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Infantry is an
army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch Military branch ...

army
specialization whose
personnel Employment is the relationship between two party (law), parties, usually based on a employment contract, contract where work is paid for, where one party, which may be a corporation, for profit, not-for-profit organization, co-operative or ot ...
engage in
military combat War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (news ...
on foot, distinguished from
cavalry Historically, cavalry (from the French word ''cavalerie'', itself derived from "cheval" meaning "horse") are soldier A soldier is a person who is a member of a professional army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via O ...

cavalry
,
artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications dur ...

artillery
, and armored forces. Also known as foot soldiers, infantrymen or infanteer, infantry traditionally rely on traveling by foot between combats as well, but may also use mounts (
mounted infantry Mounted infantry were infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and armored warfare, armored forces. Also known as foot soldie ...
),
military vehicle A military vehicle is a type of vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in the U.S.), is the Motion, movement of humans, animals and cargo, good ...

military vehicle
s ( motorized, and
mechanized infantry Mechanized infantry (or mechanised infantry) are infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and armored warfare, armored forc ...
),
watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or n ...
(
naval infantry Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in littoral zones The littoral zone or nearshore is the part of a sea, lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land ...
), or
aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support from the Atmosphere of Earth, air. It counters the force of gravity by using either Buoyancy, static lift or by using the Lift (force), dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in ...

aircraft
(
airborne infantry Airborne operation Military parachuting or gliding form of inserting personnel or supplies. Purpose Delivering personnel, equipment, or supplies. Origins Attributed to Italian troops on November 1927. worn by members of the British A ...
) for between-combat
mobility Mobility may refer to: Social sciences and humanities * Economic mobility, ability of individuals or families to improve their economic status * Geographic mobility, the measure of how populations and goods move over time * Mobilities, a contempo ...
and
logistics Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requ ...
. Infantry typically bear the largest brunt in
warfare War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

warfare
, as measured by
casualties A casualty, as a term in military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, ...
, discomfort, fatigue, and both
physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album), a 1981 album by Olivia Newton-John **Physical (Olivia Newton-John song), "Physical" (Olivia Newton-John song) *Physical ( ...
and
psychological stress In psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence i ...
. The first military forces in history were infantry. In
antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to Historical objects or periods Artifacts * Antiquities, objects or artifacts surviving from ancient cultures Eras Any period before the European Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...

antiquity
, infantry were armed with early
melee weapon A melee weapon, hand weapon or close combat weapon is any handheld weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and e ...
s such as a
spear A spear is a pole weapon A pole weapon or pole arm is a close combat weapon in which the main fighting part of the weapon is fitted to the end of a long shaft, typically of wood, thereby extending the user's effective range and striking pow ...

spear
,
axe An axe (sometimes ax in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, ...

axe
, or
sword A sword is an edged, bladed weapon intended for manual cutting or thrusting. Its blade, longer than a knife A knife (plural knives; from Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Ge ...

sword
, or an early
ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting ...
like a
javelin A javelin is a light designed primarily to be thrown, historically as a , but today predominantly for sport. The javelin is almost always thrown by hand, unlike the , , and , which launch projectiles with the aid of a hand-held mechanism. Howe ...

javelin
, sling, or
bow Bow often refers to: * Bow and arrow The bow and arrow is a ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons ar ...

bow
, with a few infantrymen being expected to use both a melee and a ranged weapon. With the development of gunpowder, infantry began converting to primarily
firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons, spray guns for painting ...
s. By the time of Napoleonic warfare, infantry, cavalry and artillery formed a basic triad of ground forces, though infantry usually remained the most numerous. With
armoured warfare Armoured warfare or armored warfare (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United Sta ...
,
armoured fighting vehicle An armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) is an armed combat vehicle A combat vehicle, also known as a ground combat vehicle, is a self-propelled, weaponized military vehicle A military vehicle is a type of vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehi ...

armoured fighting vehicle
s have replaced the horses of cavalry, and
airpower Airpower or air power consists of the application of military aviation Military aviation comprises military aircraft and other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling aerial warfare, including national airlift ( air cargo ...
has added a new dimension to ground combat, but infantry remains pivotal to all modern
combined arms Combined Arms is an approach to war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the cas ...
operations. Infantry have much greater local
situational awareness Situational awareness or situation awareness (SA) is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their future status. Situation awareness has been re ...
than other military forces, due to their inherent intimate contact with the battlefield ("boots on the ground"); this is vital for engaging and infiltrating enemy positions, holding and defending ground (any military objectives), securing battlefield victories, maintaining military area control and security both at and behind the
front line A front line (alternative forms: front-line or frontline) in military terminology is the position(s) closest to the area of conflict of an armed force's personnel and equipment, usually referring to land forces. When a Front (military), front (an ...
s, for capturing ordnance or materiel, taking prisoners, and
military occupation Military or belligerent occupation, often simply occupation, is provisional control by a ruling power over a territory, without a claim of formal sovereignty.Eyāl Benveniśtî. The international law of occupation. Princeton University Press, ...
. Infantry can more easily recognise, adapt and respond to local conditions, weather, and changing enemy weapons or tactics. They can operate in a wide range of terrain inaccessible to
military vehicle A military vehicle is a type of vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in the U.S.), is the Motion, movement of humans, animals and cargo, good ...

