Standard NATO symbol for a friendly infantry battalion.
Organization chart of the Royal Danish Army, April 1940
Example of typical modern US brigade formation
Platoon of marines from the United States Marine Corps.
US Army HHC logo
Symbol of the Austrian 14th Armoured Battalion in NATO military graphic symbols
A mixed aircraft and ship formation of military vehicles during an exercise with USN and JASDF vehicles.
A U.S. infantry brigade of around 3,200 personnel, formed into eight battalion-sized groups
Platoon ("Zug" in German) of the German Bundeswehr
Australian 11th (Western Australia) Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade, Australian Imperial Force, posing on the Great Pyramid of Giza on 10 January 1915
Organization of Soviet Motor Rifle Battalion late 1980s
1980s Soviet tank battalion and company
1980s Soviet 122mm artillery battalion

A battalion is a military unit, typically consisting of 300 to 1,000 soldiers commanded by a lieutenant colonel, and subdivided into a number of companies (usually each commanded by a major or a captain).

- Battalion

A brigade is a major tactical military formation that typically comprises three to six battalions plus supporting elements.

- Brigade

A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two or more squads, sections, or patrols.

- Platoon

In United States Army units, a Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) is a company-sized military unit, found at the battalion level and higher.

- Headquarters and headquarters company (United States)

While a regular line company is formed of three or four platoons, an HHC is made up of the headquarters staff and headquarters support personnel of a battalion, brigade, division, or higher level unit.

- Headquarters and headquarters company (United States)

The battalion is usually part of a regiment, group, or brigade depending on the branch of service.

- Battalion

Example of formations include: divisions, brigades, battalions, wings, etc. Formation may also refer to tactical formation, the physical arrangement or disposition of troops and weapons.

- Military organization

In Commonwealth of Nations practice, formation is not used for smaller organizations like battalions which are instead called "units", and their constituent platoons or companies are referred to as sub-units.

- Military organization

In turn each rifle company consists three platoons.

- Battalion

Battalions and brigades were not affected by that system.

- Platoon

In addition, the headquarters includes additional junior staff officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted support personnel in the occupational specialties of the staff sections; these personnel are ordinarily assigned to the brigade's headquarters and headquarters company.

- Brigade

From the 1960s through the early 1980s, a typical maneuver (infantry or tank) battalion had five companies: headquarters and headquarters company (HHC) and A, B, and C Companies, plus a combat support company (CSC), with a scout platoon, 107 mm (4.2 inch) heavy mortar platoon, along with other elements that varied between organizations.

- Battalion

500 related topics


Company (military unit)

Company B of the 113th Infantry, part of the American Expeditionary Force, France, 1919.
1980s Soviet Motorised Company (BTR)
Company B, 3rd Battalion, of the 75th Ranger Regiment in Somalia, 1993.
Stryker BCT Rifle Company, 2010.

A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–250 soldiers and usually commanded by a major or a captain.

Most companies are formed of three to seven platoons, although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure.

Usually several companies are grouped as a battalion or regiment, the latter of which is sometimes formed by several battalions.

Tactically, the infantry companies were organized into battalions and grouped with cavalry troops and artillery batteries to form brigades.

Artillery battery

Remains of a battery of English cannon at Youghal, County Cork
A coast battery in Crawfordsburn, County Down, Northern Ireland
French Napoleonic artillery battery. Photo taken during the 200th anniversary reenactment of the battle of Austerlitz which took place in 1805.
60-pounder battery at Arras, 1917
64-pounder rifled muzzle-loader (RML) gun on Moncrieff disappearing mount, at Scaur Hill Fort, a fixed battery of coastal artillery in Bermuda
Barbette of the
Cut-away illustration of a triple 16"/50 caliber Mark 7 gun turret. Three of these formed the main battery of s.
I Battery, 2nd Battalion 11th Marines in Iraq, 2003
A joint Iraqi, French, and U.S. artillery battery in al-Qa'im, Iraq, 2 December 2018

In military organizations, an artillery battery is a unit or multiple systems of artillery, mortar systems, rocket artillery, multiple rocket launchers, surface-to-surface missiles, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, etc., so grouped to facilitate better battlefield communication and command and control, as well as to provide dispersion for its constituent gunnery crews and their systems.

