Infantry Drills

6-81: Five- And Twenty-Five Meter Checks

Previous: 6-80: Security Checks While on Patrol

6-81. Every time a patrol stops, it should use a fundamental security technique known as the 5- and 25-meter check. The technique involves every patrol member requiring him to make detailed, focused examinations of the area immediately around him, and looking for anything out of the ordinary which might be dangerous or significant. Five-meter checks should be conducted every time a patrol member stops. Twenty-five-meter checks should be conducted when a patrol halts for more than a few minutes.

6-82. Soldiers should conduct a visual check using their unaided vision, and by using the optics on their weapons and binoculars. They should check for anything suspicious, and anything out of the ordinary. This might be as minor as bricks missing from walls, new string or wire run across a path, mounds of fresh soil, or other suspicious signs. Check the area at ground level through to above head height.

6-83. When the patrol makes a planned halt, the patrol leader identifies an area for occupation and stops 50 meters short of it. While the remainder of the patrol provides security, the patrol leader carries out a visual check using binoculars. After moving the patrol forward 20 meters from the position, the patrol leader conducts a visual check using optics on the weapon or with unaided vision.

6-84. Before actually occupying the position, each Soldier conducts a thorough visual and physical check for a radius of five meters. Each Soldier must be systematic, take time and show curiosity. Use touch and, at night, white light if appropriate.

6-85. Obstacles must be physically checked for command wires. Fences, walls, wires, posts and ground immediately underneath must be carefully felt by hand, without gloves.

Next: Section III: Combat Patrols

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