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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 legionnaire. Volunteers often enlist to fight in the armed forces of a foreign country. Military volunteers are essential for the operation of volunteer militaries.
Many armies, including the U.S. Army, formerly distinguished between "United States 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. For instance, George Armstrong Custer became a Brigadier General of volunteers during the American Civil War, but when the war ended, he reverted to Captain. (He was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.) Volunteer rank should not be confused with brevet rank.
The move to a volunteer over conscription force for a national military appears to improve, at least for the United States, the professionalism of its standing armed forces. One result, however, is that a nation may be more quick to go to war because it does not have to answer to the public as it would if it needed to increase conscription to support the involvement in the armed conflict.
- Military volunteer
Cretan volunteers, War of 1812/13
German volunteers for the Greek forces, war of 1897
Dutch volunteers corps in Indonesia, 1918
German war volunteers arrive at train station, February 1944
See also 
External links 
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Daily News Egypt
Fri, 24 May 2013 10:19:47 -0700
Unidentified gunmen had kidnapped seven off-duty security personnel on Thursday, 16 May; six of them belonging to different sections of the Ministry of Interior and one a military volunteer non-commissioned officer with the Border Guards. The ...
The Fort Hood Sentinel
Wed, 22 May 2013 22:09:45 -0700
James Norman, 1st Cavalry Division command sergeant major, present Pfc. Brandon Paddock, 4th Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, intelligence annalyst, an award for Military Volunteer of the Quarter at Club Hood, May 14 Photos by Sgt. Kyle Fisch, 14th ...
Daily News Egypt
Tue, 21 May 2013 11:16:24 -0700
Unidentified gunmen kidnapped seven off duty security personnel on Thursday; six of them belong to different sections of the Ministry of Interior and one of the detainees is a military volunteer non-commissioned officer with the Border Guards. The ...
Thu, 16 May 2013 23:08:39 -0700
Yet as Sam, a "Mr. Mom," told American Thinker, "all the people serving in the military volunteer, but their children are drafted. They have no choice in this matter as to where they are relocated or how the serving parent is not there for different ...
Summit Daily News
Sun, 12 May 2013 19:01:46 -0700
Few probably recall the name Dwight Elliott Stone. But even if that name has faded from the national memory, the man remains historically significant. That's because on June 30, 1973, the 24-year-old plumber's apprentice became the last American forced ...
Daily News Egypt
Wed, 22 May 2013 10:25:04 -0700
Unidentified gunmen kidnapped seven off duty security personnel on Thursday; six of them belonging to different sections of the Ministry of Interior and one a military volunteer non-commissioned officer with the Border Guards. The kidnappers released a ...
Daily News Egypt
Sun, 19 May 2013 10:42:51 -0700
Unidentified gunmen kidnapped seven off-duty security personnel on Thursday; six of them belong to different sections of the Ministry of Interior and one of the detainees, Ibrahim, is a military volunteer non-commissioned officer with the Border Guards.
Marines.mil (press release)
Mon, 29 Apr 2013 10:01:29 -0700
Staff Sgt. Robert Rayburn, the deputy family readiness officer of 9th Communication Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, is recognized as a nominee for the Military Volunteer of the Year category during the Volunteer Recognition Ceremony at Camp ...
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