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(CC) Photo: Eric M Gearhart
United States Army Soldier in Class A uniform

The term Soldier derives from the Latin term soldus for the denomination of coin a Roman soldier was paid.[1]

The image typically conjured by the term Soldier is that of a member of the Armed Forces trudging through the woods, with a large pack on their back and wearing thick boots. This imagery is accurate - soldiers specialize in serving primarily as defenders of a country's land.

The term generally refers to an individual serving in a nation's Army, although in the media "Soldier" or "troop" has referred to members of the Armed Services as a whole. For example, Marines are technically not soldiers, but the media has referred to "soldiers in the field" in a more general way.


  1. Raymond Oliver. Why is the Colonel called "kernal"? The origin of the ranks and rank insignia now used by the United States armed forces, McClellan Aviation Museum. Retrieved on 2011-04-22. “A Soldier is a person who serves in a military force for pay. His name comes from the Latin soldus, a contraction of another Latin word solidus, a Roman coin used for, among other things, paying military men.” mirror