- "Oddball, do you copy? We need help."
"Copy, Red Leader."
"Mark my position and form your squad behind me. We're going in."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi to Clone Commander Davijaan
A squad was the smallest military unit in many of the galaxy's army formations. The numbers of soldiers in a squad varied, but such units rarely consisted of more than a dozen personnel, or less than four.
Republic and EmpireEdit
Under the Old Republic, squads of ten or twelve soldiers were common among the Army forces assigned to the Judicial Department and planetary defense forces, but in the Grand Army of the Republic created during the Clone Wars, a standard clone trooper squad consisted of nine soldiers, led by a commanding Sergeant, while the elite clone commandos of the Special Operations Brigade operated in squads of four, such as Delta Squad or Omega Squad, with five such squads forming a troop.
When the Republic gave way to the New Order, the non-clone line forces of the Imperial Army retained the GAR's standard squad strength of sergeant and eight other men. On the sergeant's recommendation, one soldier was normally appointed Corporal, also known as the "one-man", and a brevet list was created, numbering each trooper down to the "eight-man", denoting the order in which authority devolved to them if the squad's more senior soldiers were killed.
In addition to standard squads, sometimes known as line squads, a number of distinct specialist unit types had evolved by the time of the Galactic Civil War:
- Heavy weapons squads were infantry armed with heavy repeating blasters like the two-man E-Web.
- Sharpshooter squads were, as their name implies, composed of soldiers who were better shots than the average infantryman. They were regarded as elite units, and individual troopers in these squads were cross-trained in different combat skills, and expected to be able to act more effectively on their own initiative than normal troops. Reflecting this, there was no brevet list in sharpshooter squads, nor a permanent corporal. Instead, before each mission, the sergeant appointed the best-qualified trooper as temporary brevet-corporal.
- Engineering squads were composed of combat-trained technicians and battle-hardened soldiers given additional technical skills. They were expected to be able to operate, repair or destroy any equipment they encountered on the battlefield, and to take on any opposition they might encounter while doing so.
- Repulsorlift squads were the crews of repulsorlift vehicles, either troop transports or picket craft. Typically, a repulsorlift squad contained two vehicles, each crewed by a commander, driver, trooper mechanic and tech/sensor officer, although the sergeant's vehicle often had a second tech/sensor officer who operated a Dedicated Energy Receptor designed to pinpoint enemy communications on the battlefield. The vehicles of a heavy weapons repulsorlift squad carried additional armament, often designed to be dismounted and used by infantry.
- Artillery sections were gunners, with one heavy or medium launcher or two light field pieces.
Stormtroopers and scout troopersEdit
Just as the standard Army squad consisted of eight soldiers and a sergeant, Imperial Stormtrooper squads were said to have nine men as standard in 6 ABY; a nine-man squad would also fit with an implied stormtrooper platoon strength of 45 men, and the ten-man stormtrooper bodyguard assigned to a Moff was perhaps a nine-man squad plus an officer in command. However, Rebel sources believed that the Empire was also using smaller stormtrooper squads, and by 22 ABY, the standard squad of the 501st Legion apparently consisted of units of four troopers, such as Unit Aurek-Seven, one of ten such units in Aurek Company.
By 137 ABY, a squad in the 407th Stormtrooper Division consisted of four troopers led by a sergeant. One of the troopers was armed with a heavy support weapon, while the others used conventional blaster rifles. Their officer was a lieutenant, but so far the number of squads in a platoon or company is unknown.
Imperial scout troopers were organized differently, drawing both recruits and traditions from worlds where cavalry combat had a prominent history. They were organized in five-man units known as lances, with each trooper being expected to care for his own mount—usually a one-seater speeder bike like the Aratech 74-Z, although some lances combined one bike with a pair of two-seat flyers. Additionally, although part of the Stormtrooper Corps, scout troopers were often integrated into the Imperial Army order-of-battle: two lances, together known as a scout squadron, were combined with two infantry squads in each platoon of a Repulsorlift Battalion's scout troop, while the scout platoon of a special missions company consisted entirely of biker scouts.
Other military forcesEdit
During the Galactic Civil War, squads comparable to those of Imperial forces served as the most basic component elements of Rebel Alliance SpecForces regiments, but for active duty, mission-specific units were formed with little regard for the nominal roster or formal organizational doctrine.
In the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force, a standard squad apparently numbered six warriors, divided into two half-squads of three.
Among the Mandalorians, squads (such as Viper Alpha, Vertigo, and Headhunter) were larger than in other armed forces; this may be due to the fact that the Mandalorians seemed to use "squad" and "company" interchangeably.
- The Clone Wars: Decide Your Destiny: The Lost Legion
- A Reckoning of Wraiths
- Fool's Bargain
- Survivor's Quest
- Rebel Alliance Sourcebook
- The Imperial Sourcebook
- Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption: Prima Official Game Guide
- Threats of the Galaxy
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- Galaxy at War
- "Secrets of the Force"—Star Wars Insider 123
- "50 Great Reasons to Rewatch Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Three"—Star Wars Insider 125