|Land Forces of France|
|Armée de terre|
|Active||15th century – present|
|Size||117,000 active plus 15,750 reserves|
|Part of||French Armed Forces|
|Nickname(s)||La grande muette|
"The great mute one"
|Motto(s)||Honneur et Patrie|
"Honour and Fatherland"
|Colors on logo:||Red, White, and Blue|
|Chef d'État-Major de l'Armée de Terre, CEMAT||Général d'armée Thierry Burkhard|
|Major Général de l'Armée de Terre||Général de corps d'armée Bernard Barrera|
The French Army, officially the Ground Army (French: Armée de terre [aʀme də tɛʀ] , lit. Army of land) to distinguish it from the French Air Force, Armée de l'Air or Air Army, is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces. It is responsible to the Government of France, along with the other four components of the Armed Forces. The current Chief of Staff of the French Army (CEMAT) is General Thierry Burkhard, a direct subordinate of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CEMA). General Burkhar is also responsible, in part, to the Ministry of the Armed Forces for organization, preparation, use of forces, as well as planning and programming, equipment and Army future acquisitions. For active service, Army units are placed under the authority of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CEMA), who is responsible to the President of France for planning for, and use, of forces.
The French Air Force[aʀme də lɛʀ], literally Army of the Air) is the air force of the French Armed Forces. It was formed in 1909 as the Service Aéronautique, a service arm of the French Army, then was made an independent military arm in 1934. The number of aircraft in service with the French Air Force varies depending on source, however sources from the French Ministry of Defence give a figure of 658 aircraft in 2014. The French Air Force has 225 combat aircraft in service, with the majority being 117 Dassault Mirage 2000 and 108 Dassault Rafale. As of early 2017, the French Air Force employs a total of 41,160 regular personnel. The reserve element of the air force consisted of 5,187 personnel of the Operational Reserve.
An army or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch, service branch or armed service of a nation or state. It may also include aviation assets by possessing an army aviation component. In certain states, the term army refers to the entire armed forces. Within a national military force, the word army may also mean a field army.
The French Armed Forces encompass the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the National Guard and the Gendarmerie of the French Republic. The President of France heads the armed forces as chef des armées.
All soldiers are considered professionals following the suspension of conscription, voted in parliament in 1997 and made effective in 2001.
Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a very large and powerful military. Most European nations later copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and then transfer to the reserve force.
The French Parliament is the bicameral legislature of the French Republic, consisting of the Senate and the National Assembly. Each assembly conducts legislative sessions at a separate location in Paris: the Palais du Luxembourg for the Senate and the Palais Bourbon for the National Assembly.
As of 2017 [update] , the French Army employed 117,000 personnel (including the French Foreign Legion and the Paris Fire Brigade). In addition, the reserve element of the French Army consisted of 15,453 personnel of the Operational Reserve.
The French Foreign Legion is a military service branch of the French Army established in 1831. Legionnaires are highly trained infantry soldiers and the Legion is unique in that it is open to foreign recruits willing to serve in the French Armed Forces. When it was founded, the French Foreign Legion was not unique; other foreign formations existed at the time in France. Commanded by French officers, it is open to French citizens, who amounted to 24% of the recruits in 2007. The Foreign Legion is today known as a unit whose training focuses on traditional military skills and on its strong esprit de corps, as its men come from different countries with different cultures. This is a way to strengthen them enough to work as a team. Consequently, training is often described as not only physically challenging, but also very stressful psychologically. French citizenship may be applied for after three years' service. The Legion is the only part of the French military that does not swear allegiance to France, but to the Foreign Legion itself. Any soldier who gets wounded during a battle for France can immediately apply to be a French citizen under a provision known as "Français par le sang versé". As of 2008, members come from 140 countries.
The Paris Fire Brigade is a French Army unit which serves as the primary fire and rescue service for Paris, the city's inner suburbs and certain sites of national strategic importance.
