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Military of the Earth Kingdom

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Earth Kingdom emblem
This article is about the military of the Earth Kingdom. For other similar uses, see Military (disambiguation).
Earth Kingdom military
Military of the Earth Kingdom
General information
Notable members

Ba Sing Se


Earth Kingdom


Defense of the Earth Kingdom

Chronological information
First appearance

"The Warriors of Kyoshi"

Last appearance

The Promise Part 3

The military of the Earth Kingdom is the body primarily responsible for the defense of the Earth Kingdom. It consists of an army, navy, air force, and several specialized divisions. It is considered to be one of the most powerful armed forces in the world, as demonstrated by its ability to stave off assaults from the more sophisticated Fire Nation forces for the majority of the Hundred Year War.

The Earth King is the constitutional commander-in-chief, although during the War, his actual power was extremely limited. The main commanding authority is the Council of Five, which is an assembly of five senior generals who oversee the war effort from Ba Sing Se.

The Earth Kingdom military forces are greater in number but technologically inferior to those of the Fire Nation. The Earth Kingdom was usually able to counter the attacks of the Fire Nation through various tactics and a stalwart defense; however, the latter was still successful in its invasion and subsequent colonization of several areas of the mainland during the War. Despite these setbacks, the Earth Kingdom still fielded a largely competent and determined force of soldiers up until its defeat in the Coup of Ba Sing Se, when only a few small pockets of resistance were left to continue the fight.


The Earth Kingdom Army is the largest and most important branch of the military. Similar to the Fire Nation, Earth Kingdom armies consist of benders as well as regular foot soldiers.

Equipment and uniform


Fong welcomes Team Avatar
Earth Kingdom soldiers, led by General Fong, greeted Team Avatar at the general's fortress.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Soldiers, both benders and nonbenders, carry a wide variety of weapons from spears, swords, and other various polearms to more unusual weapons such as hammers, axes, and sickles. Soldiers are typically attired with specially-armored conical helmets, which have also been shown to function in battle as an impromptu shield against fire blasts.[1] Nonbending soldiers wear a headdress underneath this headgear. They also appear to be more heavily protected than their bending counterparts and wear boots, in contrast to bending soldiers who are often barefoot in order to fully utilize their earthbending abilities. Helmets designed for benders are pointed and decorated with the Earth Kingdom emblem. Officers wear yellow armor instead of the standard green variant.

Infantry clothing appears to be color-coded. Nonbenders wear an olive drab green. However, out of bending soldiers:

  • Omashu soldiers wear leaf green.
  • Iroh's kidnappers wore yellow and light brown.
  • General Fong's soldiers wore light green.
  • Ferry guards wear brown-on-tan uniforms.
  • Ba Sing Se soldiers have more diverse uniforms in black and yellow.

Heavier equipment

Earth Kingdom cavalry consists of ostrich horses, animals which can carry soldiers over long distances as well as run at high speeds almost vertically for short distances. They are often geared with armor. These creatures either serve as a means of transportation for soldiers or as mounts for nonbending members of the army that are outfitted with spears. By riding on the ostrich horses, nonbenders can quickly avoid projectiles and other forms of attack from foot soldiers.

Earthbenders use heavy circular stones, comparable to the height of an average person, as artillery and catapult projectiles. They are meant to resemble the emblem of the Earth Kingdom, and as such, they bear similarities to the common currency, with the square in the center of the emblem usually carved out. The stones have a variety of other uses, such as lining them up consecutively to create a mobile defensive wall or stacking them to build a makeshift lookout tower. Skilled earthbenders can also use them as a means of transport by "riding" in the square hole in the center of the disk and rolling it with their bending.

