The Saiyan Armed Forces (named the Saiyan Army only in the FUNimation dub) was the Saiyan military force led by the king of Planet Vegeta, King Vegeta. Although, King Vegeta was not its ultimate ruler as, during this time, the Saiyan Army appeared to be a branch within Frieza's Galactic army. Frieza eventually destroyed Planet Vegeta, along with the entire Saiyan race (minus four to eight people).
The army is first mentioned by Nappa when he states that he was its highest ranking and most powerful General.
Main article: Saiyan-Tuffle war
The Saiyans took part in only one known conflict before the Saiyans were annexed by Frieza in roughly Age 731: the Saiyan-Tuffle war, in which they were victorious. After a ten year long struggle, the Saiyans completely annihilated the Tuffles after a full moon arose, allowing their transformation into Great Apes. With the Tuffle race vanquished, the Saiyans completely colonized the planet, which they renamed Planet Vegeta after their commanding hero and King.
Rule under Frieza
Main article: Occupation of Planet Vegeta
After the annexation by Frieza, the Saiyans were apparently automatically conscripted into his Frieza Force, and seemingly all Saiyans physically and mentally capable were automatically drafted in the Saiyan Army. The Saiyan Army fought in hundreds of conflicts (if not more) and because of their high success record, were given respect from Frieza.
The Saiyan Army forces even include babies, like Goku who was sent to Earth twelve years prior to the beginning of the series to prepare the planet for Frieza's planet trade, but Goku loses sight of this after an accident leaves him permanently amnesiac. There were also Saiyan Generals (one of them being Nappa).
While most of the known Saiyans have proudly served King Vegeta, Paragus was among the Saiyans who disagree with the king's naïve ways, namely because of his son, Broly, nearly being executed. Because the Saiyan Army leader's arrogance had Paragus and Broly nearly killed, Paragus plotted to avenge both himself and his son through the Saiyan prince, Vegeta.
As time went on, the fast growing power of the Saiyans began to frighten Frieza who believed that one day a Saiyan could be strong enough to challenge his might would appear, and thus the final chapter in Saiyan history was written.
Destruction of the Saiyan race
Main article: Genocide of the Saiyans
After Bardock and his band of low-class Saiyans soldiers (Tora, Shugesh, Borgos, and Fasha) ended the Kanassan war, something even Frieza's elites were unable to accomplish, the tyrant contemplates the destruction of the race one month later. Soon after Frieza's spaceship approaches the planet, King Vegeta, along with a squad of his strongest soldiers, stages an invasion of the spaceship, to which Frieza retaliates by killing King Vegeta and his soldiers. Frieza then obliterates Bardock, Planet Vegeta, and the entire Saiyan race along with it by launching a Supernova through Planet Vegeta.
Saiyan Army Remnants
Despite the destruction of Planet Vegeta and the deaths of most of the Saiyan race in Universe 7, there were survivors. Three of them Prince Vegeta, Raditz, and Nappa were off planet at the time and escaped the destruction, with Frieza claiming to them that Planet Vegeta was destroyed by a meteor shower (it is unknown if the Guardian of Planet Vegeta summoning the meteor shower was a part of Frieza's cover story of Planet Vegeta's destruction or if that part was added in the story by King Kai to prevent Goku from learning of Frieza, as the Guardian may have been inspired by Beerus' role in Planet Vegeta's destruction which King Kai may have also been aware of but omitted Beerus involvement to prevent Goku from learning about the God of Destruction). However Prince Vegeta heard whispers of Frieza's involvement and suspected that it may have been destroyed by Frieza but chose to continue to serve Frieza as neither he nor Nappa or Raditz were strong enough to oppose Frieza or his high ranking subordinates. In addition the three of them, Vegeta's younger brother Tarble and Raditz's younger brother Kakarot survived as well, though Tarble had been exiled as he was an embarrassment to the royal family due to his gentle nature and Kakarot injured his head causing him to lose his memory, becoming the pure hearted Goku who ironically became the Earth's greatest defender instead of destroying it. Other former members of the army survived its destruction in the films such as Turles who left the army to create Turles Crusher Corps. which sought to use the Fruit of the Tree of Might to make their organization strong enough to one day challenge the Galactic Frieza Army for control of the universe. The other two survivors were Broly and his father Paragus who were sentenced to death by King Vegeta who feared Broly's high power level. Broly and Paragus survived their execution and the destruction of Planet Vegeta thanks to Broly's power which Paragus would attempt to control in order to conquer the universe a couple years after Frieza's death. Additionally, Bardock survives due to being transported through time before his death and even ends up becoming a Super Saiyan while confronting Frieza's ancestor Chilled in the past.
