Battalion

Battalion

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A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

 and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

 or a Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

. Several battalions are grouped to form a regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 or a brigade
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

.

The nomenclature varies by nationality and by branch of arms, for instance, some armies organize their infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 into battalions, but call battalion-sized cavalry, reconnaissance, or tank units a squadron
Squadron (cavalry)
A squadron was historically a cavalry sub unit. It is still used to refer to modern cavalry units but can also be used as a designation for other arms and services.-United States:...

 or a regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 instead. There may even be subtle distinctions within a nation's branches of arms, such as a distinction between a tank battalion and an armored squadron, depending on how the unit's operational role is perceived to fit into the army's historical organization.

A battalion is generally the smallest military unit capable of independent operations (i.e., not attached to a higher command), although many armies have smaller units that are self-sustaining. The battalion is usually part of a regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

, group
Army group
An army group is a military organization consisting of several field armies, which is self-sufficient for indefinite periods. It is usually responsible for a particular geographic area...

 or a brigade
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

, depending on the organizational model used by that service. The bulk of a battalion will ordinarily be homogeneous with respect to type (e.g., an infantry battalion or a tank battalion), although there are many exceptions. Every battalion will also include some sort of combat service support
Combat service support
Combat service support is a subset of military logistics. Combat service support is more limited in depth than logistics, as it primarily addresses those factors directly influencing combat operations.-United States Army:...

, typically organized within a combat support company
Combat Support Company
A Combat Support Company is a company-echelon unit which provides combat service support to a battalion. Combat Service Support tasks are to man, arm, fuel, fix, and move the force...

.

The term is Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 in origin, appearing as battaglione. The French changed the spelling to bataillon, whereupon it directly entered into German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

.

British Army



The term battalion is used in the infantry
British Army Infantry
The British Army's Infantry, part of the Structure of the British Army, comprises 51 battalions of Infantry, from 19 Regiments. Of these 37 battalions are part of the 'Regular' army and the remaining 14 a part of the 'Territorial' force...

, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers is a corps of the British Army that has responsibility for the maintenance, servicing and inspection of almost every electrical and mechanical piece of equipment within the British Army from Challenger II main battle tanks and WAH64 Apache...

, (MSSM) and Intelligence Corps only. It was formerly used for a few units in the Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers , and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army....

 (before they switched to regiments), and was also used in the now defunct Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Royal Army Ordnance Corps
The Royal Army Ordnance Corps was a corps of the British Army. It dealt only with the supply and maintenance of weaponry, munitions and other military equipment until 1965, when it took over most other supply functions, as well as the provision of staff clerks, from the Royal Army Service...

 and Royal Pioneer Corps
Royal Pioneer Corps
The Royal Pioneer Corps was a British Army combatant corps used for light engineering tasks.The Royal Pioneer Corps was raised on 17 October 1939 as the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps. It was renamed the Pioneer Corps on 22 November 1940...

. Other corps
Corps
A corps is either a large formation, or an administrative grouping of troops within an armed force with a common function such as Artillery or Signals representing an arm of service...

 usually use the term regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

instead.

An infantry battalion is numbered ordinarily within its regiment (e.g., 1st Battalion, The Rifles
The Rifles
The Rifles is the largest regiment of the British Army. Formed in 2007, it consists of five regular and two territorial battalions, plus a number of companies in other TA battalions, Each battalion of the Rifles was formerly an individual battalion of one of the two large regiments of the Light...

, usually referred to as 1 Rifles). It normally has a Headquarters Company, Support Company, and three Rifle Companies (usually, but not always, A, B and C Companies). Each company is commanded by a Major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

, the Officer Commanding (OC), with a Captain
Captain (British Army and Royal Marines)
Captain is a junior officer rank of the British Army and Royal Marines. It ranks above Lieutenant and below Major and has a NATO ranking code of OF-2. The rank is equivalent to a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and to a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force...

 or senior Lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

 as Second-in-Command
Second-in-command
The Second-in-Command is the deputy commander of any British Army or Royal Marines unit, from battalion or regiment downwards. He or she is thus the equivalent of an Executive Officer in the United States Army...

 (2IC). The HQ company contains signals, quartermaster
Quartermaster
Quartermaster refers to two different military occupations depending on if the assigned unit is land based or naval.In land armies, especially US units, it is a term referring to either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior...

