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This chapter provides the tactical standing operating procedures for mechanized infantry platoons and squads. The procedures apply unless a leader makes a decision to deviate from them based on the factors of METT-T. In such a case, the exception applies only to the particular situation for which the leader made the decision.
This mechanized infantry platoon tactical SOP will help to maintain and improve the combat readiness of the platoon. To be effective, it should be reviewed and updated with doctrinal changes. This tactical SOP is not a substitute for good tactical training but rather an aid in preparing the platoon for future battlefields.




Appendix 1. Communications

Appendix 2. Estimate of the Situation

Appendix 3. Orders and Reports

Appendix 4. Movement


Appendix 1. Assembly Area Procedures

Appendix 2. Smoke Producers

Appendix 3. Load Plans








1. TASK ORGANIZATION. The platoon is organized to fight with a mounted and a dismounted element according to METT-T. The company or team commander designates the BFV platoon as the main effort or a supporting effort for the unit's mission accomplishment.


a. Engineers. Engineers normally have already been assigned a priority of work by the company commander. The platoon leader will not dictate the employment or further suballocate or task organize any supporting engineer elements. He coordinates with all engineers operating in his area to ensure the commander's priorities are being adhered to. He must also ensure that engineer assets are not wasted and he must also provide guides to and from his platoon area. The platoon leader may be required to provide personnel for labor and or security to assist the engineers.

b. Stinger Teams. Stinger teams are usually in direct support of the company during the defense and under OPCON during the offense. The platoon leader does not change the priority of air defense protection established by the commander. The Stinger leader positions the Stingers where they can best provide support. The BFV platoon will often need to provide security for the Stinger team.

c. GSR Teams. Often collocated with the BFV platoon. These elements are usually in direct support to the battalion. The platoon leader coordinates with these teams to ensure they understand the mission.


1. COMMAND. Platoon leaders are responsible for effectively using the platoon's resources and for the employing, organizing, and directing the platoon during combat operations. Effective command allows subordinate leaders to exercise their initiative, take risks, and seize opportunities during the mission.

a. Succession of Command. During combat, any member of the platoon may be required to assume command. Under normal conditions, the platoon succession of command will be--

(1) Platoon leader.

(2) Platoon sergeant.

(3) Next senior leader.

b. Assumption of Command. When a new leader assumes command of the platoon, if and when the situations allows it, he accomplishes the following tasks:

(1) Inform higher headquarters of the change.
(2) Reestablish the platoon chain of command and ensure all subordinates are informed of changes.
(3) Check the platoon's security and the emplacement of key weapons.
(4) Check the platoon's equipment and personnel status.
(5) Pinpoint the platoon's location.
(6) Assess the platoon's ability to continue the mission.
(7) Inform higher command of assessment.
(8) Continue the mission.

2. CONTROL. The challenge to the leader is to use the minimal amount of control required to synchronize the operation, while still allowing decentralized decision making.

3. COORDINATION. Adjacent unit coordination is accomplished from left to right and from front to rear. Adjacent unit coordination is done face to face when possible. The following information is exchanged by adjacent units:

  • Unit identification.
  • Mission.
  • Unit locations.
  • Frequencies and call signs.
  • Security plans.
  • Fire support plans.
  • Obstacle plans.
  • CP and OP locations.
  • Challenge and passwords.
  • Sector sketches and or scheme of maneuver.
  • Routes.
  • Pyrotechnic signals.
  • Fire control measures.







1. GENERAL. The three primary means of communication available to the BFV platoon are radio, wire, and messenger. Normally, the platoon uses one or all of these during an operation. Additionally, the platoon leader plans an alternate means of communication in case the primary means fails.

a. Radio. Radio is the least secure means of communication. Radio is susceptible to interception and jamming. Proper radio procedures must be used to reduce the enemy's opportunity to hamper radio communications.

(1) Radio procedures:

(a) Change frequencies and call signs IAW the SOI.

(b) Keep transmission as brief as possible.

(c) Use established formats to expedite transmissions such as SALUTE.

(d) Encode messages or use secure voice.

(e) Use brevity codes when possible.

(2) Actions if jamming is suspected:

(a) Continue to operate. (Do not let the enemy know that he is having any affect on communications.)

(b) Disconnect the antenna. If interference stops, communications are probably being jammed.

(c) Switch to highest power.

(d) Relocate the radio. Terrrain may mask the enemy's jamming signal.

(e) Use a directional antenna.

(f) Turn the squelch off.

(3) Radio nets: The platoon must monitor and operate on several radio nets. These include--

(a) Company command net. The platoon continuously monitors the company command net.

(b) Platoon net. The platoon headquarters controls the platoon net. The platoon net is continuously monitored by all elements of the platoon.

(c) Fire support net. The fire support net is controlled by the battalion FSO and is monitored by the platoon's FO.

b. Wire. Wire is more secure than radio and is effected less by weather and terrain. When possible, the platoon uses wire in lieu of radio. When the tactical situation permits, the platoon establishes a wire net or "hot loop." This is accomplished as follows:

(1) Each element is responsible for running wire to the platoon headquarters.

(2) Each element of the platoon is responsible for running wire to the element on its left.

(3) Each element is responsible for running wire to its OP.

(4) Once established, each element is responsible for the maintenance of the wire it laid. Additionally, each element continuously monitors the wire net.

(5) When breaking down the wire net, each element is responsible for recovering its wire.

(6) The platoon headquarter maintains overall control of the wire net.

c. Messenger. Messenger is the most secure means of communications. Messengers should vary their routes and schedules. Platoon leaders weigh the risk associated with using messengers. Although secure, messengers are the slowest form of communication.


a. Code Words. Code words are used for a multitude of reasons. Code words are established to speed up communications, add a degree of security, and help with command and control. Code words are usually established during tactical operations for objectives, phase lines, check points, link ups, and so forth.

b. Signals. Signals can be used in many forms on any operation. Signals are usually either audio or visual. The key to the use of signals is ensuring everyone is aware of the signal and its meaning. (See FM 21-60.)



a. Mission and intent of commander two levels up.

b. Mission and intent of immediate commander.

c. Assigned tasks (specified and implied).

d. Constraints and limitations.

e. Mission-essential tasks.

f. Restated mission.

g. Tentative time schedule.


a. Terrain and weather.

(1) Terrain - OAKOC.

(2) Weather - visibility, mobility, survivability.

b. Enemy situation and most probable courses of action.

(1) Composition.

(2) Disposition.

(3) Recent activities.

(4) Capabilities.

(5) Weaknesses.

(6) Most probable course of action (enemy use of METT-T).

c. Friendly Situation.

(1) Troops available.

(2) Equipment status.

(3) Time available.

d. Friendly Courses of Action. (Develop at a minimum two courses of action.)


a. Significant factors.

b. Wargame.





a. Orders Group.

(1) Company orders. As a minimum, the platoon leader, platoon FO, and attachments leaders attend company orders.

(2) Platoon orders. As a minimum, the following individuals attend platoon orders:

  • Platoon leader.
  • Platoon sergeant.
  • Squad leaders.
  • Platoon FO.
  • Aidman.
  • Attachment leaders.

b. Orders Formats.

(1) Warning order. A warning order has no specific format. One technique is to use the five-paragraph operation order format. The leader issues the warning order with all the information he has available at the time.

(2) Operation order. The operation order is normally issued orally. The leader uses notes that follow the five-paragraph format.

(3) Fragmentary order. The format for a FRAGO is that portion of the current OPORD that has changed. If significant changes have occurred since the last OPORD, a new OPORD should be prepared.

2. REPORTS. Although each report has a prescribed format to ensure the completeness of the information reported, platoon leaders are reminded that in fast-moving tactical situations timely reporting especially of enemy activity is critical. Reports are not delayed in order to ensure correct format. REPORT ACCURATE INFORMATION IN A TIMELY MANNER. All color codes use the following criteria:


80 percent or better on hand--full strength
60 percent on hand--mission capable
40 percent to 59 percent on hand--marginally mission capable
39 percent or less on hand--not mission capable


BLUE 11:

Spot Report
Situation Report
Stand-to Report



Sensitive Items Report
Meaconing, Intrusion, Jamming, and Interference (MIJI) Report



Equipment Status Report
Ammo Status Report
POL Status Report


RED 2:
RED 3:

Personnel Battle Loss Report
Medical Evacuation Request



Observer's Initial Report
Report of Radiation Dose-Rate Measurement


1. When Used. Used by all units when observing any known or suspected enemy activity. When observing any characteristic of the area of operations likely to effect accomplishment of the mission. Submitted through both operations and intelligence channels. SPOTREPs take priority over all other routine radio traffic. SPOTREP is submitted as a minimum, upon--

First enemy contact.
A break in contact.
Contact with a new enemy unit or equipment.
Significant change in tactical situation.
Unusual or unexplained activity.
Enemy reconnaissance activity.
Any level I, II, or III rear activity.
Indications of enemy NBC activity.
Significant enemy ADA, aviation, or engineer activity.
Indications that the enemy is changing its present course of action.
Other enemy and friendly activity as deemed significant.