Goku would later grow up and marry an Earthling wife Chi-Chi which lead to the birth of their hybrid son Gohan who possessed vast amounts of hidden potential despite his young age. Vegeta, Nappa, & Raditz meanwhile continued invading planets under Frieza, though an upcoming job that would be difficult with just the three of them reminded Raditz of his younger brother who had been sent to Earth, so Raditz decided to travel to Earth to recruit his brother hoping that he might even the odds. However Raditz was angered to discover that Earth's inhabitants still thrived and began searching for his younger brother. He eventually tracked him down to Kame House where he discovered Kakarot had lost both his memory and tail, had settled down on Earth and even befriended the Earthlings much to his disgust. However he also noticed his young nephew Gohan who he took hostage to convince his brother to kill the Earthlings hoping that it would awaken Kakarrot's Saiyan instincts. However Goku refused to carry out Raditz's orders and willingly joined forces with his sworn archenemy Piccolo to combat the shared threat posed to them by Raditz as Piccolo sought to conquer Earth once he had dealt with Goku, who had killed his father and previous incarnation King Piccolo. Using the Dragon Radar to track Gohan's Four-Star Dragon Ball Hat to Raditz's Attack Ball Goku and Piccolo raced to confront him. Though stronger than his brother or Piccolo, Raditz was astonished by Gohan's power level and later when his brother and Piccolo removed their weighted training clothes to confront him. He soon became aware that both Goku and Piccolo could momentarily increase their power level and focus all of that power into a single point which allowed them to get the upper hand. Goku attempted to weaken Raditz by holding onto his tail, but Raditz tricked Goku into releasing his grip, allowing him to subdue his brother who he decided to kill. However Gohan's anger caused his hidden power to surface and he attacked his uncle, injuring him enough that Goku was able to trap him in a Full-Nelson. Knowing that grabbing his tail was no longer an option, Goku decided to sacrifice himself, knowing that Piccolo would not hesitate to kill both brothers with his Special Beam Cannon a technique originally developed to kill Goku. The Full-Nelson Special Beam Cannon resulted in the deaths of both Goku and Raditz. As Raditz lamented his brother sacrificing his life for what he viewed as trash, Piccolo revealed that Goku would eventually be revived using the Earth's wish granting Dragon Balls. Raditz then informed Piccolo that his comrades Nappa and Vegeta had overheard their conversation and would arrive in about a year to annihilate Earth's inhabitants. Raditz also believed his comrades would revive him, though Vegeta had other ideas as he hoped to use the Dragon Balls to achieve immortality, which would allow him and Nappa to oppose Frieza without fear of death. Vegeta also wanted to make Kakarot pay for his betrayal. With the prospect of immortality Vegeta was so confident that he was even willing to defy Frieza's orders not to go to Earth.
Meanwhile, Goku having died was taken by Kami who requested he be allowed to train under King Kai to prepare for the coming battle with the Saiyans, a battle that would determine the fate of the remaining Saiyans. Piccolo meanwhile having seen Gohan's hidden power decided to train him to harness that power which he believed could be a powerful asset against the Saiyans. Goku's friends Krillin, Yamcha, Tien, Chiaotzu, and Yajirobe would be trained by Kami and Mr. Popo as well. Goku's remaining friends gathered the Dragon Balls to be used to revive him. Goku completed his training under King Kai who unfortunately forgot to add the amount of time it would take him to travel down Snake Way to get back to Earth, thus he would arrive late to the battle. Despite this Goku was revived by Shenron and began racing down Snake Way. Meanwhile, Vegeta and Nappa arrived on Earth and were confronted by Piccolo, Gohan, Krillin, Yamcha, Tien, and Chiaotzu. Vegeta had Nappa plant Saibamen to fight the Earth's Warriors. While Tien managed to defeat one which was killed by Vegeta due to its failure, Yamcha wasn't so fortunate as the Saibaman self-destructed killing both. Krillin angered by his friend's death killed three Saibamen with his Scattering Bullet, while a fourth was killed by Piccolo when it attempted to ambush Gohan. With the Saibamen defeated, Nappa stepped up to fight them and proved to be too strong. Chiaotzu attempted to take out the Saiyan by self-destructing as well but the attack was in vain. Angered by his friend's death, Tien attempted to kill Nappa with a Spirit Tri-Beam, but it failed and Tien died having used up all his power in the attack. Piccolo found that Nappa and Vegeta had trained their tails removing their weak point. However Vegeta having determined that Goku was Kakarot, decided to give the Earth's warriors a three-hour reprieve to wait for Kakarot to show himself, though Goku failed to show and the battle resumed. When Goku finally returned to Earth and raced to the scene on the Flying Nimbus, the others sensed his energy, causing Vegeta to check his Scouter. Alarmed by Goku's increased power level, Vegeta ordered Nappa to eliminate his friends deciding that they could always go to Namek instead as the presence of the Namekian Piccolo proved that the legendary wish orbs of Namek were real. Gohan attempted to stall Nappa, knowing that Kami would die if Piccolo did. Nappa attempted to kill Gohan with his Bomber DX, but Piccolo shielded the boy, having bonded with the young half-Saiyan, which lead to the death of Kami. Gohan and Krillin were saved by the arrival of Goku who angered by his friends deaths powered up shocking both Nappa and Vegeta the latter of whom destroyed his scouter after reading his power level. Believing it was a mistake Nappa confronted Goku, but was beaten by the low class warrior forcing Vegeta to order him to leave Kakarot to him, but Nappa targeted Gohan and Krillin forcing Goku to defeat Nappa with the Kaio-ken Finish, which left Nappa crippled, causing Vegeta to betray and kill his long time comrade as he had no use for a Saiyan who couldn't move, leaving Goku, Gohan, and Vegeta himself the last remaining survivors of the Saiyan race.
