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The Army continues the trend of frequent deployment of forces (often multiple deployments) for small-scale contingencies and peacekeeping enforcement while maintaining the capability to conduct major theater warfare. In some cases, light infantry forces do not have the mobility, lethality, or sustainability to respond to the need for armed intervention against a robust enemy. Heavy forces cannot be deployed rapidly enough to meet the need in a crisis, especially in an underdeveloped theater. Therefore, the Army organized the Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT) in response to the need for a force that can deploy rapidly as an "early responder" to a crisis area anywhere in the world. The SBCT, equipped with an interim armored family of vehicles, is essential to fulfill the Army's strategic requirement for engagement, crisis response, and warfighting dominance. The SBCT, and more significantly the squads and platoons, can conduct operations across the full spectrum of conflict. The core capabilities of the infantry carrier vehicle- (ICV-) equipped platoon are its high mobility and its ability to close with and destroy the enemy through violent dismounted infantry assault.

At the squad and platoon level, the force is tailored to optimize the most effective components of light and mechanized forces. Organic to this organization at platoon level are three full squads complemented by a weapons squad to provide the base of fire element. Organic at company level is the capability for support by indirect fires with mortar systems and immediate direct fire support from the mobile gun systems (MGSs). The ICV-equipped platoon has enhanced mobility, lethality, protection, and decision-making capabilities. These enhancements result from improvements in command, control, and communications (C3).


The mission of the infantry is to close with the enemy y means of fire and movement to defeat him, capture him, or repel his assault by ire, close combat, or counterattack. In accomplishing its assigned missions, the platoon employs combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS) assets within its capabilities. The platoon is an organization whose effectiveness depends on the synergy of its subordinate elements, including ICVs, rifle squads, weapons squads, and support elements.


The SBCT infantry platoon equipped with the ICV can—

  • Effectively develop the situation with manpower (three infantry squads plus a weapons squad) and equipment.
  • Use the mobility of the ICV to transport the infantry squads to a position of advantage under the protection of the vehicle.
  • Operate in a mounted or dismounted role.
  • Destroy light armor vehicles and personnel using direct fire.
  • Employ fires from the vehicle to destroy, suppress, or fix personnel and light infantry fighting vehicles.
  • Destroy tanks and fighting vehicles with long-range antitank guided missile (ATGM) fires out to 2,000 meters (Javelin).
  • Seize, secure, and retain key terrain.
  • Block dismounted avenues of approach.
  • Protect obstacles and prevent enemy breaching operations.
  • Establish strong points to deny the enemy key terrain or flank positions.
  • Conduct assault breaches of obstacles.
  • Clear danger areas and prepare positions for mounted elements.
  • Assault enemy positions.
  • Augment the ICV, MGS, and tank antiarmor fires.
  • Move over terrain not trafficable by other wheeled vehicles with the infantry squads.
  • Infiltrate enemy positions.
  • Conduct mounted or dismounted patrols and operations in support of security operations.
  • Conduct air assault operations.

a. Lethality. The platoon combines the effects of the infantry squads, the weapons squad, and the direct fires from the ICV. This includes Javelin fire-and-forget antitank missile fires. Additionally, the platoon leader can implement indirect fires and, more specifically, company mortar fires. If necessary, the firepower of the MGS can support the platoon. The organic snipers/marksmen provide additional capability in each squad. The lethality of the platoon is enhanced by the "arms room" concept of weapon systems available and carried on the ICV. The platoon can deploy weapons as needed, dependent upon the factors of mission, enemy, terrain, troops, time available and civil considerations (METT-TC).

b. Survivability. This includes the protection afforded by the vehicle and the ability of the vehicle to protect the infantrymen from small-arms fire and fragmentation before dismounting. ICVs cannot survive against antiarmor fires.

c. Command, Control, and Communications (C3). The ICVs for both the rifle platoon leader and platoon sergeant are equipped with inter-vehicular information systems (IVISs) that tie those vehicles and leaders to the C2 hierarchy of the company, battalion, and brigade. Features that support C3 are command and control software, navigational software, and digital communications capabilities.

d. Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2). FBCB2 is a network of computers, global positioning equipment, and communication systems that provide on-the-move, real-time command and control information to tactical combat arms, CS, and CSS soldiers and leaders. FBCB2 is designed for units performing missions at the tactical level (brigade to individual fighting platform). It provides a common database with automated positional friendly information and current tactical battlefield geometry for friendly and known or suspected enemy forces. Collectively, the FBCB2 systems generate the common operational picture (COP). FBCB2 displays relevant information, showing the user his location, the location of other friendly forces, observed or templated enemy locations, and all known obstacles. The system also provides preformatted, standardized reports, allowing leaders to rapidly disseminate graphic overlays and written fragmentary orders (FRAGOs). The warfighter receives data "pushed" from all other battlefield systems to maintain real-time battle information. The warfighter must organize and interpret the information received via FBCB2 to determine its value in relation to the current situation.

