For over five hundred years, the Swiss Guard has defended the Vatican and the Pope. Their service has outlived wars, reformations, intrigues, assassinations, and even the virtual extermination of the entire guard. Today, the unit is composed of Swiss citizens who have completed basic training with the Swiss Army and have fulfilled the strict requirements of the Papal Guard. The halberds and uniforms are for show. The fully stocked modern armory and unarmed combat training of the individual guards is very functional.