leader. The patrol moves by following his signals. They
2. the mission, and
must maintain contact with him at all times, except when
3. the route of the patrol.
a bush or small terrain feature briefly gets in the way. To
maintain contact with the patrol leader, security
elements must glance in his direction every few steps.
The patrol leader places himself where he can best
Point and Scouts
maintain control. Normally, this is at, or near, the head
of the patrol but depends somewhat upon the patrol
Small patrols may use only one man or as many as
route. When the route is clearly defined, the leader
afire team as the point. The size depends on the enemy
should take a position within the patrol wherever his
situation, terrain, and patrol route. Normally, a
signals can best be seen by patrol members. If the route
squad-size patrol uses two riflemen as scouts; however,
is ill-defined as in dense woods, jungle, or at night, the
should the patrol come into a dangerous area or close to
leader must be in, or with, the leading group.
the enemy, the leader might increase the number in the
point. The leader may use an entire fire team to cover
The second in command, the assistant patrol leader,
the advance of the patrol.
assists the patrol leader in controlling the patrol. He
helps the patrol leader by controlling the rear of the
The automatic rifleman moves slightly behind the
patrol and by preventing men from falling behind or
rest of the fire team. From this position, he can cover the
getting out of position. He is continually alert for signals
movements of the scouting element. The size of the
or orders and watches to seethe other members receive
point increases in relation to the size of the patrol.
those orders or signals. He observes the rear to prevent
The point is responsible for investigating the route
the patrol from attack from that direction. He is ready to
of advance immediately to the front of the patrol. When
assume command of the patrol if the leader becomes a
visibility is good, it may precede the main body by as
much as 100 yards. The point must always maintain
Patrols are controlled in the daytime by
visual contact with the patrol leader.
arm-and-hand signals and oral orders. Each member of
a patrol must be thoroughly familiar with the standard
arm-and-hand signals. These signals are discussed in
chapter 11. Before contact with the enemy has been
One man on each side may provide flank security
made, the patrol leader must issue his orders. Oral orders
for a patrol the size of a squad, or less. The flanks move
are a sure means of control. Commands should be just
as directed by the patrol leader. In special instances,
loud enough to be heard by patrol members. When near
two-man groups may be necessary. Such a group keeps
the enemy, you should halt the patrol before issuing
one man where he can seethe patrol leader at all times.
orders. The leader moves from man to man and quietly
He remains within 100 yards of the leader. The man
provides instructions. Sound signals may be used if they
farther out remains in sight of the inside man, normally
will not be confused with other noises. When a sound
within 20 to 25 yards.
signal is to be used, the patrol leader should rehearse it
In open terrain, the flankers should investigate
before beginning the patrol. Control by voice is usually
cover within 100 yards of the general route of march of
better than by other sound signals.
the patrol. Flankers may become impractical because of
Though darkness helps a patrol move close the
reduced visibility in dense woods or jungle. Then the
enemy without being detected, it increases the problem
men normally assigned to flank protection move with
of control. To overcome this, each man is required to
the patrol itself. They maintain close observation to their
keep in sight of the man to his front and flank This
procedure ensures everyone is in position to receive
signals and orders.
A small patrol normally has only one rifleman
assigned as rear point. He remains in sight and within
about 50 yards of the last man of the patrol. This rifleman
All-around security must be maintained at all times.
maintains rear security for the patrol by constantly
This is done within a patrol by using formations that
observing to the rear. If the patrol is ambushed, he stays
provide protection to the front, flanks, and rear. These
out of the fire fight. If the patrol is annihilated or
elements are the eyes, ears, and fingers of the patrol