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Structure of the British Army

The structure of the British Army is complex, due to the different origins of its various constituent parts. In terms of nature of its servicemen, it is divided into the Regular Army (full-time professional soldiers) and the Territorial Army (part-time paid soldiers). In terms of its military structure it is divided into corps (administrative groupings by common function), and divisions and brigades (large units somewhat fluid in nature).

The regiment is in some respects the most important unit of the British Army. It is the largest "permanent" tactical unit. Typically, it will consist of around 700 soldiers, and be commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel.

A typical regiment will follow a structure similar to the following:

  • Company (or Squadron) of about 100 soldiers, commanded by a Captain
  • Platoon (or Troop) of about 30 soldiers, commanded by a Lieutenant
  • Section[?] of about 8 soldiers

Sections can be subdivided into two fire teams for tactical purposes.

Table of contents


The Army has a number of Corps; groupings by purpose, of varying size.

Divisions and Brigades Divisions and Brigades are the next smallest groupings after a Corps. The British Army comprises two active divisions, seven active manoeuvre brigades. The three remaining divisional headquarters act as regional commands in the UK itself, and would only become field formations in the event of a general war. Beyond the manoeuvre brigades, there are also a number of active brigades which have air defence, logistics and engineering functions. Finally, there are also a number of reserve manoeuvre brigades which command smaller regions than the reserve divisions. The numbering of the various brigades is not sequential, reflecting the rise and fall of various brigades over the years. The reserve brigades have often been divisions in times past, such as 51 (Scottish) Brigade being the direct descendent of the famous 51st (Highland) Division[?] of WWII.



Regiments and Battalions

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