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Small unit tactics

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General: As in all combat situations, the clearing team must move tactically and safely. Individuals who are part of a clearing team must move in a standard manner, using practiced techniques known to all.


Individual Movement and Weapons Control:


1. When moving, team members hold their weapons with the muzzle pointed in the direction of travel. They keep the butt of the rifle in the pocket of their shoulder, with the both eyes open looking thruogh the optic or down the sights. Soldiers swing the muzzle with their head so that the rifle is always aimed where the soldier is looking.


2. Team members avoid "flagging" or leading, with the weapon when working around windows, doors, corners, or where obstacles must be negotiated. Flagging the weapon gives advance warning to anyone looking in the soldier’s direction, making it easier for an enemy to grab the weapon. Soldiers must keep their weapons under control at all times.


3. Team members should keep weapons safe (selector switch on SAFE and index finger outside of trigger guard) until hostile target is identified and engaged. After a team member clears his sector of all targets, he returns his weapon to the SAFE position.


4. If a soldier has a malfunction with his weapon during close quarters combat, he should immediately drop to one knee and conduct immediate action to reduce the malfunction. Once the weapon is operational, there is no need to return to the standing position to engage targets unless the soldier must move to another firing position. Valuable time is saved by resuming target engagement from the kneeling position. When other members of the team see a soldier drop to one knee, they know immediately that he has a malfunction and that they should engage in his sector.


Ready Positions: The two weapon ready positions are low ready and high ready.


Low ready position: The butt of the weapon is placed firmly in the pocket of the shoulder with the barrel pointed down at a 45 degree angle. This is the safest carry position. It should be used in the fire team stack or when preparing to clear "High-Low".


High ready position: The butt of the weapon is held under the armpit, with the barrel pointed slightly up, keeping the front sight assembly under the line of sight but within the gunner’s peripheral vision. To engage a target, the gunner pushes the weapon out as if to bayonet the target. When the weapon leaves the armpit, he slides it up into the firing shoulder. This technique is best suited for the lineup outside the door.






General: The preferred technique is to move using bounding overwatch. Normally the platoon/squad will move as two elements: a movement element and an overwatch element. When necessary, these elements or parts of them exchange roles. If moving in small elements, there may be a designated overwatch element.


Key Points to Consider:


1. Elements moving by themselves or infiltrating may not have support elements.


2. The platoon/squad leader determines when to rotate elements during movement.


3. The platoon/squad will use a covered and concealed route whenever possible. Moving through underground passageways, through or behind buildings, along walls, and over rooftops. Avoiding streets, alleys, and other danger areas unless necessary.


4. The platoon/squad makes the best use of cover and concealment when moving, moving in the street only when ROE dictates or the situation requires.


Movement through a Street:


When forced to move in the street the squad/platoon has a few options.




Move the two squads/teams abreast, having each squad/team overwatch the buildings forward and across the street on ground level and observing the stories above the opposite squad.


* One Squad Forward, Fire Teams on Opposite Sides: Use this technique (figure B) when making contact with a small element is important and the number of buildings with more than two floors is low. It also keeps two squads free to maneuver.


* Two Squads Forward on Opposite Sides: Use this option when many multi storied buildings are present and the risk from above is high. This technique doubles the number of soldiers that will focus on the 2nd floor and above.




During squad movement the lead buddy team/fire team covers across the street forward of the lead element at ground level. The trail buddy team/fire team covers across and forward from the second story and higher.




Key points to consider while moving through a street:


1. Use smoke, rubble and debris for cover and concealment.


2. Clear intersecting streets and alleyways in similar techniques used for the clearing of intersecting hallways.


3. The platoon/squad will cross the urban danger areas using the greatest cover, concealment, speed, and overwatch. An element normally crosses as a dispersed group at the same time but METT-T conditions may cause the element leader to decide to cross in buddy teams or individually.


4. Always stay at least one meter away from buildings. Rounds that strike buildings tend to follow the walls making the one meter closest to buildings and walls a dangerous area.






The Squad




A squad consist of two to three fire-teams, with two being the average. Some militaries, like the French and British call a squad a section. Not all squads are broken down into fire-teams.


A squad usually has a massive amount of firepower at its disposal. However, some squads are little more than a bunch of soldiers following their squad leader. Some militaries discourage squad leaders, or any non-officer from displaying initiative. Sometimes even officers are discouraged from showing initiative.


For the purpose of discussion I will talk about two and three fire-team squads. With all fire-teams armed with grenade launchers and machine guns a squad is not something to trifle with. The reason a squad has two or more fire-teams is because it gives a squad leader a great deal of flexibility. If one fire-team makes contact with the enemy and engages in a firefight, the squad leader can send the other fire-team around to flank the enemy. With his squad already divided into teams, the squad leader doesn't have to reorganize or assign a leader, it's already done. Furthermore, the team is well balanced as far as weaponry goes. When rounds are flying a leader doesn't have time to say "You, Jake, Mike, Kevin and Eric go attack their right flank. You might as well take Jason with you because he has a machine gun. . ."


