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Combat service support elements arm, fuel, fix, feed, equip, and provide health service support, transportation, and personnel for the reconnaissance platoon. The reconnaissance platoon leader is responsible for supervising CSS within the reconnaissance platoon, and the PSG is the CSS operator for the reconnaissance platoon. He advises the platoon leader on the logistical requirements and informs the platoon leader of the platoon's logistical status. The team leaders assist the PSG.


The reconnaissance platoon has no organic CSS assets. The PSG coordinates directly with the headquarters and headquarters company's XO or first sergeant (1SG) or the battalion S4 for all CSS. He is the main recipient for all maintenance, supply, and personnel reports.

a.   The reconnaissance platoon presents complex logistical considerations for the battalion staff. The reconnaissance platoon normally operates forward of the battalion. It deploys earlier and stays away longer than other battalion elements. During combat operations, the PSG coordinates directly with the 1SG or S4 to discuss support requirements and problems.

b.   The HHC commander and the battalion staff plan and coordinate for all CSS. The HHC 1SG, supply sergeant, PSG, and team leaders implement the logistical plan. The reconnaissance platoon's SOP should address the duties and responsibilities to standardize routine and recurring CSS operations.


This paragraph focuses on specific individual responsibilities within the platoon's CSS chain.

a.   Platoon Sergeant. As the platoon's main CSS operator, the platoon sergeant executes the platoon's logistical plan based on platoon and HHC SOPs. The platoon sergeant's CSS duties include—

  • Participating in CSS rehearsals at the company or battalion level and integrating CSS into the platoon's maneuver rehearsals.
  • Receiving, consolidating, and forwarding all administrative, personnel, and casualty reports to the first sergeant as directed or IAW unit SOP.
  • Obtaining supplies, equipment (except Class VIII), and mail from the supply sergeant and ensuring proper distribution.
  • Supervising evacuation of casualties, enemy prisoners of war, and damaged equipment.
  • Maintaining the platoon's manning roster.
  • Using the FBCB2 system for recurring reports and coordination of CSS assets moving forward.

b.   Team and Section Leader. Each team and section leader's CSS duties include—

  • Ensuring that crews perform proper maintenance on all assigned equipment.
  • Compiling personnel and logistics reports for the platoon and submitting them to the platoon sergeant as directed or IAW unit SOP.
  • Obtaining supplies, equipment (all classes), and mail from the platoon sergeant and ensuring proper distribution.

c.   Platoon Medic. The platoon's medic is attached to the platoon from the HHC's medical platoon. His duties include—

  • Supervising triage for injured, wounded, or ill friendly personnel and EPWs.
  • Providing first aid for and stabilizing injured, wounded, or ill personnel.
  • Evacuating seriously wounded personnel under the direction of the platoon sergeant.
  • Assisting in training the platoon's combat lifesavers in first-aid procedures.
  • Requisitioning Class VIII supplies, including combat lifesaver bags and first-aid kits, for the platoon's combat lifesavers.
  • Recommending locations for the casualty collection points (CCPs).
  • Supervising the platoon's combat lifesavers.


Planning CSS operations is primarily a HHC- and battalion-level resupply operation. While the HHC commander and executive officer plan the operation, the platoon leader is responsible for his platoon's execution of the plan at platoon level, and the platoon sergeant executes the plan at the team and vehicle level.

a.   Development of the CSS Plan. The platoon leader begins development of his CSS plan by determining exactly what he has on hand to accurately predict his support requirements. This process is important not only in confirming the validity of the CSS plan but also in ensuring the platoon submits support requests as early as possible. The platoon leader formulates his CSS execution plan and submits support requests to HHC based on his reconnaissance plan and the desired end state of the platoon at the end of the planned operation.

b.   Operational Questions. The CSS plan should provide answers to operational questions.

(1)   Types of Support. Based on the nature of the operation and specific tactical factors, what types of support will the platoon need?

(2)   Quantities. In what quantities will this support be required?

(a)   Will emergency resupply be required during the mission?

(b)   Does this operation require prestock supplies?

(3)   Enemy. What are the composition, disposition, and capabilities of the expected enemy force? How will these affect CSS operations during the mission?

(a)   Where and when will the expected contact occur?

(b)   What are the platoon's potential losses based on the nature and location of expected contact?

(c)   What impact will the enemy's special weapons capabilities (such as NBC) have on the mission and on expected CSS requirements?

