Infantry Drills

5-25: Approach March

Previous: 5-21: Infiltration

5-25. An approach march is the advance of a combat unit when direct contact with the enemy is intended. However, it emphasizes speed over tactical deployment. The approach march is employed when the enemy’s approximate location is known, since it allows the force to move with greater speed and less physical security or dispersion. In an approach march, units are task-organized to allow them to transition to an on-order or a be-prepared mission without making major organizational adjustments. The approach march terminates in a march objective, such as an attack position, AA, or assault position, or it can be used to transition to an attack.

5-26. The key to movement involves selecting the best combination of combat formation and movement technique for each situation. Leaders consider METT-TC in selecting the best route and appropriate formation and movement technique. The leader’s selection must allow the moving unit to—

  • Maintain cohesion.
  • Maintain communication.
  • Maintain momentum.
  • Provide maximum security.
  • Make enemy contact in a manner allowing them to transition smoothly to offensive or defensive action.

5-27. Careless movement usually results in contact with the enemy at a time and place of the enemy’s choosing. To avoid this, leaders must understand the constantly-changing interrelationship between unit movement, terrain, and weapon systems within their area of operation. This understanding is the basis for employing combat formations, movement techniques, route selection and navigation, crossing danger areas, and security.

Next: Section II: Route Selection and Navigation

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