contained more brigades, each of which could contain more regiments. All of the Confederate corps at the Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of Gettysburg
The Battle of Gettysburg , was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle with the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War, it is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac...

, for instance, exceeded 20,000 men. However, for both armies, unit sizes varied dramatically with attrition throughout the war. In Civil War usages, by both sides, it was common to write out the number, thus "Twenty-first Army Corps", a practice that is usually ignored in modern histories of the war.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) adopted the common European usage of designating corps by Roman numerals
Roman numerals
The numeral system of ancient Rome, or Roman numerals, uses combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet to signify values. The numbers 1 to 10 can be expressed in Roman numerals as:...



As of 2003, the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 has four field corps. The structure of a field corps is not permanent; many of the units that it commands are allocated to it as needed on an ad hoc basis. On the battlefield, the field corps is the highest level of the forces that is concerned with actually fighting and winning the war. Higher levels of command are concerned with administration rather than operations, at least under current doctrine. The corps provides operational direction for the forces under its command. Corps are designated by consecutive Roman numerals. The present active corps in the US Army are I Corps ("eye core"), III Corps, V Corps, and XVIII Airborne Corps; their numbers derive from four of the 24 corps [numbers I-XVI, XVIII-XXIV and XXXVI] that were formed during World War II. It also refers to a grouping of specialized troops such as the Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

.

Soviet Union


The pre-World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 of the former USSR had rifle corps
Rifle corps (Soviet)
A rifle corps was a Soviet military organization of the mid-twentieth century. Rifle corps were made up of a varying number of rifle divisions, although the allocation of three rifle divisions to a rifle corps was common during the latter part of World War II.Unlike army corps formed by Germany...

 much like in the Western sense with approximately three divisions to a corps. However, after the war started, the recently-purged Soviet senior command (Stavka
Stavka
Stavka was the term used to refer to a command element of the armed forces from the time of the Kievan Rus′, more formally during the history of Imperial Russia as administrative staff and General Headquarters during late 19th Century Imperial Russian armed forces and those of the Soviet Union...

) structure was apparently unable to handle the formations, and the armies and corps were integrated into new, smaller "Armies" and those into fronts
Front (Soviet Army)
A front was a major military organization in the Soviet Army during many wars. It was roughly equivalent to an army group in the militaries of most other countries except Germany...

. Rifle Corps were re-established during the war after Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 commanders had gained experience handling larger formations. Before and during World War II, however, Soviet armored units were organized into corps. The pre-war Mechanized Corps
Mechanized Corps (Soviet)
A mechanised corps was a Soviet armoured formation used prior to the beginning of World War II.- Pre-war development of Soviet mechanised forces :...

 were made up of divisions. In the reorganizations, these "Corps" were reorganized into tank brigade
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

s and support units, with no division structure. Due to this, they are sometimes, informally, referred to as "Brigade Buckets".

After the war, the Tank and Mechanized Corps were re-rated as divisions. During the reforms of 1956-58, most of the corps were again disbanded to create the new Combined Arms and Tank Armies. A few corps were nevertheless retained, of both patterns. The Vyborg and Archangel Corps of the Leningrad Military District
Leningrad Military District
The Leningrad Military District was a military district of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In 2010 it was merged with the Moscow Military District, the Northern Fleet and the Baltic Fleet to form the new Western Military District.-History:...

 were smaller armies with three low-readiness motorized rifle divisions each. The Category A Unified Corps of the Belarussian Military District (Western TVD/Strategic Direction) and Carpathian Military District
Carpathian Military District
The Carpathian Military District was a military district of the Soviet Armed Forces from 1945 after the conclusion of the Second World War to 1990-91. It became part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 1991 and was disbanded by being redesignated the Western Operational Command later in the 1990s.Two...

 (also Western TVD) were of the brigade pattern.

The Soviet Air Forces used ground terminology for its formations down to squadron level. As intermediates between the Aviation Division
Aviation Division
An Aviation Division was a type of formation of the Military Air Forces of the Red Army during the Second World War, the Military Air Forces of the Soviet Union, Forces of Anti Aircraft Defence of the Soviet Union and Aviation of the Military Naval Fleet, and since 1991 remain major formations...

 and the Air Army were Corps—these also had three Air Divisions each.

Administrative Corps


In the British Army and the armies of many Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 countries, a corps is also a grouping by common function, or an Arm or a Service (e.g. Intelligence Corps, Royal Logistic Corps
Royal Logistic Corps
The Royal Logistic Corps provides logistic support functions to the British Army. It is the largest Corps in the Army, comprising around 17% of its strength...