(d)   Will the platoon be required to capture enemy soldiers and equipment? How many EPWs are expected, and where?

(4)   Terrain and Weather. How will terrain and weather affect CSS operations during the mission?

(a)   What ground will provide the best security for maintenance and CCPs?

(b)   What are the platoon's vehicle and casualty evacuation routes?

(c)   What are the battalion's dirty routes for evacuating contaminated personnel, vehicles, and equipment?

(5)   Time and Location. When and where will the platoon need CSS?

(a)   Based on the nature and location of expected contact, what are the best sites for the CCP?

(b)   Where will the EPW collection points be located?

(6)   Requirements. What are the support requirements, by element and type of support?

(a)   Which section has priority for emergency Class III resupply?

(b)   Which section or team has priority for emergency Class V resupply?

(7)   Risk Factor. Will the tempo of the mission permit support elements to conduct resupply operations in relative safety? If no lulls are expected, how can the platoon best minimize the danger to the CSS vehicles providing the required support?

(8)   Resupply Technique. Based on information developed during the CSS planning process, which resupply technique should the platoon use: routine, emergency, or prestock?

c.   Classes of Supply Considerations. The platoon sergeant obtains supplies and delivers them to the platoon. The platoon leader establishes priorities for delivery, but combat demands that Class I, III, V, and IX supplies and equipment take priority because they are the most critical to successful operations.

(1)   Class I. This class includes rations, water, and ice. It also includes gratuitous issue of items related to health, morale, and welfare. The Daily Strength Report triggers an automatic request for Class I supplies. Personnel in the brigade support area (BSA) prepare rations and deliver them with the logistics package (LOGPAC). During the initial deployment, soldiers eat meals, ready-to-eat (MREs) stored on combat vehicles. Due to the probability of long lines of communication (LOCs) and resupply and the extended duration of reconnaissance missions, the platoon must keep a minimum of three-to-five days' supply of rations and water on hand for each soldier at all times. In an arid climate, the platoon should plan on at least 8.5 gallons of water per day for each soldier. Reconnaissance vehicles should carry extra water cans to store the three-to-five days' supply of water.

(2)   Class II. This class includes clothing, individual equipment, MOPP suits, tentage, tool sets, and administrative and housekeeping supplies and equipment. The platoon sergeant distributes expendable items such as soap, toilet tissue, and insecticide during LOGPAC operations. The HHC supply sergeant normally stores the second set of MOPP suits.

(3)   Class III. This class includes POL products. Unusual Class III requests go to the first sergeant and then to the battalion combat trains.

(a)   POL includes both bulk and packaged products. Examples of bulk products include Army common fuel (JP8), diesel fuel, and motor gasoline (MOGAS).

(b)   The platoon requests and receives Class III products such as 5-gallon containers, lubricants, grease, hydraulic fluid, cylinders of liquid and compressed gasses, and solvents in amounts of 55 gallons or less.

(4)   Class IV. This class includes construction materials, pickets, sandbags, and concertina wire.

(5)   Class V. This class covers all types of ammunition and mines including C4 and other explosives.

(6)   Class VI. This class includes personal-demand items normally sold through the exchange system, which can include candy, soaps, cameras, and film.

(7)   Class VII. This class includes major end items such as RVs, radios, and PLGRs. Battle loss reports trigger the issuance of Class VII items. Ready-to-fight weapons systems go forward with the LOGPAC.

(8)   Class VIII. This class covers medical supplies. The battalion aid station (BAS) replaces combat lifesaver bags and first-aid kits on a one-for-one basis. Extra medical supplies may be needed depending on the factors of METT-TC.

(9)   Class IX. This class includes repair parts and documents required for equipment maintenance operations. Repair parts are issued in response to a specific request or are obtained by direct exchange of repairable parts. The latter can include batteries for NVDs and man-portable radios. In combat situations, exchange and cannibalization are normal ways to obtain Class IX items.

(10)   Class X. This class includes materials to support nonmilitary programs such as agricultural and economic development. Division level or higher will provide the platoon with instructions for requesting and issuing Class X supplies.

(11)   Miscellaneous. This category covers anything that does not fall in one of the existing classes of supply.