The military reserve forces of France are the military reserve force within the French Armed Forces.
In 1999, the Army issued the Code of the French Soldier, which includes the injunctions:
|“||(...) Mastering his own strength, he respects his opponent and is careful to spare civilians. He obeys orders while respecting laws, customs of war and international conventions.(...) He is aware of global societies and respects their differences. (...)||”|
The first permanent army, paid with regular wages, instead of feudal levies, was established under Charles VII in the 1420–30s. The Kings of France needed reliable troops during and after the Hundred Years' War. These units of troops were raised by issuing ordonnances to govern their length of service, composition and payment. These Compagnies d'ordonnance formed the core of the Gendarme Cavalry into the sixteenth century. Stationed throughout France and summoned into larger armies as needed. There was also provision made for "Francs-archers" units of bowmen and foot soldiers raised from the non-noble classes but these units were disbanded once war ended.
Charles VII, called the Victorious or the Well-Served, was King of France from 1422 to his death in 1461.
The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the French House of Valois, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Each side drew many allies into the war. It was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, and the development of strong national identities in both countries.
The bulk of the infantry for warfare was still provided by urban or provincial militias, raised from an area or city to fight locally and named for their recruiting grounds. Gradually these units became more permanent, and in 1480s Swiss instructors were recruited and some of the 'Bandes' (Militia) were combined to form temporary 'Legions' of up to 9000 men. These men would be paid and contracted and receive training.
Henry II further regularised the French army by forming standing Infantry regiments to replace the Militia structure. The first of these—the Régiments de Picardie, Piémont, Navarre and Champagne—were called Les Vieux Corps (The Old Corps). It was normal policy to disband regiments after a war was over as a cost saving measure with the Vieux Corps and the King's own Household Troops the Maison du Roi being the only survivors.
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559. The second son of Francis I, he became Dauphin of France upon the death of his elder brother Francis III, Duke of Brittany, in 1536.
The maison militaire du roi de France, in English the military household of the king of France, was the military part of the French royal household or Maison du Roi under the Ancien Régime. The term only appeared in 1671, though such a gathering of units pre-dates this. Like the rest of the royal household, the military household was under the authority of the Secretary of State for the Maison du Roi, but it depended on the ordinaire des guerres for its budget. Under Louis XIV, these two officers of state were given joint command of the military household.
Regiments could be raised directly by the King and so called after the region in which they were raised, or by the nobility and so called after the noble or his appointed colonel. When Louis XIII came to the throne he disbanded most of the regiments in existence leaving only the Vieux and a handful of others which became known as the Petite Vieux and also gained the privilege of not being disbanded after a war.
In 1684 there was a major reorganisation of the French infantry and again in 1701 to fit in with Louis XIV's plans and the War of the Spanish Succession. This reshuffle created many of the modern regiments of the French Army and standardised their equipment and tactics. The army of the Sun King tended to wear grey-white coats with coloured linings. There were exceptions and the foreign troops, recruited from outside France, wore red (Swiss, Irish...) or blue (Germans, Scots...) while the French Guards wore blue. In addition to these regiments of the line the Maison du Roi provided several elite units, the Swiss Guards, French Guards and the Regiments of Musketeers being the most famous. The white/grey coated French Infantry of the line Les Blancs with their Charleville muskets were a feared foe on the battlefields of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, fighting in the Nine Years' War, the Wars of Spanish and Austrian Succession, the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution.
The revolution split the army with the main mass losing most of its officers to aristocratic flight or guillotine and becoming demoralised and ineffective. The French Guard joined the revolt and the Swiss Guards were massacred during the storming of the Tuileries palace. The remnants of the royal army were then joined to the revolutionary militias known as sans-culottes, and the "National Guard" a more middle class militia and police force, to form the French Revolutionary Army.
From 1792, the French Revolutionary Army fought against various combinations of European powers, initially reliant on large numbers and basic tactics, it was defeated bloodily but survived and drove its opponents first from French soil and then overran several countries creating client states.
