Infantry Drills

2-73: Squad Formations

Previous: 2-72: Fire Team File

2-73. The term squad formation refers to the relative locations of the fire teams. Squad formations include the squad column, the squad line, and squad file. Table 2-3, page 2-24 compares squad formations.

Table 2-3. Comparison of squad formation

2-74. The squad leader adjusts the squad’s formation as necessary while moving,
primarily through the three movement techniques. The squad leader exercises mission command primarily through the two team leaders and moves in the formation where he can best achieve this. The squad leader is responsible for 360-degree security, for ensuring the team’s sectors of fire are mutually supporting, and for being able to rapidly transition the squad upon contact.

2-75. The squad leader designates one of the fire teams as the base fire team. The squad leader controls the squad’s speed and direction of movement through the base fire team while the other team and attachments cue their movement off the base fire team. This concept applies when not in contact and when in contact with the enemy.

2-76. Weapons from the weapons squad (a medium machine gun or a Javelin) may be attached to the squad for movement or throughout the operation. These high value assets need to be positioned so they are protected and can be quickly brought into the engagement when required. Ideally, these weapons should be positioned so they are between the two fire teams.

Next: 2-77: Squad Column

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