military vehicle
s, and can operate with a lower logistical burden. Infantry are the most easily delivered forces to ground combat areas, by simple and reliable
marching Marching refers to the organized, uniformed, steady walking Walking (also known as ambulation) is one of the main gaits of terrestrial locomotion among legged animals. Walking is typically slower than running Running is a method of te ...

marching
, or by trucks, sea or air transport; they can also be inserted directly into combat by
amphibious landing Amphibious warfare is a type of offensive military operation that today uses naval ships to project ground and air power onto a hostile or potentially hostile shore at a designated landing beach. Through history the operations were conduct ...
, by
air drop
air drop
with
parachute A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα ''(sphaira)'', meaning 'ball' or 'sphere') is a layer or ...

parachute
s (
airborne infantry Airborne operation Military parachuting or gliding form of inserting personnel or supplies. Purpose Delivering personnel, equipment, or supplies. Origins Attributed to Italian troops on November 1927. worn by members of the British A ...
) or via
air assault Air assault is the movement of ground-based military forces by vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft—such as the helicopter—to seize and hold key terrain which has not been fully secured, and to directly engage enemy forces behind en ...
by
helicopter A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft A rotorcraft or rotary-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle or machine that is able to fly Flies are insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, ...

helicopter
s (
airmobile Air assault is the movement of ground-based military forces by vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft—such as the helicopter—to seize and hold key terrain which has not been fully secured, and to directly engage enemy forces behind ene ...

airmobile
infantry). They can be augmented with a variety of
crew-served weapon A crew-served weapon is any weapon system#REDIRECT Weapon System Legend for Numeric Designations CL: Lockheed D: Douglas NA: North American WS (Weapon System) Weapon System was a United States Armed Forces The United States Armed Force ...
s,
armoured personnel carrier An armoured personnel carrier (APC) is a broad type of armoured, military vehicle designed to transport personnel and equipment in combat zones. They are sometimes referred to colloquially as "battle taxis" or "battle buses". Since World War I ...
s, and
infantry fighting vehicle An infantry fighting vehicle (''IFV''), also known as a mechanized infantry combat vehicle (''MICV''), is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to carry infantry into battle and provide direct fire , direct-fire support. The 1990 Treaty on C ...
s.


Etymology and terminology

In English, use of the term ''infantry'' began about the 1570s, describing
soldier A soldier is a person who is a member of a professional army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the ...

soldier
s who march and fight on foot. The word derives from
Middle French Middle French (french: moyen français) is a historical division of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from ...
''infanterie'', from older
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
(also Spanish) ''infanteria'' (foot soldiers too inexperienced for cavalry), from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
'' īnfāns'' (without speech, newborn, foolish), from which English also gets ''
infant An infant (from the Latin word ''infans'', meaning 'unable to speak' or 'speechless') is the more formal or specialised synonym for the common term ''baby'', meaning the very young offspring of human beings Humans (''Homo sapiens'' ...
''. The individual-soldier term ''infantryman'' was not coined until 1837. In modern usage, foot soldiers of any era are now considered infantry and infantrymen. From the mid-18th century until 1881 the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
named its infantry as numbered regiments "of Foot" to distinguish them from
cavalry Historically, cavalry (from the French word ''cavalerie'', itself derived from "cheval" meaning "horse") are soldier A soldier is a person who is a member of a professional army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via O ...

cavalry
and
dragoon Dragoons were originally a class of mounted infantry, who used horses for mobility, but dismounted to fight on foot. From the early 17th century onward, dragoons were increasingly also employed as conventional cavalry and trained for combat wi ...

dragoon
regiments (see List of Regiments of Foot). Infantry equipped with special weapons were often named after that weapon, such as
grenadier A grenadier ( , ; derived from the word ''grenade A grenade is an explosive weapon An explosive weapon generally uses to project and/or from a point of . Explosive weapons may be subdivided by their method of manufacture into explosive ...

grenadier
s for their
grenade A grenade is an explosive weapon An explosive weapon generally uses high explosive An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion An explo ...

grenade
s, or
fusilier Fusilier is a name given to various kinds of soldiers; its meaning depends on the historical context. While fusilier is derived from the 17th-century French language, French word ''fusil'' – meaning a type of flintlock musket – the term has b ...
s for their ''fusils''.A fusil was early
flintlock Flintlock is a general term for any firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. ...

flintlock
firearm that was safer to use around the gunpowder stores of
cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Long Rifle, 22 LR cartridges for comparison In gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launc ...

cannon
s than
matchlock with serpentine lock The matchlock was the first mechanism invented to facilitate the firing of a hand-held firearm A firearm is any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by an individual. The term is legally defined further i ...
s.
These names can persist long after the weapon speciality; examples of infantry units that retained such names are the
Royal Irish Fusiliers The Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria's) was an Irish line infantry at the Battle of the Somme (July–November 1916) during the First World War Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in mil ...
and the
Grenadier Guards "Evil be to him who evil thinks" , colors = , colors_label = , march = Quick: "The British Grenadiers "The British Grenadiers" is a traditional marching song of British, Australian and Canadian military units whose badge of identificatio ...

