Infantry Drills

Section II: Route Selection and Navigation

Previous: 5-25: Approach March

5-28. During planning and preparation for tactical movement, leaders analyze the terrain from two perspectives. First, they analyze the terrain to see how it can provide tactical advantage to friendly and enemy forces. Second, they look at the terrain to determine how it can aid navigation. Leaders identify areas or terrain features dominating their avenue of approach. These areas can become possible intermediate and final objectives.

5-29. Leaders identify good ground along the route that facilitates navigation and the destruction of enemy forces in the event that contact is occurs. If the leader wants to avoid contact, he chooses terrain that hides the unit. If the leader wants to make contact, he chooses terrain from where he can easily scan and observe the enemy. On other occasions, the leader may require terrain allowing stealth or speed. Regardless of the requirement, the leader must ensure most of the terrain along his route provides some tactical advantage.

5-30. Route selection and navigation are made easier with the aid of technology. The latest Mission Command Systems enhance the Infantry platoon’s and squad’s ability to ensure they are in the right place at the right time, and to determine the location of adjacent units.

Note. Soldiers should be proficient in land navigation. They shouldn’t always rely on technology alone.

Next: 5-31: Navigation Aids

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