, catering, intelligence, administration, pay, training, operations and medical elements. The support company usually contains anti-tank, machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

, mortar
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

, pioneer and reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 platoons. Mechanised units usually have an attached Light Aid Detachment
Light Aid Detachment
A Light Aid Detachment is an attached independent minor unit of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers or Detachment of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers operating as a sub-unit of the supported unit...

 (LAD) of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) to perform field repairs on vehicles and equipment. A British battalion in World War II had around 845 men in it. With successive rounds of cutbacks after the war, many infantry Regiments were reduced to a single battalion (others were amalgamated to form large Regiments which maintained multiple battalions; e.g., the Royal Anglian Regiment
Royal Anglian Regiment
The Royal Anglian Regiment is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Queen's Division.The regiment was formed on 1 September 1964 as the first of the new large infantry regiments, through the amalgamation of the four regiments of the East Anglian Brigade.* 1st Battalion from the...

).

Important figures in a battalion headquarters include:
  • Commanding Officer
    Commanding officer
    The commanding officer is the officer in command of a military unit. Typically, the commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as he sees fit, within the bounds of military law...

     (CO) (invariably a Lieutenant Colonel
    Lieutenant colonel
    Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

     or even a Colonel
    Colonel
    Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

    )
  • Second-in-Command
    Second-in-command
    The Second-in-Command is the deputy commander of any British Army or Royal Marines unit, from battalion or regiment downwards. He or she is thus the equivalent of an Executive Officer in the United States Army...

     (2IC) (usually a Major, or a Lieutenant Colonel if the battalion is commanded by a Colonel)
  • Adjutant
    Adjutant
    Adjutant is a military rank or appointment. In some armies, including most English-speaking ones, it is an officer who assists a more senior officer, while in other armies, especially Francophone ones, it is an NCO , normally corresponding roughly to a Staff Sergeant or Warrant Officer.An Adjutant...

     (Captain or Major)
  • Quartermaster
    Quartermaster
    Quartermaster refers to two different military occupations depending on if the assigned unit is land based or naval.In land armies, especially US units, it is a term referring to either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior...

     (QM) (Captain or Major)
  • Quartermaster (Technical) (QM(T))
  • Regimental Medical Officer (RMO) (Army Medical Services
    Army Medical Services
    The Army Medical Services is the organisation responsible for administering the four separate corps that deliver medical, veterinary, dental and nursing services in the British Army...

     Captain or Major)
  • Regimental Administrative Officer (RAO) (Adjutant General's Corps
    Adjutant General's Corps
    The Adjutant General's Corps is a corps in the British Army responsible for many of its general administrative services. As of 2002, the AGC had a staff of 7,000 people...

     Captain or Major)
  • Padre
    Padre
    Padre may refer to:* Partnership for Acid Drainage Remediation in Europe PADRE* An IDE for the Perl programming language, see Padre * A Military Chaplain* A member of the San Diego Padres baseball team...

     (Royal Army Chaplains Department Chaplain 4th or 3rd Class)
  • Regimental Intelligence Officer (IO) (Lieutenant or Captain)
  • Regimental Signals Officer (RSO) (Lieutenant or Captain)
  • Regimental Sergeant Major
    Regimental Sergeant Major
    Regimental Sergeant Major is an appointment held by warrant officers class 1 in the British Army, the British Royal Marines and in the armies of many Commonwealth nations, including Australia and New Zealand; and by chief warrant officers in the Canadian Forces...

     (RSM) (Warrant Officer
    Warrant Officer
    A warrant officer is an officer in a military organization who is designated an officer by a warrant, as distinguished from a commissioned officer who is designated an officer by a commission, or from non-commissioned officer who is designated an officer by virtue of seniority.The rank was first...

     Class 1)
  • Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant
    Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant
    Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant is a military rank in some militaries, and an appointment in others.-Irish Defence Forces:Battalion Quartermaster Sergeant is a rank in the Irish Army and Irish Air Corps equivalent to Warrant Officer Class 2 in the British Army...

     (RQMS) (Warrant Officer
    Warrant Officer
    A warrant officer is an officer in a military organization who is designated an officer by a warrant, as distinguished from a commissioned officer who is designated an officer by a commission, or from non-commissioned officer who is designated an officer by virtue of seniority.The rank was first...