Under Napoleon I, the French Army conquered most of Europe during the Napoleonic Wars. Professionalising again from the Revolutionary forces and using columns of attack with heavy artillery support and swarms of pursuit cavalry the French army under Napoleon and his marshals was able to outmanoeuvre and destroy the allied armies repeatedly until 1812. Napoleon introduced the concept of all arms Corps, each one a traditional army 'in miniature', permitting the field force to be split across several lines of march and rejoin or to operate independently. The Grande Armée operated by seeking a decisive battle with each enemy army and then destroying them in detail before rapidly occupying territory and forcing a peace.
In 1812 Napoleon marched on Moscow seeking to remove Russian influence from eastern Europe and secure the frontiers of his empire and client states. The campaign initially went well but the vast distances of the Russian Steppe and the cold winter forced his army into a shambling retreat preyed on by Russian raids and pursuit. The Grand Army of the 1812 Campaign could not be replaced and with the "ulcer" of the ongoing peninsular war against Britain and Portugal in Spain the French army was badly short of trained troops and French manpower was almost exhausted.
After Napoleon's abdication and return, halted by an Anglo-Dutch and Prussian alliance at Waterloo, the French army was placed back under the restored Bourbon Monarchy. The structure remained largely unchanged and many officers of the Empire retained their positions.
The Bourbon restoration was a time of political instability with the country constantly on the verge of political violence.
The army was committed to a defense of the Spanish monarchy in 1824, achieving its aims in six months, but did not fully withdraw until 1828, in contrast to the earlier Napoleonic invasion this expedition was rapid and successful.
Taking advantage of the weakness of the bey of Algiers France invaded in 1830 and again rapidly overcame initial resistance, the French government formally annexed Algeria but it took nearly 45 years to fully pacify the country. This period of French history saw the creation of the Armée d’Afrique, which included the French Foreign Legion. The Army was now uniformed in dark blue coats and red trousers, which it would retain until the First World War.
The news of the fall of Algiers had barely reached Paris in 1830 when the Bourbon Monarchy was overthrown and replaced by the constitutional Orleans Monarchy, the mobs proved too much for the troops of the Maison du Roi and the main body of the French Army, sympathetic to the crowds, did not become heavily involved.
In 1848 a wave of revolutions swept Europe and brought an end to the Bourbon monarchy. The army was largely uninvolved in the street fighting in Paris which overthrew the King but later in the year troops were used in the suppression of the more radical elements of the new Republic which led to the election of Napoleon's nephew as president.
The Pope had been forced out of Rome as part of the Revolutions of 1848, and Louis Napoleon sent a 14,000 man expeditionary force of troops to the Papal State under General Nicolas Charles Victor Oudinot to restore him. In late April 1849, it was defeated and pushed back from Rome by Giuseppi Garibaldi's volunteer corps, but then recovered and recaptured Rome.
The French army was among the first in the world to be issued with Minié rifles, just in time for the Crimean War against Russia, allied with Britain. This invention gave line infantry a weapon with a much longer range and greater accuracy and would lead to new flexible tactics. The French army was more experienced at mass manoeuvre and war fighting than the British and the reputation of the French army was greatly enhanced.
A series of colonial expeditions followed and in 1856 France joined the Second Opium War on the British side against China; obtaining concessions. French troops were deployed into Italy against the Austrians, the first use of railways for mass movement.
The French army was now considered to be an example to others and military missions to Japan and the emulation of French Zouaves in other militaries added to this prestige. However, an expedition to Mexico failed to create a stable puppet régime.
In 1870 France was humiliated by defeat in the Franco-Prussian war. The army had far superior infantry weapons in the form of the Chassepot and an early type of machine-gun but its tactics were inferior and by allowing the invading German force the initiative the army was rapidly bottled up into its fortress towns and defeated. The loss of prestige within the army lead to a great emphasis on aggression and close quarter tactics.
