Infantry are soldiers who are primarily trained for the role of fighting on foot. A soldier in the infantry is known as an infantryman. Infantry units have more physically demanding training than other branches of armies, and place a greater emphasis on fitness, physical strength, and aggression.
Infantry can be distinguished from soldiers trained to fight in other roles: For instance, on horseback, in tanks, or in technical roles such as armourers or signallers. An armorer or armourer (see Spelling differences) was in former times a smith who specialized in manufacturing and repairing arms and Armour In the Armed forces a signaller is a Soldier or Seaman responsible for Military communications and related tasks Nonetheless basic infantry skills are fundamental to the training of any soldier, and soldiers of any branch of an army are expected to serve as auxiliary infantry (i. e. patrol and fight on foot) when necessary.
In Western armies, infantry make up a minority of soldiers, typically between 10% and 30% (e. g. less than 49,000 infantrymen out of 519,472 soldiers in the United States Army today ). The United States Army is a military organization whose primary mission is to "provide necessary forces and capabilities. This reflects the greatly increased requirement for technical and logistical specialists in Western armies, resulting from the increasing complexity of military technology and an increased recogntion of the importance of logisitcs in warfare. In third world armies, infantry still normally make up a majority of the soldiers. Third World is a name given to nations that are generally considered to be underdeveloped economically
Infantry are often categorized by the types of weaponry and equipment they posess, such as heavy, medium, and light infantry. Heavy infantry refers to heavily armed and armoured ground troops as opposed to medium or Light infantry, in which the warriors are relatively lightly-armoured Medium infantry refers to ground troops less heavily armed and armored than Heavy infantry, but more so than Light infantry. Traditionally light infantry (or skirmishers) were soldiers whose job was to provide a Skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of Infantry, harassing
The word infantry comes from the same Latin root as 'infant', either via Italian, where it referred to young men who accompanied knights on foot, or via Spanish, where the infantes (royal princes who were not heirs to the throne) commanded the footmen, hence known as infanteria. War is an international relations Dispute, characterized by organized Violence between National Military units Military history is a Humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity Prehistoric warfare is War conducted in the era before Writing, and before the establishments of large social entities like States Historical warfare sets Ancient warfare is War as conducted from the beginnings of recorded History to the end of the ancient period Medieval Warfare is the warfare of the Middle Ages. In Europe technological cultural and social developments had forced a dramatic transformation in the character Early Modern warfare is associated with the start of the widespread use of Gunpowder and the development of suitable weapons to use the explosive Industrial warfare is a period in the History of warfare ranging roughly from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of the Information Age Modern warfare, although present in every Historical period of Military history, is generally used to refer to the concepts, methods and Battlespace is a unified strategy to integrate and combine Armed forces for the Military theatre of operations, including air, information Air power redirects here for electrical and mechanical energy supplied by air movement see Wind power Information warfare is the use and management of information in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent Land warfare, sometimes also called ground combat is the term used to describe military operations eventuating in Combat that take place predominantly on the land surface of Naval warfare is Combat in and on Seas Oceans or any other major bodies of water such as large Lakes and wide Rivers History Space warfare is combat that takes place in Outer space, ie outside the Atmosphere. A weapon is a Tool used either in Hunting, or attack or defence in Combat for the purpose of subduing enemy personnel or to destroy enemy weapons Armoured warfare or tank warfare is the use of Armoured fighting vehicles in Modern warfare. Artillery (from French artillerie) is a military Combat Arm which employs any apparātus machine Biological warfare (BW — known as a germ warfare, biological weapons and bioweaponry — is the use of any Pathogen ( Bacterium The Cavalry (from French cavalerie) is the second oldest of the Combat Arms, and as Soldiers or Warriors who fought mounted on Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of Chemical substances to kill injure or incapacitate an enemy. Electronic warfare ( EW) is the use of the Electromagnetic spectrum to effectively deny the use of this medium by an adversary while optimizing its use by friendly A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from