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A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force
Use of force
The term use of force describes a right of an individual or authority to settle conflicts or prevent certain actions by applying measures to either: a) dissuade another party from a particular course of action, or b) physically intervene to stop them...

, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda
Political agenda
A political agenda is a set of issues and policies laid out by an executive or cabinet in government that tries to influence current and near-future political news and debate....

 e.g. communism during cold war
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 era, supporting or promoting economic expansion through imperialism, and as a form of internal social control. As an adjective the term "military" is also used to refer to any property or aspect of a military. Militaries often function as societies within societies, by having their own military communities.

The profession of soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

ing as part of a military is older than recorded history itself. Some of the most enduring images of the classical antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

 portray the power and feats of its military leaders
Leadership
Leadership has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". Other in-depth definitions of leadership have also emerged.-Theories:...

. The Battle of Kadesh
Battle of Kadesh
The Battle of Kadesh took place between the forces of the Egyptian Empire under Ramesses II and the Hittite Empire under Muwatalli II at the city of Kadesh on the Orontes River, in what is now the Syrian Arab Republic....

 in 1274 BC was one of the defining points of Pharaoh Ramesses II
Ramesses II
Ramesses II , referred to as Ramesses the Great, was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire...

's reign and is celebrated in bas-relief on his monuments. A thousand years later the first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang , personal name Ying Zheng , was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC during the Warring States Period. He became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC...

, was so determined to impress the gods with his military might that he was buried with an army of terracotta soldiers
Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army or the "Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China...

. The Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 were dedicated to military matters, leaving to posterity many treatise
Treatise
A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject.-Noteworthy treatises:...

s and writings as well as a large number of lavishly carved triumphal arch
Triumphal arch
A triumphal arch is a monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road. In its simplest form a triumphal arch consists of two massive piers connected by an arch, crowned with a flat entablature or attic on which a statue might be...

es and victory column
Victory column
A victory column is a monument in the form of a column, erected in memory of a victorious war or battle. The column stands on a base and is crowned with a victory symbol in the form of a statue...

s.

Etymology and definitions


The first recorded use of military in English, spelled militarie, was in 1585. It comes from the Latin militaris (from Latin miles meaning "soldier") but is of uncertain etymology, one suggestion being derived from *mil-it- - going in a body or mass The word is now identified as denoting someone that is skilled in use of weapons, or engaged in military service or in warfare.

As a noun the military usually refers generally to a country's armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 or sometimes, more specifically, to the senior officers who command them. In general it refers to the physicality of armed forces, their personnel, equipment, and physical area which they occupy.

As an adjective military originally applied only to soldiers and soldiering, but it soon broadened to apply to land forces in general and anything to do with their profession. The names of both the Royal Military Academy (1741) and United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 (1802) reflect this. However, at about the time of 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...

 "military" began to be applied to armed forces as a whole and in the 21st century expressions like "military service
Military service
Military service, in its simplest sense, is service by an individual or group in an army or other militia, whether as a chosen job or as a result of an involuntary draft . Some nations require a specific amount of military service from every citizen...

", "military intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

" and "military history
Military history
Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, their cultures, economies and changing intra and international relationships....

" reflect this broader meaning. As such, it now connotes any activity performed by the military personnel.

History


Military history is often considered to be the history of all conflicts, not just the history of the state militaries. It differs somewhat from the history of war with military history focusing on the people and institutions of war-making while the history of war focuses on the evolution of war itself in the face of changing technology, governments, and geography.

Military history has a number of purposes. One main purpose is to learn from past accomplishments and mistakes so as to more effectively wage war in the future. Another is to create a sense of military tradition
Military tradition
Military tradition is the specific set of practices associated with the military or soldiers in general. The concept may describe the styles of military uniform, drill, or even the music of a military unit.-In the United States:...

 which is used to create cohesive military forces. Still another may be to learn to prevent wars more effectively. Human knowledge about the military is largely based on both recorded and oral history
Oral history
Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interviews...

 of military conflicts (war), their participating armies
Army
An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

 and navies
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 and, more recently, air force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

s.

There are two types of military history, although almost all texts have elements of both: descriptive history that serves to chronicle conflicts without offering any statements about the causes, nature of conduct, the ending and effects of a conflict; and analytical history that seeks to offer statements about the causes, nature, ending and aftermath of conflicts as a means of deriving knowledge and understanding of conflicts as a whole, and prevent repetition of mistakes in future, to suggest better concepts or methods in employing forces, or to advocate the need for new technology.

The Military


Every nation in the history of humanity had different needs for military forces. How these needs are determined forms the basis of their composition, equipment and use of facilities. It also determines what military does in terms of peacetime and wartime activities.

All militaries, whether large or small, are military organization
Military organization
Military organization is the structuring of the armed forces of a state so as to offer military capability required by the national defence policy. In some countries paramilitary forces are included in a nation's armed forces...

s that must perform certain functions and fulfil certain roles to qualify for being designated as such. If they fail to do so, they may become known as paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

, civil defence, militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 or other which are not military. These commonalities of the state's military define them.

Military command
The first requirement of the military is to establish it as a force with a capability to execute national defense policy. Invariably, although the policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

 may be created by policy makers or Policy analyst, its implementation requires specific expert knowledge of how military functions and how it fulfils roles.

The first of these skills is the ability to create a cohesive force capable of acting on policy as and when required, and therefore the first function of the military is to provide military command
Military command
Military command is the principle of the exercise of authority in a military, naval or air force context. The exercise of command is normally articulated in the legal framework which embodies the force concerned....

. One of the roles of military command is to translate policy into concrete missions and tasks, and to express them in terms understood by subordinates, generally called orders.

Military command make effective and efficient military organisation possible through delegation of authority which encompass organisational structures as large as military district
Military district
Military districts are formations of a state's armed forces which are responsible for a certain area of territory. They are often more responsible for administrative than operational matters, and in countries with conscript forces, often handle parts of the conscription cycle.Navies have also used...

s or military zones, and as small as platoon
Platoon
A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing 16 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer—the...

s. The command element of the military is often a strong influence on the organisational culture of the forces.

Military personnel

Another requirement is for the military command personnel, often called the officer corps, to command subordinated , generally known as soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

s, sailor
Sailor
A sailor, mariner, or seaman is a person who navigates water-borne vessels or assists in their operation, maintenance, or service. The term can apply to professional mariners, military personnel, and recreational sailors as well as a plethora of other uses...

s, marines, or airmen, capable of executing the many specialised operational missions and tasks required for the military to execute the policy directives.

Just as in the commercial enterprises where there are, in a corporate setting, directors, managers and various staff that carry out the business of the day as part of business operations
Business operations
Business operations are those ongoing recurring activities involved in the running of a business for the purpose of producing value for the stakeholders...

 or undertake business project management
Project management
Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end , undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value...

, military also has its routines
Military administration
Military administration identifies both the techniques and systems used by military departments, agencies, and Armed Services involved in the management of the armed forces...

 and projects.

During peacetime when military personnel are mostly employed in garrison
Garrison
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

s or permanent military facilities they mostly conduct administrative tasks, training and education activities, and technology maintenance
Maintenance, Repair and Operations
Maintenance, repair, and operations or maintenance, repair, and overhaul involves fixing any sort of mechanical or electrical device should it become out of order or broken...

. Another role of military personnel is to ensure a continuous replacement of departing servicemen and women through military recruitment
Military recruitment
Military recruitment is the act of requesting people, usually male adults, to join a military voluntarily. Involuntary military recruitment is known as conscription. Many countries that have abolished conscription use military recruiters to persuade people to join, often at an early age. To...

, and the maintenance of a military reserve
Military reserve
A military reserve, tactical reserve, or strategic reserve is a group of military personnel or units which are initially not committed to a battle by their commander so that they are available to address unforeseen situations or exploit suddenly developing...

.
Military intelligence

The next requirement comes as a fairly basic need for the military to identify the possible threats
Military threat
A military threat, sometimes expressed as danger of military action, a military challenge, or a military risk, is a concept in military intelligence that identifies an imminent capability for use of military force in resolving diplomatic or economic disputes...

 it may be called upon to face. For this purpose some of the command and other military, and often civilian personnel participate in identification of these threats, which is at once an organisation, a system and a process collectively called military intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

 (MI).

The difficulty in using military intelligence concepts and military intelligence methods is in the nature of the secrecy
Information security
Information security means protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, perusal, inspection, recording or destruction....

 of the information they seek, and the clandestine
Clandestine operation
A clandestine operation is an intelligence or military operation carried out in such a way that the operation goes unnoticed.The United States Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms defines "clandestine operation" as "An operation sponsored or conducted by governmental...

 nature that intelligence operatives work in obtaining what may be plans for a conflict escalation
Conflict escalation
Conflict escalation describes the escalation of a conflict to a more destructive, confrontational, painful, or otherwise "less comfortable" level; in particular, it is concerned with how persons or forces can be controlled or subdued in conflict...

, initiation of combat
Phase (combat)
A Phase in combat is usually a period within a military operation of a longer duration that is a part of a serial chain of logically connected activities planned to culminate in a defined objective or goal....

 or an invasion
Invasion
An invasion is a military offensive consisting of all, or large parts of the armed forces of one geopolitical entity aggressively entering territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering, liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a...

.

An important part of the military intelligence role is the military analysis performed to assess military capability
Military capability
Military capability is defined by the Australian Defence Force as "the ability to achieve a desired effect in a specific operating environment". It is defined by three interdependent factors: combat readiness, sustainable capability and force structure....

 of potential future aggressors, and provide combat modelling that helps to understand factors on which comparison of forces can be made. This helps to quantify and qualify such statements as "China
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

 and India maintain the largest armed forces in the World" or that "the U.S. Military is considered to be the world's strongest".

