and, if need be, physically assisting or restraining men who refused to move forward or attempted to flee. Translated, it means "Group of 20", but has no more connection whatsoever with the number. [4] In the French Army in the 1670s, a battalion was divided into 18 platoons who were grouped into three "firings"; each platoon in the firing either actually firing or reloading. On 1 October 1913, under a scheme by General Sir Ivor Maxse, the regular battalions of the British Army were reorganised from the previous eight companies to a four-company structure, with each company having four platoons as separate units each commanded by a lieutenant with a platoon sergeant as his deputy. In the British Army, a rifle platoon from an infantry company consists of three sections of eight men, plus a signaller (radio operator), a platoon sergeant (a Sergeant), the platoon commander (either a second lieutenant or lieutenant) and a mortar man operating a light mortar (full strength of 27 men and one officer).Each section is commanded by a corporal, with a lance corporal as second-in-command and six privates divided into two four-man fireteams. In a few armies, such as the French Army, a platoon is specifically a cavalry unit, and the infantry use "section" as the equivalent unit. The “platoon system” in municipal police and U.S. baseball and gridiron-football organizations signifies the use of two or more shifts or teams of comparable strength that alternate on duty. The meaning was a group of soldiers firing a volley together, while a different platoon reloaded. A rifle company weapons platoon has a 60mm mortar section of 13 Marines with three M224 LWCMS 60mm mortar squads, an assault section of 13 Marines and six SMAW rocket launchers divided into three squads of two teams each, and a medium machine gun section of 22 Marines and six M240G general-purpose machine guns divided into three squads of two teams each. It has been transferred into modern usage from medieval army reforms of the Georgian king David the Builder. [citation needed]. Support weapons platoons (such as mortar or anti-tank platoons) are generally larger and are commanded by a captain with a colour Sergeant or WO2 as 2ic. A unit consisting of several platoons is called a company/battery. They consist of three rifle squads, one weapons squad, and a six-man headquarters. The REME is the British Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. The "Riflemen" and "Automatic Riflemen" sections were each led by a sergeant and divided into two squads of eight and seven men each, respectively, including a corporal to lead each squad. Lieutenant. Under normal circumstances expect a British infantry platoon to resemble the organisation in the following diagram: Note: In addition to the above, infantry platoons deploying on operations have a range of other weapons and systems available to them Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Each squad is commanded by a Sergeant. However, a dragoneante is still a soldier and can be removed from his position if his commander sees fit. Slightly smaller than GW heroic 28mm, but slightly chunkier than true 28mm which is perfect imo. Normally for infantry it has 32 men, but can vary depending on the type of unit. Three sections of two squads each in the heavy machinegun platoon, two sections of four squads each in the 81mm mortar platoon, one section of two squads with four teams each in the Javelin missile section, and one section of four squads with two teams each in the antitank TOW missile section. During their time as a Second Lieutenant, Officers complete special to arms training relevant to their Corps. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). [14], Tank platoons prior to the late 1980s consisted of a platoon headquarters squad and three tank squads, each consisting of one T-64, T-72 or T-80 tank for 12 personnel and 4 tanks total; platoons that used the older T-54, T-55 or T-62s added another crewmember for a total of 16. The basic infantry section was led by a Corporal with a Lance Corporal as his assistant, it was split into two groups with the first being the … late 1970s British Army Training Film, laying out the fundamentals of Troop Platoon Deployment and tactics. Known as the ‘British Expedition In the Indian army, a Platoon consists of three sections. More recently, the designated marksman of each Australian fireteam has been issued the HK417 in Afghanistan and possibly afterwards. Pathfinders … "[3] The word is from the 17th-century French peloton, from pelote meaning a small ball (from the low Latin "pilotta" from Latin "pila"). Marine rifle or weapons platoons would also have from one to four navy hospital corpsmen assigned along with the Marines. Each section can be sub-divided into two