In military terminology, a squad is a small military unit led by a non-commissioned officer (NCO) that is subordinate to an infantry platoon. In countries following the British Army tradition (Australian Army, Canadian Army, and others) this organization is referred to as a section. In most armies a squad consists of eight to fourteen soldiers, and may be further subdivided into fireteams.
In the United States Army
, a squad is composed of two fireteams of four or five soldiers each, as well as a squad leader who is a Staff Sergeant
. In the United States Marine Corps
, a squad is typically composed of three fireteams
of four Marines and a squad leader who is a junior NCO, typically a sergeant.
Chinese National Revolutionary Army to 1949
, 班, or section was the basic unit of the National Revolutionary Army
, and would usually be 14 men strong. An infantry squad would ideally have 1 light machine gun and 10 rifles.
A squad is led by an NCO known as a Squad Leader. His second in command is known as an Assistant Squad Leader. In Britain and the Commonwealth, these appointments are known as Section Commander and Section 2IC ("second in command"), respectively.
Typical ranks for squad leaders are:
Other military uses
A squad can also be an ad hoc group of soldiers assigned to a task, for example, a firing squad.
In the Canadian Army, the term "squad" can actually refer to a portion of a drill movement. This is generally used when a group of soldiers is learning a new drill movement, as it is easier to learn step-by-step, rather than all at once.