2. Format.


Line 1: Who is observer or source: (Omit if calling station; use call signs or description otherwise.)

Line 2: What is observed: size, activity, location, unit, time, and equipment (S-A-L-U-T-E).

(The number of sighted personnel and/or vehicles.)
(What the enemy is doing.)
(Grid or reference from a known point.)
(Patches, signs, or markings.)
(The time the activity was observed.)
(Describe or identify all equipment associated with the activity.)

Line 3: What are or were your actions or what do you recommend:


1. Purpose. The SITREP is submitted to the company commander to report changes in the platoon's tactical situation and status. SITREPs are submitted after or during significant events, when combat capability changes, or as otherwise requested by the platoon leader.

2. Format.


Line 1: Report as of date-time group.

Line 2: Brief summary of enemy activity, casualties inflicted prisoners captured.

Line 3: Friendly location encoded:

a. CP locations.

b. First subelement center of mass.

c. Second subelement center of mass.

d. Third subelement center of mass.

Line 4: Combat vehicles operational.

Line 5: Defensive Obstacles.

a. Coordinates of minefield.

b. Coordinates of demolitions executed.

Line 6: Personnel strength.


80 percent or better on hand--full strength
60 percent on hand--mission capable
40 percent to 59 percent on hand--marginally mission capable
39 percent or less on hand--not mission capable

Line 7: Class III and V for combat vehicles.

a. Ammunition--Green, Amber, Red, or Black.

b. Fuel--Green, Amber, Red, or Black.


1. When used. A report is sent to the commander when stand-to is completed.

2. Format.

ALFA: Stand-to completed.
BRAVO: Weapons present/functional.
CHARLIE: SOIs/sensitive items present.
DELTA: Inoperative vehicles or radios.


1. Purpose. The Sensitive Item Report is used to report the results of a serial number check of all sensitive items.

2. Format.


Line 1: Reporting unit: (Use call sign.)

Line 2: Results of check: (Normally "All Present." Report line description, serial number, and explanation for missing items.)

a. Machine guns:

b. Submachine guns:

c. M249s:

d. Rifles:

e. Pistols:

f. Night vision devices:

g. Binoculars:

h. Radiacmeters:

i. Dosimeters:

j. SOI extracts:

k. Special equipment: (Assigned to platoon for particular operations, Example: crew-served NVD, mine detectors.)

Line 3: Preparer: (Initials of individual responsible for preparing the report.)

Line 4: Transmission time: (Date-time group of transmission. Use only if directed.)


1. Purpose. MIJI reports are submitted when--

a. The reception of radio signals is hindered, prevented, confused or distorted by any type of signal received from an external source (disconnect antenna to check).

b. Imitative deception in suspected (that is, instructions are received from a station which cannot authenticate).

NOTE: MIJI reports must be submitted to the S2 and signal officer without delay.

2. Format.


Line 1: Unit: (Unit identification.)

Line 2: Type: (Type of interference.)

Line 3: Location: (Best grid or reference to known point.)

Line 4: On time: (Start date-time group.)

Line 5: Off time: (Off date-time group.)

Line 6: Effects: Operations/equipment affected.)

Line 7: Frequency: (Frequency/frequency range.)

Line 8: Narrative: (Date-time group of transmission. Use only if directed.)

Line 10: Authorization: (Message authorized according to current guidelines. Use only if directed.)


1. When Used. A Yellow 1 Report will be sent by messenger or FM radio, to the PSG between 1200 hours and 1300 hours daily. The information will be as of 1200 hours that same day.

2. Format. The following line numbers will be categorized as:

a. operational

b. inoperative

c. combat loss






Bayonet knife, with scabbard for M16A1/2 rifle


Pistol, cal .45 automatic/9-mm


Rifle, 5.56-mm, with equipment


Launcher, Grenade, 40-mm single shot rifle mounted, detachable with equipment


Squad Automatic Weapon, M249, spare barrel


Squad Automatic Weapon, M249


Machine gun, 7.62-mm, fried M240C RH feed F/FVS


Launcher, grenade, smoke screening RP M257 Gun, 25-mm, M242 (turret type)

Vehicles and Vehicle Equipment




Carrier, 107-mortar, self-propelled (less mortar), M106


Carrier, personnel, full-tracked armored, M113


Carrier, 81-mm mortar, full-tracked (less mortar)


Truck, utility, 1/4-ton 4x4 WE, M151


Tank, M60A3


Tank, M1

NBC Equipment


Alarm, chemical agent auto, portable (ptbl), F/Full trkd armored personnel carrier (APC) and armored recovery vehicle (ARV)


Alarm, chemical agent auto, ptbl w/pwr supply, F/trk util, 1/4-ton


Charger, radiac detector, PPP-4370/PD


Mask, chemical-biological, multipurpose


Radiacmeter, IM-185/UD


Alarm, chemical-agent auto, ptbl, manpack


Raciacmeter, IM-93/UD


Radiacmeter, IM-174-PD


Radiacmeter, AN/VDR-1



Radio Set, AN/GRC-106


Radio Set, AN/GRC-160


Radio Set, AN/VRC-46


Radio Set, AN/VRC-47


Radio Set, An/VRC-64


Radio Set, AN/PRC-77


Radio Set, AN/VRC-12


Demolition set, explosive, initiating nonelectric


Detecting set, mine, ptbl, metallic and nonmetallic


Detecting set, mine, ptbl, metallic (AN/PSS-11)


Night-vision goggles, AN/PVS-5


Night vision sight crew-served weapon, AN/TVS-5


Night-vision sight individual-served weapon, AN/PVS-4




Binoculars, modular construction, military scale reticle 7x50-mm WE


Telescope, straight, military


Detector, radar signal, AN/PSS-10


Position locating reporting system basic user unit


Position locating reporting system surface vehicle installation kit

3. Example:



1. When Used. Yellow 2 reports will be transmitted once daily at 1300 hours, or immediately upon completion of enemy contact.




80 percent or better on hand, all types of ammo
60 to 79 percent on hand, all ammo
40 to 59 percent on hand, all ammo
39 percent or less on hand, all ammo

*Reporting Yellow 2 Black signals an immediate resupply is required.

2. Format. The following line number designators will be used:




1..................Report as of DTG
2..................105-mm, HEAT
3..................105-mm, HEP
4..................105-mm, APERS
5..................105-mm, WP
6..................105-mm, APDS
7..................105-mm, HEDP
8..................Cal .50 (M85)
9..................Cal .50 (M2)
11.................7.62-mm (COAX/M60)
12.................4.2-in HE w/fuze
13.................4.2-in WP w/fuze
14.................4.2-in ILLUM w/fuze
15.................81-mm, HE w/fuze
16.................81-mm, WP w/fuze
17.................81-mm, ILLUM w/fuze
18.................Fuze, prox (4.2-in)
19.................Fuze, PD (4.2-in)
20.................Fuze, prox (81-mm)
21.................Fuze, PD (81-mm)
22.................Blasting cap, nonelec
23.................Fuze, igniter
24.................5.56-mm Ball
25.................5.56-mm Tracer
26.................Redeye, XM41E2
27.................Grendae, Fragmentation
28.................Grenade, Smoke
29.................Grenade, Thermite
31.................Grenade, 40-mm, HE
32.................Grenade, 40-mm, WP
33.................Grenade, 40-mm, AP
34.................45 Cal/9-mm Ball
35.................M72 LAW/AT4
38.................Stinger missile
39.................Mine, AT
40.................Mine, AP
41.................Mine, Claymore
42.................25-mm HE
43.................25-mm AP
44.................165-mm HE (CEV)

All qualities listed on Yellow 2 reports will be quantity required unless otherwise requested. This report is normally include.

3. Example:

"BLACK 3, THIS IS RED 4, YELLOW 2 BLACK LINE ONE: 091100 JUL 92. LINE 6: 40. LINE 11: 1600."

NOTE: Use only lines affected. Attached units coordinate with S4 for additional line numbers for their peculiar type of weapons.


1. When Used. This report is sent twice daily or as required.

2. Format.




80 percent or better on hand
60 to 79 percent on hand
40 to 59 percent on hand
39 percent or less on hand

The following line number designators will be used to indicate how much of a particular item is required:





1....................Report as of DTG
4....................Oil, OE-10
5....................Oil, OE-30
6....................Oil, OE-5
7....................Oil, OE-90
9....................Brake fluid
10...................Hydraulic fluid OHA
11...................Hydraulic fluid OHT
12...................Hydraulic fluid FRH
13...................Oil, penetrating
14...................Oil, PL-Special
15...................Oil, PL-Med
16...................Bore cleaner
17...................Oil, LSA
18...................Grease, CAA
19...................Grease, wheel bearing


3. Example:

"BLACK 3, THIS IS RED 1. YELLOW 3, BREAK. LINE ONE: 112000 NOV 92. LINE THREE: 900. LINE 18: 15."


