Troop (military)

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Squad (Trp)
- TZ TRP.svg-

Bundeswehr G36.jpg

Army troop with G36
active 1956 to the present
Country u. a. GermanyGermanyGermany 
Armed forces armed forces
Subordinate troops


Strength 2 to a maximum of 8
Insinuation group
Squad leader senior team rank

often NCO

A troop (short: Trp ) is the smallest military structure or sub-unit . According to the Bundeswehr definition, a squad consists of two to eight men, with nine or more men being referred to as a group . In the Anglophone armed forces, the term for a two to eight-man sub-unit is a “team” (e.g. Fireteam).

Word origin

The words troupe and troupe came from the French "troupe" shortly before the Thirty Years' War . The French “troupe” probably goes back to the Gallo-Romanic “troppus” (= herd) and further to the old Franconian “throp” (= gathering, quantity).


Usually several troops form a group or each subdivision of a group is called a troop. (Except for subdivisions of a marching or raised formation occurred hot lengthwise member or the width for - three man consisting - rotting .)

If necessary, a squad can also be formed from the higher-level group sub-unit for a specific task - for example, the tank destruction squad to combat enemy tanks, the sMG squad with MG on a field tripod, the anti-aircraft squad with MG on tripods, the NBC defense squad for reconnaissance of NBC Combat ordnance, the scouting party, however, can have up to group strength depending on the situation and mission. Squad leader is usually a non-commissioned officer. The rifle squad of a dismounted Panzergrenadier group of strength 6 men can be divided into a tank destruction squad and a machine gun squad.

Tasks that only require a few soldiers to be fulfilled are carried out by a squad that is permanently assigned to this task - company field kitchen squad from the battalion supply train, company telecommunications team of the battalion telecommunications train (battalion radio circuit), company medical troop of the battalion medical train , Company supply troop of the company command group.

The military police usually carry out their patrols and the security and security service with troops .


Squad leaders are immediate superiors , but change more frequently than higher-ranking ones and are often employed ad hoc; a soldier does not have to report to a squad leader at all times.

Usually, the function is performed by the highest ranking and / or longest serving soldier in the squad, unless professional needs require otherwise:

  • In training units, squads are only formed on an ad hoc basis, which then generally consist entirely of recruits, including leaders. The auxiliary trainers correspond most closely to the usual troop leaders; this is sometimes only a quarter ahead of his subordinates (due to their special area of ​​responsibility ).
  • In driving school operations, a NCO as a driving instructor can be a squad leader of several team ranks. Several lieutenants can also be subordinate to him as learner drivers.
Sub-units in different languages ​​and armies
Description & symbol Flag of NATO.svg armed forces English French Russian Polish
basically as a sub-unit designation structure leader

single point over a lying rectangle / (example) Fireteam Nato.svg Troop
gun operation / tank crew
2-8 men Sergeantshooter Team
(e.g. fire team)
Equipe de combat команда (komanda = command)
звено (sweno [ zʋeˈno ] = chain link)
działon, obsługa
● ●
two points over a lying rectangle / (example) Group Nato.svg * Group
* half move
* 9–12 men
* 2  tank crews
Oberfeldwebel ⇒ NCO Squad Groupe de combat отделе́ние (Otdelenie = group)
экипаж (ekipasch = crew)
расчёт (rastschjot = service team)
Rotte 2 aircraft Two-ship flight / pair NN пара (para = pair) NN
● ● ●
three points over a lying rectangle / (example) Platoon Nato.svg * Train
* lecture hall
about 40 men CaptainSergeant * Platoon
* Lecture hall
Section * взвод (Vswod = train)
* учебная группа (uchebnaja gruppa = training group)
Swarm / chain 3–4 aircraft NN NN Звено (sweno [ zʋeˈno ] = chain link, tactical unit) NN
Heer (Army)
Luftwaffe (Air Force)

Examples of squads

Web links

Wiktionary: Trupp  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Walter Transfeldt, Karl-Hermann Freiherr von Brand zu Neidstein : Word and Custom in the German Army. Historical and linguistic considerations about customs, terms and designations of the German army in the past and present. 6th edition edited and expanded by Otto Quenstedt. Schulz, Hamburg 1967, p. 90, § 119: Where do troops and troops come from .
  2. The number of personnel, for example in the case of independent trains, training trains, technical trains or sub-units of the Bundeswehr with a train structure, may vary significantly.
  3. A section with a group structure (for example: US Marine Corps, 8–12 people) can, in contrast to a "section" in the French armed forces, have a significantly lower staffing level.