NOTE: A COP is an operational picture tailored to the user's requirements, based on common data and information (friendly and enemy) shared by more than one unit.

 (1) FBCB2 Architecture (Figure 1-1). Each vehicle in the platoon is equipped with the three basic components of the FBCB2 system.

 (a) First, the global positioning system (GPS) provides precise location and date/time for reporting real-time friendly locations and for generating laser designated map spots for reporting purposes.

 (b) Second, the single-channel ground and airborne radio system (SINCGARS) provides a secure means of transmitting (both voice and digital) between vehicles in the platoon. In addition to the SINCGARS, platoon vehicles also are equipped with the enhanced position location and reporting system (EPLRS). The EPLRS provides a secure digital connection and serves as a router, efficiently sending message traffic internally within the platoon and out to the company and fire support nets. This routing capability ensures that information is passed even if the chain of command is disrupted by physical separation on the battlefield, casualties, or mechanical failures.

 (c) Finally, the FBCB2 terminal provides the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and computing functions that allow the crew to access the system. These systems form the lower tactical internet (TI).

 (d) The upper TI consists of a variety of tactical computer systems and communications equipment located primarily at the battalion level and higher. The most important of these are the maneuver control system (MCS), the all source analysis system (ASAS), the advanced field artillery tactical data system (AFATDS), and the combat service support control system (CSSCS).

 (e) These systems draw upon the reports and positional data passed on from the lower TI to provide the COP at higher command levels. In turn, these systems can push information such as location of adjacent units, known and templated enemy positions, graphics, and operations orders (OPORDs), down to the FBCB2 users.

Figure 1-1. FBCB2 architecture.

Figure 1-1.  FBCB2 architecture.

(2) FBCB2 Capabilities.

(a) Friendly Information. The FBCB2 screen displays an icon for each friendly individual vehicle in the company. This provides the vehicle commander (VC) with a clear picture of where he is located in relation to the platoon. It provides the platoon leader with a picture of where he is operating in relation to the company. While the system functions automatically for vehicles equipped to operate on the TI, it does not provide locations to every friendly element on the battlefield. For example, the system does not automatically track dismounted squads operating at extended ranges from their ICVs. In addition, it does not cover non-digitally equipped units or allied and or coalition forces that may be operating adjacent to the platoon. Icons representing these elements may be imported into FBCB2 based on FM radio reports, but they are not updated in real time. As a result, FBCB2 cannot be the sole instrument used to clear fires; it does not substitute for a leader's judgment in preventing fratricide.

 (b) Enemy Information. FBCB2 creates the COP from both top-down and bottom-up feeds. The battalion S2 inputs enemy icons into the system based on spot reports generated by the reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) squadron and other information-gathering assets outside the battalion. Based on his intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB), the S2 augments these actual locations with templated positions in the form of a situational template (SITEMP).

 (c) Enemy Activity and Obstacles. As the platoon conducts operations, it adds to the COP by sending spot reports of enemy activity and obstacles via FBCB2. When a VC sends a spot report, he automatically creates an icon representing the enemy on other FBCB2 systems in the platoon. The platoon leader evaluates the validity of the report. Either he or the platoon sergeant forwards it to the company commander or executive officer. At the company level, the report is evaluated to ensure its accuracy, then forwarded to the other platoons in the company and higher to battalion.

 (d) Enemy Location. To keep the COP current, units must update spot reports concerning enemy locations that are represented by icons on the FBCB2. Updates must be sent whenever the enemy situation changes (enemy element moves or is destroyed). An icon will "fade" and eventually disappear from the FBCB2 screen as the icon's information ages. The unit SOP governs the icon "fade" rate.

 (e) Unreported Enemy. Members of the platoon must remember that the COP provided by FBCB2 is only as good as the reports that the system receives. It will never give a 100-percent complete or accurate enemy picture. The platoon leader, VCs, and squad leaders must ensure that plans are adequate to detect enemy forces not yet reported by digital means.

e. Standardized Reporting. FBCB2 streamlines the reporting process by providing the platoon with the capability to send and receive preformatted, standardized reports (Figure 1-2).

