A soldier is one who fights as part of an army. A soldier can be a
conscripted or volunteer enlisted person, a non-commissioned officer,
or an officer.
2 Occupational designations
3 Other terms
4 Career soldiers and conscripts
4.1 Women as soldiers
5 See also
7 External links
The word soldier derives from the
Middle English word soudeour, from
Old French soudeer or soudeour, meaning mercenary, from soudee,
meaning shilling's worth or wage, from sou or soud, shilling. The
word is also related to the
Medieval Latin soldarius, meaning soldier
(literally, "one having pay"). These words ultimately derive from
Late Latin word solidus, referring to an Ancient Roman coin used
in the Byzantine Empire.
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 (a member of tank
crew), commando, dragoon, infantryman, artilleryman, marine,
paratrooper, grenadier, ranger, sniper, engineer, sapper, craftsman,
signaller, medic, or a gunner.
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 British
Army are known as "red caps"
because of the colour of their caps (and berets).
Infantry are sometimes called "grunts" (in the United States
United States Marine Corps) or "squaddies" (in the British Army),
Army artillery crews, or "gunners," are sometimes referred
to as "redlegs", from the service branch color for artillery.[citation
needed] U.S. soldiers are often called "G.I.s" (short for the term
"General Issue"). Members of the Marine
Corps are typically referred
to as "marines" rather than "soldiers".
In the United States, the term warfighter is often used to refer
collectively to all whose job it is to do the actual fighting,
although in 2011 the U.S.
Army officially started calling its combat
personnel soldiers instead of warfighters, in part to avoid confusion
among "warfighters" assigned to peace-keeping or other types of duties
beyond combat activities. The army has not completely phased out
this terminology and still uses "warfighter" in various contexts such
as the Project Manager Warfighter Information Network-Tactical.
Infantry are called marsouins (French: porpoises)
because of their amphibious role.
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
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 United States, military members can
retire after 20 years. In other countries, the term of service is
30 years, hence the term "30-year man".
Women as soldiers
According to the United Nations, 10-30% of all soldiers worldwide are
Military use of children
^ a b Mish, Frederick C., ed. (2004). "soldier". Merriam-Webster's
Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.
^ a b Harper, Douglas (2010). "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved
17 August 2010.
^ "Don't call a Marine a soldier or sailor". The News-Times. Danbury,
CT. September 25, 2005. Retrieved January 28. Check date values
in: access-date= (help)
^ Patton, Mark (2011-08-14). "Wordsmiths take aim at simplifying
acronyms for Army". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
Citing the potential for ambiguity in meaning of term "warfighter"
(which could, like the term "firefighter" be read to mean "one who
fights to stop or prevent wars").
^ "20-Year Retirement". Armytimes.com. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
^ admin. "Congolese young women participating in conflict must
actively participate in post-conflict stabilisation -".
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Look up soldier in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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Soldier at Wikimedia Commons