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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.
- Commissioned officers
- Enlisted military personnel
- Military medical personnel
- Military personnel
- National guardsmen
- ROTC students
Cotton, C. A. (1990). Commitment in military systems. New York, NY, England: Greenwood Press.
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