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The term regiment was derived from 16th-century French and was utilized to describe a designated number of companies that varied in different armies and over time. A colonel usually commanded the unit. While historically regiments represented primary units of tactical and administrative organization consisting of three battalions and a regimental headquarters company, since the 1950s the status of regiments has been in flux, particularly in the U.S. military. This entry discusses the history of the regiment and the makeup of regiments in the U.S. Army.

The initial institution of the regiment developed at a time when the military institutions of Europe were changing from the medieval feudal model to the more modern bureaucratic model of military organization. By the 18th century, the term applied to a ...

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