The Egyptian military has had a major hand in the country's government since it helped overthrow the monarchy back in 1952. Since then, it has been an institution respected and feared by the people and government of Egypt. Now, the military is at a crossroads, as protests have broken out across the country calling for the removal of President Hosni Mubarak. Sent into disperse crowds, many soldiers have embraced them.

Michael Wahid Hanna, a fellow at The Century Foundation, says Egypt can't function like this for much longer, and the military will have to make a decision soon on what to do.

Jon Alterman, Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, sees the Egyptian military as a respected institution by the people.