Infantry Drills

1-75: Close Combat

Previous: 1-74: Limitations

1-75. Infantry platoons and squads normally operate as part of a larger force. They habitually benefit from the support of organic mortars, artillery, close air support, Army attack aviation, air defense, and engineers. They may additionally receive support from elements of armored or Stryker formations. They provide their own suppressive fires either to repel enemy assaults or to support their own maneuver. During close combat, platoon leaders determine how to employ their squads by considering the following objectives:

  • Support the rifle squads with direct fires.
  • Suppress or neutralize enemy elements or positions using indirect fires, Army attack aviation, or close air support.
  • Destroy enemy armored vehicles with Javelin fires.

1-76. Success in operations requires seamless coordination of platoons and rifle squads in close combat. It depends on their ability to react to contact; employ suppressive direct and indirect fires; maneuver to a position of reletive advantage; and assault to defeat, destroy, or capture an enemy. For success the Infantry platoon relies on the ability of leaders and Soldiers to—

  • Maximize the use of restricted and complex terrain to achieve a position of advantage while mitigating the Infantry platoons lack of inherent protection.
  • Use limited visibility to their advantage to maximize the effect of surprise complemented with aggressive maneuver.
  • Operate their weapons with accuracy and deadly effect.
  • Outthink, outmaneuver, and outfight the enemy.

Next: 1-77: Employment Considerations

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