Nuclear reactions either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. The US Department of Defense defines psychological warfare ( PSYWAR) as" The planned use of Propaganda and other Psychological actions Military tactics ( Greek: Taktikē, the art of organizing an army are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating This article is about the military strategy For the Israeli-Egyptian conflict see War of Attrition, for the game theoretical model see War of attrition (game Guerrilla warfare is the unconventional warfare and combat with which a small group of combatants use mobile tactics (ambushes raids etc Maneuver warfare, also spelled manoeuvre warfare, is the term used by military theorists for a concept of Warfare that advocates attempting to Total war is a conflict of unlimited scope in which a Belligerent engages in a total mobilization of all available resources at his disposal Trench warfare is a form of warfare where both combatants have fortified positions and fighting lines are static Military strategy is a National defence policy implemented by Military organisations to pursue desired strategic goals Derived from the Greek Economic warfare is the term for economic policies followed as a part of Military operations during Wartime The purpose of economic warfare is to capture Grand strategy is military Strategy at the level of movement and use of an entire Nation state or Empire 's resources A military organization is a way of structuring the armed forces of a State as a need to offer Military capability required by the National defence policy A military organization is a way of structuring the armed forces of a State as a need to offer Military capability required by the National defence policy Military rank is a system of hierarchical relationships in Armed forces or civil institutions organized along military lines A military organization is a way of structuring the armed forces of a State as a need to offer Military capability required by the National defence policy Military Logistics is the art and science of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of military forces This article lists military technology items devices and methods Materiel (from the French "matériel" for equipment or hardware related to the word Material) is a term used in English to refer to the Military supply chain management is a cross-functional approach to procuring, producing and delivering products and services The broad This is an index to articles listing Battles. List of battles (alphabetical gives a global list See also Military History Antiquity Albania Agron ( 250 BC - 230 BC) The first king to unite the Illyrian This is a list of missions operations and projects Missions in support of other missions are not listed independently A Siege is a prolonged Military Assault and Blockade on a City or Fortress with the intent of conquering by force or Attrition See also List of military writers. Friedrich von Bernhardi Ivan Bloch John Boyd, inventor of the OODA Loop This is a listing of lists of Wars, sorted by country date region and type of conflict This article lists and summarizes War crimes committed since the Hague Convention of 1907. There is a bewildering array of Weapons far more than would be useful in list form This is a list of military writers, alphabetical by last name Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome.
With few exceptions, most armies in history have been built around a core of infantry. While the specific weapons have varied, the common factor is that these soldiers have relied on their feet for operational movements (transportation behind the lines, especially in the pre-industrial era) and tactical movement (movement in battle) although they may sometimes be transported to the battlefield by various means. A weapon is a Tool used either in Hunting, or attack or defence in Combat for the purpose of subduing enemy personnel or to destroy enemy weapons Military tactics ( Greek: Taktikē, the art of organizing an army are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating
In earliest days, infantry were essentially armed mobs, fighting in loosely organized opposing lines under the voice direction of individual commanders in the immediate vicinity (within earshot) of the troops under their command. However, the benefits of uniform equipment, weaponry and above all training led to the development of formations able to carry out pre-arranged tactical maneuvers in the heat of battle.
Infantry organization has focused since recorded history began on striking a balance between heavily-armed formations (such as the Greek phalanx) fighting in rigid formations, and more lightly-armed but more mobile units (like the Roman legion) able to move relatively quickly around the battlefield and exploit opportunities as they arose. Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία The phalanx (Ancient Greek φάλαγξ Modern Greek φάλαγγα phālanga (plural phalanxes or phalanges (Ancient and Modern Greek φάλαγγες For other uses see Legion The Roman Legion (from Latin legio "military levy Conscription," Mobility, weaponry, and protection have been the competing yet complementary factors to be balanced.
