SOLDIER is a military organization founded and operated by the Shinra Electric Power Company in the world of Final Fantasy VII. Members of SOLDIER are elite fighters that greatly outclass the skills of the average grunt. In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife left his hometown of Nibelheim with the goal of joining SOLDIER.
The ranks of SOLDIER are divided into Third, Second, and First Class. First Class SOLDIERs are are infused with Mako in order to enhance their strength. The treatment also results in a side effect that causes their eyes to glow green.
- Sephiroth - The most powerful and famous member of SOLDIER. He loses his mind after learning of the experiments involving Jenova and attempts to destroy the world.
- Zack Fair - A young member of SOLDIER that traveled to Nibelheim with Sephiroth and the military grunt Cloud Strife while on a mission. His tales of his days as a SOLDIER make an impact on Cloud's life.
- Genesis Rhapsodos - A member of SOLDIER that went AWOL prior to Sephiroth, and just as powerful. He is obsessed with "Loveless," a piece of epic poetry.
- Angeal Hewley - Zack's mentor in SOLDIER. His family bought him a sword, but he chooses not to wield it, as doing so would be considered a waste.
- Lazard Deusericus - The director of SOLDIER during the events of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.
For a large portion of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is confused and believes himself to also be a SOLDIER First Class. However, his memories are jumbled, and he confuses events that Zack told him about with events he actually participated in. Tifa Lockhart helps him remember the truth when they fall into the Lifestream at Mideel.