The gendarmerie means either the place where gendarmes are stationed or a military armed force. The gendarmerie is part of the army. In places where gendarmes are deployed outside, they also have a provost function.
The term gendarme comes from the old medieval French Gens d'armes. In English, it can be translated as men-at-arms. In Italy, they are called carabinieri. In first use, a troop of horsemen equipped with a carbine.
Like the police, it has a role in road safety and surveillance of military places. The gendarmerie also provides mountain rescue capability. In conflict zones, the gendarmerie's function is the restoration of law and order as a provost unit. In addition to the police, the gendarmerie has military equipments such as armored transport.
The use of military units for civilian police is common to many eras and cultures. Belgium and Austria had gendarmeries (Royal Guard), but they merged with civilian police. Many former French colonies, particularly in Africa, have kept gendarmeries. The common symbol of the gendarmerie is the inflamed grenade. This symbol was used first by the French gendarmerie.
- Lioe, Kim Eduard. Armed Forces in Law Enforcement Operations? - The German and European Perspective (1989 ed.). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 52–57. ISBN 978-3-642-15433-1.
- "CAHIER2". gipri.ch (in French). 2018-12-07. pp. 17–64. Retrieved 2019-02-02.