Resupply operations fall into one of three classifications: routine, emergency, or prestock. The HHC and platoon SOPs specify cues and procedures for each method. The platoon rehearses resupply operations during platoon training exercises. The actual method selected for resupply in the field depends on METT-TC factors.

a.   Routine Resupply. Routine resupply operations cover items in Classes I, III, V, and IX; mail; and other items requested by the platoon. When possible, the platoon should conduct routine resupply daily. Ideally, it does so during periods of limited visibility. Although the RV is designed to operate over extended periods of time (72 hours) without Class III resupply, the platoon leader should refuel at every available opportunity, based upon the factors of METT-TC.

(1)   The LOGPAC technique offers a simple, efficient way to accomplish routine resupply operations. The key feature of LOGPAC, a centrally organized resupply convoy, originates at the BSA. The convoy carries all items needed to sustain the platoon for a specific period (usually 24 hours) or until the next scheduled LOGPAC. The battalion SOP will specify the LOGPAC's exact composition and march order.

(2)   As directed by the HHC commander or XO, the first sergeant establishes the platoon resupply point. He uses either the service station or tailgate method, and he briefs each LOGPAC driver on which method to use. When he has the resupply point ready, the first sergeant informs the platoon leader or PSG. The platoon leader then directs each section or team to conduct resupply based on the tactical situation.

(a)   The service station method that may be used during mounted operations (Figure 9-1) allows the vehicles and their teams to move individually, or by section, to a centrally located resupply point. Depending on the tactical situation, a vehicle, section, or platoon moves out of its position, conducts resupply operations, and moves back into position. This process continues until the entire platoon has received its supplies. In using this method, vehicles enter the resupply point following a one-way traffic flow. Only vehicles that require immediate maintenance stop at the maintenance holding area. Vehicles move through each supply location. The crews rotate individually to eat, pick up mail and sundries, and refill or exchange water cans.

Figure 9-1.  Mounted service station resupply method.

Figure 9-1.  Mounted service station resupply method.

(b)   The service station resupply method (Figure 9-2) for use during dismounted operations requires the soldiers to leave their observation posts. Selected soldiers move to the platoon resupply point, conduct resupply, and return to their OPs. This technique is used when contact is not likely and for the resupply of one or several classes of supplies.

Figure 9-2.  Dismounted service station resupply methodmethod.

Figure 9-2.  Dismounted service station resupply methodmethod.


The platoon order should state the sequence for moving teams or portions of teams out of position.

(c)   In assembly areas, the first sergeant normally uses the tailgate method (Figure 9-3). Combat vehicles remain in their vehicle positions, or they back out a short distance to allow trucks carrying Class III and V supplies to reach them. Individual soldiers rotate through the feeding area. While there, they pick up mail and sundries and refill or exchange water cans. They centralize and guard any EPWs. They take soldiers killed in action (KIA) and their personal effects to the holding area where the HHC first sergeant assumes responsibility for them.

Figure 9-3.  Tailgate resupply method.

Figure 9-3.  Tailgate resupply method.

(d)   During operations when the platoon is separated from its vehicles and in contact, or when contact is imminent, the in-position resupply method may be required to ensure adequate supplies are available to the teams. This method requires HHC to bring forward supplies or equipment (or both) to individual positions. The platoon normally will provide a guide to ensure the supplies (Class V) are distributed to the most critical position first. This method—

  • Is used when an immediate need exits.
  • Is used to resupply single classes of supply.
  • Enables leaders to keep team members in their OPs.


If resupply elements cannot move near platoon positions, platoon members may need to help the resupply personnel move supplies and equipment forward.

b.   Emergency Resupply. Occasionally (normally during combat operations), the platoon might have such an urgent need for resupply that it cannot wait for a routine LOGPAC. Emergency resupply could involve NBC equipment as well as Classes III, V, VIII, and water.

c.   Prestock Resupply. In defensive operations and at some other times, as appropriate, the platoon most likely will need prestocked supplies, also known as pre-positioned or "cached" resupply. Normally, the platoon only pre-positions Class IV and V items, but they also can pre-position Class III supplies. The platoon must refuel their vehicles before they move into an AO for mission execution or while moving out of their AO.

(1)   Reconnaissance Operations. During reconnaissance, the platoon can establish cache points along the intended routes of advance or near the objective. However, this method is rarely used.

(2)   Security Operations. During security operations, the reconnaissance platoon can set up cache points throughout the AO. These points should be in each alternate or supplementary OP and at other locations throughout the depth of the sector.

