Defence Forces (Ireland)
The Defence Forces, are the military of Ireland. They encompass Air Corps, Naval Service and Reserve Defence Forces; the Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces is the President of Ireland. All Defence Forces officers hold their commission from the President, but in practice the Minister for Defence acts on the President's behalf and reports to the Government of Ireland; the Minister for Defence is advised by the Council of Defence on the business of the Department of Defence. The Irish state has a long-standing policy of non-belligerence in armed conflicts, including neutrality in World War II. Ireland's military capabilities are modest. However, the state has a long history of involvement in United Nations peacekeeping operations. Functions of the Defence Forces include: Preparation for the defence of the state against armed attack. Assisting the police force, the Garda Síochána, including the protection of the internal security of the state. Peacekeeping, crisis management and humanitarian relief operations in support of the United Nations.
Policing the fisheries, in accordance with the state's obligations under European Union agreements. Miscellaneous civil contingency duties requested by the Government such as search and rescue, air ambulance provision, providing secure air transport for ministers, assistance in the event of natural and other disasters, ensuring the maintenance of essential services, assisting in dealing with oil pollution at sea; the Defence Forces trace their origins to the Irish Volunteers, founded in 1913. Their official Irish-language title, Óglaigh na hÉireann, is taken from the equivalent Irish-language title of the Irish Volunteers, as are their cap badge and the buttons worn on ceremonial uniforms (the buttons are still marked with the initials "IV"; the Irish Volunteers were central to the Easter Rising staged in April 1916. After the rising, the Volunteers gave allegiance to the First Dáil, the parliament of the revolutionary Irish Republic. At this time the Volunteers became known as the Irish Republican Army.
From 1919 onwards, the IRA waged a guerrilla campaign against British rule in Ireland, now known as the War of Independence. A truce brought hostilities to an end on 11 July 1921 and the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed on 6 December; the Provisional Government was constituted on 14 January 1922. Many IRA men who fought in the War of Independence were dissatisfied with the treaty, both civil war and reoccupation by the British became possible. In February 1922, the Provisional Government began to recruit volunteers into a new National Army. With declining relations between the remaining units of the anti-treaty IRA and the newly recruited pro-treaty National Army, the Irish Civil War broke out on 28 June 1922, it ended on 24 May 1923 with the IRA Chief of Staff, Frank Aiken, ordering IRA volunteers to dump arms, the new Irish Free State slipped into an uneasy peace. A residual IRA organization, considering itself the legitimist successor of the original IRA, carried on low-level paramilitary activities for several decades and gave rise to various other organisations claiming the same name.
On 3 August 1923 the new state passed the "Defence Forces Act", raising "an armed force to be called Oglaigh na hEireann consisting of such number of officers, non-commissioned officers, men as may from time to time be provided by the Oireachtas the new parliament of the Irish Free State." The Forces were established on 1 October 1924. The state was neutral during World War II, but declared an official state of emergency on 2 September 1939 and the Army was mobilised; as the Emergency progressed and newer equipment was purchased for the expanding force from Britain and the United States as well as some manufactured at home. For the duration of the Emergency, while formally neutral, tacitly supported the Allies in several ways. Allied aircraft were tolerated to access the Atlantic Ocean via the Donegal Corridor. German military personnel were interned in the Curragh along with the belligerent powers' servicemen, whereas Allied airmen and sailors who crashed in Ireland were often repatriated by secretly moving them across the border to Northern Ireland.
G2, the Army's intelligence section, played a vital role in the detection and arrest of German spies, such as Hermann Görtz. In September 1946, the Naval Service was established as Ireland's maritime force and as a permanent component of the Defence Forces. Ireland became a member of the United Nations in 1955; the first contribution to peacekeeping was in 1958 when Army officers were assigned to the United Nations Observer Group in Lebanon. Since 1958 the Defence Forces have had a continuous presence on armed United Nations peacekeeping operations, except between May 1974 to May 1978; the first armed peacekeeping mission was to the Operation des Nations Unies au Congo in 1960. During the ONUC mission, a company from the Irish Army were involved in a battle at Jadotville, in which the Irish held-out against a larger Katangese force. A memorial to Irish personnel who served as United Nations peacekeepers was unveiled in 2009 in the town of Fermoy, recording that there was a total of ninety Irish fatalities while on active service with the UN until that date.
