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This article is about the military unit. For other meanings, see Platoon (disambiguation).

A platoon is a military unit. In an army, a platoon is a unit of thirty to forty soldiers typically commanded by a lieutenant assisted by a non-commissioned officer.

A platoon is formed by between 2 to 4 sections or squads and is smaller than a company. Typically, there are three or four platoons per company. Most platoons are infantry platoons; some carry other designations such as mortar or heavy weapons platoons.

A platoon is the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer.

The word is derived from the 17th-century French peloton, meaning a small ball or small detachment of men, which came from pelote, a clew (originally from Latin 'pillula', meaning 'little ball').


[edit] British organization

In the British Army, the infantry Platoon Commander is a Lieutenant or Second Lieutenant, assisted by a Platoon Sergeant (who usually actually holds the rank of Sergeant). It is usually divided into three eight-man sections. Specialist platoons may be led by a Captain, assisted by a Warrant Officer or Colour Sergeant.

The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Army Medical Corps, Intelligence Corps and Royal Military Police also use platoons. The Household Cavalry, Royal Armoured Corps, Special Air Service, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Royal Corps of Signals and Royal Logistic Corps use troops instead.

The equivalent unit in the Royal Marines is also the troop, while in the Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps it is the flight.

[edit] Canadian organization

In the Canadian Forces, the infantry Platoon Commander is a Lieutenant or Second Lieutenant, assisted by a Platoon Warrant (who usually actually holds the rank of Warrant Officer). It is usually divided into three eight- to ten-person sections and a heavy weapons detachment which will deploy either a GPMG, Carl Gustav, or 60 mm mortar depending on mission requirements. Specialist platoons may be led by a Captain, assisted by a Warrant Officer. Some very large specialist platoons will actually have a Lieutenant as the second-in-command. In many corps, platoon-sized units are called troops instead.

[edit] United States organization

In the United States Army, a platoon is commanded by a Platoon Leader — a First Lieutenant or Second Lieutenant — assisted by a Platoon Sergeant, usually of the rank of Sergeant First Class (pay grade E-7). In infantry units, rifle platoons are generally made up of four nine-man squads (three rifle squads and one weapons squad).

In the United States Marine Corps, platoon leaders are called "Platoon Commanders," but hold the same rank and function. The Platoon Sergeant often holds the rank of Staff Sergeant, although ranks from Corporal to Gunnery Sergeant are possible. In Marine infantry units, rifle platoons usually consist of three rifle squads of 13 men each, with a Navy corpsman, a Platoon Commander, and a Platoon Sergeant. A weapons platoon replaces the 3 squads with a 60 mm mortar section, an assault section, and a medium machine gun section (using M240G 7.62 mm machine guns).

[edit] See also

[edit] References


de:Platoon fr:Peloton (militaire) he:מחלקה (צבא) nl:Peloton no:Tropp pl:Pluton (wojsko) pt:Pelotão ru:Взвод sl:Vod fi:Joukkue sv:Pluton zh:排


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