Administratively batteries were usually grouped in battalions, regiments or squadrons and these developed into tactical organisations.

These were further grouped into regiments, simply "group" or brigades, that may be wholly composed of artillery units or combined arms in composition.


Standard NATO symbol for a regiment of several battalions, indicated by the III. The shape, colour and pattern indicate friendly infantry.
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers on parade in England
Regimental badge of the Scots Guards.
Personnel of the 154th Preobrazhensky Independent Commandant's Regiment during an exhibition drill.
The Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Regiment's bayonet charge against a Chinese division during the Korean War.

A regiment is a military unit.

Lesser barons of knightly rank could be expected to muster or hire a company or battalion from their manorial estate.

Land forces regiments are subdivided into companies (рота) (or batteries in the artillery) and platoons (взвод).

When combined with other regiments during wartime, for active field operations, regiments were further formed into brigades and divisions.

From colonial times, the regiment consisted of a small regimental headquarters (regimental headquarters companies not existing before 1915) and in 1775 ten "line" companies, based on the British Army model, without any permanent intermediate level of organization, viz., battalion headquarters organic to the regiment.

Division (military)

A Priest 105mm self-propelled gun of British 3rd Infantry Division, 1944
Members of the Australian 6th Division at Tobruk, 22 January 1941
Headquarter of 11th Infantry Division of Bangladesh Army near Bogra
British soldiers from the 1st Armoured Division engage Iraqi Army positions with their 81mm mortar in Iraq, 26 March 2003.
10th Mountaineers advance on a sniper.

A division is a large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 6,000 and 25,000 soldiers.

In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades; in turn, several divisions typically make up a corps.

Some languages, like Russian, Serbian, Croatian and Polish, also use a similar word, divizion/divizijun/dywizjon, for a battalion-size artillery or cavalry unit.

Non-commissioned officer

Military officer who has not pursued a commission.

A sergeant of the Coldstream Guards addressing through the ranks during the rehearsal for the Trooping the Colour ceremony.
Sergeant, Royal Artillery, on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, firing the one o'clock gun
A First Sergeant with the 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera) gets his soldiers ready for a uniform inspection

Officers commanding platoons and above are assigned a chief or master sergeant, which is the unit's highest ranking specialist, although chief and master sergeants are functions and not ranks in themselves.


Military sub-subunit, originally a small formation of cavalry, subordinate to a squadron.

K Troop, 9th U.S. Cavalry
12th Royal Lancers on manoeuvres

In many armies a troop is the equivalent element to the infantry section or platoon.

United States Army

Land service branch of the United States Armed Forces.