Grenadier Guards
. More commonly in modern times, infantry with
special tactics
special tactics
are named for their roles, such as
commando Royal Marines from 40 Commando on patrol in the Sangin">40_Commando.html" ;"title="Royal Marines from 40 Commando">Royal Marines from 40 Commando on patrol in the Sangin area of Afghanistan are pictured A commando (etymologically derive ...

commando
s, rangers,
sniper A sniper is a military/paramilitary marksman A marksman is a person who is skilled in precision shooting using projectile weapons (in modern days most commonly an accurized telescopic sight, scoped long gun such as designated marksman ri ...

sniper
s,
marines Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in Littoral Zone, littoral zones in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard th ...

marines
, (who all have additional training) and
militia A militia () is generally an army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-b ...
(who have limited training); they are still infantry due to their expectation to fight as infantry when they enter combat.
Dragoon Dragoons were originally a class of mounted infantry, who used horses for mobility, but dismounted to fight on foot. From the early 17th century onward, dragoons were increasingly also employed as conventional cavalry and trained for combat wi ...

Dragoon
s were created as
mounted infantry Mounted infantry were infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and armored warfare, armored forces. Also known as foot soldie ...
, with horses for travel between battles; they were still considered infantry since they dismounted before combat. However, if
light cavalry Light cavalry comprises lightly armed and armor Armour (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in Hist ...
was lacking in an army, any available dragoons might be assigned their duties; this practise increased over time, and dragoons eventually received all the weapons and training as both infantry and cavalry, and could be classified as both. Conversely, starting about the mid-19th century, regular cavalry have been forced to spend more of their time dismounted in combat due to the ever-increasing effectiveness of enemy infantry firearms. Thus most cavalry transitioned to mounted infantry. As with grenadiers, the ''dragoon'' and ''cavalry'' designations can be retained long after their horses, such as in the
Royal Dragoon Guards The Royal Dragoon Guards (RDG) is a cavalry regiment Cavalry (from the French word ''cavalerie'', itself derived from "cheval" meaning "horse") are soldier A soldier is one who fights as part of a military A military, also kn ...

Royal Dragoon Guards
,
Royal Lancers The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths' Own) is a Cavalry regiments of the British Army, cavalry regiment of the British Army. The regiment was formed by an amalgamation of 9th/12th Royal Lancers, 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's) and the ...
, and
King's Royal Hussars The King's Royal Hussars (KRH) is a Royal Armoured Corps The Royal Armoured Corps is the component of the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , ...

King's Royal Hussars
. Similarly,
motorised infantry Cold War era (1975) Snow Track on patrol in Norway In NATO and most other western countries, motorized infantry is infantry at the Battle of the Somme (July–November 1916) during the First World War Infantry is an army specialization ...
have trucks and other unarmed vehicles for non-combat movement, but are still infantry since they leave their vehicles for any combat. Most modern infantry have vehicle transport, to the point where infantry being motorised is generally assumed, and the few exceptions might be identified as modern ''light infantry'', or "leg infantry" colloquially.
Mechanised infantry during training in 1985. Mechanized infantry (or mechanised infantry) are infantry at the Battle of the Somme (July–November 1916) during the First World War Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage ...
go beyond motorised, having transport vehicles with combat abilities,
armoured personnel carrier An armoured personnel carrier (APC) is a broad type of armoured, military vehicle designed to transport personnel and equipment in combat zones. They are sometimes referred to colloquially as "battle taxis" or "battle buses". Since World War I ...
s (APCs), providing at least some options for combat without leaving their vehicles. In modern infantry, some APCs have evolved to be
infantry fighting vehicle An infantry fighting vehicle (''IFV''), also known as a mechanized infantry combat vehicle (''MICV''), is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to carry infantry into battle and provide direct fire , direct-fire support. The 1990 Treaty on C ...
s (IFVs), which are transport vehicles with more substantial combat abilities, approaching those of
light tank A light tank is a Tank classification, tank variant initially designed for rapid movements in and out of combat, to outmaneuver heavier tanks. It is smaller in size with thinner vehicle armour, armor and a less powerful tank gun, main gun, tailo ...
s. Some well-equipped mechanised infantry can be designated as ''armoured infantry''. Given that infantry forces typically also have some tanks, and given that most armoured forces have more mechanised infantry units than tank units in their organisation, the distinction between mechanised infantry and armour forces has blurred. The terms ''infantry'', ''armour'', and ''cavalry'' used in the official names for
military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intens ...
s like
divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new numbers. The other operations are addition, subtraction, and multi ...
,
brigade A brigade is a major tactical military formation Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a State (polity), state so as to offer such military capability as a military policy, national de ...

brigade
s, or
regiment A regiment is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...
s might be better understood as a description of their expected balance of defensive, offensive, and mobility roles, rather than just use of vehicles. Some modern mechanised infantry units are termed ''cavalry'' or ''
armoured cavalry Armoured cavalry (or U.S. armored) are combat units using armoured fighting vehicles An armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) is an armed combat vehicle protected by armour Armour (British English British English (BrE) is the standar ...
'', even though they never had horses, to emphasise their combat mobility. In the modern
US Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists ma ...

US Army
, about 15% of soldiers are officially Infantry. The
basic trainingBasic Training may refer to: * ''Basic Training'', a 1971 American documentary directed by Frederick Wiseman * ''Basic Training'' (1985 film), an American sex comedy * Recruit training {{disambiguation ...
for all new US Army soldiers includes basic use of infantry used weapons and basic tactics, even for tank crews, artillery crews, and base and logistical personnel. However, no other MOS receives the same detailed rigorous training and standards in which every infantry soldier endures on a regular basis.


