Difference Between Military and Army

By: | Updated: Jul-18, 2021
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The term “military” is a general term that refers to the armed forces of a country. It includes the army, navy, air force, and other military units. In contrast, the term “army” refers to the branch of the military that is responsible for the direct combat of the enemy. There are similarities between the military and army. Both of these terms also refer to the branch of the military that is responsible for the defense of a country. However, there are also some other differences between the military and army.

So, what are the other differences between the two terms? In this article, we will discuss the differences between the military and army, what they mean, what they do, and how they are actually different. Let’s begin.

Summary Table:

Military Army
The main goal is to protect the country’s interests The main goal is to defend their country against other countries
Can be peacekeepers Usually only serves as protector in terms of external attack
Has its own official headquarters Only has its headquarters when it is on the battlefield


Difference Between Military and Army

Before we talk about the differences between “military” and “army”, let’s first define what we mean by “military” and “army.” To do this, we need to take a look back at the definitions and meanings of these two words, the origin of them, and their original use.

What is Military?

It is a term that comes from the Latin word “milites” which means soldiers. The military consists of all the people who are armed and trained to fight. In other words, it includes both civilian soldiers as well as military personnel in the armed forces.

What is the Army?

The word “army” comes from the Greek word “aroi” which means those who have taken arms. The army is the fighting force of a country, consisting of soldiers and officers. It is divided into two parts: the military and civil armed forces.

What do they do?

As you can see, both the military and army are fighting forces. However, they differ in their purpose. The military’s main goal is to protect the country’s interests, while the army’s purpose is to protect its country from external enemies. Both are governed by a separate law, and are used to defend the country from threats.

Who is the military and army for?

It is generally for the army that a country’s citizens are trained to fight. They must have a set of skills and qualifications to join the army. The only exception is when a war or an invasion is being prepared, then both soldiers and officers will be recruited at once.

The army is for the country. The military is for the country’s army. That means that it is a different organization that will not be found in every country, but only in those who have armed forces and a history of fighting.

How do they protect the country?

As mentioned above, the army protects the country from external threats. It fights and defeats enemies that are found in other countries. The military can be used to protect the country from its own citizens who are not ready to fight, or may be rebellious. They will be trained by military personnel and then assigned to a particular region to maintain order.

The army is a defensive force that can only defend the country. The military, on the other hand, is a fighting force that protects its country from external threats and internal problems as well. They are trained to protect the country’s territory, defeat enemies, and solve internal problems in a peaceful manner if possible.

Military Vs Army:

As you may know, there are several words that have a similar meaning. For example, “military” and “army” are both used to describe the military forces of a country. However, these words have a slightly different meaning and are not interchangeable. Let’s look at the differences between them.

The purposes

A military force is usually made up of people, and their general purpose is to fight for their country in case of war. For example, the U.S. Army consists of men and women who are trained in different skills like fighting, weapons training, military tactics, and field operations.

The army is made up of men and women who are not trained in fighting or weapons. They are just trained to do the jobs that the military needs them to do, like driving tanks, repairing vehicles, building structures, etc. Their purpose is usually defending their country against other countries, while the military also serve as peacekeepers and protect the peace.

Role of each force

Although the military protects a country from its own people, the military has many roles, but their main role is to fight in war and defend their country. The army only serves to defend its country when it is threatened by other countries or attacked. Their role in war is usually to support their allies and other friendly forces.

The members

The military usually consists of men and women who are trained to fight in wars and defend their country. The army is usually only made up of men, but they are not all military service members or retired veterans. The army has some civilians, students, and those who are on the job training.

Leadership and power

The military has a high leadership position, which means that they have the power to make decisions, give orders, and control their subordinates in war or in peace. In the army, however, only some of the leaders are called generals or officers. These generals and officers have a lot of power and are the ones who give orders to their subordinates in war or peace.


The military has its own headquarters, which is a place where all of the commanders gather together and make decisions for the army’s battle plan. The army only has its headquarters when it is on the battlefield, which means that it does not have a headquarters when it is at peace.

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