Should the word 'squadron' be written with a capital? In some contexts it seems more appropriate than in others, but I'd like to do it consistently.

The 12th squadron set sail.


The 12th Battle Squadron of the Imperial Navy

Sources seem a bit contradictory, and even the Wikipedia people have not agreed upon a consistent style, it appears.

  • Would you write 'The 12th battle squadron of the imperial navy'? Or 'Frodo and Sam missed the Battles that Merry and Pippin were involved in'? Or indeed, 'Do you think merry was a merry hobbit?'? Correct is 'The 12th Battle Squadron was the first squadron to fire a shot in anger.' – Edwin Ashworth May 19 '13 at 13:00

Squadron is capitalized when used to refer to a number unit. So, in both examples you give the 12th Squadron would be appropriate. If you are referring to squadrons generally (as I have in this sentence) the word is not capitalized.

According to the Air Force Journalistic Style Guide

squadron Capitalized when used with a number to designate a particular squadron: He works at the 37th Mission Support Squadron. He works at the mission support squadron.

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