UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Military Units

The name "detachment", "platoon", "company" does not depend on the strength, but firstly, on the type of troops, and, secondly, on the tactical tasks that are assigned to the formation of this type. Echelon ( French échelon ) in military affairs is part of the tactical, operational or strategic formation ( battle formation , concatenation) of formations ( troops and forces, and so on), designed to perform various tasks in various directions (areas) or in various areas of the theater war. In different formations, there may be a different number of echelons. In Soviet (Russian) military affairs, the “echelon” became an operational term. The echelon began to denote the operational formation of the troops of the front or the army. It can consist of one or several echelons, which are located one after another and support each other during hostilities.

The organizational structure of military units (as well as the armed forces as a whole), which provides the optimal combination of their composition and strength, number and types of weapons and military equipment to maintain high combat readiness and the ability to successfully conduct combat operations, is called the organization of troops. It is expressed in the division of formations into structural components.

In the Armed Forces of Russia and in the Armed Forces of the USSR, individual battalions and divisions, regiments and brigades (whose battalions and divisions do not have general military numbering) are awarded the Battle Banner. Combined banners are awarded with state awards when awarded with state awards.

Military formation of the Armed Forces type, include several associations of a lower level, formations, units, various types and arms of the Armed Forces, special forces, headed by a single regular command body. Depending on the composition and tasks to be solved, it can be operational-strategic (military district, front , navy), operational (army, flotilla), operational-tactical (corps, squadron). An operational-strategic association is a large organizational formation of one or several types of armed forces , designed to fulfill strategic tasks in a war , in a theater of operations or in a strategic direction. Operational and strategic territorial associations include military districts. In Russia, these include fronts and armies.

Military units include regiments, separate battalions (divisions, squadrons) that are not part of the regiments, and also separate companies that are not part of the battalions and regiments. There are parts: according to the level of readiness - constant combat readiness, reduced composition and squadroned; by appointment - combat, support , rear; by the nature of the fulfillment of tasks - combined-arms, combat arms, fleet forces, and special purposes. In accordance with the “new look” of the RF Armed Forces , the squadroned formations of the Ground Forces are being eliminated, all formations are becoming forces of constant readiness.

The structure of military units is formed based on the number of military personnel. Each unit has a different number of military personnel, and is part of a larger unit (a squad is part of a platoon, a platoon is part of a company, etc.). The smallest military unit is the squad, which consists of ordinary soldiers and corporals. Depending on the type of troops, a different number of people can be in the squad, the equivalent of a squad in tank units is the tank crew, and in artillery units it is the crew.

The next largest number of personnel is a platoon. Most often it includes from three to six squads, respectively, its number varies from fifteen to sixty people. As a rule, a platoon is commanded by a junior officer - a junior lieutenant, lieutenant or senior lieutenant. A tank platoon consists of 3 tank crews. It is important that the commander of a tank platoon is also the commander of the first tank, so there are only 9 people in a tank platoon. A fire platoon consists of 3-4 crews, each squad consists of 7 people, so the platoon has 21-28 people.

The third largest military formation is the company. Depending on the type of troops, the size of a company can be from 30 to 150 soldiers, who are part of 2-4 platoons. Thus, the strength of a tank company is 31-40 people, and the number of servicemen of a motorized rifle company ranges from 150 people. Often a company is commanded by an officer with the rank of captain, and only in some units this position is occupied by a major. Also, depending on the type of troops, the company may have a different name. For example, an artillery company is called a battery, an aviation company is called an aviation unit.

As in other military units, the size of the battalion depends on the type of troops. The battalion consists of 2 - 4 companies, and has from 250 to 1000 people. This military unit already has a fairly impressive number, and therefore it is considered the main tactical formation capable of acting independently. The battalion commander is the position of a lieutenant colonel, but most often the battalion commanders are captains and majors.

The regiment consists of three to six battalions. The peculiarity of the regiment is that it is an independent and full-fledged formation in organizational, economic and combat terms. The number of the regiment does not exceed two thousand people. By itself, the regiment is directly a key tactical formation, which is completely autonomous. To command such a formation, it is necessary to have the rank of colonel, but in practice lieutenant colonels are more often placed as commanders of the regiment. A regiment may contain several different units. For example, if there are three tank battalions and one motorized rifle battalion in the regiment, then the regiment will have the name tank. Also, depending on the type of troops, the regiment can perform different tasks: combined arms, anti-aircraft, rear.


