U n i t e d S t a t e s M i l i t a r y A c a d e m y
Military Science 103
Introduction to Warfighting
INTRODUCTION TO WARFIGHTING
Department of Military Instruction
United States Military Academy
SFC TONY B. DURHAM
McGraw Hill Information
The Warrior Ethos
The Warrior Ethos forms the
the American Soldier’s spirit and total
commitment to victory, in peace and
war, always exemplifying ethical
behavior and Army Values. Soldiers
put the mission first, refuse to accept
defeat, never quit, and never leave
behind a fellow American. Their
absolute faith in themselves and their
comrades makes the United States
Army invariably persuasive in peace
and invincible in war.
At the conclusion of this course, a 4th Class Cadet will be able to:
° Function effectively as a member of a Light Infantry Squad.
° State the responsibilities of each member of a Light Infantry Squad.
° Define the requirements of basic mission planning and apply them in
tactical situations (METT-TC, OAKOC, and Task & Purpose).
° Demonstrate basic map reading skills.
° Understand the Organization of a Light Infantry Platoon.
Course Scope Statement:
MS 103 Introduction to Warfighting is designed to provide 4th Class Cadets a
foundation of military and tactical knowledge necessary for application during Cadet Field
Training (CFT) and implementation in a future career as an Army Officer. Cadets will
learn the organization of a Light Infantry Squad and Platoon as well as the characteristics
of its organic weapons. Tactical instruction will include map reading and military analysis
through an introduction to the military planning considerations of Mission, Enemy,
Terrain, Troops, Time, and Civil considerations (METT-TC). Additionally, instruction will
cover the Troop Leading Procedures (TLP), pre-combat inspections, squad formations
and basic squad movement techniques. Finally, cadets will also be introduced to the
concepts of dismounted squad operations. During the course these skills will be applied
in the analysis of basic tactical situations in order to reinforce Cadet understanding.
Later, the Cadet will apply what he/she has learned in the tactical environment of CFT.
Purpose: The purpose of MS 103 is to introduce 4th class cadets to the following:
• Basic organization and structure of a military unit
• Basic tools of a small unit leader
• Basic military communication and the language of the Army
• Basic military analysis
As an introduction, it is expected that Cadets will become familiar with these
concepts and make them a part of everyday life. This is a foundation course of
instruction upon which all of the Academy’s military instruction continues to build.
Director of Military Instruction COL A. Stanley Jr.
Military Science Chief MAJ J. Zsido
Course Director SFC T. Durham
I would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their
contributions to this material:
• Patricia Durham
• Susan Bailey
• MSG T. Kennedy
• CPT C. Medina
• CPT R. Goodroe
• MAJ K. Bailey
• All DMI MEMBERS
These individuals and others provided invaluable assistance and
advice in the development of this text and the MS 103 course.
MS 103 Introduction to Warfighting is a one semester 20 hour course
for4th Class Cadets at the United States Military Academy. It is the second
of a new series of eight Military Science core courses offered in the Cadet’s
47-month experience. This course provides the cadet with the initial
foundation in order to prepare him/her for a commission in the United States
The Introduction to Warfighting course is the first opportunity the
Cadets are offered to discuss and develop fundamental tactical skills at the
Academy. A close examination of the organization of units, platoon level
weapons, and military analysis are key elements of study. The Cadets will
have an opportunity to apply their knowledge gained through group
discussion and classroom study utilizing situational vignettes and Tactical
Decision Making Exercises (TDMEs).
This course is a Cadet’s first step along the path of his/her chosen
profession. The foundation for a long and illustrious military service begins
The following requirements will be evaluated in order to determine a
Cadet’s comprehension of the subject material.
Course Graded Requirements:
Leadership Exercise #1(1x25 pts) 25pts.
Quiz’s(3x25 pts) 75pts.
PCI Exercise (1x25 pts) 25pts.
Self-paced Text (1 x 50 pts) 50 pts
Instructor Points (1 x 100 pts) 100 pts
Capstone Test (1 x 150 pts) 150 pts
Planning Assessment (1x75 pts) 75 pts.
