You are on page 1of 15

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

4th STRYKER BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM, 2nd Infantry Division BLDG 3243, 2D DIVISION DRIVE, BOX 339500 JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA 98433-9500
REPLY TO THE ATTENTION OF:

AFZH-SB-CSM April 2011 MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS OF 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it.

18

1. Purpose. This memorandum is a summary of lessons learned from personal


combat experience, observations and After Action Reviews (AARs) from combat operations, published materials, and what I learned, from my leadership, from their own experiences. This memorandum is intended to invoke discussion and an honest reassessment and review, by all leaders, on how we train our Soldiers in preparation for combat.

2. Scope. All leaders within 4-2 SBCT will read this document and give it
serious consideration, before discounting any part of it, in relation to their own experiences in combat and/or training. The fundamentals and observations in this document have been proven constantly and consistently in combat throughout our Armys history. By properly training our Soldiers and leaders we can be assured of success on the battlefield and bring more of our Soldiers back home.

3. Insight. The mission of the Army is to fight and win the Nations wars. Our
mission, as an SBCT, is to defeat our enemys formations and destroy their will to fight. We do this by closing with the enemy by means of fire and movement to kill, capture, or force their withdrawal and to repel their assault by fires, close combat, or counterattack. We must never forget that the Infantrys primary role is close combat, which may occur in any type of mission, in any theater, or environment. Our Soldiers and leaders must understand that close combat stresses every aspect of the physical, mental, and spiritual features of the human dimension. To this end, Infantrymen are specially selected, trained, and led. Although there have been consistent changes and upgrades in technology that have allowed us to change some techniques, tactics, and procedures on the battlefield the basic role of the Infantry has not changed. Close combat is characterized by extreme violence and physiological shock, close combat is callous and unforgiving. Its dimensions are measured in seconds and minutes as well as inches, feet, and meters, and its consequences are final. This is what a Stryker Brigade Combat Team was created for and it is what we should focusing training on. 4. Leadership

Printed on

Recycled Paper

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it.

a. Team Leaders (TL). Has authority over his subordinates and overall responsibility for their actions. This centralized authority enables the TL to maintain troop discipline and Unity and to act decisively. He is responsible for the care of his Teams men, weapons, and equipment. The TL is responsible and held accountable for all his Team does or fails to do. TLs assist the Squad Leader in tactical control and in training Team members on individual and collective tasks and battle drills. Under the fluid conditions of close combat, the TL must accomplish assigned missions using initiative without needing constant guidance from above. The TLs position on the battlefield requires immediacy and accuracy in all of his actions. In combat the TL leads by example and controls the movement of their Fire Team. To do this the use themselves, by example, and or hand and arm signals as opposed to voice commands; which usually cause confusion and lulls in fire. TLs cannot try to direct the movement of their Soldiers from the rear; it does not work. TLs control the rates and distribution of fires of their Team by designating and marking targets. The Fire Teams level of confidence in each other and training proficiency has a direct relationship to the success of the Squad, Platoon, and or Company. We cannot expect a TL or their Soldiers to have confidence in each other or be proficient in their tasks until we have given them the opportunity to train together. In combat how the lead Team reacts to contact often determines the success or failure of the Squad, Platoon, or Company. When the lead Fire Team makes contact they must immediately return fire to overwhelm and fix the enemy. The TL must be trained to make a quick assessment on whether or not they can fight through, Fire and Maneuver, or establish the initial base of fire to allow a larger element to fight through, Fire and Movement; this must happen very quickly. b. Squad Leaders (SL). The SL has authority over his subordinates and overall responsibility for those subordinates actions. This centralized authority enables the SL to act decisively while maintaining troop discipline and Unity. He is responsible for the care of his Squads men, weapons, and equipment. The SL is the senior Infantryman in the Squad and is responsible and held accountable for all the Squad does or fails to do. In close combat, even in the course of carefully-planned actions, the SL must accomplish assigned missions on his own initiative without constant guidance from above. He leads his Squad through two Team leaders and by personal example. During operations, the SL leads by being close enough to their TLs to control their speed, direction, and rate and distribution of fires. The SL only engages during contact when his fires are more important than controlling his Squad. Once the lead Fire TL determines whether or not they can or should fight through the initial contact; all subsequent decisions rest with the SL. The SL should be able to provide better resolution on what they are facing and determine if the Squad can or should attack or assume the role as the base of fire for a Platoon attack. If the SL determines the latter course of action is appropriate he adjusts his Squads position to adequately support by fire and hands off the fight to the Platoon Leader. The SL must be in a position to assess what their lead Fire Team has developed for the situation they are facing, personal reconnaissance, not relying merely on radio reports. If this is not done then the TL in contact is the SL. c. Platoon Sergeant (PSG)/First Sergeant (1SG). Our PSGs and 1SGs need to be fighting leaders. They operate where the CO/PL directs or where they can best influence a critical point or what is viewed as the Units decisive point; establishing a CCP is not critical or decisive during the fight. It is at these points where senior leadership is needed to make decisive decisions, in support of

