Military branch

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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.


Classical branches[edit]

In classical NATO terminology, the three basic environmental commands military branches are the Army, Air Force, and Navy.[1]

Specialized branches[edit]

Countries which do not have access to any of the brown water, green water, blue water or any oceans generally do not have a national navy.

In some countries there might be other military branches. In addition to the above-mentioned military branches, examples are:

Emblems of some countries[edit]

Historical development[edit]

Unified forces[edit]

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.

NATO definition[edit]

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.[2]


  1. ^ STANAG 2116: NATO Codes for Grades of Military Personnel. NATO. 13 March 1996.
  2. ^ MILITÄRISCHES STUDIENGLOSAR ENGLISCH Teil I, A – K, Bundessprachenamt (Stand Januar 2001), page 226, definition: branch of service.