Soldiers, marines, airmen, sailors

United States Marines don’t like to be called soldiers. Unless you wish to cause mild offense, refer to them as Marines (usually capitalized). Members of the U.S. Army and National Guard are soldiers. Members of the Air Force are airmen. Members of the Navy are sailors.


Among active-duty Army soldiers, there were 156 potential suicides in 2010, down slightly from 162 in 2009. [USA Today]

A former Marine from Pinehurst has filed a $16 million federal lawsuit against the government.  [Southern Pines Pilot]

The airmen completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. [Sumter Item]

More and more, the Navy is turning to simulators to train its sailors. [The Virginian-Pilot]

9 thoughts on “Soldiers, marines, airmen, sailors”

    • Perhaps the “enlisted”. This would refer to all non-warrant officer and non-officer paygrades in the US military.

      • But then you offend the commissioned officers if you mistakenly refer to them as enlisted when trying to generalize all the members of the armed forces.

    • Service member is the more formal term. Troops is the more informal ways to refer to all of them as a group. A correction to the definition above: Members of the Army National Guard are soldiers, members of the Air National Guard are airmen. The National Guard is split between these two groups with belong to the US Army and US Air Force, respectively.

  1. Every single one of these should be capitalized. It is Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors. If you are not sure of the branch or rank then U.S. Service Member is appropriate to use.

  2. If your in the Marines then your a marine. If your in the Army then your a grunt. If your in the Navy then your a swaby, & if your in the air Force your an airman. But if your in the service your are all grouped up as SOLDIERS.


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