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it. the Commanders intent, that must be made quickly and conveyed clearly in combat, these types of decisions cannot be effectively made via digital or FM communication systems. They are our most experienced leaders and need to serve as the Commanders and Platoon Leaders eyes on the battlefield. Their presence will ensure the Commander or Platoon Leader has a clear and concise understanding, ground truth, of the situation on the battlefield. They are able to do this because they are not encumbered with leading the fight but directly assisting their Commander or Platoon Leader in directing the fight; they let SLs and Platoon Leaders run their Squads and Platoons while they take care of coordination between Squads and Platoons. They do this physically, on the ground with their Soldiers. The PSG or 1SG should be at the critical point of failure on the battlefield that will ensure the overall success of the mission. They assist the Commander and Platoon Leader in consolidation and reorganization. When it is time to do CASEVAC, they do that after Consolidation is complete. It is sometimes hard to see the value of senior NCOs at the critical points on the battlefield during training, since we control all the conditions, in combat it will pay massive dividends.

d. Platoon Leaders (PL)/Company Commanders (CO). COs and PLs control their Unit and the supporting elements that are critical to mission success, i.e. direct and indirect fires, advising their Commander of enemy weaknesses to be exploited, assets needed, etc. COs and PLs must be in a position to best control their Unit; support, security, and the assault; in a location where they can see the battlefield and communicate with higher and external fire support. They have to be in a position to observe the entire action while not getting pinned down and yet close enough to lead by example if the situation should arise. CO and PLs must be able to talk to their higher Commander and his fire support at all times. They cannot do this low crawling with the lead Fire Team. This does not mean that the CO or PL stand on a hilltop over watching the battle; it does mean that they should not become the lead Fire TL. They must stay in charge of the mission. If their senior NCO is employed properly he, the CO or PL, will retain the big picture both in and around the objective. Upon consolidation the CO or PL must link up with their senior NCO and focus their Units efforts on defending the objective to include establishing security, positioning crew served weapons, etc. CO and PLs are trained on this task and they must reorient their senior NCO from the close fight to the broader task of defense. They must ensure that their senior NCO and themselves are working together in their purpose not at cross purpose; both doing what they think needs to be done as opposes to being synchronized in their efforts. 5. Rehearsals and Pre-Combat Inspections and Checks. They are more
important in combat than in training. They can be abbreviated but never skipped. Back briefs are the minimum standard. Never blow off PCIs and PCCs. Asking a Soldier if they are good to go or have everything because they are experienced is wrong and will lead to failure in combat. Everyone and everything needs to be checked. The most important piece of equipment is the weapon. It is the leaders duty to conduct a function check on all their weapon systems. We need to make inspections of weapon systems and rehearsal of immediate/remedial action a priority during rehearsals and PCIs and PCCs.

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it.

