Military branch

Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard a subdivision of the national armed forces of a sovereign nation or state.

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, and Coast Guard).

Types of branchesEdit

Type Role Example (if atypical)
Airborne forces Ground combat units carried by aircraft and airdropped into battle zones Russian Airborne Forces
Air defense force Anti-aircraft warfare Egyptian Air Defense Forces
Air force Aerial warfare
Army Ground or land warfare
Border guard Policing land borders Armenian Border Guard
Coast guard Defending maritime security United States Coast Guard
Cyber force Cyberwarfare and cybersecurity operations. Norwegian Cyber Defence Force
Cyber and Information Domain Service (Germany)
Gendarmerie Internal security serving as either police forces or military police National Gendarmerie (France)
Logistics service Military logistics Joint Support Service (Germany)
Marines Naval land force that provides support for naval warfare United States Marine Corps
Medical services Provide military medicine support Belgian Medical Component
Joint Medical Service (Germany)
South African Military Health Service
Military police Military law enforcement agency
Navy Naval warfare
Rocket force Strategic deterrence, second strike People's Liberation Army Rocket Force (China)
Strategic Missile Forces (Russia)
Space force Space warfare United States Space Force
Special forces Special operations Special Operations Forces (Russia)
Polish Special Forces

Unified armed forcesEdit

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 definitionEdit

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 service, or armed service.[1]

See alsoEdit


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