- "Bunch of glorified Boy Scouts!"
- ―Trevor Philips.
The Military is a collective group of armed forces aligned to a particular nation. The United States Armed Forces are featured in every game of the Grand Theft Auto series, except Grand Theft Auto 1, Grand Theft Auto IV and its episodes (which only have military vehicles, no personnel). Other national armed forces have appeared to a lesser extent. Several characters, including protagonists, are ex-military or have had links with military forces.
The five branches of the United States armed forces, comprising of Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard have all appeared at least once within the series.
Grand Theft Auto 1
In Grand Theft Auto 1 and London expansions, there are no military forces, although military vehicles such as the Tank are seen as rare sights. In every game prior to Grand Theft Auto 2, only the police are seen in wanted levels.
Grand Theft Auto 2
After getting a six-head wanted level in Grand Theft Auto 2, the military will replace the police. Pedestrians disappear and normal cars become a rare sight. The soldiers are armed with Machine Guns and can easily kill Claude Speed and destroy cars. The military uses different vehicles such as Pacifiers, Land Roamers and Tanks, the latter with full potential to kill Claude.
The military has its base in the Residential District, but the base is inaccessible; however, there is a small base in the Industrial District, in which it can be accessed during the mission Army Base Alert!
After the player gains six stars in any 3D Universe game, the Army will begin to chase the player. On the ground, two military vehicles are used against the player: the Barracks OL, which is used for pursuit and roadblocks, and the Rhino tank for pursuit. The soldiers themselves are always armed with Carbine Rifles. Because of the limited number of soldiers seen in roadblocks, they are not as lethal as the SWAT or the FBI, as only two spawn near every Barracks OL seen in the corresponding roadblock.
The military seen in the 3D Universe are apparently members of the United States National Guard. The United States Navy makes a brief appearance in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, where they occupy a naval base in San Fierro, and the United States Air Force itself makes an appearance in the mission N.O.E.. A Recruitment commercial for the military also appears on the radio in the game.
The military does not appear in Grand Theft Auto IV, nor in its episodes, with its role being taken by the N.O.O.S.E. and FIB instead. Like in GTA 1, a few vehicles based on military vehicles appear in the game: the Annihilator and the APC. However, these vehicles are used by law enforcement personnel in the game.
In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, they appear in the same way as in the 3D Universe. After gaining a six-star wanted level, they will assist the aforementioned law enforcement agencies from Grand Theft Auto IV, occasionally on foot and mostly in Rhinos. They do not have an air or naval division, although there is a vehicle that appears to be of a military purpose, but possibly operated by the LCPD (as seen in the mission Torpedo Run).
In Grand Theft Auto V, the military is now present in Fort Zancudo at all times. While the military regains its ability to enforce the law, it is not part of the wanted level system, taking part only when the player is within the vicinity of the base. Similar to GTA IV, N.O.O.S.E. and FIB replaces their role of an elite law enforcement force.
An interesting note of GTA V's military is that it now officially distinguishes between branches of the military (previous entries typically depict the US military as a single military), but curiously it appears to combine the Army and Marines together into one branch, with the uniforms having "ARMY" patches but taking design cues from real-life Army and Marine Corps uniforms, as well as some soldiers declaring themselves to be part of the United States Marine Corps in their quotes. As a result, four distinct branches of the Military can be identified - the Army/Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and the Coast Guard.
In Grand Theft Auto Online the U.S. military has a greater role, effectively being antagonists to the player in several missions. The U.S. Navy makes a brief appearance in in the mission Humane Raid - EMP, where the players must raid the USS Luxington ATT-16 aircraft carrier and steal a Hydra, before being confronted by a U.S. Air Force squadron.
It is possible that the military in the game is a branch of its own, as their standard vehicles are labeled "Los Santos National Forces", while the missile seen in a cutscene of The Doomsday Scenario is labeled "Los Santos Air Force".