History

The first warriors, adopting
hunting weaponsHunting weapons are weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, crime, law enforc ...

hunting weapons
or improvised
melee weapon A melee weapon, hand weapon or close combat weapon is any handheld weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and e ...
s, before the existence of any organised military, likely started essentially as loose groups without any organisation or formation. But this changed sometime before
recorded history Recorded history or written history is a historical narrative History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the History of writin ...
; the first ancient empires (2500–1500 BC) are shown to have some soldiers with standardised military equipment, and the training and discipline required for battlefield formations and manoeuvres: regular infantry. Though the main force of the army, these forces were usually kept small due to their cost of training and upkeep, and might be supplemented by local short-term mass-conscript forces using the older irregular infantry weapons and tactics; this remained a common practice almost up to modern times. Before the adoption of the
chariot A chariot is a type of carriage A carriage is a private four-wheeled vehicle for people and is most commonly horse-drawn A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles ...

chariot
to create the first mobile fighting forces , all armies were pure infantry. Even after, with a few exceptions like the
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in history and the second largest empire by landmass, second only to the British Empire. Originating in Mongolia in East Asia, the ...
, infantry has been the largest component of most armies in history. In the
Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and state (polity), states, depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of Europe, Northern America, and Australasia.
, from
Classical Antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
through the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
( 8th century BC to 15th century AD), infantry are categorised as either
heavy infantry Heavy infantry consisted of heavily armed and armoured infantrymen who were trained to mount frontal assaults and/or anchor the defensive center of a battle line. This differentiated them from light infantry Light infantry is a designa ...
or
light infantry Light infantry is a designation applied to certain types of foot soldiers (infantry) throughout history, typically having lighter equipment or Weapon, armament or a more mobile or fluid function than other types of infantry, such as heavy infa ...
. Heavy infantry, such as Greek
hoplite Hoplites () ( grc, ὁπλίτης : hoplítēs) were citizen-soldiers of Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 B ...
s, Macedonian
phalangitesThe Macedonian phalanx ( gr, Μακεδονική φάλαγξ) is an infantry at the Battle of the Somme (July–November 1916) during the First World War Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in mili ...
, and Roman
legionaries A recreation of Roman legionaries wearing the '' lorica segmentata'', 1st–3rd century The Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman p ...
, specialised in dense, solid formations driving into the main enemy lines, using weight of numbers to achieve a
decisive victory A decisive victory is a military victory in battle that definitively resolves the objective being fought over, ending one stage of the conflict and beginning another stage. Until a decisive victory is achieved, conflict over the competing objectiv ...
, and were usually equipped with heavier
weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, crime, law enforcement, self-defe ...
s and
armour Armour (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage a ...
to fit their role. Light infantry, such as Greek
peltasts Agrianian ''peltas''. This ''peltast'' holds three javelins, one in his throwing hand and two in his ''pelte'' (shield) hand as additional ammunition. A ''peltast'' ( grc-gre, πελταστής ) was a type of light infantry Light infantr ...
, Balearic slingers, and Roman
velites ''Velites'' (singular: ) were a class of infantry at the Battle of the Somme (July–November 1916) during the First World War Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, dist ...
, using open formations and greater manoeuvrability, took on most other combat roles:
scouting Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement Movement may refer to: Common uses * Movement (clockwork), the internal mechanism of a timepiece * Motion (physics), commonly referred to as movement Arts, entert ...

scouting
, screening the army on the march,
skirmishing Skirmishers are light infantry or light cavalry soldier A soldier is one who fights as part of a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for ...
to delay, disrupt, or weaken the enemy to prepare for the main forces' battlefield attack, protecting them from flanking manoeuvers, and then afterwards either pursuing the fleeing enemy or covering their army's retreat. After the fall of Rome, the quality of heavy infantry declined, and warfare was dominated by
heavy cavalry Heavy cavalry was a class of cavalry Historically, cavalry (from the French word ''cavalerie'', itself derived from "cheval" meaning "horse") are soldier A soldier is a person who is a member of a professional army An army ...
, such as
knight A knight is a person granted an honorary title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In so ...

knight
s, forming small elite units for decisive
shock combat Shock tactics, shock tactic or shock attack is the name of an offensive maneuver Maneuver (American English), manoeuvre (British English), manoeuver, manœuver (also spelled, directly from the French language, French, as manœuvre) denotes one's t ...
, supported by peasant infantry
militia A militia () is generally an army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-b ...
s and assorted light infantry from the lower classes. Towards the end of Middle Ages, this began to change, where more professional and better trained light infantry could be effective against knights, such as the
English longbow The English longbow was a powerful type of longbow (a tall bow for archery) about long used by the English and Welsh for hunting and as a weapon in warfare. English use of longbows was effective against the French during the , particularly at ...
men in the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
. By the start of the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
, the infantry began to return to dominance, with Swiss pikemen and German Landsknechts filling the role of heavy infantry again, using pike square, dense formations of pikes to drive off any cavalry. Dense formations are vulnerable to ranged weapons. Technological developments allowed the raising of large numbers of light infantry units armed with ranged weapons, without the years of training expected for traditional high-skilled archers and slingers. This started slowly, first with crossbowmen, then hand cannoneers and arquebusiers, each with increasing effectiveness, marking the beginning of early modern warfare, when
firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons, spray guns for painting ...
s rendered the use of heavy infantry obsolete. The introduction of musketeers using bayonets in the mid 17th century began replacement of the pike with the infantry square replacing the pike square. To maximise their firepower, musketeer infantry were trained to fight in wide lines facing the enemy, creating line infantry. These fulfilled the central battlefield role of earlier heavy infantry, using ranged weapons instead of melee weapons. To support these lines, smaller infantry formations using dispersed skirmish lines were created, called light infantry, fulfilling the same multiple roles as earlier light infantry. Their arms were no lighter than line infantry; they were distinguished by their skirmish formation and flexible tactics. The modern rifleman infantry became the primary force for taking and holding ground on battlefields worldwide, a vital element of
combined arms Combined Arms is an approach to war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the cas ...
combat. As firepower continued to increase, use of infantry lines diminished, until all infantry became light infantry in practice. Modern classifications of infantry have expanded to reflect modern equipment and tactics, such as
motorised infantry Cold War era (1975) Snow Track on patrol in Norway In NATO and most other western countries, motorized infantry is infantry at the Battle of the Somme (July–November 1916) during the First World War Infantry is an army specialization ...
, Mechanised infantry, mechanised or armoured infantry, mountain infantry, marine infantry, and
airborne infantry Airborne operation Military parachuting or gliding form of inserting personnel or supplies. Purpose Delivering personnel, equipment, or supplies. Origins Attributed to Italian troops on November 1927. worn by members of the British A ...
.