During the Troubles, the period of civil conflict centred on Northern Ireland from 1969 to 1998, the Defence Forces deployed to aid the Garda Síochána. Troops were deployed for duty to the border areas, new border military posts were established, in 1973 new per
A warrant officer is an officer in a military organisation, designated an officer by a warrant, as distinguished from a commissioned officer, designated an officer by a commission, a non-commissioned officer, designated an officer by virtue of seniority. The rank was first used in the 13th century in the Royal Navy and is today used in most services in many countries, including the Commonwealth nations and the United States. Outside the United States, warrant officers are included in the "other ranks" category, equivalent to the US "E" category and rank between non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers; the warrant officers in Commonwealth navies rank between chief petty officer and sub-lieutenant, in Commonwealth air forces between flight sergeant and pilot officer, in Commonwealth armies between staff sergeant and second lieutenant. Warrant officers in the United States are in the "W" category. Chief warrant officers are commissioned by the President of the United States and take the same oath as regular commissioned officers.
They may be technical experts with a long service as enlisted personnel, or direct entrants, notably for U. S. Army helicopter pilots; the warrant officer corps began in the nascent Royal Navy. At that time, noblemen with military experience took command of the new navy, adopting the military ranks of lieutenant and captain; these officers had no knowledge of life on board a ship—let alone how to navigate such a vessel—and relied on the expertise of the ship's master and other seamen who tended to the technical aspects of running the ship. As cannon came into use, the officers required gunnery experts. Literacy was one thing that most warrant officers had in common, this distinguished them from the common seamen: according to the Admiralty regulations, "no person shall be appointed to any station in which he is to have charge of stores, unless he can read and write, is sufficiently skilled in arithmetic to keep an account of them correctly". Since all warrant officers had responsibility for stores, this was enough to debar the illiterate.
In origin, warrant officers were specialist professionals whose expertise and authority demanded formal recognition. In the 18th century they fell into two clear categories: on the one hand, those privileged to share with the commissioned officers in the wardroom and on the quarterdeck. Somewhere between the two, were the standing officers; these classes of warrant officer messed in the wardroom with the commissioned officers: the master: the senior warrant officer, a qualified navigator and experienced seaman who set the sails, maintained the ship's log and advised the captain on the seaworthiness of the ship and crew. In the early 19th century, they were joined in the wardroom by naval chaplains, who had warrant officer status; the standing officers were: the boatswain: responsible for maintenance of the ship's boats, rigging and cables. Other warrant officers included surgeon's mates, boatswain's mates and carpenter's mates, armourers and clerks. Masters-at-arms, who had overseen small-arms provision on board, had by this time taken on responsibility for discipline.
By the end of the century, the rank structure could be illustrated as follows: In 1843, the wardroom warrant officers were given commissioned status, while in 1853 the lower-grade warrant officers were absorbed into the new rate of chief petty officer, both classes thereby ceasing to be warrant officers. On 25 July 1864 the standing warrant officers were divided into two grades: warrant officers and chief warrant officers. By the time of the First World War, their ranks had been expanded with the adoption of modern technology in the Royal Navy to include telegraphists, shipwrights, artificer engineers, etc. Both warrant officers and commissioned warrant officers messed in the warrant officers' mess rather than the wardroom. Warrant officers and commissioned warrant officers carried swords, were saluted by ratings, ranked between sub-lieutenants and midshipmen. In 1949, the ranks of warrant officer and commissioned warrant officer were changed to "commissioned officer" and "senior commissioned officer", the latter ranking with but after the rank of lieutenant, they were admitted to the wardroom, the warrant officers' messes closing down.
Collectively, these officers were known as "branch officers", being retitled "special duties" officers in 1956. In 1998, the special dutie
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations known as the Commonwealth, is a unique political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states; the Commonwealth dates back to the first half of the 20th century with the decolonisation of the British Empire through increased self-governance of its territories. It was created as the British Commonwealth through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference, formalised by the United Kingdom through the Statute of Westminster in 1931; the current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernised the community, established the member states as "free and equal". The human symbol of this free association is the Head of the Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth II, the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting appointed Charles, Prince of Wales to be her designated successor, although the position is not technically hereditary.
The Queen is the head of state of 16 member states, known as the Commonwealth realms, while 32 other members are republics and five others have different monarchs. Member states have no legal obligations to one another. Instead, they are united by English language, history and their shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law; these values are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by the quadrennial Commonwealth Games. The countries of the Commonwealth cover more than 29,958,050 km2, equivalent to 20% of the world's land area, span all six inhabited continents. Queen Elizabeth II, in her address to Canada on Dominion Day in 1959, pointed out that the confederation of Canada on 1 July 1867 had been the birth of the "first independent country within the British Empire", she declared: "So, it marks the beginning of that free association of independent states, now known as the Commonwealth of Nations." As long ago as 1884 Lord Rosebery, while visiting Australia, had described the changing British Empire, as some of its colonies became more independent, as a "Commonwealth of Nations".