(3)   Patrolling. During patrols, the platoon can set up cache points early or during the patrol itself. To avoid carrying a heavy load during an operation, soldiers may drop items not needed at the objective en route and then recover them on their return. This technique could be used for supplies, wounded personnel, or transportation assets (boats and vehicles). The platoon must maintain security by using different routes to recover the items, by ensuring items are camouflaged, and by leaving soldiers at the cache site to guard the supplies.

(4)   Criteria. The following criteria should be considered when planning to use caches or pre-position supply points.

(a)   When selecting a possible cache point, consider if the point can be located by simple instructions that are clear to someone who has never visited the site. A point may be ideal in every respect, but if it has no distinct or permanent landmarks within a readily measurable distance, it should not be used. The point should have primary and alternate routes that avoid detection by anyone in the area. Also, consider the effects the weather will have on the cache point. For example, seasonal changes in the foliage may leave the point and routes exposed.

(b)   Caches can be concealed above or below ground. An above ground point is easier to use, but it is more likely to be discovered by the enemy, civilians, or animals. There is always a security risk in using a cache point; therefore, it should be inspected for signs of enemy activity and secured before use. The cache site may have been booby-trapped, or it may be under enemy observation.


Aerial supplies can be delivered by Air Force aircraft or by Army helicopters. The Air Force uses the container delivery system (CDS). (For more information on CDS operations, refer to FM 55-60. For more information on the use of Army helicopters, refer to FM 57-38.) The reconnaissance platoon should have soldiers that are trained in the use of Air Force aircraft and Army helicopters.

a.   Airlanding supplies is the quickest and most accurate method of delivery. However, it poses an added risk to the helicopter and can attract enemy infantry or artillery fire into the resupply landing zone.

b.   The airdrop of supplies poses less risk to the aircraft, but this can result in supplies being widely dispersed or lost, which increases the time needed for recovery and resupply.

c.   Unless conducting resupply in an area under friendly control and away from direct enemy observation, the platoon should conduct resupply away from the battalion in an area that can be defended for a short time.

d.   The reconnaissance platoon identifies potential LZs within its area of operations. These LZs can be used for routine or emergency resupply or for evacuation of personnel and equipment. Once the reconnaissance platoon recovers its resupply, it moves to another location to consume or distribute those supplies. Security is essential during resupply operations.


The soldier's load is a crucial concern of the reconnaissance platoon leader. How much is carried, how far, and in what configuration are important mission considerations. The platoon leader should require soldiers to carry only mission-essential equipment. All other equipment should be loaded in the RVs and used for contingencies. This not only reduces the soldier's load for the majority of the operation but also relieves the burden on the platoon leadership regarding resupply. The RVs, in effect, act as rolling caches and arms rooms. This makes the platoon much more flexible with the added ability to conduct static reconnaissance and to shift to mounted reconnaissance with almost no transition time. All the materials needed are on the RV so there is less of a need for resupply, refit, or reorganization based on equipment. The reconnaissance platoon must not be overloaded with equipment that covers all possible contingencies, and that is the rationale of the mobile arms room concept. However, the battalion supply system must still be able to deliver contingency supplies. See FM 3-21.11 for detailed discussions on load planning, calculating, and management techniques used to assist leaders and soldiers in organizing tactical loads to ensure safety and combat effectiveness.


The platoon's combat load varies by mission and includes the supplies physically carried into the fight. The HHC commander directs some minimum requirements for the combat load. The unit SOP or the platoon leader specifies most items. The basic load includes supplies kept by the platoon for use in combat. The quantity of most basic load supply items depends on how many days in combat the platoon might have to sustain itself without resupply. For Class V ammunition, the higher commander or SOP specifies the platoon's basic load.


Proper maintenance keeps all materiel, equipment, and vehicles in serviceable condition. This includes performing preventive maintenance checks and services, inspecting, testing, servicing, repairing, requisitioning, recovering, and evacuating. Repair and recovery are accomplished as far forward as possible. When the platoon cannot repair equipment on the site, it moves it to the rear to a maintenance recovery point. Maintenance tasks are divided into three levels: unit (operator and organizational), DS and GS, and depot. The platoon leader, however, is mainly concerned with unit maintenance and repair of equipment in DS maintenance. Maintenance responsibilities are divided among the following positions:

a.   Platoon Leader. The platoon leader—

  • Ensures all platoon weapons, equipment, and vehicles (NVDs, mine detectors, communications equipment) are combat-ready or reported as non-mission-capable to the commander.
  • Knows the present status of equipment to include document numbers and job order numbers. He informs the battalion staff when the status of critical equipment changes.
  • Develops and supervises a maintenance training program.
  • Ensures equipment and soldiers have the appropriate technical manuals (TMs) and that soldiers are trained and supervised during maintenance operations.
  • Ensures unit-level PMCS are performed on assigned equipment IAW the appropriate operator TMs.

