Interservice rivalry is a military term referring to rivalries that can arise between different branches of a country's armed forces, such as between a nation's land forces (army), naval and air forces.
Interservice rivalry can occur over such topics as the appropriation of military budget or over the possession of certain types of weapons. The latter case can arise, for example, when the navy operates an aircraft carrier, which may be viewed by the air force as an infringement of its traditional responsibilities.
Such rivalries are often seen as negative influences on the effectiveness of a country's armed forces. For example, the U.S. Department of Defense was originally created to provide overall coordination for the various branches of the U.S. armed services, whose infighting was seen as detrimental to military effectiveness during World War II.
In some ways, however, rivalries can encourage positive outcomes, such as improving the esprit de corps of a given branch of the military.
Various mechanisms are used to manage or curb interservice rivalries. In the United States military, for example, an officer must complete at least two joint tours in other services to reach the level of Flag or General Officer. Such officers may be described as "wearing purple," a reference to the Army's green, the Marines' navy blue, the Air Force's blue, the Navy's white, and the Coast Guard's blue uniforms.
One of the most notorious examples of interservice rivalry was that between the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. For example, the Japanese navy is said to have taken several weeks to inform the army of the disastrous results of the Battle of Midway.
Yakima People -- From Battleground to Dance Floor -- Interservice rivalry was on hold Saturday night as veterans, men and women who saw military service
Feb 28, 1999; throughout the 20th century, danced, drank and swapped war stories at the 30th Annual Old Soldiers Ball, sponsored by Veterans of...