Like it or not, we live in a world where the news and popular fiction is shot through with military themes and references. It’s almost like even non-military types are supposed to know how many men are in a division or how many platoons are in a company. In most cases it doesn’t matter, but I often get the feeling that I missed something somewhere. Unless you’re in the military, chances are you’re like me and kind of gloss over the exact meaning when you see these terms or even use them. So it’s time for a refresher. Note that the sizes and leadership of these military units can vary widely for any number of reasons, so the numbers are purely indicative.
To get the most out of that next war movie, book or documentary, here’s what you should already know.
|Unit||Indicative Numbers||Typically Led By|
|Army Group||2+ Field Armies||Field Marshal/Five-Star general|
|Field Army||80,000+||General (four stars)|
|Corps||20,000-40,000||Lieutenant General (three stars)|
|Division||10,000-15,000||Major General (two stars)|
|Brigade||2,000-4,000||Colonel/Brigadier General (one star)|
|Regiment||1,000 – 3,000||Colonel|