Earthbending-powered tank
Earthbending-powered tanks were first used during the invasion of the Fire Nation.
ThailogAdded by Thailog

The mechanist, a brilliant Earth Kingdom inventor, designed and produced several highly advanced earthbending-powered tanks for the Earth Kingdom to use in what was ultimately a failed attempt to invade the Fire Nation. These tanks are powered by four earthbenders and can carry at least a dozen troops, with side hatches that allow earthbenders to hurtle projectiles at enemy forces. The tanks are multi-segmented, allowing them to bend and flex in a manner similar to the movement of caterpillars. This feature makes it possible for the tanks to traverse practically any terrain, crawl over and even crush obstacles or enemy vehicles, make wide turns, and twist upright should one be overturned.[2] They have exceptionally thick armor that can deflect all manner of fire blasts. These new vehicles were more than a match for the Fire Nation armored forces at the time of their invention and debut in battle.

The mechanist also manufactured a select number of supply trucks for the invasion. These vehicles were designed to carry weapons and bendable elements to be used by the warriors.[2] They move entirely on treads and are controlled by a single driver. Each has a large flatbed that can carry boulders, jugs of water, bombs, and other materials.

A year after the Hundred Year War, the earthbending-powered tanks were officially incorporated into the country's line of warfare. The Earth Kingdom also acquired the specifications for the hot air balloons, which were once Fire Nation exclusives, and incorporated them into their own line of warfare, albeit modified to bear the Earth Kingdom emblem and colors. One such unit was used to carry Earth King Kuei as he led the Earth Kingdom Army to Yu Dao to enforce the Harmony Restoration Movement.[3]

List of known commanders


During the Hundred Year War, the Earth Kingdom Navy was much inferior to that of the Fire Nation. Despite the disadvantage, General How planned to use a fleet of ships to invade the Fire Nation on the Day of Black Sun, even though General Fong had stated any attack by the Kingdom's navy against the Fire Nation Navy would be suicide.[4][5]

Zhao was promoted to the rank of commander after defeating an Earth Kingdom vessel in battle.[6] Furthermore, the Dai Li deployed a ship on Lake Laogai to search for Team Avatar after their escape from the headquarters with Appa.[7]

Air force

Earth Kingdom hot air balloon
A hot air balloon was added to the military following the Hundred Year War.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Shortly after the Hundred Year War's end, the Earth Kingdom came into possession of the specifications of the hot air balloons, which were previously exclusive to the Fire Nation Air Force. The Earth Kingdom incorporated them into their own line of warfare, albeit modified to bear the Earth Kingdom emblem and colors. The Air Force's only known engagement was with the Fire Nation military during the battle for Yu Dao; an air balloon was used as Earth King Kuei's personal transport during the conflict.[3]

Specialized groups

Kyoshi Warriors

Main article: Kyoshi Warriors
Kyoshi Warriors
The Kyoshi Warriors are mainly responsible for the defense of Kyoshi Island.
Water SpoutAdded by Water Spout

The Kyoshi Warriors are an all-female group of fighters led by Suki on Kyoshi Island. Their fighting style and clothing mimic those of their founder, Avatar Kyoshi, although the most current fighters do not implement any of the bending arts in their physical movements. Clad in ornate green armor and kabuki-esque makeup designed to intimidate opponents, Kyoshi Warriors use metal fans as their main weapons,[8] but they also employ katanas and wrist shields.[9] Holding the fans like extensions of their own arms, the Kyoshi Warriors aim to turn the strength of their opponents against them, a principle also essential to waterbending. The exclusively female warriors do not take kindly to training outsiders, particularly men, in these uncommon methods, as it is a long-standing tradition that only women from the island may be trained as Kyoshi Warriors. Sokka is the only known exception to this tradition.[8]

Terra Team

Main article: Terra Team
Terra Team
The Terra Team primarily protects Ba Sing Se.
KettleMeetPotAdded by KettleMeetPot

