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Military

CHAPTER 3

Movement

GENERAL


Normally, you will spend more time moving than fighting. You must use proper movement techniques to avoid contact with the enemy when you are not prepared for contact.

The fundamentals of movement discussed in this chapter provide techniques that all soldiers should learn. These techniques should be practiced until they become second nature.

CONTENTS

GENERAL

MOVEMENT TECHNIQUES

IMMEDIATE ACTIONS WHILE MOVING

MOVING WITHIN A TEAM

FIRE AND MOVEMENT

MOVING WITH TANKS

MOVEMENT TECHNIQUES

Your unit's ability to move depends on your movement skills and those of your fellow soldiers. Use the following techniques to avoid being seen or heard by the enemy:

  • Camouflage yourself and your equipment.
  • Tape your dog tags together and to the chain so they cannot slide or rattle. Tape or pad the parts of your weapon and equipment that rattle or are so loose that they may snag (the tape or padding must not interfere with the operation of the weapon or equipment). Jump up and down and listen for rattles.
  • Wear soft, well-fitting clothes.
  • Do not carry unnecessary equipment. Move from covered position to revered position (taking no longer than 3 to 5 seconds between positions).
  • Stop, look, and listen before moving. Look for your next position before leaving a position.
  • Look for covered and concealed routes on which to move.
  • Change direction slightly from time to time when moving through tall grass.
  • Stop, look, and listen when birds or animals are alarmed (the enemy may be nearby).
  • Use battlefield noises, such as weapon noises, to conceal movement noises.
  • Cross roads and trails at places that have the most cover and concealment (large culverts, low spots, curves, or bridges).
  • Avoid steep slopes and places with loose dirt or stones.
  • Avoid cleared, open areas and tops of hills and ridges.

METHODS OF MOVEMENT

In addition to walking, you may move in one of three other methods--low crawl, high crawl, or rush.

The low crawl gives you the lowest silhouette. Use it to cross places where the concealment is very low and enemy fire or observation prevents you from getting up. Keep your body flat against the ground. With your firing hand, grasp your weapon sling at the upper sling--swivel. Let the front handguard rest on your forearm (keeping the muzzle off the ground), and let the weapon butt drag on the ground.

To move, push your arms forward and pull your firing side leg forward. Then pull with your arms and push with your leg. Continue this throughout the move.

The high crawl lets you move faster than the low crawl and still gives you a low silhouette. Use this crawl when there is good concealment but enemy fire prevents you from getting up. Keep your body off the ground and resting on your forearms and lower legs. Cradle your weapon in your arms and keep its muzzle off the ground. Keep your knees well behind your buttocks so your body will stay low.

To move, alternately advance your right elbow and left knee, then your left elbow and right knee.

The rush is the fastest way to move from one position to another. Each rush should last from 3 to 5 seconds. The rushes are kept short to keep enemy machine gunners or riflemen from tracking you. However, do not stop and hit the ground in the open just because 5 seconds have passed. Always try to hit the ground behind some cover. Before moving, pick out your next covered and concealed position and the best route to it.

Make your move from the prone position as follows:

  • Slowly raise your head and pick your next position and the route to it.
  • Slowly lower your head.
  • Draw your arms into your body (keeping your elbows in).
  • Pull your right leg forward.
  • Raise your body by straightening your arms.
  • Get up quickly.
  • Run to the next position.

When you are ready to stop moving, do the following:

  • Plant both of your feet.
  • Drop to your knees (at the same time slide a hand to the butt of your rifle).
  • Fall forward, breaking the fall with the butt of the rifle.
  • Go to a prone firing position.

If you have been firing from one position for some time, the enemy may have spotted you and may be waiting for you to come up from behind cover. So, before rushing forward, roll or crawl a short distance from your position. By coming up from another spot, you may fool an enemy who is aiming at one spot, waiting for you to rise.

When the route to your next position is through an open area, rush by zigzagging. If necessary, hit the ground, roll right or left, then rush again.

MOVING WITH STEALTH

Moving with stealth means moving quietly, slowly, and carefully. This requires great patience.

To move with stealth, use the following techniques:

  • Hold your rifle at port arms (ready position).
  • Make your footing sure and solid by keeping your body's weight on the foot on the ground while stepping.
  • Raise the moving leg high to clear brush or grass.
  • Gently let the moving foot down toe first, with your body's weight on the rear leg.
  • Lower the heel of the moving foot after the toe is in a solid place.
  • Shift your body's weight and balance to the forward foot before moving the rear foot.
  • Take short steps to help maintain balance.

At night, and when moving through dense vegetation, avoid making noise. Hold your weapon with one hand, and keep the other hand forward, feeling for obstructions.

When going into a prone position, use the following techniques:

  • Hold your rifle with one hand and crouch slowly.
  • Feel for the ground with your free hand to make sure it is clear of mines, tripwires, and other hazards.
  • Lower your knees, one at a time, until your body's weight is on both knees and your free hand.
  • Shift your weight to your free hand and opposite knee.
  • Raise your free leg up and back, and lower it gently to that side.
  • Move the other leg into position the same way.
  • Roll quietly into a prone position.

Use the following techniques when crawling:

  • Crawl on your hands and knees. Hold your rifle in your firing hand. Use your nonfiring hand to feel for and make clear spots for your hands and knees to move to.
  • Move your hands and knees to those spots, and put them down softly.

