Soldier

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Soldier
Bundeswehr G36.jpg
Occupation
Occupation typeProfession
Activity sectorsMilitary
Description
CompetenciesPhysical
Stamina
Mindset
Related jobsCommando
SWAT
Police officer
Mercenary
 
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Soldier
Bundeswehr G36.jpg
Occupation
Occupation typeProfession
Activity sectorsMilitary
Description
CompetenciesPhysical
Stamina
Mindset
Related jobsCommando
SWAT
Police officer
Mercenary
Chain of command
Latvian platoon at Camp Lejune.jpg
UnitSoldiersTypical Commander
fireteam4NCO
squad/section8–13squad leader
platoon26–64platoon leader
company80–225captain/major
battalion300–1,300lieutenant colonel/colonel
regiment/brigade3,000–5,000lieutenant colonel/colonel/
brigadier/brigadier general
division10,000–15,000major general
corps20,000–45,000lieutenant general
field army80,000–200,000general
army group400,000–1,000,000general of the army
army region1,000,000–3,000,000field marshal
theater3,000,000–10,000,000commander-in-chief

A soldier is one who fights as part of an organized land-based armed force;[1] if that force is for hire the person is generally termed a mercenary soldier, or mercenary.[2] The majority of cognates of the word "soldier" that exist in other languages have a meaning that embraces both commissioned and non-commissioned officers in national land forces.

Etymology[edit]

The word soldier entered modern English in the 14th century from the equivalent Middle English word soudeour, from Anglo-French soudeer or soudeour, meaning mercenary, from soudee, meaning shilling's worth or wage, from sou or soud, shilling.[3] The word is also related to the Medieval Latin soldarius, meaning soldier (literally, "one having pay").[4] These words ultimately derive the Late Latin word solidus, referring to an Ancient Roman coin used in the Byzantine Empire.[3][4]

Occupational designations[edit]

In most armed forces use of the word 'soldier' has taken on a more general meaning due to the increasing specialization of military occupations that require different areas of knowledge and skill-sets. As a result, 'soldiers' are referred to by names or ranks which reflect an individual's military occupation specialty arm, service, or branch of military employment, their type of unit, or operational employment or technical use such as: trooper, tanker, commando, dragoon, infantryman, marine, paratrooper, ranger, sniper, engineer, sapper, medic, or a gunner.

Other terms[edit]

In many countries soldiers serving in specific occupations are referred to by terms other than their occupational name. For example military police personnel in the UK are known as "redcaps" from the colour of their berets or other headwear.

In the United States Army (or Marine Corps), infantrymen are sometimes called "grunts", while Army artillerymen are sometimes referred to as "redlegs", from the service branch color for artillery. US soldiers are often called "G.I.s". Members of the United States Marine Corps are typically referred to as "Marines" and not "soldiers" - though marines are soldiers.

French Marine Infantry are called marsouins (French: porpoises) because of their amphibious role.[citation needed] Military units in most armies have nicknames of this type, arising either from items of distinctive uniform, some historical connotation or rivalry between branches or regiments.

Career soldiers and conscripts[edit]

Some soldiers, such as conscripts or draftees, serve a single limited term. Others choose to serve until retirement; then they receive a pension and other benefits. In the USA, servicemembers can retire after 20 years.[5] In other services, 30 years (hence the term "30-year man").

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "soldier." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 16 May 2009. Dictionary.com http://dictionary1.classic.reference.com/browse/soldier
  2. ^ "mercenary." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 16 May 2009. Dictionary.com http://dictionary1.classic.reference.com/browse/mercenary
  3. ^ a b Mish, Frederick C., ed. (2004). "soldier". Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster. ISBN 0-87779-809-5. 
  4. ^ a b Harper, Douglas (2010). "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "20-Year Retirement". Armytimes.com. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 

External links[edit]