In the 3D Universe, the military has been dressed in either traditional green fatigues or BDUs featuring the M81 Woodland camouflage pattern. In GTA III, they are shown as wearing simply an olive drab uniform with a helmet and load-bearing vest. Troops stationed at Fort Baxter Air Base wear the M81 BDU uniforms that were standard-issue during the late 1980s, with what appears to be an ALICE utility belt with no pouches. The same seems to carry over into GTA San Andreas, though the utility belt appears to have been replaced with a load-bearing vest resembling the TLBV. In Vice City Stories, the outfit remains unchanged, aside from the addition of a beret alongside the standard patrol cap. The uniform worn by Corporal Victor Vance, however, is very different from those worn by regular soldiers; who instead wears an untucked tan T-shirt with standard trousers, no patrol cap, and unbloused boots. However, a second uniform also exists that can be seen in a cutscene for the mission Conduct Unbecoming, as well as used by soldiers sent after the player in a six-star wanted level. This more combat-style outfit uses Vietnam-era OG-107 fatigues with an M1 helmet, which, although outdated for the mid-1980's, would still be appropriate for the era as either would not be completely retired from active service for another few years.
In GTA V, the uniforms have been updated with the timeframe, with the old Woodland fatigues from the 1980's and 1990's era being replaced with newer uniforms reflective of the U.S. Military's uniforms during the early 2010's.
Active Army/Marine personnel wear a uniform resembling the current-issue Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform as evidenced by the blouse style and green undershirt, although altered with non-slanted pockets and a five-point utility cover. The uniform also takes some cues from the Army Combat Uniform as well, fitted with "Army" tapes and a camouflage pattern that appears to be a non-digitized rendition of the Universal Camouflage Pattern, which was in service with the real Army from the mid-2000's to the late 2010's. Some grunts can also be seen with a tan undershirt like the one used by the UCP-era ACU. Nametapes and branchtapes are worn on the left and right breasts (or biceps, on combat shirts), respectively - inverse of their positions on the real MCCUU/ACU, and are placed on the pocket covers instead of above the pockets. Some patrolling soldiers and soldiers in combat gear wear a more combat-capable uniform which is likely based on the Marine's FROG uniform, but still in the UCP-like pattern. Soldiers in combat gear also wear a bulletproof vest strongly appearing similar to the Marine Corps' Modular Tactical Vest, but is available in both the UCP-style camouflage and in plain tan, reflective of the Army's usage of camouflaged vests in contrast to the Marines' use of non-camouflaged coyote-tan vests. They also equip helmets resembling the Army's Advanced Combat Helmet.
Patrolling soldiers often wear only the standard uniform with a utility cover, and occasionally replace the blouse with a combat shirt. Grunts can be seen wearing the trousers and boots with either an unbloused undershirt or no shirt at all. In this uniform, officers are often easy to identify by their unrolled blouse sleeves; soldiers will always roll the blouse sleeves up. Mechanics wear plain green/tan jumpsuits with the top tied around their waist, a green or yellow T-shirt that looks different from ones worn by grunts, and brown or black gloves. Dogtags are visible on soldiers wearing only the undershirt or no shirt.
Soldiers in combat gear are usually identified as Marines (according to the actor model name in Director Mode), but still bear black "ARMY" patches on their uniforms. They wear the combat uniform with grey gloves, beige kneepads and thigh-straps, an armor vest in either camouflage or tan without any pouches, and sometimes a combat helmet and/or gas mask. These soldiers usually appears driving Rhinos defending Fort Zancudo, and may rarely spawn out of Rhinos, near the smaller control tower. They are most known for their appearance in The Paleto Score.
Military personnel in dress uniform wear a beige dress shirt with a beige tie, olive-green trousers and occasional suit jacket, and a garrison cap. This uniform is similar to the formal Green Service Uniform that was in service from the mid-1950's to the mid-2010's. However, on the suit jacket, a red USMC Sergeant Major insignia can be sometimes spotted on the sleeves; other times it can be a yellow insignia similar to what the Army formerly used.
The Air Force pilots wear a green flight suit, similar to real life Air Force pilots. However, these flight suits do not have any proper insignia or badges. Air Force pilots can also be found at Fort Zancudo, taking off or landing with P-996 LAZERs or Titans. Pilots with helmets are encountered in Minor Turbulence.
Navy personnel make their debut and only appearance in Grand Theft Auto Online as part of the Heists Update, stationed on the USS Luxington ATT-16 in the mission "Humane Raid - EMP". Their uniform, unique to this mission, is almost entirely identical to normal in-game Fort Zancudo personnel (minus the combat and dress uniforms), however the uniforms have been dyed a dark blue, suggesting they are meant to represent the distinctly blue Navy Working Uniform Type 1, in service from the late 2000's to the late 2010's. Navy pilots wear plain blue jumpsuits.
