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The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external and internal aggressors. In broad usage, the terms "armed forces" and "military" are often treated synonymously, although in technical usage a distinction is sometimes made in which a country's armed forces may include both its military and other paramilitary forces.

Described below are some examples of armed forces.

British Army

Scots Guard

The Scots Guard, part of the Guards Division was part of the Foot Guards regiment of the British Army, and was placed in the British Army in 1686 (at that time known as the English Establishment), although the organization itself was originally formed in 1642 as the personal bodyguards for King Charles I of England and Scotland.

Former members:

French Foreign Legion

The French Foreign Legion was the military service wing of the French Army, established in 1831. It was unique in that it was created to allow foreign nationals to willingly serve with the French military. However, it was often viewed with some controversy regarding its practice, particularly that it forces non-nationals to undergo dangerous missions to protect French citizenry from getting hurt, although it granted benefits such as French citizenship and permanent residency, and the ones who join were granted an equal chance, regardless of what they were.

The French Foreign Legion, or rather, Foreign Legions as a whole, were mentioned by Kazuhira Miller in comparison to the Militaires Sans Frontières, citing the latter as being "a new kind of business."[1]

Former members:

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]
Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Imperial Japanese armed forces

The Imperial Japanese armed forces were the military forces of Japan during World War II. The forces were split into two with each of their forces being divided evenly into the Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese Navy, the latter also having majority control over its air force that included the Kawanishi N1K, the Mitsubishi AGM Zero, the Mitsubishi AGM2 Zero, and the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden. The Imperial Japanese armed forces were responsible for getting the Americans into World War II by bombing the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii. At some point during the war, the Japanese armed forces experienced a shortage of provisions that cost them dearly, resulting in the Japanese saying that one "can't fight on an empty stomach."[2] It was eventually eliminated after World War II via Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, and eventually "replaced" by the JSDF in 1954.

Kazuhira Miller, the Japanese-American subcommander of the Militaires Sans Frontières, referenced the Imperial Japanese armed forces provisions shortage and the problems resulting from it when suggesting to his superior, Big Boss, that they create a Mess Hall Team for the private military group around the time the latter had encountered an APC at Bananal Fruta de Oro during the Peace Walker Incident in late 1974.[2] Miller and the weapons scientist Huey Emmerich were later inspired to name Metal Gear ZEKE after what was considered to be the Imperial Japanese Navy's best fighter, the AGM Zero.[3]

During the late stages of the Big Shell Incident in 2009, the Patriots referenced the various Japanese fighter planes by their codenames by comparing them to Metal Gear REX, Metal Gear RAY, and their operative Raiden, whose real name was Jack, with the purpose of reinforcing that to them, Raiden was nothing more than a weapon to be discarded once his usefulness is outlived.[4]

Japan Self-Defense Forces

The Japan Self-Defense Forces (自衛隊 Jieitai?) (JSDF) are the unified military force of Japan. Founded in 1954, it was met with controversy due to Article 9 forbidding war from ever being enacted in Japan. However, Tokyo's official stance is that Article 9 of the Japanese constitution did not forbid self-defense, which allowed it to create a force for the purpose of self-defense. Kazuhira Miller was a former member for the Self-Defense Forces, but quit due to not improving in the SDF, Yukio Mishima's suicide, and the fact that his mother died, so he no longer had a reason to continue.

Former members

North Vietnamese Army

The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) is the standing army of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War, which was backed by the Soviet Union and adherers to Communism (although officially they were nationalists).

Because of Laos undergoing a Communist revolution of its own, the NVA, alongside the KGB aided the Laotian rebel groups.

Warning: The following events occur in the pseudo-historical Side Ops in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; its level of canonicity is ambiguous.

During their involvement in the Laotian Civil War, several high ranking NVA members, alongside their families and children and some Soviet Forces, were assassinated by the United States Marine Corps sniper team Glaz and Palitz.

Side Ops information ends here.

People's Liberation Army

The People's Liberation Army is the de facto armed forces of the People's Republic of China, as well as the military arm of the Communist Party of China. Its headquarters were the People's Liberation Army General Staff Department. The female sleeper agent, known by EVA, was assigned to the second division.

Former members:

Red Army

Main article: Red Army

Strategic Rocket Forces

The Strategic Rocket Forces was a military division of the Red Army and, later, the Russian Armed Forces, in charge of launching nuclear missiles.

In 1983, a lieutenant colonel in the forces ended up denying that there was a nuclear attack from America and that the reports were false alarms, which also got him into trouble. A year later, two Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan debated whether he was correct about it or not.[5]

South African Army

32 Battalion

32 Battalion (sometimes nicknamed Buffalo Battalion or Portuguese: Os Terríveis for The Terrible Ones) was a light infantry battalion of the South African Army founded in 1975, composed of black and white commissioned and enlisted personnel. It was disbanded on 26 March 1993.