1. When Used: A Red 2 report is transmitted to the platoon sergeant as casualty occurs. Platoon will also complete DA Form 1156 with witness statements DA Form 1155.

2. Format:

Line 1: Battle Roster number

Line 2: Date-time group of incident

Line 3: Location (encoded)

a. KIA hostile action

b. KIA nonhostile action

c. Body recovered

d. Body no identified

e. Body identified

f. MIA

g. Captured

h. WIA, slight, hostile

i. WIA, serious, hostile

j. WIA, slight, nonhostile

k. WIA, serious, nonhostile

l. Accident

Line 5: Evacuated to


l. When Used. A Red 3 (Medical Evacuation) is requested from the medical team on the company command net.

2. Format:

a. Use Air Evacuation Format as in SOI or use ground evacuation format.

b. Ground Evacuation:

Line l: Evac

Line 2: Location for pickup (encode)

Line 3: Number of Casualties

Line 4: Category of patient

a: Urgent

b: Priority

c: Routine

NOTE: Use letter with a number of patients; for example, a "2" indicates 2 patients for evacuation.


1. Purpose. NBC-1 Report is used when a chemical agent is first detected.

2. Format.

Line 1: Type of attack (nuclear, biological, or chemical):

Line 2: Location of observer: (coordinates or place)

Line 3: Direction measured clockwise from grid north, true north, or magnetic north (state which) of the attack from observer: (Degrees or mils, state which.)

Line 4: Date-time of detonation or date-time attack started:

Line 5: Illumination time in seconds for nuclear detonation:

Line 6: Linear target grids or location of attack or location of area attacked: (Coordinates of place. Actual or estimated, state which.)

Line 7: Means of delivery or kind of attack: (Guns, mortars, multiple rockets, missiles, bombs, spray--state which.)

Line 8: Type of burst (air, surface of unknown--state which) including height or type of agent, height of burst:

Line 9: Number of munitions or aircraft (state which):

Line 10: Flash to bang time (seconds):

Line 11: Crater present or absent and diameter (meters) or description of terrain/vegetation:

Line 12: Nuclear burst angular cloud width measured at H+5 minutes: (Degrees or mils, state which.)

Line 13: stabilized cloud-top angle and/or cloud-bottom angle (state which) or cloud-top height and/or cloud-bottom height (state which) measured at H+10 minutes: (Degrees, mils, meters, or feet--state which.)

Line 14: Date-time reading or date-time contamination detected:

Line 15: 20 cGy/hr (rad/hr) contour line coordinates (Black) or area of actual contamination (Yellow):




a. Formations. Leaders choose the formation based on their analysis of METT-T and likelihood of enemy contact.

(1) Dismounted Element Formations.

(a) Fire team formations. All soldiers in the team must be able to see their leader.

1. Wedge. Used unless modified because of terrain, dense vegetation, terrain or mission; basic fire team formation.

2. File. Used in close terrain, dense vegetation, limited visibility.

(b) Squad formations. Squad formations describe the relationships between fire teams in the squad.

1. Column. Used unless METT-T dictates otherwise; primary squad formation.

2. Line. Used when maximum firepower is needed to the front

3. File. Used in close terrain, dense vegetation, or limited visibility.

(c) Platoon formations. METT-T determines where crew-served weapons move in the formation. They normally move with the platoon leader so he can quickly establish a base of fire.

1. Column. Used unless METT-T dictates otherwise; primary platoon formation.

2. Platoon line, squads on line. Used when the platoon leader wants all soldiers on line for maximum firepower forward. Used when the enemy situation is known.

3. Platoon line, squads in column. Used when the platoon leader does not want everyone forward, but wants to be prepared for contact such as near the objective.

4. Platoon Vee. Used when enemy situation is vague, but contact is expected to the front.

5. Platoon wedge. Used when enemy situation is vague and contact is not expected.

6. Platoon file. Used when visibility is poor due to terrain or light.

(2) Mounted Formations.

(a) Column. Used for road marches, movement during limited visibility conditions, and when passing through defiles or other restrictive terrain.

(b) Line. Used when assaulting a weakly defended objective, crossing open areas, or in a support by fire position.

(c) Echelon. Used to permit excellent firepower to the front and to either the right or left flank.

(d) Wedge. Used to permit excellent firepower to the front and good fires to each flank.

(e) Herringbone. Used to disperse the platoon when traveling in column formation.

(f) Coil. Used to provide all-round security and observation when the platoon is stationary.

b. Movement Techniques. Leaders choose a movement technique based on their mission analysis of METT-T and likelihood of enemy contact.

(1) Traveling. Used when contact is not likely and speed is important.

(2) Traveling overwatch. Used when contact is possible but speed is important.

(3) Bounding overwatch. Used when contact is likely or imminent and speed is not important.

2. TACTICAL ROAD MARCHES. Tactical marches are normally used to move platoons from rear areas to assembly areas in preparation for the mission. Although a company may be required to conduct a tactical march, the platoon and company normally move as part of the battalion. The tactical march is conducted when speed is essential, platoon integrity must be maintained, road nets are available, and chance of enemy contact is limited.

a. Definitions. The following definitions apply to tactical road marches and foot marches.

(1) Arrival Time. The time the head of a column reaches a designated point or line.

(2) Clearance Time. The time the tail of a column passes a designated point or line.

(3) Column (Time) Gap. The space between two consecutive elements calculated in units of length (meters) or units of time (minutes), measured from the rear of one element to the front of the following element.

(4) Completion Time. The time the tail of a column passes the release point.

(5) Critical Point. A point along the route of march used for reference in giving instructions; any point along the route where interference with the troop movement may occur.

(6) March Unit. A unit that moves and halts at the command of a single commander-platoon or company.

(7) Pace Setter (Vehicle). A vehicle in the lead element that is responsible for regulating speed.

(8) Pass Time. The time between the movement of the first element past a given point and the movement of the last element past the same point.

(9) Rate of March. The average kilometers-per-hour traveled.

(10) Release Point. A well-defined point on a route where the elements composing a column return to the direct control of their respective commanders.

(11) Serial. A grouping of march units under a single commander. It is usually a battalion, brigade, or larger unit. For convenience in planning, scheduling, and control, it is given a numerical or alphabetical designation.

(12) Start Point. A well-defined point on a route where all elements come under the control of the movement commander. It is at this point that the column is formed by the successive passing of each of the elements in the column.

(13) Vehicle Distance. The space between two consecutive vehicles of an element in the column. (Tail of one to front of the other.)

(14) Organization of a March Column. Depending on the size and number of units conducting the move, the battalion is normally formed as a serial with companies and elements of headquarters and headquarters company formed into march units. The entire column is organized into an advance party, main body, and trail party. The advance party consists of a reconnaissance element and a quartering party the trail party is made up of maintenance, recovery, and medical elements; and the main body is made up of the rest of the force.

(15) Vehicle Dispersion. The move can be conducted with vehicles in close column, open column, or by infiltration. The method is determined by the degree of control required and the terrain--for example, open terrain requires more dispersion than close terrain.

b. Column Spacing. In close column, vehicles are spaced about 25 meters apart during daylight. At night and during other reduced visibility, vehicles are spaced so that the driver and BC can see the two lights in the blackout marker of the vehicle ahead, if not the vehicle itself. Close column takes maximum advantage of traffic capacity of routes but provides little dispersion. Close column is normally used for marches during darkness and blackout conditions and for moving rapidly through urban areas to ensure integrity and control of the column.

(1) In open columns, the distance between vehicles is increased to provide greater dispersion. Vehicle distance varies from 50 to 100 meters. The increased distance provides greater protection against air and artillery fires, and ground attack by small enemy forces. It also allows the command vehicle and other vehicles not restricted by march orders to pass the column without disrupting its organization.

(2) When moving by infiltration, vehicles are dispatched individually, in small groups, at irregular internals in a rate that will keep traffic density down and prevent undue massing of vehicles. Infiltration provides the best possible defense against enemy observation and attack. It is suited for tactical road marches when enough time and road space are available and when maximum security, deception, and dispersion are desired. Infiltration is difficult to control.

(3) When vehicles are farther apart than prescribed in open or closed column, they close up by traveling at a prescribed higher speed. This catch-up speed is normally fast enough to allow the column to close up over a long distance, thus reducing the accordion effect produced by rapid changes in speed. A fixed catch-up speed also provides an additional safety factor for the march.

c. Conduct of the Tactical Road March. The movement order issued by the company commander includes information on the enemy and friendly situations, destination, route, rate-of-march, catch-up speed, order of march, start point, location and time, vehicle distances, release points, critical points, combat service support, communications, and location of commander during the march. Many items of a movement order are SOP. The commander normally issues strip maps of the route with the order. A strip map is a sketch of the route of march and contains as a minimum a start point, a release point, and critical points and distances between them. Strip maps should be issued to each vehicle commander.

