Unit (military)

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A unit in the context of a military organization is a group of soldiers, with specified equipment, under a specific chain of command. A unit generally has one commander, the Commanding Officer, and is composed of sub-units.

All but the very smallest have a headquarters organization, which will contain both staff for planning and controlling operations, and often combat support and combat service support sub-units to support the main role. Some units may have specialized combat arms units under the direct control of the commander, such as artillery.

Units in land forces

Name Personnel NATO command rank U.S. command rank
fire team 3-5 OR-4 to OR-5 E-4 to E-5
squad (land forces) 10-13 OR-4 to OR-6 E-6 to E-7
platoon (land forces) 20-40 OF-1 O-1
company (land forces)/troop/battery (military unit) 100-200 OF-3 to OF-4 O-3 to O-4
battalion/squadron (land forces)/squadron (air forces) 500-1000 OF-5 O-5
regiment/group (land forces)/group (air forces)/brigade 3000-5000 OF-6 to OF-7 O-6
division 10000-25000 OF-8 O-8
corps 30000-75000 OF-8 O-8 to O-9
field army 100000-300000 OF-9 O-9 to O-10

Naval forces

Due to variation in ship sizes and types, it is more difficult to assign numbers.

Administrative

Tactical

  • Task unit
  • Task group
  • Task force

Air Forces