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Know Your Military Units

Thanks to Netflix, I have been enjoying Ken Burns’ documentary, “The Civil War.” I never saw it in its entirety when it first aired in September 1990. I did, however watch “Baseball” in its entirety in 1994 (and the two-part “Tenth Inning” in 2010), so I’m familiar with Burns’ style of having people read the words of long-dead people. I decided to give “The Civi War” a try.

I have enjoyed it immensely. But I kept hearing these military terms, such as battalion, regiment, brigade and division, and I realized I had no idea what they meant.

So, here they are:

Unit – most basic part of an army

Squad(ron) – 8-14 soldiers led by a sergeant or corporal; also a small unit sent out from the main group to do some particular task.

Group – 2-4 squadrons headed by a lieutenant colonel, commander or equivalent

Platoon – 15-30 soldiers, led by a lieutenant; also a subdivision of a company

Company – a military unit typically consisting of 80–250 soldiers and usually commanded by a captain or a major. Often made of two to three platoons

Battalion – a ground force unit composed of a headquarters and two or more companies or similar units. It consists of 300-800 soldiers commanded by a lieutenant colonel.

Brigade – three to six battalions, smaller than a division

Regiment – a unit of ground forces, consisting of two or more battalions or battle groups, Originally, 1,000 men headed by a colonel. Today, it just means a large military unit that is smaller than a division

Division – three or more brigades, 10,000-30,000 soldiers

Battery – a cluster of 6-12 cannon

Corps – 20,000-40,000 soldiers

Until next time! Use the right words!


January 21, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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