A regular army is the official army of a state or country (the official
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, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
), contrasting with
Irregular military is any non-standard military component that is distinct from a country's national armed forces. Being defined by exclusion, there is significant variance in what comes under the term. It can refer to the type of military organi ...
, such as volunteer irregular militias, private armies,
A mercenary, sometimes known as a soldier of fortune, is a private individual, particularly a soldier, who takes part in military conflict
War is an intense armed conflict between states
State may refer to:
Arts, entertainment, and ...
, etc. A regular army usually has the following:
A standing army is a permanent, often professional, army. It is composed of full-time soldiers who may be either career soldiers or conscripts. It differs from Military reserve force, army reserves, who are enrolled for the long term, but activate ...
, the permanent force of the regular army that is maintained
Under arms describes a state of military readiness (actual or ceremonial). Typically, troops are considered "under arms" when they are in uniform
A uniform is a type of clothing
File:KangaSiyu1.jpg, A kanga (African garment), kanga, worn ...
military reserve force
A military reserve force is a military organization whose members simultaneously hold military and civilian occupations. These members are not normally kept under arms
Under arms describes a state of military readiness (actual or ceremonial). ...
that can be mobilized when needed to expand the effectiveness of the regular army by complementing the standing army.
A regular army may be:
* a ''conscript army'', including professionals, volunteers and also
Conscription, sometimes called the draft in the United States, is the mandatory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service. Conscription dates back to Ancient history, antiquity and it continues in some countries to ...
s (presence of enforced
Conscription, sometimes called the draft in the United States, is the mandatory enlistment of people in a national service
National service is a system of either compulsory or voluntary government service, usually military service. Conscription ...
, including recruits for the standing army and also a compulsory reserve).
* a ''professional army'', with no conscripts (absence of compulsory service, and presence of a voluntary reserve), is not exactly the same as a standing army, as there are standing armies both in the conscript and the professional models.
In the United Kingdom and the United States, the term ''Regular Army'' means the professional standing active duty army, as different from the reserve component: the
A military reserve force is a military organization composed of citizen-soldiers of a country who combine a military role or career with a civilian career. They are not normally kept under arms
Under arms describes a state of military readiness ...
Territorial Army may refer to:
* Territorial Army (India)
* Territorial Army (United Kingdom)
* Territorial Army (Ethiopia), part of the Ethiopian National Defense Force
* Territorial Army (Germany) part of the West German Army during the Cold War
) in the United Kingdom and the U.S. Army Reserve
Army National Guard
The Army National Guard (ARNG), in conjunction with the Air National Guard
The Air National Guard (ANG), also known as the Air Guard, is a federal military reserve force of the United States Air Force
The United States Air Force (USA ...
in the United States.
* Woodward, David. ''Armies of the world, 1854–1914''. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, cop. 1978.
Types of military forces