Created By: Hadashi on May 28, 2011 Last Edited By: shimaspawn on August 12, 2015

Paramilitary Organisation

An unofficial military force fighting to overturn a regime or retake their country, etc

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
A legitimised, unofficial, non-governmental group with a style, structure, and or organisation similar to a professional military but which is not officially run by any state or country.

Paramilitary, in real life, refers to organizations that are distinctly militaristic without actually being part of the military. A State Sec is when the secret police or intelligence communities militarize.

Common goals include fighting to overturn a regime or retake their country.

See also: Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids.

No Additional Real Life Examples Please!


Examples

Anime & Manga
  • Spriggan - ARCAM Private Army, a covert force of the ARCAM Corporation which is used to counter the activities of various criminals, terrorists and mercenaries trying to get their hands on OOP Arts. In some instances, they fought the American, British and Soviet armies to prevent them from securing OOP Arts for their leaders.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 - Celestial Being: a group consisting of mecha pilots who try to achieve peace through violence. -ZCE
  • The Mystical Laws - Hermes Wings: a secretive group calling themselves 'the earths doctors' that has taken up themselves to protect world-leaders against the newly-formed Empire of Godom. -ZCE

Comics
  • X-Men -ZCE
  • G.I. Joe - Cobra Command: a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world -ZCE

Film

Video Games}
  • Zone of the Enders - the Martian force. -ZCE
  • Resident Evil - The BSAA is an anti bio-terrorist organization that is funded by corporations who were involved with Umbrella. -ZCE

Western Animation
  • Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends. The Alliance was seemingly started as part of the U.S. military after the Roswell crash, but since then it has apparently become an autonomous organization with high-tech weapons and the special-forces style S.T.A.R. team to contain alien threats.

Real Life
  • The French Resistance in World War II. -ZCE

Other examples hidden due to debate over the inclusion of this category.

Community Feedback Replies: 49
  • May 28, 2011
    Hadashi
    I know this is a controversial one, particularly my given example. However it is a real thing. I just hope it doesn't get me Flamed!
  • May 28, 2011
    Aielyn
    I think it might be worth marking it as No Real Life Examples, Please, and removing the IRA reference. The controversial nature of it in the context of Real Life may be a problem.
  • May 28, 2011
    ladygem
    in the interest of Rule Of Cautious Editing Judgement perhaps we could limit this to fictional examples. I'm sure you'll find some, a lot on La Resistance would qualify. I'm for Irish nationalism as much as the next Irish-American, but the IRA is kinda flame-bait-y. Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters and all that.
  • May 28, 2011
    Hadashi
    I might remove it, we'll see what other people say, but they are officially classed as a Paramilitary Organisation and the Easter Rising is classed as a proper attempt to retake a conquered country by its natives.

    If the entire subject is too much of a Dont Go There I'll parachute it.
  • May 28, 2011
    Damr1990
    See also La Resistance and Mildly Military (for when their ranks aren't exactly formal in their procedures)
  • May 28, 2011
    HieronymusII
    My friends and fellow tropers, take heart, we can do this one right, we can handle a controversial issue with tact and neutrality.

    Because I suspect we already have.

    I think this is The Remnant / The Undefeated.

    Isn't Irish legitimism fascinating?
  • May 28, 2011
    ladygem
    ^well, The Remnant is usual a group of bad guys, while a paramilitary organization doesn't have to be (they don't have to be good either). Between this and La Resistance, though, I think, we have this covered. It is a little suspect that the IRA is the sole Real Life example, rather than also including, say the French Resistance in WWII who were a little less controversial. I still think no real examples at all is the best way to go here.
  • May 28, 2011
    Hadashi
    I didn't think of them, but then I'm Irish, not French.....

    I will add them because the are un-controversial, unless you are a time-travelling Nazi anyway....
  • May 28, 2011
    ladygem
    ah, good, ok then. Just making sure you weren't a troll. Glad you aren't.
  • May 28, 2011
    Hadashi
    The Remnant stuff doesn't fit since paramilitary organisations are generally formed after the invasion. They may be founded and trained by the remnants, but they mostly aren't comprised of them.
  • May 28, 2011
    ladygem
    Film
  • May 28, 2011
    Hadashi
    Cool

  • May 28, 2011
    dalek955
    Actually, I think "paramilitary" refers to police and similar forces. What you're referring to seems to be a combination of La Resistance, Private Military Contractors, and actual paramilitary forces. Needs A Better Title.
  • May 28, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    ^I was just going to say this. From wikipedia:

    A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces. The term paramilitary is subjective, depending on what is considered similar to a military force, and what status a force is considered to have. The nature of paramilitary forces therefore varies greatly according to the speaker and the context.

