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Volunteer military personnel are volunteer personnel who enter military service. In an army without conscription such volunteers are the main source of military recruitment.

A military volunteer is a person who enlists in military service by free will, and is not a mercenary or a foreign legionaire. Volunteers often enlist to fight in the armed forces of a foreign country.

Many armies, including the U.S. Army, formerly distinguished between "volunteers" enlisted during a war, and "regulars" who served on long-term basis. Troops raised as state militia were always "volunteers" (even when recruited by conscription), while "U.S." troops could be volunteers or regulars. The rank of an officer in a volunteer unit was separate from his rank (if any) as a regular, and usually higher. When the volunteer forces were disbanded at the end of the war, officers with both kinds of commission reverted to their "regular" rank.



See also

References

Cotton, C. A. (1990). Commitment in military systems. New York, NY, England: Greenwood Press.

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