Total Points 500 pts
A+ 97-100% C+ 77-79.9%
A 93-96.9% C 73-76.9%
A- 90-92.9% C- 70-72.9%
B+ 87-89.9% D 67-69.9%
B 83-86.9% F 66.9% and below
There is one Planning Assessment issued approximately 3/4 into the
semester. The Cadet must analyze a given military scenario and FRAGO
in order to determine a sound course of action for his/her unit. The basis
for the decision should come from the concepts and techniques learned
from course study.
There is one Self-Paced Text issued at the beginning of the semester. It
contains several instructional units that must be completed during the
course of the semester. The Self-Paced Text will be periodically collected
in order to evaluate student progress. The Self-Paced Text will be
collected at the end of the semester for a final grade.
Term End Exam:
There is one Term End Exam issued on Lesson 19. This is a
comprehensive exam that covers all the course material. Cadets will be
given the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the basic fundamentals
taught during this course.
There will be one guest speaker for the Warfighter lecture.
Course Information iii
Student Introduction iv
BLOCK 1 : WARFIGHTING
Lesson 1: Introduction to Warfighter Concept
Lesson 2: Organization & Mission of the Light Infantry Squad
Lesson 3: The Roles of Squad Members
Lesson 4: Weapon Systems of the Light Infantry Platoon
Lesson 5: Squad Level Maneuver
Lesson 6: Warfighter Lecture
BLOCK 2 : MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS
Lesson 7: Operational Terms and Graphics
Lesson 8: The Troop Leading Procedures
Lesson 9: The Warning Order
Lesson 10: Pre-Combat Inspections
Lesson 11: Basic Map Reading
Lesson 12: Military Grid Reference System
Lesson 13: Manipulating the Map
BLOCK 3: MILITARY ANALYSIS
Lesson 14: The Principles of War
Lesson 15: The Principles of War (continued)
Lesson 16: METT-TC
Lesson 17: METT-TC (continued)
Lesson 18: Capstone Test Review
Lesson 19: Capstone Test
Lesson 20: Cadet Field Craft Tips
1 TDME #1
2 TDME #2
3 TDME #3
MS 103: The 4th Class Cadets
•What is the maximum effective range of: (BLOCK 1 LSN 4)
The M4 Carbine
The M203 40mm Grenade Launcher
The M249 Squad Automatic Weapon
The M240B Medium Machine Gun
• State the characteristics of: (BLOCK 1 LSN 4)
The M4 Carbine
The M203 40mm Grenade Launcher
The M249 Squad Automatic Weapon
The M240B Medium Machine Gun
•Describe the role of the Squad Leader.
(BLOCK 1 LSN 3)
•List the eight Troop Leading Procedures.
(BLOCK 2 LSN 8)
• What are the four critical components of the Warning Order?
(BLOCK 2 LSN 9)
•Describe the purpose of military symbols and graphics.
(BLOCK 2 LSN 7)
• What are the five major terrain features found on a military map?
(BLOCK 2 LSN 11)
• What are the five basic map colors and what do they represent?
(BLOCK 2 LSN 11)
•List the nine Principles of War.
(BLOCK 3 LSN 14)
What acronym is used to analyze military situations and what do the letters
(BLOCK 3 LSN 16)
• What does the acronym OAKOC stand for?
(BLOCK 3 LSN 17)
INTRODUCTION TO WARFIGHTING
INTRODUCTION TO WARFIGHTER CONCEPT
• Describe the Officer as a Warfighter.
• Describe the concept of the Warrior Ethos.
• Read Text Chapter 1: Introduction to the Warfighter Concept and
the Warrior Ethos.
• Complete Chapter 1 Questions, Questions 1-5.
• Complete Self-Paced Text, Unit 1.
• FM 7-8:
o 1-3 Leader Skills.
o 1-4 Soldier Skills.
o 2-1 Mission Tactics.
o Annex B Command and Control, pg 5-4.
o Appendix 1 Command and Control pg 5-6 #1and pg A-4 #A3.
• Bring all issued course materials to class.
