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Wikipedia:WikiProject Military

First, an important note for everyone to remember:

A few Wikipedians have gotten together to make some suggestions about how we might organize data in articles about military organizations. These are only suggestions, things to give you focus and to get you going, and you shouldn't feel obligated in the least to follow them. But if you don't know what to write or where to begin, following the below guidelines may be helpful. Mainly, we just want you to write articles!

Table of contents

Title WikiProject Military

Scope This WikiProject aims to start organizing and adding to the store of articles on military units and organizations, such as divisions and regiments. Some units are temporary, while others have existed for centuries and have a long history. Military units are to history like atoms and molecules in chemistry; one can't write good history articles without knowing the participants, and articles now have a mishmash of links to stubs and plaintext refs, or worse, no mention of the units at all.

Similarly, a country's military has a number of bases and other facilities that play a role in the life of the surrounding area.

Parentage No parent of this WikiProject has been defined.

Descendant Wikiprojects No descendant WikiProjects have been defined. Wikiprojects for individual types of units may be of interest at some point (for instance, there were about 100 divisions of the US Army in WWII; each has enough story for its own article).

Related Wikiprojects WikiProject Ships is related; many of the ships it organizes are military in purpose, and are themselves military units.



Most country articles already have something such as Military of Greece that can serve as the root, while articles about alliances such as NATO are suitable for the few multinational militaries that exist. For dead countries, the military article may need only be a section within the country's article.

If there is a related civilian authority such as United States Department of Defense, it should be a separate article "off to the side", linked from the Military of X page.

Service branch articles

The first type of article describes a single branch of a country's armed forces. It may be necessary to create additional articles for service branches that no longer exist as such, or that have radically changed; these should also be linked from Military of X, mentioning the dates of their existence, so the reader can which is most relevant.

The service branch article should begin with context, and summarize the service's background and mission for the general reader in the first several paragraphs. Then there should be a section describing the current overall organization (but not listing all the components), a section with more detailed history, a table of current top-level components with links, and links to misc related topics. As usual, each of the sections may become separate articles if the overall article is large.

There will be several kinds of component article, details depending on the country, but categories may include formations, bases/facilities, commands, and functions. The service branch article should provide a table linking to all of these, again possibly indirecting through several layers in order to keep article sizes reasonable.

Formation articles

Formations are the divisions, fleets, and air wings that the rest of the military exists to support. Some are long-lived and others ephemeral, and sometimes the same name is used for different formations at different times. This has been handled for ships already via "index articles" such as USS Enterprise, which are like disambiguators, but more specialized.

Units of size down to regiment are likely to be worth an article; below that size the unit ought to have something notable about it that could not be explicated in a larger unit's article.

A formation article should summarize who/what/when/where as succinctly as possible in the first paragraph, and commence with details only in the second paragraph and after, so as to help lost surfers get back on track. The details of a unit should include its origin and highlights of its operational history, composition (keeping in mind that a table may be necessary to describe changes over time), and mentions of notable commanders (a list of all commanders is not bad but not really necessary either).

Ship and fleet articles can have pictures, while army and air force units can have images of their patches, as well as action shots of their members in action.

Article naming needs work - dozens of countries all have a 1st Infantry Division.

Base and facility articles

Bases and facilities are somewhat like formations that never move. Those articles should include geographical context, including links to neighboring communities, and economic information if available. Base pages can link to formations stationed there, keeping in mind that the information should be organized for easy update, since it changes a lot. Closed bases should get articles also, and there should be redirects from historical names, which will catch a bunch of currently-empty links.

Command and function articles

These are hardest to regularize, since the top echelons of a service routinely rearrange and reorganize themselves. Many of these articles can be short and consist mostly of dates of validity and links indicating relationships to other commands. Others should just describe the evolution of the function and relate it to the first formation adopting, statistics on usage, etc.

Hierarchy Definition

In general, militaries already have elaborate hierarchies that can be used verbatim. Long-lived formations will have gone through multiple reorganized hierarchies, and articles should be prepared to describe the periods of time during which a particular relationship existed.


Templates are anticipated, but not defined yet.

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