 (1) Standardized reports afford several tactical advantages:

    • They help to ensure that all required information is included in a particular report or request.
    • They reduce the chance of errors in transmission.
    • They allow for the storage of messages for retrieval and reference.

Figure 1-2. Preformatted, standardized reports

Figure 1-2.  Preformatted, standardized reports

 (2) There is still a requirement for frequency modulated (FM) voice message traffic. For example, platoon leaders must still transmit contact reports to initiate battle drills and to cue VCs to reference their FBCB2 screens for updated information. Additionally, VCs may need to send FM voice descriptions of enemy locations, routes, or obstacles to clarify the situation. This is especially true in urban terrain where the FBCB2 cannot display the terrain in sufficient detail to assist leaders in making effective decisions.

 f. Combat Orders and Graphics. FBCB2 greatly enhances the speed and precision of the orders process at platoon and company level. The system allows leaders to add or modify operational graphics during the planning process or during execution. This ensures that every element has the most current information to control movement and fires. In addition, platoon leaders can use free text messages to transmit OPORDs, FRAGOs, and situational updates over extended distances without the loss of time and information typical of FM voice communications. Like the standardized reports, orders and graphics can be stored for retrieval and reference.

g. Sustainability. The infantry platoon can operate for up to 72 hours on or off the ICV. This is accomplished by prestocking the ICV with Class I and Class V supplies as well as with potable water. The ICV can operate for up to 16 hours daily and travel a minimum of 100 kilometers with Class III resupply. The CSS system in the parent battalion resupplies the ICV as necessary.

h. Mobility. The driver's vision enhancer (thermal) and the driver's navigation display unit improve the driver's vision, thus allowing upgraded platoon mobility in total darkness, all weather conditions, and degraded visibility conditions. The ICV precision navigation system (PNS) consists of an inertial navigation unit (INU), a GPS, and precision lightweight global positioning system receiver (PLGR).

 (1) The PLGR provides the user with precise position coordinates with time and navigation capability under all conditions except when obstructions exist between the satellite and antenna. Users can enter map coordinates as waypoints. When the user selects a waypoint as a destination, the receiver can provide steering indications and azimuth and range information to the destination. The user can program a desired course to the waypoint and can indicate an offset distance from this course line. The user can also remove the PLGR from the vehicle and operate it in the handheld mode.

 (2) The INU is a ring-laser, gyro-based navigation device. It is the primary navigation system and supplies position, velocity, attitude, angular rate, and acceleration (roll, pitch, and azimuth) to the turret processor unit. The GPS supplies the INU with initial position data.

 (3) The components of the precision navigation system can operate in a combination of five modes:

    • Integrated GPS/INU/vehicle motion sensor (VMS).
    • GPS only (INU sensor failure).
    • INU/VMS (GPS receiver fails to acquire satellite signal or is damaged).
    • GPS/INU (VMS failure).
    • INU only (if both the GPS receiver and the VMS are not available).

g. Night Vision Equipment. Own-the-night (OTN) equipment advancements improve the infantry platoon's ability to conduct surveillance and acquire targets, and enhances command and control at night. SBCT squads and platoons have infrared illuminators, improved night sights, target acquisition devices, and signaling devices (Table 1-1).

AN/PVS-14 Provides observation out to 300 meters for man-sized target and 500 meters for vehicle-sized targets.
3X Magnifier Provides observation out to 600 meters for man-sized targets and 1,000 meters for vehicle-sized targets.
Thermal Weapon Sight, Medium (M16, M249, M240) Maximum range: 1,100 meters.
Ground Commander's Pointer (GCP-1) Designate target 0 to 8,000 meters (pinpoint mode); illuminate target 800 meters with 10-degree scan (area mode).
AN/PAQ-4B/C 600 meters maximum.
Aim-1 Zeroed out to maximum range of 3,000 meters.
Black Light 12-hour duration; range varies with terrain.
Infrared Trip Flare 20-meter radius; emits minimal visible light.
Phoenix 12-hour duration; range varies with terrain.

Table 1-1. Night vision equipment capabilities.

 (1) The rifle squad uses infrared light from infrared parachute flares or infrared handheld flares to illuminate targets without the enemy's knowledge. These advancements allow the squads to see more of the battlefield and aid in direct fire lethality and increased survivability.

 (2) The key infrared target designator is the ground commander's pointer (GCP-1). Platoon and squad leaders use the GCP-1 to designate targets in the engagement area so their soldiers can focus fires more effectively and enhance fire control in general.