Equipment

An infantryman's equipment is of vital concern both for the man and the military. The needs of the infantryman to maintain fitness and effectiveness must be constantly balanced against being overburdened. While soldiers in other military branches can use their mount or vehicle for carrying equipment, and tend to operate together as crews serving their vehicle or ordnance, infantrymen must operate more independently; each infantryman usually having much more personal equipment to use and carry. This encourages searching for ingenious combinations of effective, rugged, serviceable and adaptable, yet light, compact, and handy infantry equipment. Beyond their main arms and armour, each infantryman's "military kit" includes combat boots, battledress or combat Military uniform, uniform, camping gear, heavy weather gear, Survival kit#Military kits, survival gear, secondary weapons and ammunition, weapon service and repair kits, health and hygiene items, Mess kit#Military, mess kit, Field ration, rations, filled Canteen (bottle), water canteen, and all other consumables each infantryman needs for the expected duration of time operating away from their unit's base, plus any special mission-specific equipment. One of the most valuable pieces of gear is the entrenching tool—basically a folding spade—which can be employed not only to dig important defences, but also in a variety of other daily tasks, and even sometimes as a weapon. Infantry typically have shared equipment on top of this, like tents or heavy weapons, where the carrying burden is spread across several infantrymen. In all, this can reach for each soldier on the march. Such heavy infantry burdens have changed little over centuries of warfare; in the late Roman Republic, legionaries were nicknamed ''Marian reforms, Marius' mules'' as their main activity seemed to be carrying the weight of their legion around on their backs.Marius' reforms of the Roman army included making each man responsible for carrying his own supplies, weapons and several days' worth of ration. This made the legions less dependent on the baggage train and therefore more mobile. When combat is expected, infantry typically switch to "packing light", meaning reducing their equipment to weapons, ammo, and bare essentials, and leaving the rest with their transport or baggage train, at camp or rally point, in temporary hidden caches, or even (in emergencies) discarding whatever may slow them down. Additional specialised equipment may be required, depending on the mission or to the particular terrain or environment, including satchel charges, demolition tools, Land mine, mines, barbed wire, carried by the infantry or attached specialists. Historically, infantry have suffered high casualty rates from disease, exposure, exhaustion and privation — often in excess of the casualties suffered from enemy attacks. Better infantry equipment to support their health, energy, and protect from environmental factors greatly reduces these rates of loss, and increase their level of effective action. Health, energy, and morale are greatly influenced by how the soldier is fed, so militaries often standardised field rations, starting from hardtack, to US K-rations, to modern MREs. Communications gear has become a necessity, as it allows effective command of infantry units over greater distances, and communication with artillery and other support units. Modern infantry can have GPS, encrypted individual communications equipment, surveillance and night vision equipment, advanced intelligence and other high-tech mission-unique aids. Armies have sought to improve and standardise infantry gear to reduce fatigue for extended carrying, increase freedom of movement, accessibility, and compatibility with other carried gear, such as the US All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE).


Weapons

Infantrymen are defined by their primary arms – the personal weapons and body armour for their own individual use. The available technology, resources, history, and society can produce quite different weapons for each military and era, but common infantry weapons can be distinguished in a few basic categories. * Ranged combat weapons:
javelin A javelin is a light designed primarily to be thrown, historically as a , but today predominantly for sport. The javelin is almost always thrown by hand, unlike the , , and , which launch projectiles with the aid of a hand-held mechanism. Howe ...

javelin
s, slings, blowguns, bows, crossbows, hand cannons, arquebuses, muskets, grenades, flamethrowers. * Close combat weapons: bludgeoning weapons like Club (weapon), clubs, flail (weapon), flails and mace (bludgeon), maces; bladed weapons like swords, daggers, and axes; pole weapons like spears, halberds, naginata, and pikes. * Both ranged and close weapons: the bayonet fixed to a firearm allows infantrymen to use the same weapon for both ranged combat and close combat. This started with muskets and continued with rifles to automatic firearms. Use of the bayonet has declined with modern automatic firearms, but still generally kept as a weapon of last resort. Infantrymen often carry secondary or back-up weapons, sometimes called a Sidearm (weapon), sidearm or ancillary weapons in modern terminology, either issued officially as an addition to the soldier's standard arms, or acquired unofficially by any other means as an individual preference. Such weapons are used when the primary weapon is no longer effective, such it becoming damaged, running out of ammunition, malfunction, or in a change of tactical situation where another weapon is preferred, such as going from ranged to close combat. Infantry with ranged or pole weapons often carried a sword or dagger for possible hand-to-hand combat. The ''pilum'' was a javelin the Roman legionaries threw just before drawing their primary weapon, the ''gladius'' (short sword), and closing with the enemy line. Modern infantrymen now treat the bayonet as a backup weapon, but may also have handguns or pistols. They may also deploy anti-personnel mines, booby traps, incendiary or explosive devices defensively before combat. Some non-weapon equipment are designed for close combat shock effects, to get and psychological edge before melee, such as War flag, battle flags, war drums, brilliant Military uniform, uniforms, fierce body paint or tattoos, and even battle cry, battle cries. These have become mostly only ceremonial since the decline of close combat military tactics.


