Infantry Drills

3-84: Platoon Leader

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3-84. Many duties can be delegated to subordinates, but the platoon leader ensures they are done. This includes:

  • Ensuring local security and assigning observation post responsibility.
  • Conducting a leader’s reconnaissance with the platoon sergeant and selected personnel.
  • Confirming or denying significant deductions or assumptions from the mission analysis.
  • Confirming the direct fire plan, to include engagement area, sectors of fire, position essential weapons, and fire control measures.
  • Designating primary, alternate, supplementary, and subsequent positions supporting the direct fire plan, for platoons, sections, and supporting elements.
  • Requiring squads to conduct coordination. Integrating indirect fire plan and obstacles to support the direct fire plan.
  • Designating the general platoon command post location, and positioning essential weapons.
  • Checking the platoon command post and briefing the platoon sergeant on the situation and logistics requirements.
  • Upon receipt of the squads’ area of operations sketches, makes two copies of the platoon defensive area of operations sketch and fire plan, retaining one copy and forwarding the other copy to the company. (See figure 3-9, page 3-24.)
  • Confirming the direct fire plan and squad positions before digging starts. Coordinating with the left and right units.
  • Checking with the company commander for all changes or updates in the orders.
  • Finishing the security, deception, counterattack, and obstacle plans.
  • Walking the platoon positions after they are dug.
  • Confirming clear fields of fire and complete coverage of the platoon’s entire area of operations by all essential weapons.
  • Looking at the defensive plan from an enemy point of view, conceptually and physically.
  • Checking dissemination of information, interlocking fires, and dead space.
  • Ensuring immediate correction of deficiencies.
  • Ensuring rehearsals are conducted and obstacle locations reported.
Figure 3-9. Platoon defensive area of operation sketch

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