6. Fire and Movement or Fire and Maneuver. We consistently and

constantly train on Fire and Maneuver, which is not realistic in combat, instead of Fire and Movement. Fire and Maneuver seems to work well in training but we control the conditions in training; targets are easily indentified, a predetermined route has been provided to flank the enemy, and the enemy is not shooting back. Platoons, Squads, and Teams will rarely have the capability to Fire and Maneuver; it usually takes a Company sized element to actually conduct Fire and Maneuver. In combat Teams, Squads, and Platoons usually will not have the capability to find a flank and in trying to do so they will continually open up internal flanks inside their own formation to the enemy and fragment their combat power possibly allowing the enemy to overwhelm them. There is risk to any Unit smaller than Company size conducting Fire and Maneuver. We often train Squads and Teams on taking out a two man Observation Post by Fire and Maneuver. While this type of training is a good drill to exercise a Squad or Team in laying down a base of fire or practicing the close assault, it is not realistic to conditions in combat. We must train our Soldiers and leaders to understand that they will usually not be able to identify specific enemy targets or positions until they are on top of them. They need to know that the enemy in combat usually consist of a number of men, pieces of equipment, or objects that are irregularly deployed and fully or partially concealed or covered by folds in the ground, hedges, walls, buildings, woods, ditches and other natural and manmade objects and detecting the enemy normally is by a muzzle flash, dust, smoke, movement, or sound only. The enemy, no different than us, will not willing expose themselves and when they do; they will only provide a target for an extremely brief moment. The only time they can expect to see the enemy is during the close fight, e.g. room clearing or final assault of a defensive position. With this understood, upon making contact with the enemy we must return fire immediately, within three seconds is a good standard. Our Soldiers cannot seek cover and wait for instructions or wait for the enemy to stand up and show himself, he wont. We must train our Soldiers to immediately return fire, seek cover, and continue to engage known, likely, and suspected enemy positions with accurate controlled fires. The success of the Unit in contact will directly depend on their leaders being able to effective control the rate and distribution of fires of their Soldiers. Although direct fire alone will normally not be decisive enough to defeat the enemy our initial reaction to contact should allow us to fix the enemy initially, establish fire superiority, and provide us the opportunity to use Fire and Movement to destroy the enemy. keep them from shooting back with effective fire against your force. As previously stated our fires must cover not only known enemy positions but also likely and suspected enemy positions to the flanks, front, and rear. Do not get locked into seeing the enemy in training; in combat we wont. Before assaulting or being able to move on the enemy we must first use direct and indirect fires to fix the enemy. This is what allows us to exploit a weakness before he can reinforce or reorganize. The volume of fires must be such that the enemy cannot place effective fire on us, yet no more than necessary. We must not expose ourselves to the close fight until these

7. Fire Superiority. The only way to close with and destroy the enemy is to

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it. conditions are met. We have to have and develop in our leaders Combat Patience; dont move until you have set the conditions to move. We must be ruthless in enforcing combat patience in training. During training if they, the Unit and leader, dont get it right we must take them back to the start point and do it again. We must be willing to continue to keep going back to the start till everyone, leaders and Soldiers, understand how important this is to saving our Soldiers lives. At the other end of the spectrum of fire superiority are fires that have little or no effect, pouring rounds into hardened positions, e.g. buildings, bunkers, armored vehicles. We waste a tremendous amount of ball ammo on this type of targets with little or no effect on them. It does not take long in a firefight before most people figure out a safe place to be protected from direct ball ammunition fires. We should maintain our fires to keep the enemy fixed in these positions with the goal of destroying them with high explosive weapons. Our mission is to close with and destroy the enemy. In order to get there we must understand how to establish and maintain fire superiority. The effectiveness of our fires, direct and indirect, will determine when the assault can begin and it cannot begin until we establish fire superiority over the enemy; conditions based not time based.

8. Support by Fire (SBF). Our rates of fire must be the minimum possible to
keep the enemy from returning effective fire on us. It is an uncomfortable position to be in when you run out of ammunition on the battlefield. There are distinct phases and rates of fire for an SBF position: a. Initial heavy volume to gain fire superiority

b. Sustained volume of fire to conserve ammunition while still preventing the enemy from returning effective fire as the assault moves towards them.
c. Heavy volume as the assault force nears the objective

d. Shifting fires to predetermined points in support of the assault to deny the enemy the ability to reinforce, reorganize, egress the objective, and/or cease fire fires and observe the objective to engage targets of opportunity.
All vocal commands to change the rates of fire must be accompanied with simultaneous hand and arm signals. We also must use a secondary signal, an attention getter; whistle, smoke, pyro, chemlight, flashlight, etc; to alert every one of the upcoming changes in rates of fire: Rapid, Sustained, Cyclic, Shift Fire, Cease Fire, Observe. The secondary signal allows us to continue firing without having to hear a command; we can never afford a lull in fires. All commands must be repeated up and down the SBF line. SLs and above need to ensure a commands are followed. TLs lead by example and shoot, this will prevent lulls. We must learn to incorporate our lasers as signals and confirmation of commands. Lay in SBF positions in using a lazy W and shallow fire Team wedges; this includes the placement of crew served weapon systems. This allows our Soldiers to see what their TL is doing and to do what he is doing instead of trying to listen for verbal commands. It also allows the leader to control their sub-elements fires by physically controlling the base weapon system. A shallow wedge also will prevent one weapon from flanking and pinning down the entire element. Every weapon