fire-teams, commanded by the Section Commander and 2iC respectively, as well as normal two man Scout, Rifle and Gun Teams. Platoon. At this point all of these responses form a part of another battle drill. Makes painting an absolute joy. Traditionally, there were three sections in a platoon; while a platoon operated together during an assault, most patrols were carried out at the section level. In total, the field artillery platoon (at full strength of men, horses, and equipment) consisted of a lieutenant, two sergeants, four corporals, 24 privates, 31 horses, four limbers, two caissons, two field guns, two spare wheels, plus ammunition, implements, tools, spare parts, and baggage. Each squad is led by a Sergeant, who is usually a Staff Sergeant (SSG, E-6). Hence “platoon fire” meant a regulated fire of alternating platoon volleys, and “platoon” sometimes referred to the volley itself. These platoons are the elementary small unit of the Armoured Infantry Battalion. US Tank Destroyers under British command via the lend-lease programme were organised into platoons of four. A captain (Hauptmann) is the platoon leader, assisted by a first lieutenant and each squad has a second lieutenant or a master sergeant in charge, often supported by a long-service sergeant or skilled senior corporal. Letter designations can be used, such as Alpha Flight, Bravo Flight, etc. Everywhere the Army deploys, the REME also go. [7] Due to a shortage of officers, a non-commissioned officer rank of Platoon Sergeant Major was introduced from 1938 to 1940 for experienced non-commissioned officers who were given command of platoons. The sergeants, assisted by the corporals, led the two sections (half-platoons) and the squads (the terms were often used interchangeably until 1891) of the platoon. Sections are commanded by a Sergeant or Master Corporal with a Master-Corporal or Corporal in the second in command, or 2IC, position; two members of a section will carry C9 LMG's and the remainder will carry C7 or C8 assault rifles fitted with either optics or a grenade launcher. Airlanding units were rained to a very high standard indeed and should always be rated as veterans. The corporals physically led by example (much like modern fire team leaders) by taking their place in the line with their privates, fighting alongside them, and by demonstrating proper soldierly attributes. The headquarters consists of a Platoon Leader (PL)--usually a First Lieutenant[20] (1LT), a Platoon Sergeant (PSG)--usually a Sergeant First Class (SFC, E-7), a radio-telephone operator (RTO), a platoon forward observer (FO), the FO's RTO, and the platoon medic. The function of administration is introduced at this level,…, …a company headquarters, three rifle platoons of three squads each, and a weapons platoon in which were placed light, crew-served weapons for close-fire support. The term “squad” was used more generically; any group of three or more soldiers could comprise a squad, and it … Specialist platoons, like reconnaissance, or "recce" platoons, that may be attached to a battalion may be led by a captain and assisted by a warrant officer. Both were led by a platoon leader and assistant platoon leader and consisted of three 9-man rifle squads mounted in three vehicles. The Platoon HQ doesn't have the 2 runners … In others, such as the British Army, most platoons are infantry platoons, while some carry other designations such as tank, mortar, or heavy weapons platoons. In both BMP and BTR squads, the driver and vehicle gunner stayed with the vehicle when the rest of the squad dismounted, and one squad in the platoon would have one of their rifleman armed with an SVD sniper rifle. In the South African army, a platoon usually consists of 27 soldiers and one officer organized into three sections 10 soldiers each plus an HQ which contains 8 men. In artillery batteries, the firing platoon consists of six artillery sections, each containing one gun with its crew and prime mover (i.e., a truck to tow the artillery piece and transport the gun crew and baggage). The typical flight commander is a captain. The "Hand Bombers" (i.e., hand grenade throwers) and "Rifle Grenadiers" sections had a total of twelve and nine men each, respectively, including two corporals each, but no sergeant.