In August 1914, the French Armed Forces numbered 1,300,000 soldiers. During the Great War, the French had called up 8,817,000 men, including 900,000 colonial troops. During the war around 1,397,000 French soldiers were killed in action, mostly on the Western Front. It was the most deadly conflict in French history. The main generals were: Joseph Joffre, Ferdinand Foch, Charles Mangin, Philippe Pétain, Robert Nivelle, Franchet d'Esperey and Maurice Sarrail (See French Army in World War I). At the beginning of the war, the French Army was wearing the uniform of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, but the uniform was unsuited to the trenches, and so in 1915 the French Army replaced the uniform, with the Adrian helmet replacing the képi. A uniform with a capote, of bleu-horizon colour adopted to the trenches, was adopted, and the uniform for colonial soldiers coloured khaki.
At the beginning of the Battle of France the French Army deployed 2,240,000 combatants grouped into 94 divisions (of which 20 were active and 74 were reservists) from the Swiss border to the North Sea. These numbers did not include the Army of the Alps facing Italy and 600,000 men dispersed through the French colonial empire are not included in this figure. After defeat in 1940, the Vichy French regime was allowed to retain 100–120,000 personnel in unoccupied France, and larger forces in the French Empire: more than 220,000 in Africa (including 140,000 in French North Africa),and forces in Mandate Syria and French Indochina.
After 1945, despite enormous efforts in the First Indochina War of 1945–54 and the Algerian War of 1954–62, both lands eventually left French control. French units stayed in Germany after 1945, forming the French Forces in Germany. 5th Armored Division stayed on in Germany after 1945, while 1st and 3rd Armoured Divisions were established in Germany in 1951. However NATO-assigned formations were withdrawn to fight in Algeria; 5th Armoured Division was withdrawn in 1956. From 1948 to 1966, many French Army units fell under the integrated NATO Military Command Structure.Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Central Europe was a French Army officer, and many key NATO staff positions were filled by Frenchmen. While an upper limit of 14 French divisions committed to NATO had been set by the Treaty of Paris, the total did not exceed six divisions during the Indochina War, and during the Algerian War the total fell as low as two divisions.
The Army created two parachute divisions in 1956, the 10th Parachute Division under the command of General Jacques Massu and the 25th Parachute Division under the command of General Sauvagnac.After the Algiers putsch, the two divisions, with the 11th Infantry Division, were merged into a new light intervention division, the 11th Light Intervention Division, on 1 May 1961.
At the end of World War II France was immediately confronted with the beginnings of the decolonisation movement. The French army, which had employed indigenous North African spahis and tirailleurs in almost all of its campaigns since 1830, was the leading force in opposition to decolonization, which was perceived as a humiliation.In Algeria the Army repressed an extensive rising in and around Sétif in May 1945 with heavy fire: figures for Algerian deaths vary between 45,000 as claimed by Radio Cairo at the time and the official French figure of 1,020.
The Army saw maintaining control of Algeria as a high priority. By this time, one million French settlers had established themselves, alongside an indigenous population of nine million. When it decided that politicians were about to sell them out and give independence to Algeria, the Army engineered a military coup that toppled the civilian government and put General de Gaulle back in power in the May 1958 crisis. De Gaulle, however, recognized that Algeria was a dead weight and had to be cut free. Four retired generals then launched the Algiers putsch of 1961 against de Gaulle himself, but it failed. After 400,000 deaths, Algeria finally became independent. Hundreds of thousands of Harkis, Moslems loyal to Paris, went into exile in France, where they and their children and grandchildren remain in poorly assimilated "banlieue" suburbs.
The Army repressed the Malagasy Uprising in Madagascar in 1947. French officials estimated the number of Malagasy killed from a low of 11,000 to a French Army estimate of 89,000.
