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Regiment facts for kids

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Regiment Nato
Standard NATO symbol for a regiment of several battalions, indicated by the III. The shape, colour and pattern indicate friendly infantry.

A regiment is a military unit. Their role and size varies markedly, depending on the country and the arm of service.

In Medieval Europe, the term "regiment" denoted any large body of front-line soldiers, recruited or conscripted in one geographical area, by a leader who was often also the feudal lord of the soldiers.

By the end of the 17th century, regiments in most European armies were permanent units, numbering about 1,000 men and under the command of a colonel.


During the modern era, the word "regiment" – much like "corps" – may have two somewhat divergent meanings, which refer to two distinct roles:

  1. a front-line military formation; or
  2. an administrative or ceremonial unit.

In many armies, the first role has been assumed by independent battalions, battlegroups, task forces, brigades and other, similarly-sized operational units. However, these non-regimental units tend to be short-lived; and regiments have tended to retain their traditional responsibilities for ceremonial duties, the recruitment of volunteers, induction of new recruits, individual morale and esprit de corps, and administrative roles (such as pay).

A regiment may consequently be a variety of sizes:

  • smaller than a standard battalion, e.g. Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment;
  • a battalion equivalent, e.g. 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment;
  • a brigade equivalent, e.g. 8th Marine Regiment (United States);
  • several battalions, e.g.
  • an entire arm of service, e.g.
    • the Royal Australian Regiment includes all of the Australian Army's regular infantry (other than reserve and special forces units), and
    • the artillery units of the British Army are known collectively as the Royal Regiment of Artillery, which is sub-divided for operation purposes into field regiments.

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See also

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