 (3) The squad and platoon are equipped with the infrared laser designators for increased target acquisition.

 (4) Individual soldiers are equipped with an AN/PAQ-4B/C laser aiming light that emits a pulsating infrared laser on the desired target at the point of aim. The AN/PAQ-4B/C mounts on the M16, M4, M203, and M249. Soldiers use the laser with night vision goggles (NVGs) to improve the probability of hitting the target during darkness.

 (5) The AIM-1 laser aiming light is another target designator used by the ICV squad and platoon. The AIM-1 mounts on the M249 and M240 machine guns and fires an infrared laser aiming light on the target for improved target sighting.

 (6) Platoon members also have improved night vision devices. Each soldier is equipped with AN/PVS-14 night vision goggles with 3X magnification, if needed.


The ICV-equipped infantry platoon has the following limitations:

a. Platoon ICVs are vulnerable to enemy antiarmor fires.

b. Platoon infantry squads are vulnerable to small arms and indirect fires.

c. The pace of dismounted offensive operations is limited to the foot speed of the infantryman.

d. The ICV poses a variety of difficulties in water-crossing operations, including the requirement for either adequate fording sites or a bridge with sufficient weight classification.

e. A soldier's load increases as a result of additional digital equipment and increased battery requirements.

f. Inherent in a situation as an "early responder" is the difficulty in obtaining supplies for ongoing operations, especially with long lines of communication (LOC) and resupply in an underdeveloped area of operation. This situation is compounded because the unit may operate forward of the debarkation point and with threats to the LOCs, the routes may not be secure.


The infantry platoon has one officer and 43 enlisted personnel in three elements: the platoon headquarters (HQ), the mounted element, and the infantry squad element (including rifle squads and a weapons squad). (Refer to Appendix A for more information on organization and vehicle dismounting.)

a. Platoon Headquarters. The platoon headquarters (Figure 1-3) consists of the rifle platoon leader (PL), platoon sergeant (PSG), radiotelephone operator (RATELO), and forward observer (FO). In tactical situations it also includes the platoon medic. The platoon leader is responsible for the employment of the platoon and all the platoon's systems. The platoon sergeant is the most senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) in the platoon. He is second in succession of command and leads the platoon's mounted element when the platoon leader dismounts with the infantry squads. He assists and advises the platoon leader and leads the platoon in the platoon leader's absence.

Figure 1-3. Platoon headquarters organization.

Figure 1-3.  Platoon headquarters organization.

b. Mounted Element. The infantry platoon is equipped with four ICVs that provide rapid, protected tactical and operational mobility of infantry squads to critical locations on the battlefield. The ICV is a fully mobile system capable of operating in conjunction with infantry and other elements of the combined arms team. Each ICV has a crew of two (commander and driver) that operates the vehicle. These mounted crews (the PSG or a senior squad leader is included in the mounted section as the fourth VC and serves as one of the section leaders [Figure 1-4]) provide critical support to the platoon by operating and maintaining the ICVs and properly employing them on the battlefield to ensure protected delivery of the infantry squads to their dismount point. Once the infantry squads have dismounted the carriers, the vehicle crew may employ local defensive armament to defeat "thin-skinned" enemy vehicles (trucks or lightly armored vehicles) or dismounted infantry.

Figure 1-4. Mounted element organization.

Figure 1-4.  Mounted element organization.

 (1) The vehicle commander is responsible for the overall employment of the ICV and operates the ICV's defensive armaments. The vehicle driver operates the vehicle during all conditions—day or night. At the VC's direction, the driver negotiates the vehicle through all terrain and obstacles to safely deliver the infantry rifle squad to the point of employment on the battlefield.

 (2) As previously stated, the ICV's crew may employ its local defensive armament to augment the base of fire provided by the platoon's weapons squad. These augmenting direct fires can ensure the infantry squad's freedom of maneuver to close with and destroy the enemy. These fires also can provide accurate suppressive fires on enemy personnel, bunkers, or emplacements and destroy enemy infantry in daylight, at night, or during conditions of limited visibility (smoke, haze, and fog).

 (3) The platoon's ICVs and infantry soldiers provide mutual protection for each other while performing their assigned missions. Infantry soldiers provide security for the vehicles while halted, and the ICVs provide rapid protected battlefield mobility and an augmenting base of fire platform for the dismounted infantry assault.

 (4) While the platoon remains mounted, the platoon leader controls the movement of the platoon's ICVs. When the platoon leader dismounts to conduct the assault or other dismounted infantry operations with the rifle squads, the platoon sergeant assumes command of the mounted element of the platoon. He maneuvers them in support of the infantry squads and as directed by the platoon leader. For example, if the direct fires of the ICVs are needed to facilitate the maneuver of the squads, the platoon leader may decide to have the platoon sergeant direct the fires of the mounted element to facilitate the platoon's maneuver. The platoon sergeant can dismount with the rest of the platoon if required.

 (5) The platoon should fight as a team. It must be prepared to maneuver in severely restricted terrain supported by the weapons squad and, when possible, the vehicles. When the platoon conducts dismounted operations, it has three 9-man rifle squads and a 7-man weapons squad. The key advantage here is that, with the added support of the weapons squad, the infantry no longer has to stay within the supporting range of the ICVs. In this case, the ICVs could overwatch, block another avenue of approach, isolate the objective, or conduct other missions.

c. Dismounted Element. The dismounted element (Figure 1-5) consists of the platoon headquarters, three rifle squads, and a weapons squad. The rifle squad is the foundation of infantry forces, which are employed to defeat enemy forces, secure key or decisive terrain, deprive the enemy of resources, gain information, deceive and divert the enemy, hold the enemy in position, or disrupt an enemy attack.

Figure 1-5. Dismounted element organization.

Figure 1-5.  Dismounted element organization.

 (1) Rifle Squads. Each of the three rifle squads (Figure 1-6) consists of a rifle squad leader and eight soldiers. The rifle squad leader is the senior tactical leader of the squad and controls the squad's movement and fires. He conducts squad training and maintains the squad's ability to conduct tactical missions successfully.

Figure 1-6. Rifle squad organization.

Figure 1-6.  Rifle squad organization.

 (a) Each infantry squad is further organized into two 4-man fire teams consisting of a team leader, a grenadier, and an automatic rifleman. The fourth member within each fire team is either the squad's antitank specialist or the squad's designated marksman.

 (b) The fire team leader is a fighting leader and leads his team by example. He is equipped with an M4 rifle. The fire team leader controls the movement of his team and the placement of fires against enemy soldiers. He assists the squad leader as required.

 (2) Weapons Squad. The seven-man weapons squad (Figure 1-7) consists of a squad leader and two 3-man machine gun teams. The weapons squad provides the primary base of fire for the maneuver of the platoon's rifle squads with highly accurate short- and long-range, direct, and small-arms fires against enemy personnel and equipment. The two machine gun teams consist of the gunner, assistant gunner, and ammunition bearer. Each team is equipped with the M240B 7.62-mm medium machine gun that has an effective range of over 800 meters. (See Appendix B for more information on the employment of the M240B machine gun.)

Figure 1-7. Weapons squad organization.

Figure 1-7.  Weapons squad organization.


The increased complexity of the ICV-equipped infantry platoon requires highly trained soldiers and leaders. The increase of equipment in the platoon requires more cross training to ensure soldiers can fill vacancies or shortfalls in critical positions. Increases in the amount and complexity of equipment and the transfer of increased information at every level require platoon members to work closer than ever before.

a. Platoon Leader. The platoon leader is responsible for the tactical employment, collective training, administration, personnel management, and logistics of the platoon. He must know his soldiers and how to employ the platoon and its weapons. He is personally responsible for positioning and employing all assigned or attached weapons. The platoon leader—

    • Leads the platoon in supporting the company and battalion missions. He bases his actions on the missions the company commander assigns to him and the company and battalion commanders' concepts.
    • Informs his commander of his actions when operating without orders.
    • Plans operations with the help of the platoon sergeant, squad leaders, and other key personnel.
    • Stays abreast of the situation and goes where needed to supervise, issue FRAGOs, and accomplish the mission.
    • Requests necessary support from the company commander for his platoon to perform its mission.
    • Provides guidance to the platoon sergeant in planning and coordinating the platoon's CSS effort.
    • During planning, receives on-hand status reports from the platoon sergeant and squad leaders.
    • Reviews platoon requirements based on the tactical plan.
    • During execution, supervises the platoon sergeant and squad leaders.
    • Develops the fire support plan with the platoon sergeant and squad leaders.
    • Coordinates the obstacle plan.
    • Analyzes tactical situations, disseminates information, and employs the full capabilities of his platoon's equipment to accomplish the mission.
    • Manages the C3 information.
    • Ensures subordinates follow database protection procedures to prevent the compromise of digital information.
    • Ensures situation reports (SITREPs) are accurate and are forwarded to the company commander as applicable.
    • Analyzes and then disseminates pertinent tactical friendly and enemy updates to his subordinates.
    • During limited visibility, employs all available OTN assets to designate targets for the direct- and indirect-fire weapons and for situation updates.
    • As leader of Section A, keeps his crew and wingman informed.

b. Platoon Sergeant. The platoon leader should consider the platoon sergeant a fighter by trade and place him in the tactical plan either dismounted or maneuvering the mounted element. The platoon sergeant is the senior NCO in the platoon and second in command. He assists and advises the platoon leader and leads the platoon in the platoon leader's absence. He supervises the platoon's administration, logistics, and maintenance. The PSG is responsible for individual training. He advises the platoon leader on appointments, promotions and reductions, assignments, and discipline of NCOs and enlisted soldiers in the platoon. He is a tactical expert in platoon operations to include maneuver of the platoon and employment of all weapons. The platoon sergeant—

    • When directed, controls the mounted element when the platoon leader dismounts, or dismounts with the platoon when the platoon is conducting ground operations independent of their organic vehicles or when it is necessary to command and control the platoon controls the platoon when necessary (METT-TC dependent).
    • Serves as VC and section leader when the platoon is mounted.
    • Receives squad leaders' administrative, logistical, and maintenance reports and requests for rations, water, fuel, and ammunition. Coordinates with the company's first sergeant or executive officer (XO) to request resupply.
    • Directs the platoon medic and platoon aid and litter teams in moving casualties during mounted or dismounted operations.
    • Maintains platoon strength information, consolidates and forwards the platoon's casualty reports, and receives and orients replacements.
    • Monitors the morale, discipline, and health of platoon members.
    • Takes charge of task-organized elements in the platoon during tactical operations. This can include, but is not limited to, quartering parties, support elements in raids or attacks, and security patrols.
    • Ensures amunition and supplies are properly and evenly distributed after consolidation on the objective and during reorganization.
    • Controls digital reports while the platoon is in contact to allow the platoon leader to maneuver the squads.
    • Ensures the platoon leader is updated on appropriate reports and forwards those needed by higher headquarters.
    • Collects, prepares, and forwards logistical status updates and requests to the company headquarters.
    • As the leader of Section B, keeps his crew and wingman informed and directs fire and maneuver of his section.
    • Ensures maintenance of all equipment.
    • Ensures precombat inspections are conducted.

c. Rifle Squad Leader. The rifle squad leader is responsible for all that the squad does or fails to do. He is a tactical leader and leads by example. The rifle squad leader—

    • Controls the maneuver of his squad and its rate and distribution of fire. He controls two fire teams in the offense; selects each fighting position in the defense; and gives the proper commands and signals to commence, cease, and shift fires.
    • Briefs operations orders to the squad.
    • Trains his squad on individual and collective tasks required to sustain combat effectiveness.
    • Manages the logistical and administrative needs of his squad. Requests and issues ammunition, water, rations, and special equipment.
    • Maintains accountability of soldiers and equipment.
    • Completes casualty feeder reports and reviews casualty reports completed by squad members.
    • Directs maintenance of squad weapons and equipment.
    • Inspects the condition of soldiers' weapons, clothing, and equipment.
    • Ensures material and supplies are distributed to the soldiers in the squad.
    • Keeps the platoon leader and platoon sergeant informed of squad supply status and squad requirements.
    • Ensures supplies and equipment are internally cross-leveled within the squad.
    • Assists the VC in maintaining the ICV.

d. Weapons Squad Leader. The weapons squad leader—

    • Controls the maneuver of his squad and its rate and distribution of fire. He controls the two machine gun teams in the offense; selects each fighting position in the defense; and gives the proper commands and signals to commence, cease, and shift fires.
    • Coordinates directly with the platoon leader for base of fire effects and plans accordingly.
    • As the senior squad leader, becomes the alternate platoon sergeant on the ground if the platoon sergeant does not dismount.
    • Briefs operations orders to the squad.
    • Trains his squad on individual and collective tasks required to sustain combat effectiveness.
    • Manages the logistical and administrative needs of his squad. Requests and issues ammunition, water, rations, and special equipment.
    • Maintains accountability of soldiers and equipment.
    • Completes casualty feeder reports and reviews casualty reports completed by squad members.
    • Directs maintenance of squad weapons and equipment.
    • Inspects the condition of soldiers' weapons, clothing, and equipment.
    • Ensures material and supplies are distributed to the soldiers in the squad.
    • Keeps the platoon leader and platoon sergeant informed on squad supply status and squad requirements.
    • Ensures supplies and equipment are internally cross-leveled within the squad.
    • Assists the VC in maintaining the ICV.

