1-58: Automatic Rifleman

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1-58. The automatic rifleman’s primary weapon is currently the 5.56-mm M249 light machine gun. The automatic rifleman provides the unit with a high volume of sustained suppressive direct fires of area targets. The automatic rifleman employs his weapon system to suppress enemy Infantry and bunkers, destroy enemy automatic rifle and AT teams, and enable the movement of other teams and squads. He is normally the senior Soldier of the fire team and must—

  • Be able to accomplish all tasks of the rifleman and grenadier.
  • Be prepared to assume the duties of team leader and squad leader.
  • Be able to engage groups of enemy personnel, thin-skinned vehicles, bunker doors or apertures, and suspected enemy locations with automatic fire.
  • Be able to provide suppressive fire on these targets so his teammates can close with and destroy the enemy.
  • Be familiar with field expedient firing aids to enhance the effectiveness of his weapon: an example is aiming stakes.
  • Be able to engage targets from the prone, kneeling, and standing positions with and without night observation devices, and understands the mission two levels up (squad and platoon).

Next: 1-59: Rifleman

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