Protection

Infantry have employed many different methods of protection from enemy attacks, including various kinds of armour and other gear, and tactical procedures. The most basic is personal armour. This includes shields, military helmet, helmets and many types of armour – Gambeson, padded linen, leather, Lamellar armour, lamellar, mail (armor), mail, plate armor, plate, and kevlar. Initially, armour was used to defend both from ranged and close combat; even a fairly light shield could help defend against most slings and javelins, though high-strength bows and crossbows might penetrate common armour at very close range. Infantry armour had to compromise between protection and coverage, as a full suit of attack-proof armour would be too heavy to wear in combat. As firearms improved, armour for ranged defence had to be thicker and stronger. With the introduction of the heavy arquebus designed to pierce standard steel armour, it was proven easier to make heavier firearms than heavier armour; armour transitioned to be only for close combat purposes. Pikemen armour tended to be just steel helmets and breastplates, and gunners little or no armour. By the time of the musket, the dominance of firepower shifted militaries away from any close combat, and use of armour decreased, until infantry typically went without any armour. Helmets were added back during World War I as artillery began to dominate the battlefield, to protect against their Fragmentation (weaponry), fragmentation and other blast effects beyond a direct hit. Modern developments in bullet-proof composite materials like kevlar have started a return to body armour for infantry, though the extra weight is a notable burden. In modern times, infantrymen must also often carry protective measures against chemical warfare, chemical and biological warfare, biological attack, including military gas masks, counter-agents, and protective suits. All of these protective measures add to the weight an infantryman must carry, and may decrease combat efficiency. Modern militaries are struggling to balance the value of personal body protection versus the weight burden and ability to function under such weight.


Infantry-served weapons

Early crew-served weapons were siege weapons, like the ballista, trebuchet, and battering ram. Modern versions include machine guns, anti-tank missiles, and infantry mortar (weapon), mortars.


Formations

Beginning with the development the first regular military forces, close-combat regular infantry fought less as unorganised groups of individuals and more in coordinated units, maintaining a defined tactical formation during combat, for increased battlefield effectiveness; such infantry formations and the arms they used developed together, starting with the spear and the shield. A spear has decent attack abilities with the additional advantage keeping opponents at distance; this advantage can be increased by using longer spears, but this could allow the opponent to side-step the point of the spear and close for hand-to-hand combat where the longer spear is near useless. This can be avoided when each spearman stays side by side with the others in close formation, each covering the ones next to him, presenting a solid wall of spears to the enemy that they cannot get around. Similarly, a shield has decent defence abilities, but is literally hit-or-miss; an attack from an unexpected angle can bypass it completely. Larger shields can cover more, but are also heavier and less manoeuvrable, making unexpected attacks even more of a problem. This can be avoided by having shield-armed soldiers stand close together, side-by-side, each protecting both themselves and their immediate comrades, presenting a solid shield wall to the enemy. The opponents for these first formations, the close-combat infantry of more Tribal society, tribal societies, or any military without regular infantry (so called "barbarians") used arms that focused on the individual – weapons using personal strength and force, such as larger swinging swords, axes, and clubs. These take more room and individual freedom to swing and wield, necessitating a more loose organisation. While this may allow for a fierce running attack (an initial shock advantage) the tighter formation of the heavy spear and shield infantry gave them a local manpower advantage where several might be able to fight each opponent. Thus tight formations heightened advantages of heavy arms, and gave greater local numbers in melee. To also increase their staying power, multiple rows of heavy infantrymen were added. This also increased their shock combat effect; individual opponents saw themselves literally lined-up against several heavy infantryman each, with seemingly no chance of defeating all of them. ''Heavy infantry'' developed into huge solid block formations, up to a hundred meters wide and a dozen rows deep. Maintaining the advantages of heavy infantry meant maintaining formation; this became even more important when two forces with heavy infantry met in battle; the solidity of the formation became the deciding factor. Intense discipline and training became paramount. Empires formed around their military.


Organization

The organization of military forces into regular military units is first noted in Egyptian records of the Battle of Kadesh (). Soldiers were grouped into units of 50, which were in turn grouped into larger units of 250, then 1,000, and finally into units of up to 5,000 – the largest independent command. Several of these Egyptian "divisions" made up an army, but operated independently, both on the march and tactically, demonstrating sufficient military command and control organisation for basic battlefield manoeuvres. Similar hierarchical organizations have been noted in other ancient armies, typically with approximately 10 to 100 to 1,000 ratios (even where base 10 was not common), similar to modern Section (military unit), sections (squads), Company (military unit), companies, and
regiment A regiment is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...
s.


