The State Military is the name given to the armed forces of Amestris. The Commander in Chief of the State Military is the Führer (President in the Viz Manga).
Since its inception, Amestris has been a powerful country, promoting conflicts with its neighbor states and maintaining an extremely authoritarian, centralized government. Due to the basis of the country's political and economic stability became strongly connected to war, the military has boosted its influence to the highest ranks and prestige positions within the government, effectively becoming a military-controlled state. Upon King Bradley's election as Führer, the military has been the country's primary focus, and has cemented its power over every aspect of Amestrian life. Ever since Father came to the country over three hundred years ago and taught the area's inhabitants powerful alchemy, Amestris has become one of the most powerful countries if not the dominant military power in the known Fullmetal Alchemist world.
Prospective recruits of the military must attend the Military Academy to be fully instated as a member of the military where they will undergo training that tests their mental acuity and physical ability on military matters. Membership does not discriminate sex, gender, or race as groups of multiple ethnic backgrounds are seen as part of the military's ranks and fields.
Uniforms and Etiquette
Uniforms worn by members, both male and female, of the military are traditionally blue overcoats, pants, and black boots with a yellow fourragere and decoration/badges adorned on the uniform depending on the achievements of individual soldiers. Some soldiers can be seen wearing blue berets. The epaulets on the uniform display the rank of the soldier in question. When entering foreign or dangerous terrain, white coats, hats, and gloves are generally seen adored by soldiers to aid in harsh climates. Police guards generally wear a black version of the uniform to distinguish themselves as special service guardsman. However, individuals with special expertise and services are not required to wear the military uniform, as seen with the case of Edward Elric.
Soldiers are expected to give a formal salute to any and all superiors upon entry. Members of the military are not allowed to engage in romantic relationships that is seen with the case of Mustang and Hawkeye. Soldiers follow strict protocols which are punishable by detainment or court-martialing if disobeyed.
The Amestrian military generally utilizes rifles, pistols, automatic machine guns, and artillery mortars in times of combat or war. Most of their weapons bear resemblance to those used during WWI such as German Lugers, M1911s, Enfield No.2 Snubnose, Mosin-Nagant, machine guns, trench mortars, diminutive FT-17 tanks, and planted landline explosives using dynamite.
The military is strictly an infantry army-based format, lacking both naval and air-based forces and relying on potent ground-based attacks to counteract enemy forces. The nonexistence of aerial vehicles and the landlocked nature of the country preclude the need for a marine force for force projection from an ocean or sea, or a navy to provide assistance to the marines or to battle other nations in naval warfare. The Army divisions are generally spread out around various fields of battle or stations in different territories of Amestris and no Amestrian bases are known to be stationed outside of Amestrian territory. The military administration has its General Headquarters based in Central City and four others which garrison the units across the country in the capital of their respective regions.
The military consisted of a large infantry consisting of most men but are characterized by specific two potent forces: Eastern Army and Briggs, which are considered the finest military units. Briggs specializes in defense, holding the title of 'perfect defense' while the Eastern Army specializes in attack and holds the title 'perfect attack.' An alliance between them would thus provide an ideal force.
The military also has a police force which handles law enforcement and peacekeeping within Amestrian towns and cities.
Military ranks range from the General Of the Army (Führer) to Private.
The Briggs Army is a division consisting of specially trained Amestrian soldiers situated at Fort Briggs to serve as Amestris' first military garrison against Drachma, led by Major General Armstrong. The Briggs soldiers specialize in endurance and fortitude and generally are considered the toughest soldiers of the Amestrian military.
The Eastern Army is a division consisting of Amestrian soldiers situated in East City that boasts what is recognized as Amestris' strongest offensive force. Having borne the brunt of the fighting in the Ishval Civil War, the members of the army are experienced veterans.
The State Alchemists are a special division within the Amestrian military whose members consist of highly skilled science officers or "alchemists", and are considered to be highly dangerous military weapons. Upon certification, State Alchemists are automatically given the rank of major within the rank structure of the State Military. In addition to being required to be servants of the upper military echelons in both expertise and experimentation, State Alchemists have their own symbols, titles, and undergo different treatment and supervision from other military personnel. One such example is the case of Edward Elric, who was treated as a superior by Lieutenant Maria Ross and Sergeant Denny Brosh although he was only 15 years old, showing the high level in the military hierarchy State Alchemists possess.
Chimeras are a special and mostly secretive division of the Amestrian military that serve as bodyguards for special officers or shocktroopers under the direct order of Central Command. The Human Chimeras that are deemed "successes" by the State Military belong to two categories as well. There are those with entirely human outward forms whose internal makeups have incorporated increased senses, versatile physical structures, and abilities identical to the animals with which they have been alchemically spliced, granting them superhuman traits while maintaining an inconspicuous shape. The other category is the form which the military seems to have accepted as their ultimate success in regards to the creation of human chimera is that which is capable of transforming from full human form to that of a man-beast hybrid and back at will.
Black Ops Division
The Black Ops Division is a group only seen in the 2003 version of Amestrian military and deals in handling assassination missions and other horrific duties that are ordered to be covered up by the government.
The Amestrian State Military has many similarities to the Prussian (and later, German Empire's) military, more so than the Nazis as was previously stated in the trivia. Some of these include:
- Standard blue uniforms for Amestrian soldiers.
- The fourragere is usually worn around the left shoulder and arm. However, its design and signification were different before 1870. As there is a confusion with the aiguillette, which can be worn on the right side too, it is also possible Arakawa chose to put the fourragere on the right shoulder to balance the design of the uniform.
- A history of a smaller nation that conquered its neighbors in order to integrate them.
- As Voltaire once said of the Prussians, "Most states have a military, but the Prussian military has a state." This certainly applies to Amestris, as the military's commander is the ruler of the government, as opposed to the other way around.
There are also similarities to Nazi Germany, though the styles of the uniforms, and the years the manga and series are set in suggest the primary influence was Prussia and the German Empire they controlled. Most similarities between Amestria and the Nazi regime are due to similarities between Prussia and its post-war successor.