During the Cold War, the French Army, though not part of NATO's military command structure, planned for the defence of Western Europe.In 1977 the French Army switched from multi-brigade divisions to smaller divisions of about four to five battalions/regiments each. From the early 1970s, 2nd Army Corps was stationed in South Germany, and effectively formed a reserve for NATO's Central Army Group. In the 1980s, 3rd Army Corps headquarters was moved to Lille and planning started for its use in support of NATO's Northern Army Group. The Rapid Action Force of five light divisions, including the new 4th Airmobile and 6th Light Armoured Divisions, was also intended as a NATO reinforcement force. In addition, the 152nd Infantry Division was maintained to guard the S3 intercontinental ballistic missile base on the Plateau d'Albion.
In the 1970s–1980s, two light armoured divisions were planned to be formed from school staffs (the 12th and 14th). The 12th Light Armoured Division (12 DLB) was to have its headquarters to be formed on the basis of the staff of the Armoured and Cavalry Branch Training School (French acronym EAABC) at Saumur.
In the late 1970s an attempt was made to form 14 reserve light infantry divisions, but this plan, which included the recreation of the 109th Infantry Division, was too ambitious. The planned divisions included the 102nd, 104e, 107e, 108e, 109e, 110e, 111e, 112e, 114e, 115th, and 127th Infantry Divisions. From June 1984, the French Army reserve consisted of 22 military divisions, administering all reserve units in a certain area, seven brigades de zone de defence, 22 regiments interarmees divisionnaires, and the 152nd Infantry Division, defending the ICBM launch sites.The plan was put into action from 1985, and brigades de zone, such as the 107th Brigade de Zone, were created. But with the putting-in-place of the "Réserves 2000" plan, the brigades de zone were finally disbanded by mid-1993.
1st Army Corps was disbanded on 1 July 1990.
In February 1996 the President of the Republic decided on a transition to a professional service force, and as part of the resulting changes, ten regiments were dissolved in 1997.The specialized support brigades were transferred on 1 July 1997 to Lunéville for the signals, Haguenau (the artillery brigade) and Strasbourg (engineers). The 2nd Armoured Division left Versailles on 1 September 1997 and was installed at Châlons-en-Champagne in place of the disbanding 10th Armoured Division. On 5 March 1998, in view of the ongoing structural adoptions of the French Army, the Minister of Defence decided to disband III Corps, and the dissolution became effective 1 July 1998. The headquarters transitioned to become Headquarters Commandement de la force d'action terrestre (CFAT) (the Land Forces Action Command).
During the late 1990s, during the professionalisation process, numbers dropped from the 236,000 (132,000 conscripts) in 1996 to around 140,000.By June 1999, the Army's strength had dropped to 186,000, including around 70,000 conscripts. 38 of 129 regiments were planned to be stood down from 1997–99. The previous structure's nine 'small' divisions and sundry separate combat and combat support brigades were replaced by nine combat and four combat support brigades. The Rapid Action Force, a corps of five small rapid-intervention divisions formed in 1983, was also disbanded, though several of its divisions were re-subordinated.
Opération Sentinelle is a French military operation with 10,000 soldiers and 4,700 police and gendarmes deployedsince the aftermath of the January 2015 Île-de-France attacks, with the objective of protecting sensitive "points" of the territory from terrorism. It was reinforced during the November 2015 Paris attacks, and is part of an ongoing state of emergency in France due to continued terror threats and attacks.
The organisation of the army is fixed by Chapter 2 of Title II of Book II of the Third Part of the Code of Defense, notably resulting in the codification of Decree 2000-559 of 21 June 2000.
In terms of Article R.3222-3 of the Code of Defence,the Army comprises:
The French Army was reorganized in 2016. The new organisation consists of two combined divisions (carrying the heritage of 1st Armored and 3rd Armored divisions) and given three combat brigades to supervise each. There is also the Franco-German Brigade. The 4th Airmobile Brigade was reformed to direct the three combat helicopter regiments. There are also several division-level (niveau divisionnaire) specialized commands including Intelligence, Information and communication systems, Maintenance, Logistics, Special Forces, Army Light Aviation, Foreign Legion, National Territory, Training.