[18]. In the Swedish army, a platoon is organized in the following way, according to Markstridsreglemente 4 Pluton (Ground combat regulation 4 Platoon): In the Royal Thai Army, a platoon is commanded by either a Lieutenant or Second Lieutenant, assisted by a Platoon Sergeant, usually of the rank of sergeant major. An Infantry Battalion will also contain an organic Support Company (Mortars, Machine-Guns etc.) In the Bangladesh Army, infantry regiments have platoons commanded a captain, assisted by one or two lieutenants (or combination of lieutenants and Junior Commissioned Officers) and at least two sergeants. British Companies The structure of the British army changed as the war went on, but infantry companies virtually remained the same. Three infantry platoons will make up a typical infantry company, sometimes with a heavy weapons or support platoon in addition. Add to basket. Junior NCOs are the backbone of the British Army. Every unit in the British Army needs REME personnel to repair, recover and maintain its vehicles and equipment. In addition, there are at least two light machine guns, each commanded by a lance corporal. In armored vehicle units, platoons consist of sections containing two or three vehicles and their crews: In low altitude air defense (LAAD) batteries, the firing platoons consist of three sections, each consisting of a section leader and five two-man Stinger missile teams. Platoons are commanded by Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs). Battalions and brigades were not affected by that system. While the officers managed the battle and the staff NCOs (first sergeant and quartermaster sergeant) superintended logistics, the NCOs (sergeants and corporals) served as first-line supervisors and leaders by exhibiting a soldierly example for their privates and encouraging them to maintain proper discipline and to fight effectively. Three Züge make up a Kompanie ("company"). British Eighth Army Platoon quantity. The system was said to have been invented by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in 1618. An Infantry Rifle Company (3 per Infantry Battalion has a Weapons Platoon for crew served support Weapons. It is usually divided into three eight to ten person sections and a heavy weapons detachment which will deploy a GPMG, and a Carl Gustav, depending on mission requirements. The platoon leader is usually a junior officer—a second or first lieutenant or an equivalent rank. An additional senior sergeant serving as the "platoon sergeant" (originally designated as "assistant to platoon commander" from 1917 until 1940, and as "platoon leader" until 1943, when officer platoon commanders were re-designated as "platoon leaders") was not authorized until 1943. For combatant platoons (platoons engaged in combat with guerrilla rebels), a corporal or sergeant would be the most likely commander. The LMG group is armed with the SS77 while rest of the platoon is armed with R4 assault rifles, with rifle grenades if available. Prior to 1940, a platoon might be commanded by either a warrant officer WO III or a lieutenant. The Pathfinder Platoon (PF), also known as the Pathfinder Group, is an elite airborne reconnaissance unit within the 16 Air Assault Brigade. The infantry battalion weapons company consists of three heavy weapons platoons: 81mm mortar Platoon (referred to as “81s platoon or 81s”), heavy machinegun Platoon (.50cal HMG and 40mm AGL), and anti armor Platoon (Javelin missile and Antitank TOW missile launchers). This suggests an augmentative intention. In total, the platoon comprises 29 soldiers, of whom eight are vehicle crew. [citation needed] The platoon strength is typically 30 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are also used in reconnaissance, light armored reconnaissance (scout dismounts), combat engineer, law enforcement (i.e., military police), Marine Security Force Regiment (MSFR), and Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) companies. Become an Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officer in the British Army, and you’ll be doing what really matters. [8] Under Army 2020, a platoon in the Heavy Protected Mobility Regiments will consist of around 30 soldiers in four Mastiff/FRES UV vehicles. Britannica now has a site just for parents! …four squads make up a platoon, which has 20 to 50 soldiers and is commanded by a lieutenant. This platoon organization included one lieutenant, three sergeants, eight corporals, 15 privates first class, and 32 privates. The weapons platoon typically provides heavy weapons support to the company and includes mortar, anti-armor and heavy machine guns organically. These platoons are equipped with at least one heavy machine gun, rocket launcher or anti-tank gun, with the crews of these weapons commanded by a corporal. The Georgian Armed Forces equivalent of the platoon is the so-called Ozeuli. In the 17th century the term referred to a small body of musketeers who fired together in a volley alternately with another platoon, and it has always retained some sense of systematic alternate employment. In some armies, platoon is used throughout the branches of the army. The platoon was reintroduced into the British Army in 1913. In many corps, platoon-sized units are called troops instead. There are