from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- The system by which a country raises, classifies, arranges, and equips its armed land forces. The usual divisions are: (1) A regular or active army, in which soldiers serve continuously with the colors and live in barracks or cantonments when not in the field; (2) the reserves of this army, in which the soldiers, while remaining constantly subject to a call to the colors, live at their homes, being summoned more or less frequently to report for instruction, drill, or maneuvers; and (3) one or more classes of soldiers organized largely for territorial defense, living at home and having only occasional periods of drill and instraction, who are variously called home reserves (as in the table below), second, third, etc., line of defense (the regular army and its reserves ordinarily constituting the first line of defense), territorial forces, or the like. In countries where conscription prevails a soldier is supposed to serve a given number of years. He is usually enrolled first in the regular army, then passes to its reserve, then into the home reserves, to serve until he reaches the age limit. It for any reason he is not enrolled in the regular army, he may begin his service in the army reserves or even the home reserves, but then serves the full number of years or up to the age limit. In equipment the organization of the army is into the three great arms of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, together with more or less numerous other branches, such as engineers, medical corps, etc., besides the staff organizations such as those of the pay and subsistence departments.
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