Infantry Drills

1-129: Platoon Sergeant

Previous: 1-127: Platoon Leader

1-129. The platoon sergeant is the platoon’s most experienced NCO and second-in-charge, accountable to the platoon leader for leadership, discipline, training, and welfare of the platoon’s Soldiers. He sets the example in everything. He assists the Platoon Leader by upholding standards and platoon discipline. His expertise includes tactical maneuver, employment of weapons and systems, sustainment, administration, security, accountability, protection warfighting functions, and Soldier care. As the second-in-charge, the platoon sergeant assumes no formal duties except those prescribed by the platoon leader. However, the platoon sergeant traditionally—

  • Ensures the platoon is prepared to accomplish its mission, which includes supervising precombat checks and inspections.
  • Updates platoon leader on appropriate reports and forwards reports needed by higher headquarters.
  • Prepares to assume the role and responsibilities of the platoon leader.
  • Takes charge of task-organized elements in the platoon during tactical operations, which may include, but is not limited to, quartering parties, support elements in raids or attacks, and security patrols.
  • Monitors the morale, discipline, and health of the platoon.
  • Positions where best needed to help the engagement (either in the base of fire or with the assault element).
  • Receives squad leaders’ administrative, logistical, and maintenance reports, and requests rations, water, fuel, and ammunition.
  • Requests logistical support from the higher headquarters, and usually coordinates with the company’s first sergeant or executive officer.
  • Ensures Soldiers maintain all equipment. Ensures ammunition and supplies are properly and evenly distributed after the platoon consolidates on the objective and while the platoon reorganizes.
  • Manages the unit’s combat load prior to operations, and monitors logistical status during operations. Establishes and operates the unit’s CCP. This includes directing the platoon medic and aid/litter teams in moving casualties, maintains platoon strength level information, consolidates and forwards the platoon’s casualty reports, and receives and orients replacements.
  • Employs the available digital mission command systems to the squads and platoon.
  • Ensures Soldiers distribute supplies according to the platoon leader’s guidance and direction.
  • Accounts for Soldiers, equipment, and supplies.
  • Coaches, counsels, and mentors Soldiers.
  • Upholds standards and platoon discipline.
  • Understands the mission and commander’s intent two levels up (company and battalion).

Next: 1-130: Rifle Squad Leader

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