1-53: Team Leader

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1-53. The team leader leads his team members by personal example and has authority over his subordinates and overall responsibility of their actions. Centralized authority enables him to maintain troop discipline and unity and to act decisively. Under the fluid conditions of close combat, he accomplishes assigned missions using initiative without needing constant guidance from higher headquarters.

1-54. The team leader’s position on the battlefield requires immediacy and accuracy in all of his actions and is a fighting leader who leads by example. He is responsible for all his team does or fails to do, and is responsible for caring of the team’s Soldiers, weapons, and equipment. During operations, the team leader—

  • Is the subject matter expert for all the team’s weapons and duty positions and all squad battle drills.
  • Leads his team in fire and movement.
  • Controls the movement of his team and its rate and distribution of fire.
  • Employs digital mission command systems available to the squad and platoon.
  • Ensures security of the team’s area of operations.
  • Assists the squad leader as required.
  • Is prepared to assume the duties of squad leader and platoon sergeant.
  • Enforces field discipline and preventive medicine measures.
  • Determines his team’s combat load and manages its available classes of supply as required.
  • Understands the mission two levels up (squad and platoon).

1-55. When maneuvering the team, the team fights using one of three techniques. This
includes:

  • Individual movement techniques. This is the lowest level of movement.
  • Buddy team fire and movement.
  • Fire team fire and movement (maneuver).

1-56. Determining a suitable technique is based on the effectiveness of the enemy’s fire and available cover and concealment. The more effective the enemy’s fire, the lower the level of movement. Because the team leader leads his team, he is able to make this assessment firsthand. Other leaders must be sensitive to his decision on movement.

Next: 1-57: Grenadier

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