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How Many Soldiers are in a Troop?

On June 19, 2010, the Tacoma, Washington, News Tribune reported that 250 troops were returning home from Afghanistan. My goodness, I thought upon reading the article, I didn’t think Obama would start such a massive draw-down of military personnel so soon. How many soldiers are in a troop, I wondered – are there 10, 100, or 1,000 soldiers in a troop? What this means, I reasoned, is that a major portion of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan was returning home this summer!

Only later did I learn that the reporter meant that it was 250 people who are returning.

My bad!

Click HERE to read the definition of “troop”.

Pointing out that, while the press uses the term “troops” to refer to a group of individuals, never is the term “troop” used to refer to a single individual, the blogger Jaltcoh, quoting John McWhorter, goes on to say that “[u]sing a name for soldiers that has no singular form grants us a certain cozy distance from the grievous reality of war.”

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