Soldier

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For other uses, see Soldier (disambiguation).
Soldier
Bundeswehr G36.jpg
Occupation
Occupation type
Profession
Activity sectors
Military
Description
Competencies Physical
Stamina
Mindset
Related jobs
Commando
SWAT
Police officer
Mercenary
Navies Armies Air forces
Officers
Admiral of
the fleet
Marshal or
Field marshal
Marshal of
the air force
Admiral General Air chief marshal
Vice admiral Lieutenant general Air marshal
Rear admiral Major general Air vice-marshal
Commodore Brigadier Air commodore
Captain Colonel Group captain
Commander Lieutenant colonel Wing commander
Lieutenant
commander
Major or
Commandant
Squadron leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight lieutenant
Sub-lieutenant Lieutenant Flying officer
Ensign Second
lieutenant
Pilot officer
Midshipman Officer cadet Officer cadet
Seamen, soldiers and airmen
Chief petty officer or
Warrant officer
Sergeant major or
Warrant officer
Warrant officer
Petty officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading seaman Corporal Corporal
Seaman Private Aircraftman

A soldier is one who fights as part of an organized land-based armed force;[1] if that force is for hire the person is generally termed a mercenary soldier, or mercenary.[2] The majority of cognates of the word "soldier" that exist in other languages have a meaning that embraces both commissioned and non-commissioned officers in national land forces.

Etymology[edit]

The word soldier derives from the Middle English word soudeour, from Anglo-French soudeer or soudeour, meaning mercenary, from soudee, meaning shilling's worth or wage, from sou or soud, shilling.[3] The word is also related to the Medieval Latin soldarius, meaning soldier (literally, "one having pay").[4] These words ultimately derive the Late Latin word solidus, referring to an Ancient Roman coin used in the Byzantine Empire.[3][4]

Occupational designations[edit]

In most armed forces use of the word 'soldier' has taken on a more general meaning due to the increasing specialization of military occupations that require different areas of knowledge and skill-sets. As a result, 'soldiers' are referred to by names or ranks which reflect an individual's military occupation specialty arm, service, or branch of military employment, their type of unit, or operational employment or technical use such as: trooper, tanker, commando, dragoon, infantryman, marine, paratrooper, ranger, sniper, engineer, sapper, medic, or a gunner.

Other terms[edit]

In many countries soldiers serving in specific occupations are referred to by terms other than their occupational name. For example military police personnel in the British Army are known as "redcaps" because of the colour of their berets and caps.

In the United States Army (or Marine Corps), infantrymen are sometimes called "grunts", while Army artillerymen are sometimes referred to as "redlegs", from the service branch color for artillery. U.S. soldiers are often called "G.I.s". Members of the United States Marine Corps are typically referred to as "Marines" and not "soldiers"

French Marine Infantry are called marsouins (French: porpoises) because of their amphibious role.[citation needed] Military units in most armies have nicknames of this type, arising either from items of distinctive uniform, some historical connotation or rivalry between branches or regiments.

Career soldiers and conscripts[edit]

Some soldiers, such as conscripts or draftees, serve a single limited term. Others choose to serve until retirement; then they receive a pension and other benefits. In the United States, servicemembers can retire after 20 years.[5] In other services, the term is 30 years — hence the term "30-year man".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "soldier." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 16 May 2009. Dictionary.com http://dictionary1.classic.reference.com/browse/soldier
  2. ^ "mercenary." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 16 May 2009. Dictionary.com http://dictionary1.classic.reference.com/browse/mercenary
  3. ^ a b Mish, Frederick C., ed. (2004). "soldier". Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster. ISBN 0-87779-809-5. 
  4. ^ a b Harper, Douglas (2010). "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "20-Year Retirement". Armytimes.com. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 

External links[edit]