Military branch

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Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the national armed forces of a sovereign nation or state. In classical NATO terminology, the three basic military branches are the Army, Air Force, and Navy.

Specialized branches

Countries which do not have access to any of the high seas or any oceans generally do not have a national navy.

In some countries there might be other military branches. In addition to the above-mentioned military branches, examples are:

Emblems of some countries

Unified forces

The Canadian Armed Forces is the unified armed forces of Canada. While it has three environmental commands - namely Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force - it remains a single military service.

Historical development

The military branches came into being in line with military technical progress and have been developed permanently. With that background, the air force was established early in the 20th century as one of the latest armed service.

The army is traditionally the oldest – and in many countries the biggest armed service.