Video encyclopedia

Standing army


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A standing army, unlike a reserve army, is a permanent, often professional, army. It is composed of full-time soldiers and is not disbanded during times of peace. It differs from army reserves, who are enrolled for the long term, but activated only during wars or natural disasters, and temporary armies, which are raised from the civilian population only during a war or threat of war and disbanded once the war or threat is over. The term dates from approximately 1600, although the phenomenon it describes is much older.
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