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Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the national armed forces of a sovereign nation or state.
In some countries there might be other military branches. In addition to the above-mentioned military branches, examples are:
- In Argentina the National Gendarmerie and the Naval Prefecture
- In China the Rocket Force and the Strategic Support Force
- In France the National Gendarmerie and the National Guard
- In Germany the Joint Medical Service, the Joint Support Service and the Cyber and Information Space Command
- In Italy the Carabinieri
- In Norway the Home Guard and the Cyber Defence Force
- In Poland the Special Forces
- In Russia the Airborne Troops and the Strategic Missile Troops
- In South Africa the Military Health Service
- In South Korea the Marine Corps
- In Taiwan the Military Police
- In the United States the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard
Emblems of some countries
The military branches came into being in line with military technical progress and have been developed permanently. With that background, the air force was established early in the 20th century as one of the latest armed service.
The army is traditionally the oldest – and in many countries the biggest armed service.
The Canadian Armed Forces is the unified armed forces of Canada. While it has three environmental commands - namely Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force - it remains a single military service.
Branch of service (also branch of military service or branch of armed service) refers, according to NATO standards, to a branch, employment of combined forces or parts of a service, below the level of service, military serviced or armed service.
- STANAG 2116: NATO Codes for Grades of Military Personnel. NATO. 13 March 1996.
- MILITÄRISCHES STUDIENGLOSAR ENGLISCH Teil I, A – K, Bundessprachenamt (Stand Januar 2001), page 226, definition: branch of service.