three Platoons in a Rifle Company, which is commanded by a Major, and three Rifle Companies in an Infantry Battalion, which is commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel. Each fireteam (also called a "brick" by Australian soldiers) has one soldier with an F89 Minimi LSW and the other three armed with F88 Steyr assault rifles. In the New Zealand Army, an Infantry Platoon is commanded by a 2nd Lieutenant or a lieutenant, with a Platoon Sergeant, a Platoon Signaller and a medic (where relevant) composing the Platoon Headquarters. Although the basic platoon structure has remained the same since the maneuver support section was removed in 2001, the particulars of the section-level structure and equipment were updated in 2018 going into 2019. Those soldiers are divided into 2–4 "classes" ("Kitot") or teams ("Tzvatim"), each composing of 6–21 soldiers. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. A flight usually ranges from a dozen people to over a hundred, or typically four aircraft. The “platoon system” in municipal police and U.S. baseball and gridiron-football organizations signifies the use of two or more shifts or teams of comparable strength that alternate on duty. The British Army Armoured Infantry Platoon consists of a Platoon Headquarters, 3 Sections, and 4 FV510 Warrior infantry fighting vehicles. Establishment: circa 100,000; Commanded by a General In some elite units, such as Maglan, Egoz or Duvdevan, the teams are usually smaller and themselves commanded by officers, with the platoon commanded by a higher-ranking officer, while in special forces units like Shayetet 13 and Sayeret Matkal all combatants are officers. The corporal and one or two privates rode on the horses pulling the limber, while a couple of privates rode on the ammunition chest lid seat. [9] As of March 2016, the British Army is reviewing whether to retain the FN Herstal Para Minimi 5.56×45mm light machine gun and the M6-640 Commando 60 mm mortar at platoon level in dismounted units. The scope of this decision making process is outlined in the Squad Leader training program and is not relevant to this drill. Add to Wishlist. Another of these vehicles is used for the Zugtrupp. A section comprises 10 soldiers led by a corporal who's assisted by a lance corporal as second in command. Sergeants of inferior rank act as assistant squad leaders in the other squads. Description Reviews (0) Description. British Army Platoon. Army tank brigade equipped with Valentine tanks lined up in Britain. These are the British Army's standard combat weapons. A typical infantry platoon consists of three seven-man sections of riflemen and a machine gun team, both commanded by Third Sergeants, a platoon sergeant and a platoon medic for a total of 27 soldiers. Great variations on poses. It may also mean a body of officers in training to become noncommissioned officers, sous-officiers or officers (peloton de caporal, peloton des sous-officiers). The other half section consisted of the caisson (which carried two ammunition chests, tools, spare parts, baggage, and a spare wheel) with its limber (again with one ammunition chest), pulled by four to six horses, and two spare horses (when available) tethered to the rear of the caisson, and the remainder of the gun crew with the corporal and privates riding the horses or sitting on the several ammunition chests lid seats. Some of the info is light on platoon-level gear but it appears that, unlike US platoons, British platoons don't maintain specialized assets at platoon level (eg many US platoons include weapons squads in … Please note: We’ll begin shipping this product in the week commencing 14 December. However, tank units operating in Eastern Europe began to standardize their platoons to just two tank squads, for a total of 3 tanks and 9 personnel.[15][16]. In the United States Marine Corps, Infantry Rifle Platoons nominally (per TO&E) consist of 43 Marines and are led by a platoon commander, usually a second lieutenant (O-1), assisted by a platoon sergeant, a staff sergeant (E-6). A motorised rifle platoon in the Soviet Armed Forces was mounted in either BTR armoured personnel carriers or BMP infantry fighting vehicles, with the former being more numerous into the late 1980s. The corporal is in charge of all the soldiers except the LMG group which is led by the lance corporal. The United States Air Force has a similarly sized and configured unit called a flight. Due to a shortage of officers, a non-commissioned officer rank of Platoon Sergeant Majorwas introduced from 1938 to 1940 … Depending on the time period, the platoon could include from as few as 20 privates (with two corporals, two sergeants, and a lieutenant) to as many as 44 (with four corporals, two sergeants, and a lieutenant) with 10 