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it. system must have a primary and secondary sector of fire along with a primary and secondary position and Soldiers must cover their assigned sectors unless directed otherwise. How many time do we actually plan this all the way through, almost never because in training we set the conditions, in combat we wont be able to. Machine Guns are suppressive fire weapon systems; they suppress known and suspected enemy positions. Do not let them put all their ammo into one bunker because that is all they can identify. SBF Leaders must be alert for the tough targets and direct the appropriate weapon system to reduce or destroy them. Employ your machine guns to set up the tough target kill shot from the appropriate weapon system, i.e. pinning the enemy down or suppressing the firing aperture while the M203 or AT gunner, who most likely will have to be exposed to get a clean shot, gets into position. The SBF leader is responsible to ensure there is no masking of fires; not the Assault Leader. The Assault Element might have to mask the SBF position; they may not have a choice on the route they have to take. It is the SBF leaders job to continually shift fires, reposition Teams, guns, etc. to support the assault and prevent the masking of fires. If an element of the SBF cannot shoot because the Assault Element is masking their fires then they need to be moved to where they can continue to place accurate and effective fires on the enemy. Shift and shut down elements of the SBF instead of the whole position at once. The SBF leader must practice and actually incorporate and use M203s, mortars, and other indirect fire systems to continually provide effective suppression so that their direct fire elements can move to where they can shoot. Every SBF must have backups for the machine guns (e.g. a rifle Squad), indirect fire capabilities (M203, MK19, mortars), and HE capability (AT-4, Javelin, SMAW-D, TOW, 105mm, etc.) We must train this way even if the range will not allow it to be actually fired! The enemy cannot be truly fixed or suppressed without indirect and HE weapons.

9. Mortars. Mortars have been the deciding factor in the close in fight since
their inception and this is not going to change any time soon. They are the only indirect fire system that can be counted on in the close fight. Effective use of mortars has often been the difference of winning and losing the fight. With a minimum safe distance of 70 meters, 60mm, they are a responsive system that can be used very close to your forward troops. Do not plan to position your mortars somewhere safe so that they can deliver indirect fires. Employ them where they can be really effective and as responsive as your machine guns. Plan to use them in direct lay or direct alignment, hand-held. This is how the majority of our 60mm ammo should be used, during training. Our 81mm and 120mm mortars will kill and destroy many targets, bunkers and other hardened targets, which the 60mm cannot. They can isolate, suppress, and destroy all at the same time.

10. High Explosives. The psychological effects of HE are devastating on an


enemy. Nothing breaks an enemy quicker than HE. Our leaders and Soldiers must understand that the majority of the killing we do of the enemy is done with high explosive weapons, (Grenades, 40mm, AT4, Javelins, Tows, MGS, mortars, gunships, and artillery). Careful and planned use of HE is critical to fixing and destroying an enemy. Proper employment of HE weapons will allow us to conserve ball ammunition for when we really need it, the close in fight. Dont use 300 rounds of 7.62 to suppress a bunker when one AT-4 will

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it. destroy it. Use 2.75, AT-4, 40mm, 60mm, 81mm, 105mm, 120mm, and 155mm to destroy wire obstacles then a Bangalore or APOBS to finish the breach. HE destroys prepared positions and kills people in them, not 5.56 or 7.62. We must practice using HE in training even though we may not be allowed to use it in training. We should never use a Soldier with an M-4 to do something HE munitions will.

11. Assault. You will never truly know the strength and disposition, where they

are all at, of the enemy until you move on them. The chances of actually seeing the enemy is rare and remote; even with our current technology. In our training normally there are silhouettes to shoot at until they fall, they will not exist in combat. We can expect to fire and move on sounds, muzzle flashes, and puffs of smoke or dirt only. We will not know if we are attacking two men or a Company until we overrun the objective. We must assault through the objective. Assaulting through the objective means assaulting through to the next defendable piece of terrain beyond the objective. We must IMT all the way through and use Fire and Movement until we are positive there is no more resistance. We will have to reduce the resistance as we come to it. We must always assume there is resistance beyond; in front, to both flanks, and to the rear; what we see. We cannot allow our leaders and Soldiers to become focused on only the enemy positions we can see. Our Soldiers and leaders commonly end up focused on this in training they all gravitate to what they can see like moths to a light. Leaders and Soldiers should use the 1/3 rule, i.e. if we think and believe the objective is 100 meters wide, we must assault and clear at least 33 meters to the left, right, front, and rear of the known objective and they must always be prepared to fight beyond that. Our assault must be characterized by our volume and accuracy of fire along with our violence of action. The importance of developing or having the capability to generate and maintain a great volume of accurate fires during the assault cannot be understated. There will be times where a concentration of grenades will have to be employed to during the assault of an objective to overcome the possible loss of fire superiority. In training, the closer we get to the close in fight the less we fire; pretending or assuming that the enemy has given up or is already dead. This is a serious flaw in our training that must be corrected. It will take a lot of fire and violence of action to get close enough to a bunker, trench, building, or other obstacle or position before we can toss a grenade in. Always train for the worst case scenario; that your enemy is a determined and committed foe who will fight to the last man, not assumptions or preconceived notions. crawl, high crawl, and rush. In combat you will mainly use the low and high crawl. In training we only seem to use the rush. It is very easy to fight and control your force using the rush. In combat you usually will not get to choose your movement technique as you do in training. Leaders must learn to lead from their bellies and Soldiers must learn to fight from their bellies; there is rarely another way to do it in a firefight; train this way so we are prepared for what we will have to do in combat. This is hard and must be trained on. As stated before our leaders and Soldiers must learn Combat