Conferences of British and colonial prime ministers occurred periodically from the first one in 1887, leading to the creation of the Imperial Conferences in 1911. The Commonwealth developed from the imperial conferences. A specific proposal was presented by Jan Smuts in 1917 when he coined the term "the British Commonwealth of Nations" and envisioned the "future constitutional relations and readjustments in essence" at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, attended by delegates from the Dominions as well as Britain; the term first received imperial statutory recognition in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, when the term British Commonwealth of Nations was substituted for British Empire in the wording of the oath taken by members of parliament of the Irish Free State. In the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference and its dominions agreed they were "equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations".
The term "Commonwealth" was adopted to describe the community. These aspects to the relationship were formalised by the Statute of Westminster in 1931, which applied to Canada without the need for ratification, but Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland had to ratify the statute for it to take effect. Newfoundland never did, as on 16 February 1934, with the consent of its parliament, the government of Newfoundland voluntarily ended and governance reverted to direct control from London. Newfoundland joined Canada as its 10th province in 1949. Australia and New Zealand ratified the Statute in 1947 respectively. Although the Union of South Africa was not among the Dominions that needed to adopt the Statute of Westminster for it to take effect, two laws—the Status of the Union Act, 1934, the Royal Executive Functions and Seals Act of 1934—were passed to confirm South Africa's status as a sovereign state. After the Second World War ended, the British Empire was dismantled. Most of its components have become independent countries, whether Commonwealth realms or republics, members of the Commonwealth.
There remain the 14 self-governing British overseas territories which retain some political association with the United Kingdom. In April 1949, following the London Declaration, the word "British" was dropped from the title of the Commonwealth to reflect its changing nature. Burma and Aden are the only states that were British colonies at the time of the war not to have joined the Commonwealth upon independence. Former British protectorates and mandates that did not become members of the Commonwealth are Egypt, Transjordan, Sudan, British Somaliland, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates; the postwar Commonwealth was given a fresh mission by Queen Elizabeth in her Christmas Day 1953 broadcast, in which she envisioned the Commonwealth as "an new conception – built on the highest qualities of the Spirit of Man: friendship and the desire for freedom and peace". Hoped for success was reinforced by such achievements as climbing Mount Everest in 1953, breaking the four-minute mile in 1954
A battalion is a military unit. The use of the term "battalion" varies by branch of service. A battalion consists of 300 to 800 soldiers and is divided into a number of companies. A battalion is commanded by a lieutenant colonel. In some countries, the word "battalion" is associated with the infantry; the term was first used in Italian as battaglione no than the 16th century. It derived from the Italian word for battaglia; the first use of battalion in English was in the 1580s, the first use to mean "part of a regiment" is from 1708. A battalion is the smallest military unit capable of "limited independent operations", meaning it includes an executive, staff with a support and services unit; the battalion must have a source of re-supply to enable it to sustain operations for more than a few days. This is because a battalion's complement of ammunition, expendable weapons, rations, lubricants, replacement parts and medical supplies consists of only what the battalion's soldiers and the battalion's vehicles can carry.
In addition to sufficient personnel and equipment to conduct operations, as well as a limited administrative and logistics capability, the commander's staff coordinates and plans operations. A battalion's subordinate companies and their platoons are dependent upon the battalion headquarters for command, control and intelligence, the battalion's service and support structure; the battalion is part of a brigade, or group, depending on the branch of service. A battalion's companies are of one type, although there are exceptions such as combined arms battalions in the U. S. Army. A battalion includes a headquarters company and some sort of combat service support, combined in a combat support company; the term battalion is used in the British Army Infantry and some corps including the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, intelligence corps. It was used in the Royal Engineers, was used in the now defunct Royal Army Ordnance Corps and Royal Pioneer Corps. Other corps use the term "regiment" instead.