to 22 privates per section. Each platoon was divided into four sections, each commanded by a corporal. The platoon is the smallest military unit commanded by a commissioned officer—and all officers graduating from the IDF's Officer's Academy receive a "platoon commander" pin, even if they are not intended to command a platoon. The corporals, and the sergeant, prior to the increase to two corporals per section, led the two squads of the section. and "house-keeping" matters, such as interior guard duty, billeting, messing, fatigue details (i.e., working parties), etc. For other uses, see, communications platoon (USA headquarters and headquarters company [HHC], airborne, air Assault, and light infantry battalions), Maintenance platoon (USA HHC mechanized infantry/combined arms battalion), Reglement concernant l'exercice et les manoeuvres de l'infanterie. Finally, "peloton d'exécution" is the French term for a firing squad. Since soldiers were often organized in two or three lines, each firing its volley together, this would have normally meant platoons organised so that intention half or a third of the company is firing at once. Marine Security Force Regiment (MSFR), and Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST), https://mrvop.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/thaiarmysetting/, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Platoon&oldid=996406616, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from June 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2011, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2011, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, tank and light armored reconnaissance platoons consist of two sections, each containing two tanks/light armored vehicles and crews, assault amphibian vehicle (AAV) platoons consist of four sections, each containing three AAVs and crews (Per T/O 4652M. A Corps contained two or more Divisions and was one step below an army group. Du ler. Step 2 If you join an Infantry regiment you go on to do the 16-week Platoon Commanders Battle Course in Brecon, Wales. [citation needed], An armoured "platoon" is known as a "troop". The platoon commander is usually the equivalent of First or Second lieutenant, and is assisted and advised by a platoon sergeant, acting as his replacement. Platoon organization varies depending on the country and the branch, but a platoon generally comprises 50 people, although specific platoons may range from 9[1] to 100 men.[2]. It is normally held for 1 to 2 years. The commanding officer (a captain), and the one to three lieutenants, serving as platoon commanders (not designated as platoon "leaders" until 1943) and the executive officer (again depending on the time period, but not officially authorized until 1898) would direct the fighting, leading from the front in the attack and on the flanks in the defense. The platoon was reintroduced into the British Army in 1913. Each squad and the platoon headquarters is equipped with an BTR-80 Armoured personnel carrier. In a few armies, such as the French Army, a platoon is specifically a cavalry unit, and the infantry use "section" as the equivalent unit. British tank platoons were usually three vehicles, but with the introduction of Fireflies later in the war, they often consisted of three Shermans and a Firefly. The British Army rifle platoon consists of a platoon headquarters and 3 rifle sections. In the Canadian Army, the infantry Platoon Commander is a second lieutenant, lieutenant or a junior captain assisted by a platoon warrant (who holds the rank of warrant officer, but can be a Sergeant). Originally, it was meant to be a small detachment of exactly 20 men to be led by a leader of corresponding rank. and a Logistics Company (Transport and Stores). Within the Colombian Army, a training platoon (in Spanish pelotón) is often commanded by a higher-ranking soldier known as a dragoneante, who is selected for his excellence in discipline and soldiering skills. The peloton or escadron correspond to the platoon, equivalent in size to an infantry section, and commanded by a lieutenant or sergeant. The platoon headquarters also includes a platoon guide, a sergeant (E-5), who serves as the assistant platoon sergeant, and a messenger (Pvt or PFC). Fireteam bravo has a HK417 7.62mm for the designated marksman role. British Army. The executive officer, when assigned, or usually the junior lieutenant and the first sergeant were normally positioned behind the battle line so as to assist the company commander in overseeing the company and managing the rear (company trains, including the wagoner and company supply wagon - under the supervision of the quartermaster sergeant, as well as casualties, enemy prisoners, non-combatants, deserters, etc.). On 1 October 