A military or armed force is a professional organization formally authorized by a sovereign state to use lethal or deadly force and weapons to support the interests of the state and some or all of its citizens. It typically consists of branches such as an Army, Navy, Air Force, and in certain countries the Marines and Coast Guard. The task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state, and its citizens, and the prosecution of war against another state. The military may also have additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within a society, including, the promotion of a political agenda, protecting corporate economic interests, internal population control, construction, emergency services, social ceremonies, and guarding important areas. The military may also function as a discrete subculture within a larger civil society, through the development of separate infrastructures, which may include housing, schools, utilities, logistics, health and medical, law, food production, finance and banking.
Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.
George Washington, general orders, July 6, 1777; reported in John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, vol. 8 (1933), p. 359.
For the corporation executives, the military metaphysic often coincides with their interest in a stable and planned flow of profit; it enables them to have their risk underwritten by public money; it enables them reasonably to expect that they can exploit for private profit now and later, the risky research developments paid for by public money. It is, in brief, a mask of the subsidized capitalism from which they extract profit and upon which their power is based.
C. Wright Mills, The Causes of World War Three (1958).