So far, none of the outfits seen worn by soldiers in any GTA game are purchasable in any available store, however, camouflage clothing and surplus military equipment is still available to players of some GTA titles. Woodland and urban camouflage trousers and a Vietnam-era combat jacket can be bought in Bincos in GTA San Andreas, however the patterns do not resemble the Army's uniform and no soldier dons these clothes. While the Army Fatigues can be re-unlocked in Vice City Stories, they do not resemble what the other soldiers wear, making Vic Vance stand out. In Grand Theft Auto V, various camouflaged clothes are available for purchase by all three protagonists at either Bincos/Discount Stores, Suburban, or Ammunation, however once again, none of it matches with the military uniforms.
Additional set of clothing are added in Grand Theft Auto Online, which are of military use or basic clothing with camo patterns, were made available through various DLCs, ranging from single sets, such as hats, vests and pants, to full sets, such as flight suits and Ballistic Equipment. Specialized military gear are also available for the player, such as Night Vision and Thermal Vision goggles. However, none of this gear allows the protagonist to look exactly like the NPC soldiers. The Heists Update added a purely cosmetic gas mask for players to purchase that looks identical to the ones used by combat troops; this gas mask is so far the only item of clothing that is shared between players and the NPC soldiers.
- Members of the military behave as a gang in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, despite not being an actual gang and will attack the player if spotted on military property, unless if the protagonist is wearing the Cop Outfit (or the Army Fatigues in GTA Vice City Stories).
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Hydras will appear in the air if the player obtains a 4-star wanted level and is flying an aircraft or the Vortex hovercraft, and will try to shoot them down. Despite being a military vehicle, they will always spawn without a pilot. The only time where the military personnel can pilot these vehicles are the missions N.O.E. and Vertical Bird.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
- While encountering an occupied Rhino, the player cannot hijack the occupied Rhino; however, there are two ways the Rhino will react depending if the player is on foot or in a vehicle: If the player is in a vehicle, the Rhino will immediately fire at the player's vehicle, setting it aflame (but not blowing it up, allowing the player to bail out and save his or her life); however, if the player is on foot, the Rhino will reluctantly fire, giving the player ample time to escape. The very slow speed of the Rhino makes it easy for the player to outrun it on foot. The Rhino will eventually fire at the player if the player stays in range on foot for too long. A direct hit usually kills the player unless the player has full health and full armor, but will reduce the health to roughly 25% and armour to 0%. The same goes for the Destroyer when the player enters the water.
Grand Theft Auto V
- If the player trespasses Fort Zancudo, the military personnel will be alerted and will attack the player on sight. Also, if the player acquires a wanted level and is at the boundaries of the base, the military will be deployed to supplement any active law enforcement officers in the area, with the ability of arresting the player or shooting to kill; if the player goes too far from the base, the military will return to base, handing over control of the situation to the authorities instead. Like most occasional enemies, the military will be represented as red blips instead of the usual police blips and icons.
- Any Rhino Tank will open fire directly at the player, which can be fatal for the protagonists (except for Trevor Philips if he is using his special ability, although he will be still knocked off by the shell's impact). If players are too close to a Rhino, they will tend to move away.
- If the player trespass the Fort Zancudo airspace, a control tower officer will warn the player to divert their course. If the player ignores the warning, the military will send fighter jets and will attempt to attack the player's aircraft with homing missiles, being a huge threat to the player. Even if the player is descending with a parachute, they will still attack them with missiles.
Known Military Personnel
Certain characters are stated to be either affiliated with a military force or have been in one in the past. Some even have been in notable real-life events, such as the Vietnam War.
