Infantry Drills

BATTLE DRILL 2A. Conduct a Squad Assault (07-4-D9515)

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


The squad is moving as part of the platoon conducting a movement to contact or an attack. The enemy initiates direct fire contact.


This drill begins when the enemy initiates direct fire contact.


The squad locates and suppresses the enemy, establishes supporting fire, and assaults the enemy position using fire and maneuver. The squad destroys or causes the enemy to withdraw, conducts consolidation and reorganizes.

Task Steps and Performance Measures

  • The team in contact immediately returns well-aimed fire on known enemy position(s) and assumes the nearest covered positions. Soldiers receiving fire take up nearest positions that afford protection from enemy fire (cover) and observation (concealment).
  • Soldiers in contact assume the nearest position that provides cover and concealment.
    • Fire team Soldiers in contact move to positions (bound or crawl) where they can fire their weapons, position themselves to ensure that they have observation, fields of fire, cover, and concealment. They continue to fire and report known or suspected enemy positions to the fire team leader.
    • The team leader directs fires using tracers or standard fire commands.
    • The fire team not in contact takes covered and concealed positions in place, and observes to the flanks and rear of the squad.
    • The squad leader reports contact to the platoon leader and moves toward the fire team in contact.
  • Lead team locates the enemy:
    • Using sight and sound, the fire team in contact acquires known or suspected enemy positions.
    • The fire team in contact begins to place well-aimed fire on suspected enemy positions.
    • The squad leader moves to a position to observe the enemy and assess the situation.
    • The squad leader requests, through the platoon leader, immediate suppression indirect fires (normally 60-mm mortars).
    • The squad leader reports the enemy size and location, and any other information to the platoon leader. (As the platoon leader comes forward, he completes the squad leader’s assessment of the situation.)
  • Team in contact suppresses the enemy.
    • The squad leader determines if the fire team in contact can gain suppressive fire based on the volume and accuracy of the enemy fire.
    • If the answer is YES, the fire team leader continues to suppress the enemy:
    • The fire team destroys or suppresses enemy crew-served weapons first.
    • The fire team places smoke (M203/320) on the enemy position to obscure it.
    • The fire team leader continues to control fires using tracers or standard fire commands. Fires must be well-aimed and continue at a sustained rate with no lulls.
    • Buddy teams fire their weapons so that both are not reloading their weapons at the same time.
    • If the answer is NO, the squad leader then deploys the fire team not in contact to establish a support-by-fire position. The squad leader reports the situation to the platoon leader. Normally, the squad becomes the base-of-fire element for the platoon. The squad continues to suppress the enemy and responds to orders from the platoon leader. (The platoon leader, radio telephone operator, FO, one machine gun team, squad leader of the next squad, platoon sergeant, and the other machine gun team are already moving forward according to Battle Drill 2, Platoon Assault.)
  • The unit leader maneuvers the assault elements into the assault.
    • Squad leader adjusts fires (both direct and indirect) based on the rate of the assault element movement and the minimum safe distances of weapons systems.
    • Once in position, the squad leader gives the prearranged signal for the supporting fire team to shift direct fires to the opposite flank of the enemy position.
    • The assaulting fire team assumes and maintains effective fires throughout the assault. Handover of responsibility for direct fires from support element to the assault element is critical to prevent fratricide.
    • If available, unit leader directs the forward observer to shift indirect fire (including smoke) to isolate the enemy position.
  • The assaulting element(s) fight through enemy position(s) using fire and movement.
    • Team leader controls the movement of the team.
    • Team leader assigns specific objectives for each buddy team and designates a base maneuver element.
    • Base-of-fire elements maintain visual contact of the near flank of the assaulting element.
    • The assault element conducts fire and movement based on volume and accuracy of enemy fires against his element and the amount of cover afforded by the terrain.
    • Assault element leader designates a distance and direction for the assault element and moves with that element.
    • Soldiers maintain contact with team members and leaders.
    • Team leaders direct Soldiers to move as individuals or teams.
    • Soldiers fire from covered positions. Soldiers move using 3- to 5-second rushes or the low or high crawl techniques, taking advantage of available cover and concealment.
    • Soldiers time their firing and reloading in order to sustain their rate of fire.
    • Team leaders maintain contact with the unit leader and pass signals to element members.
    • If the assault element cannot continue to move, the unit leader deploys the element(s) to suppress the enemy and reports to higher headquarters.
  • The squad consolidates and reorganizes.
    • Squad leaders establish local security.
    • The squad leader signals for the base-of-fire element to move up into designated positions.
    • The squad leader assigns sectors of fire for each element.
    • The squad leader positions key weapons to cover the most dangerous avenue of approach.
    • The squad leader begins coordination for ammunition resupply.
    • Soldiers establish hasty fighting positions.
    • Squad leader develops a quick fire plan.
    • Squad leader place out observation posts to warn of enemy counterattacks.
    • Reestablishes the chain of command.
    • Redistributes and resupplies ammunition.
    • Mans crew-served weapons, first.
    • Redistributes critical equipment such as radios; CBRN; and night vision devices.
    • Treats and evaluates wounded.
    • Fills vacancies in key positions.
    • Searches, silences, segregates, safeguards, speeds, and tags detainees.
    • The unit leader consolidates ammunition, casualties’ and equipment reports.
  • Squad leader reports situation to platoon leader.

Next: BATTLE DRILL 3: Break Contact (07-3-D9505)

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