What Is the Smallest Army in the World?
When we think of armies, we often imagine massive forces with thousands, or even millions, of soldiers. However, not all nations have the resources or necessity to maintain such large military forces. In fact, some countries have armies that are so small, they are almost negligible in comparison. In this article, we will explore the smallest army in the world and delve into some frequently asked questions surrounding this intriguing topic.
The Vatican City is home to the smallest army in the world, known as the Pontifical Swiss Guard. Established in 1506, the Swiss Guard is responsible for protecting the Pope and ensuring the safety and security of the Vatican. Comprised of around 135 members, this small force is primarily ceremonial in nature, but they also possess the skills and training necessary to respond to threats.
FAQs about the Smallest Army in the World:
1. How did the Pontifical Swiss Guard come into existence?
The Pontifical Swiss Guard was established by Pope Julius II in 1506. At the time, Swiss mercenaries were renowned for their military prowess, loyalty, and discipline. Pope Julius II enlisted them to serve as his personal bodyguards and protectors of the Vatican.
2. What are the requirements to join the Pontifical Swiss Guard?
To join the Pontifical Swiss Guard, applicants must meet several criteria. They must be male, Catholic, Swiss citizens, between the ages of 19 and 30, and at least 5’8″ tall. Additionally, candidates must complete basic training in the Swiss Armed Forces.
3. What is the role of the Pontifical Swiss Guard today?
While their primary duty is to protect the Pope and the Vatican, the Pontifical Swiss Guard also fulfill ceremonial roles. They participate in various papal events, including the Pope’s public appearances and liturgical ceremonies.
4. Does the Pontifical Swiss Guard engage in combat?
Although the Pontifical Swiss Guard is trained in combat, their main focus is on ceremonial duties and maintaining a visible presence at the Vatican. However, in the past, they have engaged in battles to defend the Pope and the Holy See.
5. What is the duration of service for members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard?
Members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard generally serve for a period of two years. After completing their service, they return to Switzerland, often pursuing careers in various fields.
6. How are members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard trained?
Training for the Pontifical Swiss Guard is rigorous and comprehensive. It includes physical fitness, weapons handling, crowd control, and ceremonial procedures. Additionally, members receive specialized training in marksmanship, self-defense, and crisis management.
7. Are there any female members in the Pontifical Swiss Guard?
Currently, the Pontifical Swiss Guard consists exclusively of male members. However, there has been recent discussion about potentially allowing female recruits, although no official decision has been made yet.
In conclusion, the Pontifical Swiss Guard, stationed in the Vatican City, holds the distinction of being the smallest army in the world. With a modest strength of around 135 members, this force serves a dual purpose of ceremonial duties and ensuring the safety of the Pope. While their size may be small, their historical significance and dedication to their role make the Pontifical Swiss Guard an intriguing and unique military force in the world.