Goku decided to confront the Saiyan Prince in battle alone taking him to a rocky area far away from innocent people and animals. There last surviving members of the Saiyan Army, Prince Vegeta and the low class warrior Goku would face off in a battle that would alter the course of history both for Earth and the Saiyan race. Before starting their battle, Vegeta noted it was rare for a low class warrior to face an elite like himself, though Goku retorted that if one trains hard enough they can surpass an elite. Goku words would prove true has he managed to surpass Vegeta using the Kaio-ken delivering a devastating blow to the Prince's pride. As a result, Vegeta decided to use his Galick Gun to destroy Kakarot and the Earth, though Goku countered it with the Kaio-ken Kamehameha resulting in an epic energy clash which Goku won by increasing his Kaio-ken x4, overpowering the Saiyan Prince. However Vegeta survived and with his pride in tatters, decided to result to using the power of his Great Ape form to crush Goku. However he decided that the moon had been destroyed unbeknownst to him by Piccolo who had done so to stop Gohan's transformation and prevent the Saiyans from doing the same.
Unfortunately, Vegeta created a Power Ball to transform into his Great Ape form which he retained full mental control over allowing him to use its power to the fullest. Goku attempted to defeat Great Ape Vegeta with a Spirit Bomb, but Vegeta found him before it was complete and Goku heavily injured from the strain of using the Kaio-ken and his injures was left to Great Ape Vegeta's mercy. Fortunately Gohan having sensed his father was in danger distracted Vegeta, while Krillin attempted to cut off his tail with a Destructo-Disc, but Vegeta dodged the attack realizing that Gohan would not have come alone. Fortunately he had not counted on a third fighter Yajirobe who had be watching the two Saiyans battle from the shadows who cut off Vegeta's tail with his sword. However Vegeta though weakened was still a force to be reckoned with and attacked the disabled Goku. Angered by seeing his father suffer, Gohan confronted the Saiyan Prince using his hidden power, buying Goku time to transfer what little energy of the Spirit Bomb he managed to hold onto to Krillin. With guidance from King Kai, Krillin threw the Fusion Spirit Bomb but unfortunately Yajirobe's yelling at Krillin to throw it alerted Vegeta giving him time to dodge, but Goku told Gohan to bounce it back as his pure heart made him immune to being harmed by the attack. The Fusion Spirit Bomb hit Vegeta severely damaging him, but unfortunately he was still able to fight. Just as it seemed all hope was lost, Gohan's tail grew back and Goku told his son to look at Vegeta's Power Ball while Yajirobe distracted the Prince. Despite Vegeta's bet efforts to prevent it, Gohan transformed and managed to gain some control over the form thanks to words of encouragement from Goku and Krillin who reminded him of his human side, allowing Great Ape Gohan to target Vegeta. Vegeta however managed to cut off Gohan's tail with his Tail Slicer unfortunately he was crushed under Gohan as he was changing back to his base form, injuring the Saiyan Prince to the point he decided it was best to retreat in his ship and seek medical attention. However Krillin grabbed Yajirobe's Sword and attempted to kill Vegeta as he was leaving, but Goku ordered him to stop and spared Vegeta's life as Goku wanted to fight Vegeta again and swore he would defeat him, so Krillin allowed Vegeta to live.