(1) Before starting, each march unit has a designated team to reconnoiter its route to the start point and determine the amount of time needed to reach it. The company also forms a quartering party element. It links up with the battalion quartering party before moving to the new assembly area. The company quartering party is normally headed by the executive officer or first sergeant and consists of representatives from platoons, company headquarters, and attached elements if necessary. The battalion and company quartering parties move to the new assembly area before the main body moves. Quartering parties normally move by infiltration. Quartering party SOPs should include--

  • Securing the new assembly area.
  • Monitoring NBC conditions.
  • Searching for indications of enemy activity.
  • Looking for mines and booby traps.
  • Selecting routes to platoon locations.
  • Selecting initial vehicle positions.
  • Selecting initial machine gun and Dragon positions.
  • Meeting platoons at the company release point and guiding vehicles into position.

(2) Although some movement and lining up may be required before starting the move to the SP, ideally vehicles move from their positions directly into their proper place in the march unit. The march unit should proceed to the SP without stopping, arrive there on time, and pass through the SP at the proper speed and interval between vehicles.

(3) During the move, the occupants of each BFV maintain a 360-degree observation around the vehicle. The driver observes forward, the BC observes to the right of the 25-mm gun, and the gunner observes to the left of the 25-mm gun. The gunner and BC observe their assigned sectors regardless of the orientation of the turret. Soldiers inside the vehicle observe through periscopes in the troop compartment.

(4) Within the platoon column, each vehicle is assigned a sector of fire for the move. (Figure 4-1.) Each vehicle orients its 25-mm gun so that it can rapidly fire on targets within its sector. The assignment of sectors of fire, coupled with the capability of firing from firing ports, provides the platoon with 360-degree security while on the move.

(5) During the move, the platoon must be prepared to take action if attacked by enemy air, artillery, or ground forces. Passive measures against enemy air include maintaining proper interval between vehicles, staggering vehicle positions within the column to avoid linear patterns, camouflaging vehicles, and maintaining air observation.

(6) If attacked by enemy air, vehicles in the column move off the axis of attack, either occupying covered and concealed positions or continuing to move, maintaining an evasive course. The platoon also engages the aircraft with all available weapons.

(7) If the column receives indirect fire during the move, the vehicles are buttoned up and they move rapidly out of the impact area.

(8) If engaged by enemy ground forces while on a tactical road march, vehicles attempt to continue movement, or are directed by the platoon leader to assault or fix the enemy for other forces to attack.

(9) Because the primary mission of the unit is to move to a new location in preparation for future operations, additional actions against ground forces depend on the size of the enemy force and instructions from the company team/march unit commanders. If the enemy force consists of snipers or other disruptive forces equipped with small-arms weapons, the commander may pass through the force or dispatch a platoon to eliminate it. If the force is larger and presents a danger to the unit as a whole, fragmentary orders may be issued for march units to leave the route of march, move to covered and concealed positions, and conduct a hasty attack.

(10) A march unit can conduct three kinds of halts: scheduled, unscheduled, and vehicle breakdown.

(a) Schedule halts are planned for maintenance or rest, or to comply with higher level time schedules. At scheduled halts, vehicles pull to the side of the road but maintain vehicle distance. Fire teams dismount and establish local security.

(b) Unscheduled halts are caused by unforeseen developments (such as obstacles, ambushes, or other enemy activity forward of the platoon) that prohibits further movement. If off-road movement is possible, the company team forms a coil for hasty perimeter defense. Platoons occupy a sector of the coil using the clock system. If off-road movement is not possible, the company team forms a herringbone. Fire teams dismount to improve local security.

(c) When a vehicle breakdown occurs and the vehicle cannot continue the move, the BC ensures his vehicle is moved off the road so traffic is not slowed. If the vehicle blocks the road, it is towed or pushed away to clear the road. Once the vehicle is clear of the road, the crew attempts to repair the vehicle while the fire team establishes security, provides guides, and directs traffic. The platoon to which the disabled vehicle belongs normally continues to move. If the vehicle is repaired and the march unit has not passed completely, the vehicle rejoins the march unit at the tail end. If the march column has passed, or the vehicle cannot be repaired, the crew remains with the vehicle and waits for the serial's trail party. The trail party repairs the vehicle or tows it to the battalion trains in the battalion assembly area. If fighting strength is critical, the platoon crossroads the disabled vehicle's fire team.).

NOTE: If the platoon leader's BFV is disabled, the platoon leader moves to another vehicle. The FO team should also be crossloaded.

(11) On arrival at the battalion release point, the leader of the company team's quartering party moves from a concealed position and guides the march unit to the company release point. Platoon guides direct the platoon's vehicles to their general locations, where the Bradley commander assumes control and selects vehicle positions if they have not been selected by the quartering party. Vehicles should not stop on roads or in open fields, but should move directly into concealed positions. Normally, the first platoon in the column is guided to positions farthest away from the entrance into the assembly area. Succeeding platoons should move as far as possible into the assembly area, with the last platoon closing and securing the entrance.

(12) If the company team must move into an unprepared assembly area, the clock system can be used to rapidly establish a perimeter defense and road security. Normally, the direction of movement is 12 o'clock. The lead platoon usually takes up a third of the perimeter in the sector from 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock, with succeeding platoons breaking off left and right per company SOI.

(13) When movement into an assembly area is conducted at night, platoon guides must use easily recognizable visual signals to ensure the vehicles follow the proper guides. Use of different colored flashlight lenses, or chemical lights are methods of identifying platoon guides.

3. FOOT MARCHES. When moving along a road in a relatively secure area, the dismounted BFV platoon will move with one file on each side of the road. Fire teams are not split up. There will be 3 to 5 meters between soldiers and 25 to 50 meters between platoons.

a. The normal rate of march for an 8-hour march is 4 kmph. The interval and rate of march depend on the length of the march, time allowed, likelihood of enemy contact (ground, air, artillery), terrain and weather, condition of the soldiers, and the weight of the soldiers' load.

b. A 15-minute rest will be conducted at the end of the first 45 minutes of a road march. During this halt, the aidman and squad leaders will check the soldiers' feet and report the physical condition of the soldiers to the platoon leader and platoon sergeant. Thereafter, a 10-minute rest is conducted every 50 minutes.

4. ACTIONS AT HALTS. During halts, security is posted and all approaches into the unit's area are covered by key weapons. The platoon sergeant moves forward through the platoon, checking security as he goes, and meets the platoon leader to determine the reason for the halt.

a. During halts of 30 seconds or less, the soldiers drop to one knee and cover their assigned sector.

b. During halts longer than 30 seconds, a cigar-shaped perimeter is formed, and the soldiers assume the prone position.

5. ACTIONS ON CONTACT. On contact, the platoon executes the appropriate battle drill.

a. React to Contact.

b. Break Contact.

c. React to Ambush.


1. OFFENSE. BFV-equipped infantry platoons conduct offensive operations to close with and destroy the enemy and his will to fight. The platoon leader receives the mission from the company commander.

a. Preparation.

(1) The platoon leader makes a quick mission analysis.

(2) The platoon leader issues a warning order.

(3) The platoon members concurrently prepare for combat. The chain of command conducts precombat inspections.

(4) The platoon leader makes his tentative plan.

(5) The platoon initiates movement as required.

(6) The platoon conducts required reconnaissance to confirm or deny the tentative plan.

(7) The platoon leader gives a briefback to the commander before issuing the order.

(8) The platoon leader issues his order making sure that his subordinates have time to brief the soldiers and conduct rehearsals of key platoon actions. Certain rehearsals can take place before the OPORD (in the interest of time). First priority for rehearsals is actions on the objective.

(9) The PSG requests CSS assets.

(10) The platoon leader or representative coordinates with higher, supporting, and adjacent units and exchanges information on the following:

  • Fire plans.
  • Scheme of maneuver.
  • Current intelligence.
  • Control measures.
  • Communications and signals.
  • Time schedules.
  • Support requirements.

(11) The platoon leader supervises mission preparation, and plans for sustainment operations. Subordinate leaders conduct briefbacks of the plan to ensure his intent is understood.

(12) Platoon continues to conduct reconnaissance during operation.

(13) The platoon leader monitors the actions of higher, adjacent, and supporting units.

(14) The platoon leader issues orders or modifies original plan as needed.

(15) The platoon headquarters reports combat critical information to higher, adjacent, and supporting units:

  • SALUTE on enemy contact.
  • Terrain information.
  • Changes in platoon actions from the plan.
  • Changes in the friendly situation (including attachments).
  • Initiation of action by the platoon.
  • CS or CSS requests required to execute tasks.
  • Friendly information from other units that higher headquarters cannot monitor.

b. Execution. Offensive operations begin with a movement to contact, which usually results in a hasty or deliberate attack.

(1) Hasty attack. When the platoon makes contact with the enemy, it executes the contact drill.

  • Deploy.
  • Establish a base of fire.
  • Find the enemy flank, gap, or weak point.
  • Suppress the enemy.
  • Attack through the flank, gap, or weak point.
  • Report to the commander.

(2) Deliberate attack. A planned attack against the enemy.

(a) The platoon leader organizes the platoon for the attack, depending on the situation--assault element, support element, breach element.