An infantry battalion is numbered ordinarily within its regiment. It has a headquarters company, support company, three rifle companies; each company is commanded by a major, the officer commanding, with a captain or senior lieutenant as second-in-command. The HQ company contains signals, catering, administration, training and medical elements; the support company contains anti-tank, machine gun, mortar and reconnaissance platoons. Mechanised units have an attached light aid detachment of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to perform field repairs on vehicles and equipment. A British battalion in theatre during World War II had around 845 men, whereas, as of 2012, a British battalion had around 650 soldiers. With successive rounds of cutbacks after the war, many infantry regiments were reduced to a single battalion. Important figures in a battalion headquarters include: Commanding officer Second-in-command Adjutant Quartermaster Quartermaster Medical officer Administrative officer Padre Operations officer Regimental sergeant major Regimental quartermaster sergeant Regimental quartermaster sergeant Battalions of other corps are given separate cardinal numbers within their corps.
A battle group consists of an infantry battalion or armoured regiment with sub-units detached from other military units acting under the command of the battalion commander. In the Canadian Forces, most battalions are reserve units of between 100–200 soldiers that include an operationally ready, field-deployable component of a half-company apiece; the nine regular force infantry battalions each contain three or four rifle companies and one or two support companies. Canadian battalions are commanded by lieutenant-colonels, though smaller reserve battalions may be commanded by majors; those regiments consisting of more than one battalion are: The Royal Canadian Regiment Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Royal 22e Régiment The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Tactically, the Canadian battalion forms the core of the infantry battle group, which includes various supporting elements such as armour, combat engineers and combat service support. An infantry battle group will be commanded by the commander of the core infantry battalion around which it is formed and can range in size from 300 to 1,500 or more soldiers, depending on the nature of the mission assigned.
In the Royal Netherlands Army, a mechanised infantry battalion consists of one command- and medical company, three mechanised infantry companies, one support company
Corporal is a military rank in use in some form by many militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. Within NATO, each member nation's corresponding military rank of corporal is combined under the NATO-standard rank scale code OR-3 or OR-4. However, there are differences in how each nation employs corporals; some militaries may instead have a Junior Sergeant. In some militaries, the rank of corporal nominally corresponds to commanding a section or squad of soldiers. However, in the United States Army, the rank of corporal is considered a "lateral promotion" from E-4 Specialist and only occurs when the soldier has been selected by a promotion board to become an E-5 Sergeant and is serving in an E-5 billet such as a fireteam leader in a rifle squad; the lateral promotion is used to make the soldier a non-commissioned officer without changing the soldier's pay. As the Table of Organization & Equipment rank of a fire team leader is sergeant and that of squad leader is staff sergeant.
In the United States Marine Corps, corporal is the Table of Organization rank for a rifle fire team leader, machine gun team leader, light mortar squad leader, assault weapon squad leader, as well as gunner on most larger crew served weapons, armored vehicles, the two assistant gunners on a howitzer. In most countries that derive their military structure from the British military system, corporal is a more senior rank than that of private. However, in several other countries, such as Canada and Norway, corporal is a junior rank, indicating a more experienced soldier than a private, on a higher pay scale, but having no particular command appointment corresponding to the rank, similar to specialist in the U. S. Army; the word is derived from the medieval Italian phrase capo corporale. It may be derived from an appointment as an officer's bodyguard being an adjective pertaining to the word "body". All three branches of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic use two or three ranks of corporal, or cabo.
Corporals in the Argentine military are considered suboficiales subalternos, superior only to all ranks of Volunteers and Seamen. In the Argentine Army, there are two ranks of corporal and senior: Cabo and cabo primero. While the Argentine Navy has three corporal ranks, from junior to senior: Cabo segundo, Cabo primero and cabo principal, equal to the army rank of sargento; the Air Force has the same number of corporal ranks as the navy, keeps the same titles, with the exception of cabo instead of the navy's cabo segundo. The rank is used by the Argentine National Gendarmerie and the Argentine Federal Police, which use the rank in the same manner as the Army, as well as the Argentine Naval Prefecture. Corporal is the second lowest of the non-commissioned officer ranks in the Australian Army, falling between lance-corporal and sergeant. A corporal is appointed as a section commander, is in charge of 7-14 soldiers of private rank, they are assisted by a second-in-command a lance-corporal or senior private.
A Corporal within Artillery is known as a bombardier. Corporal is a rank of the Royal Australian Air Force, being equal to both the Australian Army and Royal Air Force rank of corporal; the branches of the Belgian Armed Forces use three ranks of corporal: corporal, master corporal and 1st master corporal. Corporal is equivalent to NATO Rank Code OR-3, whereas master corporal and 1st master corporal are equivalent to OR-4; the rank below corporal is 1st private and the rank directly above 1st master corporal is sergeant. Units with a cavalry, artily or Logistic Corps tradition replace Corporal by “Brigadier”; the equivalent of these ranks in the Naval Component are quartermaster, chief quartermaster and 1st chief quartermaster. Corporal is the first NCO rank of the Army, Air Force and states military police forces. Soldiers who complete the corporal course may be promoted to the rank of corporal should they excel in the course. A corporal in the Brazilian Army will lead the smallest fractions of units as machine gun squads and infantry squads.
