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Public-images-osm logo.svg military_service
To indicate which branch of the military services operate a base or other military feature Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Group: military
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Documented values: 5
Useful combination
Status: approvedPage for proposal

The key military_service=* may be used to indicate which particular branch of service, e.g. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Joint Forces etc., controls, or operates from, a base or other military facility. It is added to a primary feature tag such as landuse=military.

The same tagging should be used regardless of whether the facility is for Regular, full-time forces, or part-time, volunteer Reserve forces. Where multiple services use the same facility, and the name of the facility does not make clear which service runs it, the tag should be designated to the largest service using that facility, for example an Air Force base that also houses a small Army detachment would be shown as military_service=air_force.

This tag may also be used for facilities operated by armed Coast Guards, i.e. the military / para-military force intended for protection of a country's coastal waters against enemy military forces, as well as civil threats such as smugglers, terrorists etc.

It also applies to stand-alone military buildings such as recruitment offices.

How to map

Create an area around the grounds or a node at the centre and add military_service=* to a feature which is tagged with landuse=military or another appropriate primary feature tag.


This suggested values below are not exhaustive and may not apply to all countries. The service must be a service in its own right and not a branch or subdivision of another service (such as the United States National Guard).

Type Tag Role Notes Status
Air force military_service=air_force A country's military force that primarily conducts aerial warfare [1]. approved
Army military_service=army A country's land-based military force [2]. approved
Border guard military_service=border_guard A military force which guards a country's (land) borders Only when militarised (such as the Armenian Border Guard). Do not use for civilian border control. Guarding the border can also be a task of a gendarmerie, instead of a separate service. in use
Coast guard military_service=coast_guard A military force which defends a country's maritime security. Only use when coast guards are classed as part of the military. Do not use when they only perform enforcement (e.g. police) or search and rescue duties. approved
Cyber force military_service=cyber A military force which conducts cyberwarfare and cybersecurity operations. Only use when it represents a distinct branch (e.g. in countries such as Norway and Germany), rather than a subdivision of another branch. in use
Gendarmerie military_service=gendarmerie A military force with law enforcement duties among the civilian population. Most common in Europe (e.g. French National Gendarmerie, Italian Carabinieri, Royal Netherlands Marechaussee) - the concept originates from France. Do not use for civilian law enforcement. in use
Marines military_service=marines A naval land force that provides support for naval warfare. Tagged when operated as a separate service. This tag may also be used if the marines are part of a country's Navy but have large operational autonomy, such as their own bases and command structure (e.g. Royal Marines). approved
Navy military_service=navy A military force which conducts naval warfare. approved
Space force military_service=space_force A military force which conducts space warfare. Do not use for civilian space agencies (e.g. NASA). in use
Joint Forces military_service=army;air_force When multiple services (e.g. Army and Air-Force) make equal use of the same facility the values can be separated by a semi-colon E.g. Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam on Wikipedia in use

Related keys

  • The specific name of the actual military force or relevant subdivision can be tagged with operator=*.
  • The specific military activities conducted at this site can be described with military=*.