12. Individual Movement Techniques. There are three basic techniques; low

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it. Patience; we cannot effectively move on the enemy until we have suppressed his effective fires on us. We must train to move as fast as we can, a. Based our ability to sustain our volume and accuracy of fires on the enemy b. Based on the available cover c. Based on the movement technique the enemy is forcing us to use by his fires I understand that with our optics and NVGs that we are most effective when fighting on our feet in most situations and command and control is easier this way. However, the problem lies in that even if the enemy cannot fire well aimed shots, due to our suppressive fires, but he has any kind of HE ammunition (grenades, RPG, etc.) the chances of becoming a casualty increase dramatically when you are standing due to fragments alone. We always seem to need to work on IMT; we must quit saying it and fix it. The reason we always need to work on it is because we go too fast and are too impatient. There are only two ways a Squad conducts movement, by individuals and by Teams, it is that easy. We cant move on the enemy unless we can keep them from shooting back, see a), b), and c) above. Always train the hardest way as combat is the hardest thing our Soldiers and leaders will have to do.

13. Breach of a Mined Wire Obstacle. Breaching a mined wire obstacle is a


Platoon task. One Squad isolates the left flank and one Squad isolates the right flank of the breaching Squad; these Squads should have MG attached to them. One entire Squad is required to conduct the breach since fire and movement will be required. A fire Team employees the explosive charge or manually reduces the obstacle and the other fire Team provides front and flank security/suppression at the breach point. The rest of the Company suppresses known, suspected, and likely enemy positions that can affect the breach site with direct and indirect fires. Smoke will be critical to success. Smoke grenades are the least preferred since you have to get close to use it; smoke from mortars or artillery should be planned. We must learn to echelon our use of smoke; use mortar and artillery smoke during the approach for general obscuration and M203/Smoke Grenades up close at the breach for local obscuration; remember M203 (30sec) and Smoke Grenades (60-150sec) obscuration times are greatly dependent on wind conditions so be prepared to exploit it. Enemy fires will interlock at the wire and we must plan on low crawling up and back even at night; the enemy does not need to see you to kill you. A well thought out plan is required in order to ensure that all known and suspected enemy positions can be suppressed before moving forward to the breach site. Breaching wire with mines is by far the hardest mission that can be given to the light infantry. In combat you must use a Bangalore, field expedient Bangalore, or Mk7 Antipersonnel Obstacle Breaching System (APOBS). We must keep the breach open, it will not take the enemy long to recover and close the breach with fires. The first Squad needs to move through the breach a quickly as possible and establish a base of fire on the other side. The Squad should rush through the breach, by

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it. Teams, firing their weapons at known and suspected enemy positions immediately after the explosion, the same as if they were following a flash bang, to take advantage of shock of the explosion. The lead Squad must be prepared to low crawl through the breech if the enemy recovers quickly. Follow on Squads mark the breach after the lead Squad has established a base of fire. Lead Squads who stop to mark the breach will die there and nobody will get through; marking is a secondary priority.