e. Team Leader. Two fire team leaders are in each squad and are usually associated with a specific ICV. They lead by example and control the movement and fires of the fire team. They assist the squad leader in tactical control of the squad and in training team members on individual and collective tasks and battle drills. Team leaders provide the necessary local security and maintenance support for the ICV and are responsible for the welfare of their teams. The team leader sends digital SITREPs as requested by the squad leader or as his team makes contact. Using OTN equipment, he controls fire and distribution for his team by designating and marking targets.

f. Vehicle Commander. The VC remains mounted and is responsible for commanding the vehicle in relation to the section and platoon. He acquires targets, issues fire commands, lays the gun for deflection, and controls vehicle fires. The VC is primarily responsible for the overall maintenance of the ICV weapon systems and the automotive portion of the vehicle. He is responsible for the weapons training and welfare of the crew. He sends digital SITREPs as requested or when the vehicle makes contact. He navigates, assisted by the precision navigation system, and ensures his vehicle maintains position in platoon formations.

g. Vehicle Driver. The driver drives the vehicle under the VC's control. He follows terrain-driving procedures and tries to select hull-down positions. He also aids in detecting targets and observing rounds fired. He assists in navigation by monitoring odometer readings and observing terrain. The driver is primarily responsible for operator maintenance of vehicle automotive systems.

h. Antiarmor Specialist. Although normally equipped with an M4 within one of the fire teams of a rifle squad, the squad antiarmor specialist is capable of defeating heavy armor in any tactical environment. The squad antiarmor specialist is equipped with the Javelin AT missile system. This system provides the squad, platoon, and company with an extremely lethal, fire-and-forget, man-portable, top-attack antiarmor capability to defeat enemy main battle tanks during day, night, and adverse weather conditions at ranges up to 2,000 meters. The command launch unit (CLU) for the Javelin missile is transported in each squad ICV. If required, the squad antiarmor specialist destroys enemy armor threats that may impede the squad and platoon's progress.

i. Grenadier. The grenadier is equipped with an M203 weapon system consisting of an M16 rifle and an attached 40-mm grenade launcher. The M203 allows him to fire high explosive rounds to suppress and destroy enemy infantry and lightly armored vehicles. He also can employ smoke to screen and cover his squad's movement, fire, and maneuver. During night and adverse weather conditions, the grenadier also may employ illumination rounds to increase his squad's visibility and mark enemy or friendly positions. The grenadier provides the fire team with an indirect fire capability out to 350 meters.

j. Automatic Rifleman. The automatic rifleman's primary weapon is the M249 squad automatic weapon (SAW). Each infantry squad has two automatic weapons. The M249 provides the squad with a high volume of sustained long-range suppressive and lethal fires far beyond the range of the M16/M4 rifle. The automatic rifleman employs the SAW to suppress enemy infantry and bunkers, destroy enemy automatic rifle and antitank teams, and enable maneuver of other teams and squads. (See Appendix B for more information on the employment of the M249 SAW.)

k. Designated Marksman. The designated marksman acts as a member of the squad under the direction of the squad leader or as designated by the platoon leader. Although normally functioning as a rifleman within one of the fire teams in a rifle squad, the designated marksman is armed with a modified M4, 5.56-mm rifle. He is employed at the direction of the squad leader or reorganized with the other squads' designated marksmen into a platoon sniper section. He is trained to eliminate high-payoff enemy personnel targets (such as enemy automatic rifle teams, antitank teams, and snipers) with precision fires.

l. Trauma Specialist/Platoon Medic. The rifle platoon trauma specialist/medic is attached from the medical platoon in the infantry battalion's headquarters company. As a member of the company medical team, he ensures that platoon members are physically capable of conducting tactical operations. The platoon medic assists the platoon leader with planning and executing platoon medical training and monitors the health and hygiene of the platoon personnel. During tactical operations, the platoon medic treats platoon casualties and assists with their evacuation. The platoon medic—

    • Treats casualties and assists the aid and litter teams in casualty evacuation under the control of the platoon sergeant.
    • Advises the platoon leader and platoon sergeant in field hygiene matters and personally checks the health and physical condition of platoon members.
    • Requests Class VIII (medical) supplies through the platoon sergeant.
    • Provides training and guidance to combat lifesavers.
    • Carries out other tasks assigned by the platoon leader and platoon sergeant.


This section discusses the elements of combat power and the considerations for employing the infantry platoon and squad.


The doctrine that guides infantry forces is based on the elements of combat power: maneuver, firepower, protection, leadership, and information.

a. Maneuver. Maneuver is the employment of forces on the battlefield through movement in combination with fire, or fire potential, to achieve a position of advantage with respect to the enemy in order to accomplish the mission. Infantry forces move to gain a position of advantage over the enemy and to hold that advantage. They maneuver to attack enemy flanks, rear areas, logistics points, and command posts. In the defense, they maneuver to counterattack a flank of the enemy attack. Maneuver, properly supported by fires, allows the infantry to close with and destroy the enemy through massing of the appropriate combat power at the decisive point.

b. Firepower. Firepower is the amount of fire a position, unit, or weapons system can deliver. Firepower destroys or suppresses the enemy in his positions, deceives the enemy, and supports maneuver. Without effective supporting fires, the infantry cannot maneuver. Before attempting to maneuver, units must establish a base of fire.

 (1) A base of fire is fire placed on an enemy force or position to reduce or eliminate the enemy's ability to interfere with friendly maneuver. A single weapon or group of weapon systems may provide a base of fire, but a base of fire generated by the weapon squad for the desired effect for the length of time necessary is most effective.

 (2) Leaders must know how to control, mass, and combine fire with maneuver. They must identify the most critical targets quickly, direct fires onto them, and ensure the volume of fires is sufficient to keep the enemy from returning fire effectively and to keep the platoon from expending ammunition needlessly.

c. Protection. Protection is the preservation of the fighting potential of a force so it can be applied with maximum force at the decisive time and place. Platoons must never permit the enemy to acquire an unexpected advantage. Platoons and squads take active and passive measures to protect themselves from surprise, observation, detection, interference, espionage, sabotage, or annoyance. Protection includes two basic considerations: care of the soldier and his equipment and actions to counter enemy combat power.

 (1) The first involves sustainment techniques to maintain the platoon and squads as an effective fighting force. It includes keeping soldiers healthy to maintain morale through personal hygiene, physical conditioning, and rest plans. It also includes keeping equipment in good working condition and providing and protecting supplies.

 (2) The second involves security, dispersion, cover, camouflage, deception, and suppression of enemy weapons. Infantry units gain protection by digging fighting positions when stationary for any length of time; by skillful use of terrain while moving mounted; by dismounting the infantry to increase protection; and through overwatch, suppressive fires, and obscuration. The infantry always wants to set the time and place of battle. It must protect itself so it can do so with maximum combat power and with the important element of surprise.

d. Leadership. Leadership is the most important element of combat power. Military leadership is a process by which a soldier influences others to accomplish a mission. Leaders coordinate the other elements of combat power, and their competent and confident leadership results in effective unit action. The right leadership gives purpose, direction, and motivation in combat. Leaders must know their profession, their soldiers, and the tools of war. Only leaders who embody the warrior ethos can inspire and direct soldiers to do difficult tasks under dangerous and stressful conditions.

e. Information. Information enhances leadership and magnifies the effects of maneuver, firepower, and protection at decisive points. Infantry leaders have access to, and an understanding of, the broader tactical situation. This allows leaders to develop plans that better incorporate the elements of combat power during a decisive action. It also allows infantry leaders to make crucial decisions while a mission is ongoing to increase the opportunity for success.


Leaders must consider the following in employing infantry tactics.

a. Squads and platoons fight through enemy contact at the lowest possible level. Upon enemy contact, all soldiers and leaders must take immediate action as well as follow-up actions. Battle drills are standard procedures that assist the platoon in taking immediate action.

b. Squads or platoons in contact must establish effective suppressive fires to gain fire superiority before they can move to the enemy's flank. If the platoon or squad cannot move under its own fires, the leader must request support from higher headquarters. The platoon must gain fire superiority, then move against the flank of the enemy's position. To gain immediate suppression, the vehicles must suppress the enemy, move to a dismount location if caught in the open, dismount squads, then build a base of fire with the weapons squad and rifle squads. The platoon leader determines if the platoon should assault, fix, fix and bypass, or disengage.

c. Squads and platoons fight as organized and trained. The platoon fights by elements, dismounted and mounted. The dismounted element consists of the infantry squads and a weapons squad. The infantry squad fights by fire teams and buddy teams supported by the weapons squad. The mounted element fights by sections (wingman concept). The platoon leader and his wingman are Section A, and the platoon sergeant and his wingman are Section B. Sections, fire teams, squads, and buddy teams retain their integrity whether dismounted or mounted.

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