Infantry Drills

2-161: Execute the Selected Course of Action

Previous: 2-160: Choose a Course of Action

2-161. In executing a COA, the Infantry unit transitions to maneuver. It then continues to maneuver throughout execution as part of a tactical task, or to advance while in contact to reach the point on the battlefield from which it executes its tactical task. The unit can employ a number of tactical tasks as COA, which may be preceded or followed by additional maneuver. Some of these tasks are—

  • Attack by fire.
  • Breach.
  • Bypass.
  • Clear.
  • Control.
  • Counterreconnaissance.
  • Disengagement.
  • Exfiltrate.
  • Follow and assume.
  • Follow and support.
  • Occupy.
  • Retain.
  • Secure.
  • Seize.
  • Support by fire.

2-162. As execution continues, more information becomes available to the leader. Based upon the emerging details of the enemy situation, the leader may have to alter his COA during execution. For example, as the Infantry platoon maneuvers to destroy what appears to be a dismounted squad, it discovers two additional squads in prepared positions. The leader analyzes and develops the new situation. He then selects an alternate COA, such as establishing a support-by-fire position to support another platoon’s maneuver against the newly discovered enemy force.

Next: 2-163: Recommend a Course of Action to the Higher Commander

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