• Bring Lap tops to class
• “LESSON QUOTE”
• War is a game to be played with a smiling face. O, horrible war!
Amazing medley for the glorious and the squalid, the pitiful and
the sublime! If modern men of light and leading saw your face
closer, simple folk would see it hardly ever.
• Sir Winston Chruchill, 1900
Dick Winters' path toward war mirrored that of millions of other American veterans of Tom Brokaw's
"greatest generation." Born in Lancaster, Pa., on January 21, 1918, Winters spent his formative years
in eastern Pennsylvania. His early heroes were Babe Ruth and Milton S. Hershey, who had founded a
school for boys in the town that now bears his name. Graduating from Franklin-Marshall College in
June 1941 as a business major, Winters volunteered for military service. His intent was to spend the
mandatory one year in the Army, then return to civilian life to pursue a private career. Following his
induction in August, he spent his basic combat training at Camp Croft, S.C., where he was stationed
when he received word of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Winters soon applied for Officer
Candidate School and arrived at Fort Benning, where he graduated in July 1942 as a second lieutenant
Seeking adventure, he next volunteered for airborne training. In Winters' eyes, the airborne
training appeared to be "interesting work." The troopers were "hard, lean, bronzed and tough ...a proud
and cocky bunch." Moreover, the physical training was very appealing to Winters. Standing 6 feet tall
and weighing 177 pounds, he was accustomed to lots of running and outdoor activity. Also, the
additional jump pay might help pay off his father's home mortgage.
When the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment was formed in August, Winters became one of the
original members of Easy Company. Training at Camp Toccoa, Ga., was rugged, but Winters relished
the camaraderie and challenges associated with airborne training. Assigned command of Easy's 2nd
Platoon, he soon completed his five jumps and received his airborne wings. In mid-April 1943, he had
also assumed the duties of company executive officer, a position that he found brought new
challenges. Still a first lieutenant, Winters remained with Easy Company when the regiment joined the
101st Airborne Division in June 1943. Three months later, the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment
(PIR) deployed to England to prepare for the ensuing invasion of the European continent.
From September 1943 until June 1944, Winters quietly emerged as Easy Company's most dynamic
and charismatic junior officer. He later attributed his success to his training and to the relationship that
he had developed with the enlisted men. As a teetotaler, he never participated in the social life
associated with the officer corps. Winters preferred the life of quiet reflection and organized athletics
within Easy. He described himself as a "half-breed," being an officer with the responsibility to train
the men, but being an enlisted man at heart. Always weighing on his mind was the tremendous
responsibility of preparing his men for combat. In a private letter home, he commented on his personal
crusade to improve himself as an officer and to improve Easy Company as Fighters and as men. The
net result was a highly motivated company that was poised to inflict maximum punishment on the
enemy when the "big day" (D-Day) arrived.
For those soldiers, sailors and airmen who participated in D-Day, June 6 was unlike any day in
history. And it was on D-Day that Dick Winters had his rendezvous with destiny. Easy Company's
mission, as with the other units within the 101st Airborne Division, was to seize the causeways
behind Utah Beach to facilitate the expansion of the beachhead. Jumping from a C-47 Dakota at 150
miles per hour and at 500 feet and less, the Division's drop was scattered across the Cotentin
Peninsula. Winters came down near the town of Ste. Mere-Eglise, several kilometers from the
intended drop zone. Rallying a couple of troopers, he soon was en route to Ste. Marie-du-Mont,
destined to be the Division's headquarters for most of D-Day. En route, Winters stumbled across the
battalion staff and 40 men of D Company. By 7:00 a.m., E Company consisted of two light machine
guns, one bazooka with no ammunition, one 60 mm mortar, nine riflemen and two officers. No one
knew the whereabouts of the company commander, so Winters took command.