, Royal Corps of Signals
Royal Corps of Signals
The Royal Corps of Signals is one of the combat support arms of the British Army...

), performing much the same function as a ceremonial infantry or cavalry regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

, with its own cap badge
Cap badge
A cap badge, also known as head badge or hat badge, is a badge worn on uniform headgear and distinguishes the wearer's nationality and/or organisation. The wearing of cap badges is a convention commonly found among military and police forces, as well as uniformed civilian groups such as the Boy...

, stable belt
Stable belt
A stable belt is an item of uniform used in the armed forces of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries. Stable belts or similar derivatives are also worn by the armed forced of other nations such as Denmark....

, and other insignia and traditions. The Royal Armoured Corps
Royal Armoured Corps
The Royal Armoured Corps is currently a collection of ten regular regiments, mostly converted from old horse cavalry regiments, and four Yeomanry regiments of the Territorial Army...

 and the Corps of Infantry are looser groupings of independent regiments.

In Australia, soldiers belong foremost to a Corps which defines a common function or employment across the army. The Australian Army
Australian Army
The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of Defence commands the Australian Defence Force , the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army...

 has a system of coloured lanyards, which each identify a soldier as part of a specific Corps (or sometimes individual battalion). This lanyard is a woven piece of cord which is worn on ceremonial uniforms and dates back to the issue of clasp knives in the early 20th century which were secured to the uniform by a length of cord. If a soldier is posted to a unit outside of their parent corps, except in some circumstances the soldier continues to wear the hat badge and lanyard of their Corps (e.g. a Clerk posted to an infantry battalion would wear the hat badge of the Royal Australian Ordnance Corps but would wear the lanyard of the battalion they are posted to.)

In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, with the integration of the Canadian army into the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

, the British Corps model was replaced with personnel branch
Personnel branch
Personnel branch, in the Canadian Forces , refers to a grouping of related military occupations.Personnel branches were officially established at unification in 1968 to amalgamate the old Canadian Army Corps and similar occupational groupings in the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air...

es, defined in Canadian Forces Administrative Orders
Canadian Forces Administrative Orders
Canadian Forces Administrative Orders are issued to "supplement and amplify the Queen's Regulations and Orders ...[they] contain administrative policy, procedures and information of continuing effect." ...

 (CFAOs) as "...cohesive professional groups...based on similarity of military roles, customs and traditions." CFAO 2-10)http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/admfincs/subjects/cfao/002-10_e.asp However, the Armour Branch has continued to use the title Royal Canadian Armoured Corps
Royal Canadian Armoured Corps
The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps is the armoured branch of service of the Canadian Army, including regular force and reserve regiments.-History:...

, the Infantry Branch continued to use the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
The Infantry Branch is the organisation to which all Canadian infantry regiments belong. This was originally named "Canadian Infantry Corps"....

 designation, and the Artillery Branch uses the term Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery is the artillery personnel branch of the Canadian Forces .-History:...

. When the Army, Royal Canadian Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
The history of the Royal Canadian Navy goes back to 1910, when the naval force was created as the Naval Service of Canada and renamed a year later by King George V. The Royal Canadian Navy is one of the three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

, and Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
The history of the Royal Canadian Air Force begins in 1920, when the air force was created as the Canadian Air Force . In 1924 the CAF was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force and granted royal sanction by King George V. The RCAF existed as an independent service until 1968...

 were merged in 1968 to form the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

, the Royal Canadian Dental Corps
Royal Canadian Dental Corps
The Royal Canadian Dental Corps was an administrative corps of the Canadian Army. The Canadian Dental Corps was authorized on 31 Aug 1939. The Regular and Reserve components of the Canadian Dental Corps were collectively redesignated The Royal Canadian Dental Corps on 15 Jan 1947...

 and Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps
Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps
The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps was an administrative corps of the Canadian Army. The Militia Medical Service was established in 1899. The Militia Medical Service was redesignated the Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1904. The Canadian Army Medical Corps was redesignated The Royal Canadian...

 were deactivated and merged with their Naval and Air Force counterparts to form the Dental Branch (Canadian Forces) and the Canadian Forces Medical Service
Canadian Forces Medical Service
The Canadian Forces Medical Service provides medical support for the Canadian Forces both at home and abroad. It is also a personnel branch of the CF...

 of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group (CF H Svcs Gp). The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps
Royal Canadian Army Service Corps
For successor see Logistics BranchThe Royal Canadian Army Service Corps was an administrative and transport corps of the Canadian Army....

 transport and supply elements were combined with the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps
Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps
The Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps was an administrative corps of the Canadian Army. The Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps RCOC can trace its roots back to the Canadian Stores Department. Formed in 1871, the Canadian Stores Department was a civil department of the Canadian Government...

 to form the Logistics Branch
Logistics Branch (Canadian Forces)
The Logistics Branch is a personnel branch of the Canadian Forces . In April 2007, the CF Armed Forces Council decided to incorporate the Personnel Selection Branch into the Logistics branch.-Unification:...