Squad (Branch) / Otdelenie

Commander Sergeant
Strength 9-13
Defense up to 100m
Offense up to 50m

Otdelenie “Separation” - Branch or squad, is the lowest tactical unit in the armed forces of many states of the world. (calculation for artillery, crew for tankers). In countries following the British Army tradition, this organization is referred to as a section. Armed with an AK74, the motorized rifle squad consists of 9-13 people (in addition to the squad commander: grenade launcher, private with RPG-7, PM; assistant gunner, private with AK74; machine gunner, private with RPK74; senior shooter, corporal with AK74; 3 ... 5 arrows, privates with AK74; mechanic driver BMP and gunner-operator \ machine gunner BMP \ BMP). The squad is named for its type of troops (tank, motorized rifle, engineer-sapper, communications)

Platoon / Vzvod

Commander lieutenant
Strength 9-45 people
Defense 400 m front
300 m deep
Offense up to 200-300 meters

Several squads comprise a platoon (from 2 to 4x). A platoon is named after its type of troops (tank, motorized rifle, engineer-sapper, communications). The first platoons in Russia were created at the end of the 17th century in infantry and cavalry, and later in artillery as a structural part of a company, squadron and battery. During the creation of new types of troops (tank, airborne) and the development of troops for combat and rear support of troops (engineering, communications, railway, etc.), platoons became an integral part of their organizational structure. The size of the platoon personnel depends on its type. For example, in the Soviet army of the late 80s, platoons, depending on their destination, had a strength of 28 people in the BMP / BTR motorized rifle platoon, or 12 tank platoon (motorized rifle regiment).

Company / Rota

Strength 130-150 people
Defense 1.0-1.5 km front
1.0 km in depth
Offense 0.5-1.0 km

Company ["Rota"] (battery for artillery and squadron for cavalry). Several platoons make up a company (from 2 to 4). In addition to platoons, compartments not included in platoons may enter a company. A company is a formation that can perform independent tasks on the battlefield. The strength ranges from 18 to 200 people (motorized rifle companies 130 ... 150 people; tank 30 ... 35 people). In a motorized rifle company there are three motorized rifle platoons, a machine gun squad, and an anti-tank squad. The company is named for its type of troops (tank, motorized rifle, engineer-sapper, communications). Usually a company is part of a battalion, but often the existence of a company, as independent formations. In artillery, the formation of this type is called the battery, in the cavalry squadron.

Battalion / Batalion

CommanderLieutenant Colonel
Strength 250-950 people
Defense 3-5 km front
2-2.5 km depth
Offense 1-2 km

Several companies (from 2 to 4) make up a battalion (A division for artillery.), platoons not included in companies also enter the battalion. The battalion is named for its type of troops (tank, motorized rifle, engineer-sapper, communications). But the battalion includes the formation of other types of weapons (For example, in the motorized rifle battalion, in addition to motorized rifle companies there is a mortar battery, a platoon of material support, a platoon of communications.) The battalion has its headquarters. The strength is from 250 to 950 people (theoretically, the number of battalions is possible and less). The name of the formation (detachment, platoon, company, etc) depends not on the size of the personnel, but on the type of troops and those tactical tasks that are assigned to the formation of this type. Hence, such a spread in the number of personnel in formations having the same name.

Regiment / Polka

Strength 900-2000 people

In the Soviet and Russian army, the regiment [Polka, aka "shelf"] was the main (some would say - key) tactical formation and a formation that is completely autonomous in the economic sense. The regiment is commanded by the colonel. Although the regiments are named according to the combat arms (tank, motorized rifle, communications, pontoon-bridge, etc.), but in fact it is a formation consisting of units of many military branches, and the name is given according to the prevailing military branch. Consists of at least 3 ... 4 battalions. (2 ... 3 battalions of the armed forces). (For example, in a motorized rifle regiment 2 ... 3 motorized rifle battalions, one tank battalion, one artillery battalion (battalion), one anti-aircraft missile battalion, reconnaissance company, engineer-sapper company, communications company, anti-tank battery, chemical defense platoon, repair company, material support company, orchestra, medical center).