     Class 2)
  • Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (Technical) (RQMS(T)) (Warrant Officer Class 2)


Battalions of other corps are given separate cardinal numbers within their corps (e.g., 101 Battalion REME).

Battalion group


A battalion group is a military unit based around a battalion. A typical battalion group consists of an infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 or armoured battalion with sub-units detached from other military units acting under the direct command of the battalion commander. Battalion groups may be permanent or temporary formations.

Under modern military doctrine battalion groups are being replaced by battlegroups
Battlegroup (army)
A battlegroup , or task force in modern military theory, is the basic building block of an army's fighting force. A battlegroup is formed around an infantry battalion or armoured regiment, which is usually commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel...

. The key difference between battalion groups and battlegroups is that battlegroups consist of a mixture of sub-units and typically do not include all sub-units of any single battalion.

The battalion staff includes the operations officer (usually a major) who is also generally the next in command hierarchy after the battalion 2nd in command.

Armoured Infantry Battalion

  • HQ of 5 FV432
    FV432
    The FV432 is the armoured personnel carrier variant of the British Army's FV430 series of armoured fighting vehicles. Since its introduction in the 1960s it has been the most common variant, being used for transporting infantry on the battlefield...

    , 2 Warrior
    Warrior Tracked Armoured Vehicle
    The Warrior tracked vehicle family is a series of British armoured vehicles, originally developed to replace the older FV430 series of armoured vehicles. The Warrior started life as the MCV-80 project that was first broached in the 1970s, GKN Sankey/Defence winning the production contract in 1980....

     MCRV (Mechanised Combat Repair Vehicle) and 1 Warrior
    Warrior Tracked Armoured Vehicle
    The Warrior tracked vehicle family is a series of British armoured vehicles, originally developed to replace the older FV430 series of armoured vehicles. The Warrior started life as the MCV-80 project that was first broached in the 1970s, GKN Sankey/Defence winning the production contract in 1980....

     MAOV (Mechanised Artillery Observation Vehicle)
  • 4 Armoured Infantry Companies (1 Coy has only 2 pltns):
    • HQ of 2 Warrior
      Warrior Tracked Armoured Vehicle
      The Warrior tracked vehicle family is a series of British armoured vehicles, originally developed to replace the older FV430 series of armoured vehicles. The Warrior started life as the MCV-80 project that was first broached in the 1970s, GKN Sankey/Defence winning the production contract in 1980....

      , 1 FV432
      FV432
      The FV432 is the armoured personnel carrier variant of the British Army's FV430 series of armoured fighting vehicles. Since its introduction in the 1960s it has been the most common variant, being used for transporting infantry on the battlefield...

       ambulance, 2 Land Rover
      Land Rover
      Land Rover is a British car manufacturer with its headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, United Kingdom which specialises in four-wheel-drive vehicles. It is owned by the Indian company Tata Motors, forming part of their Jaguar Land Rover group...

      , 1 8 ton truck, HQ and Sniper Section
    • 3 Platoons of 4 Warriors, Pl HQ (L9A1 51 mm Light Mortar
      L9A1 51 mm Light Mortar
      The L9A1 51 mm Light Mortar is a man-portable mortar system used by the British Army. Smoke, illuminating and high explosive bombs are available. A short range insert device allows the weapon to be used in a direct fire mode...

      ), 3 Sections (2 L86 LSW each)
    • LAD Section of 1 Warrior MCRV, 1 Warrior 512 and 1 FV432
  • Manoeuvre Support Company:
    • HQ of 5 FV432, 2 Warrior MCRV and 1 Warrior MAOV
    • Anti-Tank Platoon:
      • HQ of 2 Warriors and 2 MILAN
        MILAN
        MILAN " is French and German for "kite bird") is a European anti-tank guided missile. Design of the MILAN started in 1962. It was ready for trials in 1971, and was accepted for service in 1972. It is a wire guided SACLOS missile, which means the sight of the launch unit has to be aimed at the...

         Teams
      • 3 Sections of 1 FV103 Spartan
        FV103 Spartan
        FV103 Spartan is a tracked armoured personnel carrier of the British Army. It was developed as the APC variant of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance family. The vehicle can carry up to 7 personnel, including 3 crew members. Armed with a single machine gun, it is almost indistinguishable from the...