Although some groups engaged in combat, such as militants or resistance movement
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

s, refer to themselves using military terminology, notably "Army" or "Front", none have had the structure of a national military to justify the reference, and usually have had to rely on support of outside national militaries. They also use these terms to conceal from the MI their true capabilities, and to impress potential ideological recruits.

Having military intelligence representatives participate in the execution of the national defence policy is important because it becomes the first respondent and commentator on the policy expected strategic goal
Strategic goal (military)
A strategic military goal is used in strategic planning to define desired end-state of a war or a campaign. Usually it entails either a strategic change in enemy's military posture, intentions or ongoing operations, or achieving a strategic victory over the enemy that ends the conflict, although...

 compared to the realities of identified threats
Intelligence (information gathering)
Intelligence assessment is the development of forecasts of behaviour or recommended courses of action to the leadership of an organization, based on a wide range of available information sources both overt and covert. Assessments are developed in response to requirements declared by the leadership...

. When the intelligence reporting is compared to the policy, it becomes possible for the national leadership to think about allocating resources over an above the officers and their subordinates military pay and the expense of maintaining military facilities and military support services for them.

Military economics


More commonly referred to as defence economics, this is the financial and monetary efforts done to resource and sustain militaries and for financing military operations including war.

The process of allocating resources is conducted by determining a military budget
Military budget
A military budget of an entity, most often a nation or a state, is the budget and financial resources dedicated to raising and maintaining armed forces for that entity. Military budgets reflect how much an entity perceives the likelihood of threats against it, or the amount of aggression it wishes...

 which is administered by a military finance organisation within the military. Military procurement is then authorised to purchase or contract provision of goods and services to the military, whether in peacetime at a permanent base or in a combat zone from local population.

Capability development

Capability development, which is often referred to as the military "strength", is arguably one of the most complex activities known to humanity because it requires determining: Strategic, operational and tactical capability requirements to counter the identified threats; Strategic, operational and tactical doctrines by which the acquired capabilities will be used; identifying concepts, methods and systems involved in executing the doctrines; creating design specifications for the manufacturers who would produce these in adequate quantity and quality for their use in combat; purchase the concepts, methods and systems; create a forces structure that would use the concepts, methods and systems most effectively and efficiently; integrate these concepts, methods and systems into the force structure by providing military education, training, and practice
Military exercise
A military exercise is the employment of military resources in training for military operations, either exploring the effects of warfare or testing strategies without actual combat...

 that preferably resembles combat environment of intended use; create military logistics
Military logistics
Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or military operations that deal with:...

 systems to allow continued and uninterrupted performance of military organisations under combat conditions, including provision of health services to the personnel and maintenance for the equipment; the services to assist recovery of wounded personnel and repair of damaged equipment; and finally post-conflict demobilisation and disposal of war stocks surplus to peacetime requirements.

Development of military doctrine
Military doctrine
Military doctrine is the concise expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battles, and engagements.It is a guide to action, not hard and fast rules. Doctrine provides a common frame of reference across the military...

 is perhaps the more important of all capability development activities because it determines how military forces were, and are used in conflicts, the concepts and methods used by the command to employ appropriately military skilled, armed
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

 and equipped personnel in achievement of the tangible goals and objectives of the war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

, campaign
Military campaign
In the military sciences, the term military campaign applies to large scale, long duration, significant military strategy plan incorporating a series of inter-related military operations or battles forming a distinct part of a larger conflict often called a war...

, battle
Battle
Generally, a battle is a conceptual component in the hierarchy of combat in warfare between two or more armed forces, or combatants. In a battle, each combatant will seek to defeat the others, with defeat determined by the conditions of a military campaign...

, engagement, action or a duel
Duel
A duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two individuals, with matched weapons in accordance with agreed-upon rules.Duels in this form were chiefly practised in Early Modern Europe, with precedents in the medieval code of chivalry, and continued into the modern period especially among...

. The line between strategy and tactics is not easily blurred, although deciding which is being discussed had sometimes been a matter of personal judgement by some commentators, and military historians. The use of forces at the level of organisation between strategic and tactical is called operational mobility.

Military science
Because most of the concepts and methods used by the military, and many of its systems are not found in the commercial use, much of materiel is researched, designed, developed and offered for inclusion in arsenals by military science
Military science
Military science is the process of translating national defence policy to produce military capability by employing military scientists, including theorists, researchers, experimental scientists, applied scientists, designers, engineers, test technicians, and military personnel responsible for...

 organisation within the overall structure of the military. Military scientists are therefore found to interact with all Arms and Services of the armed forces, and at all levels of the military hierarchy of command.

Although concerned with research into military psychology
Military psychology
Military psychology is the research, design and application of psychological theories and experimentation data towards understanding, predicting and countering behaviours either in friendly or enemy forces or civilian population that may be undesirable, threatening or potentially dangerous to the...

, and particularly combat stress and how it affect troop morale
Morale
Morale, also known as esprit de corps when discussing the morale of a group, is an intangible term used to describe the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or a goal, or even in oneself and others...

, often the bulk of military science activities is directed at the military intelligence technology, military communications
Military communications
Historically, the first military communications had the form of sending/receiving simple signals . Respectively, the first distinctive tactics of military communications were called Signals, while units specializing in those tactics received the Signal Corps name...

 and improving military capability
Military capability
Military capability is defined by the Australian Defence Force as "the ability to achieve a desired effect in a specific operating environment". It is defined by three interdependent factors: combat readiness, sustainable capability and force structure....

 through research, design, development and prototyping of weapon
Weapon
A weapon, arm, or armament is a tool or instrument used with the aim of causing damage or harm to living beings or artificial structures or systems...

s, military support equipment, and military technology
Military technology
Military technology is the collection of equipment, vehicles, structures and communication systems that are designed for use in warfare. It comprises the kinds of technology that are distinctly military in nature and not civilian in application, usually because they are impractical in civilian...

 in general that includes everything from global communication networks and aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s to paint and food.

Military logistics

Possessing military capability is not sufficient if this capability can not be deployed for, and employed in combat operations. To achieve this, military logistics
Military logistics
Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or military operations that deal with:...

 are used for the logistics management
Logistics Management
The term Logistics Management or supply chain management is that part of Supply Chain Management that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective, forward, and reverse flow and storage of goods, services, and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption...

 and logistics planning of the forces supply "tail"
Military Supply Chain Management
Military supply chain management is a cross-functional approach to procuring, producing and delivering products and services. The broad management scope includes sub-suppliers, suppliers, internal information and funds flow.-Supply:...

, the consumables and capital equipment of the troops.

Although mostly concerned with the military transport as a means of delivery using different modes of transport from military trucks to container ship
Container ship
Container ships are cargo ships that carry all of their load in truck-size intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization. They form a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport.-History:...

s operating from permanent military base, it also involves creating field supply dumps in the rear of the combat
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

 zone, and even forward supply points in specific unit's Tactical Area of Responsibility
Tactical Area of Responsibility
Tactical Area of Responsibility is a prescribed area in a theatre of combat which has been assigned to a unit commander who is responsible for, and has the authority to act on, the development and maintenance of installations and the conduct of tactical operations, area defence, coordination of...

.

These supply points are also used to provide military engineering services such as the recovery of defective and derelict vehicles and weapons, maintenance of weapons in the field, the repair and field modification of weapons and equipment, and in peacetime the life-extension programs undertaken to allow continued use of equipment. One of the most important role of logistics is the supply of munitions as a primary type of consumable, their storage and disposal.

Military operations

While capability development is about enabling
Combat readiness
Combat readiness is a condition of the armed forces and their constituent units and formations, warships, aircraft, weapon systems or other military technology and equipment to perform during combat military operations, or functions consistently with the purpose for which they are organised or...

 the military to perform its functions and roles in executing the defence policy, how personnel and their equipment are used in engaging the enemy
Engagement (military)
A military engagement is a combat between two forces, neither larger than a division and not smaller than a company, in which each has an assigned or perceived mission...

, winning battle
Battle
Generally, a battle is a conceptual component in the hierarchy of combat in warfare between two or more armed forces, or combatants. In a battle, each combatant will seek to defeat the others, with defeat determined by the conditions of a military campaign...

s, successfully concluding campaigns
Military campaign
In the military sciences, the term military campaign applies to large scale, long duration, significant military strategy plan incorporating a series of inter-related military operations or battles forming a distinct part of a larger conflict often called a war...

, and eventually the war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

, is the responsibility of military operations. Military operations oversees the policy interpretation into military plan
Military plan
A military operation plan is a formal plan for military armed forces, their military organizations and units to conduct operations, as drawn up by commanders within the combat operations process in achieving objectives before or during a conflict...

s, allocation of capability to specific strategic
Strategic goal (military)
A strategic military goal is used in strategic planning to define desired end-state of a war or a campaign. Usually it entails either a strategic change in enemy's military posture, intentions or ongoing operations, or achieving a strategic victory over the enemy that ends the conflict, although...

, operational and tactical
Tactical objective
A tactical objective is the immediate short term desired result of a given activity, task or mission, usually entrusted to the lower positioned management in a three-tier organisation's structure of field or front desk, middle and executive management....

 goals and objectives, change in posture of the armed forces, the interaction of Combat Arms
Combat Arms
Combat Arms is a multiplayer game, free-to-play modern first-person shooter developed by the South Korea-based developer Doobic Studios, and published by Nexon. The game uses the Lithtech game engine to produce its graphics.- Gameplay :...

, Combat Support Arms and Combat Support Services during combat operations, defining of military missions and tasks during the conduct of combat, management of military prisoners and military civil affairs, and the military occupation
Military occupation
Military occupation occurs when the control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. The territory then becomes occupied territory.-Military occupation and the laws of war:...

 of enemy territory, seizure of captured equipment, and maintenance of civil order in the territory under its responsibility. Throughout the combat operations process
Combat operations process
Combat operations process is undertaken by armed forces during military campaigns, major operations, battles, and engagements to facilitate the setting of objectives, direction of combat, and assessment of the operation plan's success....