Infantry was the primary combat arm of the Classical period. Classical antiquity (also the classical era or classical period) is a broad term for a long period of cultural History centered on the Mediterranean Examples of infantry units of the period are the hoplites of ancient Greece and the legions of Imperial Rome. The word hoplite ( Greek: hoplitēs; pl hoplitai) derives from hoplon ( plural hopla) meaning an item of armour or equipment thus 'hoplite' The term ancient Greece refers to the period of Greek history lasting from the Greek Dark Ages ca For other uses see Legion The Roman Legion (from Latin legio "military levy Conscription," The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial In contrast to the strictly organized phalanxes and legions, most armies of the ancient world also employed units of irregulars (often mercenaries) who wore less armor and fought in more open formations usually as skirmishers. Irregular military refers to any non-standard military Being defined by exclusion there is a lot of variance in what comes under the term A mercenary is a person who takes part in an armed conflict who is not a national or a party to the conflict and is "motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by Skirmishers are Infantry or Cavalry Soldiers stationed ahead or alongside of a larger body of friendly troops
As the Roman Empire declined and fell to the depredations of Germanic tribes such as the Vandals, Goths, and Visigoths in the 5th century AD, the political and military resources necessary for the maintenance of such rigid-formation units largely disappeared until the later Middle Ages. The Terracotta Army ( are the Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Qin Shi Huang the First Emperor of China. The Goths ( Gothic: Gothic usvg|14px|u]]Gothic asvg|14px|a]]Gothic s The Visigoths (Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, or Wisi were one of two main branches of the Goths, an East
For most of the Middle Ages, warfare and society were dominated by the cavalry (horse-mounted soldiers), composed of individual knights. Infantry in the Middle Ages were soldiers who fought on foot during the Middle Ages. The Cavalry (from French cavalerie) is the second oldest of the Combat Arms, and as Soldiers or Warriors who fought mounted on The horse ( Equus caballus) is a hoofed ( Ungulate) Mammal, one of eight living species of the family Equidae. Knight is the English term for a social position originating in the Middle Ages. Knights were generally drawn from the aristocracy, while the infantry levies were raised from commoners. This situation slowed the advance of infantry tactics and weapon technologies; those that were developed by the end of the Middle Ages included the use of long spears or halberds to counter the long reach of knights' lances, and the increased use of ranged weaponry to counter the cavalry's advantages of momentum, speed, height, and reach. Infantry tactics are the combination of Military concepts and methods used by the Soldiers fighting predominantly on Foot to achieve Tactical This is an article about a particle accelerator For uses of spear, see Spear or Spear (disambiguation. The term lance has become a catchall for a variety of different Pole weapons based on the Spear. However, from 1350 onwards the knights themselves usually dismounted for battle, becoming super-heavy infantry themselves, as a countermeasure to development of massed archery tactics which would bring their horses down. Knight is the English term for a social position originating in the Middle Ages. This led to development of combined arms tactics of archery and dismounted knights. Combined arms is an approach to Warfare which seeks to integrate different arms of a Military to achieve mutually complementary effects
While bows remained in use long after the development of firearms, technological fine-tuning (along with the development of the wheel-lock) allowed firearms to supersede even the feared English longbow as the ranged weapon of choice for infantry. A firearm is a Tool that projects either single or multiple Projectiles at high velocity through a controlled explosion Wheellock, wheel-lock or wheel lock, is a mechanism for firing a Firearm. The English longbow, also called the Welsh longbow, was a powerful type of medieval Longbow (a tall bow for Archery) about 6 ft The bow also declined in favor due to the ease with which musketeers could be trained (days or weeks to attain moderate proficiency, as opposed to many years for the longbow). A musketeer (mousquetaire was an early modern type of Infantry Soldier equipped with a Musket.
After the Spanish Tercios, many other nations combined firearms with extremely long pikes into units that were virtually invincible against cavalry formations. The Tercio (Also known as Tercio Español, literally " Spanish tercio " and from tercio meaning "one-third" A pike is a Pole weapon, a very long thrusting Spear used two-handed and used extensively by Infantry both for attacks on enemy foot soldiers and as Eventually, with the development of the bayonet, the pikemen were dropped from the formation, resulting in the first examples of an infantry unit as recognizable today. A bayonet (from French baïonnette) is a Knife - Dagger - or spike-shaped Weapon designed to fit on or over the muzzle
Before the development of railroads in the 19th century, infantry armies got to the battlefield by walking, or sometimes by ship. A ship /ʃɪp/ is a large vessel that floats on water Ships are generally distinguished from Boats based on size The Republic of Venice set up the "Fanti da mar," the first corps of troops specifically trained for fighting from ships, in the 15th century or possibly even before; the oldest still-existing Marine corps in the world was established in the 16th century by the Spanish (Infanteria de Marina), followed in the 17th century by other European countries including the United Kingdom. The Most Serene Republic of Venice ((Serenìsima Repùblica Vèneta or Repùblica de Venesia Serenissima Repubblica The Infantería de Marina or Spanish Navy Marines is a corps within the Spanish Navy responsible for providing Amphibious warfare from the sea utilizing Due to Britain's island status, a large army was unnecessary, however infantry soldiers were still required for eventual landings. A typical Royal Navy warship carried 600 men. Of these men, 120-180 would be Royal Marines. These men usually had a deck to themselves and had little to do with sailing the vessel. The men were proficient in the use of metal-working, gunpowder and modern weapons of the day and would form landing parties when exploring. The Marines also defended the vessel if boarded and would repair damaged weapons and cannons after a battle.