         (HQ) 3 Warriors and 6 MILAN Teams
    • Recce Platoon:
      • 3 Sections of 4 Sabres
        Sabre (tank)
        Sabre is a variation of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance , featuring the turret from a Fox reconnaissance vehicle mounted on the hull of a Scorpion....

    • HQ ISTAR
      ISTAR
      ISTAR stands for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance. In its macroscopic sense, ISTAR is a practice that links several battlefield functions together to assist a combat force in employing its sensors and managing the information they gather.Information is collected on...

       Group of 1 FV432
    • Mortar Platoon:
      • Pl HQ of 2 FV105 Sultan
        FV105 Sultan
        FV105 Sultan is a British Army command and control vehicle based on the CVR platform. It has a higher roof than the APC variants, providing a more comfortable "office space" inside. This contains a large vertical map board and desk along one side, with a bench seat for three people facing it...

      • 4 Sections of 3 FV432 with L16 81mm Mortar
      • OP Section of 4 MFC teams and 4 FV103 Spartan
    • CSS Detachment of 1 FV432
    • Pioneer Platoon of 4 Warriors, Pl HQ (L9A1 51 mm Light Mortar), 3 Sections (2 L86 LSW each)
    • LAD Section of 1 FV432, 1 FV434 "Carrier, Maintenance, Full Tracked" and 1 FV106 Samson
      FV106 Samson
      FV106 Samson is a British Army armoured recovery vehicle, one of the CVR family. The main role of this vehicle is to recover the CVR family of vehicles, but can recover other light tracked vehicles such as the FV430 series.-Design and features:...


Canadian Army


In the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

, most battalions are reserve
Military reserve force
A military reserve force is a military organization composed of citizens of a country who combine a military role or career with a civilian career. They are not normally kept under arms and their main role is to be available to fight when a nation mobilizes for total war or to defend against invasion...

 units of between 100–200 soldiers that include an operationally ready, field-deployable component of approximately a half-company apiece. The nine regular force infantry battalions are each composed of four companies totalling approximately 600 soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

s. Canadian battalions are generally commanded by lieutenant-colonel
Lieutenant-Colonel (Canada)
In the Canadian Forces, the rank of lieutenant-colonel is an Army or Air Force rank equal to a commander of the Navy. A lieutenant-colonel is the second-highest rank of senior officer...

s, though smaller reserve battalions may be commanded by major
Major (Canada)
Major is a rank of the Canadian Forces. The rank insignia of a major is two half-inch stripes with a quarter-inch stripe between. Majors fill the positions of Company/Squadron/Battery Commanders, or Deputy Commanders of a Battalion/Regiment; in the Air Force they are typically squadron...

s.

Those regiments consisting of more than one battalion are:
  • The Royal Canadian Regiment
    The Royal Canadian Regiment
    The Royal Canadian Regiment is an infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces. The regiment consists of four battalions, three in the Regular Force and one in the Primary Reserve...

     (3 regular
    Regular Force
    In the Canadian Forces, a Regular Force unit or person is part of the full-time military, as opposed to being part of the Primary Reserve.Regular Force personnel are employed full-time, and have usually signed long-term contracts committing them to regular service...

     and 1 reserve battalions)
  • Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
    Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
    Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry is one of the three regular force infantry regiments of the Canadian Army. The regiment is composed of four battalions including a primary reserve battalion, for a total of 2,000 soldiers...

     (3 regular and 1 reserve battalions)
  • Royal 22e Régiment
    Royal 22e Régiment
    The Royal 22nd Regiment is an infantry regiment and the most famous francophone organization of the Canadian Forces. The regiment comprises three Regular Force battalions, two Primary Reserve battalions, and a band, making it the largest regiment in the Canadian Army...

     (3 regular and 2 reserve battalions)
  • The Royal New Brunswick Regiment
    The Royal New Brunswick Regiment
    The Royal New Brunswick Regiment is a reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces based in New Brunswick. It consists of two battalions, both of which are part of 37 Canadian Brigade Group. The regiment as it is now, was formed in 1954 by the amalgamation of the Carleton and York Regiment,...