Three kilometers from Ste. Marie-du-Mont, the column encountered sustained enemy fire, and
Winters was summoned to the front. The battalion commander informed Winters that there was a
four-gun battery of German 105 mm cannons, a few hundred meters to the front across an open field
opposite a French farmhouse called Brécourt Manor. The battery was set up in a hedgerow and
defended by a 50-man German platoon. The guns were firing directly down a causeway leading to
Utah Beach. The battalion operations officer directed Winters to take the battery. Taking his
company, Winters made a careful reconnaissance and then issued orders for an assault. The attack
would consist of a frontal assault led by Winters with covering fire from several directions to pin
down the Germans. Winters selected three soldiers for the assault: Pvt.Gerald Lorraine, Pvt. Popeye
Wynn and Cpl. Joe Toye. Asked later why he selected these three, Winters recalled, "In combat you
look for killers.' Many thought they were killers and wanted to prove it. They are, however, few and
Winters saw the impending attack as a "high risk opportunity." The key was "initiative, an
immediate appraisal of situation, the use of terrain to get into the connecting trench and taking one
gun at a time." Crawling on their bellies, Winters and his men got close enough and knocked out the
first gun. Mowing down the retreating Germans, Winters then placed a machine gun to fire down the
trench. He had also noticed that as soon as he got close enough to assault the first gun, the Germans
in an adjacent hedgerow temporary lifted their fire so that they would not inflict friendly casualties.
That was enough for Winters, who had a "sixth sense" that such a respite shifted the advantage to
With the first gun out of action, Winters grabbed two other soldiers and charged the second gun.
Throwing hand grenades and firing their rifles, they took the second howitzer. Next to the gun was a
case with a map that showed all the German artillery in the Cotentin Peninsula. Winters sent the map
back to battalion headquarters and then directed another assault which rapidly captured the third gun.
Reinforcements led by an officer from D Company soon arrived. Winters briefly outlined the
situation and then watched D Company capture the last gun. With the mission complete, Winters
ordered a withdrawal. It was 11:30 a.m., roughly three hours since Winters had received the order
to take the battery. In summarizing Easy's action, historian Stephen Ambrose notes that with 12 men,
what amounted to a squad, later reinforced by elements of D Company, Winters had destroyed a
German battery, killed 15 Germans, wounded many more, and taken 12 prisoners. It would be a gross
exaggeration to say that Easy Company saved the day at Utah Beach, but reasonable to say that it had
made an important contribution to the success of the invasion.
Winters' action at Brécourt Manor was a textbook infantry assault, frequently studied at the U.S.
Military Academy. Ever the self-effacing leader, Winters described the action to combat historian
S.L.A. Marshall simply as laying down a base of fire to cover the assault. Left unsaid was his
leadership by example. At every turn he had made the correct decision, from selecting the right men
for each task, to making an accurate reconnaissance of the enemy position, to leading the maneuver
element in person. In his own analysis, Winters credited his training and preparing for D-Day, his
"apogee" in command. When the day was finally over, he wrote in his diary that if he survived the
war, he would find an isolated farm somewhere and spend the rest of his life in peace.
For Winters' heroic leadership under fire during the attack at Brécourt Manor, Col. Robert Sink,
the 506th PIR commander, recommended Winters receive the Medal of Honor, but only one man in
the 101st Airborne Division was to be given that medal. Instead, Winters was awarded the
Distinguished Service Cross, with Silver and Bronze Stars awarded to the men of Easy Company who
participated in the assault. Winters also formally received command of Easy when it was determined
that the company commander had been killed in the airborne assault. Promotion to captain followed
on July 2, but not before Winters led the company in another attack to capture Carentan, a small town
at the base of the peninsula. Not until mid-July did the 101st return to England to prepare for
For Dick Winters, command of Easy Company was the culmination of a career that had begun but
two short years earlier. He would lead the company with great distinction during Operation Market-
Garden in mid-September, and then remain in Holland until late November. Trained for light infantry
assault, the American airborne divisions were not designed for sustained infantry combat. Excessive
casualties in Normandy and in subsequent operations, however, dictated that both the 82nd and 101st
Airborne Divisions remain in combat. For Winters and Easy Company that meant defending a 5-
kilometer wide "island" that lay between the Lower Rhine on the north and the Waal River on the
south. On October 5, in defense of the "island," Winters again wrote a shining page in the history of
Easy. At the time, Easy Company consisted of 130 men and had to cover 3 kilometers along the front.
