Infantry Drills

5-19: Close Column

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5-19. A close column normally is employed for marches during darkness under blackout driving conditions or for marches in restricted terrain. This march technique takes maximum advantage of the traffic capacity of a route but provides little dispersion. Distance between vehicles varies from 20 to 25 meters. At night, vehicles are spaced so each driver can see the two lights in the blackout marker of the vehicle ahead. Normally, vehicle density is from 40 to 50 vehicles per kilometer along the route in a close column.

5-20. The dismounted equivalent to the close column is a limited-visibility march. The distance between individual Soldiers is reduced to one to three meters to help maintain contact and facilitate control. Limited-visibility marches are characterized by close formations, difficult mission command and reconnaissance, a slow rate of march, and good concealment from enemy observation and air attack.

Next: 5-21: Infiltration

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