Training

The training of the infantry has differed drastically over time and from place to place. The cost of maintaining an army in fighting order and the seasonal nature of warfare precluded large permanent armies. The antiquity saw everything from the well-trained and motivated citizen armies of Greek and Rome, the tribal host assembled from farmers and hunters with only passing acquaintance with warfare and masses of lightly armed and ill-trained militia put up as a last ditch effort. Kingdom of Kush, Kushite king Taharqa enjoyed military success in the Near East as a result of his efforts to strengthen the army through daily training in long distance running. In medieval times the foot soldiers varied from peasant levies to semi-permanent companies of mercenaries, foremost among them the Swiss, English, Aragonese and German, to men-at-arms who went into battle as well-armoured as knights, the latter of which at times also fought on foot. The creation of standing army, standing armies—permanently assembled for war or defence—saw increase in training and experience. The increased use of firearms and the need for drill to handle them efficiently. The introduction of national and mass armies saw an establishment of minimum requirements and the introduction of special troops (first of them the engineers going back to medieval times, but also different kinds of infantry adopted to specific terrain, bicycle, motorcycle, motorised and mechanised troops) culminating with the introduction of highly trained special forces during the first and second World War.


Operations


Attack operations

Attack operations are the most basic role of the infantry, and along with defence, form the main stances of the infantry on the battlefield. Traditionally, in an open battle, or meeting engagement, two armies would manoeuvre to contact, at which point they would form up their infantry and other units opposite each other. Then one or both would advance and attempt to defeat the enemy force. The goal of an attack remains the same: to advance into an enemy-held ''objective,'' most frequently a hill, river crossing, city or other dominant terrain feature, and dislodge the enemy, thereby establishing control of the objective. Attacks are often feared by the infantry conducting them because of the high number of casualties suffered while advancing to close with and destroy the enemy while under enemy fire. In mechanised infantry the armoured personnel carrier (APC) is considered the assaulting position. These APCs can deliver infantrymen through the front lines to the battle and—in the case of
infantry fighting vehicle An infantry fighting vehicle (''IFV''), also known as a mechanized infantry combat vehicle (''MICV''), is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to carry infantry into battle and provide direct fire , direct-fire support. The 1990 Treaty on C ...
s—contribute supporting firepower to engage the enemy. Successful attacks rely on sufficient force, preparative reconnaissance and battlefield preparation with bomb assets. Retention of discipline and cohesion throughout the attack is paramount to success. A subcategory of attacks is the ambush, where infantrymen lie in wait for enemy forces before attacking at a vulnerable moment. This gives the ambushing infantrymen the combat advantage of surprise, concealment and superior firing positions, and causes confusion. The ambushed unit does not know what it is up against, or where they are attacking from.


Patrol operations

Patrolling is the most common infantry mission. Full-scale attacks and defensive efforts are occasional, but patrols are constant. Patrols consist of small groups of infantry moving about in areas of possible enemy activity to locate the enemy and destroy them when found. Patrols are used not only on the front-lines, but in rear areas where enemy infiltration or insurgencies are possible.


Pursuit operations

Pursuit is a role that the infantry often assumes. The objective of pursuit operations is the destruction of withdrawing enemy forces which are not capable of effectively engaging friendly units, before they can build their strength to the point where they are effective. Infantry traditionally have been the main force to overrun these units in the past, and in modern combat are used to pursue enemy forces in constricted terrain (urban areas in particular), where faster forces, such as armoured vehicles are incapable of going or would be exposed to ambush.


Defence operations

Defence operations are the natural counter to attacks, in which the mission is to hold an objective and defeat enemy forces attempting to dislodge the defender. Defensive posture offers many advantages to the infantry, including the ability to use terrain and constructed fortifications to advantage; these reduce exposure to enemy fire compared with advancing forces. Effective defence relies on minimising losses to enemy fire, breaking the enemy's cohesion before their advance is completed, and preventing enemy penetration of defensive positions.


Escort operations

Escorting consists of protecting support units from ambush, particularly from hostile infantry forces. Combat support units (a majority of the military) are not as well armed or trained as infantry units and have a different mission. Therefore, they need the protection of the infantry, particularly when on the move. This is one of the most important roles for the modern infantry, particularly when operating alongside armoured vehicles. In this capacity, infantry essentially conducts patrol on the move, scouring terrain which may hide enemy infantry waiting to ambush friendly vehicles, and identifying enemy strong points for attack by the heavier units.


Base defence

Infantry units are tasked to protect certain areas like command posts or airbases. Units assigned to this job usually have a large number of military police attached to them for control of checkpoints and prisons.


Manoeuvring operations

Maneouvering consumes much of an infantry unit's time. Infantry, like all combat arms units, are often manoeuvred to meet battlefield needs, and often must do so under enemy attack. The infantry must maintain their cohesion and readiness during the move to ensure their usefulness when they reach their objective. Traditionally, infantry have relied on their own legs for mobility, but mechanised or armoured infantry often uses trucks and armoured vehicles for transport. These units can quickly disembark and transition to light infantry, without vehicles, to access terrain which armoured vehicles can't effectively access.


Reconnaissance/intelligence gathering

Surveillance operations are often carried out with the employment of small recon units or sniper teams which gather information about the enemy, reporting on characteristics such as size, activity, location, unit and equipment. These infantry units typically are known for their stealth and ability to operate for periods of time within close proximity of the enemy without being detected. They may engage high-profile targets, or be employed to hunt down terrorist cells and insurgents within a given area. These units may also entice the enemy to engage a located recon unit, thus disclosing their location to be destroyed by more powerful friendly forces.


