The military is the group or groups of people that are given power to defend a country against attacks. The military protects its country by defending it from the armed forces of enemies, if there is a war. The military can also be ordered by the government of the country to attack another country. The word "military" comes from Latin miles, warrior.
People in the military learn many skills, such as how to fire rifles and mortars, drive jeeps, and repair weapons. Other people in the military learn how to fly planes, pilot ships, or repair engines. People in the military usually wear clothes called a uniform, which is often in a camouflage pattern which is designed to make the person hard to see in the forest or desert.
There are two ways to join the military. In many countries, people join the military as volunteers (because they want to). In other countries, there are laws that some people have to be in the military, even if they do not want to be. This is called the draft or conscription. It usually depends on age and physical fitness. People who have been in the military but have left or retired are called “veterans”.
The military of a country is usually divided into different branches organizations that do different kinds of work. These branches usually are:
- Army (land) - A military force of soldiers mainly on land or driving in land vehicles. They also use helicopters.
- Navy (sea) - A military force that uses ships and boats. They also sometimes have planes. People in a navy are called sailors unless they are officer or pilots.
- Air force (air) - A military force that uses mainly airplanes.
Sometimes the military has more branches that do more specialized work. For example, in the United States and United Kingdom there are:
- Marines - Military forces that serve on ships, but are also trained to fight on land when needed. Their main job is to attack by landing on enemy beaches. They work closely with a navy, but are not sailors. They may also have their own boats, planes, and helicopters.