The Army is divided into arms (armes). They include the Troupes de Marine , the Armoured Cavalry Arm (Arme Blindée Cavalerie), the Artillery, the Engineering Arm (l'arme du génie); the Infantry, which includes the Chasseurs Alpins, specialist mountain infantry, Materiel Matériel ; Logistics (Train); Signals (Transmissions). Parachute units are maintained by several of the armes.
The Légion étrangère (French Foreign Legion) was established in 1831 for foreign nationals willing to serve in the French Armed Forces. The Legion is commanded by French officers. It is an elite military unit numbering around 7,000 troops. The Legion has gained worldwide recognition for its service, most recently in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan since 2001. It is not strictly an Arme but a commandement particulier, whose regiments belong to several arms, notably the infantry and the engineering arm.
The Troupes de marine are the former Colonial Troops of the l'Armee de terre. They are the first choice units for overseas deployment and recruit on this basis. They are composed of Marine Infantry (Infanterie de Marine) (which includes parachute regiments such as 1er RPIMa and a tank unit, the RICM) and the Marine Artillery (Artillerie de Marine).
The Aviation légère de l'Armée de terre (ALAT, which translates as Army Light Aviation), was established on 22 November 1954 for observation, reconnaissance, assault and supply duties. It operates numerous helicopters in support of the French Army, its primary attack helicopter is the Eurocopter Tiger, of which 80 were ordered. It is an Arme with a commandement particulier.
On the administrative side, there are now no more than one Direction and two services.
The Army Human Resources Directorate (DRHAT) manages human resources (military and civilian) of the Army and training.
The two Services are the service of ground equipment, and the integrated structure of operational maintenance of terrestrial materials (SIMMT, former DCMAT). This joint oriented service is responsible for project management support for all land equipment of the French army. The holding-operational equipment the Army is headed by the Service de maintenance industrielle terrestre (SMITer).
Historically there were other services of the Army who were all grouped together with their counterparts in other components to form joint agencies serving the entire French Armed Forces.
After the health service and the service of species replaced respectively by the French Defence Health service and Military Fuel Service, other services have disappeared in recent years:
The Army Commissariat was dissolved on 31 December 2009 and intégrated into the joint-service Service du commissariat des armées.
There is the Diocese of the French Armed Forces which provides pastoral care to Catholic members of the Army. It is headed by Luc Ravel and is headquartered in Les Invalides.
For many years up to 19 military regions were active (see fr:Région militaire). The 10th Military Region (France) supervised French Algeria during the Algerian War.However, by the 1980s the number had been reduced to six: the 1st Military Region (France) with its headquarters in Paris, the 2nd Military Region (France) at Lille, the 3rd Military Region (France) at Rennes, the 4th Military Region (France) at Bordeaux, the 5th and 6th at Lyons and Metz respectively. Each supervised up to five division militaire territoriale – military administrative sub-divisions, in 1984 sometimes supervising up to three reserve regiments each. Today, under the latest thorough reform of the French security and defence sector, there are seven fr:Zone de défense et de sécurité each with a territorial ground army region: Paris (or Île-de-France, HQ in Paris), Nord (HQ in Lille), Ouest (HQ in Rennes), Sud-Ouest (HQ in Bordeaux), Sud (HQ in Marseille), Sud-Est (HQ in Lyon), Est (HQ in Strasbourg).
There are two types of enlistment for French army soldiers:
NCOs serve on permanent contracts, or exceptionally on renewable five years-contracts. NCO candidates are either EVAT or direct entry civilians. High school diploma giving access to university is a requirement. École Nationale des Sous-Officiers d’Active (ENSOA), Basic NCO school of 8 months, followed by combat school of 4 to 36 weeks depending on occupational specialty. A small number of NCO candidates are trained at the Ecole Militaire de Haute Montagne (EMHM) (High Mountain Military School). NCOs with the Advanced Army Technician Certificate (BSTAT) can serve as platoon leaders.
