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Difference between Fireteams/Squads/Platoons

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  • Difference between Fireteams/Squads/Platoons

    Just wanted to post this as a reminder. Often I see Fireteams refered to as Squads and Squads treated like Platoons. I will be refering to infantry plt units. Different militaries use different setups so I will only be refering to U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps platoons.

    Yes I know, units can be setup slightly different but they revolve around this basic setup for "Line Companies."

    1. This is the smallest unit of a platoon. A fireteam in the Army is a 4 man team, usually consisting of 1 M203, 1 SAW gunner, 1 rifleman, and 1 Fireteam Leader.

    2. In the Marines, a fireteam consists of one Fireteam Leader carrying the M203, 1 SAW gunner, 1 Assistant SAW gunner, and 1 Rifleman. However it is organized, a fireteam consists of 4 people.

    1. The next step up from a Fireteam. In the Army they consist of 2 Fireteams and 1 Squadleader for a total of 9 soldiers.

    2. In the Marines, a Squad consists of 3 Fireteams and 1 Squadleader for a total of 13 Marines.

    1. The next step up from Squads. In the Army a Platoon consists of 1 Platoon Commander, 1 Plt Sgt, 1 RTO, 1 Medic and 4 Squads. 3 of which are the above mentioned setup and 1 of the squads is the weapons section. Typically the weapons section will carry M240G/B's and a Javeline or other AT weapons. Roughly 39 soldiers

    2. In the Marines a Platoon consists of 1 Plt Commander, 1 Plt Sgt, 1 RTO, 1 Corpsman (Navy Medic), and 3 Squads. The Marines usually use Weapons Platoons which will be part of an Infantry Company. This Platoon load out has roughly 43 Marines.

    These setups are the basics, how a company organizes itself can be different than another company but in general, 30 to 50 people are a Plt, 6 to 15 for a squad, and 3 to 5 for a fireteam. 6 man teams are understrength squads for your standard infantry and 5 man teams are overstrengthed fireteams.

    When doing missions, remember not to mistake your fireteams for squads and squads for platoons. Several times I see fireteams refered to as squads and refering to them by the wrong name isn't too big of a deal except that I see fireteams tasked to do something a squad should do and squads doing something a Plt should do. Lots of times I hear someone saying something like, "I want your squad to flank from the East of the city," when they are talking to 4 guys (fireteam). So incase this is because people missunderstand how many people make up the different elements I thought I'd throw this out there.
    |TG-Irr|LCpl. Soto
    TGULT-Roel Yento

  • #2
    Re: Difference between Fireteams/Squads/Platoons

    Thanks for this, I have been incorrectly calling fireteams squads, and it is good to know the difference. But yes, I agree that a 4 man team should not be treated as a 9 man team in any situation.




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