Infantry Drills

Section IV: Reconnaissance Patrols

Previous: 6-163: Security Patrols

6-165. A reconnaissance patrol collects information or confirms or disproves the
accuracy of information previously gained. The intent for this type of patrol is to avoid enemy contact and accomplish its tactical task without engaging in close combat. With one exception (reconnaissance in force patrol), reconnaissance patrols always try to accomplish their mission without being detected or observed. Because detection cannot always be avoided, a reconnaissance patrol carries the necessary arms and equipment to protect itself and break contact with the enemy.

6-166. A reconnaissance patrol normally travels light, with as few personnel and as little arms, ammunition, and equipment as possible. This increases stealth and cross-country mobility in close terrain. Regardless of how the patrol is armed and equipped, the leader always plans for direct-fire contact with a hostile force. Leaders must anticipate where they may possibly be observed and control the hazard by emplacing measures to lessen their risk. If detected or unanticipated opportunities arise, reconnaissance patrols must be able to rapidly transition to combat. The three types of reconnaissance patrols normally conducted by an Infantry platoon and squad are—

  • Area reconnaissance patrol.
  • Route reconnaissance patrol.
  • Zone reconnaissance patrol.

Next: 6-167: Area Reconnaissance Patrol

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