Career officers serve on permanent contracts.
Contract officers serve on renewable contracts for a maximum of 20 years service. A bachelor's degree is required. There are two different programs, combat officers and specialist officers. Officers in both programs graduate as Second Lieutenants and may reach Lieutenant Colonels rank. Combat officers spend eight months at ESM, followed by one year at a combat school. Specialist officers spend three months at ESM, followed by a year of on the job-training within an area of specialization determined by the type of degree held.
Civilian women were hired by the French army in the First World War, thereby opening new opportunities for them, forcing a redefinition of military identity, and revealing the strength of anti-Republicanism within the Army. Officers by the 1920s accepted women as part of their institution.
In the 1970s, France adopted a light beige dress uniform which is worn with coloured kepis, sashes, fringed epaulettes, fourragères and other traditional items on appropriate occasions. The most commonly worn parade dress, however, consists of camouflage uniforms worn with the dress items noted above. The camouflage pattern, officially called Centre Europe (CE), draws heavily on the coloration incorporated into the US M81 woodland design, but with a thicker and heavier striping. A desert version called the Daguet has been worn since the First Gulf War which consist of large irregular areas of chestnut brown and light grey on a sand khaki base.
The legionnaires of the French Foreign Legion wear white kepis, blue sashes, and green and red epaulettes as dress uniform, while the Troupes de marine wear blue and red kepis and yellow epaulettes. The pioneers of the French Foreign Legion wear the basic legionnaire uniform but with leather aprons and gloves. The Chasseurs Alpins wear a large beret, known as the "tarte" (the pie) with dark blue or white mountain outfits. The Spahis retain the long white cloak or "burnous" of the regiment's origin as North African cavalry.
Gendarmes of the Republican Guard retain their late 19th century dress uniforms, as do the military cadets of Saint-Cyr and the École Polytechnique.A dark blue/black evening dress is authorized for officers and individual branches or regiments may parade bands or "fanfares" in historic dress dating as far back as the Napoleonic period.
The Luxembourg Army is the national military force of Luxembourg. The army has been an all-volunteer force since 1967. It has a current strength of approximately 450 professional soldiers—340 enlisted recruits and 100 civilians—with a total budget of $369 million, or 0.9% of GDP.
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of three to six battalions plus supporting elements. It is roughly equivalent to an enlarged or reinforced regiment. Two or more brigades may constitute a division.
The Army Reserve is the active-duty volunteer reserve force and integrated element of the British Army. It should not be confused with the Regular Reserve whose members have formerly served full-time. The Army Reserve was previously known as the Territorial Force from 1908 to 1921, the Territorial Army (TA) from 1921 to 1967, the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve (TAVR) from 1967 to 1979, and again the Territorial Army (TA) from 1979 to 2014.
The German Army is the land component of the armed forces of Germany. The present-day German Army was founded in 1955 as part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr together with the Marine and the Luftwaffe. As of 28 February 2019, the German Army had a strength of 62,194 soldiers.
The Royal Netherlands Army is the land forces element of the military of the Netherlands.
The Land Component is the land branch of the Belgian Armed Forces. The current chief of staff of the Land Component is Major-General Marc Thys.
The Turkish Land Forces, or Turkish Army, is the main branch of the Turkish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. Official sources trace the army's foundation to Modu Chanyu of the Xiongnu Empire in 209 BC, but the modern history of the army began with its formation after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Significant events since the foundation of the army include combat in the Korean War and in the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and acting as a NATO bulwark along Cold War frontiers through 1992. The army holds the preeminent place within the armed forces. It is customary for the Chief of the General Staff of the Republic of Turkey to have been the Commander of the Turkish Land Forces prior to his appointment as Turkey's senior ranking officer. Alongside the other two armed services, the Turkish Army has frequently intervened in Turkish politics, which has now been regulated to an extent with the reform of the National Security Council. The current commander of the Turkish Land Forces is General Yaşar Güler.
