Infantry Drills

2-87: Platoon Headquarters

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2-87. The platoon leader also has to decide how to disperse the platoon headquarters elements (himself, his RTO, his interpreter, forward observer, platoon sergeant, and medic). These elements do not have fixed positions in the formations. Rather, they should be positioned where they can best accomplish their tasks. The platoon leader’s element should be where he conducts actions on contact, where he can supervise navigation, and where he can communicate with higher. The forward observer’s element should be where he can best see the battlefield and where he can communicate with the platoon leader and battalion fire support officer. This is normally in close proximity to the platoon leader. The
platoon sergeant’s element should be wherever the platoon leader is not. Typically, this means the platoon leader is toward the front of the formation, while the platoon sergeant is toward the rear of the formation. Because of the platoon sergeant’s experience, he should be given the freedom to assess the situation and advise the platoon leader accordingly.

Next: 2-88: Base Squad

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