During the centuries their function was an armed defence of the freedom of the Country. Today the four branches of the San Marino military organization are a peace corps. All citizens from 16 from 65 can enroll; but military service is not mandatory.
Each uniform indicates a different function; but all have an important mission: to continue the ceremonies and traditions which have survived, without change, throughout the centuries and which can be admired, for example, during national holidays.
Instituted in 1824, the Gendarmerie carries out the most complex assignments:
- public safety,
- criminal police,
- criminal investigation
- drug enforcement activity.
Specifically, the Gendarmerie is responsible for the repression of crime, the safety of its citizens, the respect of the laws, emergency relief in case of catastrofe. It reports directly to the judicial court when dealing with investigative activities and to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for other activities.
Civilian Police Force
A non-military police force which, when necessary, works in collaboration with the Gendarmerie. Its duties consist in traffic controls as well as civil, commercial, tax and revenue matters.
Civilian Police and Civil Defense Corps
Its duties include control, protection and prevention in matters of commerce, tourism and traffic; morever, it is responsible for all questions regarding civil defence activities.
Guardians of the Rock (Artillery and Uniformed Corps)
In the past this corps was called "Guardian of the Fort" and constituted the artillery defence system. Today its activities include border controls and protection of the most important State institutional buildings; such as the Public Palace e Palazzo Begni, where its activities include sentinel services and changing of the guard ceremonies. Moreover, its duties include the control and policing of customs and passport formalities, which are carried out also by means of inspection and control of traffic circulation; verifying any administrative infringements, and escorting valuable goods and securities. The Guardians of the Rock are identifiable by the bright green color of their uniforms.
The blue uniform with white trimmings, complete with musket and bayonet is the protagonist of official ceremonies. The Regular Militia is, together with the Guard of the Grand and General Council, the oldest military corps, dating back to the 18th century.
Under special circumstances and in case of emergency, the members of the Regular Militia collaborate with the other police forces in order to maintain order and safety. The components of the Military Band are also part of the Regular Militia.
Guard of the Grand and General Council
Blue uniform with yellow trimmings; also called the "Noble Guard". This corps was instituted in 1741 to protect the Regents (Capitani Reggenti) and the components of the Grand and General Council. Its duties include: accompanying diplomats during ceremonies where they present their credentials, escorting members of foreign Governments or Heads of State on official visits. This Guard also performs flag raising and lowering functions during official ceremonies and sentinel duties during parliamentary and Arengo meetings.