     (2 reserve battalions)
  • Royal Newfoundland Regiment (2 reserve battalions)


Tactically, the Canadian battalion forms the core of the infantry battle group
Battlegroup (army)
A battlegroup , or task force in modern military theory, is the basic building block of an army's fighting force. A battlegroup is formed around an infantry battalion or armoured regiment, which is usually commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel...

, which also includes various supporting elements such as armour
Armoured warfare
Armoured warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a major component of modern methods of war....

, artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

, combat engineers and combat service support
Combat service support
Combat service support is a subset of military logistics. Combat service support is more limited in depth than logistics, as it primarily addresses those factors directly influencing combat operations.-United States Army:...

. An infantry battle group will typically be commanded by the commander of the core infantry battalion around which it is formed and can range in size from 300 to 1,500 or more soldiers, depending on the nature of the mission assigned.

Colombian Army


In the Colombian Army
Colombian Army
The National Army of Colombia is the land military force of the government of Colombia and the largest service of the Colombian Armed Forces...

, a battalion usually has a strength of 1,200 to 1,300 men, and is divided in companies. Normally it is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

 or a Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

. Counter Insurgency Battalions are the exception as they usually have around 300 soldiers, and are commanded by a Major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

. Two or more battalions form a Brigade.

Battalions are numbered ordinarily and according to its speciality:
  • Infantry
  • Artillery
  • Engineers
  • Mechanized Infantry
  • Mountain Infantry
  • Counter-Insurgency
  • Military Police
  • Combat Service Support
  • Infrastructure Protection

Royal Netherlands Army



  • Infantry: one mechanised infantry platoon usually consists out of one one command- and medical company, three mechanised infantry elements, and one support company which has 3 platoons with heavy mortars and 1 (later 3) platoon(s) with anti-tank missiles (TOW
    TOW
    TOW may refer to:* BGM-71 TOW, U.S. anti-tank missile* Maximum Takeoff Weight of an aircraft* Tug of war, a sport* Things on Wheels, video game...

    ). With the Dutch
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

     artillery units the equivalent of a battalion is called an "afdeling" (which translates to "department").
  • Combat companies consist of (usually mechanised) infantry, combat engineers
    Combat engineering
    A combat engineer, also called pioneer or sapper in many armies, is a soldier who performs a variety of construction and demolition tasks under combat conditions...

    , or tank
    Tank
    A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

    s. In the latter case the unit is called an "eskadron", which translates roughly to "squadron". There are also support battalions in the Dutch army, which specialise on specific task: for example, supplies and transport or communication.
  • The Netherlands have four battalions that are permanently reserved for the United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

    , for the purpose of peacekeeping
    Peacekeeping
    Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

     duties.
  • An infantry battalion, logistical battalion, combat battalion, or even the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps all have a battalion structure. Each battalion usually consists of the following:
    • Battalion command
      • Commander
      • Second in command
    • General service
      • Personnel section
      • Intelligence section
      • Opterations section
      • Materiel section
      • Communication section
    • Command company
      • Command group
      • Administration group
      • Medical group
      • Communication group
      • Supply platoon
    • 3 Infantry companies
    • Support company
      • Command group
      • Recon platoon
      • Mortar platoon
      • Anti-tank platoon

Swiss Army


With the major reform of its Armed Forces in 2004, the Swiss Army abandoned the old regimental system and adopted a combat team approach centred on battalions as the building blocks of mission-oriented task forces. Battalion sizes vary between branches. For example, an infantry battalion has a nominal strength of 1,224 men.

US Army


In the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, a battalion is a unit composed of a headquarters and two or more batteries, companies or troops. They are normally identified by ordinal numbers (1st Battalion, 2nd Squadron, etc.) and normally have subordinate units that are identified by single letters (A Battery, A Company, A Troop, etc.). Battalions are tactical and administrative organizations with a limited capability to plan and conduct independent operations and are normally organic components of brigades, groups, or regiments.

A United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 battalion includes the battalion commander (Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.The pay...

), his staff, and headquarters, the Command Sergeant Major (CSM), and usually 3–5 companies, with a total of 300 to 1,200 soldiers. A regiment consists of between two and six organic battalions, while a brigade consists of between three and seven separate battalions.

During the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, an infantry or cavalry battalion was an ad hoc grouping of companies from the parent regiment (which had ten companies, A through K, minus J as described below), except for certain regular infantry regiments, which were formally organized into three battalions of six companies each (numbered 1–6 per battalion vice sequential letter designations). After 1882, cavalry battalions were renamed squadrons and cavalry companies were renamed troops. Artillery battalions typically comprised four or more batteries, although this number fluctuated considerably.

