Infantry Drills

F-122: Tactical Organization of the Machine Gun

Previous: Section V: Machine Gun Use

F-122. The accomplishment of the platoon’s or squad’s mission demands efficient and effective machine gun crews. Leaders consider the mission and organize machine guns to deliver firepower and direct fire support to areas or point needed to accomplish the assigned mission.

F-123. Infantry platoons normally will have an organic weapons squad consisting of a weapons squad leader and two gun teams. Depending on the unit’s organization or the platoon’s and squad’s mission, there could be additional machine gun teams attached or organic to the platoon or squad.

F-124. The weapon squad consists of a weapons squad leader and medium machine gun teams. Each medium machine gun team has a gunner, assistant gunner, and ammunition bearer. In some units the senior member of the gun team is the gunner. In other units the assistant gunner is the senior gun team member who also serves as the gun team leader. Table F-8 illustrates equipment carried by the weapons squad. Table F-9 (page F-42) illustrates the duty positions within the weapons squad and gives possible duty descriptions and responsibilities. The tables serve to show possible position and equipment use only. Individual unit SOPs and available equipment dictate the exact role each weapons squad member plays within his squad.

Table F-8. Weapons squad equipment by position example
Table F-9. Weapons squad duty positions and responsibilities
Table F-9. Weapons squad duty positions and responsibilities (continued)

Next: F-125: Security

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