, and during the lulls in combat combat military intelligence provides reporting on the status of plan completion and its correlation with desired, expected and achieved satisfaction of policy fulfilment.
Military performance assessment

The last requirement of the military is for military performance assessment and learning from it. These two functions are performed by military historians
Military history
Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, their cultures, economies and changing intra and international relationships....

 and military theorists
Military theory
Military theory is the analysis of normative behavior and trends in military affairs and military history, beyond simply describing events in war and military theories, especially since the influence of Clausewitz in the nineteenth century attempt to encapsulate the complex cultural, political and...

 who seek to identify failures and success of the armed force and integrate corrections into the military reform with the aim of producing an improved force capable of performing adequately should there be a national defence policy review.

Military in combat


The primary reason for the existence of the military is to engage in combat
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

, should it be required to do so by the national defense policy, and to win. This represents an organizational goal of any military, and the primary focus for military thought through military history
Military history
Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, their cultures, economies and changing intra and international relationships....

.

The "show" of military force has been a term that referred as much to military force projection, as to the units such as 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 or gunboat
Gunboat
A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for ferrying troops or supplies.-History:...

s deployed
Military deployment
Military deployment is the movement of armed forces and their logistical support infrastructure around the world.-United States:The United States Military defines the term as follows:...

 in a particular theatre, or as an aggregate of such forces. In the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 the United States Central Command
United States Central Command
The United States Central Command is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command unit of the U.S. armed forces, established in 1983 under the operational control of the U.S. Secretary of Defense...

 controlled military forces (units) of each of the four military services of the United States. How victory
Victory
Victory is successful conclusion of a fight or competition..Victory may refer to:**strategic victory**tactical victory** Pyrrhic victory, a victory at heavy cost to the victorious party**Victory columns**Victory Monuments**Victory personified...

 is achieved, and what shape it assumes is studied by most, if not all, military groups on three levels.

Strategic victory
Strategic victory
A strategic victory is a victory that brings long-term advantage to the victor, and disturbs the enemy's ability to wage a war. When a historian speaks of a victory in general, it is usually referring to a strategic victory....



Military strategy
Military strategy
Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", 'the art of arrangement' of troops...

 is the management of forces in war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

s and military campaign
Military campaign
In the military sciences, the term military campaign applies to large scale, long duration, significant military strategy plan incorporating a series of inter-related military operations or battles forming a distinct part of a larger conflict often called a war...

s by a commander-in-chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 employing large military forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 either national and allied as a whole, or the component elements of armies
Army
An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

, navies
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 and air forces
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

 such as 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, fleets
Naval fleet
A fleet, or naval fleet, is a large formation of warships, and the largest formation in any navy. A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land....

 and large numbers of aircraft. Military strategy is a long-term projection of belligerents' policy with a broad view of outcome implications, including outside the concerns of military command. Military strategy is more concerned with the supply of war
Logistics
Logistics is the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging, and...

 and planning, then management of field forces and combat between them. The scope of Strategic military planning can span weeks, but is more often months or even years.

Operational victory

Operational mobility is, within war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

fare and military doctrine
Military doctrine
Military doctrine is the concise expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battles, and engagements.It is a guide to action, not hard and fast rules. Doctrine provides a common frame of reference across the military...

, the level of command which coordinates the minute details of tactics
Military tactics
Military tactics, the science and art of organizing an army or an air force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. Changes in philosophy and technology over time have been reflected in changes to military tactics. In...

 with the overarching goals of strategy
Strategy
Strategy, a word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. In military usage strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked...

. A common synonym is operational art.

The operational level is at a scale bigger than one where line of sight and the time of day are important, and smaller than the strategic level, where production and politics are considerations. Formations are of the operational level if they are able to conduct operations on their own, and are of sufficient size to be directly handled or have a significant impact at the strategic level. This concept was pioneered by the German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 army prior to and during the Second World War
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...

. At this level planning and duration of activities takes from one week to a month, and are executed by Field 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....

 and Army Corps and their naval and air equivalents.

Tactical victory
Tactical victory
A tactical victory may refer to a victory that results in the completion of a tactical objective as part of an operation or a victory where the losses of the defeated outweigh those of the victor.-Concepts:...



Military tactics
Military tactics
Military tactics, the science and art of organizing an army or an air force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. Changes in philosophy and technology over time have been reflected in changes to military tactics. In...

 concerns itself with the methods for engaging and defeating an enemy in direct combat. Military tactics are usually used by units over hours or days, and are focused on the specific, close proximity tasks and objectives of squad
Squad
In military terminology, a squad is a small military unit led by a non-commissioned officer that is subordinate to an infantry platoon. In countries following the British Army tradition this organization is referred to as a section...

s, companies
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

, battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

s, 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, 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 divisions
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...

 and their naval and air equivalents.

One of the oldest military publications is The Art of War
The Art of War
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise that is attributed to Sun Tzu , a high ranking military general and strategist during the late Spring and Autumn period...

by the Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu
Sun Wu , style name Changqing , better known as Sun Tzu or Sunzi , was an ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who is traditionally believed, and who is most likely, to have authored The Art of War, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy...

. Written in the 6th century BCE, the 13-chapter book is intended as military instruction and not as military theory
Military theory
Military theory is the analysis of normative behavior and trends in military affairs and military history, beyond simply describing events in war and military theories, especially since the influence of Clausewitz in the nineteenth century attempt to encapsulate the complex cultural, political and...

, but has had a huge influence on Asian military doctrine, and from the late 19th century, on European and United States military plan
Military plan
A military operation plan is a formal plan for military armed forces, their military organizations and units to conduct operations, as drawn up by commanders within the combat operations process in achieving objectives before or during a conflict...

ning. It has even been used to formulate business tactics, and can even be applied in social and political areas.

The Classical Greeks and the Romans wrote prolifically on military campaign
Military campaign
In the military sciences, the term military campaign applies to large scale, long duration, significant military strategy plan incorporating a series of inter-related military operations or battles forming a distinct part of a larger conflict often called a war...

ing. Among the best-known Roman works are Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

's commentaries on the Gallic Wars
Gallic Wars
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. They lasted from 58 BC to 51 BC. The Gallic Wars culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the...

 and the Roman Civil war
Caesar's civil war
The Great Roman Civil War , also known as Caesar's Civil War, was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire...

 - written about 50 BC.

Two major works on tactics come from the late Roman period: Taktike Theoria by Aelianus Tacticus
Aelianus Tacticus
Aelianus Tacticus was a Greek military writer of the 2nd century, resident at Rome.Aelian's military treatise in fifty-three chapters on the tactics of the Greeks, titled "On Tactical Arrays of the Greeks" , is dedicated to Hadrian, though this is probably a mistake for Trajan, and the date 106...

 and De Re Militari
De Re Militari
De Re Militari , also Epitoma Rei Militaris, is a treatise by the late Latin writer Vegetius about Roman warfare and military principles as a presentation of methods and practices in use during the height of Rome's power, and responsible for that power...

("On military matters") by Vegetius. Taktike Theoria examined Greek military tactics, and was most influential in the Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 world and during the Golden Age of Islam
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

.

De Re Militari formed the basis of European military tactics until the late 17th century. Perhaps its most enduring maxim is Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum (let he who desires peace prepare for war).

Due to the changing nature of combat with the introduction of artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 in the European Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, and infantry firearms in the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, attempts were made to define and identify those strategies, grand tactics and tactics that would produce a victory more often than that achieved by the Romans in praying to the gods before the battle.

Later this became known as Military Science
Military science
Military science is the process of translating national defence policy to produce military capability by employing military scientists, including theorists, researchers, experimental scientists, applied scientists, designers, engineers, test technicians, and military personnel responsible for...

, and later still would adopt the scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 approach to the conduct of military operations under the influence of the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 thinking. In his seminal book On War
On War
Vom Kriege is a book on war and military strategy by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz , written mostly after the Napoleonic wars, between 1816 and 1830, and published posthumously by his wife in 1832. It has been translated into English several times as On War...

the Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n Major-General and leading expert on modern military strategy
Military strategy
Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", 'the art of arrangement' of troops...

 Carl von Clausewitz
Carl von Clausewitz
Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz was a Prussian soldier and German military theorist who stressed the moral and political aspects of war...

 defined military strategy as "the employment of battles to gain the end of war." According to Clausewitz

strategy forms the plan of the War, and to this end it links together the series of acts which are to lead to the final decision, that is to say, it makes the plans for the separate campaigns and regulates the combats to be fought in each.
Hence, Clausewitz placed political aims above military goals
Strategic goal (military)
A strategic military goal is used in strategic planning to define desired end-state of a war or a campaign. Usually it entails either a strategic change in enemy's military posture, intentions or ongoing operations, or achieving a strategic victory over the enemy that ends the conflict, although...

, ensuring civilian control of the military
Civilian control of the military
Civilian control of the military is a doctrine in military and political science that places ultimate responsibility for a country's strategic decision-making in the hands of the civilian political leadership, rather than professional military officers. One author, paraphrasing Samuel P...

. Military strategy was one of a triumvirate of "arts"
Military art (Military science)
Military art , is a field of theoretical research and training methodology in military science used in the conduct of military operations on land, in the maritime or air environments. Military art includes the study and application of the principles of warfare and laws of war that apply equally...

 or "sciences" that governed the conduct of warfare, the others being: military tactics
Military tactics
Military tactics, the science and art of organizing an army or an air force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. Changes in philosophy and technology over time have been reflected in changes to military tactics. In...

, the execution of plans and manœuvering of forces in battle, and maintenance of an army
Military logistics
Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or military operations that deal with:...

.

