The organization that deters states from imposing their political will on other states by force. In the case of America, it provides the muscle necessary to back up the Bill of Rights' guaranteed freedoms. Members of the American military give up most of their civil rights to protect (by force, and with lives, if necessary) the rights of the civilian population at large. A good example would be the free expression of opinions, such as krimson's writeup below.

Many people confuse the military with the military industrial complex of contractors and congressmen--Congress and corporations both work for money. Look at a military pay chart, and you'll realize that nobody in the military is in it for the paycheck.

The organisation that allows a state to impose its political will on other states by force. In the case of America, it provides the muscle necessary to ensure that human rights are not granted to people where this would hurt profitability of corporations. Members of the American military are workers who give up their civil rights to protect the interests of the small capitalist class. A good example would be how the US gives the Colombian government military aid so that it can keep murdering trade unionists.

A group of individuals who have chosen to work in one of many vocational or administrative fields with many occupational hazards and drawbacks, some of which are: being shot at, nuked, attacked with biological and chemical agents, sucked through jet intakes, bombed by terrorists and/or aircraft, hacked in half by rotor arcs, separated from one's friends and family, and generally looked down upon by the general populace of the country one is fighting for. Most of individuals work for less than minimum wage, inhabit communal living areas, and work shifts of undetermined length (i.e. working until the job is done). The sad fact is, almost all of these people are citizens of their home country, or are working so that they may be. They know not what a weekend or holiday is. Christmas is not a sacred thing within the ranks. You see your family when your commanding officer says you may. All this so that -your- family can sleep at night and that your rights are protected.

bigd, standing the 0000-0800 watch, NAF Atsugi, Japan

Begin soapbox. While I appreciate, and more or less agree with, the other ideas expressed here, I need to play devil's advocate.

I served in the U.S. Navy for four years (1994-1998). Without going into much detail, personal and economic realities compelled me to take that career detour, and in retrospect it was not such a bad deal.

Granted, the US military is not for everyone. Granted, it is less than admirable in a number of respects. Granted, you could get killed or maimed quite easily, even in peacetime. In fact even conceding all the points made on this page by other noders, military service, for some people, still is not that bad a choice.

In my brief tour of duty, I met lots of people who came from circumstances of extreme poverty, gang activity, drug abuse, crime, and a host of other problems. Some, like me, were merely suburban kids that needed some discipline. Regardless of what brought them there, the military brought them a degree of physical security, steady income, a support structure, the possibility of college, and invaluable life skills (self-discipline, integrity, honor, etc). For many people, and I was told this dozens of times, the military was the only way out of whatever mess they were in, their only hope of having a decent life.

My point is this: military service is not for everyone but there is a significant number of people in this country who would be in jail, on welfare, gang-banging, or who-knows-what without it. End soapbox.

Mil"i*ta*ry (?), a. [L. militaris, militarius, from miles, militis, soldier: cf. F. militaire.]


Of or pertaining to soldiers, to arms, or to war; belonging to, engaged in, or appropriate to, the affairs of war; as, a military parade; military discipline; military bravery; military conduct; military renown.

Nor do I, as an enemy to peace, Troop in the throngs of military men. Shak.


Performed or made by soldiers; as, a military election; a military expedition.


Military law. See Martial law, under Martial. -- Military order. a A command proceeding from a military superior. (b) An association of military persons under a bond of certain peculiar rules; especially, such an association of knights in the Middle Ages, or a body in modern times taking a similar form, membership of which confers some distinction. -- Military tenure, tenure of land, on condition of performing military service.


© Webster 1913.

Mil"i*ta*ry, n. [Cf. F. militaire.]

The whole body of soldiers; soldiery; militia; troops; the army.


© Webster 1913.

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