Squadron: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A squadron is a small unit or formation of cavalry, armour, aircraft (including balloons), or warships.


Army and Marines

A cavalry squadron (horse or armoured), typically consists of four troops.

United States

In the modern United States Army, a squadron is an armored cavalry and air cavalry unit whose organizational role parallels that of a battalion composed of infantry or artillery.

Prior to the revisions in the US Army structure in the the 1880s, US cavalry regiments were divided into companies, and the battalion was an administrative designation used only in garrison. The reorganizations converted companies to troops and battalions to squadrons, and made squadrons tactical formations as well as administrative ones.

UK and Commonwealth

In the British Army and many Commonwealth armies, it is the counterpart of an infantry company or artillery battery. The designation is also used for company-sized units in the Special Air Service, Honourable Artillery Company, Royal Engineers, Royal Corps of Signals, Royal Army Medical Corps and Royal Logistic Corps, and formerly of the now defunct Royal Corps of Transport, as well as the Royal Marines.

Squadrons are commonly designated using letters or numbers (e.g. No. 1 Squadron or A Squadron). In some British Army units it is a tradition for squadrons to also be named after an important historical battle in which the regiment has taken part. In some special cases, squadrons can also be named after a unique honour which has been bestowed on the unit (e.g. The Queen's Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force's RAF Regiment).


An escadron (the French word for squadron) is another word for a cavalry division. For a long time, an escadron corresponded to a battalion, uniting several companies. Since the mid 20th century, an escadron has been the equivalent of a single company (typicall 13-tank strong).

In the cavalry (now called the "mounted arm") a captain (3 galons, or braids) commands an escadron (what would be a "company" in the infantry) and is thus called a chef d'escadron (with escadron in the singular). However, his superior in the hierarchy (4 galons) commands 2 escadrons and is thus called chef d'escadrons (with escadron in the plural). There are 2 exceptions - in the Gendarmerie and Artillerie (both accounted mounted arms), such a commander (again with 4 galons) is a chef d'escadron (singular).


An air force, army aviation or naval aviation squadron typically consists of three or four flights, with a total of 12 to 24 aircraft, depending on aircraft type and air force. In the Imperial Japanese Army in the Second World War, three air squadrons were assigned to each air regiment. Some air forces (including the Royal Air Force and United States Air Force) also use the term for air force ground units. Multiple squadrons (typically three to ten) make up a wing. An escadron is the equivalent unit in France's Armée de l'Air (with an as a subsection of an escadron) and Canada's air force.

In the Air Training Corps of the United Kingdom, a Squadron is a group of cadets who parade regularly.

In the Civil Air Patrol, a squadron is the basic administrative unit.


A naval squadron can be either a permanent battle formation or an ad hoc grouping of warships, typically capital ships (battleships, battlecruisers, cruisers, or aircraft carriers). In the United States Navy, several ships of a similar type, such as submarines and destroyers, are administered as squadrons.

See also


  • This page is a translation of its French equivalent.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SQUADRON, a military and naval term for a body of mounted troops or a detachment of war vessels. The word is derived from squadra, a square, as a military term, according to Florio, applied to a "certain part of a company of souldiers of 20 or 25 whose chiefe was a corporal," and so called no doubt as being formed on parade or in battle array in squares. Squadra, square, is derived from the Low Latin exquadrare, an intensive form of quadrare (quadrus, four-cornered, quattuor, four). In military usage the term "squadron" is applied to the principal units into which a cavalry regiment is divided, corresponding to the company in an infantry battalion. The normal modern division of a cavalry regiment is into four squadrons of two to four troops each, this squadron numbering 120 to 200 men (see Cavalry). In naval usage a squadron is a group of vessels either as forming one of the divisions of a fleet or as a separate detachment under a flag officer despatched on special service. In military use, "squad" (a shortened form of "squadron") is used of any small detachment of men detailed for drill, fatigue or other duty.

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