The meaning of military tactics has changed over time from the deployment and manoeuvreing of entire land armies on the fields of ancient battles, and galley fleets, to modern use of small unit ambush
Ambush
An ambush is a long-established military tactic, in which the aggressors take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack an unsuspecting enemy from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops...

es, encirclement
Encirclement
Encirclement is a military term for the situation when a force or target is isolated and surrounded by enemy forces. The German term for this is Kesselschlacht ; a comparable English term might be "in the bag"....

s, bomb and bombardment attacks, frontal assault
Frontal assault
The military tactic of frontal assault is a direct, hostile movement of forces toward the front of an enemy force . By targeting the enemy's front, the attackers are subjecting themselves to the maximum defensive power of the enemy...

s, air assault
Air assault
Air assault is the movement of ground-based military forces by vertical take-off and landing aircraft—such as the helicopter—to seize and hold key terrain which has not been fully secured, and to directly engage enemy forces...

s, hit-and-run tactics
Hit-and-run tactics
Hit-and-run tactics is a tactical doctrine where the purpose of the combat involved is not to seize control of territory, but to inflict damage on a target and immediately exit the area to avoid the enemy's defense and/or retaliation.-History:...

 used mainly by guerrilla forces and, in some cases, suicide attack
Suicide attack
A suicide attack is a type of attack in which the attacker expects or intends to die in the process.- Historical :...

s on land and at sea. Evolution of aerial warfare introduced its own air combat tactics. Often, military deception
Military deception
Military deception is an attempt to amplify, or create an artificial fog of war or to mislead the enemy using psychological operations, information warfare and other methods. As a form of strategic use of information , it overlaps with psychological warfare...

, in the form of military camouflage
Military camouflage
Military camouflage is one of many means of deceiving an enemy. In practice, it is the application of colour and materials to battledress and military equipment to conceal them from visual observation. The French slang word camouflage came into common English usage during World War I when the...

 or misdirection using decoy
Decoy
A decoy is usually a person, device or event meant as a distraction, to conceal what an individual or a group might be looking for. Decoys have been used for centuries most notably in game hunting, but also in wartime and in the committing or resolving of crimes.-Duck decoy:The term duck decoy may...

s, is used to confuse the enemy as a tactic.

A major development in infantry tactics
Infantry tactics
Infantry tactics are the combination of military concepts and methods used by infantry to achieve tactical objectives during combat. The role of the infantry on the battlefield is typically to close with the enemy and kill or capture him and infantry tactics are the means by which this is achieved...

 came with the increased use of trench warfare
Trench warfare
Trench warfare is a form of occupied fighting lines, consisting largely of trenches, in which troops are largely immune to the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery...

 in the 19th and 20th century. This was mainly employed in 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...

 in the Gallipoli campaign
Battle of Gallipoli
The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli, took place at the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War...

 and 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...

. Trench warfare often turned to a stalemate, only broken by a large loss of life, because in order to attack an enemy entrenchment soldiers had to run through an exposed "no man's land
No man's land
No man's land is a term for land that is unoccupied or is under dispute between parties that leave it unoccupied due to fear or uncertainty. The term was originally used to define a contested territory or a dumping ground for refuse between fiefdoms...

" under heavy fire from an entrenched enemy.

Military technology



As with any occupation, since the ancient times the military has been distinguished from other members of the society by their tools, the military weapons and military equipment used in combat. When Stone Age
Stone Age
The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period, lasting about 2.5 million years , during which humans and their predecessor species in the genus Homo, as well as the earlier partly contemporary genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus, widely used exclusively stone as their hard material in the...

 humans first took a sliver of flint to tip the spear
Spear
A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a pointed head.The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with bamboo spears, or it may be made of a more durable material fastened to the shaft, such as flint, obsidian, iron, steel or...

, it was the first example of applying technology
Applied research
Applied research is a form of systematic inquiry involving the practical application of science. It accesses and uses some part of the research communities' accumulated theories, knowledge, methods, and techniques, for a specific, often state, business, or client driven purpose...

 to improve the weapon.

Since then, the advances made by human societies and that of weapons has been irretrievably linked. Stone weapons gave way to Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 weapons, and later the Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 weapons. With each technological change was realised some tangible increase in military capability, such as through greater effectiveness of a sharper edge in defeating leather armour, or improved density of materials used in manufacture of weapons.

On land the first really significant technological advance in warfare was the development of the ranged weapon
Ranged weapon
A ranged weapon is any weapon that can harm targets at distances greater than hand-to-hand distance. In contrast, a weapon intended to be used in man-to-man combat is called a melee weapon....

s and notably the sling
Sling (weapon)
A sling is a projectile weapon typically used to throw a blunt projectile such as a stone or lead "sling-bullet". It is also known as the shepherd's sling....

. The next significant advance came with the domestication of the horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

s and mastering of horse riding.
Arguably the greatest invention that affected not just the military, but all society, after adoption of fire, was the wheel
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

, and its use in the construction of the chariot
Chariot
The chariot is a type of horse carriage used in both peace and war as the chief vehicle of many ancient peoples. Ox carts, proto-chariots, were built by the Proto-Indo-Europeans and also built in Mesopotamia as early as 3000 BC. The original horse chariot was a fast, light, open, two wheeled...

. There were no advances in military technology until, from the mechanical arm action of a slinger
Slinger
The Slinger is a Midwestern diner specialty typically consisting of two eggs, hash browns, and a hamburger patty all covered in chili and generously topped with cheese and onions. The eggs can be any style. The Slinger is considered to be a St. Louis late-night culinary original...

, the Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

, Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, Persians, Chinese, etc. development the siege engine
Siege engine
A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent city walls and other fortifications in siege warfare. Some have been operated close to the fortifications, while others have been used to attack from a distance. From antiquity, siege engines were constructed largely of wood and...

s. The bow
Bow (weapon)
The bow and arrow is a projectile weapon system that predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.-Description:A bow is a flexible arc that shoots aerodynamic projectiles by means of elastic energy. Essentially, the bow is a form of spring powered by a string or cord...

 was manufactured in increasingly larger and more powerful versions to increase both the weapon range and armour penetration performance. These developed into the powerful composite and/or recurve bows, and crossbows of Ancient China. These proved particularly useful during the rise of cavalry, encased in ever-more sophisticated armour
Armour
Armour or armor is protective covering used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object, individual or a vehicle through use of direct contact weapons or projectiles, usually during combat, or from damage caused by a potentially dangerous environment or action...

, dominating the battlefield.

Somewhat earlier in medieval China, gunpowder
Gunpowder
Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

 had been invented, and was increasingly used by the military in combat. The use of gunpowder in the early vase-like mortars
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

 in Europe, and advanced versions of the long bow and cross bow, which all had armour-piercing arrowhead
Arrowhead
An arrowhead is a tip, usually sharpened, added to an arrow to make it more deadly or to fulfill some special purpose. Historically arrowheads were made of stone and of organic materials; as human civilization progressed other materials were used...

s, that put an end to the dominance of the armoured knight. After the long bow, which required great skill and strength to use, the next most significant technological advance was the musket
Musket
A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smooth bore long gun, fired from the shoulder. Muskets were designed for use by infantry. A soldier armed with a musket had the designation musketman or musketeer....

, which could be used effectively with little training. In time the successors to muskets and cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

, in the form of rifle
Rifle
A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves cut into the barrel walls. The raised areas of the rifling are called "lands," which make contact with the projectile , imparting spin around an axis corresponding to the...

s and artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

, would become core battlefield technology.

As the speed of technological advances accelerated in civilian applications, so too warfare became more industralised
Industrial warfare
Industrial warfare is a period in the history of warfare ranging roughly from the early nineteenth century and the start of the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of the Atomic Age, which saw the rise of nation-states, capable of creating and equipping large armies and navies through the...

. The newly invented machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

 and repeating rifle
Repeating rifle
A repeating rifle is a single barreled rifle containing multiple rounds of ammunition. These rounds are loaded from a magazine by means of a manual or automatic mechanism, and the action that reloads the rifle also typically recocks the firing action...

 redefined fire power
Fire power
Firepower is the military capability to direct force at an enemy. It is not to be confused with the concept of rate of fire, which describes cycling of the firing mechanism in a weapon system. It involves the whole range of potential weapons...

 on the battlefield and, in part, explains the high casualty rates of 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...

. The next breakthrough was the conversion of artillery parks from the muzzle loading guns
Muzzleloader
A muzzleloader is any firearm into which the projectile and usually the propellant charge is loaded from the muzzle of the gun . This is distinct from the more popular modern designs of breech-loading firearms...

 to the breech loading guns
Breech-loading weapon
A breech-loading weapon is a firearm in which the cartridge or shell is inserted or loaded into a chamber integral to the rear portion of a barrel....

, and in particular the highly mobile, recoilless, field-gun, the French Soixante-Quinze
Canon de 75 modèle 1897
The French 75mm field gun was a quick-firing field artillery piece adopted in March 1898. Its official French designation was: Matériel de 75mm Mle 1897. It was commonly known as the French 75, simply the 75 and Soixante-Quinze .The French 75 is widely regarded as the first modern artillery piece...

, in the late 19th century.

The development of breech loading had the greatest effect on naval warfare
Naval warfare
Naval warfare is combat in and on seas, oceans, or any other major bodies of water such as large lakes and wide rivers.-History:Mankind has fought battles on the sea for more than 3,000 years. Land warfare would seem, initially, to be irrelevant and entirely removed from warfare on the open ocean,...

, for the first time since the Middle Ages altering the way weapons are mounted on warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

s, and therefore naval tactics
Naval tactics
Naval tactics is the collective name for methods of engaging and defeating an enemy ship or fleet in battle at sea during naval warfare, the naval equivalent of military tactics on land....

