A platoon is made up of three or four squads, each of which contains 20 to 50 men and is led by a lieutenant. A company is made up of two or more platoons and is headed by a captain or a major. A battalion is made up of eight companies and is commanded by a colonel or a brigadier general.
The term "platoon" was originally used by the British Army to describe a group of soldiers from a single company who were assigned duty together. They usually consisted of four sections of five men each, with one section acting as a "trigger" section that would go "over the top" of a trench at a given signal. The other three sections would follow behind them. This system was used by the British during World War I and also during the first half of World War II. It was later replaced with the American-style platoon: a group of soldiers from a single company who were assigned duty together but not necessarily four sections of five men each. These smaller groups were called "fire teams".
In the United States military, a platoon is typically composed of 14 to 20 soldiers, although this varies depending on the size of the unit. In larger units such as companies and battalions, this number increases to give officers enough time to discuss plans with their subordinates.
A platoon is the basic unit of a military company, battery, or infantry. It is usually led by a lieutenant and is made up of 25 to 50 soldiers divided into two or more sections, or squads, directed by non-commissioned officers. Platoon size varies depending on the role that it is designed to play within the larger organization. For example, a scout platoon might have only 20 soldiers, while a combat platoon could number as high as 300.
There are different types of platoons: command, support, combat, and special. A command platoon is one that contains only officers: a lieutenant and a first sergeant. They are responsible for leading their men out into battle and directing their actions during an operation. A support platoon provides maintenance and logistics services to its brothers-in-arms. These include things like carrying ammunition and food supplies into combat, acting as a stretcher team, or providing general labor. A combat platoon is one that goes into battle itself. It may contain volunteers from among the men assigned to it, but it is always led by officers. The members of a combat platoon are expected to know how to fight if necessary. A special platoon is one that is not based at a regular army post and is therefore not part of the regular army structure. For example, a presidential security force might be considered a special platoon, as would a militia group that is trained and equipped to defend itself.
South African Republic. A platoon in the South African army typically consists of 27 soldiers and one officer, divided into three sections of ten troops each, with an HQ of eight men. A lieutenant as platoon commander and a sergeant as platoon sergeant, together with a signaller and a two-man patmor group, make up the rest of the unit staff.
During the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), the British Army employed a platoons system similar to the one used in South Africa today. The term was originally applied to groups of six men led by a corporal or lance-corporal. These would usually consist of five riflemen and a loader for each man. By the time of World War I, the platoon had become standardized at fifty men. In World War II, it rose again to a hundred men due to the increased use of tanks and other armored vehicles.
As there are about 9 million people living in South Africa, this would mean that around 900,000 people are enlisted in the military. This is less than 1 percent of the population.
South Africa has one of the most effective militaries in the world, and they have been awarded several medals for their contribution to peacekeeping operations. In addition to that, they have also been known to manufacture some of the best weapons in the world such as the Carl Gustav missile system.
A company is a military unit that normally consists of 80–250 troops and is led by a major or a captain. Most companies are made up of three to six platoons, while the precise number varies depending on the nation, unit type, and organization. A platoon is a subunit of a company that typically includes eight to twelve soldiers.
In the United States Army, a company officer is called a company commander (CCO). In other words, a CCO is a lieutenant or first sergeant. A troop leader is also referred to as a squad leader. The person holding this position is usually a sergeant first class or staff sergeant.
Companies are usually formed from existing units of the same size, for example a company of scouts might be made up of officers and men from a cavalry regiment. A company can also be formed from personnel drawn from different branches of the army such as an artillery company composed entirely of officers from the artillery branch, or a combined arms company that includes infantrymen from both the infantry and armor branches.
In the United States Marine Corps, the term "company" refers to a ground combat element consisting of approximately 140 Marines divided into four squads of about 35 Marines each.
BATTALION Battalions are made up of four to six companies and can include up to 1,000 men. They are normally headed by a lieutenant colonel and can execute autonomous operations of limited scope and length. Combat weapons battalions, as well as combat support and combat service support battalions, are available. The Weapons Squad consists of five soldiers who operate the M249 SAW.
WORLD WAR II (1939-1945) There were two types of BATTALIONS in the U.S. ARMY during World War II: "Organized" Battalions which were fully trained and equipped units and "Unorganized" Battalions which were groups of volunteers from one company that were merged for training purposes.
OF THESE ONLY THE ORGANIZED BATTALIONS WERE ACTIVE IN THE EUROPEAN THEATER. In Europe, there were three types of Battalions: Rifle, Mechanized and Chemical.
RIFLE BATTALIONS HAD NO SPECIAL RANKING AND WERE COMPOSED OF VARIOUS GROUPS OF SOLDIERS FROM ONE REGIMENT. During World War I, the infantryman had become accustomed to receiving his own rifle platoon within the regiment. Thus, when the need arose to form new battalions outside of regiments, these groups of soldiers were assigned to them. These were usually composed of men from the same state or province as the regiment.
Because the young lieutenants and their men were sometimes secluded by mountains and triple canopy forests, the Vietnam War was dubbed "A Platoon Leader's War." An infantry platoon is made up of four squads of ten men each, and the youthful commanders, like Daniel Boone, had complete freedom of thought and action. They could decide on their own what course of action to take with no orders from above. Sometimes they would work together as a unit, but more often than not they would act on their own initiative.
The most common number of men in a platoon is between five and seven. There can be as few as four men or as much as nine. A platoon leader depends on his non-commissioned officers for advice and support. They are the ones who know the best how to use their men effectively within the context of battle situations.
In World War II, American soldiers were organized into small units called companies. These were then divided into platoons of around thirty to forty men. In Vietnam, this organization was continued. However, since the size of the American army was too big for this structure, companies became smaller again - until they reached their minimum effective size of sixty men. This means that a platoon in Vietnam was made up of about five to seven men per company on average. Some companies included only four men though; others could be as large as eighty-four men!