Infantry Drills

2-140: Bounding Element

Previous: 2-137: Base-of-Fire Element

2-140. Maneuver is inherently dangerous. Enemy weapons, unknown terrain, and other operational factors all increase the danger. When maneuvering, the platoon leader considers the following:

  • The bounding element must take full advantage of whatever cover and concealment the terrain offers.
  • Squad members must maintain all-round security at all times and continuously scan their assigned area of operations.
  • METT-TC variables dictate the length of the bounds. However, the bounding element should never move beyond the range at which the base-of-fire element can effectively suppress known, likely, or suspected enemy positions. General practice is to limit movement to no more than two-thirds the effective range of the supporting weapon system.
  • In severely restricted terrain, the bounding element makes shorter bounds than it would in more open areas.
  • The bounding element must focus on its ultimate goal—gaining a positional advantage. Once achieved, the element uses this advantage to destroy the enemy with direct fires and dismounted infantrymen assault.

Next: 2-141: Dismounting Infantry

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