(b) The platoon positions for the assault. The leaders reconnoiter the objective area and select a support-by-fire position. The platoon leader positions the BFVs to support the dismount element (unless the platoon is conducting a mounted assault).

The support element maintains continuous communications with the assault element and breach element. If possible, the support element maintains observation of the assault element and breach element and their routes. The support element ensures the assault element's and the breach element's routes do not cross into the support positions' sectors of fire. The support element alerts the platoon leader of any movement on the objective or change in the enemy situation.

The platoon sergeant controls the support element which suppresses the objective with direct or indirect fires.

The platoon leader leads the dismounted assault element into the last covered and concealed position before the objective.

The platoon leader or FO requests fires on targets on the objective.

The breach element gets in position and breaches obstacles.

(c) The platoon performs the assault. The platoon leader signals to lift or shift the suppressive fires of the BFVs and indirect fires. (Primary signal is FM radio; alternate signal is visual.)

The breach element breaches the objective in an area of known weakness and suppresses enemy positions on the objective.

The assault element assaults the objective through the breach. The assault element suppresses and fights through the objective. The breach element reduces the obstacle.

On order, the support element moves onto the objective and assists with the destruction of remaining enemy forces.

(d) The platoon consolidates, then reorganizes. (Many events that occur during consolidation and reorganization will be concurrent.)

c. Consolidation. The BFV-equipped platoon occupies hasty defensive positions and prepares to repel an enemy counterattack.

(1) BFVs are moved into hull-down positions and assigned sectors of fire.

(2) Local security is established.

(3) Mutual support is established between mounted and dismounted elements, and adjacent platoons.

(4) Any remaining pockets of enemy resistance are eliminated.

(5) EPWs are secured.

(6) Dismounted fire teams prepare hasty firing positions.

d. Reorganization.

(1) The platoon leader reestablishes the chain of command and fills key positions:

  • Replaces PSG or squad leaders who were casualties.
  • Informs the company team commander of the platoon's status.

(2) The PSG and squad leaders--

  • Replace key squad members who were lost (assistant squad leader, BFV gunner, driver).
  • Replace gunners of Dragons and M249s.
  • Reload coaxial machine gun and 25-mm gun ammunition ready boxes.
  • Redistribute ammunition among dismounted rifle team members and get ammunition, as required, from the fighting vehicle.
  • Move casualties to a covered position, get medical aid to them, and arrange for their evacuation (as required).
  • Report to the platoon leader the situation, casualties incurred, and status of ammunition and missiles.

2. DEFENSE. BFV-equipped infantry platoons conduct defensive operations to retain terrain, gain time, and defeat attacking forces. The platoon leader receives the operations order from the company commander.

a. Preparation of the Defense.

(1) The platoon leader makes a quick mission analysis and issues a warning order to the platoon.

(2) Platoon members concurrently prepare for combat. The chain of command conducts precombat inspections.

(3) The platoon leader makes an estimate of the situation and a tentative plan.

(4) When possible, the platoon leader and selected individuals reconnoiter the defensive position and routes to it. They confirm or deny the tentative plan--vehicle positions and dismount element positions.

(5) The platoon leader completes the plan and issues the platoon operations order.

(6) The platoon sergeant plans and coordinates CSS.

(7) The platoon rehearses applicable drills and tasks.

(8) The platoon leader or his representative conducts adjacent unit coordination.

(9) The chain of command conducts the final inspection.

(10) When possible, a full-force rehearsal is conducted. If the platoon is designated as a reserve, it rehearses those actions as stated in the OPORD. As a minimum, briefback rehearsals are conducted with key leaders.

(11) The platoon begins movement to the platoon battle position. Vehicles are not moved directly forward from covered and concealed positions. The platoon moves on covered and concealed routes. Camouflage noise, and light discipline are enforced. All-round security is maintained.

(12) When an advanced party is not used, the platoon stops short of the battle position and establishes local security.

(13) The platoon leader, squad leaders (BFV commanders if possible) conduct reconnaissance. The reconnaissance party enters the position from the rear:

  • Confirms and adjusts BFV and squad positions.
  • Conducts reconnaissance forward of battle positions if possible.
  • Checks for signs of enemy activity.

(14) The platoon occupies its initial battle position and start its priority of work:

(a) Platoon Leader.

  • Establish local security. He may set up OPs, a hasty perimeter, or conduct security patrols.
  • Conduct leader's reconnaissance with his squad leaders (BC if possible).
  • Position BFVs, squads, Dragons, machine guns, and any attachments.
  • Choose the CP location.
  • Assign alternate and supplementary positions.
  • Assign sectors of fire, engagement priorities, and other fire control measures.
  • Develop an obstacle and fire plan.
  • Develop a fire support plan (with the FO).
  • Check the CP.
  • Brief the platoon sergeant on logistics.
  • Verify communications to higher and lower units.
  • Make a sector sketch and send one copy to the commander IAW the platoon SOP.
  • Confirm all positions (before digging starts) to include interlocking fires.
  • Coordinate with left and right units.
  • Direct the location for the PEWS.
  • Check positions and preparations constantly. Look at them from the enemy's point of view, immediately correct deficiencies.
  • Check soldiers' knowledge.
  • Check dead space.
  • Check security.
  • Reconnoiter routes to and from alternate and supplementary positions, and routes used on a counterattack. Brief squad leaders and Bradley commanders.
  • Plan and conduct rehearsals of movement to and between primary, alternate, and supplementary positions.
  • Check the security and alert plan, the patrol plan, the radio watch, and the logistics.
  • Rehearse the counterattack plan.
  • Supervise

(b) Platoon Sergeant.

  • Set up the M8 chemical alarm.
  • Establish the platoon CP (and alternate CP), lay wire to squads, BFVs, OPs, attached elements, MAWs, and machine guns.
  • Send runner to guide wire from company to platoon.
  • Supervise the emplacement of BFVs, squads, MAWs, and machine guns.
  • Supervise preparation of range cards.
  • Request and allocate pioneer tools, barrier material, rations, water, batteries, and ammunition.
  • Help the platoon leader prepare the sector sketch.
  • Set up ammunition resupply point.
  • Set up EPW collection point.
  • Set up casualty collection point.
  • Coordinate medical support to include supplies for platoon aidman and combat lifesaver.
  • Designate latrine area and supervise the digging of the platoon slit trench.
  • Establish the security and alert plan, the radio watch, the sleep plan, and the PMCS schedule; brief the platoon leader.
  • Rest and conduct personal hygiene.
  • Supervise.

(c) Bradley Commander.

  • Position BFV.
  • Establish security (driver, gunner, or BC mans turret weapons system at all times unless told otherwise).
  • Coordinate with left and right BFV and squad.
  • Prepare range card.
  • Boresight turret weapons system.
  • Ensure wire is laid to the BFV.
  • Issue rations, water, ammunition, pioneer tools, and barrier materials.
  • Pass additional information and changes to plans.
  • Reconnoiter alternate and supplementary positions.
  • Conduct maintenance on BFV.
  • Supervise.

(d) Squad Leader.

  • Establish local security.
  • Ensure wire is laid to squad and BFV.
  • Position squad, weapons, and soldiers; and assign sectors of fire.
  • Ensure soldiers manning the OP have a position to return to.
  • Draw a squad sector sketch and submit copy to platoon leader.
  • Walk the position. Check sectors of fire, range cards, aiming stakes, and dead space by getting into each position and sighting weapons.
  • Coordinate with left and right squad and BFV.
  • Have soldiers begin digging after platoon leader checks position.
  • Issue rations, water, ammunition, pioneer tools, and barrier material.
  • Pass additional information and changes to plans.
  • Supervise wire or mine teams.
  • Give a warning order for planned patrol missions.
  • Set up squad alert and security plan.
  • Reconnoiter alternate and supplementary positions, routes, and counterattack plan with the platoon leader, then brief team leaders.
  • Designate squad urine areas.
  • Post and brief OPs.
  • Rest and conduct personal hygiene.
  • Supervise.

(e) Team Leader.

  • Assist the squad leader as directed.
  • Supervise.

b. Execution.

(1) The platoon leader or FO adjusts indirect fires as the enemy approaches.

(2) The platoon uses long-range fires to disrupt and channelize the enemy into engagement areas.

(3) The platoon destroys the enemy as he attempts to breach tactical obstacles.

(4) In controlling and distributing fires, the chain of command considers--

  • The enemy's range.
  • Engagement priorities.
  • Method of engagement.
  • Engagement and disengagement criteria.
  • Mutual support.
  • Distance to subsequent positions.

c. Consolidation. The platoon leader adjusts BFV and squad positions, if required, and reassigns sectors of fire. The platoon leader adjusts key weapons to cover most dangerous avenues of approach. The platoon leader positions OPs to provide early warning.

d. Reorganization. The platoon reestablishes the chain of command and fills key positions:

(1) Remans key weapons.

(2) Provides first aid and prepares wounded soldiers for evacuation.

(3) Redistributes ammunition and supplies.

(4) Reestablishes communications.

(5) Evacuates EPWs.

