That Whole Rigamarole

Friday, March 28, 2003

Army Unit Lingo

If anyone is reading this and wants to sound more knowledgeable in referring to Army units, here are some pointers:

1. Don't always call the 3rd Infantry Division the "3rd Infantry." Say "3rd ID" (or "4th ID" when they get in country.)

2. Many Army combat arms battalions have 2 numerical designations. For example, 2nd Battalion, 70th Armored. You may wonder, "70th Armored what?" The answer is "70th Armored Regiment." So you say "2nd of the 70th", or "2nd of the 70th Armored." They may have some other common usage that I don't know about. You may see it written as 2-70.

3. What is a regiment? It's mostly a historical thing. For the most part, the Army fights in brigades, which can be part of a division or separate (such as 173rd Airborne.) Exceptions are Armored Cavalry Regiments, one of which is also on its way to Iraq, I believe. So if it's 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, say "2nd ACR."

4. Different branches have different names for the same sizes of units. A company of Infantry or Engineers is probably about 100 to 200 soldiers. The same size unit of artillery is called a battery. If it's cavalry, it's called a troop. The next larger unit is a battalion, unless it's a cavalry unit, in which case it's a squadron. So 1-7th Cavalry is 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment. More than one battalion of cavalry probably form a regiment, more than one battalion of infantry and armor probably form a brigade, and more than one Engineer battalion probably form a group.


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