is a military unit
, originally a small force of cavalry
, subordinate to a squadron
and headed by the troop leader. Cavalry soldiers of private rank
are called troopers
, not troupers
). Today, troop
has different specific meanings in different armed forces.
Generally, soldiers may be referred to as troops.
British Army and Royal Marines
In the British Army the definition of a troop varies by corps.
Other army corps do not use the term.
In the Royal Marines, a troop is the equivalent to an army platoon.
In the Canadian Army, a Troop is the equivalent of a platoon within the Armoured, Engineer, and Signals branches. Two to four Troops are comprise the main elements of a squadron.
In the United States Army
, in the cavalry
branch, a troop is the equivalent unit to the infantry
company, commanded by a captain and consisting of 3 or 4 platoons
, and subordinate to a squadron
General military usage
The mass nouns troop or troops can also be used more generally:
- To refer to all active duty military (e.g. Support our troops, Bring the troops home).
- To refer to ground forces generally (e.g. combat troops).
- To refer to a subordinate by a supervisor in the military (e.g. "he is my troop").
When referring to a specific service different words are used (singular or plural):
Note that within the British Armed Forces, these specific terms are often used only to refer to non-commissioned personnel (an army officer may speak of "my soldiers", for instance).
Within the United States, State Police
forces are often regionally divided into Troops. This usage came about from these organizations modeling themselves off the US Army, and especially the older cavalry units. For this same reason the State Police and Highway Patrol personnel of most states are known as "Trooper" rather than "Officer". California, all US territorial police forces (Guam, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands) and several other states use the "Officer" instead of "Trooper". Most state police and highway patrol forces make much more extensive use of an Army-style rank structure than do local law enforcement agencies.
Troop is also a term used in Boy Scouting. The scout troop is the fundamental unit of the Boy Scouts. This is the group a Boy Scout joins and via which he participates in Scouting activities, such as camping, backpacking, and canoeing. The troop leadership, youth and adult, organizes and provides support for these activities. It may include as few as a half-dozen boys, or as many as seventy or more. Troops usually meet weekly. A troop is often sponsored by a community organization such as a business, service organization, school, labor group veteran's group, or religious institution. The chartering organization is responsible for providing a meeting place and promoting a good program. A key component of the Scout method is that troops are run by the Scouts under the advice and guidance of adult leaders.
The word troop
is also used as a collective noun for any group of primates (including humans).