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A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an army, navy, air force, space force, marines, or coast guard. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats.

In broad usage, the terms "armed forces" and "military" are often treated as synonymous, although in technical usage a distinction is sometimes made in which a country's armed forces may include both its military and other paramilitary forces. There are various forms of irregular military forces, not belonging to a recognized state; though they share many attributes with regular military forces, they are less often referred to as simply "military".

A nation's military may function as a discrete social subculture, with dedicated infrastructure such as military housing, schools, utilities, logistics, hospitals, legal services, food production, finance, and banking services. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats, population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, social ceremonies and national honour guards.

The profession of soldiering as part of a military is older than recorded history itself. Some of the most enduring images of classical antiquity portray the power and feats of its military leaders. The Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC was one of the defining points of Pharaoh Ramses II's reign, and his monuments commemorate it in bas-relief. A thousand years later, the first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huang, was so determined to impress the gods with his military might that he had himself buried with an army of terracotta soldiers. The Romans paid considerable attention to military matters, leaving to posterity many treatises and writings on the subject, as well as many lavishly carved triumphal arches and victory columns.

Military Media

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Ödman, Sven, sergeant, A 6. Född 1917.

Ödman, Sven, sergeant, A 6. Född 1917.

Ödman, Sven, sergeant, A 6. Född 1917.

Ali Pascha
Ali Pascha
Ali Pascha
Ali Pascha
Ali Pascha
Ali Pascha
Ali Pascha
Trivulzio, Marchese di Vigevano, Gian Giacomo

Trivulzio, Marchese di Vigevano, Gian Giacomo

Stecher: Pinssio, Sébastien Zeichner: Robert, J. Verlagsort:

Doria, Andrea

Doria, Andrea

Stecher: Schön, Erhard Verleger: Meldemann, Nicolaus

Rohan, 1. Duc de Rohan, Prince de Léon, Henri de

Rohan, 1. Duc de Rohan, Prince de Léon, Henri de

Radierer: Meyer, Rudolf faktischer Entstehungsort: Zürich

Doria, Andrea

Doria, Andrea

Stecher: Nelli, Niccolò Datierung: 1545 / 1575

Egmond, Lamoraal Graaf van

Egmond, Lamoraal Graaf van

unbekannter Künstler

Egmond, Lamoraal Graaf van

Egmond, Lamoraal Graaf van

unbekannter Künstler

Colleoni, Bartolomeo

Colleoni, Bartolomeo

unbekannter Künstler Datierung: 1551 / 1650

Colleoni, Bartolomeo

Colleoni, Bartolomeo

Formschneider: Stimmer, Tobias Datierung: 1554 / 1575

Borgia, Cesare

Borgia, Cesare

Formschneider: Stimmer, Tobias Datierung: 1554 / 1575

Sickingen, Franz von

Sickingen, Franz von

Radierer: Hopfer, Hieronymus Datierung: 1515 / 1563

Hoorne, Philips van Montmorency Graf
Hoorne, Philips van Montmorency Graf
Orsini, Camillo Conte

Orsini, Camillo Conte

Stecher: Custos, Dominicus Datierung: 1565 / 1612