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A gendarmerie or gendarmery ( /
A military is a heavily-armed, highly-organised force primarily intended for warfare, also known collectively as armed forces. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an Army, Navy, Air Force and in certain countries, Marines and Coast Guard. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats, population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, social ceremonies and national honor guards.
Law enforcement is any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterring, rehabilitating, or punishing people who violate the rules and norms governing that society. Although the term encompasses entities such as courts and prisons, it is most frequently applied to those who directly engage in patrols or surveillance to dissuade and discover criminal activity, and those who investigate crimes and apprehend offenders, a task typically carried out by the police or another law enforcement organization. Furthermore, although law enforcement may be most concerned with the prevention and punishment of crimes, organizations exist to discourage a wide variety of non-criminal violations of rules and norms, effected through the imposition of less severe consequences.
France, officially the French Republic, is a sovereign state whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
The growth and expansion of gendarmerie units worldwide has been linked to an increasing reluctance by some governments to use military units typically entrusted with external defense for combating internal threats.A somewhat related phenomenon has been the formation of paramilitary units which fall under the authority of civilian police agencies. Since these are not strictly military forces, however, they are not considered gendarmerie.
A paramilitary is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, but which is formally not part of a country's armed forces.
Some of the more prominent modern gendarmerie organizations include the French National Gendarmerie, Spanish Civil Guard, Italian Carabinieri, Portuguese National Republican Guard and the Turkish Gendarmerie.
The National Gendarmerie is one of two national police forces of France, along with the National Police. It is a branch of the French Armed Forces placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior—with additional duties to the Ministry of Defense. Its area of responsibility includes smaller towns, rural and suburban areas, while the Police Nationale—a civilian force—is in charge of cities and downtowns. Due to its military status, the Gendarmerie also fulfills a range of military and defense missions. The Gendarmes also have a cybercrime division. It has a strength of more than 100,000 personnel as of 2014.
The Civil Guard is the oldest law enforcement agency covering the whole of Spain. It is organised as a military force charged with police duties under the authority of both the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence. The corps is colloquially known as the benemérita (reputable). In annual surveys, it generally ranks as the national institution most valued by Spaniards, closely followed by other law enforcement agencies and the military. It has both a regular national role and undertakes specific foreign peace-keeping missions. As a national police force, the Guardia Civil is comparable today to the French National Gendarmerie, the Italian Carabinieri, the Portuguese National Republican Guard and the Dutch Royal Marechaussee as it is part of the European Gendarmerie Force.
The Carabinieri are the national gendarmerie of Italy who primarily carry out domestic policing duties. It is one of Italy's main law enforcement agencies, alongside the Polizia di Stato and the Guardia di Finanza. As with the Guardia di Finanza but in contrast to the Polizia di Stato, the Carabinieri are a military force. As the fourth branch of the Italian Armed Forces, they come under the authority of the Ministry of Defence. In practice, there is a significant overlap between the jurisdiction of the Polizia di Stato and Carabinieri, who are contacted on separate emergency telephone numbers. Unlike the Polizia di Stato, the Carabinieri have responsibility for policing the military, and a number of members regularly participate in military missions abroad.
The word gendarme is a singular extracted from Old French gens d'armes, meaning men-at-arms. During the Late Medieval to the Early Modern period, the term referred to a heavily armoured cavalryman of noble birth, primarily serving in the French army. The word gained policing connotations only during the French Revolution when the Maréchaussée of the Ancien Régime, attached to the Gendarmerie before, by the Monarchy, was renamed, "Gendarmerie".
Old French was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. In the 14th century, these dialects came to be collectively known as the langue d'oïl, contrasting with the langue d'oc or Occitan language in the south of France. The mid-14th century is taken as the transitional period to Middle French, the language of the French Renaissance, specifically based on the dialect of the Île-de-France region.
A man-at-arms was a soldier of the High Medieval to Renaissance periods who was typically well-versed in the use of arms and served as a fully armoured heavy cavalryman. A man-at-arms could be a knight or nobleman, a member of a knight or nobleman's retinue or a mercenary in a company under a mercenary captain. Such men could serve for pay or through a feudal obligation. The terms knight and man-at-arms are often used interchangeably, but while all knights equipped for war certainly were men-at-arms, not all men-at-arms were knights.
The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period of European history lasting from 1250 to 1500 AD. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern period.
