Infantry Drills

BATTLE DRILL 1: React to Direct Fire Contact (07-3-D9501)

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CONDITIONS: The unit is moving or halted. The enemy initiates direct fire contact on the unit.

CUE: This drill begins when the enemy initiates direct fire contact.

STANDARDS: The element in contact returns fire immediately and seeks cover. Element in contact locates the enemy and places well-aimed fire on known enemy position(s). The leader can point out at least one-half of the enemy positions and identify the types of weapons (such as small arms, and light machine guns). Unit leader reports the contact to higher headquarters.


  • The element in contact immediately returns well-aimed fire on known enemy position(s). Vehicles move out of the beaten zone.
  • Soldiers and vehicles assume the nearest covered and concealed position. Mounted Soldiers dismount the vehicle, provide local security and add its suppressive fire against the enemy position. (See figure J-1.)
Figure J-1. Assuming nearest covered position
  • Element leaders locate and engage known enemy positions with well-aimed fire or battlesight fire command, and pass information to the unit leader and Soldiers.
  • Element leaders control the fire of their Soldiers by using standard fire commands (initial and supplemental) containing the following elements:
    • Alert.
    • Weapon or ammunition (optional).
    • Target description.
    • Direction.
    • Range.
    • Method.
    • Control (optional).
    • Execution.
    • Termination.
  • Soldiers and vehicle commanders maintain contact (visual or oral) with the leader, other Soldiers, and vehicles on their left or right.
  • Soldiers maintain contact with the team leader and indicate the location of the enemy positions. Vehicle commanders relay all commands to the mounted Infantry squads.
  • Unit leaders (visually or orally) check the status of their personnel.
  • Element leaders maintain visual contact with the unit leader.
  • The unit leader moves up to the element in contact and links up with its leader.
    • Unit leader brings the radio-telephone operator, forward observer, element leader of the nearest element, one crew-served weapon team (machine gun team if available).
    • Element leaders of the elements not in contact move to the front of their element.
    • The platoon sergeant moves forward with the remaining crew-served weapons and links up with the unit leader and assumes control of the support element. (See figure J-2.)
Figure J-2. Control of the support element
  • The unit leader determines whether or not the unit must move out of the engagement area.
  • The unit leader determines whether or not the unit can gain and maintain suppressive fires with the element already in contact (based on the volume and accuracy of enemy fires against the element in contact).
  • The unit leader makes an assessment of the situation identifies—
    • The location of the enemy position and obstacles.
    • The size of the enemy force engaging the unit in contact. (The number of enemy automatic weapons, the presence of any vehicles, and the employment of indirect fires are indicators of enemy strength.)
    • Vulnerable flanks.
    • Covered and concealed flanking routes to the enemy positions.
  • The unit leader decides whether to conduct an assault, bypass (if authorized by the company commander), or break contact.
  • The unit leader reports the situation to higher headquarters and begins to maneuver the unit.

Next: BATTLE DRILL 2: Conduct a Platoon Assault (07-3-D9514)

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