b.   Platoon Sergeant. The PSG —

  • Directs and supervises unit maintenance of platoon equipment.
  • Helps the platoon leader comply with his responsibilities and assumes them in his absence.
  • Coordinates with the designated maintenance element for operator-level repair and requests organizational-level and DS-level maintenance.
  • Supervises and accounts for platoon personnel during maintenance periods.
  • Ensures the platoon uses repair parts soon after receipt.
  • Collects and consolidates the platoon's maintenance status in the field and gives the appropriate reports to maintenance personnel.
  • Keeps the platoon leader informed of maintenance and logistics status.

c.   Team Leader. The team leader—

  • Constantly updates the PSG on maintenance and logistical status of team equipment.
  • Ensures soldiers complete and update DA 5988-E forms IAW unit SOPs. Ensures priority of maintenance effort is to mission-essential equipment.
  • Ensures soldiers receive proper training in PMCS procedures and that they perform PMCS on equipment IAW the applicable TM.


Recovery is required when equipment or vehicles are damaged and cannot be quickly repaired on site. The platoon conducts self-recovery using tow bars or tow cables, and unit maintenance recovery personnel also conduct recovery. The platoon evacuates damaged or inoperable equipment. When this is not possible, the platoon destroys the equipment after gaining higher approval.

a.   Evacuation. The platoon can carry or transport most damaged equipment until battalion or supporting elements can pick it up.

b.   Destruction. Instructions for destroying each item of equipment are found in the operator TMs. Pre-determined destruction criteria is established in the battalion SOP. When time permits, the reconnaissance platoon leader requests permission from the battalion commander.


When combat begins and casualties occur, the platoon first must provide initial treatment to those wounded in action (WIA). Combat lifesavers, platoon medics (when attached), or any other soldier qualified in first aid treatment can do this.

a.   Wounded in Action. Vehicle commanders and team leaders arrange for evacuation of WIAs to the CCP. The platoon normally sets up the CCP in a covered and concealed location to the rear of the platoon position. At the CCP, the platoon medic conducts triage on all casualties, takes steps to stabilize their condition, and starts the process of moving them to the rear for more treatment.


Before the platoon evacuates casualties to the CCP or beyond, leaders should remove all key operational items and equipment from their persons. This includes SOI, maps, position-locating devices, and laser pointers. Every unit should establish an SOP for handling the weapons and ammunition of its WIA.

b.   Killed in Action. The platoon leader designates a location for the collection of soldiers killed in action. All personal effects remain with the body, but the team leader or vehicle commander removes and safeguards any equipment and issue items. He keeps these until he can turn the equipment and issue items over to the platoon sergeant. The platoon sergeant turns over the KIA to the HHC first sergeant. As a rule, the platoon should not transport KIA remains on the same vehicle as wounded soldiers.


Proper handling of paperwork is necessary for both efficiency and morale. The battalion personnel and administration center (PAC) provides most of the administrative support. Information is passed from the reconnaissance platoon to the PAC through the S1 or the PAC supervisor. Though the system is informal, the information must be accurate and timely. The reconnaissance platoon administration consists of personnel services and replacement operations.

a.   Personnel Service Support. Although personnel service support (PSS) provides many services automatically, the reconnaissance platoon leader and PSG are responsible for ensuring the platoon receives these services.

(1)   Services. The PSS performs these services:

  • Awards and decorations.
  • Leaves and passes.
  • Command information.
  • Mail.
  • Religious services.
  • Financial services.
  • Legal assistance.
  • Welfare.
  • Rest and relaxation.

(2)   Record Changes. The reconnaissance PSG is responsible for reporting or requesting changes in personnel records, promotions and reductions, and classifications or reclassifications.

(3)   Strength Accounting Report. Based on local SOP, the platoon sends a strength accounting report to battalion headquarters over the administrative/logistics (A/L) net, detailing strength by officer, enlisted, and attached personnel. The battalion uses these reports to determine the quantity of rations, water, and ammunition for the reconnaissance platoon, so the accuracy of the reports is important. At higher echelons, these reports determine who receives priority for replacement troops.