During World War II, most infantry regiments consisted of three battalions (a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd) with each battalion consisting of four companies. That is, companies A, B, C, and D were part of the 1st battalion, companies E, F, G, and H constituted the 2nd battalion, and I, K, L, and M in the 3rd. There was no J company. [The letter J was traditionally not used because in 18th and 19th century old style type the capital letters I and J looked alike and were therefore too easily confused with one another.] It was common for a battalion to become temporarily attached to a different regiment. For example, during the confusion and high casualty rates of both the Normandy landings and the Battle of the Bulge
Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive , launched toward the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, hence its French name , and France and...

, in order to bolster the strength of a depleted infantry regiment, companies and even battalions were moved around as necessary.

From the 1960s through the early 1980s, a typical maneuver (infantry or tank) battalion had five companies: Headquarters and Headquarters Company
Headquarters and Headquarters Company
In United States Army units, a headquarters and headquarters company is a company sized military unit, found at the battalion level and higher. In identifying a specific headquarters unit, it is usually referred to by its abbreviation as an HHC...

 (HHC) and A, B, and C Companies, plus a Combat Support Company with a scout platoon, mortar platoon and other elements that varied between organizations. These included heavy anti-tank missile platoons, ground surveillance radar sections, man portable anti-aircraft missile sections and others. Beginning in the early to mid-1980s some elements of the Combat Support Companies (the mortar and scout platoons) were merged into the Headquarters Company with the staff and support elements, others were moved to their parent type organization (ground surveillance radar and air defense), and in infantry battalions the heavy anti-tank missile platoon was organized as a separate company (Echo/E). Simultaneously, there was a fourth "type" company added (Delta/D) in most infantry and tank battalions.

In this older structure, United States Army mechanized infantry
Mechanized infantry
Mechanized infantry are infantry equipped with armored personnel carriers , or infantry fighting vehicles for transport and combat ....

 battalions and tank
Armoured warfare
Armoured warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a major component of modern methods of war....

 battalions, for tactical purposes, cross-post companies to each other, forming a battalion-sized task force
Task force
A task force is a unit or formation established to work on a single defined task or activity. Originally introduced by the United States Navy, the term has now caught on for general usage and is a standard part of NATO terminology...

 (TF).

Starting in 2005–2006 with Transformation, U.S. Army mechanized and tank battalions were reorganized into Combined Arms Battalions (CABs). Tank battalions and mechanized infantry battalions no longer exist. These new combined arms battalions are modular units, each consisting of a headquarters company, two mechanized infantry companies, two armor companies, an engineer company, and a forward support company. This new structure eliminated the need to cross-post (or as it is more commonly referred to, cross-attach) companies between battalions; each combined arms battalion was organically composed of the requisite companies. At a higher level, each heavy brigade is composed of two CABs, an armored reconnaissance squadron, a fires battalion (field artillery), a special troops battalion (STB), and a brigade support battalion (BSB).

United States Marine Corps


A United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 battalion includes the battalion headquarters, consisting of the commanding officer
Commanding officer
The commanding officer is the officer in command of a military unit. Typically, the commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as he sees fit, within the bounds of military law...

 (usually a lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

, sometimes a colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

), an executive officer
Executive officer
An executive officer is generally a person responsible for running an organization, although the exact nature of the role varies depending on the organization.-Administrative law:...

 (the second-in-command, usually a major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

), the sergeant major
Sergeant Major
Sergeants major is a senior non-commissioned rank or appointment in many militaries around the world. In Commonwealth countries, Sergeants Major are usually appointments held by senior non-commissioned officers or warrant officers...

, and the executive staff (S-1 through S-8). The battalion headquarters is supported by a Headquarters and Service Company
Headquarters and Service Company
A Headquarters and Service Company is a company sized military unit, found at the battalion level and higher in the United States Marine Corps. In identifying a specific headquarters unit, it is usually referred to by its abbreviation as H&S...

