-->''Point d'argent, point de Suisse''
-->"No pay, no Swiss" (also translated as the [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal alliterative]] "No silver, no Swiss"), the eminently practical creed of the Swiss mercenaries.

The Swiss Army is a force that is so well-armed that the country escaped both World Wars because the able-bodied men aged 18 above are conscripted and ready to fight as LaResistance. Marksmanship is highly prized, with Swiss soldiers tending to practice a ''lot'' and their rifles being designed for better range and accuracy than those of any potential invader, regardless of the increased cost this entails. This has resulted in the following, possibly apocryphal, conversation, along the lines of:
--> '''German General:''' How many troops can you call up?\\
'''Swiss General:''' I can call up a half-million troops, if need be.\\
'''German General:''' And what if I come with five million troops?\\
'''Swiss General:''' [[MathematiciansAnswer We will all shoot ten times,]] [[BadassBoast then go home.]]

Because of its time-honored policy of neutrality, it does not participate in foreign wars since 1815 [after the Napoleonic conflicts], though it does participate in peacetime operations.

The Swiss Military conscripts its male citizens 18 to 50 years old. Females can join voluntarily, though the idea of female conscription for non-combat purposes existed long time ago. Those who are unfit may either join a civilian service [as cooks, medics, paramilitary construction workers, etc.] or pay extra tax.

There had been movements to abolish the army. Both failed, since many Swiss are quite happy to have an army [and keep their guns at home, since the Swiss Army is essentially like the National Guard in the United States].

Responsible for trope SwissArmyWeapon, the Swiss Army Knife is still used in the military and probably will still be used in the future. The military version, as opposed to the commercial versions, is green camouflage in color and doesn't have a superfluity of blades/tools. Also, [[StuckOnBandaidBrand Swiss Army Knives]] are only produced by two companies: Victorinox and Wenger. A long-standing agreement is that Victorinox products are marketed as "the Original Swiss Army Knife" while Wenger's knives are "the Genuine Swiss Army Knife". Though Victorinox recently bought out Wenger, the latter continues to be operated as a separate brand and subsidiary, and the separate marketing slogans have been retained. Everybody else who makes similar knifes, sells "''[[InsistentTerminology Swiss Style Pocket Knives]]''". To claim otherwise is to feel the wrath of a Swiss ArmyOfLawyers, every bit as feared as the Swiss Mercenaries and [[EvilLawyerJoke probably three times as bloodthirsty.]]

The Swiss also created the CoolGun SIG SG-550 (continuing a long history of the Swiss Army issuing standard infantry rifles that have accuracy comparable to most nations' sniper rifles), the [=MOWAG=] Piranha AwesomePersonnelCarrier, and many other cool weapons. They don't make their own planes though, and have to buy from France [Mirage fighters] and the U.S [F-18 Hornet fighters], with the next generation not anymore defined, as the vote for the Swedish [Gripen fighters] failed. Many Swiss Air Force hangers are carved out of mountainsides, and the nation's highways are reinforced to serve as runways if needed.

One note that might be made is that the Swiss Army wasn't always so, well, respectable. They were once the most ferocious PrivateMilitaryContractors in Europe, their [[BladeOnAStick pikemen]] contributing to major revolutions in military doctrine, and the cost of their pikemen contributing to several national bankruptcies. Later they were highly valued and formed part of the bodyguard of several European monarchs, including the King of France. In this role they made a LastStand defending the King during the August 10th Insurrection of UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution, where sections of Parisians, allied with provincial federal soldiers and the National Guard stormed the Tuileries Palace and demanded the King's custody. The Swiss Guards refused to surrender and in the resulting battle, 600 of them were killed (300 Revolutionaries dead) while UsefulNotes/LouisXVI fled and sought salvation at the newly formed National Assembly (they would later guillotine him). Interestingly, in the Napoleonic Wars they wore red coats which made them easy to confuse with British, against whom they were sometimes arrayed as part of the forces of NapoleonBonaparte . The Pope ''still'' [[CadreOfForeignBodyguards uses Swiss troops as guards]] (the only exception to the eventual Swiss ban on serving as mercenaries) - they may look a bit behind the times, with their sixteenth-century outfits, but underneath the [[HighlyConspicuousUniform poofy sleeves and wacky colors]], they're heavily armed and (reportedly) armored. The Swiss Guard troops not on ceremonial duty stay mostly out of sight wearing [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gs1.jpg more practical uniforms]][[note]]Which retain a subdued version of the sixteenth century styling, as the sleeves are still slightly poofy they still have an oversized collar, but the colors are a simple dull blue with white gloves and collar and black boots and beret.[[/note]]. An example of this was seen in 1981 when an assassination attempt was made against the Pope; the "hidden" Swiss Guards came out with submachine guns ready.

During the World Wars they enforced their country's neutrality well. Several times they shot and forced down planes of both belligerents who were intruding on their airspace, including 11 Luftwaffe planes, most of them while flying Messerschmitt fighters that they had purchased from Germany! Well, Hitler got so annoyed with them in the end, that he attempted to sabotage their airfields, to no avail. When the Allies accidentally bombed Swiss cities, the Swiss captured up to 100 US bombers and their crews meanwhile. Notwithstanding these incidents, however, the value that the Swiss provided as a [[TruceZone convenient neutral for diplomacy]], [[CityOfSpies espionage]], money laundering, etc. was so great that neither side seriously considered launching a full-scale attack on the Swiss, notwithstanding occasional threats.

!!In fiction:

* The Swiss Guard provides the primary forces for an expedition to the Posleen homeworld, in ''[[Literature/LegacyOfTheAldenata The Tuloriad]]''.
* In Creator/TomClancy's ''Literature/TheSumOfAllFears'', the Swiss Guard provides the soldiers used to help enforce Ryan's Middle East peace plan.
* In Creator/TomKratman's ''Literature/{{Caliphate}}'', surrounded by a Europe overtaken by a Muslim Caliphate, They eventually help in the search for Hamilton and co, after being informed that Switzerland was on the Caliphate's target list [[spoiler: for the virus that Hamilton was sent to capture and neutralize]].
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Sliders}}'', the group arrives on a world where America is at war with Switzerland. America is losing.
* Two Swiss regiments appear in ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'': the Gardes Suisses as part of the royal guard, and a detachment from the Salis-Samade helps defending the Bastille, killing [[spoiler: [[HeroKiller Oscar]] in the process.]]