The regiment, as a combat structure, usually includes subdivisions of various types of troops in addition to the main (most numerous), in order to maintain maximum independence and the ability to withstand various threats in the theater of operations. At the same time, the regiments are divided not only by the types of troops, but also by the nature of the tasks performed, and are also named according to the nature of the main type of weapons.

The motorized rifle regiment according to the state consists of a headquarters, three motorized rifle battalions (36 infantry fighting vehicles + 5 armored personnel carriers or 40 armored personnel carriers each), a tank battalion (36-40 tanks), an anti-aircraft missile artillery battalion, an artillery battalion, an anti-tank battery, an electronic warfare company, a company communications, RKhBZ company, material support company, reconnaissance company, engineer company, repair company, medical company, commandant platoon and orchestra.

This composition of the regiment pursues the goal of ensuring a fairly high level of autonomy in the conduct of hostilities by the forces of one formation. Carrying out tasks of both offensive and defensive nature against enemy ground units. At the same time, the regiment has the necessary measures to protect against chemical and biological weapons, can fight enemy armored vehicles due to the reinforcement of the tank battalion and the presence of anti-tank weapons, and also has some defense capabilities against an attack by an air enemy, thanks to the presence of anti-aircraft artillery, MANPADS, ZRAK and small air defense systems range.

The total number of 1400-1500 people are in a tank regiment. The combat structure of a tank regiment is similar to a motorized rifle regiment, only there are 3 tank battalions (31 tanks each) and one reinforced motorized rifle battalion (42 infantry fighting vehicles). Tank formations are the heavy strike power of the ground forces, designed both for defensive tasks and for offensive operations associated with breaking through the enemy’s fortified positions with deep penetration into the rear. The greatest threat to armored vehicles is currently posed by enemy bomber and attack aircraft, as well as specialized anti-tank helicopters. The anti-aircraft subunits in the composition of the tank regiment are represented by short-range air defense systems and therefore cannot fully counteract the air attack forces. Full-fledged cover for the advancing tank units is carried out by specialized air defense formations armed with medium and long-range complexes, as well as fighter aircraft.

Brigade / Brigada

Commander Colonel
Strength 2000-8000 people

The Brigade was an intermediate element (so to speak) from regiment to division. The main difference from the regiment is a greater number of both battalions and other units. (Say, there are two tank battalions in MTB) A brigade can also consist of 2 regiments. A brigade organization is a troop structure in which the bulk of combat formations are represented by separate (not part of the divisions) brigades of various types. The advantage of individual brigades over divisions is their higher maneuverability. The heterogeneity and autonomy of the combat personnel makes it possible for the brigade to reorganize the battle order in a shorter time, to regroup within the operational direction along the front and depth. Brigades with operational-tactical independence can act for a long time in isolation from the main forces in disparate directions.

In the ground forces since the late 1990s, the transition began from the division organization of troops to the brigade organization, primarily associated with the reduction of troops. With the assumption of the post of Minister of Defense A.E. Serdyukov, the process of converting divisions into brigades increased the scope. With the advent of S.K.Shoigu, the reverse process of the revival of motorized rifle and tank divisions was observed to some extent.


Division / Divizia

CommanderMajor General
Strength 12,000-24,000 people

A divisional organization is a structure of troops in which the main part of combat formations is represented by divisions of various types (motorized infantry, infantry, tank, armored, mechanized, airborne, etc.).After the Great Patriotic War, mechanized and tank corps were reorganized into mechanized and tank divisions. In the period from 1957 to 1963, motorized rifle divisions were created on the basis of rifle and mechanized divisions, which, together with tank divisions, became the basis of the ground forces.

The Division was the main operational-tactical formation of the Soviet Army. As with the regiment is named according to the predominant type of troops in it. However, the predominance of one kind or another of the troops is much smaller than in the regiment. Although it is called by the type of the predominant troops, in fact, the predominance can differ only by one regiment (say in a motorized rifle division, two motorized rifle regiments, in a tank division, on the contrary, one armored rifle regiment in two tank regiments).

In addition to these main regiments, the division has one or two artillery regiments, one anti-aircraft missile regiment, a jet division, a missile division, a helicopter squadron, an engineer and combat battalion, a communications battalion, an automobile battalion, an reconnaissance battalion, an electronic warfare battalion, material support battalion. repair and restoration battalion, health battalion, chemical defense company and several different auxiliary companies and platoons.