Corporal is an Air Force non-commissioned member rank of the Canadian Forces. Its Naval equivalent is leading seaman, it is senior to the rank of private and its naval equivalent able seaman, junior to master corporal and its equivalent master seaman. It is part of the cadre of junior non-commissioned officers, one of the junior ranks. In French, the rank is caporal; the rank insignia of a corporal is a two-bar chevron, point down, worn in gold thread on both upper sleeves of the service dress jacket. On army ceremonial uniforms, it is rendered in gold braid, on either both sleeves, or just the right, depending on unit custom. Corporal is the first non-commissioned officer r
The Household Cavalry is made up of the two most senior regiments of the British Army, the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals. These regiments are divided between the Armoured Regiment stationed at Combermere Barracks in Windsor and the ceremonial mounted unit, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, garrisoned at Hyde Park Barracks in London; the Household Cavalry is the Queen's official bodyguard. The British Household Cavalry is classed as a corps in its own right, consists of two regiments: the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals, they are the senior regular regiments in the British Army, with traditions dating from 1660, act as the Queen's personal bodyguard. They are guards regiments and, with the five foot guard regiments, help constitute the seven guards regiments of the Household Division; the Household Cavalry as a whole is split into two different units that fulfil distinct roles. These are both joint units. Like other Cavalry formations, the Household Cavalry is divided into squadrons.
The whole corps is under the command of the Commander Household Cavalry, who holds the Royal Household appointment of Silver Stick in Waiting. He is a Colonel, is assisted by a retired lieutenant colonel as Regimental Adjutant; the current Commander is Colonel S H Cowen RHG/D. The first unit is the Household Cavalry Regiment, it has an active operational role as a Formation Reconnaissance Regiment, serving in armoured fighting vehicles, which has seen them at the forefront of the nation's conflicts. The regiment serves as part of the Royal Armoured Corps, forms one of five formation reconnaissance regiments in the British Army's order of battle; the HCR has four operational squadrons, three of which are traditional medium reconnaissance squadrons equipped with the combat vehicle reconnaissance or CVR range of vehicles and the fourth is referred to as Command and Support Squadron and includes specialists, such as Forward Air Controllers. One of HCR's squadrons is assigned to the airborne role with 16 Air Assault Brigade as of 2003.
The Regiment is based at Combermere Barracks, one mile from Windsor Castle. The men of the Household Division have sometimes been required to undertake special tasks as the Sovereign’s personal troops; the Household Cavalry were called to Windsor Castle on 20 November 1992 to assist with salvage operations following the'Great Fire'. The second unit is the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, horsed and carries out mounted ceremonial duties on State and Royal occasions; these include the provision of a Sovereign's Escort, most seen on The Queen's Birthday Parade in June each year. Other occasions include state visits by visiting heads of state, or whenever required by the British monarch; the regiment mounts the guard at Horse Guards. HCMR consists of one squadron from The Life Guards, one from The Blues and Royals and a squadron called Headquarters Squadron, responsible for all administrative matters and includes the regimental headquarters, the Riding Staff, Farriers and Saddlers; the Regiment has been based at Hyde Park Barracks, since 1795.
This is three-quarters of a mile from Buckingham Palace. New troopers and officers are first assigned to London upon completion of horsemanship training and remain there for up to three years. Like the five Foot Guards regiments they rotate between ceremonial duties. Second Lieutenants in The Blues and Royals are known as Cornets; the rank names and insignia of non-commissioned officers in the Household Cavalry are unique in the British Army: Formerly, sergeant was an infantry rank: no cavalry regiment had sergeants. Only the Household Cavalry now maintains this tradition because sergeant derives from the Latin serviens and members of the Household Cavalry, once drawn from the gentry and aristocracy, could not abide such a title. However, this origin may be apocryphal, since serjeant was a title used by some offices of comparative seniority, such as Serjeants at Arms, Serjeants at Law. Recruits were required to have a high moral character. Before the Second World War, recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 10 inches tall, but could not exceed 6 feet 1 inch.
