Top 10 Countries with Largest Active Army Personnel

The world we live in is not perfect. The countries are always at the risk of war which means they need arms, ammunition and an army to keep their people safe. All the countries face threats from both within and outside of the country and to mitigate the risks countries have to raise huge and powerful armies so as to protect and defend their interests. Active army personnel are the “ready-to-fight” people in the army. While judging the largest militaries in the world, we will find out that there are so many countries that have huge and strong armies. Countries spend huge part of their budgets to increase the power level of their defence structure.  However, while comparing armies the size of the standing armies alone does not judge the strength of the military alone. The military histories, budgets and current operation should also be taken into account. Here we are with the top 10 countries with largest active army personnel in the world.

 10 Egypt (438,500)


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The Army of the Arab Republic of Egypt is totally creditworthy towards the defense of Egypt.  The Egyptian Armed Forces consist of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Command. With this, Egypt also maintains the large paramilitary forces in the Arab world. The Border and National Guard Forces comes under the Defense Ministry while Central Security Force falls under the Ministry of Interior. The number of Active Army Personal in the Egyptian Army currently in 2017 is 438,500 tagged as 10th Largest Active Army Personals in the world.

 9 Vietnam (482,000)


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The military force of Socialist Republic of Vietnam is known as The People’s Army of Vietnam or as Vietnamese People’s Army. The People’s army of Vietnam includes Navy, Air Force, Ground Force, Border Defense Force, and coastal guards with 482,000 active army personnel. Vietnam however does not have specialized ground force or army branch.  All the armies and troops belong to the Ministry of Defense.

8 Iran (523,000)


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The armed forces of Islamic Republic of Iran include its army (IRIA), the revolutionary guard corps (IRGC) and the law enforcement force. Excluding the law enforcement force, Iran is one of the largest armed forces having 523,000 active army personnel. All the branches of armed force come under direct command of general HQs of armed forces. Despite lacking the modern sophisticated and high-tech military equipments, Iran’s military is said to be the Middle East’s most powerful military force. After the arms embargo in 1971, Iran started producing its own weapons and also got involved in manufacturing nuclear weapons.

7 South Korea (630,000)

South Korea

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Despite of small size of South Korea the country has relatively huge army known as the ROK armed forces with 630,000 active army personnel. The country has been increasing its budget on defense due to increasing armament of China and Japan and as a result of constant threat from North Korea. The South Korean army is well trained and also participates in military exercises with US. The air force of South Korea also stands at the sixth position in the world.

 6 Pakistan (653,800)


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According to International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) the Pakistan army has fighting force of 653,800 active army personnel. Pakistan army is volunteer army and has around 500,000 additional armed forces as reserves. Pakistani army had major engagement is with its neighboring country India in 1965, 1971 and 1999. Pakistan army is one of the most powerful armies on earth with well trained and equipped personnel and nuclear power.

 5 Russia (831,000)


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Russian military started to grow again after the two decades of collapse of Soviet Union. Russia has roughly 831,000 active army personnel with a reserve force of 2,485,000. Russia also has the largest tank force in the world. Russian government spends a massive sum on armed forces to make them equipped with latest and modern weapons. Russia has also considered starting nuclear programs so as to be more powerful and stronger as compared to other nations. Most of the army personnel in Russia are aged between 18 and 27 years.

4 North Korea (1,190,000)

North Korea

Image Source: thedailybeast

Under the command of Kim Jong-un, the supreme commander of Korean People’s Army there are 1,190,000 active army personnel and nearly 630,000 as reserved force. The Korean People’s Army consists of five branches including Ground Force, The Navy, The Air force, The Special Operation Force and The Strategic Rocket Forces. North Korean army is considered as the largest and strongest army having heavy weapons and human capital. The country spends almost $10 billion towards its defense as it still faces South Korea and United States forces along the deactivated zone.

3 United States (1,347,300)

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The United States army is considered to be the one of largest, strongest and best equipped army in the world. The US army was formed in the year 1775 and since then it has come a long way to become the world’s most powerful army. US army has around 1,347,300 active army personnel. Every year a large amount of US budget is declared to overcome the weakness in defense. US have the most modern technology and most active manpower among all the nations in the world. US army had fought many wars with various nations and in all the wars US was able to attain Victory due to its quality of planning and warfare technology.

2 India (1,395,100)


Image Source: thedialogue

India is ranked number two with 1,395,100 active army personnel. Being the largest importer of military goods Indian army is well equipped with modern missiles that can hit targets far away from its shores. India has ballistics that is capable of hitting whole of Pakistan or most parts of China. Indian army was established during the East India Company which later became the British Army and then Indian National Army after independence. Indian army is responsible for ensuring national security, unity and defending the country against external forces and threats and to retain peace and security within the country and its borders. So far India has had three major wars with Pakistan since its independence.

 1 China (2,183,000)


Image Source: washingtonpost

China has the largest and one of the most trained standing army in the world with the active personnel of 2,183,000. Over the past few years China has increased more than 10% in its defense budget. Known as the China People’s Liberation Army the Chinese army was established back in 1972 which included Ground Forces, Navy and Artillery along with armed police and a strong air force. The average age of personnel in the army is aged between 19 to 49 years. Although China has compulsory enlistment for armed forces, most of the people that make up the army are volunteers. The army is very well trained and equipped. However, the Chinese army equipments are considered to be behind US by about 20 years, their army is one of the most powerful army in the world.

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