Infantry is a military specialization of military personnel who engage in ground combat on foot. Infantry generally consists of light infantry, irregular infantry, heavy infantry, mountain infantry, motorized infantry, mechanized infantry, airborne infantry, air assault infantry, and naval infantry.
Etymology and terminology
In English, use of the term infantry began about the 1570s, describing soldiers who march and fight on foot. The word derives from Middle French infanterie, from older Italian (also Spanish) infanteria (foot soldiers too inexperienced for cavalry), from Latin īnfāns (without speech, newborn, foolish), from which English also gets infant. The individual-soldier term infantryman was not coined until 1837. In modern usage, foot soldiers of any era are now considered infantry and infantrymen.
From the mid-18th century until 1881, the British Army named its infantry as numbered regiments "of Foot" to distinguish them from cavalry and dragoon regiments