Infantry Drills

F-99: Standard Operating Procedures

Previous: F-98: Range Cards

F-99. SOPs are actions to be executed without command developed during the training of the squads. Their use eliminates many commands and simplifies the leader’s fire control. SOPs for certain actions and commands can be developed to make gunners effective. Some examples follow:

  • Observation. The gunners continuously observe their sectors.
  • Fire. Gunners open fire without command on appropriate targets appearing within their sectors.
  • Check.While firing, the gunners periodically check with the leader for instructions.
  • Return fire. The gunners return enemy fire without order, concentrating on enemy automatic weapons.
  • Shift fire. Gunners shift their fires without command when more dangerous targets appear.
  • Rate of fire. When gunners engage a target, they initially fire at the rate necessary to gain and maintain fire superiority.
  • Mutual support. When two or more gunners are engaging the same target and one stops firing, the other increases the rate of fire and covers the entire target. When only one gunner is required to engage a target and the leader has alerted two or more, the gunner not firing aims on the target and follows the movements of the target. He does this to fire instantly in case the other machine gun malfunctions or ceases fire before the target has been eliminated.

Next: F-100: Fire Commands

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