Former members:

United States Armed Forces

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. The highest standard authority within the U.S. military were the Joint Chiefs of Staff, comprised of the service chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps branches, which reports to the Secretary of Defense and the Pentagon.

Warning: The following events occur in the pseudo-historical Side Ops in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; its level of canonicity is ambiguous.

The JCS anonymously hired Big Boss and the Militaires Sans Frontières to meet up with an undercover agent in a naval base in Cuba, both because the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to repay Big Boss for quelling the Peace Walker Incident, and because they were getting suspicious reports about the base becoming a black site, with MSF also getting involved due to Cipher potentially being involved.

On January 9, 1975 at 7:01, the U.S. military openly hired Big Boss and the MSF, this time to sabotage some anti-air emplacements at the base in preparation for a MAGTF headed for the base after receiving confirmation that the base had become a black site. However, the mission ended up leaked to the base commanders, ensuring that they long escaped prior to MSF and the MAGTF's arrival, leaving behind only the "enemy combatants" and the grunts kept out of the loop.

Side Ops information ends here.

A scandal erupted on March 16, when it was discovered that America had been one of MSF's clients, following an attack on the group's offshore Mother Base.

United States Air Force

The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare, space warfare, and cyberwarfare branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. It is the most recent branch of the U.S. military to be formed.

During the Shadow Moses Incident a pair of F-16 fighters were sent to the island as a diversion, to aid Solid Snake's infiltration. However, they were shot down by the terrorist leader, Liquid Snake, piloting a Hind D. Towards the end of the incident, the island was to be bombed by F117 Nighthawks and B-2 bombers, but were called off at the last minute.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

In 2018, a World Marshal contact at the United States Air Force scrambled a pair of MQ-320 aerial drones to pursue Doktor's chopper when it was escaping World Marshal's HQ in Denver, Colorado. The drones were later destroyed by Raiden, and none were scrambled afterwards because Raiden and Doktor weren't considered a national threat.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

United States Army

Main article: United States Army

United States Marine Corps

Main article: United States Marine Corps

United States Navy

The United States Navy (USN) is the sea branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. It is a blue water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward areas during peacetime, and rapidly respond to regional crises, making it an active player in American foreign and defense policy. There were five fleets active in the United States Navy (six counting the Naval Reserve), which are the Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh fleets, which were stationed around the Atlantic coast of South America and West Coast of Central America alongside the portion of the Atlantic Ocean from the United States cost to the middle of the Atlantic, portions of the eastern and northern Pacific Ocean (including the Bering Sea, Aleutian Chain, Alaska, and the Arctic), the areas around the Persian Gulf/Red Sea/Arabian Sea and East Africa up to Kenya, Europe, and portions of Asia that included Korea and Japan, respectively. It was formed by Thomas Jefferson in response to the Barbary Pirates.

Richard Nixon served in the Navy against the Japanese in World War II until 1947, when he left to after a discharge in 1946.

The U.S. Navy, with the backing of the Patriots, conceived the Arsenal Gear program. This makes the backing of the RAY program by the Marine Corps confusing as the Navy is the parent organisation of the Marines. A Navy captain was killed, during the Big Shell Incident, by Dead Cell in order to retrieve "The Football" that was handcuffed to him. Also, SEAL Team 10 used Navy helicopters to board the Big Shell.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

The Colorado senator and 2020 Presidential candidate Steven Armstrong formerly served in the United States Navy, of which he noted caused him to sacrifice advancing to a professional football player.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Former members

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]
Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

United States Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the homeshore branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. While the United States Navy was tasked with the capability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, the Coast Guard was designed to conduct maritime law enforcement with jurisdictions within both federal and international law. The Coast Guard is generally applied to the Department of Homeland Security, although it can be transferred to the United States Navy by Congress or by the President, during war and at any time, respectively.


The Wehrmacht (German: Defence Force) was the main armed forces of Germany (then Nazi Germany) during World War II. Its three core tennants were the Luftwaffe (Air Force), Heer (Army) and Kriegsmarine (Naval forces). In 1940, the Wehrmacht stumbled upon one of the mass graves near the Katyn Forest in Poland containing at least 4,000 deceased Poles, which led to a blame game between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany regarding who was responsible (the former actually being responsible via the NKVD). The Wehrmacht was eventually disbanded by the time of Germany's defeat in the war.