Military reserve force

Some assignments for infantry units involve deployment behind the front, although patrol and security operations are usually maintained in case of enemy infiltration. This is usually the best time for infantry units to integrate replacements into units and to maintain equipment. Additionally, soldiers can be rested and general readiness should improve. However, the unit must be ready for deployment at any point.


Construction/engineering

This can be undertaken either in reserve or on the front, but consists of using infantry troops as labor for construction of field positions, roads, bridges, airfields, and all other manner of structures. The infantry is often given this assignment because of the physical quantity of strong men within the unit, although it can lessen a unit's morale and limit the unit's ability to maintain readiness and perform other missions. More often, such jobs are given to specialist engineering corps.


Raids/hostage rescue

Infantry units are trained to quickly mobilise, infiltrate, enter and neutralise threat forces when appropriate combat intelligence indicates to secure a location, rescue or capture high-profile targets.


Urban combat

Urban combat poses unique challenges to the combat forces. It is one of the most complicated type of operations an infantry unit will undertake. With many places for the enemy to hide and ambush from, infantry units must be trained in how to enter a city, and systematically clear the buildings, which most likely will be booby trapped, in order to kill or capture enemy personnel within the city. Care must be taken to differentiate innocent civilians who often hide and support the enemy from the non-uniformed armed enemy forces. Civilian and military casualties both are usually very high.


Day to day service

Because of an infantryman's duties with firearms, explosives, physical and Combat stress reaction, emotional stress, and physical violence, casualties and deaths are not uncommon in both war and in peacetime training or operations. It is a highly dangerous and demanding combat service; in World War II, military doctors concluded that the average American soldier fighting in Italy was psychologically worn out after about 200 days of combat. The physical, mental, and environmental operating demands of the infantryman are high. All of the combat necessities such as ammunition, weapon systems, food, water, clothing, and shelter are carried on the backs of the infantrymen, at least in light role as opposed to mounted/mechanised. Combat loads of over 36 kg (80 lbs) are standard, and greater loads in excess of 45 kg (100 lbs) are very common. These heavy loads, combined with long foot patrols of over a day, in any climate from in temperature, require the infantryman to be in good physical and mental condition. Infantrymen live, fight and die outdoors in all types of brutal climates, often with no physical shelter. Poor climate conditions adds misery to this already demanding existence. Disease epidemics, frostbite, heat stroke, trench foot, insect and wild animal bites are common along with stress disorders and these have sometimes caused more casualties than enemy action. Some infantry units are considered Special Forces. The earliest Special Forces commando units were more highly trained infantrymen, with special weapons, equipment, and missions. Special Forces units recruit heavily from regular infantry units to fill their ranks.


Air force and naval infantry

Naval infantry, commonly known as
marines Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in Littoral Zone, littoral zones in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard th ...

marines
, are primarily a category of infantry that form part of the naval forces of states and perform roles on land and at sea, including Amphibious warfare, amphibious operations, as well as other, naval roles. They also perform other tasks, including land warfare, separate from naval operations. Air force infantry and base defense forces, such as the RAF Regiment, Royal Air Force Regiment, Airfield Defence Guards, Royal Australian Air Force Airfield Defence Guards, and Paskhas, Indonesian Air Force Paskhas Corps are used primarily for ground-based defense of air bases and other air force facilities. They also have a number of other, specialist roles. These include, among others, CBRN defense, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defence and training other airmen in basic ground defense tactics.


See also

* Air assault * Airborne infantry * Armoured infantry#The present day, Armoured infantry * Combined arms * Foot guards * Fusiliers * Grenadiers * Indonesian Army infantry battalions * Infantry Branch (United States) * Infantry of the British Army * Infantry tactics * Line infantry * Marines * Mechanized infantry * Infantry#Organization, Medium infantry * Marine (military) * Motorised infantry * Mountain troops * Mounted infantry * United States Army Rangers * Riflemen * Royal Canadian Infantry Corps * School of Infantry * Special forces * Pathfinder (military)


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* English, John A., Gudmundsson, Bruce I., ''On Infantry'', (Revised edition), The Military Profession series, Praeger Publishers, London, 1994. . * ''The Times'', Earl Wavell, Thursday, 19 April 194
In Praise of Infantry
* Tobin, James, ''Ernie Pyle's War: America's Eyewitness to World War II'', Free Press, 1997. * Mauldin, Bill, Ambrose, Stephen E., ''Up Front'', W. W. Norton, 2000. * Trogdon, Robert W., ''Ernest Hemingway: A Literary Reference'', Da Capo Press, 2002. * ''The New York Times'', Maj Gen C T Shortis, British Director of Infantry, 4 February 1985. * Heinl, Robert Debs, ''Dictionary of Military and Naval Quotations'', Plautus in ''The Braggart Captain'' (3rd century AD), Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1978. * Nafziger, George, ''Napoleon's Invasion of Russia'', Presidio Press, 1998. * McManus, John C. ''Grunts: inside the American infantry combat experience, World War II through Iraq'' New York, NY: NAL Caliber. 2010 plu
Webcast Author Lecture
at the Pritzker Military Library on 29 September 2010.


External links

* Historic films and photos showing Infantries in World War I a
europeanfilmgateway.eu


by Field-Marshal Earl Wavell; First published in "The Times," Thursday, 19 April 1945.

KFOR: KFOR Chronicle.
Web Version of U.S. Army Field Manual 3-21.8
– The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad. * — includes several drawings {{Authority control Infantry, Combat occupations