In the modern Russian Army, there were divisions or may be armored, motorized rifle, artillery, airborne, missile and aviation. In other branches of the army, as a rule, the highest formation is a regiment or brigade. On average, 12-24 thousand people were in the division. Division commander major general. motorized rifle, artillery, airborne, missile and aviation. In other branches of the army, as a rule, the highest formation is a regiment or brigade. On average, 12-24 thousand people are in the division.

Corps / Korpus

Intermediate military formation between division to army. The corps is a combined arms formation, such as an Army Corps or Air Defense Corps. The corps was usually created in those cases when the formation of the army was impractical. After completing a combat mission, the corps disbanded. Corps commander is a lieutenant general. The Corps is an operational-tactical association designed to carry out tasks in one operational area by conducting corps defensive or offensive operations . It consists of 2-3 motorized rifle (tank) brigades, corps formations and units of the combat arms, special forces and rear. It has a sufficiently high firepower, shock force and mobility , which allows it to successfully operate in various conditions.

The Corps / Korpus echelon is problematic, as the extant units are Naval Infantry Coastal Defense units, with one per fleet. These formations do not amounut to the multi-Division formations typically associated with the "Corps" nomenclature, but rather are collections of a few Brigades that really seem not to even amount to Divisions [now a seldom encoutered echelon]. The Ground Forces seem not to have peacetime Corps.

Army / Armia

In this case, the army as a military formation. The army is a large military formation of operational designation. The army includes divisions, regiments, battalions of all military branches. An army may also contain one or more corps. The rank of commander is an Army Colonel General. An army is usually not formed in peacetime and regiments, divisions and battalions are part of the District.

District / Okrug

District (during the wartime Front) is the highest military formation. The front includes several armies, corps, divisions, regiments, battalions of all military branches. Fronts are never subdivided by branches of service. The front (district) is headed by the commander of the front (district) with the rank of army general. In Russia there were 6 military districts, 4 military fleets as of May 2007).

Other Unit Nomenclature

Division / Podrazdelenie

These are all military units that make up the unit. Detachment, platoon, company, battalion - all of them are united by one word "division". The word comes from the concept of division, divide. Those. part is divided into units. Division is a multi-valued term. Unit is the general name of military units, organizationally independent military and administrative units. A unit is a formal group in an organization that is responsible for performing a specific set of tasks. Subdivision is the process of the systematic division of certain sets into subgroups according to some common feature.

Unit / Chast

A Chast [= Part, or unit] is a main unit of the Armed Forces. Most often, a regiment or brigade is understood as a unit. For a part, it is characteristic:

  • availability of their own paperwork,
  • military economy,
  • availability of a bank account,
  • postal and telegraphic addresses,
  • presence of their own official stamp,
  • commander's right to give written orders,
  • an open (e.g. 44 training tank division) and closed (military unit 08728) combined arms numbers.
  • Having a Battle Banner is optional for a part.

In addition to the regiment and brigade, the divisions headquarters, corps headquarters, army headquarters, district headquarters, as well as other military organizations (voentorg, army hospital, garrison clinic, district food warehouse, district song and dance ensemble, officers garrison house, garrison factory services, central school of junior specialists, military school, military institute, etc.) In some cases, a Unit may be of another unit than a regiment or brigade. Battalion, Rota, and even a platoon. Such parts are referred to as “separate” before the name.

Compound or Unit / Soedinennie

Compound refers to united parts of a Division. More rarely, the Brigade.

Association / Ob'edinenie

Association / Unification is a term uniting a corps, army, army group and front (district).

Operational Maneuver Group

The Operational manoeuvre group (OMG) was a Soviet Army organisational maneuver warfare concept created during the early 1950s to replace the Cavalry mechanized group which performed the deep operations on the Eastern Front during the Great Patriotic War. In the 1980s, the Soviets began to form new corps-type structures. These corps are divisions expanded to almost twice the size of a Tank Division. They were ideally suited to act as an operational maneuver group (OMG)for the front, conducting high-speed operations deep in an enemy's rear area. These NAC formations contain around 400 tanks, 750 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and armored personnel carriers (APCs),and 300 artillery pieces and multiple rocket launchers (MRLs).

Page last modified: 19-06-2022 19:46:20 Zulu