Company (military unit)

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A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 75-200 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure. Several companies are grouped to form a battalion or regiment, the latter of which is sometimes formed by several battalions.


British Army

Rifle companies consist of three platoons and a Company Headquarters. An infantry Battalion will also include a Headquarters Company and a Manoeuvre Support Company[Note 1].

The British Army infantry normally identifies its rifle companies by letter (usually, but not always, A, B and C) within a battalion, usually with the addition of a headquarters company and a support/heavy weapons company. Some units name their companies after regimental battle honours, this is commonly the case for composite units, for example the London Regiment with its Somme, Messines and Cambrai companies. The Foot Guards Regiments use traditional names for some of their companies, for example Queen's Company, Left Flank, Prince of Wales's Company etc.

Royal Marines companies are designated by a letter that is unique across the Corps, not just within their Command. The Intelligence Corps, Royal Army Medical Corps, Royal Military Police and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers all have companies uniquely numbered across their corps.

The Household Cavalry, Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Engineers, Royal Corps of Signals, Army Air Corps, Special Air Service, Honourable Artillery Company and Royal Logistic Corps use the term squadron instead of company (although the Royal Engineers and Royal Signals had companies until after the Second World War, except in armoured divisions). The Royal Artillery use the term battery.

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