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Posted on Nov 1, 2004 in Armchair Reading

ACG’s Basic Guide to Military Unit Symbols

Editorial Staff

We often get asked questions about what the symbols you see on military maps and in wargames actually represent.  This is a small sampling of some general unit symbols, which should cover most modern time periods.  Also included is a unit size chart, so you know the difference between x and xxxx.  It is not meant to be an exhaustive study, but rather a primer to get you up to speed with the basics.  Most symbols are derivatives of these foundational icons, although a few specialized icons are included here as samples of the larger palette.

Also keep in mind these symbols are intended to cover a broad period of time, and thus some below might be outdated or no longer used on a modern battlefield.  Most will be recognizable to any student of World War II.



  1. i’ve gotten hold of a us army signal corps transmitter tuning unit
    TU -5-B next to it is an square with 4 dots and a triangle inside, i was wondering what the symbol ment? the circles and the A are solid color.

    l O O l
    l O O l
    l A l

  2. Are you stating these were used in WW2?
    These are NATO symbols are they are not post WW2?