A division is a military formation normally consisting of 10,000 to 15,000 soldiers and commanded by a major general. For most of the 20th century, divisions served as the smallest combined arms unit capable of independent operations with a variety of combat and service support forces. In most armies, divisions were composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn, several divisions formed a corps. This entry discusses the history of divisions in the U.S. military, and the makeup, organization, and reorganization of divisions in the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.

Early History

Divisions have constituted a significant type of military organization in the West since the mid-1700s. The idea originated with the Royal French Army to divide a field army into self-contained “divisions,” which, for ...

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