 The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps
Royal Canadian Army Service Corps
For successor see Logistics BranchThe Royal Canadian Army Service Corps was an administrative and transport corps of the Canadian Army....

 clerical trades were merged with the Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps
Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps
The Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps was an administrative corps of the Canadian Army with its own cap badge, and other insignia and traditions. It was established in 1906 as the Canadian Army Pay Corps. It was responsible for administering all financial matters.The Canadian Army Pay Corps began...

 and the Royal Canadian Postal Corps
Royal Canadian Postal Corps
For successor see Logistics BranchThe Royal Canadian Postal Corps was an administrative corps of the Canadian Army. The Canadian Postal Corps was redesignated the Royal Canadian Postal Corps on 20 Jun 1961. The crest of the Royal Canadian Postal Corps consists of a horn, with a Queen's Crown on...

 to form the Administration Branch (later merged with the Logistics Branch
Logistics Branch (Canadian Forces)
The Logistics Branch is a personnel branch of the Canadian Forces . In April 2007, the CF Armed Forces Council decided to incorporate the Personnel Selection Branch into the Logistics branch.-Unification:...

) Other "corps", included: Canadian Engineer Corps
Canadian Military Engineers
The Canadian Military Engineers is the military engineer branch of the Canadian Forces.-Mission:The mission of the Canadian Military Engineers is to contribute to the survival, mobility, and combat effectiveness of the Canadian Forces...

, Signalling Corps
Royal Canadian Corps of Signals
The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals was a corps of the Canadian Army. Major Wallace Bruce Matthews Carruthers established the corps in 1903, making it the first independent Signal Corps in the British Empire...

, Corps of Guides, Canadian Women's Army Corps
Canadian Women's Army Corps
The Canadian Women's Army Corps was a non-combatant branch of the Canadian Army for women established during World War II to release men from those non-combatant roles in the Canadian armed forces as part of expanding Canada's war effort. Most women served in Canada but some served overseas, most...

, Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps
Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps
The Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps was an administrative corps of the Canadian Army. The Canadian Army Permanent Veterinary Corps was founded in 1910. The Canadian Army Permanent Veterinary Corps was redesignated the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps on 3 Nov 1919...

, Canadian Forestry Corps
Canadian Forestry Corps
The Canadian Forestry Corps was an administrative corps of the Canadian Army with its own cap badge, and other insignia and traditions.The Canadian Forestry Corps was created 14 Nov 1916. The crest of the Canadian Forestry Corps consists of a circle, with a beaver on top, superimposed on a pair of...

, Canadian Provost Corps
Canadian Provost Corps
The Canadian Provost Corps was the military police corps of the Canadian Army. The Canadian Provost Corps was authorized on 15 Jun 1940. The Canadian Provost Corps was amalgamated into the Canadian Forces in 1968.-Canadian Military Police Corps:...

 and Canadian Intelligence Corps
Canadian Intelligence Corps
The Canadian Intelligence Corps was an administrative corps of the Canadian Army.-History:Many Canadians were active in the Intelligence field as early as 1939. Major John P...

.

The Corps system is also used in the U.S. Army to group personnel with a common function, but without a regimental system there is less variation in insignia and tradition. These are often referred to as "Branches" and include the Quartermaster Corps, Ordnance Corps
Ordnance Corps
The United States Army Ordnance Corps is a Sustainment branch of the United States Army, headquartered at Fort Lee, Virginia.-Mission Statement:The U.S...

, Transportation Corps
United States Army Transportation Corps
The Transportation Corps was established 31 July 1942 by Executive Order 9082. The Transportation Corps is a combat service support branch of the U.S. Army, and was headquartered at Fort Eustis, Virginia, but has now moved to Fort Lee, Virginia. The Transportation Corps is responsible for the...

, Medical Corps, Chaplain Corps, Judge Advocate General's Corps
Judge Advocate General's Corps
Judge Advocate General's Corps, also known as JAG or JAG Corps, refers to the legal branch or specialty of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, and Navy. Officers serving in the JAG Corps are typically called Judge Advocates. The Marine Corps and Coast Guard do not maintain separate JAG Corps...

, & Finance Corps. Each of these Corps is also considered a "Regiment" for historic purposes but these Regiments have no tactical function.

