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::Division (military)

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Standard NATO symbol for an infantry division. The Xs do not replace the division's number; instead, the two Xs represent a division (one would denote a brigade; three, a corps).

A division is a large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades; in turn, several divisions typically make up a corps. In most modern militaries, a division tends to be the smallest combined arms unit capable of independent operations; this is due to its self-sustaining role as a unit with a range of combat troops and suitable combat support forces, which can be arranged into various organic combinations.

While the focus of this article is on army divisions, in naval usage division has a completely different meaning, referring either to an administrative/functional sub-unit of a department (e.g., fire control division of the weapons department) aboard naval and coast guard ships, shore commands, and in naval aviation units (including navy, marine corps, and coast guard aviation), to a sub-unit of several ships within a flotilla or squadron, or to two or three sections of aircraft operating under a designated division leader.

In administrative/functional sub-unit usage unit size varies widely, though typically divisions number far less than 100 people and are roughly equivalent in function and organizational hierarchy/command relationship to a platoon or flight (military unit). In Commonwealth navies and the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, as well as in USMC aviation squadrons (as they use naval aviation organizational structure), a division/divisional officer (DIVO) is usually an ensign, lieutenant (jg), or lieutenant (second or first lieutenant, or captain in USMC), and there may be assistant division officers as well, depending upon the size and type of organization. The division officer is roughly equivalent in authority, and responsibility to an army or marine corps platoon leader/commander or an air force flight leader/commander. The division officer's department head is usually a senior lieutenant or a lieutenant commander (senior captain or a major in USMC). However, on large ships such as aircraft carriers or some larger amphibious warships, a division officer may be a lieutenant commander and the department head a commander.


Division (military) sections
Intro  History  Types  Nomenclature  National organization  See also  Notes  References  External links  

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