Before Federation each of the Australian colonies had their own armies composed of a mixture of regular (paid full-time soldiers), militia (paid part-time soldiers), and volunteer (unpaid part-time soldiers) units. In March 1901 the Commonwealth Government assumed responsibility for defence matters and the colonial armies were merged to form the Commonwealth Military Forces (CMF). Throughout the next 47 years the Australian Military Forces, as they soon became known, remained a part-time force of citizen soldiers with only a small regular component. These forces were restricted to service on Australian territory, and two special volunteer forces, both known as the Australian Imperial Force, were formed for service overseas during the two world wars. Citizens' force units did, however, serve in Australian and Australian-mandated territory in the Pacific during the Second World War.