Infantry Drills

B-6: Minimize Friendly Exposure and Avoid Fratricide

Previous: B-5: Employ the Best Weapon for Specific Target

B-6. Units increase their survivability by exposing themselves to the enemy only to the extent necessary to engage him. Natural or man-made defilade provides the best cover from lethal direct fire munitions. Infantry Soldiers minimize their exposure by constantly seeking available cover, attempting to engage the enemy from the flank, remaining dispersed, firing from multiple positions, and limiting engagement times.

B-7. The platoon leader and subordinate leaders must be proactive in reducing the risk of fratricide, friendly fire and noncombatant casualties. They have several tools to assist them in this effort: identification training for combat vehicles and aircraft, the unit’s weapons safety posture, the weapons control status, recognition markings, and a COP to include range cards, area of operation sketches, and rehearsals. Knowledge and employment of applicable ROE are the primary means of preventing noncombatant casualties.

Note. Because it’s difficult to distinguish between friendly and enemy
dismounted Soldiers, small-unit leaders must constantly monitor positions of friendly squads.

Next: B-8: Plan for Limited Visibility Conditions

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad