The purpose of this article is to review the normal U.S. Army Platoon size. I’ve found that the size of a typical platoon is normally about 30 Soldiers. This number varies based upon the authorized force structure, the mission and Soldiers available.
An average infantry unit is somewhere between 27 and 35 Soldiers. Once again, this can vary because there are light infantry, mechanized and Stryker infantry units.
Next, I’ve seen some platoons have as many as sixty soldiers. During my time in a mechanized maintenance company, our Maintenance Support Platoon topped sixty troops.
Other examples include the Supply and Transportation (S&T) Platoon in the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of an Infantry Battalion. This element sometimes had in excess of 50 troops.
On the other hand, some platoons have as little as five or ten soldiers. Examples include an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) or Finance unit.
Other considerations that affect the size include the assigned strength. Some units, especially Army Reserve and Army National Guard units don’t always have 100% assigned strength. That means that the unit only has a percentage of its authorized strength.
Regardless of the size, Army platoons are led by Second Lieutenants and First Lieutenants. The Lieutenant is the Platoon Leader. He or she works with the Platoon Sergeant, typically a senior NCO with 12 to 16 years of military experience. The two of them work together to accomplish the platoon’s mission.
In conclusion, Army platoons vary in size. Some are large, while others are much smaller. The mission, authorized force-structure and assigned strength determine the size.