Organizing a squad into fire-teams also dramatically increases the squad leader's ability to control the squad. Instead of directing six or more people, he only has to direct two or three, and team leaders in turn only have to control two or three men. This insures more senior soldiers are in charge, more control is displayed and more initiative is displayed.


Breaking down a squad into fire-teams is not always practical. If the troops are temporary breaking them down into fire-teams may not be as effective because they will not gain nearly as much experience to be very effective. Of course there are always exceptions to this rule.


Another point to note is that in some formations, like US Army or British, the squad leader might lead the first fire-team and the assistant squad leader might lead the second. Other units, like the US Marine Corps, will usually have a designated team leader for each fire team.


When the firing starts one fire-team can lay down a base of fire while the other fire-team gets closer. Instead of having one man cover another man while he rushes, the squad leader can have fire-teams cover each other. With three or more fire-teams, a squad leader can direct one fire-team to assist another, thereby doubling the firepower at any one point.




When a firefight erupts it usually escalates as combat elements make contact with each other along the battle line. Only in the desert or other open terrain can two large units suddenly start firing at each other.


In the woods, jungle, hills or whatever, usually fire-teams start fighting and more units are committed to the battle as the commander makes his decisions. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. If a unit is crossing an open area and comes under fire they will have to adjust. A firefight can quickly escalate from an individual firing at the enemy to a battalion, or regiment firing at the enemy if the two face each other in a line.


When a squad makes contact with the enemy the squad leader has to make several quick decisions. These decisions are based on the mission and the squad's capabilities. He must evaluate what kind of force the squad is facing. Sometimes this can be determined by the how many enemy rifles are being heard and how much of an area those weapons are occupying. A lot depends on the situation. If the squad has been ambushed and has taken casualties he can't extract safely, he might order an attack. What kind of attack varies on the terrain and situation. Most likely he will order a fire-team to try and flank the enemy, or he might bring up the other fire-team to help suppress the enemy while casualties are extracted.


Of course he might order everyone to run for their life. As explained above fire-teams are independent units and have a great deal of firepower. It is the squad leader's mission to deploy his fire-teams in an effective manner against the enemy. With all the yelling, screaming, gunfire and confusion, a squad leader has a very difficult job controlling his squad and maneuvering it effectively. A squad leader can't always see his entire squad, or even his team leaders. Squad radios are a god send to a squad leader and allow him to receive reports and give orders. If the squad doesn't have radios the squad leader has to yell or use hand arm signals. Usually yelling is of limited value because of all the noise and hand arm signals down work very well unless people are looking at him or it is night time. What ends up happening is he has to run around from team leader to team leader giving directions or receiving reports. Of course yelling sometimes works but not always.


This is why standard operating procedures are so important to a squad. SOP's cover most situations and help overcome much of the confusion. For example, if the SOP calls for first fire-team to lay down a base of fire when they make contact and for second fire-team to envelope (flank) then everyone knows what is going to happen when the shooting starts. First team will automatically move up so they can fire on the enemy and Second team will look to the squad leader for directions on which way to flank the enemy.


Overall, the team leaders have a great deal of control and can spell the difference between victory or defeat if they and their team are properly trained.


Some squads are organized around medium machine guns. For instance, not so long ago British squads were organized with eight men. One had a medium machine gun and the other seven had regular assault rifles.


When the firing began, the machine gunner and his assistant would lay down a base of fire while the six riflemen advanced. When the squad leader was ready for the machine gun to advance, all six riflemen would fire to cover the gunner's advance.


Regardless of organization, poorly trained (or led) squad would operate as one big mob directed by the squad leader. The squad might have a great deal of firepower in the form of machine guns and rockets, but there would often be a lack of initiative among the troops.


The Soviets were a prime example of this. All tactics were based on battle drills or standard operating procedures. The advantage of this method was that everyone knew what was going on and what was expected of them. Only squad leaders knew how to read a map or a radio. If something unexpected happened then the battle drill could rapidly fall apart. To overcome this the Soviets used waves. When wave one fell apart then wave two would move in, or wave three. Eventually, one wave would succeed and the waves that failed could regroup and reorganize. This method of combat was great for the Soviets who relied on quantity over quality.


Soviet soldiers were not encouraged to think or act on their own. In a Soviet type military, the squad leader would be nothing more than a fire-team leader with a lot more men and weapons than usual. The platoon commander, an officer, would be the real decision maker and even then he would always defer to a higher authority.