Winters deployed his men with two platoons forward and one in reserve along a dike that ran roughly
parallel to his front.
Now a veteran company commander, Winters received word that an enemy company was
attempting to penetrate his defenses. Gathering half his reserve platoon, roughly 15 men, he
immediately moved forward. Repeatedly halting the patrol to make a personal reconnaissance,
Winters brought his men up to a small ditch adjacent to an enemy machine gun nest. The paratroopers
wiped out the enemy position and Winters called up
the remainder of the platoon. Carefully orchestrating another assault, he then directed that his men
attack toward the road, behind which unknown numbers of the enemy were huddling. With two
squads providing covering fire, Winters ordered the remaining squad to fix bayonets and to follow
him across 200 yards of open ground.
Winters reached the road first, jumped over and saw a German sentry with 100 or so other
Germans preparing for an assault. Without hesitation, he emptied two M-1 clips into the enemy. As
more Americans arrived, the Germans turned toward the river and fled. By now, Winters had taken
cover behind the ditch, but rose to pour a withering fire on the retreating enemy. Other members of
Winters' 1st Platoon did the same. Just then another SS Company arrived, but Easy's fire was too
intense and the enemy joined the flight. For Easy Company, it was a "duck shoot," with one man
firing a total of 57 clips of M-1 ammunition into the enemy.
Col. Sink issued a general order, citing 1st Platoon's "daring attack and skillful maneuver." Four
days later, he promoted Winters to executive officer of the 2nd Battalion. Winters' days in command
of Easy were at an end, but it had been a glorious close. With only 35 men, he had routed two
German companies of 300 men, killed 50, captured 11 and wounded approximately 100 enemy
troops -- all at a cost of one dead and 22 wounded Americans. Winters later said this attack was "the
highlight of all E Company actions for the entire war, even better than D-Day, because it
demonstrated Easy's overall superiority in every phase of infantry tactics: patrol, defense, attack
under a base of fire, withdrawal, and above all, superior marksmanship with rifles, machine gun and
mortar fire." October 5 was also the last day that Dick Winters fired his weapon in anger.
For Winters, the war would continue. His toughest Fight was at Bastogne, and in March he
received command of 2nd Battalion, which he led with distinction until V-E Day. At war's end, his
battalion was at Berchtesgaden, but his heart was always with the men of Easy Company. What
made Easy so special under Winters? The answer was simple. Shared hardship and stress created a
bond that still exists today. The original members of Easy Company still sit together at reunions
because they formed the core. To a man, the survivors acknowledge that Capt. Dick Winters was the
best combat commander they had during the entire war. Winters shuns such acclaim, noting that
"hardship and death bring a family together. Officers aren't family; the family belongs to the men,
not the officers."
True to his word, when the war was over, Winters left the Army and found solace far away from
the battlefield. A highly successful businessman, he is a frequent lecturer at West Point. His message
to the cadets is always the same: Hang tough and take care of your soldiers. Asked by one cadet what
his toughest challenge as a commander was, Winters instantly replied, "To be able to think under
fire. In peace the toughest challenge is to be fair." As to what aspect of his military service provided
him the greatest satisfaction, he answered without hesitation, "Knowing I got the job done; knowing
that I kept the respect of my men. The greatest reward you can have as a leader is the look of
respect.' The key to a successful combat leader is to earn respect not because of rank, but because you
are a man."
Seven years after Winters commanded Easy Company, 506 PIR, and half a world away, a similar
drama was being played amid the rugged hills of the Republic of Korea. Capt. Lewis Lee Millett
commanded another Company E, a unit in the 27th Infantry, a regiment known as the "Wolfhounds."
Millett descended from military stock dating to colonial times. One ancestor, Thomas Millett, was
killed during the Indian massacre at Brookfield, Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1675. Later Milletts
fought in the Revolutionary War; two great-grandfathers served in the Maine regiments during the
Civil War; a great uncle died at Andersonville Prison Camp; and an Uncle Roland served with
distinction in World War I. Millett's youngest son, SSgt. John Morton Millett, was later killed in the
Gander crash in December 1985 while serving with Task Force 502, Multinational Peacekeeping
Force in the Sinai.
Lew Millett's initial military service was with the 101st Field Artillery, Massachusetts National
Guard in 1938. Before America's entry into World War II, Millett saw service in the U.S. Army Air
Corps, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, where he was a graduate air mechanic specializing in aerial
gunnery. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced in 1940 that no American would fight on
foreign soil, Millett immediately deserted and enlisted in the Canadian army in order to fight the
Germans. In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, Millett, now in England, was transferred back to the
American Army, where he earned a battlefield commission along with the Silver Star, Bronze Star (V)
and the Purple Heart. Following a short stint in civilian life after the war, Millett again entered federal
service from the Maine National Guard in 1949.
Before assuming command of Easy Company, Capt. Lew Millett was already a legend in the 25th
Infantry Division. On one occasion, Millett had been wounded in the leg by a shell fragment. Ordered
into an ambulance against his will, Millett was informed by a doctor that the Geneva Convention
forbade weapons in ambulances. According to Wolfhound folklore, Millett replied, "I'm a soldier, not
a lawyer. Where I go, my rifle goes." The physician replied, "Get in." Half an hour later, the Chinese
ambushed the truck convoy and machine-gunned the ambulances. Millett immediately dove into a
ditch and with his M-1, blasted a path clear for himself and two other G.I.s. Crawling through enemy
lines he evaded capture and reached American lines. Millett wound up in a field hospital but less than
two days later, he went AWOL to return to the fighting.
Shortly thereafter, flying in observation planes as a forward observer for the 8th Field Artillery,
part of the 27th Regimental Combat Team (RCT), Millett spotted a downed observation plane, the
wounded pilot beckoning for help. Ordering his own pilot to set down, Millett lifted the wounded pilot
into his seat and fought off the enemy with his M-1. He then evacuated the injured pilot to safety.
An infantryman at heart, Millett soon requested transfer to a frontline company when he heard that
Easy Company, 27th Infantry had lost its company commander in November 1950. Commanding
Easy during the retreat from the Yalu had been Capt.
Reginald (Dusty) Desiderio, who posthumously earned the Medal of Honor for heroism above and
beyond the call of duty in the terrible fighting along the Chongchon River. Adored by his men,
Desiderio had led the company with great distinction since its arrival the preceding summer. In his last
fight, Desiderio's undaunted courage and heroism under fire coupled with the indomitable spirit of his
soldiers resulted in Easy Company being recommended for the Presidential Unit Citation.
Millett became Easy Company's skipper on January 1 and immediately moved to place his imprint
on the command. To increase the firepower in his unit, he obtained an additional Browning Automatic
Rifle per squad. Each soldier also received four to six hand grenades. Next, he inculcated Easy
Company with the spirit of the bayonet, considered by many to be a useless weapon unsuited for
combat in Korea. He emphasized the bayonet, personally supervising all aspects of training. Two days
of intense two-hour training periods, followed by daily thrusts, jabs and butt strokes against stacks of
rice straw or a mud bank, made even the most dubious members of the command believe that their new
commanding officer was a fighter. Sharpening the bayonets to a razor edge, the men heeded Millett's
warning: "In our next fight, we'll use this. Have it ready."
According to S.L.A. Marshall, Easy Company's ensuing fight was only one small piece of the
general engagement fought by the 25th Infantry "Tropic Lightning" Division in its advance from
Suwon to the Han River in February 1951. On the division's right was the 3rd Infantry Division;
together the two divisions comprised I Corps. Seven miles north of Suwon stands Hill 440, a
dominating mass of ridges that blocks any advance on the two parallel roads that drive toward the Han
River. Marshall likened Hill 440 to a mountain. Gibraltar itself did not look more formidable. After
savage fighting, the Americans took Hill 440, inflicting more than 4,200 enemy casualties at a cost of
approximately 70 American dead.
