Military features

Military features are ArcGIS features used primarily by the defense and intelligence communities. Military features are based on current versions of military symbology specifications, especially the following:

Examples of military features you can add to a map are infantry platoons, main attack arrows, and weapons ranges.

To add military features to a map, you use feature templates. You start with one of the military feature layer packages available in the ArcGIS for Defense and Intelligence group on

You can think of these layer packages as a way to make your job of adding military features to a map much easier than creating symbols from scratch. For example, the packages:

The default layer package is the Military Overlay layer package. It is the default package because it contains nearly all the feature templates Esri has pre-defined for the defense community. Several other layer packages, such as the Friendly Operations layer package, are available in the ArcGIS for Defense and Intelligence group on To view the layer packages in this group, go to the site and enter defense in the Search text box. You may have to click the Search for Groups list item that displays when you click in the Search text box.

You can add graphic modifiers to your military features by using symbol layers that use the military style files. For details, see Graphic modifiers for military features.

Some military features, such as weapons ranges, call for geodetic accuracy; use the ArcGIS Construct Geodetic tool to create geodetic features.

For more information on supported standards, see Military symbol specifications supported by ArcGIS.

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