The Vietnam People's Army (Vietnamese: Quân Đội Nhân Dân Việt Nam, variously translated as Vietnamese People's Army and People's Army of Vietnam) is the armed forces of Vietnam. The VPA includes: the Vietnamese People's Ground Forces (including VPA Strategic Rear Forces and Border Defense Forces), the Vietnam People's Navy (including VPN Marine Corps), the Vietnam People's Air Force, and the Vietnam Marine Police.
During the French Indochina War (1946–1954), the VPA was often referred to as the Việt Minh. In the context of the Vietnam War (1959–1975), the army was referred to as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) or the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN). This allowed writers, the US Military, and the general public, to distinguish northern communists from the southern communists, or Viet Cong. However, northerners and southerners were always under the same command structure. According to Hanoi's official history, the Vietcong was a branch of the PAVN.
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