Historically, the spelling in English was gendarmery, but now the French spelling gendarmerie is more common. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) uses gendarmery as the principal spelling; Merriam-Webster uses gendarmerie as the principal spelling.
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world. The second edition, comprising 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, was published in 1989.
Merriam-Webster, Inc., is an American company that publishes reference books and is especially known for its dictionaries.
These forces are normally titled "gendarmerie", but gendarmeries may bear other titles, for instance the Carabinieri in Italy, the Guarda Nacional Republicana in Portugal, the Guardia Civil in Spain, the Royal Marechaussee in the Netherlands or Internal Troops/National Guard in Ukraine and Russia.
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Italian Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi), and land area of 294,140 km2 (113,570 sq mi), and shares open land borders with France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.
Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.
Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.
As a result of their duties within the civilian population, gendarmeries are sometimes described as "paramilitary" rather than "military" forces (especially in the English-speaking world where policing is rarely associated with military forces) although this description rarely corresponds to their official status and capabilities. Gendarmes are very rarely deployed in military situations, except in humanitarian deployments abroad.
A gendarmerie may come under the authority of a ministry of defence (e.g. Italy), a ministry of the interior (e.g. Romania, Ukraine), or even both at once (e.g. Chile, France, Spain and Portugal). Generally there is some coordination between a ministry of defence and a ministry of the interior over the use of gendarmes.
A few forces which are no longer considered military retain the title "gendarmerie" for reasons of tradition. For instance, the French language title of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC) (i.e., Royal Gendarmerie of Canada) because this force traditionally had some military-style functions (although separate from the Canadian Army) and has retained its status as a regiment of dragoons. The Argentine Gendarmerie is a military force in terms of training, identity and public perception, and was involved in combat in the Falklands War, however it is classified as a "security force" not an "armed force", to exercise jurisdiction over the civilian population under Argentine law.
Since different countries may make different use of institutional terms such as "gendarmerie", there are cases in which the term may become confusing. For instance, in the French-speaking Cantons of Switzerland the "gendarmeries" are the uniformed civil police (see: Gendarmerie (Switzerland)). In Chile, the word "gendarmerie" refers for historic reasons to the prison service (the "Chilean Gendarmerie"), while the actual gendarmerie force is called the "carabineros".
In some cases, a police service's military links are ambiguous and it can be unclear whether a force should be defined as a gendarmerie (e.g. Mexico's Federal Police, Brazil's Military Police, or the former British South Africa Police until 1980). Some historical military units, such as South-West Africa's Koevoet , were only defined as police for political reasons.Services such as the Italian Guardia di Finanza would rarely be defined as gendarmeries since the service is of an ambiguous military status and does not have general policing duties amongst the civilian population. In Russia, the modern National Guard (successor of the Internal Troops) are military units with quasi-police duties but historically, different bodies within the Tsarist Special Corps of Gendarmes performed a variety of functions as an armed rural constabulary, urban riot control units, frontier guards, intelligence agents and political police. Prior to the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922, British rule was based on the Royal Irish Constabulary—a drilled and armed force located in rural "barracks" that was a gendarmerie in all but in name.
In 2014 the Mexican Federal Police, a heavily armed force which has many attributes of a gendarmerie, created a new seventh branch of service called the National Gendarmerie Division. The new force would initially number 5,000 personnel and was created with the assistance of the French gendarmerie.
In comparison to civilian police forces, gendarmeries may provide a more disciplined force whose military capabilities (e.g., armored group in France with armored personnel carriers) make them more capable of dealing with armed groups and with all types of violence. On the other hand, the necessity of a more stringent selection process for military service, especially in terms of physical prowess and health, restricts the pool of potential recruits in comparison to those from which a civilian police force could select. They also provide a state with flexibility in policing, as the military regulations of a gendarmerie may exempt it from certain gaps in service affecting the civilian police, for example regarding the right to strike.
In countries where the gendarmerie and civilian police co-exist there may be rivalries and tensions between the forces.
In France, the gendarmerie is in charge of rural areas and small towns (typically less than 10.000 inhabitants) which represent 95% of the territory and close to 50% of the population. Besides its territorial organization, it has crowd and riot control units (the Gendarmerie Mobile , along with some corresponding units in the civilian police), counter-terrorism and hostage rescue (GIGN, again along with some corresponding units in the civilian police), maritime surveillance, police at sea and coast guard ( Gendarmerie maritime ), control and security at airports and air traffic police ( Gendarmerie des transports aériens ), official buildings guard, honorary services and protection of the President ( Garde Républicaine ), mountain rescue (Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne) and security of nuclear weapons sites.
