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Previous: Chapter 6: Patrols and Patrolling
6-1. If a patrol is made up of a single unit, such as a rifle squad sent out on a
reconnaissance patrol, the squad leader is responsible. If a patrol is made up of mixed elements from several units, then the senior officer or NCO is designated as the patrol leader. This temporary title defines his role and responsibilities during the mission. The patrol leader may designate an assistant, normally the next senior man in the patrol, and subordinate element leaders he requires.
6-2. A patrol can consist of a unit as small as a fire team but are usually squad and platoon-sized. For larger combat tasks such as for a raid, the patrol is sometimes a company. The planned action determines if the patrols are combat and reconnaissance. Regardless of the type of patrol, the unit needs a clear task and purpose.
6-3. The leader of any patrol, regardless of the type or the tactical task assigned, has an inherent responsibility to prepare and plan for possible enemy contact while on the mission. Patrols always are assigned a tactical mission. On his return to the main body, the patrol leader reports to the commander and describes the patrol’s actions, observations, and condition.
Next: 6-4: Purpose of Patrolling
Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad