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A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an army, navy, air force, space force, marines, or coast guard. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats.

In broad usage, the terms "armed forces" and "military" are often treated as synonymous, although in technical usage a distinction is sometimes made in which a country's armed forces may include both its military and other paramilitary forces. There are various forms of irregular military forces, not belonging to a recognized state; though they share many attributes with regular military forces, they are less often referred to as simply "military".

A nation's military may function as a discrete social subculture, with dedicated infrastructure such as military housing, schools, utilities, logistics, hospitals, legal services, food production, finance, and banking services. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats, population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, social ceremonies and national honour guards.

The profession of soldiering as part of a military is older than recorded history itself. Some of the most enduring images of classical antiquity portray the power and feats of its military leaders. The Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC was one of the defining points of Pharaoh Ramses II's reign, and his monuments commemorate it in bas-relief. A thousand years later, the first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huang, was so determined to impress the gods with his military might that he had himself buried with an army of terracotta soldiers. The Romans paid considerable attention to military matters, leaving to posterity many treatises and writings on the subject, as well as many lavishly carved triumphal arches and victory columns.

Military Media

32,526 media by topicpage 1 of 326
Reiter, Reiter-General unter Karl V, Dame. 1560
Military uniforms: Austria, Kürassier 1618
Military uniforms: Austria, Kürassier. 1618
Military uniforms: Austria, Trompeter 1620
Military uniforms: Austria, Husar, 1700
Military nonchalance
General View of the Military School West Point
Military movements in Pennsylvania
Military uniforms: Military uniforms: Austria, Lansquenets. [1512]
Military costume, 1400.
Arcieren Leibgarde, 1541   (Bodyguard of Archers)     (N)
Arcieren Leibgarde, 1541   (Bodyguard of Archers)     (N)
The Military Expedition, highlands of Ethiopia
Military reconnaissance of the Arkansas, Rio del Norte and Rio Gila
Com. Dupont
James Birdseye McPherson [signature]
Slaves building Confederate Army fortifications at James Island, Charleston, South Carolina, in 1863.
King of the Greeks
The Lawrence Military Asylum, Sanawar, near Kasauli.
Nickolai Alexandrovirch, Emperor of Russia
Sources: Vol. I (Argentine)
25 de Mayo
8 Army-Act III
Rosendo-Act II
Police-Act II
An Episcopal Bishop confirming African American Lieutenants Rosemary Vincent and Hallie M. Brown and an unidentified soldier, as they kneel before him
Two African American Navy officers, [left to right] Ensign J. J. Jenkins and Clarence Samuels, aboard a cutter on the North Atlantic patrol
Photograph of Lieutenant Clarence Samuels of the United States Coast Guard, the highest ranking African American officer in the Navy
African American sailors rolling out barrels from a vessel to shore of Biak Islands
African American women, members of the 32nd and 33rd Company's Women's Army Auxiliary Corps basketball team, playing a game of basketball at Fort Huachuca
Members of an African American company of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps lined up for review, Liberia
African American chaplain standing at the podium and conducting the religious service on deck of a U. S. Coast Guard vessel, South Pacific
African American seamen delivering shells and loading the anti-aircraft gun aboard a vessel on the Atlantic patrol
Group photograph of the U.S. Coast Guard Quartet members while singing, New York, N.Y.
Mrs. Charles W. David, Jr.; African American widow and her three-year-old son, Neil Adrian receiving the Navy and Marine Corps Medal from Rear Admiral, Stanley V. Parker
Two African American Lieutenants of the Women's Army Corps sitting at a table and working on jigsaw puzzles while three others assist and look on
SPARS Olivia Hooker, of Columbus, Ohio, and Aileen Anita Cooke, of Los Angeles, California, aboard the dry-land ship "USS Neversail," during their training at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Station, Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York, 1945
SPAR Olivia J. Hooker, of Columbus, Ohio, at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Station, Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York, 1945
African American Charity Adams, First Officer in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, standing in uniform and pointing to a poster that reads, "Women! Answer America's Call, Serve in the W.A.A.C."
Members of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps wearing gas masks and testing them for proper adjustment during a drill, First Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Training Center
Members of an all-African American company walking in rows during an infantry drill at the First Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Training Center
African American Private Hannah Wills developing an x-ray film in the x-ray laboratory at Post Hospital, Camp Breckinridge
Dreissigjäriger Krieg.  Arkabusier zu Pferd, Trompeter, Fähnrich, Officier, Musketier, Pikenier. 1630
Austria, Johann Tserklas Graf V. Tilly. 1632
Military uniforms: Austria, Three mounted officers. 1625
Military uniforms: Austria, General?. 1630
Military uniforms: Austria, Linie Infanterie. 1670
Military uniforms: Austria, Soldats Reg. Belge [?]. 1682
Bei der Errichtung 1688 unter Gr. Czobor.
Military uniforms: Austria, Husaren. 1700
Austria, Infanterie Regiment [] [bottom edge broken off]
Military uniforms: Austria, Karabiner. 168?
Military uniforms: Austria, Officer, 1700
Military uniforms: Austria, Generaal  1700
Military uniforms: Military uniforms: Austria, Grenadier v. Reg. Bayreuth. 1701
Officier de Infanterie. Regiment Bischof v. Osnabrück, 1701
Military uniforms: Austria, Musketier, Grenadier, 1704
Military uniforms: Austria, Trompeter. 1650
Military uniforms: Austria, Wallestein, Herzog v. Friedland.
Military uniforms: Austria, Fähnrich. 1650
Military uniforms: Austria, Grenadieren
Military uniforms: Austria, Field kitchen?
Military bridge across the Chickahominy [Va.].
Col. Geo. A. Mühleck.
V.F. Fon der Launits. General-adiutant (skonchavshiisia).
F.S. Tsytsurin, Pochetn. Leib-Medik, Direktor Voen.-Medits. Departamenta.
Kniaz' D.A. Obolenskii, Stat-Sekretar, Tainyi Sovietnik.
General-maior Nikolai Aleksandrovich Lachinov. 1851.
Dmitrii Dmitrievich Oblomievskii. 1852.
Military uniforms: Austria, Czobor's Hussar Regiment. 168?
Military uniforms: Austria, Infanterie Regiment ....
Class B: suits; No. 2. The new Military sack suit.
Oesterreich-Ungarn. Die Kaiserl. Reiter-Reg-ter spanischer Nation: [1]Hauptmann, Trommler, Grenadier, Dragoner vom Dragoner-Regiment Galbes; [2] Dragoner, Kürassier vom Kür.-Rgt. Cordova; [3] Unteroffizier der Karabinier-Komp. vom Kür.-Rgt. Morras-Onnobia
Model No. 736. Fashionable three-button topcoat; Model No. 737. Topcoat with military collar; Model No. 738. Military collar bal-raglan; Model No. 739. Fashionable raglan topcoat; Model No. 740. Fly front bal-raglan topcoat.
Military uniforms: Austria, Offi[zier] ...  Infanterie
Military uniforms: Austria, Officier v. Infanterie
Military uniforms: Austria, officier v. Infanterie
Military uniforms: Austria, Österreichische Infanterie, 1704
Military uniforms: Austria, Tambour, 1710
Military uniforms: Austria, Husar, 1710
Military uniforms: Austria, Musketier v. Rgt. Deutschmeister, 1710
Military uniforms: Austria, Artillerie, 1710
Military uniforms: Austria, Deutscher Husar 1710
Military uniforms: Austria, Füsilier, 1710
Military uniforms: Austria, Grenadier, 1720
Military uniforms: Austria, Need. Dragoner Reg. Westerloo, 1725
Military uniforms: Austria, Dragoner Reg. Westerloo Trompeter, 1725
Military uniforms: Austria, [Dragoner], 1730
Military uniforms: Austria, Husar, 1730
Military uniforms: Austria, Chvauxlegers, 1730
Military uniforms: Austria, Dragoner Neu Reg. Westerloo, 1733
Military uniforms: Austria, Oberstuckhauptmann, Büchsenmeister, 1734
Military uniforms: Austria, Artillerie, 1734
Military uniforms: Austria, Artillerie 1734
Military uniforms: Austria, Artillerist, 1734
Military uniforms: Austria, Dragoner 1735
Military uniforms: Austria, Militair Schul, 1735
Military uniforms: Austria, Kürassier, 1740

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