Former members

Behind the scenes

The United States Coast Guard has not made a direct appearance in the series canon, although it has received a mention in non-canon game Metal Gear Acid, when the President mentioned that the reason for being tardied to an unannounced meeting with the Secretary, Chairman, Secretary General, and Prime Minister was because the Coast Guard was too enthusiastic.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010)
    Kazuhira Miller: Listen to me, Snake. We're not mercenaries. We're not a Foreign Legion. MSF's a business. A new kind of business.
  2. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Kazuhira Miller: Listen, [Big] Boss, we both know you’re the reason MSF’s grown so much. But it’s time we started putting more thought into provisions. // Naked Snake (Big Boss): Good point. A place this big needs a good stockpile on hand. // Miller: The Japanese say, “You can’t fight on an empty stomach.” Something we learned in World War II. // Snake: Obviously. Maintaining a steady supply of provisions is one of the basic principles of logistics. // Miller: So I went ahead and set up a Mess Hall Team. The team members’ numbers and abilities will affect the amount of grub to go around. Without enough food, morale will drop. They get hungry enough, and we could start losing people. Anyway, I need you to assign guys to the Mess Hall Team. // Snake: Copy that.
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Huey Emmerich: Thanks for putting me on the R&D team, Snake. I’ll cut to the chase. We’ve commenced development on our own bipedal weapon. The only thing is that we don’t exactly have easy access to resources here. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Yeah, unfortunately we don’t have the budget of a defense department behind us. // Huey Emmerich: I understand. That’s why I want to ask you something. If you fight any more AI weapons, could you try to gather as many of their parts as you can? That would really make things go a lot smoother. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Again, easier said than done. Huey Emmerich: If anyone can do it, you can, Boss. You single-handedly took out the Pupa. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: True. // Huey Emmerich: Look, if you’re not interested, I can just work with what we have here. I’m not trying to force you to take unnecessary risks. You’re the boss around here. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: All right. No promises, but I’ll think about it. // Huey Emmerich: Great. Also, each AI weapon has a “head part” that serves as the core of its armament. Recovering a head part will allow you to use the weapon associated with that part. …But those guys won’t go down without a fight. So don’t get preoccupied with this stuff. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Don’t worry. I’m not about to risk my life for a bunch of scrap. // Huey Emmerich: I would hope not. One more thing: our new bipedal weapon needs a name. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Good point. We can’t keep calling it “our bipedal weapon.” // Huey Emmerich: I had a talk with Miller, and we came up with “Metal Gear ZEKE.” // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Metal Gear… ZEKE…? // Huey Emmerich: Yep. As you know, “Metal Gear” was coined by Granin. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: And “ZEKE”? // Huey Emmerich: It’s a name the U.S. military gave to a Japanese aircraft that flew during World War II. ZEKE was the Japanese navy’s best fighter plane. So are you okay with that, Snake? // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Sure, fine by me. // Huey Emmerich: Miller was saying that an army without borders will need a deterrent against other countries. He’s right. With Metal Gear, MSF can achieve true independence. // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Here’s hoping.
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    Colonel: Raiden, you have to beat [Solidus Snake]! This is your last duty! // Raiden: We're not just pawns in some simulation game, you know! // Rosemary: Yes, you are. You're nothing but mere weapons. No different from fighter jets or tanks. // Raiden: What the -- // Colonel: The old model destroyed four years ago was "REX"... // Rose: The new amphibious model is "RAY"... // Colonel: Both of these are the same as the code names used by the U.S. Armed Forces to refer to Japanese war planes during World War II. // Rose: Your code name "Raiden" too, comes from the Japanese navy's name for one of its interceptors... // Raiden: Stop it! I'm not a weapon!! // Rose: Oh really? Do you know the code name the U.S. Armed Forces used for the Japanese fighter "Raiden"? // Colonel: It was "Jack". Both of you are just weapons to be used and thrown away. // Rose: Just weapons to be used on the battlefield. Just pawns in a game -- exactly as you said. // Colonel: And a weapon has no right to think for itself! Now, it's time to fulfill your purpose! Defeat [Solidus Snake]!
  5. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015)
    Soviet Soldier 1: Hey, do you know anyone in the Strategic Rocket Forces? // Soviet Soldier 2: What's this, all of a sudden? // Soviet Soldier 1: I just heard about that lieutenant colonel [Stanislav Petrov], the one who saw through the malfunction in the nuclear arms early warning system. He got an official reprimand. // Soviet Soldier 2: Reprimand? But he was right - there was no strike! // Soviet Soldier 1: It's protocol. If the system goes off, you have to launch a retaliatory attack without hesitation. // Soviet Soldier 2: If he'd followed protocol, there would have been a counterattack from the Americans. // Soviet Soldier 1: Yes. It would have meant nuclear war, no doubt about it. // Soviet Soldier 2: Then this lieutenant colonel, he saved the world. // Soviet Soldier 1: That's right, but protocol comes first, not whether or not his judgment was correct. // Soviet Soldier 2: Unbelieveable... // Soviet Soldier 1: What would you have done in his shoes? Me, I might have pressed the button. // Soviet Soldier 2: I hear you. You break the rules, they break you right back. // Soviet Soldier 1: No use thinking about it. Okay, all yours. // Soviet Soldier 2: You got it.

External links