AskDefine | Define squadron

Dictionary Definition



1 a cavalry unit consisting of two or more troops and headquarters and supporting arms
2 an air force unit larger than a flight and smaller than a group
3 a naval unit that is detached from the fleet for a particular task

User Contributed Dictionary



escadron, formerly also esquadron, or squadrone. See squad.


(abbreviated to: sqn)
  1. Primarily, a square; hence, a square body of troops; a body of troops drawn up in a square.
    "Those half-rounding quards Just met, and, closing, stood in squadron joined." -Milton.
  2. (Army) A body of cavalry comprising two companies or troops, and averaging from one hundred and twenty to two hundred men.
  3. (Navy) A detachment of vessels employed on any particular service or station, under the command of the senior officer; as, the North Atlantic Squadron.
  4. (Air Force) A tactical air force unit; consists of at least two flights; multiple squadrons make up a group.

Derived terms


Extensive Definition

A squadron is a small unit or formation of cavalry, aircraft (including balloons), or warships.

Army and Marines

A cavalry squadron (horse or armoured), typically consists of three to five troops.


In the United States Army, a squadron is the Cavalry equivalent of an infantry battalion or artillery battalion; it is used for Armored Cavalry and Air Cavalry units.

UK and Commonwealth

In the British Army and many Commonwealth armies, it is the counterpart of an infantry company or artillery battery. The designation is also used for company-sized units in the Special Air Service, Honourable Artillery Company, Royal Engineers, Royal Corps of Signals, Royal Army Medical Corps and Royal Logistic Corps, and formerly of the now defunct Royal Corps of Transport, as well as the Royal Marines.
Squadrons are commonly designated using letters or numbers (e.g. No. 1 Squadron or A Squadron). In some British Army units it is a tradition for squadrons to also be named after an important historical battle in which the regiment has taken part. In some special cases, squadrons can also be named after a unique honour which has been bestowed on the unit (e.g. The Queen's Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force's RAF Regiment).


An escadron (the French word for squadron) is another word for a cavalry division. For a long time, an escadron corresponded to a batallion, uniting several companies. Since the mid 20th century, an escadron has been the equivalent of a single company.
In the cavalry (now called the "mounted arm") a captain (3 galons, or braids) commands an escadron (what would be a "company" in the infantry) and is thus called a chef d'escadron (with escadron in the singular). However, his superior in the hierarchy (4 galons) commands 2 escadrons and is thus called chef d'escadrons (with escadron in the plural). There are 2 exceptions - in the Gendarmerie and Artillerie (both accounted mounted arms), such a commander (again with 4 galons) is a chef d'escadron (singular).


An air force, army aviation or naval aviation squadron typically consists of three or four flights, with a total of 12 to 24 aircraft, depending on aircraft type and air force. In the Imperial Japanese Army in the Second World War, three air squadrons were assigned to each air regiment. Some air forces (including the Royal Air Force and United States Air Force) also use the term for air force ground units. Multiple squadrons (typically three to ten) make up a wing. An escadron is the equivalent unit in France's Armée de l'Air (with an
squadron in French: Escadrille|escadrille
as a subsection of an escadron) and Canada's air force. In the Air Training Corps of the UK, a Squadron is a group of cadets who parade regularly.
In the Civil Air Patrol, a squadron is the basic administrative unit.


A naval squadron can be either a permanent battle formation or an ad hoc grouping of warships, typically capital ships (battleships, battlecruisers, cruisers, or aircraft carriers). In the United States Navy, several ships of a similar type, such as submarines and destroyers, are administered as squadrons.


squadron in Bengali: স্কোয়াড্রন
squadron in Danish: Eskadre
squadron in German: Schwadron
squadron in German: Eskadron
squadron in Modern Greek (1453-): Μοίρα (αεροπορική)
squadron in Spanish: Escuadrón
squadron in Finnish: Eskadroona
squadron in French: Escadron
squadron in Hebrew: טייסת
squadron in Italian: Squadriglia
squadron in Japanese: 戦隊
squadron in Malay (macrolanguage): Skuadron
squadron in Dutch: Eskader
squadron in Norwegian: Eskadron
squadron in Polish: Eskadra
squadron in Russian: Эскадрон
squadron in Slovenian: Eskadron
squadron in Ukrainian: Ескадрон
squadron in Ukrainian: Ескадрилья

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

KP, Naval Construction Battalion, RN, Royal Navy, Seabees, USN, United States Navy, air arm, air corps, air force, air service, argosy, armada, army, army group, battalion, battery, battle group, brigade, cadre, coast guard, cohort, column, combat command, combat team, company, corps, detachment, detail, division, escadrille, field army, field train, file, fleet, flight, flotilla, flying column, garrison, kitchen police, legion, maniple, marine, merchant fleet, merchant marine, merchant navy, mosquito fleet, naval forces, naval militia, naval reserve, navy, organization, outfit, phalanx, platoon, posse, rank, regiment, section, squad, strategic air force, tactical air force, tactical unit, task force, task group, train, troop, unit, wing
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