, now divorced from the reliance on sails
Age of Sail
The Age of Sail was the period in which international trade and naval warfare were dominated by sailing ships, lasting from the 16th to the mid 19th century...

 with the invention of the internal combustion. A further advance in military naval technology was the design of the submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 and its weapon, the torpedo
Torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

.
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 need to break the deadlock of the trenches saw the rapid development of many new technologies, particularly the tank
Tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

s and military aviation
Military aviation
Military aviation is the use of aircraft and other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling warfare, including national airlift capacity to provide logistical supply to forces stationed in a theater or along a front. Air power includes the national means of conducting such...

. Military aviation was extensively used, and particularly the bomber
Bomber
A bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground and sea targets, by dropping bombs on them, or – in recent years – by launching cruise missiles at them.-Classifications of bombers:...

s during the 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...

, which marked the most frantic period of weapons development in history. Many new designs and concepts were used in combat, and all existing technologies were improved between 1939 and 1945.

During the war significant advances were made in military communications
Military communications
Historically, the first military communications had the form of sending/receiving simple signals . Respectively, the first distinctive tactics of military communications were called Signals, while units specializing in those tactics received the Signal Corps name...

 through use of radio, military intelligence through use of the radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

, and in military medicine
Military medicine
The term military medicine has a number of potential connotations. It may mean:*A medical specialty, specifically a branch of occupational medicine attending to the medical risks and needs of soldiers, sailors and other service members...

 through use of penicillin
Penicillin
Penicillin is a group of antibiotics derived from Penicillium fungi. They include penicillin G, procaine penicillin, benzathine penicillin, and penicillin V....

, while in the air the missile
Missile
Though a missile may be any thrown or launched object, it colloquially almost always refers to a self-propelled guided weapon system.-Etymology:The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send"...

, jet aircraft
Jet aircraft
A jet aircraft is an aircraft propelled by jet engines. Jet aircraft generally fly much faster than propeller-powered aircraft and at higher altitudes – as high as . At these altitudes, jet engines achieve maximum efficiency over long distances. The engines in propeller-powered aircraft...

 and helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

s were seen for the first time. Perhaps the most infamous of all military technologies was the creation of the atomic bomb, although the effects of radiation
Radiation
In physics, radiation is a process in which energetic particles or energetic waves travel through a medium or space. There are two distinct types of radiation; ionizing and non-ionizing...

 were unknown until the early 1950s. Far greater use of military vehicles had finally eliminated the cavalry from the military force structure
Force structure
A Force structure is the combat-capable part of a military organisation which describes how military personnel, and their weapons and equipment, are organised for the operations, missions and tasks expected from them by the particular doctrine of the service or demanded by the environment of the...

.

After World War II, with the onset of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, the constant technological development of new weapons was institutionalized as participants engaged in a constant arms race
Arms race
The term arms race, in its original usage, describes a competition between two or more parties for the best armed forces. Each party competes to produce larger numbers of weapons, greater armies, or superior military technology in a technological escalation...

 in capability development. This constant state of weapons development continues into the present, and remains a constant drain on national resources, which some blame on the military-industrial complex
Military-industrial complex
Military–industrial complex , or Military–industrial-congressional complex is a concept commonly used to refer to policy and monetary relationships between legislators, national armed forces, and the industrial sector that supports them...

.

The most significant technological developments that influenced combat have been the guided missiles which are used by all Services. More recently, information technology, and its use in surveillance, including space-based reconnaissance systems, have played an increasing role in military operations.

The impact of information warfare
Information warfare
The term Information Warfare is primarily an American concept involving the use and management of information technology in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent...

 that focuses on attacking command communication systems, and military databases has been coupled with the new development in military technology has been the use of robotic systems in intelligence combat, both in hardware and software applications.

The MIRV ICBM and the Tsar Bomb
Tsar Bomba
Tsar Bomba is the nickname for the AN602 hydrogen bomb, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated. It was also referred to as Kuz'kina Mat , in this usage meaning "something that has not been seen before"....

 are considered the most destructive weapons invented.

Military Strength and society


For much of military history the armed forces were considered to be for use by the heads of their societies, until recently, the crowned heads of states. In a democracy or other political system run in the public interest, it is a public force
Public Force
A Public Force is a force which has a legitimate and legalised use of physical force in order to serve the public interests.The term is broad and loosely defined...

.

The relationship between the military and the society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

 it serves is a complicated and ever-evolving one. Much depends on the nature of the society itself and whether it sees the military as important, as for example in time of threat or war, or a burdensome expense typified by defence cuts in time of peace.

These relationships are seen from the perspective of political-military relations
Civil-military relations
Civil–military relations describes the relationship between civil society as a whole and the military organization or organizations established to protect it. More narrowly, it describes the relationship between the civil authority of a given society and its military authority...

, the military-industrial complex mentioned above, and the socio-military relationship. The last can be divided between those segments of society that offer support for the military
Militarism
Militarism is defined as: the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests....

, those who voice opposition to the military
Antimilitarism
Antimilitarism is a doctrine commonly found in the anarchist and, more globally, in the socialist movement, which may both be characterized as internationalist movements. It relies heavily on a critical theory of nationalism and imperialism, and was an explicit goal of the First and Second...

, the voluntary and involuntary civilians in the military forces, the populations of civilians in a combat zone, and of course the military's self-perception.

Militaries often function as societies
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

 within societies, by having their own military communities, economies
Military-industrial complex
Military–industrial complex , or Military–industrial-congressional complex is a concept commonly used to refer to policy and monetary relationships between legislators, national armed forces, and the industrial sector that supports them...

, education
Military education and training
Military education and training is a process which intends to establish and improve the capabilities of military personnel in their respective roles....

, medicine
Military medicine
The term military medicine has a number of potential connotations. It may mean:*A medical specialty, specifically a branch of occupational medicine attending to the medical risks and needs of soldiers, sailors and other service members...

 and other aspects of a functioning civilian society
Civil society
Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...

. Although a "military" is not limited to nations in of itself as many private military companies (or PMC's) can be used or "hired" by organisations and figures as security, escort, or other means of protection where police, agencies, or militaries are absent or not trusted.

Ideology and ethics



Militarist ideology is the society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

's social attitude of being best served, or being a beneficiary of a government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

, or guided by concepts embodied in the military culture, doctrine, system, or leaders.

Either because of the cultural memory
Cultural memory
For other approaches see Memory and Culture As a term, cultural memory was first introduced by the German Egyptologists Jan Assmann in his book "Das kulturelle Gedächtnis", who drew further upon Maurice Halbwachs’s theory on collective memory...

, national history, or the potentiality of a military threat
Military threat
A military threat, sometimes expressed as danger of military action, a military challenge, or a military risk, is a concept in military intelligence that identifies an imminent capability for use of military force in resolving diplomatic or economic disputes...

, the militarist argument asserts that a civilian
Civilian
A civilian under international humanitarian law is a person who is not a member of his or her country's armed forces or other militia. Civilians are distinct from combatants. They are afforded a degree of legal protection from the effects of war and military occupation...

 population is dependent upon, and thereby subservient to the needs and goals of its military for continued independence
Independence
Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory....

. Militarism is sometimes contrasted with the concepts of comprehensive national power
Comprehensive National Power
Comprehensive National Power is a putative measure, important in the contemporary political thought of the People's Republic of China, of the general power of a nation-state...

, soft power
Soft power
Soft power is the ability to obtain what one wants through co-option and attraction. It can be contrasted with 'hard power', that is the use of coercion and payment...

 and hard power
Hard power
Hard power is a term describing political power obtained from the use of military and/or economic coercion to influence the behavior or interests of other political bodies...

.

Most nations have separate military law
Military law
Military justice is the body of laws and procedures governing members of the armed forces. Many states have separate and distinct bodies of law that govern the conduct of members of their armed forces. Some states use special judicial and other arrangements to enforce those laws, while others use...

s which regulate conduct in war and during peacetime. An early exponent was Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius , also known as Huig de Groot, Hugo Grocio or Hugo de Groot, was a jurist in the Dutch Republic. With Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili he laid the foundations for international law, based on natural law...

, whose Rights of War and Peace (1625) had a major impact of the humanitarian approach to warfare development. His theme was echoed by Gustavus Adolphus.

Ethics of warfare have developed since 1945 to create constraints on the military treatment of prisoners and civilians primarily by the Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

, but rarely apply to use of the military forces as internal security troops during times of political conflict that results in popular protests and incitement to popular uprising.

International protocols restrict the use, or have even created international bans on weapons, notably weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

. International conventions define what constitutes a war crime
War crime
War crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict giving rise to individual criminal responsibility...

 and provides for war crimes prosecution. Individual countries also have elaborate codes of military justice, an example being the United States' Uniform Code of Military Justice
Uniform Code of Military Justice
The Uniform Code of Military Justice , is the foundation of military law in the United States. It is was established by the United States Congress in accordance with the authority given by the United States Constitution in Article I, Section 8, which provides that "The Congress shall have Power . ....

 that can lead to court martial for military personnel found guilty of war crimes.

Military actions are sometimes argued to be justified by furthering a humanitarian cause such as disaster relief operations or in defence of refugees. The term military humanism
Military humanism
Military humanism is the term used to describe a situation whereby force and violence are used to further a humanitarian cause. Although it can easily be disputed whether or not furthering a humanitarian cause is the real intention behind such an action, the theoretical descriptive guideline still...

 is used to refer to such actions.

Antimilitarism



Antimilitarism is the society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

's social attitude opposed to war between states, and in particular countering arguments based on militarism
Militarism
Militarism is defined as: the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests....

. Following Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the creators of German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality as a whole revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.Hegel developed a comprehensive...

's exploration of the relationship between history and violence
Military history
Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, their cultures, economies and changing intra and international relationships....