(6) Repairs damaged obstacles and positions.

(7) Provides ACE report to the company commander.






An assembly area is used to prepare for future operations. The platoon normally occupies a portion of the company team assembly area. The assembly area is on defensible ground. It should provide concealment, room for dispersion, and good internal routes, as well as provide access to routes forward. Even though an assembly area is not expected to be a battle position, an all-round defense is organized with soldiers and equipment positioned or dug in to provide security from ground artillery and air attack. Leaders ensure that personnel continue to improve positions until they move out of the assembly area.

1. PRIORITY OF WORK. The following are normally done in order. For a more in depth list, see priority of work for the defense.

a. Establish Local Security. Establish local security by emplacing OPs with wire communications to the platoon. The MS chemical-agent alarm is emplaced up wind of the platoon position to provide early warning. At platoon positions, local security is maintained by alternating soldiers between work to security, this keeps roughly half the force providing security at all times.

b. Position Vehicles and Crew-Served Weapons. These should be placed where they can best be employed. If Dragons cannot be employed because of terrain restrictions, they should not be dismounted.

c. Establish Communications. Establish communications within the platoon and to the company CP. The platoon sets up a hot loop, connecting the squads to the platoon leader's vehicle by telephone (TA1/PT). To speed the establishment of telephone communications, the platoon leader can take a member of the platoon headquarters element with him to the company CP. As he returns to the platoon assembly area, a land telephone line can be reeled out from the company CP back to his vehicle. Also, the platoon leader has a person who knows where the company CP is should a messenger be needed. In the assembly area, radio-listening silence should be enforced.

d. Position Remaining Squad Members. Remaining squad members are positioned to provide security for crew-sewed weapons, to cover dead space, and to cover avenues of approach. Dismounted infantry should initially prepare hasty fighting positions. When preparing positions, they clear fields of fire and tie in between squads and platoons so that uncovered gaps do not exist in the defense. The crew and squad prepare range cards for vehicle-mounted weapons and dismounted crew-served weapons, and the platoon leader prepares a platoon sector sketch and forward a copy to the company CP. The hasty fighting positions are then camouflaged by using the appropriate camouflage screens for vehicles and natural material for fighting positions.

e. Rest and Improve Defenses. Once the basics are accomplished, squads can alternate rest periods while working to improve the defense. Efforts to improve the defense include digging fighting positions and providing overhead cover, setting out remote sensors, and establishing security patrols.

2. ACTIONS IN ASSEMBLY AREAS. During and after the establishment of the defense, the following activities may take place:

  • Leaders receive and issue orders.
  • The platoon maintains its equipment and weapons.
  • Personnel conduct personal hygiene.
  • Leaders inspect.
  • The platoon is resupplied to include distribution of ammunition and refueling of vehicles.
  • The platoon rehearses critical aspects of the upcoming operation.
  • Weapon systems are checked and small-arms weapons are test fired, if possible.
  • Troops eat and rest.
  • Receives replacement or attachment.


Smoke obscures vision and degrades most sighting devices. Both friendly and enemy forces use smoke to reduce their opponent's ability to see, move, and fight. Both use smoke to screen their own movement, and may place smoke to deceive. Thermal-imagery sights and viewers provide the means to see and shoot through most smoke.

1. ONBOARD SMOKE PRODUCERS. The BFV has onboard smoke generators, grenades, and a thermal-imagery sight to see through smoke. The smoke device is the M257 smoke grenade launcher.

a. The M257 smoke grenade launcher is used to spread a smoke screen quickly. There are two four-tubed launchers, one on each side of the turret. Eight smoke grenades are simultaneously launched electrically by the BC or gunner from the turret.

b. Four more smoke grenades are stowed in the ammunition box above each grenade launcher. The total number of rounds carried on the vehicle is 16. The launchers must be reloaded by hand from outside the vehicle.

c. The grenades are filled with red phosphorus. Upon activation, a dense cloud of white smoke is created from ground level up to a minimum height of 7 meters, by 70 meters wide, and between 20 and 50 meters from the vehicle. This takes 2 to 6 seconds. The cloud fasts from 1 to 3 minutes, depending on wind speed and other weather conditions.

d. Loading, stowing, reloading, and firing instructions for the grenade launcher are in TM 9-2350-252-10-2.

e. Smoke is a major factor on the battlefield. Measures should be identified and techniques practiced that allow the platoons and squads to use smoke, both enemy and friendly, to their advantage.

f. Smoke is also delivered by mortars and artillery. It is planned for and used to confuse, deceive, and degrade the enemy. Smoke pots can be carried on BFVs, they are positioned to support either the dismounted or BFV element.


A platoon can use smoke to screen movement between positions; occupation of, withdrawal from, or reoccupation of positions; or in a counterattack. The smoke can also cover displacement between delay positions. It can deceive the enemy as to the location and number of vehicles employed on each position, and it can slow the enemy enough to let the platoon occupy new positions.

a. The limited number of smoke grenades makes it necessary for the platoon to take advantage of all other smoke sources and conserve smoke grenades for emergeny self-defense. During movement, a platoon leader might direct a certain BFV to launch its smoke grenades to counter antiarmor fires. The 70-meter-wide smoke screen will probably not screen the entire platoon from the enemy. If not, the platoon leader could then direct another BFV to launch its smoke grenades. All vehicles must take evasive action to get full advantage from the smoke screen.

b. If a smoke screen is needed when crossing an open area, the smoke grenade launcher can be used to set up the smoke screen.

3. SMOKE COUNTERMEASURES. Smoke reduces the attacker's and the defender's ability to acquire targets, navigate, and control their forces. The use of smoke must be carefully planned to ensure that the intended advantage is gained. Detailed plans must be made, and everyone must know what actions to take in a smoke environment.

a. During movement, orient on terrain features, wood lines, riverbeds, and man-made features. Before smoke is employed, or when vision of the target or reference point is obscured, the gunner should lay the 25-mm gun on the target or reference point and turn on the stabilization system. The turret remains oriented in the general direction of the target or reference point. It does not point exactly at the target or reference point. The gunner must maintain constant pressure on the gunner's control palm grips without turning the turret while the stabilization is engaged.

b. Use of the thermal imagery sight to see through smoke must be planned by the platoon leader. The thermal sight requires a 10-minute cool-down period before it can be used. Because the thermal sight is used more commonly for acquisition, it should always be on when enemy contact is possible.

c. Smoke used to conceal movement is more effective when precautions and evasive actions are also used. Whenever possible, smoke should be produced from a covered or concealed position. A wood line or defilade position may be used to conceal the vehicles generating the smoke screen to cover an open area which must be crossed.


Functional load plans are critical for combat operations. Weapons and equipment must be easily accessible. For routine load plans instructions, see TM 9-2350-252-10.

1. Rucksacks - secured to the bustle rack.

2. Concertina wire - secured on the side of the vehicle, but will be impractical in restrictive terrain. It may also be secured on the outside of the ramp, but it must not prevent the ramp access door from functioning.

3. Camouflage systems - secured to the trim vane. They are secured on the side opposite the driver and low enough so as not to hinder the driver's visibility.

4. MOPP gear - placed in a plastic bag and taped to the underside of the soldiers' seat. The suit is readily accessible and does not interfere with operations.

5. Bulky equipment used for periodic sustainment is not loaded on the BFV. Items such as a duffel bag are maintained on the company 2 1/2-ton supply truck. Duffel bags on the BFV are unmanageable and a safety hazard. Replenishment clothing or cold weather gear can be accomplished during scheduled resupply.



a. With Warning. All soldiers take cover in a fighting position culvert, behind a hill, or in a BFV.

b. Without Warning. All soldiers assigned to the platoon react to an unwarned nuclear attack by doing the following:

(1) Mounted personnel get down in vehicle and close hatches, door, and ramp; lower blackout curtains over vision blocks.

(2) Dismounted personnel immediately drop to a prone position and close the eyes. Turn the body so the head faces toward the blast. Place the thumbs into the ears. Cover the face with the hands. Place the arms under the body. Tuck the head down into the shoulders and keep the face looking downward.

(a) Remain in the prone position until the second blast wave passes, and the debris has stopped falling.

(b) Check themselves and their buddies for injuries and damage to assigned equipment.

(c) Give first aid to any casualties and prepare them for evacuation.

(d) Report the situation to higher headquarters using the NBC 1 report.

2. REACT TO CHEMICAL ATTACK. All soldiers mounted or dismounted react to a chemical attack by doing the following:

a. Stop breathing and close eyes.

b. Within 9 seconds, put on the protective mask.

c. Within an additional 6 seconds, pull the hood over the head.

d. Shout "Gas" and give the appropriate arm-and-hand signal or use one of several audio alarms such as beating on metal or short blasts on vehicle horn.

e. Quickly dons protective overgarments.

3. UNMASKING PROCEDURES. Selected soldiers use the M256 kit to determine if the area is clear. If the area is clear, the platoon leader selects two soldiers and begins unmasking procedures. He moves the soldiers to a shady area and has the soldiers unmask for 5 minutes. He observes soldiers for 10 minutes. If no symptoms occur, he reports to higher headquarters; based on the response, he issues all clear. He continues to observe soldiers for delayed reactions.