The Troupe de marine are a corps of the French Army which regroups several specialties: infantry, artillery, armoured and airborne. Despite their designation, they are an integral part of the Army. The troupe de marine have been professionalized progressively since 1970.
Rank insignia in the French Army are worn on the sleeve or on shoulder marks of uniforms, and range up to the highest rank of Marshal of France, a state honour denoted with a seven-star insignia that was last conferred posthumously on Marie Pierre Koenig in 1984.
The French Forces of the Interior refers to French resistance fighters in the later stages of World War II. Charles de Gaulle used it as a formal name for the resistance fighters. The change in designation of these groups to FFI occurred as France's status changed from that of an occupied nation to one of a nation being liberated by the Allied armies. As regions of France were liberated, the FFI were more formally organized into light infantry units and served as a valuable manpower addition to regular Free French forces. In this role, the FFI units manned less active areas of the front lines, allowing regular French army units to practice economy of force measures and mass their troops in decisive areas of the front. Finally, from October 1944 and with the greater part of France liberated, the FFI units were amalgamated into the French regular forces continuing the fight on the Western Front, thus ending the era of the French irregulars in World War II.
The French Revolutionary Army was the French force that fought the French Revolutionary Wars from 1792 to 1802. These armies were characterised by their revolutionary fervour, their poor equipment and their great numbers. Although they experienced early disastrous defeats, the revolutionary armies successfully expelled foreign forces from French soil and then overran many neighboring countries, establishing client republics. Leading generals included Jourdan, Bonaparte, Masséna and Moreau.
The 3rd Army Corps was a corps-sized military formation of the French Army that fought during both World War I and World War II, and was active after World War II until finally being disbanded on 1 July 1998.
Canadian Forces Base Lahr was a military operated commercial airport located in Lahr, Germany. It was operated primarily as a French air force base, and later as a Canadian army base, beginning in the late 1960s. The military base was closed in 1994 and converted to civilian use. It is now known as the Flughafen Lahr.
The Bastille Day military parade, also known as the 14 July military parade, translation of the French name of Défilé militaire du 14 juillet, is a French military parade that has been held on the morning of 14 July each year in Paris since 1880, almost without exception. The parade passes down the Champs-Élysées from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde where the President of the French Republic, his government and foreign ambassadors to France stand.
The Army of Africa was an unofficial but commonly used term for those portions of the French Army recruited from or normally stationed in French North Africa from 1830 until the end of the Algerian War in 1962.
The French Army Light Aviation is the Army aviation service of the French Army. ALAT was established on 22 November 1954 for observation, reconnaissance, assault and supply duties.
The Army of the Levant identifies the armed forces of France and then Vichy France which occupied, and were in part recruited from, a portion of the "Levant" during the interwar period and early World War II. The locally recruited Syrian, Lebanese, Circassian, Kurdish and Druze units of this force were designated as the Special Troops of the Levant.
The Imperial Russian Army was the land armed force of the Russian Empire, active from around 1721 to the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the early 1850s, the Russian army consisted of more than 900,000 regular soldiers and nearly 250,000 irregulars.
Bernard Janvier is a former general of the French Army who served in the French Foreign Legion, primarily spearheading and putting in place effective resolving forces.
NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) is an allied, forward deployed defense and deterrence military posture in Eastern and Northern Europe to protect and reassure NATO's Eastern member states of their security. Following Russia's annexation of Crimea and War in Donbass, NATO member states agreed at the 2016 Warsaw summit to forward deploy four multinational battalion battle groups to NATO members most at risk of a possible Russian attack or invasion.
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