Military branch

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A United States Armed Forces Joint-Service Color Guard. This color guard consists of personnel from 5 of the 6 military branches of the United States Armed Forces (Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard).

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.

Types of branches[edit]

Type Role Notes
Air force Conducts aerial warfare.
Army Conducts land warfare.
Border guard Polices a nation's land borders Military branch in nations such as Armenia
Coast guard Defending a nation's maritime security.
Cyber force Conducts cyberwarfare and cybersecurity operations. A distinct branch in countries such as Norway and Germany.
Gendarmerie Provides internal security for a nation serving as police forces, or as military police. Exist primarily in France and other Francophone countries.
Marines Naval land force that provides support for naval warfare.
Military police Law enforcement agencies connected to or part of a state's military.
Navy Conducts naval warfare.
Space force Conducts space warfare.

Unified forces[edit]

The Canadian Armed Forces is the unified armed forces of Canada. While it has three environmental commands - namely the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, 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.[1]


  1. ^ MILITÄRISCHES STUDIENGLOSSAR ENGLISCH Teil I, A – K, Bundessprachenamt (Stand Januar 2001), page 226, definition: branch of service.