Army, British

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Army, British Ground service of the UK armed forces. Regular Army personnel number c.110,000, including c.7200 women and c.30,000 personnel overseas. Since 1945 it has formed part of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces and maintained overseas garrisons in such areas as Falklands, Cyprus and Gibraltar. There are three main sections of the British Army: staff, who plan and organize operations; fighting troops, which include the Household Cavalry, Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Regiment of Artillery, Corps of Royal Engineers, Royal Corp of Signals and Infantry and Army Air Corp; and administrative troops, who provide essential services such as medical attention, engineering and technical support. These include Royal Army Medical Corps; Royal Military Police and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. The monarch is the official head of the British Army. Control of all British armed forces is exercised by the Ministry of Defence, headed by the secretary of state for defence. General supervision of the army is conducted by the chief of the general staff, who heads an army council. In addition to the Regular Army there is a reserve force of c.230,000, more than 80,000 of which is in the Territorial Army (TA) and the remainder in the Regular Army Reserve. The end of the Cold War and financial pressures produced major reductions in conventional forces.