Battle on Planet Namek
After receiving medical attention on Planet Frieza 79, Vegeta learned that Frieza had gone to Planet Namek from Cui, causing him to race to Namek in order to obtain the Dragon Balls and wish for immortality before Frieza could do the same. Frieza ordered Cui to kill Vegeta, though fortunately Vegeta had received a Zenkai and learned how to both sense ki and conceal his power level turning the tables on his former rival Cui. Meanwhile, Gohan, Krillin, and Bulma traveled to Namek to use the Namekian Dragon Balls to revive their fallen friends, while Goku recovered on Earth. Vegeta later ambushed Dodoria while he was chasing the Earthlings after they had saved the life of Dende. Dodoria noticing Vegeta had a Scouter attempted to persuade Vegeta into handing it over as the Frieza Force's Scouters had been destroyed by Moori. However Vegeta crushed the Scouter having learned how to sense ki through his battles on Earth. He easily dominated Dodoria in battle, but Dodoria revealed that Planet Vegeta had been destroyed by Frieza before attempting to flee, but was killed by Vegeta who was pleased to learn that Frieza feared the potential of Saiyans. Meanwhile, Goku recovered thanks to a Senzu Bean and using a Capsule Corporation spaceship traveled to Namek training using a Gravity Machine onboard his ship. Vegeta eventually confronted Zarbon and managed to hold his own against him until Zarbon transformed and defeated the Saiyan Prince, but was forced to save his life once it was discovered Vegeta had hide one of the Namekian Dragon Balls. Vegeta escaped the medical machine and stole the Dragon Balls Frieza had collected receiving a Zenkai after healing from his injuries. Meanwhile, Dende introduced Krillin to the Grand Elder who gave him and Dragon Ball, along with unleashing his potential, giving Krillin the idea to have him unlock Gohan's potential as well. However Vegeta managed to sense Krillin and followed him to acquire his Dragon Ball, though Zarbon managed to track Vegeta down. Vegeta however turned the tables on Zarbon killing him, which convinced Krillin to hand over the Dragon Ball, though Vegeta happy that he was on the verge of achieving immortality decided to spare them and Gohan when he encountered him, unaware the boy had found the Dragon Ball he hid. Krillin decided to take Gohan to the Grand Elder to unlock his potential, hoping it might even the odds until Goku got there. Unfortunately Vegeta followed them to Guru's House. However Guru and informed them of the arrival of the Ginyu Force, which terrified Vegeta to the point he was willing to join forces with Gohan and Krillin to combat the Ginyu Force. Though Vegeta managed to kill Guldo, he was defeated by Recoome along with Gohan and Krillin when they intervened, though Goku arrived and easily took out Recoome, causing Vegeta to wonder if he had become a Super Saiyan. Goku healed them with his remaining Senzu Beans and confronted the remain Ginyu Force members defeating Burter forcing Jeice to flee. Vegeta killed Burter and Recoome as Goku had only defeated them. Jeice returned with Captain Ginyu who confronted Goku, while Vegeta raced off to recover the Dragon Balls from Krillin and Gohan for himself. Unfortunately Ginyu stole Goku's powerful body and returned to the spaceship and confronted Gohan and Krillin as Vegeta observed from afar. Goku in Ginyu's body arrived and convinced them to fight Ginyu who did not know the Kaio-ken, thus could npt access Goku's full power. Vegeta eliminated Jeice and attacked Ginyu who attempted to steal Vegeta's body, but was stopped by Goku who shielded Vegeta undoing the body change, and managed to trap Ginyu in the body of a frog. Realizing Goku could be useful in combatting Frieza, Vegeta had him placed in a Medical Machine to heal and got himself, Gohan, and Krillin armor from Frieza's ship.
After Piccolo's was revived using the Namekian Dragon Balls, Vegeta attempted to force Dende to use the final wish to make him immortal, but Guru died taking Porunga with him. Frieza angered by their interference confronted them. Vegeta however managed to rival Frieza's first form and told Frieza to transform, only to regret his decision when confronted by 2nd form Frieza's power. Piccolo soon joined the fight having fused with Nail, shocking Vegeta by his increase in power. Eventually Vegeta discovered Dende had the power to heal and forced Krillin to attack him so Dende could heal Vegeta, hoping that the resulting Zenkai would make him a Super Saiyan. Meanwhile, Frieza transformed into his final form which proved too powerful even for Vegeta's newfound power. Fortunately Goku managed to arrive just in time after fully healing becoming strong enough to deflect Frieza's attacks. As he lay dying, Vegeta tearfully revealed Frieza's role in the destruction of their people and parents, before imploring Goku to avenge their race before finally dying, leaving Gohan and Goku the last remaining Saiyans. Embracing his Saiyan heritage Goku buried Vegeta and swore to defeat Frieza in the name of all those he had killed such as the Namekians and Saiyans. Using his newfound power, Goku pushed Frieza to use more of his power, though was eventually forced to resort to using the Large Spirit Bomb in an attempt to defeat the tyrant, but unfortunately Frieza survived the attack. Frieza injured Piccolo and killed Krillin who had already been revived previously.