(4)   DA Form 1156. The platoon completes this form (Figure 9-4) when a casualty occurs or as soon afterward as the tactical situation permits. Each soldier should keep one of these forms (with his personal and unit identification information filled in) in a common location such as in the top pocket of his battle dress uniform (BDU). If a casualty occurs, the soldier's team leader usually prepares the form and gives it to the PSG. The PSG then forwards the completed form to the battalion S1 or medical personnel. On the form, the team leader briefly describes how, when, and where the casualty occurred, what the soldier was doing at the time, and who or what inflicted the wound. If the team leader does not know how the casualty occurred, he obtains this information from a soldier who does know. He completes DA Forms 1155 (Figure 9-5) and 1156 within 24 hours or as soon as the tactical situation permits. The battalion S1 uses this information to inform the casualty's next of kin and to provide a statistical base for analysis of friendly or enemy tactics.

Figure 9-4.  Example completed DA Form 1156 (front).

Figure 9-4.  Example completed DA Form 1156 (front).

Figure 9-4.  Example completed DA Form 1156 (backback).

Figure 9-4.  Example completed DA Form 1156 (back).

Figure 9-5.  Example completed DA Form 1155 (frontfront).

Figure 9-5.  Example completed DA Form 1155 (front).

Figure 9-5.  Example completed DA Form 1155 (back).

Figure 9-5.  Example completed DA Form 1155 (back).

b.   Replacement Operations. Integrating replacements into the reconnaissance platoon is important. Reconnaissance platoon replacements come from the rifle companies, which provide the platoon with experienced soldiers who are familiar with a combat environment, battalion SOPs, and the chain of command. The platoon leader and PSG welcome each soldier to the platoon, explain the unit standards, and introduce the soldier to his team leader. The PSG obtains battle roster information and ensures the HHC 1SG has the information.

(1)   The team leader introduces the soldier to the team and then briefs him on duty positions. He also ensures the soldier has a serviceable and zeroed weapon, ammunition, MOPP gear, and essential equipment. This in-briefing also includes recent, current, and planned activities of the team and platoon.

(2)   The soldier is briefed on SOPs and special information concerning the area of operations. He may be given a form letter to send to his next of kin. The letter tells them where to mail letters and packages and how to use the American Red Cross in emergencies, and it introduces the chain of command.


Evacuation of multiple casualties makes the platoon combat ineffective since dismounted soldiers must move the casualty from the injury site to the RV for evacuation. Thus, although the reconnaissance platoon has the organic assets to evacuate casualties, it emphasizes prevention, particularly preventing soldiers from becoming combat ineffective due to disease and non-battle injuries. By understanding and applying the principles of field hygiene, preventing weather-related injuries, and paying attention to environmental conditions, leaders can reduce casualties (FM 21-10 and FM 21-11).

a.   Health and Hygiene. Any litter casualty in a dismounted recon team severely degrades that team's ability to perform its mission. Team leaders must maintain high standards of health and hygiene by ensuring that soldiers—

  • Shave daily so their protective masks will seal.
  • Bathe and change clothes regularly to prevent disease.
  • Treat cuts and scratches before they become infected.
  • Check hands and feet regularly to avoid trench foot, blisters, frostbite, or immersion foot.
  • Drink water and eat balanced meals.

b.   Casualties. The platoon leader must plan for casualty treatment and evacuation, and he must establish CCPs in the AO. Coordination between the platoon leader, PSG, and supporting medical platoon must occur before the mission. Soldiers and leaders must receive training in first-aid procedures. Units must train combat lifesavers in order to provide enhanced first-aid treatment for casualties.

(1)   Treatment of serious casualties means stabilizing the soldier until he can be evacuated. Selected team members who are trained as combat lifesavers assist in treating and evacuating casualties. Team members are part of the platoon's aid and litter team(s) and assist with first-aid treatment as a secondary mission. The PSG supervises this process.

(2)   Casualties are treated where they fall (or under nearby cover and concealment) by an aidman (if attached) or combat lifesaver and then collected at the platoon CCP. The CCP is identified by the platoon leader in the OPORD and is usually collocated with the RVs. Once casualties are collected, treated, and triaged (ranked by precedence—urgent, priority, and routine), the evacuation begins. Casualties are evacuated from the platoon CCP by any means available—RV if possible, then ground ambulance, then air ambulance. Medical evacuation vehicles from battalion are the primary outside transportation assets used for evacuation. Ambulances (ground and air) should pick up casualties as far forward as possible (or as the tactical situation permits). Deceased soldiers are evacuated by backhaul operations on supply vehicles, not in ambulances or medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) helicopters. (Figure 9-6, shows an example format for requesting air MEDEVAC.)


