The Wingmen force wear non-winged helmets, protective military-style armour, metallic wings, carry energy blasters weapons and communication relay. Their helmets have differing vision capabilities for whatever the officer could come up against. This group was the major law and order enforcement squad of Thanagar until the Elite Hawkmen Force was formed. Since then, the Wingmen have lost its prime importance and prestige and are used as front line warriors.
The Elite Hawkmen (sometimes called the Hawkman Corps) are the elite force of Thanagar. This elite squad was formed by high-ranking officials in order to turn the winged helmet's (or "Honor Wings") first concept of honor - a Thanagarian symbol of heroism amongst the Wingmen - into a competition's top-prize for the best of the best soldiers. A very natural idea for a military society as Thanagar thought up by Alien Affairs official Kanjar Ro, who informed Thal Provis and Andar Pul of the possibility of Katar Hol becoming a traitor. The idea was if an individual falters, that person is seen as a failure. But if one was to die while wearing a winged helmet, that Hawkman is seen as a martyr and that person's death increases the mystique of the Hawkman. Therefore, the person doesn't matter but the concept of the Hawkman. Hawkmen's armor and weaponry are visually the same to that of Wingmen, but are in fact superior. Besides, Hawkmen obviously wear the winged helmet. In order to keep the Elite Hawkmen Force status as the best warriors, they are only sent into battle when victory is almost assured. Their task is to slaughter a weakened enemy and put an end to the battle.
During the Rann-Thanagar War miniseries the Wingmen were divided in several legions. There were legions attacking Rann, legions defending Thanagar and legions loyal to Onimar Synn. After the destruction of Thanagar and its following terraforming by green lanternsKilowog and Ion, the reinstatement of the Wingmen Force was led by Carter Hall -- who was made its first official cop and later commissioner.