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Military Question: Brigade vs Regiment

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Philip_cw_H, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. Philip_cw_H

    Philip_cw_H Auditioning

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    Okay here is how I understand most of the US Military's unit tree. Assume we're talking about an infantry units, no vehicles.

    8 to 12 men = Squad
    4 Squads = Platoon
    4 to 5 Platoons = Company
    3 to 5 Companies = Battalion
    3 Battalions = Brigade
    2 or 3 Brigades = Division

    So where do Regiments come in? Are they roughly equal to Brigades? Or are Regiments only used with certain types of units (aviation or armored)?
     
  2. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I believe regiment is the same as brigade.

    /Mike
     
  3. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    I think it's not always a matter of how many people are in the unit, but is determined by function and command as well.

    Regiment: A military unit of ground troops consisting of at least two battalions, usually commanded by a colonel.

    Division:
    1. Two or more brigades under the command of a general officer.
    2. An administrative and tactical military unit that is smaller than a corps but is self-contained and equipped for prolonged combat activity.

    Jay Taylor
     
  4. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Also I think this is part of the story:

    commander of a brigade = brigadier general (1 star)
    commander of a division = major general (2 star)
    commander of a corps = leutenant general (3 star)
     
  5. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    I believe a regiment, commaded by a full colonel, is comprised of two batallions. A brigade, commanded by a brigadier general, is comprised of two regiments. A division, comanded by a major general, is comprised of two brigades. A major commands a batallion, a captain a company, and a lieutenant a platoon.
     
  6. Zane Charron

    Zane Charron Second Unit

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    A brigade is roughly the same size as a regiment. IIRC, a regiment (when it was created) was intended to be a slightly smaller and faster version of a brigade, using cavalry (and now vehicles).

    Just know that there are no exact size standards or who commands them.
     
  7. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    hmmm, off the top of my head, I have a buddy who is a battalion commander in the Singapore army, and his rank is LTC, not Major.

    but I suppose one step off is not too unusual. after all, in BoB Winters was promoted to company commander as a Lieutenant only (was he later promoted to battalion commander, or only battalion XO?) having said that, this would be different as in wartime "junior" officers would hold appointments that higher ranks would usually hold, due to "attrition".
     
  8. PaulDi

    PaulDi Auditioning

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    In most western armies the role of the unit dictates if the unit will be called a regiment or a battalion. For example :

    An Engineer unit of battalion size is called a regiment.

    An Armoured unit of battalion size is called a regiment.

    Army Aviation units of battalion size are called regiments.

    An Artillery unit of battalion size is called a regiment.

    A Signal unit of battalion size is called a regiment.

    A Logistic unit of battalion size is called a battalion.

    A Medical unit of battalion size is called a battalion.

    Infantry units are generally called a battalion, however they can also belong to a Regiment of more than 1 battalions. This Regiment is generally not a fighting unit as such, it is only used to group units for geographical area and historical purposes.

    When it comes to how many smaller units make up a larger unit it also depends, for example :

    3 to 5 Battalions (800 men each)is a Brigade
    3 Brigades makes 1 Division of approx 10,000 men
    2 or more Divisions makes a Corps
    2 or more Corps makes an Army
    2 or more Armies makes an Army Group

    The size of these units can also be different if units are detached from or attached to the unit (or in the worst case killed). For example a Brigade that has lost a battalion in action is called a Brigade minus or if it gained another extra Battalion it is called a Brigade plus. This applies to all units from Section to Division

    When it comes to who commands what units this also depends on the country. In the real world (ie not USA) this is :

    Company commanded by a Major
    Battalion or Regiment (non infantry) commanded by a Lt Col
    Brigade commanded by a Brig - 1 Star
    Division commanded by a Maj Gen - 2 Star
    Corps commanded by a Lt Gen - 3 Star
    Army commanded by a Gen - 4 Star
    Army Group commanded by a Field Marshall - 5 Star

    Because no current western armies are of sufficient size there are currently no active Field Marshals or 5 Star Generals

    You may ask how I know all this? Well I'm actually in the armed forces and study during career progression has proven the above to be correct.
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    There is a difference between units today and their historical reference.

    Regiments were a prime unit of maneuver below the division in the 17th-18th century. Regiments were also (in England) the first level where important social (in the military) functions occurred. Parties, balls, etc. Even today, the regimental silver might be brought out for important dinners. Regiments were commanded by a colonel, the army equivalent of a navel captain—both ranks were much aspired to and it was a subtle mark of not quite having made it in the army to have a retired rank of less than a colonel.

    This is why somewhat clueless sidekicks are referred to in English murder mysteries, romances and drawing room comedies are ‘Captains’ and ‘Majors’. Divisions were commanded by Major Generals (same as the lowest rank of Admiral in the navy).

    Divisions’ size was normally determined by how many (and how large) regiments were in the division.

    The brigade was a unit comprised of two regiments that were joined together and lived (barracked) together (hence the name). In the days of the British Empire, this was because in order to increase the size of the army at minimal cost, regiments of colonials (such as the famed Gurkas) were formed. Because there was never complete trust of these foreign elements, the native units were paired with British ones, reducing the chance of insurrection.

    The entire brigade, usually comprised of two regiments, one a ‘real’ British one, complete with traditions and silver and one comprised of natives. The unit commanded by a Brigadier General, a rank that in the navy (Commodore) is just below Admiral. A Commodore commanded a small squadron of ships (maybe only two), so he was sort of an junior Admiral.
     
  10. JayV

    JayV Supporting Actor

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    Lew, as to the American Navy, a Major General is not equivalent to the lowest rank of Admiral. It goes like this:

    O-7: BGEN = RADM (Lower Half)
    O-8: MGEN = RADM (Upper Half)
    O-9: LGEN = VADM
    O-10: GEN = ADM

    Further, Commodore is not a rank, but a position. In the old days, for example, a Post Captain in command of a squadron would hoist the broad pennant of a Commodore, only to take it down and again be referred to as Captain at the conclusion of his command.

    I understand that we Americans did use it as a rank for a time, however (IIRC, "Commodore" was used as O-7, with no upper/lower distinction for RADM).

    The "upper half/lower half" oddity comes from the means of advancement in the old British Navy. Once promoted to Post Captain, an officer's name would be added to the bottom of the Navy List.

    Then, when someone died or retired, he (and everyone behind the deceased/retiree on the List) would move up one place on the Navy List. Upper half/lower half evolved out of the distinction of an officer's place on the List.

    Eventually the Royal Navy used the practice of "yellowing" an admiral, that is, promoting the officer in due course but not giving him a command. This helped to free up more spots for younger or better qualified officers.

    -j
     
  11. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    Lew is right on the mark.

    In my post I was speaking historically (prior to the 20th century), as I don't know much about modern military organization.

    Regiments were, historically, from a single region and so they were the fundamental unit of the military. Regiments were usually commanded by an aristocratic full colonel, usually the second son of a family. The British Army called for one batallion of a regiment to serve abroad while the other remained at home, although this was seldom a reality. Still, it was indeed rare for the two batallions of a regiment to serve alongside each other, as the one batallion was usually paired with a batallion of native levies, as British regulars were in short supply considering the vastness of the Empire.
     

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