Top 10 of the World’s Best Military Units & Arm Forces
Military organization is the structuring of the armed forces of a state so as to offer military capability required by the national defence policy. In some countries paramilitary forces are included in a nation’s armed forces. Armed forces that are not a part of military or paramilitary organizations, such as insurgent forces, often mimic military organizations, or use ad hoc structures. (See also Top 10 of the World’s Best Special Forces/Elite Units.)
Military organization is hierarchical. The use of formalized ranks in a hierarchical structure came into widespread use with the Roman Army. In modern times, executive control, management and administration of military organizations is typically undertaken by the government through a government department within the structure of public administration, often known as a Department of Defense, Department of War, or Ministry of Defence. These in turn manage Armed Services that themselves command combat, combat support and service support formations and units.
10 – Pakistan
Pakistan’s Army was founded in 1947 and maintains a force of over 500,000 strong who have all volunteered for service.
Pakistan’s military history includes conflicts with its bordering neighbors of Afghanistan and India, the Gulf War and Mogadishu, Somalia in the early 90s.
Pakistan has also served as an ally to the United States in the Global War on Terrorism by assisting in fighting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and along the border of Pakistan.
9 – Israel
Israel is the only country in the world that requires military service from both male and female citizens with few exceptions.
The Israel Defense Force was founded in 1948 and maintains an active duty force of over 100,000.
The Israeli military history includes the Arab-Israel War, the Six-Day War and numerous conflicts with Lebanon and Palestine. The United States remains one of Israel’s largest allies.
8 – Russia
Russia has undergone numerous changes throughout its military history dating back to 863. The modern day army is known as the Russian Ground Force and was founded in 1992.
Previous Russian military organizations, including the Red Army, have been involved in regional conflicts, both world wars and the Cold War. Before the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, it was the known as the superpower of the world and had surpassed the United States in terms of the number of soldiers and nuclear weapons.
The Russian Ground Force is staffed through mandatory service; though many in the country have either deferred under exceptions or offered bribes to officials not to serve.
7 – Turkey
The Turkish Army dates back more than 2,000 years. The modern day Turkish Army is one of the few notable armies that stayed neutral during World War II.
Although the Turkish Army was involved in the Korean War, the largest conflict in the 1900s was in the Turkish Independence War where it fought Russia, Britain, Greece, France and Italy along its borders.
Military service in Turkey is required with few exceptions and it has resulted in Turkey having the second largest ground force in NATO.
6 – North Korea
The North Korean People’s Army was established in 1939 and has an impressive force of more than one million soldiers. When reserve unit numbers are counted in this total, estimates are more than seven million soldiers who could be activated if needed.
Major conflicts in North Korea’s history are the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Tensions between North and South Korea still exist today and, technically, the conflict has not officially ended between the two.
North Korea has confirmed its nuclear and chemical weapons capability in recent years with threats against various countries including the United States, mainly for its alliance with South Korea.
5 – Germany
The German Army has one of the most notable histories with the rise of Hitler. The German Army was responsible for the start of World War II when it invaded Poland.
After the War ended, Germany was in a divided state and formed the West Germany Army.
After reunification in the 1990s, the armies from the east and west were combined into the current German Army. The current military force in Germany numbers over 200,000 active soldiers.
4 – India
The Indian Army dates back to the Stone Age. Today, it is known as being the largest all volunteer ground force in the world with more than 1,000,000 active duty soldiers.
India has never had to institute a draft to staff its ground force. The Indian Army has been involved in both world wars as well as several conflicts to fight for its own independence.
Pakistan has been its target on more than one occasion in its military history.
3 – United Kingdom
The British Army was organized in 1661 and has been involved in various conflicts including the Napoleonic Wars, Revolutionary War and both world wars.
The British Army has had a significant presence in Northern Ireland and the Balkans while standing beside the United States in the Gulf War in the 1990s as well as the Global War on Terrorism after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The active duty force of the British Army is more than 100,000 strong, making it the second largest army in the European Union behind France.
2 – China
The People’s Liberation Army of China is the largest in the world numbering over two million soldiers even after significant cuts in forces in recent years.
The Chinese Army was established in 1927 and involved in the Sino-Japanese conflict, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam.
While technically service is required for all men over the age of 18, China has never had to draft soldiers as there has always been more than enough Chinese men who have volunteered for military service to their country.
1 – United States
The United States Army dates back to 1775 when the Continental Army was created to fight in the Revolutionary War. The U.S. Army has participated in every major world war, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War and the Global War on Terrorism.
The current active duty force for the U.S. Army numbers over 500,000 with a combined total of over one million with Reserve and National Guard soldiers.
The modern day Army is an all volunteer force with permanent posts throughout the United States as well as Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Japan and Korea.