The military hierarchy of ancient Greece could in retrospect be viewed as running parallel to its social hierarchy. The aristocratic class were the wealthiest and most politically powerful individuals of the populace. Their social position gave them an identical stature in the military hierarchy, for they assumed complete authority as trierarchs of both land and sea forces. Not only did they instigate wars but they also led them on the battle fields.
Cavalry members were quite wealthy but were subordinates to the first census class. They supplied chariots and horses and equipped themselves handsomely with armaments; often they were commanders of small units. The hoplite soldiers who formed the phalanx were composed of third class members, and were capable of attaining the necessary skills and equipment to become heavy-infantry soldiers. The lowest class was conscripted into the light-infantry in which they were massed together under the leadership of the generals and commanders. Although the military hierachy was imbued with the same social hierarchy as in their city states the military was much more than an obligatory service. It was a unifying patriotic force that was shared between all social classes on the battle field where each citizen saw himself as a soldier equal to any other