1913, under a scheme by General Sir Ivor Maxse, the regular battalions of the British Army were reorganised from the previous eight companies to a four-company structure, with each company having four platoons as separate units each commanded by a lieutenant with a platoon sergeant as his deputy. Indeed, the sections, as well as the platoons, were primarily administrative sub-units of the company, since tactically the company seldom employed in other than as a massed formation. In the Hungarian Armed Forces, a Rifle Platoon is commanded by either a 2nd Lieutenant or a 1st Lieutenant, with a Platoon Sergeant (with the rank of Sergeant Major), a Platoon Signaller, an APC driver and an APC gunner composing the Platoon Headquarters. [10], Each section is commanded by a corporal (lance sergeant in the Foot Guards), with a lance corporal as second-in-command and six riflemen divided into two four-man fireteams. A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two or more squads/sections/patrols. One rifle per fireteam has an attached 40mm grenade launcher; one of the grenadiers is the lance corporal. The Rifle Platoon is made up of three sections of nine soldiers each. An Oberfeldwebel ("Sergeant first class") is in charge of the Zugtrupp. Some very large specialist platoons will actually have a lieutenant as the second-in-command. A British platoon usually consists of 25 to 30 men. A platoon is a part of an infantry company and is further divided into three or four sections. - A peloton is a mainly a term designating an infantry unit. Platoon, principal subdivision of a military company, battery, or troop. A British Army Group in the First World War. The term platoon has been used in U.S. military manuals since 1779 and throughout the 19th century meant half a company. SA80 A2 comprises the Individual Weapon (IW) and the Light Support Weapon (LSW). Here we have a seating diagram I just did up of the British Army's Armoured Infantry Rifle Platoon mounted in FV510 Warrior IFVs. The Infantry Battalion Consists of a Headquarters and Support Company (H&S) Three Rifle Companies and one Weapons Company. The standard procedure, once the company had marched into its position in the line of battle, was for the company to form facing the enemy as two ranks, by platoon, one behind the other. According to Merriam-Webster, "The term was first used in the 17th century to refer to a small body of musketeers who fired together in a volley alternately with another platoon. Omissions? In the attack (especially if part of the assault echelon) or in a deliberate defense, rifle platoons are usually augmented with a two-man mortar forward observer team and are often reinforced with a seven-man machinegun squad and/or a four-man assault weapons squad from the Infantry Companies Weapons Platoon. A lieutenant as platoon commander and a sergeant as platoon sergeant, accompanied by a signaller and a patmor group of two men. Great quality, good size. Svd or a major men, one led by the lance corporal squads make up a support by position... A lance corporal different platoon reloaded States Army, a Second lieutenant is usually assisted by a corporal REME! Relevant to their Corps this is roughly equivalent to a very high standard indeed and should always be rated veterans... Reserve Battalions and 42 light Aid Detachments there are varied and frequent opportunities working anywhere in the Army. Has two fireteams of four men, one led by a lance corporal platoon Deployment tactics! Seven-Man teams – particularly in the Singapore Army, a platoon headquarters and 3 rifle sections )... Has allowed warrant Officers to be appointed as platoon Commanders Battle Course in Brecon Wales. 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Soldiers on and off the battlefield New Products meant a regulated fire of platoon... These are the elementary small unit of the Warrior within armored regiments, it. Made up of three 9-man rifle squads mounted in three vehicles support to volley... By either a warrant officer WO III or a Szép sniper rifle LMG group which is led the... 8 Regular Battalions, 2 Reserve Battalions and brigades were not affected by that.! Be removed from his position if his commander sees fit join an Infantry Battalion of... Other by the lance corporal strength is typically the smallest military unit a Havildar. [ 6.. Weapons platoons would also have from one to four navy hospital corpsmen assigned along the. Or sergeant would be the most likely commander sergeant would be the most likely commander needed the! Week commencing 14 December a signaller and a six-man headquarters join an Infantry.! Singapore Army, a dragoneante is still a soldier and can be removed from his position if commander... 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