Desperate and enraged by the death of his friend, Goku transformed into a Super Saiyan turning the tables on Frieza, who attempted to destroy Namek though only managed to deliver a death blow to its core. Meanwhile, King Kai came up with a plan to revive Guru and the Namekians using the Dragon Balls of Earth, which also inadvertently revived Vegeta who was later transported to Earth along with the Namekians, Gohan, Piccolo, Dende, Bulma, Guru, and the revived Namekians while Goku remained on Namek to settle things with Frieza. Goku ultimately defeated Frieza and fled the planet using a Ginyu Force Attack Ball ending up on Planet Yardrat where he learned Instant Transmission. Meanwhile, Goku's friends used the Namekian Dragon Balls to revive their fallen friends including Krillin. Bulma meanwhile allowed Vegeta to stay at the Capsule Corporation.
Death of Frieza
However Frieza though defeated, survived and was rebuilt by his father King Cold. As Mecha Frieza, Frieza and his father traveled to Earth to take revenge on the Super Saiyan. Vegeta and the Earth's warriors sensed their approach and raced to confront the tyrant as Goku had yet to return. Fortunately, Future Trunks, the son of Future Vegeta and Future Bulma, had traveled to the past to prevent Goku's future death via Heart Virus and to warn the Z Fighters of the coming Android threat confronted the tyrant and his father transforming into a Super Saiyan. Using his Shining Sword Attack, Super Saiyan Future Trunks killed the tyrant effortlessly avenging his paternal grandfather and the Saiyan race. Ultimately, Vegeta would side with his former enemies and entered into a relationship with Bulma resulting in the birth of their son Trunks and later their daughter Bulla after Vegeta had settled on Earth effectively marking the end of the Saiyan Army, as both Goku and Vegeta both rejected their race's planet conquering ways instead choosing to protect their adopted home and families.
The Saiyan Army employs various ranks based on power levels: the only ranks mentioned in the series are "Elites" and "Low-Class", with the series creator Akira Toriyama confirming in an interview that there are also "Mid-Class" warriors. Almost all Saiyans are low-class warriors, there are about ten mid-class warriors, and only King Vegeta and Prince Vegeta are elite warriors. This rank is determined by an innate latent battle power, but naturally, if their battle power rises greatly afterward, they can be promoted.
Significant followers of King Vegeta include Zorn, Nappa, Bardock's Elite, Raditz, and initially Paragus. Malaka and Planthorr are also presiding doctors at a Saiyan hospital. Bardock's wife Gine was also a member of the army as well though she retired from the army and became a meat processor on Planet Vegeta showing that it is possible for low class warriors to retire from the military. After the Genocide of the Saiyans, Prince Vegeta became the de facto leader of the remnants of the Saiyan Army which consisted of himself, Nappa, and Bardock's eldest son Raditz who continued to serve as part of the Galactic Frieza Army. Raditz younger brother Kakarot also survived as he had been sent to Earth, though he suffered amnesia and became the pure hearted Goku, rejecting the evil ways of his people when Raditz came to Earth which resulted in the Saiyan conflict which left Prince Vegeta the only surviving member of the Saiyan Army (as his brother Tarble had been exiled), though he would eventually join forces with his former enemies the Z Fighters to combat the Galactic Frieza Army and Frieza himself. Other survivors appear in the films including Turles a low class warrior who left the army to form his own group of mercenaries the Turles Crusher Corps. and Paragus who was sentenced to death along with his newborn son Broly by King Vegeta before the Genocide of the Saiyans, though survived thanks to Broly's power and later sought revenge on Prince Vegeta.
- King Vegeta (King of All Saiyans/Leader)
- Vegeta (Prince of All Saiyans/Leader of Remnants; went defunct after settling on Earth)
- Tarble (Saiyan Prince; went defunct after being exiled by King Vegeta)
- Nappa (Former General)
- Gine (retired)
- Kakarot (sent to invade Earth; went defunct after suffering amnesia)
- Turles (former, then defunct)
- Paragus (went defunct after he was sentenced to death along with his son by King Vegeta)