In the 1890s and later, some countries, such as Italy with their Bersaglieri, used bicycle infantry, but the real revolution in mobility started in the 1920s with the use of motor vehicles, resulting in motorized infantry. The Bersaglieri (bersaʎˈːɛri are a Corps of the Italian Army created by General Alessandro La Marmora in 1836 to serve in the Piedmontese Army Bicycle infantry are Infantry Soldiers who maneuver on the battlefield using Bicycles The term dates from the late 19th century when the " Safety Motorised infantry is Infantry which is transported by Trucks or other motor vehicles Action in World War II demonstrated the importance of protecting the soldiers while they are moving around, resulting in the development of mechanized infantry, who use armored vehicles for transport. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including Mechanized infantry (or "mech infantry" are Infantry equipped with Armored personnel carriers (APCs or Infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs World War II also saw the first widespread use of paratroopers. Paratroopers are Soldiers trained in Parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force. These were soldiers that parachuted from airplanes into combat, and they played key roles in several campaigns in the European theater. During the Vietnam conflict, the United States Army pioneered the use of helicopters to deliver large numbers of infantry quickly to and from key locations on the battlefield. The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, or the Vietnam Conflict, occurred in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia The United States Army is a military organization whose primary mission is to "provide necessary forces and capabilities. History Since 400 AD Chinese children have played with bamboo flying toys. During that era such formations were referred to as airmobile. An Air Assault is a Tactical or Operational manoeuvre of an Infantry unit Airlifted by Helicopters usually to fulfil an Aerial Today, delivering infantry into battle by way of helicopter is known as an air assault. An Air Assault is a Tactical or Operational manoeuvre of an Infantry unit Airlifted by Helicopters usually to fulfil an Aerial
Modern-day mechanized infantry is supported by armored fighting vehicles, artillery, and aircraft, but along with light infantry, which does not use armored fighting vehicles, is still the only kind of military force that can take and hold some terrain types (such as urban or other close terrain), and thus remains essential to fighting wars. An armoured fighting vehicle ( AFV) is a military Vehicle, protected by armour and armed with Weapons Most AFVs are equipped for driving in rugged Artillery (from French artillerie) is a military Combat Arm which employs any apparātus machine Traditionally light infantry (or skirmishers) were soldiers whose job was to provide a Skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of Infantry, harassing However, the tactic of having massive formations of infantry on open terrain fight it out has fallen into disuse in Western armies ever since World War II. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including This is mainly because of advanced technology which can support, replace, and exceed the capabilities of infantry. Modern military doctrine supported by political influence have also kept the practice of total war and mass combat casualties to a minimum.
Infantry is notable by its reliance on organized formations to be employed in battle. These have been developed over time, but remain a key element to effective infantry development and deployment. Up until the 20th century, infantry units were for the most part employed in close organized formations up until the last moment possible. This was necessary to allow commanders to retain control of the unit, especially while maneuvering, as well as allowing officers to retain discipline amongst the ranks.
With the development of weapons with increased firepower, it became necessary to disperse the infantry over a wider expanse of terrain. This made the unit less susceptible to high explosive and rapid fire weapons. Modern infantry spacing on daytime patrols should be approximately 8m. From World War I, it was recognized that infantry were most successfully employed when using their ability to maneuver in constricted terrain and evade detection in ways not possible for other weapons such as vehicles. This decentralization of command was made possible by improved communications equipment and greater focus on small unit training.
The most important role of the infantry has been as the primary killing force of any army. It is the infantry which ultimately decides whether ground is held or taken, and it is the presence of infantry that assures control of territory. While the tactics of employment in battle have changed, the basic missions of the infantry have not.
Attack operations are the most basic role of the infantry, and along with defense, form the two primary stances of the infantry on the battlefield. Traditionally, in an open battle, or meeting engagement, two armies would maneuver to contact, at which point they would form up their infantry and other units opposite each other. A meeting engagement, a term used in Warfare is a Combat action that occurs when a moving force incompletely deployed for Battle, engages an enemy at Then one or both would advance and attempt to defeat the enemy force. The term enemy combatant has historically referred to members of the armed forces of the state with which another state is at war The goal of an attack remains the same: to advance into an enemy-held objective and dislodge the enemy, thereby establishing control of the objective. Attacks are often feared by the infantry conducting them due to the high number of casualties suffered while advancing under enemy fire (mechanized infantry are considered in assaulting positions in contrast to light infantry due to armoured protection and high mobility). Mechanized infantry (or "mech infantry" are Infantry equipped with Armored personnel carriers (APCs or Infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs Successful attacks rely on sufficient force, preparative reconnaissance and bombardment, and retention of unit cohesion throughout the attack.