14. Knock out Bunkers. Like breaching, knock out a bunker is a Platoon task.

Squads on both flanks isolate the bunker. A Squad then conducts fire and movement on the bunker, suppressing the bunker and providing close in security. Finally, a Fire Team or a minimum number of men actually clear the bunker; one to frag and clear the bunker with fire and two for close in support. We must maintain security after throwing the grenade, our tendency is to roll away or seek cover which drops our coverage of the bunker. The likely enemy reaction is to either run out or throw the grenade back out. If you have and can employ HE munitions to reduce/destroy the bunker, AT-4, MK-19, HEDP, Laws, Javelin, etc. do so. Do not use your Soldiers with M-4s to do something HE will do flanks to isolate the entry point. One fire Team provides fire for the other to move to the trench entry point. Two outside men of the entry fire Team throw in grenades, offensive or flash bang. Immediately after the explosion, the entire fire Team rolls into the trench and moves to the closest corner and cover. The SL enters as soon as possible and makes a decision when to bring the rest of the Squad into the trench. No one moves in the trench alone, always use high man low man. Always follow bullets or grenades around corners, sometimes you can pie the corner but usually not. Dont go to fast. Lead, low man, weapon is on burst/automatic not safe; High man is on safe. The M249 is a great lead weapon in the trench, a technique, having to change magazines in a trench fight is not a good idea. Shoguns do not make a good lead weapon in trenches, small magazine capacity and slow rate of fire. Offensive hand grenades and flash bangs are better in trenches than frags; nearly the same effect without as much dust and lessens the chance of friendly casualties. The lead Team should not be encumbered with marking, have the follow on element do it Lead Team must be focused and have 100% situational awareness. Stacks in trenches for the #3 and #4 man should be loose enough where are Soldiers can twist and turn freely. The #1 and #2 men should be tight and move as one. Trail Teams and Squads should be providing overwatch and support of the lead Team. However, they need to ensure there is sufficient space between them in the lead Team so that they do not trip over each other should the enemy use a grenade or automatic weapon against them. Trench clearing like room clearing entails CQB, the principles are the same. The keys are mass sufficient combat power for the task at hand, momentum, and combat patience. As in all other battle drills the TLs role is vital. For every situation he must make an assessment, develop and disseminate a plan, and then execute decisively with surprise, speed, and violence of action.

15. Enter a Trench to Secure a Foothold. A Platoon task. Squads on both

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it.

16. Consolidation and Reorganization. Consolidation and Reorganization are

two distinct and separate actions; they must be treated as such. Consolidation is the process of organizing and strengthening a newly captured position so that it can be defended. Consolidation has to with security and preparing for a counter attack, this has to happen after every action, offensive or defensive, not matter how quickly we are trying to get off the objective. Consolidation includes: establishing local 360-degree security by use of patrols, OP/LPs, and early warning devices; establishing and registering final protective fires; seeking out and eliminating remaining enemy resistance on and off the objective; positioning of automatic and other key weapon systems; establishing sectors of fire; and ensuring everyone has a good fighting position with cover and concealment. This may sound like a lot but it is just basic stuff that each leader must do instinctively before we go into reorganization. Reorganization is the actions taken to shift internal resources within a degraded Unit to increase its level of combat effectiveness; reestablish the chain of command, man key weapons, maintain communication and reporting, resupply or redistribution of ammunition or other key supplies, perform special Team actions (EPW, CASEVAC, DEMO), searching and then marking positions that have been cleared. The rule must be not to begin reorganization until you are secure enough to do it. Combat patience is critical here. We usually want to get off the objective as soon as possible, but we will get caught short if we go faster than we are able to. Plan your training to support the time it will take to accomplish the task in combat; much longer than we normally do in training. to perfection. If they are conducted incorrectly, Soldiers will be wounded or killed. When this happens, others will want to stop fighting and try to recover casualties. In this recovery attempt, they too may become casualties and the combat effectiveness of the Unit is in danger of being lost. If one man gets shot at a certain position, then the chances are whoever goes to get them will also be shot. Until we destroy what shot the first man the Unit must continue to fight to reduce the effectiveness of the enemy to a point where casualties can be properly cared for. First priority for any wounded Soldier must be self-aid not buddy-aid.

17. Casualties. Fire and movement and fire and maneuver must be conducted

18. Communications. Treat communications problems like it is life or death


problem, it can be. Never give up. There is always some way to communicate continue to work it until you can communicate. When not in contact, whisper and cup your mouth when talking into the handset. Keep the volume low as possible. When in contact talk in a normal voice. Screaming into the handset to overcome the noise of the battle or aircraft will make you unreadable. We need to understand that radios are not an effective way to control Squads and Fire Teams during contact. Radios are a vital piece of equipment but unreliable at times. Proper use of radios can critically enhance the mission but, if we rely on them totally we are setting ourselves up for failure. Figure out how and when the use of radios enhances the mission and use them for that. Talking on the radio during combat can result in confusion and or lulls in fire. Commands are needed in combat,

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it. leaders need to lead; talking is not. We must train to do operations without radios. Then when we do use them, we will be much more successful.

19. Movement Techniques. Movement techniques describe the position of


elements of the Unit in relation to each other during movement. Companies, Platoons and Squads use three movement techniques: traveling, traveling overwatch, and bounding overwatch. Movement Techniques provide varying degrees of control, security, and flexibility. Movement techniques differ from formations in two ways:

a.

Formations are relatively fixed; movement techniques are not. The distance between moving units or the distance that a Squad/Platoon bounds away from an overwatching Squad/Platoon varies based on factors of METTTC.

b.

