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

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 was 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 monarch is the constitutional commander-in-chief, although during the Hundred Year War, the monarchy's 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 were greater in number but technologically inferior to those of the Fire Nation and United Republic of Nations. In course of the Hundred Year War, 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. 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 in 100 AG, when only a few small pockets of resistance were left to continue the fight. Following the Hundred Year War's end, the Earth Kingdom military was restored and modernized. It again collapsed during the anarchy in the Earth Kingdom (171 - 174 AG).


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.

Early history

At the era of Raava's end and the beginning of the Avatar's era, around 9,829 BG, early earthbender armies clashed in wars with other peoples, forcing Avatar Wan to intervene.[1]

War of Chin the Conqueror

During Chin's war against the Earth Kingdom in around 270 BG, the Earth Kingdom Army failed to stop the ruthless warlord's earthbending armies' advance, having already conquered the entire continent with the exception of Ba Sing Se and Kyoshi Island until the latter's death indirectly caused by Avatar Kyoshi.[2]

During the Hundred Year War

Throughout the war, the Earth Kingdom Army fought in numerous ground battles against the invading armies of the Fire Nation, but failed to stop their takeovers and destruction of Earth Kingdom territories.

When Ba Sing Se fell to the Fire Nation in a coup, the army disorganized and became small pockets of resistance. Small forces of the Earth Kingdom Army participated in the invasion of the Fire Nation, but surrendered when the Fire Nation Air Force counterattacked and destroyed any chance of escape.[3]

Despite this defeat, remaining Earth Kingdom Army units continued their resistance against the Fire Nation occupation until the war ended when Avatar Aang and his group stopped Phoenix King Ozai and his personal fleet of airships from burning the Earth Kingdom to the ground.[4]

After the Hundred Year War

Earth Kingdom bases

This map shows Earth Kingdom military bases in 171 AG.

At the end of the Hundred Year War, the Earth Kingdom Army reorganized and incorporated new technologies into their forces such as the earthbending-powered tanks and the hot air balloon.

During the Harmony Restoration crisis, the army, led by Earth King Kuei, marched to Yu Dao to forcefully remove the Fire Nation colonists from Earth Kingdom territory. However, the Fire Nation Army under Fire Lord Zuko's command had gathered there to protect the colony and the two armies clashed. Their brief conflict came to an end when Avatar Aang and his group intervened and both armies left peacefully.[5]

After the Harmonic Convergence in 171 AG and the subsequent awakening of new airbenders, Earth Queen Hou-Ting ordered the Dai Li to kidnap every single airbender in Ba Sing Se to forcefully conscript them into the Earth Kingdom Army, serving as its first airbending regiment.[6] After Korra was declared an enemy of the state for breaking the airbenders out of prison, the military was ordered to hunt down and capture Team Avatar.[7] When Hou-Ting was murdered, and the Earth Kingdom descended into anarchy, the military fragmented. Kuvira subsequently started a campaign to restore order, and gutted the remnants of the Earth Kingdom Army to bolster her own forces which later became the military of the Earth Empire. When Kuvira's attempted invasion of the United Republic of Nations failed and the Earth Empire was abolished, the Earth Kingdom Army was restored. In fact, however, it remained understaffed and weak. As result, it was unable to defeat a militant Earth Empire holdout in Gaoling.[8]

Equipment and uniform


Fong welcomes Team Avatar

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

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.[9] 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.[10]
  • Iroh's kidnappers wore yellow and light brown.[9]
  • General Fong's soldiers wore light green.[11]
  • Ferry guards wear brown-on-tan uniforms.[12]
  • 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 who are outfitted with spears.[11][13] 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.[11][13] 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.[14]

Earthbending-powered tank

Earthbending-powered tanks were first used during the invasion of the Fire Nation.

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.[15] 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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[11][17]

Zhao was promoted to the rank of commander after defeating an Earth Kingdom vessel in battle.[14] Furthermore, the Dai Li deployed several ships on Lake Laogai to search for Team Avatar after their escape from the headquarters with Appa.[13]

Air force

Ba Sing Se airship

At least since 171 AG, the air force utilizes airships manufactured by Cabbage Corp to form their fleet.