A Soviet style squad is heavily armed with automatic weapons. Usual doctrine calls for the squad to deploy on line and while standing or crouching, advance on the enemy. As the squad advances a high volume of fire would be maintained so that the squad would have fire superiority and their enemy would be forced to seek cover. With fire superiority, the Soviet squad would advance on line with their weapon in their shoulder or at their hip. When a soldier fired he would 'walk' his rounds into the target, adjusting his aim according to where his rounds hit.


Of course the Soviets did not always do it this way. They would take cover and use finer tactics, but because they didn't trust their soldiers they preferred to keep things as simple as possible and trained their troops accordingly. Most of their soldiers were conscripts and didn't want to be there anyway. This is also a reason nearly all Soviet weapons had the automatic fire capability.




A squad is organized very well for a patrol. It has enough organic firepower to hold its own and is small enough to move with some degree of stealth and security. Patrol organization will be covered in another section, as this is a primary mission of an infantry squad.


The Defense


A squad in the defense can be a powerful force. A squad leader, as directed and assisted by the platoon leader is assigned a specific area to cover. In turn, the squad leader assigns his fire-team leaders specific areas to cover and they assign individuals specific areas as described in Fire-team Defense.


The squad leader makes sure the machine guns are properly placed and can fire across the squad's front. The squad leader also insures all areas of the squad's front are covered by one or more weapons. More details on the Defense will be covered in another section.




A squad only uses dedicated formations when it is moving to the attack. During patrols it may use formations but due to the fact patrols usually cover large amounts of area formations are not always practical except in certain situations. The squad uses many of the same formations as a fire team, with one additional one.


Inside the squad formation, the fire-teams are in their own formations. Sometimes the squad leader dictates which formations the fire-teams will use but not always. For instance in a squad wedge, the lead fire-team might be in a fire-team wedge and the fire-teams on either side might be in echelons.


Squad Wedge: When the squad leader does not know where the enemy is he will likely deploy the squad in a wedge formation. This gives him protection to the front and flanks. It only works with three fire-teams however. If a squad leader does not have three fire-team he may employ an echelon, or have the lead team form a wedge and the second team follow in a column. Like the fire-team wedge, this formation is easier to control because nearly everyone can see the lead rifleman and adjust off him.


Squad Echelon: When the squad leader is expecting an attack from the side he will likely deploy the squad in an echelon facing the possible enemy location. This concentrates firepower in that direction and provides protection to the front as well. The squad echelon can be used when protecting a larger unit's flank. Individual fire-teams will most likely deploy in echelons to support the squad formation. The lead fire-team may deploy in a team wedge or a skirmishers formation.


Squad Skirmisher/On line: When the squad leader knows his right and left flanks are covered and he knows the enemy is to his front he will deploy his squad on line (also called a skirmish line). This allows him to concentrate firepower to the front but leaves him vulnerable to the flanks. Deploying the squad on line is also a good way to search an area. Fire-teams will likely deploy in skirmisher formations, wedges, or echelons depending on the perceived threat. The on line formation is usually very hard to control even under the best circumstances and is used only when contact is imminent or searching an area. At night this is a nightmare because people usually can't see the person to either side very well.


Squad V: The squad V is a reverse of the wedge. This is used primarily to protect the rear of a larger unit's column. Firepower is concentrated to the rear and flanks. One variation of this is to have the two lead fire-teams close together. When contact is made, the first two fire-teams will lay down a base of fire and the trailing fire-team flanks the enemy.


The Column: The column is used when the squad is more interested in speed. It is always easier to follow the guy in front of you than to make your own trail. At night the column formation keeps people from wandering off and getting separated. The column is also more quieter since one person is making a path and everyone else is following instead of making their own. The disadvantage of a column is firepower to the front and rear is severely limited and the squad is vulnerable to attack. Firepower to the sides is good however.


Whenever a squad makes contact with the enemy it usually tries to deploy in a line facing the enemy. This way more squad members are able to fire at the enemy and not risk shooting another squad member. When the unit is on line it is very difficult to control and this is where the team leaders play a big role. If the fire-team leaders are incompetent and not paying attention to the battle they may fail to support another fire-team or be completely ineffective against the enemy.

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I've watched his videos, he's missing I think the second video. Not a huge fan of his teaching, its incomplete and seems just incredulous. I'll allow others to tear it apart if they feel the need, but I suggest reading first, before attempting this video's methodology.

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I noticed smoke makes for a bigger target also it may draw a lot of attention best way to move thru a ally or street is fast and super observant i would also recommend taking a energy drink or 2 it will improve your train of thought by not thinking and just reacting.this may not make sense to you but trust me not thinking in bad situations is a good thing and hard to do.one other good group tactic that's very easy i call it the ego boost always remind your unit that there bad ass probably harder to do when not young and dumb but it helps as well remember you get yourself in shotty situation best way to get out is with speed and noise if you can accomplish that you can move and regroup...

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