4. HASTY DECONTAMINATION PROCEDURES. The platoon moves to the hasty decontamination site, designated by higher headquarters, and begins hasty decontamination procedures. The platoon uses two techniques: vehicle washdown and MOPP gear exchange.

a. Vehicle washdown removes gross contamination from vehicles and equipment. The procedures for vehicle washdown are--

(1) Button up vehicle and equipment.

(a) Close all doors, hatches, and other openings.

(b) Put muzzle covers on weapons.

(2) Washdown vehicle and equipment.

(a) Spray hot soapy water on vehicle surfaces.

(b) Washdown equipment.

b. MOPP gear exchange is always conducted in buddy teams in the following sequence:

(1) Decontaminate gear.

(2) Decontaminate hood.

(3) Remove overgarment.

(4) Remove overboots and gloves.

(5) Put on overgarment.

(6) Put on overboots and gloves.

(7) Secure hood.

(8) Secure gear.


1. Report all enemy air activity.

2. Readiness posture:

a. White - Attack not probable. Use passive air defense measures, such as camouflage and concealment.

b. Yellow - Attack probable. Post air guards.

c. Red - Attack imminent or in progress. Man all weapons, be prepared to engage.

3. Weapon control status:

a. Weapons free - May fire at any aircraft which is not positively identified as friendly. This is the least restrictive status.

b. Weapons tight - May fire only at aircraft positively identified as hostile, according to the prevailing hostile.

c. Weapons hold - Fire only in self-defense, or in response to a formal order. This is the most restrictive status.

4. Engagement techniques: Active air defense is conducted in one of the following ways:

a. For a high-performance aircraft, soldiers aim at a point two football field lengths in front of the aircraft and fire on automatic. This makes the aircraft fly through a "wall" of bullets.

b. For a low-performance aircraft or a rotary aircraft, soldiers aim at a point half of a football field length in front of the aircraft and fire on automatic.

c. For any aircraft heading directly at the platoon, soldiers aim at a point directly above the nose of the aircraft and fire on automatic.


The platoon FO helps in planning and coordinating the platoon's indirect fire support plan.

1. TARGETING. Fires should be planned on--

a. Known or suspected enemy locations.

b. Prominent terrain features.

c. Dead space not covered by organic weapons.

d. Gaps between adjacent units not targeted by higher headquarters.

e. Likely mounted and dismounted avenues of approach.

f. Key terrain or obstacles not targeted by higher headquarters.

2. FORWARD OBSERVER. The FO is the platoon's link to the battalion fire support system. The FO must--

Be readily available to the platoon leader.

Maintain communications with the battalion FSO.

Be able to observe the battlefield.

3. INDIRECT FIRE CONTROL. Before the start of any operation, the platoon leader ensures the FO knows the following:

a. Target locations and descriptions.

b. The effects required or purpose of the target.

c. The priority of targets.

d. Target engagement criteria.

e. The method of engagement and control for the target.

f. The location of all TRPs, trigger lines, and any other fire control measure used by the platoon leader.

4. CALL FOR FIRE. The initial call for fire consists of three basic transmissions:

1. Observer identification and warning order.

2. Target location.

3. Target description, engagement method, and fire control method.


The planning of direct fires to support movement and actions on the objective is based on METT-T.

1. FIRE DISTRIBUTION. The two types of targets are point and area.

a. Point targets require fires to concentrate on a particular target.

b. Area targets require fire distribution laterally and in depth.

2. FIRE CONTROL. Graphic control measures and firing patterns are used to effectively destroy targets and prevent fratricide.

a. Graphic Measures.

(1) Sectors.

(2) Boundaries.

(3) Battle positions.

(4) Engagement areas.

(5) TRPs.

(6) Trigger lines and break lines.

(7) Phase lines.

(8) Final protective line.

b. Firing Patterns.

(1) Frontal fire. Used when the enemy is moving perpendicular to the platoon's direction of fire. Each element engages the targets to their immediate front. Fires are shifted toward the center of the enemy.

(2) Cross fire. Used when the enemy is moving oblique to the platoon's direction of fire, or when terrain does not allow frontal fire. Targets are engaged from left to right, or right to left.

(3) Depth fire. Used when the enemy is moving parallel to the platoon's direction of fire. Targets are engaged from front to rear and rear to front. As targets are destroyed, fires are shifted toward the center of the enemy.

(4) Near-half/far-half technique. Used when the terrain is so open there is no specific feature to use as a reference point. The mounted element could be tasked to fire into the far end of the engagement area while the dismounted element fires into the near half of the EA.

c. Engagement Priorities. The platoon leader designates which targets he wants destroyed first by weapons system.

(1) Antiarmor weapons systems. Engage targets in the following order of priority.

  • Most threatening armor.
  • Armor in primary sector.
  • Armor in secondary sector.
  • Unarmored command and control vehicles.

d. Rules of engagement. Rules of engagement are directives issued by military or political authorities that specify circumstances under which the platoon will initiate or continue combat operations. Rules of engagement will generally be issued with the company operations order. Ensure everyone understands ROE.

e. Fire Control During Limited Visibility. During limited visibility, the following can be used to assist in controlling the platoon's fires.

(1) Dragon trackers.

(2) BFV thermal sights.

(3) Ground surveillance radar.

(4) Aiming stakes.

(5) Illumination.

(6) Other night observation devices.


Operations security is the process of denying the enemy information about friendly capabilities and intentions. Measures to maintain operation security includes counterintelligence, physical security, signal security, and information security.

1. COUNTERINTELLIGENCE. Counterintelligence measures are taken to prevent the enemy from detecting the platoon by observation or electronic means. Camouflage and concealment and noise and light discipline are examples of counterintelligence.

a. Camouflage and Concealment. Camouflage is the use of natural and man-made materials to disguise and hide soldiers, vehicles, and equipment so they blend with their surroundings. Concealment is the use of available terrain features, both natural and made-made, to hide soldiers, vehicles, and equipment. Camouflage and concealment make it more difficult for the enemy to detect and engage platoons and squads with accurate fire.

(1) Camouflage can be attached to the BFV by communications wire or string. It should be used to break up the vehicle's outline, especially the turret. Camouflage on the turret must not interfere with the movement of the vehicle's weapons or block the view through the turret sights.

(2) Natural camouflage includes branches, grass, mud, or snow. Man-made camouflage includes wire netting, carpet, boards, or poles. Natural and man-made items may be used at the same time.

(3) When placing camouflage and concealment, platoons and squads must think about things the enemy will look for, or that will attract his attention to friendly positions. These include movement, shadows, obvious positions, shine or reflected light, shape, color, and concentration.

(a) Movement. Movement attracts attention, particularly vehicular movement. Even slight movements, such as arm-and-hand signals or a soldier walking, may attract the enemy's attention.

(b) Silhouette. Unusual shadows attract attention. Since the BFV is large and has a distinct shape, its shadow may be easily seen. Hence, every effort should be made to break up the vehicle's outline and cause its shadow to blend with shadows cast by natural terrain features. Shaded areas should be used to the maximum, but shadows move as the position of the sun or moon changes. This should be taken into account by repositioning vehicles accordingly.

(c) Obvious Positions. Hilltops, road junctions, and lone buildings should be avoided. They are easily seen by the enemy and may be registration points for enemy indirect fire.

(d) Shine or Reflected Light. In daylight, bright or shiny surfaces will reflect sunlight and attract attention. At night, an exposed light, even one with a red lens, or the glow of a cigarette can be seen from far away.

(e) Color. Uniforms and vehicles are colored to blend with wooded surroundings. Often colors may not blend with the background. For example, if the ground is covered with snow, green camouflage will not blend. Adjust camouflage to fit local conditions.

(f) Concentration. Congestion of troops or vehicles in a small area will attract attention, and enemy fire. Soldiers and vehicles must always be dispersed.

b. Noise and Light Discipline. If a platoon does not practice noise and light discipline, the best operational security measures can be wasted. The most difficult noises to control are those made by the vehicles. They are also the most likely noises to be detected by the enemy. Several techniques can be used to decrease vehicle noises.

(1) When possible, keep night movement to a minimum because the BFV's engine and tracks can be heard at a considerable distance. Avoid idling engines at extreme speeds or moving vehicles rapidly. Close ramps and hatches before dark. When closing them after dark, do not slam them shut. After preparations have been made at night, inspect the vehicle from the outside to ensure there is no visible light being emitted.

(2) Vehicle light discipline includes--

(a) Using vision block covers.

(b) Using the driver's night vision viewer (AN/VVS-2).

(c) Using night vision goggles.

(d) Turning off all internal lights.

(e) Using red filters on flashlights.

(3) Fire teams also must practice noise and light discipline. Noise discipline is simply avoiding loud noises, such as loud talking, laughing, or metal-on-metal sounds. Light discipline includes not smoking or building fires, and controlling use of flashlights.