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.[16]

By 171 AG, the Earth Kingdom had acquired airships from Cabbage Corp; although cheaper compared to the ones built by Future Industries, they were less sturdy and easily sustained damage during a fight.[20]

List of known commanders

Specialized groups

Kyoshi Warriors

Main article: Kyoshi Warriors
Kyoshi Warriors

The Kyoshi Warriors are mainly responsible for the defense of Kyoshi Island.

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,[21] but they also employ katanas and wrist shields.[22] 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.[21]

Terra Team

Main article: Terra Team
Terra Team

The Terra Team primarily protects Ba Sing Se.

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.[23]

Royal Earthbender Guards

Main article: Royal Earthbender Guards
Royal Earthbender Guards

The Royal Earthbender Guards protect the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace.

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.[13]

Dai Li

Main article: Dai Li
Dai Li agents

The Dai Li were formerly responsible for protecting the cultural heritage of Ba Sing Se.

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.[24] 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[25] and personally brought down the walls of Ba Sing Se, allowing the Fire Nation to invade.[26] Some of its members also traveled with Azula to the Fire Nation, where she eventually banished them in a paranoid rage.[27] Following the Hundred Year War, the Dai Li returned to Ba Sing Se. After airbenders surfaced in the city after the Harmonic Convergence in 171 AG, the Dai Li captured them to raise an army for Earth Queen Hou-Ting.[6]

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.[28]

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.[19]

Kuvira's army

Main article: Military of the Earth Empire

Following the insurrection of the Red Lotus in 171 AG, Kuvira of the Metal Clan was appointed to restore order within the kingdom to ensure Prince Wu would assume his duty as the new Earth King safely.[29] She organized a large army which was partially recruited from remnants of the Earth Kingdom military. When she consequently revolted against the restoration of the monarchy, and established the Earth Empire, the Earth Kingdom Army proved powerless to stop her.[8]

List of major engagements


  1. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (October 18, 2013). "Beginnings, Part 2". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  2. O'Bryan, John (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (April 28, 2006). "Avatar Day". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
  3. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
  4. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 21. Nickelodeon.
  5. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Promise Part Three (September 26, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Graham, Ian. (June 27, 2014). "The Earth Queen". The Legend of Korra. Season 2. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  7. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (August 1, 2014). "The Stakeout". The Legend of Korra. Season 2. Episode 9.
  8. 8.0 8.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Wong, Michelle (artist), Ng, Vivian (colorist). Ruins of the Empire Part One (May 21, 2019), Dark Horse Comics.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 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.
  10. O'Bryan, John (writer) & Lioi, Anthony (director). (March 18, 2005). "The King of Omashu". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 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.
  12. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Hamilton, Joshua (writers) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (September 15, 2006). "The Serpent's Pass". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (November 17, 2006). "The Earth King". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  14. 14.0 14.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on (link). No longer updated, encyclopedia now broken though archived here.
  15. 15.0 15.1 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.
  16. 16.0 16.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Promise Part Two (May 30, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  17. 17.0 17.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  18. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Nine, "The Ambush". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (April 7, 2006). "Return to Omashu". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  20. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Zwyer, Melchior (director). (August 8, 2014). "Long Live the Queen". The Legend of Korra. Season 2. Episode 10.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Malis, Nick (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 4, 2005). "The Warriors of Kyoshi". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  22. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (October 13, 2006). "Appa's Lost Days". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  23. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (September 15, 2006). "The Drill". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  24. Escape from the Spirit World: Avatar Kyoshi Online Comic Book.
  25. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & DiMartino, Michael Dante (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Crossroads of Destiny". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  26. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (September 21, 2007). "The Awakening". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  27. 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.
  28. Eagan, James (writer) & Filoni, Dave (director). (May 6, 2005). "Jet". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  29. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (October 3, 2014). "After All These Years". The Legend of Korra. Season 2. Episode 14.

See also

Start a Discussion Discussions about Military of the Earth Kingdom

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