, antimilistarists argue that there are different types of violence, some of which can be said to be legitimate others non-legitimate. Anarcho-syndicalist Georges Sorel
Georges Sorel
Georges Eugène Sorel was a French philosopher and theorist of revolutionary syndicalism. His notion of the power of myth in people's lives inspired Marxists and Fascists. It is, together with his defense of violence, the contribution for which he is most often remembered. Oron J...

 advocated the use of violence as a form of direct action
Direct action
Direct action is activity undertaken by individuals, groups, or governments to achieve political, economic, or social goals outside of normal social/political channels. This can include nonviolent and violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the direct action...

, calling it "revolutionary violence"
Revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

, which he opposed in Reflections on Violence (1908) to the violence inherent in class struggle
Class struggle
Class struggle is the active expression of a class conflict looked at from any kind of socialist perspective. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote "The [written] history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle"....

. Sorel thus followed the International Workingmen's Association
International Workingmen's Association
The International Workingmen's Association , sometimes called the First International, was an international organization which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing socialist, communist and anarchist political groups and trade union organizations that were based on the working class...

 theorization of propaganda of the deed
Propaganda of the deed
Propaganda of the deed is a concept that refers to specific political actions meant to be exemplary to others...

.

War, as violence, can be distinguished into war between states, and 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....

, in which case class struggle is, according to antimilitarists theorists, a primordial
Primordial
Primordial may refer to:* Primordial sea . See abiogenesis* Primordial nuclide, nuclides, a few radioactive, that formed before the Earth existed and are stable enough to still occur on Earth...

component. Hence, Marx's influence on antimilitarist doctrine was not surprising, although making Marx accountable for the antimilitarist tradition is a large overstatement. The belief in the eternal antimilitarist spirit, present in all places and time, is however a myth because the modern military as an institution is a historic achievement formed during the 18th and 19th centuries, as a by-product of the modern nation-states. Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

's invention of conscription
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 is a fundamental progress
Progress (history)
In historiography and the philosophy of history, progress is the idea that the world can become increasingly better in terms of science, technology, modernization, liberty, democracy, quality of life, etc...

 in the organization of state armies. Later, Prussian militarism
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 would be exposed by 19th century social theorists.

Stereotypes of the military


A military brat is a colloquial term for a child with at least one parent who served as an active duty member (vice reserve) in the armed forces. Children of armed forces members may move around to different military bases or international postings, which gives them an unusual childhood. Unlike common usage of the term brat, when it is used in this context, it is not necessarily a derogatory term.

Military in the media


Soldiers and armies have been prominent in popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

 since the beginnings of recorded history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

. In addition to the countless images of military leaders in heroic poses from antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

, they have been an enduring source of inspiration
Artistic inspiration
Inspiration refers to an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, musical, or other artistic endeavour. Literally, the word means "breathed upon," and it has its origins in both Hellenism and Hebraism. The Greeks believed that inspiration came from the muses, as well as the gods Apollo and...

 in war literature. Not all of this has been entirely complementary and the military have been lampooned or ridiculed as often as they have been idolized. The classical Greek writer Aristophanes
Aristophanes
Aristophanes , son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaus, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete...

, devoted an entire comedy, the Lysistrata
Lysistrata
Lysistrata is one of eleven surviving plays written by Aristophanes. Originally performed in classical Athens in 411 BC, it is a comic account of one woman's extraordinary mission to end The Peloponnesian War...

, to a strike
Sex strike
A sex strike is a strike, a method of non-violent resistance in which one or multiple persons refrain from sex with their partner to achieve certain goals...

 organised by military wives where they withhold sex
Sex
In biology, sex is a process of combining and mixing genetic traits, often resulting in the specialization of organisms into a male or female variety . Sexual reproduction involves combining specialized cells to form offspring that inherit traits from both parents...

 from their husband
Husband
A husband is a male participant in a marriage. The rights and obligations of the husband regarding his spouse and others, and his status in the community and in law, vary between cultures and has varied over time...

s to prevent them from going to war.

In Medieval Europe, tales of knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

hood and chivalry
Chivalry
Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood which has an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. Chivalry was also the term used to refer to a group of mounted men-at-arms as well as to martial valour...

, the officer class of the period, captured the popular imagination
Social psychology
Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. By this definition, scientific refers to the empirical method of investigation. The terms thoughts, feelings, and behaviors include all...

. Writers and poets like Taliesin
Taliesin
Taliesin was an early British poet of the post-Roman period whose work has possibly survived in a Middle Welsh manuscript, the Book of Taliesin...

, Chrétien de Troyes
Chrétien de Troyes
Chrétien de Troyes was a French poet and trouvère who flourished in the late 12th century. Perhaps he named himself Christian of Troyes in contrast to the illustrious Rashi, also of Troyes...

 and Thomas Malory
Thomas Malory
Sir Thomas Malory was an English writer, the author or compiler of Le Morte d'Arthur. The antiquary John Leland as well as John Bale believed him to be Welsh, but most modern scholars, beginning with G. L...

 wrote tales of derring-do featuring Arthur
Arthur
Arthur is a common masculine given name. Its etymology is disputed, but its popularity derives from its being the name of the legendary hero King Arthur....

, Guinevere
Guinevere
Guinevere was the legendary queen consort of King Arthur. In tales and folklore, she was said to have had a love affair with Arthur's chief knight Sir Lancelot...

, Lancelot
Lancelot
Sir Lancelot du Lac is one of the Knights of the Round Table in the Arthurian legend. He is the most trusted of King Arthur's knights and plays a part in many of Arthur's victories...

 and Galahad
Galahad
Sir Galahad |Round Table]] and one of the three achievers of the Holy Grail in Arthurian legend. He is the illegitimate son of Lancelot and Elaine of Corbenic, and is renowned for his gallantry and purity. Emerging quite late in the medieval Arthurian tradition, he is perhaps the knightly...

. Even in the 21st century, book
Book
A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of hot lava, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf or leaflet, and each side of a leaf is called a page...

s and film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

s about the Arthurian legend and the Holy Grail
Holy Grail
The Holy Grail is a sacred object figuring in literature and certain Christian traditions, most often identified with the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper and said to possess miraculous powers...

 continuing to appear.

A century or so later, in the hands of writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

s such as Jean Froissart
Jean Froissart
Jean Froissart , often referred to in English as John Froissart, was one of the most important chroniclers of medieval France. For centuries, Froissart's Chronicles have been recognized as the chief expression of the chivalric revival of the 14th century Kingdom of England and France...

, Miguel Cervantes and William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, the fictional knight Tirant lo Blanch and the real-life condottieri
Condottieri
thumb|Depiction of [[Farinata degli Uberti]] by [[Andrea del Castagno]], showing a 15th century condottiero's typical attire.Condottieri were the mercenary soldier leaders of the professional, military free companies contracted by the Italian city-states and the Papacy, from the late Middle Ages...

 John Hawkwood
John Hawkwood
Sir John Hawkwood was an English mercenary or condottiero who was active in 14th century Italy. The French chronicler Jean Froissart knew him as Jean Haccoude and Italians as Giovanni Acuto...

 would be juxtaposed against the fantastical Don Quixote and the carousing Sir John Falstaff. In just one play, Henry V
Henry V (play)
Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to be written in approximately 1599. Its full titles are The Cronicle History of Henry the Fifth and The Life of Henry the Fifth...

, Shakespeare provides a whole range of military characters, from cool-headed and clear-sighted general
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

s, to captains, and common soldiery.



The rapid growth of movable type
Movable type
Movable type is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document ....

 in the late 16th century and early 17th century saw an upsurge in private publication. Political pamphlets became popular, often lampooning military leaders for political purposes. A pamphlet directed against Prince Rupert of the Rhine
Prince Rupert of the Rhine
Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, 1st Duke of Cumberland, 1st Earl of Holderness , commonly called Prince Rupert of the Rhine, KG, FRS was a noted soldier, admiral, scientist, sportsman, colonial governor and amateur artist during the 17th century...

 is a typical example. During the 19th century, irreverence towards authority was at its height and for every elegant military gentleman painted by the master-portraitists of the European courts for example, Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough was an English portrait and landscape painter.-Suffolk:Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk. He was the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver and maker of woolen goods. At the age of thirteen he impressed his father with his penciling skills so that he let...

, Goya
Francisco Goya
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era...

 and Reynolds
Joshua Reynolds
Sir Joshua Reynolds RA FRS FRSA was an influential 18th-century English painter, specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was one of the founders and first President of the Royal Academy...

, there are the sometimes affectionate and sometimes savage caricature
Caricature
A caricature is a portrait that exaggerates or distorts the essence of a person or thing to create an easily identifiable visual likeness. In literature, a caricature is a description of a person using exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others.Caricatures can be...

s of Rowland
Thomas Rowlandson
Thomas Rowlandson was an English artist and caricaturist.- Biography :Rowlandson was born in Old Jewry, in the City of London. He was the son of a tradesman or city merchant. On leaving school he became a student at the Royal Academy...

 and Hogarth
William Hogarth
William Hogarth was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects"...

.

This continued in the 20th century, with publications like Punch
Punch (magazine)
Punch, or the London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landells. Historically, it was most influential in the 1840s and 50s, when it helped to coin the term "cartoon" in its modern sense as a humorous illustration...

 in the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 and Le Père Duchesne
Le Père Duchesne (19th c.)
Le Père Duchêne is the title of a newspaper which appeared during revolutionary periods of the nineteenth century. It borrowed its title from the original Père Duchesne published by Jacques Hébert during the French Revolution...

 in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, poking fun at the military establishment. This extended to media other print also. An enduring example is the Major-General's Song
Major-General's Song
I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General is a patter song from Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance. It is perhaps the most famous song in Gilbert and Sullivan's operas. It is sung by Major-General Stanley at his first entrance, towards the end of Act I...

 from the Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian-era theatrical partnership of the librettist W. S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur Sullivan . The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S...

 light opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

, The Pirates of Penzance
The Pirates of Penzance
The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The opera's official premiere was at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on 31 December 1879, where the show was well received by both audiences...