2. PHYSICAL SECURITY. Physical security consists of actions taken to ensure the enemy does not close on or infiltrate friendly positions without being detected. It includes manning observation posts, conducting patrols, conducting stand-to, and providing local security.

a. Observation Post. Normally, a platoon is tasked to set up and man at least one two-man OP. In turn, the platoon leader designates a squad to perform OP duties. An OP is designed to observe to the most likely enemy avenue of approach or in the gaps between friendly positions. It provides early warning of the enemy's advance. Wire is the primary means of communication between the platoon headquarters and the OP.

(1) A fire team, with its Bradley and crew may be tasked to man an OP. This gives the OP more firepower, armor protection, better mobility, and better night vision optics.

(2) When a platoon leader establishes an OP, he must explain in detail what he wants the men to do, what actions they will take when they detect the enemy, and when and how they are to return to the platoon's position. The platoon leader may want to have the forward observer and his radiotelephone operator go with the squad personnel to call for indirect fire on any enemy detected.

b. Patrols. Normally, patrols are conducted to cover unoccupied gaps between defensive positions. On occasion, patrols also may cover the terrain between OPs. Squads or fire teams normally conduct patrols. Immediately following a patrol, all members are thoroughly debriefed by higher headquarters.

c. Stand-To. A stand-to is a period of maximum preparedness. It is conducted at first light in the morning and at darkness in the evening. A stand-to may be done at other times as designated by the leader. This ensures the platoon is ready for action and that every man adjusts to the changing light conditions. Leaders check the following:

(1) All troops are awake, dressed, and ready for combat.

(2) All vehicles are topped off with fuel and stocked with a basic load of ammunition.

(3) All weapons have been cleaned, serviced, assembled, and ready for action.

(4) All radios are turned on and briefly tested.

(5) All vehicles are loaded to the extent possible, less the deployed fire teams, and are ready for short-notice moves.

d. Local Security. Local security consist of mounted and dismounted security.

(1) Mounted security. Mounted security is observing from the BFV and preparing the vehicle so that it does not become a security hazard. The platoon leader should assign each BFV an area to observe. The BC and gunner can best do this because they are elevated in the turret and have access to the BFV weapons' sights. In daylight, optical sights and binoculars are used. During evening stand-to preparations, the following steps should be taken:

(a) Adhere to noise and light discipline measures.

(b) Ensure the 25-mm gun and 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun ammunition boxes are fully loaded.

(c) Activate and test the turret drive and turret stabilization.

(d) Activate and test the ISU in the thermal mode.

(e) Run the vehicle's engine enough to ensure the batteries are charged.

(2) Dismounted security. Dismounted local security is provided by the fire teams. During daylight, this involves observing in assigned sectors of defensive fires. At night, positions may be moved forward or closer to the vehicle element or to tanks in a company team. The infantrymen provide security by observing assigned sectors with the naked eye, binoculars, and nightsights. They also listen for the enemy. Tank crews and BFV crews have difficulty listening for the enemy because of vehicle noises and the crews' confined place in the vehicles.

3. SIGNAL SECURITY. Signal security includes measures taken to deny or counter enemy exploitation of electronic missions. It includes communications security and electronic security.

a. Communications and Electronic Security. At platoon and squad level, SIGSEC mainly concerns good communication procedures and electronic counter-countermeasures. ECCM are those actions taken to ensure friendly use of the electromagnetic spectrum against electronic warfare and includes antijamming, authentication, and radio discipline.

(1) As far as possible, the radio should be considered a communications backup. Arm-and-hand signals, flag signs, whistles, telephones, flashlight signals, and messengers are other available means.

(2) There will be times when the radio must be used. Platoons and squad should assume that the enemy is monitoring every radio transmission and using radio direction finders to locate transmitting radios. They also must assume that the enemy understands English and can quickly break unauthorized codes. No matter who is transmitting, these rules should be followed--

(a) Transmit only when necessary.

(b) Think the message through and know exactly what needs to be said before keying the transmitter.

(c) Keep transmissions short, and use call signs only as necessary.

(d) Do not confuse the radio with vehicle intercom systems.

(e) Use proper radiotelephone procedures and prowords.

(f) Operate radios on low power as much as possible.

b. Encoded Information. In transmissions to the company commander and other platoons, the platoon leader often has information that needs to be encoded. In these situations, the platoon leader should use the signal operation instructions for the proper encoding procedures and authentication tables. Within the platoon, there seldom is occasion to send information that requires code; hence, transmissions are in the clear. Sensitive information should be passed orally in a face-to-face meeting of leaders or sent by messenger.

4. INFORMATION SECURITY. Information security includes measures taken to prevent the enemy from gaining intelligence about friendly units, intentions, or locations. Information security can be associated with physical security in that physical security may be necessary for good information security. During combat operations, foreign nationals and observers should not be permitted in the platoon's area. Specific instructions should be given to platoon members to deny local civilians access into or around their positions. Civilians could be used by the enemy to obtain information about the platoon.

a. Weapons, ammunition, classified documents, and sensitive items should be safeguarded at all times. When not in use, sensitive items should be stored out of sight. Careless equipment security can lead to compromise of platoon capabilities and limitations. If, for example, platoon movement is through a seemingly secure town, and with limited visibility devices and ammunition displayed, enemy infiltrators or sympathizers may obtain information about platoon capabilities.

b. Platoon vehicle markings and individual unit patches should be covered. This may seem insignificant, but they provide valuable information to the enemy. They allow the enemy to determine the size and type of platoon opposing them and the platoon's capabilities.

c. Censorship is practiced in wartime. Personal mail is inspected to avoid disclosure of valuable information. Soldiers should be briefed on what not to include in their mail. Mail can be a valuable intelligence source. Examples of items that should not be in letters include--

(1) Unit identification, size, location, or capabilities.

(2) Knowledge of future operations.

(3) Specific mention of commanders' names.

(4) Acknowledgement of heavy losses or poor morale.

d. Whenever a platoon departs a position, a thorough police of the area should be conducted to ensure no item of intelligence value is left behind. Ammunition containers should not be left behind since they provide information as to the types and numbers of systems a platoon has. Food containers can indicate the platoon's size. Discarded radio batteries disclose communication capabilities. It is essential that platoon members police as they go.


Combat service support for mechanized infantry platoons consists mainly of maintenance, supply, personnel, and medical services. Most of this support comes from the company.

1. MAINTENANCE. The platoon leader's responsibilities include:

  • Training operators.
  • Inspecting.
  • Assigning tasks within the platoon.
  • Supervising all maintenance periods.
  • Coordinating support requirements from higher headquarters.
  • Following up on maintenance being performed outside the platoon.
  • Ensuring maintenance on all weapons systems and equipment is performed in strict accordance with the appropriate -10 level technical manual.

2. SUPPLY. Resupply and refueling should be accomplished at every opportunity.

a. Methods of resupply.

(1) Service-station method. Supplies brought to a company resupply point and platoons rotate through.

(2) Tailgate method. The platoon is resupplied in position.

b. LOGPACs. These are planned resupply operations driven by the tactical setting. The battalion and company uses LOGPACs to push forward the various classes of supply needed by the platoon.

c. Request for Supplies. The platoon sergeant compiles a list of items needed and gives it to the company first sergeant who is the CSS operator.


a. Strength Reports. Platoon strength is reported at least twice daily on a secure net or land line from the platoon battle roster.

b. Replacements. Care should be taken when integrating new soldiers into the platoon. They are briefed by their entire chain of command. Their equipment is inspected by their squad leader, and any problems that have surfaced during in-processing are immediately remedied. Squad leaders explain the current situation and inform new soldiers of their duties and SOPs.

c. EPWs and Civilian Internees and Detainees. All EPWs and civilians are handled IAW with international law. The platoon leader monitors all activities dealing with EPWs and civilian internees and detainees. He ensures that they are searched, segregated, silenced, safeguarded and sped to the rear. He is in charge of providing their medical treatment and their physical security. In addition, he assigns a team or squad to help with this mission, and to help maintain control throughout this process.


a. Medical Evacuation. Each platoon contains at least one MOS qualified aidman. Every effort is made to train as many personnel as possible as combat lifesavers. However, their primary skills are as infantrymen not aidmen. Each squad appoints one man as an assistant aidman to help the platoon aidman with treatment of the casualties. The platoon sergeant coordinates with the platoon aidman and squad leaders for the location of the casualty collection point. The squad's chain of command is responsible for evacuating their troops to the location. Once the mode of evacuation has been established, the platoon sergeant secures the casualties, weapons, equipment, and ammunition and cross levels them, if need be. Requests for medical evacuation is handled by the platoon sergeant and routine sick is handled by the platoon aidman.

b. Field Sanitation. Field latrines are dug at least 100 meters from platoon positions, if the tactical situation permits. If not, the trench is constructed within the platoon perimeter. The trench is constructed under the supervision of the platoon aidman. The only water to be consumed by soldiers should be potable or treated water. If located near a stream, the latrine is constructed downstream from the platoon's positions.

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