Defense operations are the natural counter to attacks, in which the mission is to hold an objective and defeat enemy forces attempting to dislodge the defender. Defence Defensive posture offers many advantages to the infantry, including the ability to use terrain and constructed fortifications to advantage and the reduced exposure to enemy fire compared with advancing forces. Effective defense relies on minimizing losses to enemy fire, breaking the enemy's cohesion before their advance is completed, and preventing enemy penetration of defensive positions.
Patrol is the most common infantry mission. Full scale attacks and defensive efforts are occasional, but patrols are constant. Patrols consist of small groups of infantry moving about in areas of possible enemy activity to discern enemy deployments and ambush enemy patrols. Patrols are used not only on the front-lines, but in rear areas where enemy infiltration or insurgencies are possible.
Pursuit is a role that the infantry often assumes. The objective of pursuit operations is the destruction of enemy forces which are not capable of effectively engaging friendly units before they can build their strength to the point where they are effective. Infantry traditionally have been the main force to overrun these units in the past, and in modern combat are used to pursue enemy forces in constricted terrain (urban areas in particular), where faster forces, such as armored vehicles are incapable of going or would be exposed to ambush.
Escort consists of protecting other units from ambush, particularly from other infantry. This is one of the most important roles for the modern infantry, in particular when operating along side armored vehicles. In this capacity, infantry essentially conducts patrol on the move, scouring terrain which may hide enemy infantry waiting to ambush friendly vehicles, and identifying enemy strong points for attack by the heavier units.
Maneuver operations consume much of an infantry unit's time. Maneuver, manoeuvre (or seldomly manoeuver) may be Military or naval movement Military maneuver aka Military exercise Infantry, like all combat units, are often maneuvered to meet battlefield needs, and often must do so under enemy attack. The infantry must maintain their cohesion and readiness during the move to ensure their usefulness when they reach their objective. Traditionally, infantry have relied on their own legs for mobility, but mechanised or armoured infantry often uses trucks and armored vehicles for transport, leaving the light infantry to jobs which they cannot access.
Reserve assignments for infantry units involve deployment behind the front, although patrol and security operations are usually maintained in case of enemy infiltration. A military reserve force is a military organization This is usually the best time for infantry units to integrate replacements into units and to maintain equipment. Additionally, soldiers can be rested and general readiness should improve. However, the unit must be ready for deployment at any point.
Construction can be undertaken either in reserve or on the front, but consists of using infantry troops as labor for construction of field positions, roads, bridges, airfields, and all other manner of structures. In the fields of Architecture and Civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the Building or assembling of Infrastructure The infantry is often given this assignment due to the physical quantity of men within the unit, although it can lessen a unit's morale and limit the unit's ability to maintain readiness and perform other missions. More often, such jobs are given to specialist engineering corps.
'Base defense' is where infantry units are tasked to protect certain areas like command posts or airbases. Units assigned to this job usually have a large amount of military police attached to them for control of checkpoints and prisons.
Due to the very nature of the "work" with firearms, explosives, physical-emotional stress, and genuine violence, casualties and or deaths are not uncommon in both war and in peace. The infantryman is expected and trained to continue on with the mission despite personal fear, despair, fatigue and injury; through the foe, to the objective, though he be the last man.
Life in an active duty infantry unit is rigorous, a 24 hour cycle makes for long hours of exercise/training/fighting/patrolling in often brutal climates armed only with the weapons, ammunition and essential war fighting equipment that they can carry on their backs. Remaining space is meant for a meal rations to fight their hunger. Infantry are usually afforded upwards of 4000 calories per day when on operations. Very little space is afforded for comforts. The physical demands are extreme. Forced marches, carrying in excess of 80lbs (36 kg) of equipment upwards of 25 miles (40 km) at a 4-6mi/h (6–10 km/h) pace is not uncommon. 15 mile runs at a forced pace are common as well. Mastering ones body is essential, as eating just one meal a day may be experienced occasionally when situations dictate such. Teamwork and absolute trust are essential for the survival of not only the individual, but the unit as a whole.
Very strong bonds that last an entire life time form within these infantry units and there is a sort of professional respect given from one infantryman to another, both inside and outside of the military, which is based on a common understanding of what life is like on the inside of an infantry battalion and the character and discipline of the individuals who comprise them.
The equipment of infantry forces has evolved along with the development of military technology in general, but certain constants remain regarding the design and selection of this equipment. Primary types of equipment are weaponry, protective gear, survival gear, and special equipment.
