Army Today

Arms and Services


Army troops are organised into two main categories, namely the Arms and the Services. The Arms consist of the Armoured Corps, the Infantry, the Artillery, the Engineers, the Signals and more recently, the Air Defence Corps and the Aviation Corps, both of which originate from the Artillery. The Armoured Corps and Infantry are called Fighting Arms. The Artillery, Engineers, Signals, Air Defence Corps, and Aviation Corps are called Supporting Arms, as they support the Fighting Arms in the field. Those troops that provide the logistical support to the Arms are called Services. These are the Army Service Corps (ASC), Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME) and Army Medical Corps (AMC). The Teeth-to-Tail (TTR) ratio is the number of soldiers in the fighting arms (Infantry, Armoured Corps, etc.) to the number of soldiers in the supporting arms (Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, etc). It is considered to be a barometer of efficiency & automation.

Officers, JCOs and ORs (Other Ranks) are inducted into the Army and trained in a particular Arm or Service, and they continue to serve in the same Arm or Service throughout their careers. However, basic military training in handling and use of personal weapons and small arms, and physical performance and fitness is the same irrespective of the Arm or Service. The sub-units, units and formations of each of the Arms and Services are organised and equipped to carry out their role in battle. The Fighting Arms (Armoured Corps and Infantry) engage the enemy in actual combat. The Artillery provides the supporting artillery fire. The Engineers provide the mobility to the Fighting Arms (e.g., mine clearing, bridges, obstacle clearance, bunker demolition) while denying mobility to the enemy (e.g., mine laying, demolitions, obstacle construction). The Signals provide physical dispatch of messages and line and wireless communication. The Air Defence Corps provides support against enemy air attack. And the Aviation Corps provides aerial reconnaissance and Aerial Observation Posts, besides providing rapid mobility to Commanders in the field.

In the Services, the ASC is responsible for procurement, storage and distribution of supplies, for mechanical as well as animal transportation, and air dispatch. The AOC is responsible for procurement, storage and distribution of weapon systems, weapons, munitions, vehicles, equipment and clothing. The EME repairs and maintains all major and minor electrical, electronic and mechanical devices that the Army uses. And the AMC provides medical and hospital cover for the entire Army. Besides these major Services, there are several minor Services such as Intelligence Corps, Corps of Military Police (CMP), Army Postal Service (APS), Army Education Corps (AEC), Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC), Army Dental Corps (ADC), Army Physical Training Corps, and Legal (JAG - Judge Advocate General) Department.

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