Fighters can be many things, from soldiers to criminal enforcers. Some see adventure as a way to get rich, while others use their skills to protect the innocent. Fighters have the best all-around fighting capabilities of the PC classes, and they are trained to use all standard weapons and armor. A fighter's rigorous martial training grants him many bonus feats as he progresses, and high-level fighters have access to special melee maneuvers and exotic weapons not available to any other character.
Fighters fight. They are the regular army grunt, the ones that go in first and come out last on the battlefield. In most other things- magic use, skills, additional abilities they are very limited but they cannot be equaled in straight fighting. They have access to any weapon or any armor in the game and can use each of them all equally well. The puzzle the player must solve is what type of fighter they want to be. They are granted the most (fighting) feats in the game and thus, can tailor what sort of fighting they wish to master.
Player should not think that by creating a Fighter they are forgoing all role-playing potential because all they do is fight. The reverse actually is true. Fighters do not have the restrictions of other classes due to other classes special abilities (i.e. the Druid has taken oaths, the Cleric must obtain his spells from a god that is observed etc.). No restrictions on alignment, traits etc. exist for the fighter and so they are very flexible in what you make of them.
The Fighter's skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: