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Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the
armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
s of a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
so as to offer such
military capability Military capability is defined by the Australian Defence Force Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance a ...
as a national defense policy may require. In some countries
paramilitary A paramilitary organization is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military A military, also known collectively as armed f ...
forces are included in a nation's armed forces, though not considered military. Armed forces that are not a part of military or paramilitary organizations, such as
insurgent An insurgency is a violent, armed rebellion Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an established authority. A rebellion originates from a sentiment ...
forces, often
mimic In evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecula ...
military organizations, or use ''
ad hoc Ad hoc is a Latin phrase __NOTOC__ This is a list of Wikipedia articles of Latin phrases and their translation into English. To view all phrases on a single, lengthy document, see: * List of Latin phrases (full) The list also is divided alpha ...

ad hoc
'' structures, while formal military organization tends to use
hierarchical A hierarchy (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) that are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. Hierarchy i ...

hierarchical
forms.


History

The use of formalized
ranks Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking, such as: Level or position in a hierarchical organization * Academic rank * Diplomatic rank * Hierarchy * Hi ...
in a hierarchical structure came into widespread use with the
Roman Army The Roman army (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in ...

Roman Army
. In modern times, executive control, management and administration of military organization is typically undertaken by governments through a
government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level Executive (government), executive bodies in the Machinery of government, machinery of governments that manage a specific s ...
within the structure of
public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, g ...
, often known as a ministry of defence or department of defense. These in turn manage
military branches Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the national armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily ...
that themselves command formations and units specialising in combat,
combat support In the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic ...
and combat-service support.


Executive control, management and administration

The usually civilian or partly civilian executive control over the national military organization is exercised in
democracies Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state S ...

democracies
by an elected political leader as a member of the government's
cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
, usually known as a
minister of defence A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent ...
. In
presidential system A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government (President (government title), president) leads an Executive (government), executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch in s ...
s, such as the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, the president is the
commander-in-chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Command and control is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ... hat A collection of 18th and 19th century men' ...
, and the cabinet-level defense minister is second in command. Subordinated to that position are often
secretaries A secretary, administrative professional, or personal assistant A personal assistant, also referred to as personal aide (PA) or personal secretary (PS), is a job title describing a person who assists a specific person with their daily busin ...
for specific major operational divisions of the armed forces as a whole, such as those that provide general support services to the military, including their dependants. Then there are the heads of specific departmental agencies responsible for the provision and management of specific skill- and knowledge-based service such as
strategic Strategy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...

strategic
advice, capability development assessment, or
military science Military science is the study of military processes, institutions, and behavior, along with the study of warfare, and the theory and application of organized coercive force. It is mainly focused on theory A theory is a rational Rational ...
provision of research, and design and development of technologies. Within each departmental agency will be found administrative branches responsible for further agency
business specialization
business specialization
work.


Military branches

In most countries the ''armed forces'' are divided into three
military branches Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the national armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily ...
(also ''service, armed service, or military service''):
army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch Military branch ...

army
,
navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense ...

navy
, and air force. Many countries have a variation on the standard model of three basic military branches. Some nations also organize their
marines Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in littoral zones The littoral zone or nearshore is the part of a sea, lake, or river that is close to the shore. In coastal environments, the littoral zone exten ...
,
special forces Special forces and special operations forces (SOF) are military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict ...

special forces
or
strategic missile An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a missile with a minimum range (aeronautics), range of primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery (delivering one or more Thermonuclear weapon, thermonuclear warheads). Similarly, conventiona ...
forces as independent armed services. A nation's
coast guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes ...

coast guard
may also be an independent branch of its military, although in many nations the coast guard is a
law enforcement 'Law enforcement'' is the activity of some members of government who act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterrence (legal), deterring, rehabilitation (penology), rehabilitating, or punishment, punishing people who viol ...
or civil agency. A number of countries have no navy, for geographical reasons. In larger armed forces the culture between the different branches of the armed forces can be quite different. Most smaller countries have a single organization that encompasses all armed forces employed by the country in question. Armies of
developing countries A developing country is a sovereign state with a less developed Industrial sector, industrial base and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no ...
tend to consist primarily of
infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and armored warfare, armored forces. Also known as foot soldiers, infantrymen or infanteer, i ...

infantry
, while
developed countries A developed country (or industrialized country, high-income country, more economically developed country (MEDC), advanced country) is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity ...
armies tend to have larger units manning expensive equipment and only a fraction of personnel in infantry units. It is worthwhile to make mention of the term ''
joint A joint or articulation (or articular surface) is the connection made between bone A bone is a Stiffness, rigid tissue (anatomy), tissue that constitutes part of the skeleton in most vertebrate animals. Bones protect the various organs of th ...
''. In western militaries, a joint force is defined as a unit or formation comprising representation of combat power from two or more branches of the military.


Internal security forces

Gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A gendarmerie () is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between ...

Gendarmerie
s, including equivalents such as
internal troops The Internal Troops, full name Internal Troops of the Ministry for Internal Affairs (MVD) (russian: Внутренние войска Министерства внутренних дел, Vnutrenniye Voiska Ministerstva Vnutrennikh Del; abbreviate ...
, paramilitary forces and similar, are an internal security service common in most of the world, but uncommon in countries with English
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
histories where civil police are employed to enforce the law, and there are tight restrictions on how the armed forces may be used to assist.


Commands, formations, and units

It is common, at least in the European and North American militaries, to refer to the building blocks of a military as commands, formations, and units. In a military context, a
command COMMAND.COM is the default command-line interpreter A command-line interface (CLI) processes command (computing), commands to a computer program in the form of lines of text. The program which handles the interface is called a command-line ...
is a collection of units and formations under the control of a single officer. Although during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
a command was also a name given to a
battle groupBattle group may refer to: * Battlegroup (army), the basic building block of an army's fighting force * Battleship battle group, a battleship and its escorts * Carrier battle group, a carrier and its escorts * Battlegroup of the European Union, an ar ...
in the
US Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists ma ...

US Army
, in general it is an administrative and executive
strategic Strategy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...
headquarters Headquarters (commonly referred to as HQ) denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States, the corporate headquarters represents the entity at the center or the top ...

headquarters
which is responsible to the national government or the national military headquarters. It is not uncommon for a nation's services to each consist of their own command (such as Land Component, Air Component, Naval Component, and Medical Component in the
Belgian Army french: Composante terre , image = Flag of the Belgian Land Component.svgborder , caption = Flag of the Land Component since 1982 , dates = 1830–2002 (as the Belgian Arm ...
), but this does not preclude the existence of commands which are not service-based. A formation is defined by the
US Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an executive branch department of the federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political P ...
as "two or more aircraft, ships, or units proceeding together under a commander". Formin in the ''
Great Soviet Encyclopedia The ''Great Soviet Encyclopedia'' (GSE; ) is one of the largest Russian-language encyclopedias, published in the Soviet Union from 1926 to 1990. After 2002, the encyclopedia's data was partially included into the later ''Bolshaya Rossiyskaya en ...
'' emphasised its combined-arms nature: "Formations are those military organisations which are formed from different speciality Arms and Services troop units to create a balanced, combined combat force. The formations only differ in their ability to achieve different scales of application of force to achieve different strategic, operational and tactical goals and mission objectives." It is a composite military organization that includes a mixture of integrated and operationally attached sub-units, and is usually combat-capable. Example of formations include:
division Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics), the inverse of multiplication *Division algorithm, a method for computing the result of mathematical division Military *Division (military), a formation typically consisting ...
s,
brigade A brigade is a major tactical military formation Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a State (polity), state so as to offer such military capability as a military policy, national de ...

brigade
s,
battalion A battalion is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...

battalion
s,
wings A wing is a type of fin A fin is a thin component or appendage attached to a larger body or structure. Fins typically function as foils that produce lift or thrust Thrust is a reaction (physics), reaction force (physics), force describ ...
, etc. Formation may also refer to
tactical formation A tactical formation (or order) is the arrangement or deployment of moving military forces such as Infantry tactics, infantry, cavalry tactics, cavalry, armoured fighting vehicle, AFVs, military aircraft, or navy, naval vessels. Formations were ...
, the physical arrangement or disposition of troops and weapons. Examples of formation in such usage include:
pakfront
pakfront
, panzerkeil,
testudo formation In Ancient Roman warfare, the testudo or tortoise formation was a type of shield wall formation commonly used by the Roman legions during battles, particularly sieges. Formation In the testudo formation, the men would align their shields to ...

testudo formation
, etc. A typical unit is a homogeneous military organization (either combat, combat-support or non-combat in capability) that includes service personnel predominantly from a single arm of service, or a branch of service, and its administrative and command functions are self-contained. Any unit subordinate to another unit is considered its sub-unit or minor unit. It is not uncommon in the United States for unit and formation to be used synonymously. In
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
practice, formation is not used for smaller organizations like battalions which are instead called "units", and their constituent
platoon A platoon is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for ...
s or
companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surround ...
are referred to as sub-units. In the Commonwealth, formations are
division Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics), the inverse of multiplication *Division algorithm, a method for computing the result of mathematical division Military *Division (military), a formation typically consisting ...
s,
brigade A brigade is a major tactical military formation Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a State (polity), state so as to offer such military capability as a military policy, national de ...

brigade
s, etc. Different
armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
, and even different branches of service of the armed forces, may use the same name to denote different types of organizations. An example is the "squadron". In most navies a
squadron Squadron may refer to: * Squadron (army), a military unit of cavalry, tanks, or equivalent subdivided into troops or tank companies * Squadron (aviation), a military unit that consists of three or four flights with a total of 12 to 24 aircraft, dep ...
is a formation of several ships; in most air forces it is a unit; in the U.S. Army it is a battalion-sized
cavalry Historically, cavalry (from the French word ''cavalerie'', itself derived from "cheval" meaning "horse") are soldier A soldier is a person who is a member of a professional army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via O ...

cavalry
unit; and in Commonwealth armies a squadron is a company-sized sub-unit.


Table of organization and equipment

A
table of organization and equipment #REDIRECT Table of organization and equipment #REDIRECT Table of organization and equipment A table of organization and equipment (TOE or TO&E) is the specified organization, staffing, and equipment of units Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainmen ...
(TOE or TO&E) is a document published by the U.S. Army Force Management Support Agency that prescribes the organization, manning, and equipage of units from divisional size and down, but also including the headquarters of Corps and Armies. It also provides information on the mission and capabilities of a unit as well as the unit's current status. A general TOE is applicable to a type of unit (for instance, infantry) rather than a specific unit (the 3rd Infantry Division). In this way, all units of the same branch (such as infantry) follow the same structural guidelines.


Modern hierarchy


Army hierarchy

The following table gives an overview of some of the terms used to describe army hierarchy in armed forces across the world. Whilst it is recognized that there are differences between armies of different nations, many are modeled on the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...
or
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
models, or both. However, many military units and formations go back in history for a long time, and were devised by various military thinkers throughout European history. For example, the modern ''Corps'' was first introduced in France about 1805 by Napoleon as a more flexible tactical grouping of two or more divisions during the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
. Rungs may be skipped in this ladder: for example, typically NATO forces skip from battalion to brigade. Likewise, only large military powers may have organizations at the top levels and different armies and countries may also use traditional names, creating considerable confusion: for example, a British or Canadian armored regiment (battalion) is divided into
squadron Squadron may refer to: * Squadron (army), a military unit of cavalry, tanks, or equivalent subdivided into troops or tank companies * Squadron (aviation), a military unit that consists of three or four flights with a total of 12 to 24 aircraft, dep ...
s (companies) and
troop A troop is a military sub-subunit Sub-subunit or sub-sub-unit is a subordinated element below platoon level of company-sized units or sub-units which normally might not be separately identified in authorization documents by name, number, o ...
s (platoons), whereas an American cavalry squadron (battalion) is divided into troops (companies) and platoons. In the French system (used by many African countries) the company is divided into sections (platoons) composed of 3 x "groupes de combat" of 7 soldiers, plus a group of vehicle crews and a HQ that includes 2 x snipers
Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch Military branch ...
,
army group An army group is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, gove ...
,
region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and Solar System, planets. The ...

region
, and
theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The p ...
are all large formations that vary significantly between armed forces in size and hierarchy position. While
division Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics), the inverse of multiplication *Division algorithm, a method for computing the result of mathematical division Military *Division (military), a formation typically consisting ...
s were the traditional level at which support elements (field artillery, hospital, logistics and maintenance, etc.) were added to the unit structure, since World War II, many brigades now have such support units, and since the 1980s, regiments also have been receiving support elements. A regiment with such support elements is called a regimental combat team in US military parlance, or a battlegroup in the UK and other forces. Canadian Army doctrine also includes the
combat teamA combat team is temporary grouping of military organizations of differing types to accomplish a defined mission or objective. Usage varies between commonwealth nations, where the term applies to a sub-unit level grouping, and the United States, whe ...
which is a company of infantry augmented with tanks, or a squadron of tanks augmented with infantry, or the combination of a full company of infantry with a full squadron of tanks. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
the
Red Army The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army,) frequently shortened to Red Army, was the army and air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; rus, links= ...
used the same basic organizational structure. However, in the beginning many units were greatly underpowered and their size was actually one level below on the ladder that is usually used elsewhere; for example, a division in the early-WWII Red Army would have been about the size of most nations' regiments or brigades. At the top of the ladder, what other nations would call an army group, the Red Army called a
front Front may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''The Front'' (1943 film), a 1943 Soviet drama film * '' The Front'', 1976 film Music * The Front (band), an American rock band signed to Columbia Records and active in the 1980s and e ...
. By contrast, during the same period the German
Wehrmacht The ''Wehrmacht'' (, ) was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the German Army (1935–1945), ''Heer'' (army), the ''Kriegsmarine'' (navy) and the ''Luftwaffe'' (air force). The designation "''Wehrmacht ...
Army Groups, particularly on the
Eastern FrontEastern Front may refer to: * Eastern Front (World War I) * Eastern Front (World War II) * Eastern Front (Turkey), of the Turkish War of Independence ** Turkish–Armenian War, often referred to by itself as the Eastern Front * Eastern Front (Sudan) ...
, such as
Army Group Centre Army Group Centre (german: Heeresgruppe Mitte) was the name of two distinct strategic German Army Groups that fought on the Eastern Front (World War II), Eastern Front in World War II. The first Army Group Centre was created on 22 June 1941, as one ...
significantly exceeded the above numbers, and were more cognate with the Soviet
Strategic DirectionThe Soviet Ground Forces, successor to the Red Army, the title changing in 1945, employed a wide range of different Military formations. List * Theatre of Military Operations or theatre of war (TV) * Theatre of Military Operations, Theatre of milita ...
s.


Naval hierarchy

Naval organization at the
flotilla A flotilla (from Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambi ...

flotilla
level and higher is less commonly abided by, as ships operate in smaller or larger groups in various situations that may change at a moment's notice. However, there is some common terminology used throughout navies to communicate the general concept of how many vessels might be in a unit. Navies are generally organized into groups for a specific purpose, usually strategic, and these organizational groupings appear and disappear frequently based on the conditions and demands placed upon a navy. This contrasts with army organization where units remain static, with the same men and equipment, over long periods of time. The five-star ranks of
admiral of the fleet An admiral of the fleet or fleet admiral (equivalent rank to admiral of the navy Admiral of the Navy was the highest possible rank in the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country" ...
and fleet admiral have largely been out of regular use since the 1990s, with the exception of ceremonial or honorary appointments. Currently, all major navies ( blue-water and green-water navies) are commanded by an
admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the United States, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general officer, general in ...