In Argentina the Gendarmería Nacional Argentina (GNA, Argentina National Gendarmerie) can act as border patrol forces, defending and patrolling the land frontiers, antiterrorism, VIP escort missions, hostage situations and special military operations in war times (when the GNA is attached to the Argentine Army) with their 601st Special Operations Squadron "Alacran", which took part in the Falkland/Malvinas conflict.Also the GNA is responsible for key facilities (such as nuclear facilities) and government building protection and recovery in case of criminal or enemy activities, counter-narcotraffic operations, internal security reinforcement of other provincial and federal security forces, pacification, smuggling control, road controls on federal highways, and counter-sedition activities under martial law. The GNA often take part in UN peace keeping missions.
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The use of military organisations to police civilian populations is common to many time periods and cultures. Although not wholly a French concept, the French Gendarmerie has been the most influential model for such an organisation.
Many countries that were once under French rule and influence have a gendarmerie. Italy, Belgium and Austria have had gendarmeries through Napoleonic influence for instance but, while Italy still has the Italian equivalent known as the Carabinieri, Belgium and Austria's gendarmeries have merged with the civil police (in, respectively, 2001 and 2005). Many former French colonies, especially in Africa, also have gendarmeries. The Dutch Royal Marechaussee, was created by King William I to replace the French Gendarmerie after French rule ended.
The national police force of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is referred to in French as the Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC). However the RCMP is a mainly civilian organisation within Public Safety Canada. It is not part of the Canadian Department of National Defence, but does have a paramilitary wing.
A common gendarmerie symbol is a flaming grenade, first used as insignia by the French force.
Gendarmes play an important role re-establishing law and order in conflict areas, a task which is suited to their purpose, training and capabilities.Gendarmeries are widely used for internal security and in peacekeeping operations, for instance in the former Yugoslavia and in Ivory Coast, sometimes via the European Gendarmerie Force.
The Vatican City State is a neutral nation, which has not engaged in any war since its formation in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty. It has no formal military compact or agreement with neighbouring Italy, although responsibility for defending the Vatican City from an international aggressor is likely to lie primarily with the Italian Armed Forces. Although the Vatican City State has never been at war, its forces were exposed to military aggression when it was bombed during World War II, and whilst defending Vatican property in Rome during the same conflict.
Military police (MP) are law enforcement agencies connected with, or part of, the military of a state.
The European Gendarmerie Force is an operational, pre-organised, robust, and rapidly deployable intervention force, exclusively comprising elements of several European police forces with military status of the Parties in order to perform all police tasks within the scope of crisis management operations, as established by Art.1 of the Treaty establishing the European Gendarmerie Force.
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee is one of the four branches of the Netherlands Armed Forces. It is a gendarmerie force performing military and civilian police duties.
The Argentine National Gendarmerie is the gendarmerie and corps of border guards of Argentina.
The Jandarmeria Română is a military police force of Romania tasked with high-risk and specialized law enforcement duties. It is one of the two main police forces in Romania, both having jurisdiction over the civilian population.
The Gendarmerie (French) or Rijkswacht (Dutch) was the former paramilitary police force of Belgium. It became a civilian police organisation in 1992, a status it retained until January 1, 2001, when it was, together with the other existing police forces in Belgium, abolished and replaced by the Federal Police and the Local Police.
The Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City State is the gendarmerie, or police and security force, of Vatican City and the extraterritorial properties of the Holy See.
The International Association of Gendarmeries and Police Forces with Military Status, is an association of national gendarmeries or affiliate corps.
Provosts are military police whose duties are policing solely within the Armed Forces, as opposed to gendarmerie duties in the civilian population. However, many countries use their gendarmerie for provost duties.
A gendarmerie is a police force that is generally part of the armed forces of a country, and is responsible for policing the civilian population
Guardia is an Italian and Spanish word meaning "guard". It may refer to:
The Chilean Gendarmerie, in Spanish Gendarmería de Chile, is the title of Chile's uniformed national prison service. The title is historic, and the service is not an actual gendarmerie. The service evolved out of Chilean Army units which were given police and prison duties.
The National Guard Forces Command of the Russian Federation is the gendarmerie component of the National Guard of Russia, created through a presidential decree on April 5, 2016. It is a gendarmerie organized on paramilitary lines with its mission to ensure public order, national security and defense against terrorism.