- Mills - General, Area 69
- Lee - General
- Fitzgibbon - Army Colonel, retired
- Henry Bolt † - 66th Cavalry Colonel, Fort Carson, died during the rescuing mission in 1842 along with his whole force in accident near Las Barrancas
- Fuhrberger - Colonel, Vietnam War veteran, retired
- Cuddles - Colonel, if was Army at all
- Charlie Reed - Mechanic, Air Force, fired
- James P. - Colonel, Australian-American War veteran, if was Army at all
- Unnamed colonel - Colonel, Fort Zancudo
- Officer Heschel - Possibly, as indicated on the award above his badge
- Beverly McFadden - Commanding Officer, Fort Baxter Air Base
- Michael Klebitz - Captain, serving in the Middle East
- Kyle P. Slater - First Lieutenant
- Jerry Martinez † - Army Sergeant, Fort Baxter Air Base, killed committing military crimes
- Peppah - Army Sergeant, Fort Baxter Air Base
- Nolan - Army Sergeant, Fort Zancudo
- Dud Clark - Army Sergeant
- Victor Vance † - Army Corporal, Fort Baxter Air Base, dishonorably discharged
- Scott Wilson † - Army Corporal, deceased
- Clark - Army Private, Fort Zancudo
- Brincat - Army Private, Fort Zancudo
- Cam O'Flarge - Army Private, Fort Baxter Air Base
- Parts - Army Private, Fort Baxter Air Base
- Places - Army Private, Fort Baxter Air Base
- Starkie - Army, Fort Zancudo
- Lloyd - Army, Fort Zancudo
- Solarin - Army, Fort Zancudo
- Gusset - Navy, USS Luxington ATT-16
- Unnamed Navy Officer - Navy, USS Luxington ATT-16
- Don Percival - Navy Seal, formerly
- Jim Fitzgerald † - Marine Corps, formerly
- Mr. Lopez - Marine Corps, member of Silent Drill Platoons, awarded with Navy Cross, ran out the Army
- Alan McClean - Marine Corps, retired
- JT Boyd - Marine Corps, retired
- Mitch Baker - Vietnam war veteran, awarded the Purple Heart for burning down Vietnam village
- Jerry Kapowitz - Vietnam War veteran
- Clinton - Vietnam War veteran
- Larry Joe - Vietnam War veteran
- Bobbie Ray - Vietnam War veteran
- Ray Machowski - Vietnam War veteran
- Phil Cassidy - military service unknown due to contradictory reports
- Clay Simons † - Vietnam War veteran, guarded U.S. Embassy during Fall of Saigon in 1975.
- Terry Thorpe † - military personnel, formerly
- Cletus Ewing - wearing dogtags, details unknown
- Rob - possibly served in Air Force, if at all. Veteran of unnamed wars or operations.
- Maxim Rashkovsky - former Army researcher, imprisoned but was later broken free.
- Kenny Petrovic's Father - veteran of World War II and the Battle of Stalingrad
- Mikhail Faustin † - Navy, formerly
- Dimitri Rascalov † - Navy, formerly
- Andrei † - Army Private, formerly
Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
- Goran † - leader of a squad, was killed during the Bosnian War
- Niko Bellic - Army and Air Forces, formerly, Bosnian War veteran
- Mijo † was killed during the Bosnian War
- Dragan † - was killed during the Bosnian War
- Dmitar † - was killed during the Bosnian War
- Florian Cravic - Bosnian War veteran
- Darko Brevic - Bosnian War veteran, military criminal
- Pierre La Ponce † - Secret Service Agent
- Juan Garcia Cortez - Colonel in unnamed Latin America country
- Claude Wome - Warlord in unnamed African country
- Trevor Philips - Air Force pilot trainee in an unknown military force, either the Royal Canadian Air Force or the U.S. Air Force
Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto Advance
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Grand Theft Auto IV & episodes
Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars
Grand Theft Auto V
- Bodhi (former)
- Dubsta 6x6 (marketed as a military truck)
- Duneloader (former)
- Freecrawler (livery)
- Gauntlet Classic (livery)
- Hermes (livery)
- Kalahari (French military)
- Kamacho (livery)
- Maverick (originally designed for military use, according to Elitás Travel)
- Panzer II tank (formerly used by Nazi Germany)
- Riata (livery)
- Squaddie (seen in advertisements but not in-game)
- T-34 tank (formerly used by Soviet Union)
- Wolfsbane (livery)
- Two unnamed military bases in Anywhere City, Residential and Industrial districts
- Fort Baxter Air Base in Vice City Mainland, Vice City
- United States National Guard Depot in Ocean Docks, Los Santos, San Andreas
- Easter Basin Naval Station in San Fierro, San Andreas
- Area 69 in Bone County, San Andreas
- K.A.C.C. Military Aviation Fuel Depot in Las Venturas, San Andreas
- Fort Zancudo near Mount Josiah, San Andreas
Known Military Units
- Special Airborne Unit
- Ghost Squadron
- 4th SYFM
- 9th Squadron Special Operations
- 1st Cavalry Division (PS3/Xbox 360)
- 16th MP Brigade (PS3/Xbox 360) - the insignia has the background of the JFK SW School
- 135th Airborne Division (PS3/Xbox 360)
Prominent Appearances in Missions
Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto Advance
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto Online
- Arms Embargo
- Humane Raid - EMP
- Base Invaders
- On Maneuvers
- The Doomsday Heist (Russian Military)
- The Military are not in Grand Theft Auto IV. This is believed to be because Rockstar planned on making GTA IV realistic unlike San Andreas' over-the-top style. Although the Military reappeared in Grand Theft Auto V, they are not used as law enforcement or sent after the player for crimes except in the mission "The Paleto Score" in which at some point the Army will show up with soldiers and tanks to fight the player, or if the player is in or near the base.
