In the fictional country of Amestris, the Fuhrer (the governing leader with the official title of President) has command of both the country and the military. Since Edward Elric is a member of the Amestris Military, the army and its personnel play a very pivital role in Hiromu Arakawa's anime and manga series Fullmetal Alchemist. The various members of the State Military provide the lens through which the story and plot are advanced, and also provide insight to both the Ishbal War and the Lior War. The Ishbal War, in particular, serves as a defining moment for many of the State Military characters, as most of the members that have since been introduced were involved heavily in the conflict.
Amerstris's military is very large, and is split into several military units; these include mechanized forces, infantry, mechanized infantry, armored units, special forces units, intelligence detachments, judicial branches, research organizations, military police and so forth. All alchemists that work for the military are referred to as "State Alchemists" (or less commonly, "National Alchemists"), and obtain titles based on their alchemic talents and abilities. All State Alchemists in Amestris are admitted into the military with the rank of Major and can be promoted from there. All members of the State Military can be placed into one of these categories, and each character's background and role in the army helps to advance the story by providing insight and expertise to the Elric brothers as they search for the Philosopher's Stone.
Doctor Tim Marcoh, Jack Crowley, Lincor, Cravis Fagott and Shou Tucker are all considered former State Alchemists. Additionally, several of the chimeras that were held in the 5th Laboratory before it was stormed and secured were members of Amestris' State Military or of the Military's Special Forces before becoming chimeras. Also, while F¨¹hrer King Bradley and Colonel Juliet Douglas are members of the State military, they are both more than what they appear. Lastly, although Edward Elric is a ranking member of the State Military he is also the series' main character. All of these characters are not described in this section. It is also notable that Mustang and his subordinates are named after World War II era fighter planes. Due to irregularities in translations some names may have multiple spellings.