The storming of Redoubt No. 10 in the Siege of Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War prompted Great Britain's government to begin negotiations, resulting in the Treaty of Paris and Great Britain's recognition of the United States as an independent state.
General Andrew Jackson standing on the parapet of his makeshift defenses as his troops repulse attacking Highlanders during the defense of New Orleans, the final major and most one-sided battle of the War of 1812
The Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the American Civil War
Army soldiers in 1890
U.S. Army troops assaulting a German bunker in France, c. 1918
U.S. soldiers hunting for Japanese infiltrators during the Bougainville Campaign
U.S. Army soldiers observing an atomic bomb test of Operation Buster-Jangle at the Nevada Test Site during the Korean War
US tanks and Soviet tanks at Checkpoint Charlie, 1961
A U.S. Army infantry patrol moving up to assault the last North Vietnamese Army position at Dak To, South Vietnam during Operation Hawthorne
U.S. Army soldiers preparing to take La Comandancia in the El Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City during Operation Just Cause
M1 Abrams tanks moving out before the Battle of Al Busayyah during the Gulf War
Iraqi tanks destroyed by Task Force 1-41 Infantry during the Gulf War, February 1991
U.S. Army Rangers taking part in a raid during an operation in Nahr-e Saraj, Afghanistan
U.S. Army soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division returning fire during a firefight with Taliban forces in Barawala Kalay Valley in Kunar province, Afghanistan, March 2011
Organization of the United States Army within the Department of Defense
U.S. Army organization chart
U.S. Army soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment, Maryland Army National Guard conducting an urban cordon and search exercise as part of the army readiness and training evaluation program in the mock city of Balad at Fort Dix, New Jersey
U.S. soldiers from the 6th Infantry Regiment taking up positions on a street corner during a foot patrol in Ramadi, Iraq
The 1st Cavalry Division's combat aviation brigade performing a mock charge with the horse detachment
U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Group patrolling a field in the Gulistan district of Farah, Afghanistan
U.S. Army Rangers practicing fast roping techniques from an MH-47 during an exercise at Fort Bragg
A trainer with Company A, 1st Battalion 502nd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Strike, 101st Airborne Division assisting Iraqi army ranger students during a room clearing drill at Camp Taji, Iraq on 18 July 2016
U.S. Army soldiers familiarizing with the latest INSAS 1B1 during exercise Yudh Abhyas 2015
A Lockheed Martin Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system used for ballistic missile protection
A U.S. soldier on patrol in Iraq with the support of a Humvee vehicle
3rd Infantry Division soldiers manning an M1A1 Abrams in Iraq
The 2020 Army Greens uniform
An element of the 18th Infantry Regiment, wearing ASUs, representing the United States at the 2010 Victory Day commemoration in Moscow
The Ranger Honor Platoon marching in their tan berets and former service uniform

For a description of U.S. Army tactical organizational structure, see: a U.S. context and also a global context.

Canadian Army

Command responsible for the operational readiness of the conventional ground forces of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Badge of the Canadian Army
Various uniforms used by the Canadian militia, c. 1898
Canadian soldiers en route to South Africa in 1899
The National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa houses the headquarters for the Canadian Armed Forces, including the Commander of the Canadian Army.
Officer cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada during the 2009 Sandhurst Competition. The school is a degree-granting institution that trains officers for the Canadian Armed Forces.
A sign for 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group at the entrance to CFB Petawawa. The Mechanized Brigade Group is one of three maintained by the Regular Force.
The administration building at CFB Montreal, a Canadian Forces base used by the Canadian Army
Canadian Grenadier Guardsmen armed with C7 rifles in "arid region" CADPAT field uniforms. Behind them is an LAV III, an infantry fighting vehicle used by the Canadian Army.
An unpacked cabbage roll IMP. IMPs are issued to personnel when operating away from bases.
Members of the Royal 22e Regiment. The one undertaking public duties is wearing the regiment's full dress, while the other is wearing the Army's short-sleeved service dress.

There are presently three Mechanized Brigade Groups in the Canadian Army's Regular Force.

LFR regiments have the theoretical administrative capacity to support an entire battalion, but typically have the deployable manpower of only one or two platoons.

Combat medic

Responsible for providing emergency medical treatment at a point of wounding in a combat or training environment, as well as primary care, and health protection and evacuation from a point of injury or illness.

Medical team at work during the Battle of Normandy
Norwegian medics during an exercise
Swedish Army medic in Afghanistan, 2006
IDF field doctors training in Israel
A U.S. Army combat medic (center-left, viewers right) in Afghanistan. Note that the only distinguishing feature is the medical pack on his back.
2010 Haiti earthquake: Israel Defense Forces medical personnel coordinate relief efforts.
U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman providing treatment to a wounded Iraqi soldier, 2003.
A U.S. Special Forces medic in Afghanistan.

When assigned to non-medical field units such as infantry, armored cavalry, artillery, combat engineers and military police, the personnel of the medical platoon are organic to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company/Detachment.

First lieutenant

Commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces; in some forces, it is an appointment.

U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Space Force insignia of the rank of first lieutenant. Style and method of wear vary between the services.
First lieutenant
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For example, in the Army and Marine Corps these positions can include leading a specialty platoon, or assignment as the executive officer for a company-sized unit (70–250 soldiers or marines).