- A commercial for the Military in Grand Theft Auto III was originally intended to air on both Head Radio and Lips 106. However, it was cut from the final release, though it still can be found online.
- A strange thing is that soldiers in the Fort Baxter Air Base never participate in law enforcement activity; if the player is wearing a police uniform or Army fatigues and enters the base with a wanted level, only the law enforcement officers that enter from outside the base will try to kill the player.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the soldiers at the Fort Baxter Air Base are considered to be part of the Streetwannabe's gang, and the cops will pursue them as they do with Street Criminals and gangs. Soldiers will not fight back If they are attacked by fist or a melee weapon, but will kill off all the cops that are attacking them if the cops pull out their pistols and shoot at them. This also happens with any law enforcement members in Vice City, except the Army who pursues the player at a six-star wanted level, although this kind of Army will also attack the Soldiers who appear at Fort Baxter.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, some soldiers from a Barracks OL will drop a Pump Action Shotgun when killed despite not using it in a gunfight.
- Also in GTA San Andreas, they rarely use pistols (just like regular police) instead of M4s, which makes them less dangerous than soldiers that carry their exclusive weapon.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, one of the three ped models used for members of the Da Nang Boys of San Fierro wears a gray T-shirt with Army insignia.
- The military seen in Grand Theft Auto V appears to be a mix of the Army, Marines and Air Force, as they wear Army pattern camouflage, and they refer to themselves as both "soldiers" and Marines. Air Force personnel are also present and wear flight suits.
- In GTA Online missions, various enemy gangs and Merryweather mercenaries will use the same dialogue lines as the soldiers from single player. Their dialog then may become strange as they regularly shout, "I'm a fucking Marine!"
- The aforementioned quote could mean most of the military seen in GTA V are Marines. This is also supported by one of the quotes, "Semper Fi," (which is short for Semper Fidelis, the U.S. Marines' motto), green undershirts, the 5-point utility cover and rolled sleeves worn by some troops, and the Cargobob and Avenger (which have "MARINES" stencils on them).
- Despite not being law enforcement, the military in Grand Theft Auto V have very similar AI to Cops and NOOSE, not shooting, but busting players at 1 star; however, they will switch their weapon to a pistol before performing a vehicular arrest.
- Though the military do not normally attack the player at any wanted level in GTA V, there are exceptions. If the player attempts to talk to a soldier standing in front of the Fort Zancudo memorial, they will push, and threaten them. If the player doesn't walk away, the soldier will pull out his Carbine Rifle and open fire. When the player enters Fort Zancudo, an alarm will sound and all units will be told to kill the player. An automatic four-star wanted level is also given if the player threatens the soldier with a firearm, who will open fire.
- Though hard, it is possible to lose the wanted level by hiding in certain bunkers in the northern part of the base. If you effectively lose your wanted level, the soldiers may pull out a phone.
- If the player is close to Fort Zancudo and has a wanted level, the military will be sent out instead of the police.
- The military will attack the player even if they are not in Fort Zancudo but within range of it. The vehicles sent out are mainly Crusaders and Barracks, but if the player continues to kill soldiers, Rhino tanks are then sent out.
- Soldiers on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game can be seen wearing real-life Army division insignia such as 101st Airborne and 1st Cavalry; however, Rockstar-made divisions replace these in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game, apparently to avoid copyright issues, and branch tapes are also incorrect; "Army" is seen instead of "U.S. Army," and it is featured on the left side instead of the right.
- In addition to the aforementioned missile in The Doomsday Scenario, the beta NOOSE livery for the Tula had LSAF stencils on it.