Soldier: Wikis


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Bundeswehr G36.jpg
German soldiers in Bosnia
Type Profession
Activity sectors Military
Competencies Physical and intellectual abilities
Fields of employment Army
Related jobs Commando
Police officer

A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary.[1] In most languages, "soldier" includes commissioned and non-commissioned officers in national land forces.


Non-English equivalents

The common Roman's origin for the words soldier and payment survives not only in French as soldat and solde, but also in other languages, like German Soldat and Sold, Romanian Soldat, Spanish soldado and sueldo, Portuguese soldado and soldo, Dutch soldaat and soldij, Italian soldato and soldo, Arabic "جندي" (Jondi), or "مجنّد" (mojannad), or "عسكري" (askari) in the Lebanese dialect, Turkish asker.

Common military ranks
Navies Armies Air forces
Admiral of
the Fleet
Marshal /
Field Marshal
Marshal of
the Air Force
Admiral General Air Marshal
Commodore Brigadier Air Commodore
Captain Colonel Group Captain
Commander Lt. Colonel Wing Commander
Lt. Commander Major / Commandant Squadron Leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight Lieutenant
Sub-Lieutenant Lieutenant Flying Officer
Ensign 2nd Lieutenant Pilot Officer
Midshipman Officer Cadet Officer Cadet
Seamen, soldiers and airmen
Warrant Officer Sergeant Major Warrant Officer
Petty Officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading Seaman Corporal Corporal
Seaman Private Aircraftman

In the Russian language the word soldier is also "солдат" (soldat), although it is not related to the Russian word for money, but was borrowed from German use. In some languages the word "soldier" is derived from different etymologies. For example Estonian sõdur is derived from word sõda, which means "war," and Finnish sotilas, soturi, and sota, meaning "war." In Scottish Gaelic saighdear is derived from the word saighead, meaning arrow, a cognate with the star sign sagittarius.

Occupational designations

In most armed forces the word soldier has been mostly abandoned, due to the increasing specialization of military occupations that require different areas of knowledge and skill-sets. As a result, "soldier" has been replaced by names which reflect an individual's military occupation specialty Arm, Service or Branch of military employment, their type of unit, or operational employment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, Commando, dragoon, infantryman, marine, paratrooper, ranger, sniper, engineer, sapper, or a gunner.

U.S. Army Soldiers in Baghdad, Iraq in 2007

Other terms

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 U.K. are known as "redcaps" from the colour of their berets or other headwear.

In the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps, infantrymen are called "grunts," while artillerymen are sometimes referred to as "redlegs," from the branch color for artillery.

French Marine Infantry are called marsouins (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.

For example, U.S. Marines are sometimes called jar-heads because of their "high and tight" haircuts and the way they wear their hats makes their heads look like the cap of a jar or decanter.

See also


  1. ^ "mercenary." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 16 May. 2009. <>.

External links

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to The Soldier article)

From Wikisource

The Soldier
This is a disambiguation page, which lists works which share the same title. If an article link referred you here, please consider editing it to point directly to the intended page.

The Soldier may refer to:

Simple English

A soldier is a person who is a part of an army.

If people fight in irregular (not normal forces (armies not wearing a uniform, and not part of the official military (fighting group) of a nation), they are called partisans if they fight against another nation's army, or terrorists, if they fight civilians.

Partisans and terrorists are less protected by the law than soldiers.

Soldiers can be volunteers or conscripts (their nation calls upon them to fight).

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