They enlisted for eight years with the colours and a further four years with the reserve. There is a farrier on call "round the clock, twenty-four hours a day, at Hyde Park Barracks". Farriers traditionally combined veterinary knowledge with blacksmiths' skills, they were responsible for fitting horseshoes to horses. They dealt with the "humane dispatch of wounded and sick horses", accomplished with the large spike on the end of their axes, they used the sharp blade of the axe to chop off the deceased animal's hoof, marked with its regimental number. This assisted in keeping track of animals killed in action. Although the axes are not used any more, army farriers still carry these axes, with their characteristic blade and spike, at ceremonial events such as Trooping the Colour. In the Blues and Royals, the farriers dress like their comrades in regimental uniform; the distinctive uniform and equipment of the farriers of the Life Guards—blue tunic, black plume and axe—is a historic reminder of the old British Army of the days of James Wolfe.
Every cavalry regiment in the Army, other than the
Marines known as naval infantry, are an infantry force that specializes in the support of naval and army operations at sea and on land and air, as well as the execution of their own operations. In many countries, the marines are an integral part of that state's navy. In others, it is a separate organization altogether, such as in the United States, where the Marine Corps falls under the US Department of the Navy, yet it operates independently. Marines can fall under a country's army like the Troupes de marine and Givati Brigade. Tasks undertaken by marines have included: helping maintain discipline and order aboard the ship, the boarding of vessels during combat or capture of prize ships, providing manpower for raiding ashore in support of the naval objectives. With the industrialization of warfare in the 20th century the scale of landing operations increased. Marine forces evolved to specialize in the capabilities required for amphibious warfare. In the earliest day of naval warfare, there was little distinction between sailors and soldiers on a warship.
The oarsmen of Ancient Greek and Roman ships had to be capable of fighting the rowers of opposing ships hand-to-hand. The Roman Republic was the first to understand the importance of professional soldiers dedicated to melee combat onboard of ships. During the First Punic War, Roman crews remained inferior in naval experience to the Carthaginians and could not hope to match the Carthaginians in naval tactics, which required great fleet maneuverability and tactical experience; the Romans therefore employed a novel weapon which changed sea warfare to their advantage — they equipped their ships with the corvus, a long pivoting plank with a beak-like spike on the underside for hooking onto enemy ships developed earlier by the Syracusans against the Athenians during the Sicilian Expedition of the Peloponnesian War. Using it as a boarding bridge, Roman infantrymen were able to invade an enemy ship, transforming sea combat into a version of land combat, where the Roman legionaries had the upper hand.
During the early Principate, a ship's crew, regardless of its size, was organized as a centuria. Crewmen could sign on as naval infantry, rowers/seamen and various other jobs, though all personnel serving in the imperial fleet were classed as milites, regardless of their function; the Roman Navy's two fleet legions, I Adiutrix and II Adiutrix, were among the first distinct naval infantry units. The first organized marine corps was created in Venice by the Doge Enrico Dandolo when he created the first regiment of ten companies spread on several ships; that Corps participated to the conquest of Byzantium officially called " Fanti da Mar" in 1550. The Spanish king, Carlos I, assigned the naval infantry of the Compañías Viejas del Mar de Nápoles to the Escuadras de Galeras del Mediterráneo in 1537, progenitors of the current Spanish Navy Marines corps, making them the oldest marine corps still in active service in the world; the third oldest marine corps in the world was founded as the Terço of the Navy of the Crown of Portugal in 1618, predecessor to the modern Portuguese Marine Corps.
The English noun marine is from the adjective marine, meaning "of the sea", via French marin from Latin marinus itself from mare, from Proto-Indo-European *móri. The word marine was used for the marine-type forces of England; because of this use of "marine" to mean "navy", exact one-word translations for the English term "Marines" do not exist in many other languages, which can lead to misunderstandings when translating, with the notable exception of the Dutch word marinier. Marine forces in non-English speaking countries have names that translate in English to naval infantry or coastal infantry. In French-speaking countries, two phrases exist which could be translated as marine, "troupes de marine" and "fusiliers-marins"; the principal role of marine troops is military operations in the littoral zone. Marine units deploy from warships using boats, landing craft, amphibious vehicles or helicopters. Specialist units are trained in combat diving/combat swimming and parachuting; as well as amphibious operations, marine troops are used in a variety of naval roles.
Stationed at naval bases or forming marine detachments on board naval ships, they conduct small scale raiding, maritime boarding operations, security of naval vessels and bases and coastal missions, mess duty, field day operations. In addition to their primary roles, they perform other tasks, including special operations and land warfare, separate from naval operations.