There were proffessional soldiers in Egypt, but most were conscripted against their will. For slaves, fighting in the army was a chance to gain their freedom. At times, foreign troops were also hired to fight. Young men in the villages learned to drill in preparation for war. Soldiers carried shields of leather and wood. They were armed with spears, axes, bows and arrows, daggers and swords. Later, with war chariots drawn by horses were used. Special awards, such as the golden fly, were handed out of bravery in battle.