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War in Iraq

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Military Unit Terms Used with War in Iraq

Army and General Unit Terms
Group:
1. A flexible administrative and tactical unit composed of either two or more battalions or two or more squadrons. The term also applies to combat support and combat service support units.
2. A number of ships and/or aircraft, normally a subdivision of a force, assigned for a specific purpose. Also called GP.

Field Army:
Administrative and tactical organization composed of a headquarters, certain organic Army troops, service support troops, a variable number of corps, and a variable number of divisions. See also Army corps.

Army corps:
A tactical unit larger than a division and smaller than a field army. A corps usually consists of two or more divisions together with auxiliary arms and services. See also field army.

Corps:
In the Army and Marine Corps, a tactical unit of ground combat forces organizationally placed between a division and an army. It is typically commanded by a lieutenant general and is comprised of two or more divisions.

Division:
A major administrative and tactical unit/formation which combines in itself the necessary arms and services required for sustained combat, larger than a regiment/brigade and smaller than a corps

Brigade:
A unit usually smaller than a division to which are attached groups and/or battalions and smaller units tailored to meet anticipated requirements. Also called BDE. In the U.S. Army, three or more battalions plus a headquarters section under the command of a colonel. Capable of independent military operations, a brigade has between 4,000 and 5,000 personnel.

Regiment:
A military unit that consists of two or more battalions of ground troops (e.g. infantry, artillery, nonarmored cavalry). The term has been used since before the American Revolution, but it was officially dropped by the U.S. Army in the 1960s as part of its division reorganization effort. Today, both the Army and the Marine Corps use the term Brigade instead. However, unofficially, traditional regiments continue to use their regimental identification. (e.g., 16th Infantry Regiment instead of 2d/16th Infantry). Marine regiments add 'Marines' a unit's designation for identification purposes (e.g., 3/3 Marines for the 3d Reconnaissance Battalion/2d Marine Regiment). This way Army and Marine units are not confused with one another.

Battalion:
In the U.S. Army, four or more companies plus a headquarters section under the command of lieutenant colonel.

Company:
In the Army and Marine Corps, a unit under a captain's charge that is made up of a headquarters section and two or more platoons (i.e., 140+ personnel). Note: A platoon is four infantry squads under a lieutenant's control; an infantry squad is comprised of ten men under a staff sergeant.) A company is the basic element of the battalion. In the artillery, a company is known as a battery; in the cavalry it's know as a troop. A tank company is comprised of 17 tanks, divided into three platoons. Independent companies are usually assigned numerical names (e.g. 5th Transportation Co.); companies permanently assigned to a battalion, an alphabetic name (e.g. Charlie Company, Company B.)

Platoon
The second smallest military organization in the U.S. Army. In the infantry, a platoon is comprised of four squads under the command of a lieutenant, with a sergeant as second in command. A squad usually has ten men assigned to it. Four platoons and a headquarters section form a company.

Squad
In the Army, the smallest organization unit. In the infantry, a squad usually consists of 10 men under the command of a staff sergeant. A squad is divided into two fire teams. Four squads make up a platoon. An Army armored squad consists of a tank and its piece (e.g. 155mm). And its gun crew. In the Marine Corps, a squad is comprised of three fire teams (i.e. approximately 13 marines) under the control of a sergeant or staff sergeant.
Marine Corps Terms:
Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF):
A combined armed military force that consists of a command element, ground combat element, aviation combat element and combat service element (i.e., support groups). MAGTFs are established to accomplish a specific military/peacetime mission and are then disestablished afterwards.

Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF):
The largest organizational unit of the USMC Fleet Marine Force. Under the command of a lieutenant general, a MEF is comprised of 30,000 ? 60,000 personnel (one or more divisions and an aircraft wing). Major equipment assigned to a MEF include 70 tanks, 108 155mm howitzers, 12 203mm howitzers, 150 helicopters, 208 amphibious assault vehicles, 24 HAWK SAM launchers, 81 60mm mortars, 75 Stinger SAM teams, 150 fixed-wing aircraft, etc. A MEF is able to sustain itself for 60 days of combat before resupply is required. The U.S. Marine Corps has three MEFs: MEF I stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA; MEF II stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC; and MEF III stationed at Okinawa.

Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU):
The basic building block of all MAGTFs, the MEU is comprised of 1,000 to 4,000 Marines (an infantry battalion and a composite aircraft squadron the very likely consists of helicopters and VSTOL aircraft) that are under the command of a colonel. The equipment assigned to a MEU include: 5 tanks, 8 155mm howitzers, 32 Dragon anti-tank missile launchers, 8 TOW II anti-tank missile launchers, 8 81mm mortars 9 60mm mortars, 5 Stinger surface-to air missile teams, 6 fixed-wing aircraft, 12 AAVs, and about 20 helicopters A MEU is able to sustain itself for 15 days of combat before resupply is required.

Special Purpose Force (SPF):
The smallest of MAGTFs, the SPF is comprised of only 100-1,000 Marines and/or Navy SEALS (typically a rifle company and an aviation detachment that may consists of CH-53D Sea Stallions and UH1N Huey helicopters).
References Used.
Dictionary of Military Terms
From this page you can browse the DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. The DOD Dictionary and the Joint Acronyms and Abbreviations master data base are managed by the Joint Doctrine Division, J-7, Joint Staff. All approved joint definitions are contained in Joint Publication 1-02, "DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. As amended through 09 January 2003
Dictionary of the Modern United State Military
Over 15,000 Weapons, Agencies, Acronyms, Slang, Installations, Medical Terms and Other Lexical Units of Warfare by S.F. Tomajczyk, McFarland Press, 1996.