This paper focuses first on the rising role of the army in Egyptian political life after the January 25 Revolution. Starting with its break away from former president Hosni Mubarak, to its assumption of power in taking on the task of managing the transitional period by overseeing the constitutional referendum as well as parliamentary and presidential elections, the paper traces critical moments and shifts in the relationship between the army, the people, and politics. The paper also documents the decline in the role of the army after Mohamed Morsi came to power, and after what is termed a “paradigm shift” represented by ousting Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Lieutenant General Sami Anan, and other members of the military council from the political scene. The paper then surveys within a theoretical framework the relationship of armies to democracy, offering examples of military interference in political life and comparing these with what happened in Egypt. Finally, the paper turns to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s ultimatum, his request for authority and the subsequent fallout that put both sides of the crisis in Egypt on the brink of the abyss.