IMMEDIATE ACTIONS WHILE MOVING

This section furnishes guidance for the immediate actions you should take when reacting to enemy indirect fire and flares.

REACTING TO INDIRECT FIRE

If you come under indirect fire while moving, quickly look to your leader for orders. He will either tell you to run out of the impact area in a certain direction or will tell you to follow him. If you cannot see your leader, but can see other team members, follow them. If alone, or if you cannot see your leader or the other team members, run out of the area in a direction away from the incoming fire.

It is hard to move quickly on rough terrain, but the terrain may provide good cover. In such terrain, it may be best to take cover and wait for flares to burn out. After they burn out, move out of the area quickly.

REACTING TO GROUND FLARES

The enemy puts out ground flares as warning devices. He sets them off himself or attaches tripwires to them for you to trip on and set them off. He usually puts the flares in places he can watch.

If you are caught in the light of a ground flare, move quickly out of the lighted area. The enemy will know where the ground flare is and will be ready to fire into that area. Move well away from the lighted area. While moving out of the area, look for other team members. Try to follow or join them to keep the team together.

REACTING TO AERIAL FLARES

The enemy uses aerial flares to light up vital areas. They can be set off like ground flares; fired from hand projectors, grenade launchers, mortars, and artillery; or dropped from aircraft.

If you hear the firing of an aerial flare while you are moving, hit the ground (behind cover if possible) while the flare is rising and before it bursts and illuminates.

If moving where it is easy to blend with the background (such as in a forest) and you are caught in the light of an aerial flare, freeze in place until the flare burns out.

If you are caught in the light of an aerial flare while moving in an open area, immediately crouch low or lie down.

If you are crossing an obstacle, such as a barbed-wire fence or a wall, and get caught in the light of an aerial flare, crouch low and stay down until the flare burns out.

The sudden light of a bursting flare may temporarily blind both you and the enemy. When the enemy uses a flare to spot you, he spoils his own night vision. To protect your night vision, close one eye while the flare is burning. When the flare burns out, the eye that was closed will still have its night vision.

MOVING WITHIN A TEAM

You will usually move as a member of a team. Small teams, such as infantry fire teams, normally move in a wedge formation. Each soldier in the team has a set position in the wedge, determined by the type weapon he carries. That position, however, may be changed by the team leader to meet the situation. The normal distance between soldiers is 10 meters.

You may have to make a temporary change in the wedge formation when moving through close terrain. The soldiers in the sides of the wedge close into a single file when moving in thick brush or through a narrow pass. After passing through such an area, they should spread out, again forming the wedge. You should not wait for orders to change the formation or the interval. You should change automatically and stay in visual contact with the other team members and the team leader.

The team leader leads by setting the example. His standing order is, FOLLOW ME AND DO AS I DO. When he moves to the left, you should move to the left. When he gets down, you should get down. When he fires, you should fire.

When visibility is limited, control during movement may become difficult. Two l-inch horizontal strips of luminous tape, sewn directly on the rear of the helmet camouflage band with a l-inch space between them, are a device for night identification.

Night identification for your patrol cap could be two l-inch by 1/2-inch strips of luminous tape sewn vertically, directly on the rear of the cap. They should be centered, with the bottom edge of each tape even with the bottom edge of the cap and with a l-inch space between two tapes.

FIRE AND MOVEMENT

When a unit makes contact with the enemy, it normally starts firing at and moving toward the enemy. Sometimes the unit may move away from the enemy. That technique is called fire and movement. It is conducted either to close with and destroy the enemy, or to move away from the enemy so as to break contact with him.

The firing and moving take place at the same time. There is a fire element and a movement element. These elements may be single soldiers, buddy teams, fire teams, or squads. Regardless of the size of the elements, the action is still fire and movement.

The fire element covers the move of the movement element by firing at the enemy. This helps keep the enemy from firing back at the movement element.

The movement element moves either to close with the enemy or to reach a better position from which to fire at him. The movement element should not move until the fire element is firing.

Depending on the distance to the enemy position and on the available cover, the fire element and the movement element switch roles as needed to keep moving.

Before the movement element moves beyond the supporting range of the fire element (the distance within which the weapons of the fire element can fire and support the movement element), it should take a position from which it can fire at the enemy. The movement element then becomes the next fire element and the fire element becomes the next movement element.

If your team makes contact, your team leader should tell you to fire or to move. He should also tell you where to fire from, what to fire at, or where to move to. When moving, use the low crawl, high crawl, or rush.

MOVING WITH TANKS

You will often have to move with tanks. When you must move as fast as the tanks, you should ride on them. However, riding on a tank makes you vulnerable to all types of fire. It also reduces the tank's maneuverability and the ability to traverse its turret. If contact is made with the enemy, you must dismount from the tank at once.

To mount a tank, first get permission from the tank commander. Then mount from the tank's right front, not its left side where the coax machinegun is mounted. Once mounted, move to the rear deck, stand, and hold on to the bustle rack. If there is not enough room for you on the rear deck, you may have to stand beside the turret and hold onto a hatch or hatch opening.

When riding on a tank, be alert for trees that may knock you off and obstacles that may cause the tank to turn suddenly. Also be alert for enemy troops that may cause the tank to travers its turret quickly and fire.

Riding on a tank is always hazardous and should be done only when the risks of riding are outweighed by the advantages of riding.



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