admiral
of either four-star rank or three-star rank depending on relative size. Smaller naval forces, such as the
RNZN , website = , image = RNZN Crest.jpg , image_size = 150px , caption = Crest of the Royal New Zealand Navy , start_date = , dates ...
, or those navies that are effectively
coast guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes ...

coast guard
s, are commanded by a
rear-admiral Rear admiral is a senior naval flag officer rank, equivalent to a major general and air vice marshal and above that of a Commodore (rank), commodore and Captain (naval), captain, but below that of a vice admiral. It is regarded as a two star "ad ...
(two-star rank),
commodore Commodore may refer to: Ranks * Commodore (rank) Commodore is a senior naval rank used in many navies which is equivalent to brigadier and air commodore that is superior to a navy captain, but below a rear admiral. It is either regarded as ...
(one-star rank) or even a
captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a military rank in a ...
.
Aircraft carrier An aircraft carrier is a warship A warship or combatant ship is a that is built and primarily intended for . Usually they belong to the of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster ...
s are typically commanded by a captain.
Submarine A submarine (or sub) is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. It is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely operated ...

Submarine
s and
destroyer In naval A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically ...

destroyer
s are typically commanded by a captain or commander. Some destroyers, particularly smaller destroyers such as
frigate A frigate () is a type of warship A warship or combatant ship is a that is built and primarily intended for . Usually they belong to the of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faste ...

frigate
s (formerly known as
destroyer escort Destroyer escort (DE) was the United States Navy mid-20th-century classification for a warship designed with the endurance necessary to escort mid-ocean convoys of merchant marine ships. The Royal Navy and Commonwealth forces identified such ...
s) are usually commanded by officers with the rank of commander.
Corvette A corvette is a small warship. It is traditionally the smallest class of vessel considered to be a proper (or Rating system of the Royal Navy, "rated") warship. The warship class above the corvette is that of the frigate, while the class below wa ...

Corvette
s, the smallest class of warship, are commanded by officers with the rank of commander or
lieutenant-commander Lieutenant commander (also hyphenated lieutenant-commander and abbreviated Lt Cdr, LtCdr. or LCDR) is a commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force A military, als ...
. Auxiliary ships, including
gunboat A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to shore bombardment, bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for troopship, ferrying troops or au ...
s,
minesweepers underway in British coastal waters during World War II. A minesweeper is a small warship designed to remove or detonate naval mines. Using various mechanisms intended to counter the threat posed by naval mines, minesweepers keep waterways clear f ...
,
patrol boat A patrol boat (also referred to as a patrol craft, patrol ship or patrol vessel) is a relatively small naval ship, naval vessel generally designed for Coastal defense and fortification, coastal defence, border protection, immigration law-enforc ...

patrol boat
s, military riverine craft, tenders and
torpedo boat A torpedo boat is a relatively small and fast naval ship designed to carry torpedoes into battle. The first designs were steam-powered craft dedicated to ramming enemy ships with explosive spar torpedoes. Later evolutions launched variants of se ...
s are usually commanded by
lieutenant A lieutenant ( or abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, Lieut and similar) is a commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, i ...

lieutenant
s,
sub-lieutenant Sub-lieutenant is a junior military officer rank. In many navies, a sub-lieutenant is a naval commissioned Commission or commissioning may refer to: Business and contracting * Commission (remuneration), a form of payment to an agent for servi ...
s or
warrant officers Warrant officer (WO) is a rank or category of ranks in the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized ...
. Usually, the smaller the vessel, the lower the rank of the ship's commander. For example,
patrol boat A patrol boat (also referred to as a patrol craft, patrol ship or patrol vessel) is a relatively small naval ship, naval vessel generally designed for Coastal defense and fortification, coastal defence, border protection, immigration law-enforc ...

