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A platoon is a small land military unit, typically the smallest commanded by an officer, and having a minimal headquarters, and sometimes a separate fire support unit. There are two or three maneuver squads or sections under the headquarters. The commander is a junior lieutenant assisted and advised by an experienced sergeant; it is often said the sergeant runs the unit while the lieutenant commands it and plans operations.

Vehicle-borne platoon usually have four vehicles: a typical tank platoon consists of two sections of four tanks each, although some countries have three-tank platoons. Infantry platoons have three maneuver squads and a weapons squad; mechanized infantry puts a squad in each armored personnel carrier with the commander in the fourth. WWII tank platoons sometimes had a fifth command tank, but this is no longer common.

In WWII and Korea, an infantry platoon headquarters was often the lowest level with a radio, although radios now extend to squad leaders and individual soldiers.