Infantry weapons have included all types of personal weapons, i. A personal weapon is a weapon that can be carried and employed by a single person although its use may be restricted to specialist members of attack or defense teams e. anything that can be handled by individual soldiers, as well as some small crew-served weapons that can be carried. During operations, especially in modern times, infantry often scavenge and employ whatever weapons they can acquire in addition to those given them by their supply chain.
Infantry from ancient times up until the modern age have wielded a wide array of weaponry. Infantry used all sorts of melee weapons, such as various types swords, axes, and maces, as well as ranged weapons such as javelins, bows, and slings. A melee weapon (from French "mixed" referring to groups of fighters interlocked in close combat is any Weapon that does not involve a projectile — that is The axe, or ax, is an implement that has been used for millennia to shape split and cut Wood, Harvest timber, as a Weapon A mace is a simple Weapon that uses a heavy head on the end of a handle to deliver powerful blows For the athletic event see Javelin throw. For other uses see Javelin (disambiguation A javelin is a light Spear designed A bow is a Weapon that projects arrows powered by the elasticity of the bow Infantry of these periods also often wore varying types of armor, including chain mail and Cuirasses. Mail (also maille, often given as chain mail or chain maille) is a type of Armour or jewellery that consists of small metal rings linked Cuirass ( French cuirasse, Latin coriaceus, made of leather from corium, the original breastplate being of Leather) the Many of their weapons evolved over time to counter advances made in armor, such as the falchion, whose heavy blade was designed to break chain mail armor. This article describes the Medieval Weapon For the Finnish Heavy Metal band see Falchion (band.
Modern infantry weaponry include rifles, sub machine guns, machine guns, shoulder-fired rocket launchers and missiles, and lighter mortars and grenade launchers. A rifle is a Firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves ("rifling" cut into the barrel walls A submachine gun (SMG is a Firearm that combines the automatic fire of a Machine gun with the cartridge of a Pistol, and is For other uses of the phrase see Machine Gun (disambiguation. A shoulder-launched missile weapon is a Weapon that fires a Projectile at a target, yet is small enough to be carried by a single person and fired while A missile (see also pronunciation differences) is a self-propelled explosive Projectile used as a weapon towards a target A mortar is a muzzle-loading Indirect fire weapon that fires shells at low velocities short ranges and high-arcing ballistic trajectories A grenade launcher is a Weapon that launches a Grenade with more accuracy higher velocity and to greater distances than a soldier could throw it by hand Modern infantry are often equipped with helmets, a gas mask, and in some cases, additional body armor. A gas mask is a Mask worn over the face to protect the wearer from inhaling airborne Pollutants and Toxic materials
Infantry protective gear includes all equipment designed to protect the soldier against enemy attack. Most protective gear comprises body armor of some type. Classical and medieval infantry employed leather and metal armor as defense against both ranged and melee attacks, but with the advent of firearms, such armor could no longer defeat attacks and was discarded. The return to use of the helmet was prompted by the need to defend against high explosive fragmentation, and further developments in materials led to effective bullet-defeating armor within the weight acceptable for infantry use. Fragmentation is the process by which the casing of an Artillery shell, Bomb, Grenade, etc is shattered by the detonating The use of body armor is again becoming widespread amongst infantry units, primarily using Kevlar technology. Kevlar is the registered Trademark for a light strong para-aramid Synthetic fiber, related to other Aramids such as Nomex and Infantry must also often carry protective measures against chemical and biological attack, including gas masks, counter-agents, and protective suits.
Infantry survival gear includes all of the items soldiers require for day-to-day survival in the combat environment. These include basic environmental protections, medical supplies, food, and sundries. Traditionally, infantry have suffered large casualty rates from disease, exposure, and privation--often in excess of those suffered from enemy attacks. Better equipment of troops in this area greatly reduce this rate of loss. One of the most valuable pieces of gear is the entrenching tool--basically a small shovel--which can be employed not only to dig important defenses, but also in a variety of other daily tasks and even as an effective weapon. An Entrenching tool or E-tool, is a collapsible Spade used by Military forces for a variety of military purposes
Specialized equipment consists of a variety of gear which may or may not be carried depending on the mission and the level of equipment of an army. Communications gear has become a necessity, as it allows effective command of infantry units over greater distances. In some units, individual communications are being used to allow the greatest level of flexibility. Engineering equipment, including demolitions, mines, and other gear, is also commonly carried by the infantry or attached specialists. A variety of other gear, often relating to a specific mission, or to the particular terrain in which the unit is employed, can be carried by infantry units.