squad (n.)
1640s, "small number of military men detailed for some purpose," from French esquade, from Middle French escadre, from Spanish escuadra or Italian squadra "battalion," literally "square," from Vulgar Latin *exquadra "to square," from Latin ex "out" (see ex-) + quadrare "make square," from quadrus "a square" (from PIE root *kwetwer- "four"). Before the widespread use of of automatic weapons, infantry troops tended to fight in a square formation to repel cavalry or superior forces. Extended to sports 1902, police work 1905.