A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing 26 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer—the platoon leader or platoon commander, usually a lieutenant. He is usually assisted by a senior non-commissioned officer—the platoon sergeant.
In some armies, platoon is used throughout the branches of the army. In others, such as the British Army, most platoons are infantry platoons, while some carry other designations such as tank, mortar, or heavy weapons platoons. In a few armies, such as the French Army, a platoon is specifically a cavalry unit, and the infantry use "section" as the equivalent unit.
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