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The image typically conjured by the term Soldier is that of a member of the Armed Forces trudging through the woods, with a large pack on their back and wearing thick boots. This imagery is accurate - soldiers specialize in serving primarily as defenders of a country's land.

The term generally refers to an individual serving in a nation's Army, although in the media "Soldier" or "troop" has referred to members of the Armed Services as a whole. For example, Marines are technically not soldiers, but the media has referred to "soldiers in the field" in a more general way.