patrol boat
s are often commanded by
ensign An ensign is the national flag flown on a vessel to indicate nationality. The ensign is the largest flag, generally flown at the stern (rear) of the ship while in port. The naval ensign (also known as war ensign), used on warships, may be differ ...
s, while frigates are rarely commanded by an officer below the rank of commander. Historical navies were far more rigid in structure. Ships were collected in
divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new numbers. The other operations are addition, subtraction, and multi ...
, which in turn were collected in numbered squadrons, which comprised a numbered
fleet Fleet may refer to: Vehicles *Fishing fleet A fishing fleet is an aggregate of commercial fishing Ship, vessels. The term may be used of all vessels operating out of a particular port, all vessels engaged in a particular type of fishing (as in t ...
. Permission for a vessel to leave one unit and join another would have to be approved on paper. The modern U.S. Navy is primarily based on a number of standard groupings of vessels, including the
carrier strike group A carrier strike group (CSG) is a type of carrier battle group A carrier battle group (CVBG) is a naval fleet consisting of an aircraft carrier (designated CV) capital ship and its large number of naval convoy, escorts, together defining t ...
and the
expeditionary strike group The expeditionary strike group (ESG) is a United States Navy concept introduced in the early 1990s, based on the Naval Expeditionary Task Force. The U.S. Navy fields nine expeditionary strike groups and ten carrier strike groups (CSGs), in additi ...

expeditionary strike group
.US Navy
GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-08-30. Additionally, naval organization continues aboard a single ship. The complement forms three or four departments (such as tactical and engineering), each of which has a number of divisions, followed by work centers.


Air Force hierarchy

The organizational structures of air forces vary between nations: some air forces (such as the
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosph ...

United States Air Force
and the
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for th ...
) are divided into commands, groups and squadrons; others (such as the
Soviet Air Force The Soviet Air Forces ( rus, Военно-воздушные силы, r=Voyenno-Vozdushnyye Sily (VVS), literally "Military Air Forces") were one of the air forces of the Soviet Union. The other was the Soviet Air Defence Forces. The Air Forces ...
) have an Army-style organizational structure. The modern
Royal Canadian Air Force The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF; french: Aviation royale canadienne, ARC) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together ...

Royal Canadian Air Force
uses
Air divisionAn air division is an air force or naval air formation that is roughly equivalent to an army division. An air division is usually commanded by a major general and it is composed of multiple wing A wing is a type of fin that produces lift whi ...
as the formation between wings and the entire air command. Like the RAF, Canadian wings consist of squadrons.


Task force

A
task force A task force (TF) is a unit or formation established to work on a single defined task or activity. Originally introduced by the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unoffici ...
is a unit or formation created as a temporary grouping for a specific operational purpose. Aside from administrative hierarchical forms of organization that have evolved since the early 17th century in Europe, fighting forces have been grouped for specific operational purposes into mission-related organizations such as the German
Kampfgruppe In military history Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, cultures and economies thereof, as well as the ...

Kampfgruppe
or the U.S. Combat Team (Army) and Task Force (Navy) during the Second World War, or the Soviet Operational manoeuvre group during the Cold War. In the British and Commonwealth armies the battlegroup became the usual grouping of companies during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
and the Cold War. Within NATO, a Joint Task Force (JTF) would be such a temporary grouping that includes elements from more than one armed service, a Combined Task Force (CTF) would be such a temporary grouping that includes elements from more than one nation, and a Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) would be such a temporary grouping that includes elements of more than one armed service and more than one nation.


See also

* Chalk (military) *
Command and control Command and control is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ...
hat A collection of 18th and 19th century men's beaver felt hats A hat is a head covering which is worn for various reasons, including protection against weather conditions, ceremonial reasons such as university graduation, religious reasons, safet ...

hat
employs human, physical, and information resources to solve problems and accomplish missions" to achieve the goals of an organization or enterpris ...
*
Military administration Military administration identifies both the techniques and systems used by military departments, agencies, and armed services involved in managing the armed forces. It describes the processes that take place within military organisations outside ...


Notes


References

{{Reflist
Organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient that migrated from , a peninsu ...
ms:Organisasi tentera