Infantry Drills

6-23: Leader’s Reconnaissance

Previous: 6-18: Initial Planning and Coordination for Patrols

6-23. The leader’s reconnaissance reconnoiters the objective just before an attack or prior to sending elements forward to locations where they will support by fire. It confirms the condition of the objective, gives each subordinate leader a clear picture of the terrain where he will move, and identifies parts of the objective he must seize or suppress. The leader’s reconnaissance patrol can consist of the unit leader or representative, the leaders of major subordinate elements, and (sometimes) security personnel and unit guides. It gets back to the main body as quickly as possible. The leader can use the aid in (see figure 6-1) to help in remembering the five-point contingency plan which is used when a leader or other individuals separate from the main body.

Figure 6-1. Five-point contingency plan

6-24. A patrol leader should conduct a leader’s reconnaissance when time or the situation allows. The plan includes a leader’s reconnaissance of the objective once the platoon or squad establishes the ORP. During his reconnaissance, the leader pinpoints the objective, selects positions for his squads, teams and adjusts his plan based upon his observation of the objective. Each type of patrol requires different tasks during the leader’s reconnaissance, and the leader takes different elements depending upon the patrol’s mission. The leader ensures the objective remains under continuous observation once deciding to return to the ORP. The leader designates a rally point and plans for adequate time to return to the ORP, complete his plan, disseminate information, issue orders and instructions, and allow his squads to make additional preparations. (See figure 6-2, page 6-6.)

Figure 6-2. Leader’s reconnaissance

Note. A leader’s reconnaissance may alert the enemy a patrol is in the area by evidence of movement or noise, before the patrol begins its mission.

Next: 6-25: Completion of the Patrol Plan

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