Egypt crisis: How the military grew so powerful
18 August 2013 Last updated at 19:32 BST
The Egyptian military is the biggest in the region, and it has played a role at many crucial points during the nation's recent history.
As well as producing several leaders from its ranks, it receives $1.3bn in aid each year and has a vast commercial arm with products including ammunition, mineral water and cars.
Yolande Knell reports.