Troops from the U.S. and Bangladesh March in single file during a tactical training exercise during 2014.

A file is a military term for a number of troops drawn up in line ahead, i.e. one behind the other in a column. The number of files is the measure of the width of a column of troops in several ranks one behind the other.[1][2][3][4]


Files are useful when troops don't know where the enemy is, since there are overlapping fields of fire from each soldier, and cover from a possible flanking attack. Files are at a disadvantage when there are heavy weapons nearby, supported by infantry, especially machine guns and tanks.[1][2]

Ancient Greek use

A file of men in the Greek phalanx was called a lochos (Greek: λόχος) and usually ranged from eight to sixteen men.[5]


  1. ^ a b McNab, p. 55.
  2. ^ a b Schwartz, p. 9
  3. ^ Holbrook, p. 10.
  4. ^ United States Army, p. 9.
  5. ^ "Asclepiodotus, Tactica, chapter 2". Retrieved 2023-02-21.


Web sources