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Army Unit Sizes & Structure 2023

Army Unit Size
Army Unit Size

An army unit is a standardized group of soldiers, structured and organized for efficient functionality and command in military operations.

Army unit structures are essential in enhancing the division of tasks, operational command, and unit cohesion in carrying out missions.

With military terminology, you may sometimes hear terms for groups of soldiers such as platoon, company, brigade, or others.

In today’s post, we’ll take a look at an army unit’s organizational structure and simplify each term for you. 

Throughout this post, we will utilize NATO military map markers. These are standardized tools for showing unit formations. These formations will only be accurate to the NATO standard and may not be accurate for every army.

Each army unit size has a leader who controls and commands the unit, they are also responsible for the welfare, training, and discipline of soldiers within it.

Smallest Unit Size Formations

  • Fire Team or Crew
  • Squad
  • Section
  • Platoon or Troop

Fire Team or Crew

  • Starting from the smallest formation, we have the fire team or crew.
  • This will typically have three to four soldiers within it and be under the command of a corporal, Lance Corporal, or Sergeant, depending on the army. 
How many soldiers are in a Fire TeamCommandDescription
3 to 4Corporal, Lance Corporal, or SergeantThe smallest foundational unit

Squad

  • Next is a squad. This will have 8 to 12 soldiers and be made up of 2 to 3 fire teams.
  • They will be under the command of a Corporal or Sergeant. 
How many soldiers in a squadCommandDescription
8 to 12Corporal or SergeantConsists of 2 to 3 fire teams

Section

  • A section will have anywhere between 8 to 25 soldiers, made up of two or more squads.
  • A Staff Sergeant or Sergeant may take command. 
How many soldiers in a sectionCommandDescription
8 to 25Staff Sergeant or SergeantContains two or more squads

Platoon or Troop

  • A platoon or troop will have anywhere from 26 to 55 soldiers, made up of two or more sections.
  • A First or Second Lieutenant or Warrant Officer may be in charge.
How many soldiers in a platoonCommandDescription
26 to 55First or Second Lieutenant or Warrant OfficerMade up of two or more sections

Larger Army Unit Formations

  • Staffel or Echelon
  • Company
  • Battalion
  • Regiment or Group
  • Brigade
  • Division
  • Corps

Staffel or Echelon

  • A Staffel or Echelon is made up of 50 to 90 soldiers, divided into two platoons or 6 to 10 sections.
  • A Captain or Warrant officer can assume command.
How many soldiers in a Staffel or EchelonCommandDescription
50 to 90Captain or Warrant officerDivided into two platoons or 6 to 10 sections

Company

  • As we grow bigger, a company is next that will be anywhere from 80 to 250 soldiers, made up of two to eight platoons.
  • A Major, Captain, or Chief warrant officer will be the commander in this case. 
How many soldiers in a companyCommandDescription
80 to 250Major, Captain, or Chief warrant officerConsists of two to eight platoons

Battalion

  • A battalion is made up of 300 to 1,000 soldiers, or two to six companies worth.
  • A Lieutenant Colonel may assume command. 
How many soldiers in a BattalionCommandDescription
300 to 1,000Lieutenant ColonelContains two to six companies

Regiment or Group

  • A regiment or group is next, which consists of 1,000 to 3,000 soldiers, which is two or more battalions.
  • A Colonel in charge. 
How many soldiers in a Regiment CommandDescription
1,000 to 3,000ColonelMade up of two or more battalions

Brigade

  • A brigade follows that, which has 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers. 
  • This is two or more regiments or three to eight battalions.
  • A Major General, Brigadier General, or Colonel, in some cases, will take command. 
How many soldiers in a BrigadeCommandDescription
3,000 to 5,000Major General, Brigadier General, or ColonelContains two or more regiments or three to eight battalions

Division

  • A division is next, which has 6,000 to 25,000 soldiers. 
  • This is two to four brigades’ worth.
  • A Lieutenant General or Major General can be in charge here. 
How many soldiers in a DivisionCommandDescription
6,000 to 25,000Lieutenant General or Major GeneralComprises two to four brigades

Corps

  • A Corps is made up of 20,000 to 50,000 soldiers, which is the equivalent of two or more divisions.
  • An Army General, Corps General, or Lieutenant General may lead this one. 
How many soldiers in a CorpsCommandDescription
20,000 to 50,000Army General, Corps General, or Lieutenant GeneralConsists of two or more divisions

High-Level Army Unit Size Formations

  • Field Army
  • Army Group or Front
  • Combatant Command

Field Army

  • A field army has anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 soldiers, with two to four corps.
  • A Field Marshal or General will likely assume command. 
How many soldiers in a Field ArmyCommandDescription
100,000 to 200,000Field Marshal or GeneralContains two to four corps

Army Group or Front

  • An army group or front is the second highest and has anywhere up to 500,000 soldiers.
  • This will be made up of several field armies, with a Field Marshal or General of the army in charge. 
How many soldiers in an Army Group or FrontCommandDescription
Up to 500,000Field Marshal or General of the armyConstitutes several field armies

Combatant Command

  • Finally, we have the Combatant Command. 
  • This and the previous formation are rarely seen at all during peacetime, but they can be anywhere from 500,000 to millions of soldiers.
  • Again, a Field Marshal or General of the army will assume command.
How many soldiers in a Combatant CommandCommandDescription
500,000 to millionsField Marshal or General of the armyLargest formation, seldom seen in peacetime

Which formation or unit would you like to take charge of? Or perhaps you have? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below

Army Unit List 2023

Army UnitSoldier CountConsists OfCommanded By
Fire Team or Crew3 to 4N/ACorporal, Lance Corporal, or Sergeant
Squad8 to 122 to 3 Fire TeamsCorporal or Sergeant
Section8 to 252 or more SquadsStaff Sergeant or Sergeant
Platoon or Troop26 to 552 or more SectionsFirst or Second Lieutenant or Warrant Officer
Staffel or Echelon50 to 902 Platoons or 6 to 10 SectionsCaptain or Warrant officer
Company80 to 2502 to 8 PlatoonsMajor, Captain, or Chief Warrant Officer
Battalion300 to 1,0002 to 6 CompaniesLieutenant Colonel
Regiment or Group1,000 to 3,0002 or more BattalionsColonel
Brigade3,000 to 5,0002 or more Regiments or 3 to 8 BattalionsMajor General, Brigadier General, or Colonel
Division6,000 to 25,0002 to 4 BrigadesLieutenant General or Major General
Corps20,000 to 50,0002 or more DivisionsArmy General, Corps General, or Lieutenant General
Field Army100,000 to 200,0002 to 4 CorpsField Marshal or General
Army Group or FrontUp to 500,000Several Field ArmiesField Marshal or General of the Army
Combatant Command500,000 to MillionsN/AField Marshal or General of the Army

Army Unit List

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_Joint_Military_Symbology

George N.