Top 5 world’s largest armies

A nation’s army is undoubtedly one of its most valuable resources. India has one of the biggest armies in the world. See the tables below to learn about the biggest army in the world according to size, recruits, and active men.


A nation’s army is undoubtedly one of its most valuable resources. India has one of the biggest armies in the world. See the tables below to learn about the biggest army in the world according to size, recruits, and active men.


Typically, while comparing the militaries of different nations, the military personnel are broken down into three groups:


  1. Soldiers serving on active duty (those who work for the military full time, often live on base, and may be deployed at any time)



  1. Reserves (ii) (People such as the Army Reserve or National Guard who join to save extra money)


  1. Members of the paramilitary.


Top 5 Armies: Highest Number of Active-Duty Military Personnel


China’s People’s Liberation Army has the world’s largest number of active duty personnel.


Country Numbers
China: 2,185,000
India: 1,455,550
United States: 1,388,100
North Korea: 1,280,000
Russia: 1,014,000



  1. China


The Chinese Army or the People’s Liberation Army is the largest in the world with 2.1 million active duty personnel.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) armed wing and the country’s main military force (CCP). The Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, and Strategic Support Force are the five service branches that make up the PLA. The Central Military Commission (CMC), whose chairman serves as commander in chief, is in charge of it.


The PLA can trace its origins during the republican era to the left-wing units of the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) of the Kuomintang (KMT) when they broke away on 1 August 1927 in a rebellion against the nationalist government as the Chinese Red Army.

The PLA uses China’s nine main military tactics as “strategic guidelines” since 1949. The most significant ones occurred in 1956, 1980, and 1993. The People’s Armed Police (PAP) and the China Militia serve as a reserve and support force for the PLAGF during times of national emergency. Politically, 294 CCP members represent are 294 CCP members represent the PLA in the National People’s Congress.


  1. India

The Indian Army was formed in 1895 alongside the long-established presidency armies of the East India Company, which too were absorbed into it in 1903. The second largest army with 1.4 million active personnel.

Princely states had their own forces, which after independence were combined into the national army. The Indian Army’s troops and regiments have a rich history and have taken part in several battles and campaigns around the globe, earning numerous combat and theatre honours both before and after Independence.

The Indian Army’s principal duties include ensuring national security and unity, protecting the country from external aggression and internal threats, and upholding tranquilly and security within its borders. The government may also request it to deal with domestic threats. It undertakes humanitarian relief operations during natural disasters and other crises, such as Operation Surya Hope. Along with the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, it is a significant part of the nation’s might. The army has fought in four wars with Pakistan’s neighbour and one with China. Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot, and Operation Cactus are some of the army’s other significant operations. Large-scale peacetime drills by the army include Operation Brasstacks and Exercise Shoorveer.

It has also actively participated in a number of UN peacekeeping missions, including those in South Sudan, Somalia, Namibia, El Salvador, Liberia, the Congo, Angola, Cambodia, and Vietnam.




  1. The USA

The US army is the world’s strongest army having a presence on 6 continents and employing cutting-edge technology in its operations.

The land service component of the American armed forces is known as the United States Army (USA). The Army of the United States is the name given to one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. Constitution. The modern U.S. military’s oldest and senior branch, in terms of seniority, is the U.S. Before the United States was recognised as a nation, on June 14, 1775, the Continental Army was formed to fight in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783).

On June 3, 1784, the Congress of the Confederation established the United States Army to take the place of the Continental Army, which had been disbanded.

The US army played an active role in both world wars, the cold war and post-cold war conflicts in the Middle East. The US army has 1.3 million active personnel.


  1. North Korea

A country with a militaristic background but one of the poorest countries in the world. North Korea boasts an army of the size of 1.2 million personnel.

Under the Songun doctrine, the Korean People’s Army (KPA) is the main institution of North Korean society. It is also the country’s military power and the armed branch of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK)[4]. WPK General Secretary Kim Jong-un currently holds the positions of Supreme Commander and head of the WPK Central Military Commission. Ground Force, Naval Force, Air and Anti-Air Force, Strategic Rocket Forces, and Special Operation Force are the five divisions that make up the KPA.

The then Soviet leader Joseph Stalin provided the army with modern equipment like tanks, guns and artillery which is still being used today despite its obsolesce.

It has its origins in the Korean Revolutionary Army which was founded by Kim Il Sung, this army was a guerrilla force that was propped to fight the Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula.

The Korean People’s Army fought the bloody Korean War against the South Koreans and the Americans.


  1. Russia

The Russian Army as known as the Russian Ground forces. The preservation of state boundaries, land warfare, and the destruction of enemy forces are the main duties of the Russian Ground Forces. The Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Federation’s armed forces is the country’s president. As the primary commanding officer of the Russian Ground Forces, the Commander-in-Chief is in charge. The Russian President has appointed him. Moscow serves as the home location for the Ground Forces’ Main Command.

The Soviet Armed Forces were maintained as a single military organisation for the emerging Commonwealth of Independent States notwithstanding the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Marshal Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, the final Soviet Minister of Defense, was named the head of the CIS Armed Forces in December 1991. A temporary agreement on general-purpose troops was one of the many treaties that the former republics signed to guide the transition phase. It was signed in Minsk on February 14, 1992. However, the new Russian government rushed to establish its own armed forces after it became evident that Ukraine and the other republics were determined to destroy the idea of united general-purpose troops and organise their own military forces.

The Russian Ground Forces have served in operations in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria and now are fighting the war in Ukraine and has 1.04 million active personnel.