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
Noun(abbreviated to: sqn)
- 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.
- (Army) A body of cavalry comprising two companies or troops, and averaging from one hundred and twenty to two hundred men.
- (Navy) A detachment of vessels employed on any particular service or station, under the command of the senior officer; as, the North Atlantic Squadron.
- (Air Force) A tactical air force unit; consists of at least two flights; multiple squadrons make up a group.
- Portuguese: esquadrão - s.m.
USAIn 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 CommonwealthIn 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).
FranceAn 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).
AviationAn 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|escadrilleas 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.