    So yeah, it's way too broad. In the USA for instance, it's almost never used in regards to a rebel army. It's pretty much only used for police forces that get to use military grade weaponry and tactics
  • May 29, 2011
    TBeholder
    Yeah, those are Resistance. Paramilitary are more or less "mall ninjas for real".
  • May 30, 2011
    Hadashi
    Ok, I'll add some of that and rephrase it
  • May 30, 2011
    Hadashi
    What are 'mall ninjas'?
  • May 30, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    A rent-a-cop, I think is what T Beholder means. Private security.
  • May 30, 2011
    GymQuirk
  • May 30, 2011
    TBeholder
    ^^^ Mall Ninja is a rent-a-cop or poser (hopefully and because he displays the sort of dedication closer to Rail Enthusiast that to guys who post shooting range reports) who saw way too much covert ops movies and is more full of both himself and Tacti Cool that would be healthy even separately. The term comes from this little jewel of a troll.
  • June 8, 2011
    TBeholder
  • June 8, 2011
    Hadashi

  • June 8, 2011
    Hadashi
    I deleted that last post by Abelcordova on the basis that it looks very much like spam. I'm sorry if that is not the case.
  • May 28, 2014
    hezzelito
    Does the Xmen count? considering that they are not funded by the government while packing a massive punch
  • May 28, 2014
    DAN004
    I'm thinking this is Mildly Military or NGO Superpower.
  • May 28, 2014
    Tallens
    I disagree; Mildly Military is about military personnel who don't act like it. As for NGO Superpower, I think this could be a part of one, but doesn't necessarily have to be.
  • May 28, 2014
    DAN004
    This is the reverse of Mildly Military then.
  • May 28, 2014
    Tallens
    • Roswell Conspiracies: The Alliance was seemingly started as part of the U.S. military after the Roswell crash, but since then it has apparently become an autonomous organization with high-tech weapons and the special-forces style S.T.A.R. team to contain alien threats.

  • May 28, 2014
    randomsurfer
  • May 28, 2014
    Ominae
    • Spriggan has the ARCAM Private Army, which is used to counter the activities of various criminals, terrorists and mercenaries trying to get their hands on OOPArts. In some instances, they fought the American, British and Soviet armies to prevent them from securing OOPArts for their leaders.
  • May 29, 2014
    CrypticMirror
    I think this is (a) covered by other tropes, and (b) needlessly Flame Bait-y. Motion to Discard.
  • May 29, 2014
    Tallens
    ^Which tropes were you thinking of?
  • May 29, 2014
    zarpaulus
  • May 29, 2014
    CrypticMirror
  • May 30, 2014
    hezzelito
    I did some editing and I was wondering if I did a good job since it was my first time.

    P.S: I do get the concept of paramilitary
  • May 31, 2014
    Arivne
    • Examples section formatting
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Media section title(s): Blue Linked, changed to our standard style, changed double curly braces to Wiki Word(s).
      • Deleted unnecessary blank line(s).
    • Namespaced and italicized work name(s).

    Almost all of the examples in the original post are Zero Context Examples and need more information about how they fit the trope.
  • May 31, 2014
    zarpaulus
    I'm thinking it should either be discarded or made into a supertrope.

    And change either the title or the laconic. "Paramilitary" applies to everything from Al-qaida to the Boy Scouts.
  • May 31, 2014
    hezzelito
    Edited some explanaition for some examples that I'm familiar with
  • May 31, 2014
    surgoshan
    • There were several of these working to take down the government of the Prophets in Robert Heinlein's alternate history. Unfortunately, they weren't working together. Fortunately, one of them had the tools necessary to succeed.
  • June 3, 2014
    Tallens
    I'm with zarpaulus, this could cover Private Military Contractors, La Resistance, and Right Wing Militia Fanatic but it's broader than they are and could include examples that don't fit any of them. NGO Superpower is something else.
  • July 12, 2014
    Serocco
    Paramilitary, in real life, refers to organizations that are distinctly militaristic without actually being part of the military. A State Sec is when the secret police or intelligence communities militarize.
  • August 10, 2015
    Ominae
    Bump to ask further if the title should be changed.
  • August 10, 2015
    zarpaulus
    I would change the Laconic to something like "An organization similar to a military force but not actually part of the military."
  • August 11, 2015
    Koveras
    • The X Com in all of its incarnations is a paramilitary organization with uniforms, a rank-based chain of command, and bleeding edge military-grade weaponry, but they are unaffiliated with any particular government and were instead formed to fight off an Alien Invasion of Earth.
  • August 11, 2015
    robinjohnson
    If you're nixing Real Life examples (which I support), why bother including the French Resistance on its own?
  • August 11, 2015
    shimaspawn
    <Mod Hat>

    All Zero Context Examples have been marked. Please add context to these explaining what about them makes them paramilitary organisations before launch. Do they use military ranks? Wear uniforms? Do parade drills with weapons?
  • August 11, 2015
    Ominae
    Better expand the intro. I'm on the fence on this, but I think it could be a trope. Maybe.
  • August 12, 2015
    StarSword
    ^It's a real-life concept, but it doesn't have a single consistent definition: depending on whom you ask it could be anything from Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters to State Sec to ordinary police forces like the NYPD.

    I'm inclined to discard because it's too broad as-is, and the sub-varieties are covered by other tropes already. At best this would probably be an exampleless supertrope.
  • August 12, 2015
    Chabal2
    Empire Earth: The Russian campaign has Novaya Russia, an organized group led by a charismatic Mafiya enforcer who (at first) wants to restore Russia to its former glory, and ends up taking over not only Russia but Asia and most of Africa as well. Then it's all prevented via Time Travel, as their methods grew increasingly inhumane. They even have their own State Sec / elite troops with the Black Robes, cybernetically-enhanced troopers that are more than a match for standard military-trained infantry.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=d6epuma1plq080yaepl7h422