Infantry Drills

E-72: Carrying Capabilities of Combat Vehicles

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E-72. There may be times when combat vehicles and Infantry Soldiers must move quickly from one place to another to accomplish their mission. In such cases, and depending on the enemy threat and level of training, Infantry Soldiers should ride in or on combat vehicles.

E-73. Riding on the outside of the vehicles is hazardous. Therefore, Infantry Soldiers should ride only on vehicles when the need for speed is great. By riding on, not in, vehicles, the Infantry gives up its best protection, the ability to move with stealth and avoid detection. Infantry Soldiers riding on the outside of armored vehicles are vulnerable to all types of fire. Also, Infantry Soldiers must watch out for obstacles causing tanks to turn suddenly; tree limbs that may knock them off; and the traversing of the turret gun, which could knock them off as well.

E-74. The only advantages Infantry Soldiers gain from riding in or on combat vehicles are speed of movement and increased haul capability. In this case, the following apply:

  • Avoid riding on the lead vehicle of a section or platoon. These vehicles are most likely to make contact and can react quicker without Infantry Soldiers on top.
  • Position the Infantry leaders with the combat vehicle leaders. Discuss and prepare contingency plans for chance contact or danger areas. Infantry Soldiers should dismount and clear choke points or other danger areas.
  • Assign air guards and sectors of responsibility for observation. Ensure all personnel remain alert and stay prepared to dismount immediately. In the event of contact, the armored vehicle will react immediately as required for its own protection. The Infantry on top are responsible of their own safety. Rehearse a rapid dismount of the vehicle.
  • Consider putting rucksacks, ammunition, and other equipment on vehicles, and have Infantry Soldiers move on a separate avenue of approach. This can increase Infantry Soldiers mobility by allowing them to move through more suitable terrain.

Next: E-75: Tanks

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