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Military Map Symbols

Knowledgebase | Basic Symbology


Knowing your Chemical Warfare Services from your Veterinary Corps.

Understanding Force Strengths - From Army Group on Down to Team
• Army Group: 400,000 to 1,000,000 personnel commanded by a General or Field Marshal; divided into two or more Armies.
• Army / Field Army: 50,000 or more personnel commanded by a 4-Star General; divided into two-to-four Corps.
• Corps: 20,000 to 45,000 personnel commanded by a 3-Star General / Lieutenant General; divided into two-or-more Divisions.
• Division / Legion: 10,000 to 15,000 personnel commanded by a 2-Star Major General; further divided into three-to-five Brigades / Regiments.
• Brigade / Regiment: 2,000 to 5,000 personnel commanded by a 1-Star Brigadier General or Colonel; armed cavalry = Regiment or Group; divided into five Battalions.
• Battalion: 300 to 1,000 personnel commanded by Lieutenant Colonel; divided into three-to-five Companies; U.S. Cavalry unit = Squadron.
• Company / Battery / Troop: 60 to 200 personnel commanded by a Captain, 1st Lieutenant, or Major; Artillery = Battery; Armored Air Cavalry = Troop; divided into three-to-five Platoons.
• Platoon: 18 to 50 personnel commanded by a 2nd Lieutenant; divided into Section / Patrol.
• Section / Patrol: 8 to 25 personnel commanded by a Staff Sergeant or Sergeant; divided into Squads.
• Squad: 6 to 12 personnel commanded by Sergeant or Corporal; divided into Teams / Crews.
• Team / Crew: 2 to 4 personnel commanded by a Lance Corporal, Sergeant, or Private 1st Class.

NOTE: The information above is general and numbers reflect what is typically followed by modern Armies today. As such, numbers are not 'fixed', allowing for some flexibility in totals depending on operating country.
Military Map Symbol, Antiaircraft Artillery
Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA)
Military Map Symbol, Armored Command
Armored Command
Military Map Symbol, Army Air Forces
Army Air Forces
Military Map Symbol, Field Artillery
Artillery (not AA or coastal)
Military Map Symbol, Horse Cavalry
Cavalry (horse)
Military Map Symbol, Mechanized Cavalry
Cavalry (mechanized)
Military Map Symbol, Chemical Warfare Services
Chemical Warfare Services
Military Map Symbol, Coastal Artillery
Coastal Artillery
Military Map Symbol, Engineer Unit
Engineer Unit
Military Map Symbol, Infantry
Military Map Symbol, Medical Corps
Medical Corps
Military Map Symbol, Ordnance Department
Ordnance Department
Military Map Symbol, Quartermaster Corps
Quartermaster Corps
Military Map Symbol, Signal Corps
Signal Corps
Military Map Symbol, Tank Destroyer
Tank Destroyer
Military Map Symbol, Transportation Corps
Transportation Corps
Military Map Symbol, Veterinary Corps
Veterinary Corps
Airborne elements / units are designated by combining a 'gull wing' symbol with the arm or service symbol as follows:

Military Map Symbol, Airborne Artillery
Airborne Artillery
Military Map Symbol, Airborne Infantry
Airborne Infantry
The following symbols placed either in boundary lines or above the rectangle, triangle, or circle enclosing the identifying arm or service symbol indicate the size of military organization:

Military Map Symbol, Infantry Squad
Military Map Symbol, Infantry Section
Military Map Symbol, Infantry Platoon
Military Map Symbol, Infantry Company / Troop / Battery / Flight
Company / Troop / Battery / Flight
Military Map Symbol, Infantry Battalion / Cavalry Squadron / Air Force Squadron
Battalion / Cavalry Sqdrn / AF Sqdrn
Military Map Symbol, Infantry Regiment / Group / Combat Team
Regiment / Group / Combat Team
Military Map Symbol, Brigade Command / Armored Division / Air Force Wing
Brigade Cmd / Armored Div / AF Wing
Military Map Symbol, Division / Command of an Air Force
Division / Command of an Air Force
Military Map Symbol, Corps / Air Force
Corps / Air Force
Military Map Symbol, Army Group
Military Map Symbol, Group of Armies
Group of Armies
Specialized weapon types receive their own symbols on a military map:

Military Map Symbol, Machine Gun Section
Machine Gun
Military Map Symbol, Gun
Military Map Symbol, Gun Battery
Gun Battery
Military Map Symbol, Howitzer / Mortar
Howitzer / Mortar
Military Map Symbol, Combat Tank (Tracked Vehicle)
Military Map Symbol, Mechanized Self-Propelled Gun (SPG)
Self-Propelled Gun
Putting it All Together

The letter or number to the left of the symbol indicates the unit designation; to the right, the designation of the parent unit to which it belongs to. Letters or numbers above or below boundary lines designate the units separated by the lines:

Military Map Symbol, Company 'A', 137th Infantry
Company A, 137th Infantry
Military Map Symbol, 8th Field Artillery Battalion
8th Field Artillery Battalion
Military Map Symbol, Cbt Cmd A, 1st Armored Division
Cbt Cmd A, 1st Armored Division
Military Map Symbol, Obsv Post, 23d Infantry
Obsv Post, 23d Infantry
Military Map Symbol, Cmd Post, 5th Infantry Div
Cmd Post, 5th Infantry Div
Military Map Symbol, Btw 137th & 138th Infantry
Btw 137th & 138th Infantry
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