The Terra Team is an elite platoon of earthbenders under the command of General Sung. During the Hundred Year War, the platoon was stationed in Ba Sing Se for defensive purposes. When the Fire Nation drill attempted to breach the Outer Wall of Ba Sing Se, they were ordered to destroy it. When the earthbenders approached the machine, Ty Lee, who was stationed with Azula aboard the drill, saw the threat through a periscope and was sent along with Mai to subdue them. The earthbenders, defenseless against Ty Lee's chi blocking, were defeated swiftly. They had to be rescued and taken back to the Outer Wall, where Katara did her best to heal them.[10]

Royal Earthbender Guards

Main article: Royal Earthbender Guards
Royal Earthbender Guards
The Royal Earthbender Guards protect the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

The Royal Earthbender Guards of Ba Sing Se are affiliated with neither the Dai Li nor the military and instead serve as personal protectors of the Earth King. Hundreds of these guards keep the Royal Palace under surveillance while others work as the gatekeepers of the Outer and Inner Walls of Ba Sing Se. The guards use specialized surface-to-surface rocks against invaders approaching on foot, but the projectiles also serve as surface-to-air rocks against airborne intruders. They wear dark green armor with a green feather at the top of the helmet.[7]

Dai Li

Main article: Dai Li
Dai Li agents
The Dai Li were formerly responsible for protecting the cultural heritage of Ba Sing Se.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

The Dai Li served as the "cultural protectors of Ba Sing Se", meaning they were intended to preserve and defend the ways of the city from upheaval. They were created by Avatar Kyoshi following a peasant uprising that threatened the rule of the 46th Earth King.[11] Their loyalties were questionable; although they were intended to protect Ba Sing Se, the rise of Long Feng as their leader led to their function being warped. Under his command, they began to hide the truth about the War with the Fire Nation from the Earth King himself, as well as using fear and brainwashing to control the citizens. This conspiracy ultimately led to the city's downfall. With orders from Princess Azula of the Fire Nation, they initiated a coup to weaken the city's defenses[12] and personally brought down the walls of Ba Sing Se, allowing the Fire Nation to invade.[13] Some of its members were shown to have traveled with Azula to the Fire Nation, where she eventually banished them in a paranoid rage.[14]

Other groups

There are some other groups that have very little or no direct affiliation with the central Earth Kingdom government or its military. They are independent movements and fighting forces that are loyal to the Earth Kingdom, though their interests and methods may differ from the interests of the government.

Freedom Fighters

Main article: Freedom Fighters

The Freedom Fighters were a group of teenagers who wanted to liberate the Earth Kingdom from Fire Nation occupation, even if it meant killing and injuring innocent people. They conducted their schemes under the leadership of Jet, whose parents' deaths at the hands of the Fire Nation eventually led to his desire to fight them off.[15]

Omashu Resistance

Main article: Omashu Resistance

The Omashu Resistance was a loosely-organized group of rebels that fought to liberate the city of Omashu from Fire Nation rule. Created after the metropolis was captured during the Hundred Year War, the forces were led by Yung and planned their operations underground.[16]

List of major engagements


  1. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (April 8, 2005). "Winter Solstice, Part 1: The Spirit World". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  3. 3.0 3.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Promise Part 2 (May 30, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  4. Ehasz, Aaron, Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch, Hedrick, Tim, O'Bryan, John (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 17, 2006). "The Avatar State". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  5. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  6. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on (link). No longer updated.
  7. 7.0 7.1 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (November 17, 2006). "The Earth King". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Malis, Nick (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 4, 2005). "The Warriors of Kyoshi". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  9. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (October 13, 2006). "Appa's Lost Days". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  10. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (September 15, 2006). "The Drill". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  11. Escape from the Spirit World: Avatar Kyoshi Online Comic Book.
  12. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & DiMartino, Michael Dante (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Crossroads of Destiny". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  13. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (September 21, 2007). "The Awakening". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  14. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  15. Eagan, James (writer) & Filoni, Dave (director). (May 6, 2005). "Jet". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  16. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (April 7, 2006). "Return to Omashu". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.

See also

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