A military or armed force is a professional organization formally authorized by a sovereign state to use lethal or deadly force and weapons to support the interests of the state and some or all of its citizens. It typically consists of branches such as an Army, Navy, Air Force, and in certain countries the Marines and Coast Guard. The task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state, and its citizens, and the prosecution of war against another state. The military may also have additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within a society, including, the promotion of a political agenda, protecting corporate economic interests, internal population control, construction, emergency services, social ceremonies, and guarding important areas. The military may also function as a discrete subculture within a larger civil society, through the development of separate infrastructures, which may include housing, schools, utilities, logistics, health and medical, law, food production, finance and banking.
I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
Smedley Butler, "America's Armed Forces," Common Sense, vol. 4, no. 11 (1935), pp. 8-12
Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.
George Washington, general orders, July 6, 1777; reported in John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, vol. 8 (1933), p. 359.