Non-military use


In the UK the Royal Observer Corps
Royal Observer Corps
The Royal Observer Corps was a civil defence organisation operating in the United Kingdom between 29 October 1925 and 31 December 1995, when the Corps' civilian volunteers were stood down....

 was a civil defence unit disbanded in 1995.

In the US, there are non-military, administrative, training and certification Corps for commissioned officers of the government's uniformed services
Uniformed services of the United States
The United States has seven federal uniformed services that commission officers as defined by Title 10, and subsequently structured and organized by Title 10, Title 14, Title 33 and Title 42 of the United States Code.-Uniformed services:...

 such as the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration Corps.

Many volunteer municipal or university ambulance, rescue, and first aid squads are known as VACs (volunteer ambulance corps). Prominent examples are the Order of Malta
Order of Malta Ambulance Corps
The Order of Malta Ambulance Corps is the largest voluntary ambulance and first aid organisation of its kind in Ireland. The Order of Malta is engaged in teaching first aid, providing ambulance cover at large events, patient transport, community and nursing services...

 (the largest in Ireland), Hatzolah
Hatzolah
Hatzolah/Hatzalah is a volunteer Emergency Medical Service organization serving mostly Jewish communities around the world. Most local branches operate independently of each other, but use the common name...

 (largest VAC network worldwide), Hackensack VAC. The usage of the term Ambulance Corps dates to Civil War
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

 Major General George B. McLellan's General Order No 147 to create an "ambulance corps" within the Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

. GO 147 used "Corps" in one of its standard military senses. However, subsequent formations of non-military ambulance squads continued to use the term, even where they adhere less to paramilitary organizational structure.

The Peace Corps
Peace Corps
The Peace Corps is an American volunteer program run by the United States Government, as well as a government agency of the same name. The mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand US culture, and helping...

 was organized by the United States as an "army" of volunteers.

The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries....

 calls its local units/church corps (e.g. The St. Petersburg Citadel Corps), echoing the pseudomilitary name and structure of the organization.

Some Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are known as corps. Examples include Global Service Corps
Global Service Corps
Global Service Corps was founded in 1993 by Rick Lathrop after gaining a PhD in Human and Organization Development at The Fielding Institute in Santa Barbara, California...

 and Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a global aid agency engaged in transitional environments that have experienced some sort of shock: natural disaster, economic collapse, or conflict. People working for it move as quickly as possible from bringing in food and supplies to enabling people to rebuild their economy with...

.

See also

  • Military unit
  • Corps area
    Corps area
    A Corps area was a geographically-based organizational structure of the United States Army used to accomplish domestic administrative, training and tactical tasks from 1920 to 1942. Each corps area included divisions of the Regular Army, Organized Reserve and National Guard of the United States...

  • United States Marine Corps
    United States Marine Corps
    The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

  • Eurocorps
    Eurocorps
    Eurocorps is a multinational standing army corps available for the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance.Headquartered in Strasbourg, France, the force was created in May 1992, activated in October 1993 and declared operational in 1995....

  • List of military corps
  • List of corps of the United States
  • Corps insignia of the United States Army
    Corps insignia of the United States Army
    Shoulder sleeve insignia are cloth emblems worn on the shoulders of U.S. Army uniforms to identify the primary headquarters to which a soldier is assigned...

  • Drum and bugle corps (modern)
    Drum and bugle corps (modern)
    A drum and bugle corps, also known as a drum corps, is a musical marching unit consisting of brass instruments, percussion instruments, and color guard. Typically operating as independent non-profit organizations, drum corps perform in competitions, parades, festivals, and other civic functions...

  • Drum and bugle corps (classic)
    Drum and bugle corps (classic)
    Classic drum and bugle corps are North American musical ensembles that descended from military bugle and drum units returning from World War I and succeeding wars. Traditionally, drum and bugle corps served as signaling units as early as before the American Civil War, with these signaling units...

  • Peace Corps
    Peace Corps
    The Peace Corps is an American volunteer program run by the United States Government, as well as a government agency of the same name. The mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand US culture, and helping...

  • AmeriCorps
    AmeriCorps
    AmeriCorps is a U.S. federal government program that was created under President Bill Clinton by the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 and later expanded by 50 percent under President George W. Bush...

  • Signal Corps
    Signal Corps
    The Signal Corps is a military branch, usually subordinate to a country's army, responsible for the military communications .Many countries have a Signal Corps, whose main function is usually communication .* Arma de Comunicaciones, signals branch of the Argentine Army* Arma delle...

  • United States Army Corps of Engineers
    United States Army Corps of Engineers
    The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

  • Ambulance corps