Movement Techniques allow Squads/Platoons/Companies to make contact with the enemy with the smallest element possible. This allows leaders to establish a base of fire, initiate suppressive fires, and attempt to maneuver without first having to disengage or be reinforced. Leaders base their selection of a particular Movement Technique on the likelihood of enemy contact, the type of contact expected, and availability of an overwatch element, the terrain over which the moving element will pass, and a balance of speed and security required during movement. We generally concept these well except that in training we do not account for the time it actually takes to move in an environment with a thinking enemy. Too often we have developed a mentality of speed over security in all situations in training. In combat everything takes longer; you know there is thinking determined enemy out there; not stationary e-type silhouettes. You will almost never know exactly where they are. We have to develop the mentality that Slow is smooth and smooth is fast in our leaders and Soldiers. To be passively curious to everything around them, be aware, as they move. As opposed to the hurry up and get there mentality you usually see in training.

20. Movement Formations. Movement Formations are composed of two


variables: lateral frontage, represented by the line formation; and depth, represented by the column formation. Movement Formations are used for several purposes: to relate one element to another on the ground; to position firepower to support the direct-fire plan; to establish responsibilities for sector security among elements; or to aid in the execution of battle drills or maneuver. Just as they do with movement techniques, Leaders need to use formations based on where they expect enemy contact, and on their next higher level leaders plan to react to contact. Leaders evaluate the situation and decide which formation best suits the mission and situation; not always the Wedge (Team) or Column (Platoon/Company). Their Leader ensures the Unit is moving in a way that supports a rapid transition to Fire and Movement. Once contact with the enemy is made, Teams, Squads, and Platoons execute the appropriate actions on contact, and leaders begin to maneuver their units. By training our Soldiers, on the different Movement Formations, leaders maintain flexibility in their formations for the situation they believe they may face in combat. Doing so enables them to react,

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it. effectively and decisively, when unexpected enemy actions occur. Using the proper Movement Formation for the situation allows the Platoon/Company to weight its maximum firepower in a desired direction. To control the choice of Movement Formation at Squad level and higher leaders must use a base element; Fire Team, Squad, or Platoon; which will enable the leader to control the speed and direction of the movement of the entire element by issuing orders to a single element. Everything that happens during movement is based off the Base (Lead) Fire Team. They can be slowed down, but they should never be made to go faster. The Base Element is the tip of the spear for the entire formation; if everyone positions themselves to see and guide off the Base Element, which can be a Fire Team up to Battalion, the entire formation will be able to fight without a word getting spoken. In the last ten years we have become and Army that fights from the Stack only (Fire Team) and from the Column (Squad, Platoon, and Company). We must develop, in training, our leaders and Soldiers the ability to fight from and understand when to use more Movement Formations than this. One answer does not solve all problems in combat.

21. Night Combat. Gives the attacker a psychological advantage in magnifying


the defenders doubts, apprehension, and fears of the unknown. While you cannot assume that the enemy has no Night Vision Capabilities, a mistake still being made today in Iraq and Afghanistan. A conventional force without Night Vision will use illumination. We have to be prepared for both situations. Night Operations also: Decrease the ability to place aimed shots. Increase the importance of close combat, volume of fire and fires of certain weapon systems; laid on in daylight. Increase the difficulty of movement techniques and formations. Increase the difficulty in maintaining control, direction, and contact of your Unit. Increase the difficulty in readily indentifying leaders. The difference between day and night operations and techniques must be kept to a minimum; we have to be just as effective at night as in daylight. We have to train at night on all facets of our individual and collective tasks. In training always remember that your enemy is not a non-thinking target to be destroyed at our will. Our training must always take into consideration that the enemy will fight back, that he is a determined and committed to kill us while we are trying to do the same to him. We cannot just go through the motions in training but must understand the fundamentals and challenges of combat so that we train flexibility in our Soldiers and train agile and adaptive leaders.

ENCL 1

PAUL D. BALMFORTH CSM, USA Brigade Command Sergeant Major

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it.