 (Battery). A battalion usually contains 2–5 organic companies (batteries in the artillery), with a total of 500 to 1,200 Marines in the battalion. A regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 consists of a regimental headquarters, a headquarters company (or battery), and two to five organic battalions (Marine infantry regiments - three battalions of infantry; Marine artillery regiments - three to five battalions of artillery; Marine combat logistics regiments - two or more combat logistics battalions). In the US Marine Corps, the brigade designation is used only in Marine Expeditionary Brigade
Marine Expeditionary Brigade
A Marine Expeditionary Brigade is a formation of the United States Marine Corps, a Marine Air-Ground Task Force of approximately 14,500 Marines and Sailors constructed around a reinforced infantry regiment, a composite Marine aircraft group, a logistics group and a command element...

(MEB). A MEB is one of the standard Marine Air-Ground Task Force
Marine Air-Ground Task Force
The Marine Air-Ground Task Force is a term used by the United States Marine Corps to describe the principal organization for all missions across the range of military operations. MAGTFs are a balanced air-ground, combined arms task organization of Marine Corps forces under a single commander that...

s (MAGTF), is commanded by a brigadier general
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 or major general
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

, and consists of command element, a ground combat element
Ground combat element
In the United States Marine Corps, the Ground combat element is the land force of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force . It provides power projection and force for the MAGTF.-Role within the MAGTF:...

 (usually one reinforced Marine infantry regiment), an aviation combat element
Aviation combat element
In the United States Marine Corps, the aviation combat element or air combat element is the air arm of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force . It provides rotary-wing, tiltrotor, and fixed-wing aircraft, support equipment, pilots, maintenance personnel, as well as command and control assets to the...

 (a reinforced Marine Air Group), and a service support element (a Marine Logistics group, which includes Naval Construction Force (SEABEEs) and naval medical elements).

In the U.S. Marine Corps, an infantry or rifle battalion typically consists of a Headquarters and Service Company (H&S Co.), three rifle, or line, companies (designated alphabetically A through M depending upon which battalion of the parent regiment to which they are attached) and a weapons company. Weapons companies do not receive a letter designation. Marine infantry regiments use battalion and company designations as described above under World War II, with company letters D, H, and M not normally used but rather held in "reserve" for use in augmenting a fourth rifle company into each battalion as needed.

United States Marine Corps infantry battalions are task organized into Battalion Landing Teams (BLTs) as the Ground Combat Element
Ground combat element
In the United States Marine Corps, the Ground combat element is the land force of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force . It provides power projection and force for the MAGTF.-Role within the MAGTF:...

 (GCE) of a Marine Expeditionary Unit
Marine Expeditionary Unit
A Marine expeditionary unit , formerly called Marine amphibious unit , is the smallest Marine air-ground task force in the United States Fleet Marine Force...

 (MEU). A "standard" U.S. Marine infantry battalion is typically supported by an artillery battery
Artillery battery
In military organizations, an artillery battery is a unit of guns, mortars, rockets or missiles so grouped in order to facilitate better battlefield communication and command and control, as well as to provide dispersion for its constituent gunnery crews and their systems...

 and a platoon each of tanks, amphibious assault vehicles, light armored reconnaissance vehicles, reconnaissance Marines, and combat engineers. The battalion structure is designed to readily expand to include a fourth rifle company, if required, as described above under battalion organization. Often naval gunfire liaison officers
Naval Gunfire Liaison Officers
The Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer is a U.S. Navy officer—typically a lieutenant junior grade or lieutenant —assigned to a Marine artillery battalion to assist in providing naval gunfire support. Attached to the Operations Office , the NGLO is responsible for a Shore Fire Control Party that...

 (NGLO) are assigned to the battalion, to coordinate naval gunfire support.

The United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 has also had construction battalions
Seabee
Seabees are members of the United States Navy construction battalions. The word Seabee is a proper noun that comes from the initials of Construction Battalion, of the United States Navy...

 since World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

See also

  • March battalion
    March battalion
    A march battalion is a battalion-sized military unit formed of all the rear-echelon units of an infantry regiment. It usually includes all the tabors, field kitchen staff, reserve soldiers, military police, commander's reserves, guards, aides, and raw recruits who did not arrive at the...

  • Military organization
    Military organization
    Military organization is the structuring of the armed forces of a state so as to offer military capability required by the national defence policy. In some countries paramilitary forces are included in a nation's armed forces...

  • Battalion of Death
  • Swedish Battalion of the 17th and 18th century

External links