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U.S. Marine Corps - Small Wars Manual (1940 Edition)

Chapter VI. Infantry Patrols

Section II
Orders and General Instructions

Written orders					6-6
Verbal orders					6-7
General Insturctions				6-8

6-6. Written orders.-Whenever possible, orders to a patrol lender should be issued in writing. This is especially true when several patrols are operating simultaneously in the same general area. The patrol leader must assure himself that he understands the orders issued to him. Subordinate leaders and the other members of the patrol should be thoroughly informed of such parts of the order as will enable them to carry out the mission of the particular patrol, and of the force as a whole. For the purpose of secrecy it is sometimes necessary to limit the information imparted to individual members of the patrol. Written orders follow the general form of a regular operation order.

6-7. Verbal orders.-Because of the nature of small war operations, verbal orders will be issued to patrol leaders more frequently than written orders. Such verbal orders should be as complete as the situation permits, and will follow the general form of an operations order. Patrol leaders should reduce to writing any verbal orders or verbal modifications of written orders received.

6-8. General instructions.-The force commander should publish, in the form of general instructions, the policies which will govern the action of patrols in the theater of operations in regard to the following:

a. Firing upon suspicious individuals or groups before being fired upon.
b. Firing upon guerrillas accompanied by women and children.
c. The seizure of property and foodstuffs for thebenefit of the patrol or to prevent its use by hostile forces.
d. The destruction of houses.
e. The destruction of crops which may be of value to the hostile forces.
f. Other pertinent instructions regarding general policy.

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