, where a senior army officer is satirised
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 for his enormous fund of irrelevant knowledge.



The increasing importance of cinema
History of film
The history of film is the historical development of the medium known variously as cinema, motion pictures, film, or the movies.The history of film spans over 100 years, from the latter part of the 19th century to the present day...

 in the early 20th century provided a new platform for depictions of military subjects. During the First World War, although heavily censored
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

, newsreel
Newsreel
A newsreel was a form of short documentary film prevalent in the first half of the 20th century, regularly released in a public presentation place and containing filmed news stories and items of topical interest. It was a source of news, current affairs and entertainment for millions of moviegoers...

s enabled those at home to see for themselves a heavily sanitized version of life at the front line. About the same time, both pro-war
War film
War films are a film genre concerned with warfare, usually about naval, air or land battles, sometimes focusing instead on prisoners of war, covert operations, military training or other related subjects. At times war films focus on daily military or civilian life in wartime without depicting battles...

 and anti-war film
Anti-war film
An anti-war film is a film that emphasizes the pain, horror, and human costs of armed conflict. While some films criticize armed conflicts in a general sense, others focus on acts within a specific war, such as the use of poison gas or the genocidal killing of civilians . Some anti-war films such...

s came to the silver screen
Silver screen
A silver screen, also known as a silver lenticular screen, is a type of projection screen that was popular in the early years of the motion picture industry and passed into popular usage as a metonym for the cinema industry...

. One of the first films on military aviation
Military aviation
Military aviation is the use of aircraft and other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling warfare, including national airlift capacity to provide logistical supply to forces stationed in a theater or along a front. Air power includes the national means of conducting such...

, Hell's Angels
Hell's Angels (film)
Hell's Angels is a 1930 American war film, directed by Howard Hughes and starring Jean Harlow, Ben Lyon, and James Hall. The film, which was produced by Hughes and written by Harry Behn and Howard Estabrook, centers on the combat pilots of World War I...

 broke all box office records on its release
Film release
A film release is the stage at which a completed film is legally authorized by its owner for public distribution.The process includes locating a distributor to handle the film...

 in 1929. Soon, war films of all types were showing throughout the world, notably those of Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I...

 who actively promoted war bonds and voluntary enlistment.

The First World War was also responsible for a new kind of military depiction, through poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

. Hitherto, poetry had been used mostly to glorify or sanctify war. The Charge of the Light Brigade
The Charge of the Light Brigade (poem)
"The Charge of the Light Brigade" is an 1854 narrative poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson about the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War...

 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, with its galloping
Gait
Gait is the pattern of movement of the limbs of animals, including humans, during locomotion over a solid substrate. Most animals use a variety of gaits, selecting gait based on speed, terrain, the need to maneuver, and energetic efficiency...

 hoof
Hoof
A hoof , plural hooves or hoofs , is the tip of a toe of an ungulate mammal, strengthened by a thick horny covering. The hoof consists of a hard or rubbery sole, and a hard wall formed by a thick nail rolled around the tip of the toe. The weight of the animal is normally borne by both the sole...

beat rhythm
Rhythm
Rhythm may be generally defined as a "movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions." This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time may be applied to a wide variety of cyclical natural phenomena having a periodicity or...

, is a prime late Victorian
Victorian literature
Victorian literature is the literature produced during the reign of Queen Victoria . It forms a link and transition between the writers of the romantic period and the very different literature of the 20th century....

 example of this, though Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

 had written a scathing reply, The Last of the Light Brigade
The Last of the Light Brigade
"The Last of the Light Brigade" is a poem written in 1890 by Rudyard Kipling echoing – forty years after the event – Alfred Tennyson's famous poem The Charge of the Light Brigade...

, criticising the poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

 in which many Light Brigade veteran
Veteran
A veteran is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field; " A veteran of ..."...

s found themselves in old age
Old age
Old age consists of ages nearing or surpassing the average life span of human beings, and thus the end of the human life cycle...

. Instead, the new wave of poetry, from the war poet
War poet
A War poet is a poet writing in time of and on the subject of war. The term, which is applied especially to those in military service during World War I, was documented as early as 1848 in reference to German revolutionary poet, Georg Herwegh.-Crimean War:...

s, was written from the point of view of the disenchanted trench
Trench
A trench is a type of excavation or depression in the ground. Trenches are generally defined by being deeper than they are wide , and by being narrow compared to their length ....

 soldier.

Leading war poets included: Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Loraine Sassoon CBE MC was an English poet, author and soldier. Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, he became one of the leading poets of the First World War. His poetry both described the horrors of the trenches, and satirised the patriotic pretensions of those who, in Sassoon's...

, Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Edward Salter Owen MC was an English poet and soldier, one of the leading poets of the First World War...

, John McCrae
John McCrae
Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres...

, Rupert Brooke
Rupert Brooke
Rupert Chawner Brooke was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War, especially The Soldier...

, Isaac Rosenberg
Isaac Rosenberg
Isaac Rosenberg was an English poet of the First World War who was considered to be one of the greatest of all English war poets...

 and David Jones
David Jones (poet)
David Jones CH was both a painter and one of the first generation British modernist poets. As a painter he worked chiefly in watercolor, painting portraits and animal, landscape, legendary and religious subjects. He was also a wood-engraver and designer of inscriptions. As a writer he was...

. A similar movement occurred in literature, producing a slew of novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

s on both sides of the Atlantic including notably All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. The book describes the German soldiers' extreme physical and mental stress during the war, and the detachment from civilian life felt by many of these soldiers upon returning home from the front.The...

and Johnny Got His Gun
Johnny Got His Gun
Johnny Got His Gun is an anti-war novel written in 1938 by American novelist and screenwriter Dalton Trumboand published by J. B. Lippincott company.-Plot:...

. The 1963
1963 in literature
The year 1963 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*First United States printing of John Cleland's 1749 novel, Fanny Hill . The book is banned for obscenity, triggering a court case by its publisher.*Leslie Charteris publishes his final collection of stories...

 English stage musical
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

 Oh, What a Lovely War!
Oh, What a Lovely War!
Oh, What a Lovely War! is an epic musical originated by Charles Chilton as a radio play, The Long Long Trail in December 1961, and transferred to stage by Gerry Raffles in partnership with Joan Littlewood and her Theatre Workshop in 1963...

provided a satirical take on World War I, which was released in a cinematic version
Oh! What a Lovely War
Oh! What a Lovely War is a musical film based on the stage musical Oh, What a Lovely War! originated by Charles Chilton as a radio play, The Long Long Trail in December 1961, and transferred to stage by Gerry Raffles in partnership with Joan Littlewood and her Theatre Workshop created in 1963,...

 directed by Richard Attenborough
Richard Attenborough
Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough , CBE is a British actor, director, producer and entrepreneur. As director and producer he won two Academy Awards for the 1982 film Gandhi...

 in 1969.

The propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 war that accompanied 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...

 invariably depicted the enemy in unflattering terms. Both the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 excelled in producing heroic images, placing their soldiers in a semi-mythical context. Examples of this exist not only in posters but also in the films of Leni Riefenstahl
Leni Riefenstahl
Helene Bertha Amalie "Leni" Riefenstahl was a German film director, actress and dancer widely noted for her aesthetics and innovations as a filmmaker. Her most famous film was Triumph des Willens , a propaganda film made at the 1934 Nuremberg congress of the Nazi Party...

 and Sergei Eisenstein
Sergei Eisenstein
Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein , né Eizenshtein, was a pioneering Soviet Russian film director and film theorist, often considered to be the "Father of Montage"...

.

Alongside this, World War II also inspired films as varied as Bridge on the River Kwai, The Longest Day
The Longest Day (film)
The Longest Day is a 1962 war film based on the 1959 history book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, about "D-Day", the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during World War II....

, Catch-22
Catch-22
Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953, and the novel was first published in 1961. It is set during World War II in 1943 and is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century...

, Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American war film set during the invasion of Normandy in World War II. It was directed by Steven Spielberg, with a screenplay by Robert Rodat. The film is notable for the intensity of its opening 27 minutes, which depicts the Omaha Beach assault of June 6, 1944....

, and The Sea Shall Not Have Them
The Sea Shall Not Have Them
The Sea Shall Not Have Them is a 1954 British war film starring Michael Redgrave, Dirk Bogarde and Anthony Steel. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert and is based on the 1953 novel by John Harris, set during the Second World War. Musical soundtrack by composer Malcolm Arnold.A British aircraft is...

. The next major event, the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 inspired a long-running television series M*A*S*H. With the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, the tide of balance turned and its films, notably Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American war film set during the Vietnam War, produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The central character is US Army special operations officer Captain Benjamin L. Willard , of MACV-SOG, an assassin sent to kill the renegade and presumed insane Special Forces...

, Good Morning, Vietnam
Good Morning, Vietnam
Good Morning, Vietnam is a 1987 American comedy-drama film set in Saigon during the Vietnam War, based on the career of Adrian Cronauer, a disc jockey on Armed Forces Radio Service , who proves hugely popular with the troops serving in South Vietnam, but infuriates his superiors with what they call...

, Go Tell the Spartans
Go Tell the Spartans
Go Tell the Spartans is a 1978 American war film based on Daniel Ford's 1967 novel Incident at Muc Wa, about U.S. Army military advisors during the early part of the Vietnam War in 1964, a time when Ford was a correspondent in Vietnam for The Nation.The film's title is from Simonides's epitaph to...

, Born on the Fourth of July
Born on the Fourth of July (film)
Born on the Fourth of July is a 1989 American film adaptation of the best selling autobiography of the same name by Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic. Tom Cruise plays Kovic, in a performance that earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Oliver Stone co-wrote the screenplay with Kovic, and also...