1. Training Tips and Observations. Listed below are some training tips and
observations that we all should know, but sometimes are forgotten, do not put enough emphasis on, or enforce. your basic load of link is gone before your basic load of 5.56mm ball, your AR is firing too much. Although it is a machine gun, it is the Squad Automatic Weapon; we have to control our M249s. b. Both the M249 and M203 are needed on SBF positions. Too many times there are M249s but no M203s.

a. Most TLs do not do a good job of controlling the rate of fire for their M249. If

c. The M249 must be charged palm-up; this prevents the cocking handle from over riding the cam. d. Tasks SLs should concentrate on before executing live fires or anytime when nothing is going on: (1) Immediate and remedial action drills for malfunctions. This can be done with blanks or no ammunition. This cannot be practiced enough. (2) Hip pocket training. NCOs will always have three (3) classes ready and all Soldiers one (1). If there are 15 minutes and one Soldier, training should be going on. This training will save a Soldiers life one day. An NCO that has nothing to teach his men is worthless. (3) Rates of Fire. We can get on this without ammunition. Have the Squad sit on line and say what rate of fire you want to start with i.e. sustained, rapid, or cyclic. Everyone says bang every time they would pull the trigger. Change rates of fire and everyone will change the time between saying bang. Tap Soldiers and tell them they have a malfunction or have to change magazines/drum, dont yell gun down or changing magazines. Just be silent, other Soldiers need to notice the silence, just like in combat, and pick up their rates of fire. Include firing the M203, AT-4s, and employing hand grenades; to train your Soldiers on picking up rates of fire when these weapon systems are employed. Do this until its the norm. It will transfer when using live ammunition. Dont train this way with blanks, too many malfunctions. There is no need to yell gun down or changing magazines; there will be too many other things going on in combat. Your Soldiers should be trained to listen to the rhythm of the fire and adjust appropriately. Our crew served weapons Teams usually do a good job at this; but not rifle Squads. (4) Squad Fire and Movement. Again, no ammunition needed, bang will do just fine. Concentrate on the rates of fire, firing positions, and rate of movement with appropriated IMT, (low-crawl, high crawl, or rush). Employ AT-4, M203, handgrenades, and obstacles. Every time someone moves when there is no one firing; back up 10 meters and start again. Practice lulls in fire to make Soldiers drop. Do this during blank and live fires also. We must drive this point home; we cannot move unless we have fire superiority, do it until your Soldiers get the point. This is

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it. at the very base of what we do, yet one of the weakest areas, we must reach the point where this is the standard and not an AAR comment.

e. Crew Drills (M240B). We do not conduct proper to standard Crew Drills in training. Laying out spare barrels, ammunition, tools, oil, tightening the gas system, oiling the MG, etc. must happen. Additionally, we are not using the proper fire commands in training or combat. This is not knick picking, this is important. We cannot kill anyone if our weapons do not work or we do not know what is expected of us. Barrel change standards should be 10 sec. Crew Drills work in combat when Soldiers are under stress.
f. When changing magazines drop behind cover and then come up at a different location not the same spot you were firing from before.

g. It is difficult with the noise and stress of combat to know when your magazine is empty. Place two tracers round at the bottom of the magazine to assist you in detecting an empty magazine.
h. We must retain our empty magazines and practice storing them quickly.

i. M240B gunner crews should carry and place a sand bag under their ammunition. This will prevent malfunctions and give the AG store loose ammunition in an emergency. j. Combat rolls should be used primarily to move laterally, see f above, or when under effective enemy fire not all the time. In contact our Soldiers should be moving forward or shooting, not combat rolls.
k. Do not get wrapped up in the intelligence you receive or the reliability of it. Expect the unexpected and plan for it. l. All actions in combat at event driven not time driven.

m. Smoke can be an effective tool when used properly. Too often we are too impatient to get good use out of its employment. n. We have a tendency to pile/cluster up around buildings or targets just taken down. This only provides a target for the enemy and makes us easy to pin down. We must stay spread out for maximum protection and flexibility. We cannot allow the enemy to bog down our assault through our own actions.

o. When we train with Strykers we often do not combat load them with what we
will take to combat, i.e. Javelin, AT-4, Ammo Cans, yet we load enough other junk to fill the same space. Come combat where will all this junk go? Train as you fight. p. Indirect Fire is called indirect for a reason. If not registered it takes, normally, three (3) adjustments to get on target. Yet in training missions we pretend that they will achieve steel on steel with their first round. The same holds true for aviation assets.

MEMORANDUM FOR LEADERS, 4-2 SBCT SUBJECT: Fundamentals of Combat and How to Train for it. q. Marksmanship. We need to be able to rapidly and effectively take down targets 50m and closer We need to be able to rapidly and effectively take down targets 300m to 600m If we can do item i and ii 51m to 299m should be no issue. The enemy will almost never engage you unless he has an obstacle between you and him

(1) (2) (3) r.

s. When engaging the enemy our Soldiers will be under stress caused by fatigue, fear, and battlefield noise. t. In some situations, Squads will initiate and sustain fires without direction from the SL and or PL. u. Night combat gives the attacker a psychological advantage over the defender. The difference between day and night techniques must be kept to a minimum; we must be as effective at night as we are in daylight.