Figure 9-6.  Example format for aeromedical evacuation request.

Figure 9-6.  Example format for aeromedical evacuation request.

(3)   In rough terrain or on patrols, aid and litter teams can evacuate casualties to CCPs, or they can carry casualties with the platoon until transportation arrives. Casualties with minor wounds can either walk or assist in carrying the seriously wounded.

(4)   The platoon SOP should include the following:

  • Duties and responsibilities of key personnel in planning and executing casualty evacuation.
  • Priorities of evacuation.
  • Provisions for retrieving and safeguarding weapons, ammunition, and equipment.

(5)   Paragraph 4 of the OPORD should provide the following:

  • Location of CCPs (battalion, HHC, platoon).
  • Procedures and responsibilities for MEDEVAC.
  • Planned use of nonmedical transportation assets (RVs) for evacuation.
  • Procedures for treating and evacuating EPWs and civilian casualties.
  • Communication nets for evacuation requests.


Prisoners of war are good sources of combat information. EPWs are processed and quickly evacuated to the rear. When enemy soldiers surrender or are captured, the platoon or team is responsible for taking them into custody and controlling them until evacuation is complete.

a.   Procedure. In any tactical situation, the platoon will have specific procedures and guidelines for handling prisoners and captured material. The five-"S" procedure reminds soldiers about the basic principles for handling EPWs, which include tagging prisoners and all captured equipment and materiel:

  • Search.
  • Segregate.
  • Silence.
  • Speed.
  • Safeguard.

b.   Enemy. The platoon leader directs teams to take EPWs to an intermediate collection point. The teams then turn the EPWs over to other personnel (HHC or 1SG with guards), who evacuate them to the battalion collection point. If no one is available, teams are directed to evacuate EPWs to a collection point. Leaders should avoid this method since it detracts from the platoon's ability to accomplish its main purpose—reconnaissance. If an EPW is wounded and cannot be evacuated through medical channels, the platoon leader notifies battalion.

(1)   A surrendering enemy soldier should never be approached. He could have a weapon hidden nearby, or he could be booby-trapped. The enemy soldier is gestured forward until there is no doubt that he is surrendering rather than trying to lure friendly soldiers into an ambush. A thermal sight may be used to locate possible ambushes. When searching an EPW, one soldier covers the EPW with a weapon, while another soldier searches him. Soldiers must not wear a weapon when searching the EPW. The searching soldier must not get between the EPW and the soldier covering him.

(2)   The rights of EPWs have been established by international law, which the US has agreed to obey. Once an enemy soldier shows he wants to surrender, he should be treated humanely. It is a court-martial offense to physically or mentally harm, mistreat, or needlessly expose an EPW to fire.

(3)   The senior officer or NCO on the scene is legally responsible for the care of EPWs, ensuring EPWs are processed IAW the five "S" procedures (see paragraph a above). If the reconnaissance platoon cannot evacuate an EPW within a short time, it must provide him with food, water, and medical treatment. It does not offer him nonessential comfort items such as coffee or cigarettes, which could affect the interrogation procedures.

(4)   Before evacuating the EPW, the platoon attaches a tag to him (Figure 9-7). The platoon may need to make tags from materials available on the battlefield.

(5)   Captured enemy documents and equipment are excellent sources of information. Documents include maps, orders, records, or photographs. If captured items are not properly handled, the information could be lost or delayed until it is useless. Documents and equipment are evacuated to the battalion collection point as rapidly as possible. Each item is tagged (Figure 9-8). If the item was found on an EPW, his name is included on the tag, and the item is given to the guard. The guard delivers the item and the EPW to the battalion collection point.

(6)   Evacuating EPWs can take a lot of time. The platoon leader notifies battalion when processing EPWs. When doing so slows mission accomplishment, he contacts battalion and requests guidance.

c.   Civilians. Civilians who are captured as the result of curfew violations or suspicious actions are detained and treated the same as EPWs. The platoon evacuates them to the battalion collection point IAW the five "S" procedure.

Figure 9-7.  Example of a standardized EPW tag.

Figure 9-7.  Example of a standardized EPW tag.

Figure 9-8.  Example of a document and equipment tag.

Figure 9-8.  Example of a document and equipment tag.

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