, and We Were Soldiers
We Were Soldiers
We Were Soldiers is a 2002 American war film that dramatizes the Battle of Ia Drang on November 14, 1965. The film was directed by Randall Wallace and stars Mel Gibson. It is based on the book We Were Soldiers Once… And Young by Lieutenant General Hal Moore and reporter Joseph L...

, have tended to contain critical messages.

There's even a nursery rhyme
Nursery rhyme
The term nursery rhyme is used for "traditional" poems for young children in Britain and many other countries, but usage only dates from the 19th century and in North America the older ‘Mother Goose Rhymes’ is still often used.-Lullabies:...

 about war, The Grand Old Duke of York
The Grand Old Duke of York
‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ is an English children's nursery rhyme, often performed as an action song. The Duke of the title has been argued to be a number of the holders of that office, particularly Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany and its lyrics have become proverbial for futile action...

, ridiculing a general for his inability to command any further than marching his men up and down a hill. The huge number of songs focusing on war include And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda
And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
"And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" is a song written by Scottish-born Australian singer-songwriter Eric Bogle in 1971. The song describes war as futile and gruesome, while criticising those who seek to glorify it...

 and Universal Soldier
Universal Soldier (song)
"Universal Soldier" is a song written and recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie. The song was originally released on Sainte-Marie's debut album It's My Way! in 1964. "Universal Soldier" was not a popular hit at the time of its release, but it did garner attention within the...

.

Gender vs. Sex


Masculinity plays an important role in the military. Military organizations form roles and responsibilities that they expect members to adapt to and thus, obey throughout their time serving. Military norms are similar to societal norms in which certain individuals obtain specific titles which require them to adhere to well-defined behaviors. Just like it is used within society, masculinity
Masculinity
Masculinity is possessing qualities or characteristics considered typical of or appropriate to a man. The term can be used to describe any human, animal or object that has the quality of being masculine...

 is a word that is associated with the military quite often. Femininity
Femininity
Femininity is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with girls and women. Though socially constructed, femininity is made up of both socially defined and biologically created factors...

 also has its place within the military just like it does in society. While explaining the importance of masculinity in the military, it is important to appreciate the importance of femininity that runs hand-in-hand with masculinity. Just as important as recognizing the significance of both gender roles, it is also imperative in understanding that masculinity and femininity are gender roles and not sex
Sex
In biology, sex is a process of combining and mixing genetic traits, often resulting in the specialization of organisms into a male or female variety . Sexual reproduction involves combining specialized cells to form offspring that inherit traits from both parents...

 roles.

George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, the 43rd president of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, once said, “The best defense against terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 is a strong offensive against terrorists.” This quote portrays the mentality that militaries have all around the world. Within society, this idea of offensive behavior is associated with masculinity, over generalized as men. Within any patriarchal society, the idea of hegemonic masculinity
Hegemonic masculinity
In gender studies, hegemonic masculinity refers to the belief in the existence of a culturally normative ideal of male behavior. Hegemonic masculinity posits that society strongly encourages men to embody this kind of masculinity. Hegemonic masculinity is said to be marked by a tendency for the...

 argues that masculinity is superior to femininity and is praised to maintain the hierarchy of power. Another example of this can be seen in a quote by a Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 soldier, noted by Gregory T. Knouff, “Ordinary soldiers in the American Revolution were, in fact, significant makers of a new linkage between race, maleness, and claims to the rights of full citizenship.” The problem with this generalized idea is that offensive action is associated with masculinity, and therefore with men. Patience, willpower, and other traits are more often associated with femininity and are undervalued. Because of the link between masculinity and men, men are more valued and masculine traits are considered the standard. The difference is masculinity and femininity are genders and men and women can be masculine, feminine, or both.

By recognizing quotes like that of George W. Bush and heroic war soldiers, it is easy to recognize the importance of masculinity within the military. When explaining the importance of masculinity in the military, masculinity refers to those behaviors associated with gender and not sex characteristics. Just as men play an important role in the military, women do too, and both feminine and masculine qualities are important.

Traits for the Military


When one thinks of the qualities an individual must possess to serve in the military, more often than not, they are defined by masculinity
Masculinity
Masculinity is possessing qualities or characteristics considered typical of or appropriate to a man. The term can be used to describe any human, animal or object that has the quality of being masculine...

. However it is inaccurate to assume that women cannot possess the same qualities. Army Values are characteristics that further define a soldier and the basic skills needed for working in the military no matter what kind of work is done. The acronym LDRSHIP
LDRSHIP
LDRSHIP is an acronym for the seven basic values of the United States Army, and stands for# Loyalty - Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S...

: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage to define are traits one should strive to posses. It is important that soldiers get the mentality of not wanting to be told what to do out of their heads, because it is unrealistic. No matter where one goes in life, someone will always be dictating what needs to be done.

What matters or is considered important varies from culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 to culture; which leads us into emotions. “The masculine imperative for emotional self-control, which is pertinent to combat
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

 soldiers, confers men with prestige and locates them in a superior position to women...This is particularly accurate when one examines “extreme” gender identities that are constituted by and for the state, identities such as warrior masculinity.” In this article describing Israeli men, emotions are seen as a negative if they affect your ability to be a soldier first. However certain emotions are acceptable at appropriate times (i.e. motivation and ambition or happiness when advancement occurs).

A great example of hegemonic masculinity within the military can be seen in research conducted with British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 servicemen. According to soldiers, toughness, endurance, physical prowess and aggression are requirements to be an effective soldier. While this article focuses on the emotional distress of soldiers, it is directly related to masculinity.

Masculine and Feminine Jobs


Within the United States military jobs require many different personalities and traits to execute. Some jobs can be viewed by societal norms as more masculine, such as construction and engineering, while others more feminine, such as counseling and providing health care. Along with enlisted job opportunities, there are also officer
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

 opportunities for managing and supervising for those that qualify. While the United States military claims to treat men and women serving equally, they reveal inequality through masculinity and femininity.

The United States Army offers 93% of its jobs to female as well and male soldiers with the other 7% being combat roles offered only to men. The problem with this is that women still constitute a very small percentage of military personnel. The Military within any country does indeed have a job to perform, though militaries similar to those of the U.S. Armed Forces are creating inequality by restricting certain jobs from female applicants that would otherwise qualify. Along with restricting some jobs, militaries also collectively engage in the same practices as society by objectifying women, most times unintentionally.

The willingness to be killed for a country does not come natural for a man or a woman, yet more men are willing to make the sacrifice by associating masculinity and aggressiveness unconsciously to who they are. This idea is one possible reason why females are restricted from some jobs and are far less incorporated with militaries. Another potential reason for the lack of women within militaries is by objectifying them, leading to possible sexual assaults. Two examples are from WWII using comfort women
Comfort women
The term "comfort women" was a euphemism used to describe women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.Estimates vary as to how many women were involved, with numbers ranging from as low as 20,000 from some Japanese scholars to as high as 410,000 from some Chinese...

 and more recently the tailhook scandal
Tailhook scandal
The Tailhook scandal refers to a series of incidents where more than 100 U.S. Navy and United States Marine Corps aviation officers were alleged to have sexually assaulted at least 87 women, or otherwise engaged in "improper and indecent" conduct at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada...

.

The United States military is sexually equal in terms of promotion rates and pay, though factors that lead to rewarding masculinity within the military create inequality between men and women.

Militaria



Militaria are another way of depicting the military. Militaria are antique artifacts
Artifact (archaeology)
An artifact or artefact is "something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest"...

 or replica
Replica
A replica is a copy closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. For example, Difference...

s of military history people, firearms, swords, badges, etc. collected for their historical significance. Today, the collecting of militaria items such as toy soldier
Toy soldier
A toy soldier is a miniature figurine that represents a soldier. The term applies to depictions of uniformed military personnel from all eras, and includes knights, cowboys, pirates, and other subjects that involve combat-related themes. Toy soldiers vary from simple playthings to highly realistic...

s, tin soldier
Tin soldier
Tin soldiers are miniature figures of toy soldiers that are extremely popular in the world of collecting. They can be bought finished or in a raw state to be hand-painted. They are generally made of pewter, tin, lead, other metals or plastic...

s, military model
Military model
Military miniaturism describes a hobby that covers military themed miniaturism of many types including,* aircraft* figures, tin soldiers* ships* vehicles* weapons, emplacements or equipment* science fiction themes...

s is an established hobby among many groups of people.

See also


  • Bullying in the military
    Bullying in the military
    In 2000, the UK Ministry of Defence defined bullying as: “...the use of physical strength or the abuse of authority to intimidate or victimize others, or to give unlawful punishments.” A review of a number of deaths, supposedly by suicide, at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut by Nicholas Blake QC...

  • Ethnic bioweapon
    Ethnic bioweapon
    An ethnic bioweapon aims to harm only or primarily persons of specific ethnicities or genotypes.- History of ethnic bioweapons :One of the first fictional discussions of ethnic weapons is in Robert A...

  • List of countries by military expenditures per capita
  • List of militaries that recruit foreigners
  • Military use of children
    Military use of children
    The military use of children takes three distinct forms: children can take direct part in hostilities , or they can be used in support roles such as porters, spies, messengers, look outs, and sexual slaves; or they can be used for political advantage either as human shields or in...

  • Military invention
  • Sexual orientation and military service
    Sexual orientation and military service
    The military forces of the world have differing approaches to the enlistment of homosexual and bisexual individuals. The armed forces of most developed countries have now removed policies excluding non-heterosexual individuals...

  • Women in the military

Sources

  • Dupuy, T.N. (Col. ret.), Understanding war: History and Theory of combat, Leo Cooper, London, 1992
  • Tucker, T.G., Etymological dictionary of Latin, Ares publishers Inc., Chicago, 1985,www.youmilitary.com,