On February 5, 1951, Easy Company was in the RCT's lead along the left road when it encountered
an entrenched enemy. Millett's first platoon was soon pinned down on a frozen rice paddy by direct fire
from a low running ridge directly to their front. From his command post 50 meters in the rear, Millett
made an instant assessment and ordered his 2nd Platoon to fix bayonets and come in on the 1st's left.
Third Platoon was to support the attack by fire. "Fix bayonets and follow me," Millett shouted to 1st
Platoon and rushed to the base of the hill. Temporarily protected by defilade, he then led the platoon
forward, the men screaming at the tops of their lungs. S.L.A. Marshall reported that Millett was in the
lead, shouting "she-lie sa-ni," which purportedly is Chinese for "I'm going to kill you with a bayonet."
Covered by the fire from 3rd Platoon, Millett and the 1st Platoon reached the crest unscathed, just as
the Chinese soldiers were beginning to evacuate their position. Shooting the fleeing enemy, Easy
Company had achieved a spectacular victory at minimal cost, but this seemingly inconsequential action
was merely a dress rehearsal for what was to occur two days later.
On February 7, Easy Company was once again in the lead as Task Force Bartlett approached yet
another hill, this one designated Hill 180. With 3rd Platoon occupying a
reserve position to provide covering fire should the need arise, Millett's two remaining platoons
approached the ridge, with their commanding officer leading them. As he brought 1st Platoon abreast
of the ridge, Millett received word that the enemy was in force atop Hill 180. Out of range of artillery,
Millett contemplated delaying the attack or seizing the opportunity at hand. Without hesitation, he
immediately prepared for an assault, directing his attached tank platoon to join 3rd Platoon in firing on
the enemy position. Positioning himself with 1st Platoon, Millett yelled: "Get ready to move! We're
going to assault the hill. Fix bayonets! Charge! Everybody goes with me."
Fortunately Millett and his men reached the base of the hill with minimal casualties. Regrouping
under cover of a protective outcropping, Millett led the men forward toward the first of three knobs that
characterized the hill. While personally leading his company, Millett placed himself at the head of two
platoons and with fixed bayonet, led the assault up the fire-swept hill. In the fierce charge, Millett
bayoneted two enemy soldiers and boldly continued on, throwing grenades, clubbing and bayoneting
the enemy, while urging his company forward by shouting encouragement. Amid the roar of battle,
Millett could be heard shouting for 3rd Platoon to join the assault: "Use grenades and cold steel! Come
on up here, you sons of bitches!" At one point, Millett had to fire his M-1 to release its bayonet by the
recoil. Despite vicious opposing fire, the whirlwind hand-to-hand assault carried to the crest of the hill.
Millett's dauntless leadership and personal courage so inspired his men that they stormed into the
hostile position and used their bayonets with such lethal effect that the enemy fled in wild disorder, just
as they had two days earlier. This time Easy Company had endured its fair share of casualties as well,
but they had carried the hill. Wounded by a grenade fragment, Millett refused evacuation until the
objective was taken and firmly secured. That evening, Easy Company took time to reflect on what they
had done. Of the approximately 200 enemy soldiers who had occupied Hill 180 at noon, 47 lay dead on
the ground and later reports confirmed the Chinese and North Koreans had incurred an additional 60
wounded. Of the dead that lay strewn on Hill 180, 18 had been killed with bayonets. Five months later
President Truman awarded Capt. Lewis Lee Millett the Medal of Honor and Easy Company received its
second Distinguished Unit Citation.
The assault on "Bayonet Hill" was hardly the last contribution by this illustrious soldier whose
career spanned three decades. Millett later founded the 101st Airborne Division's Recondo School, the
82nd Airborne Division's Raiders, the Rangers of Vietnam and the Commandos of Laos. During the
Vietnam War, he refused all U.S. decorations with a statement that he was there to provide freedom for
people under attack by tyranny and had no desire for personal recognition. While serving in the
Phoenix Program, he voluntarily served as a hostage in a North Vietnamese battalion while its
commander arranged to surrender to the South Vietnamese army. As a paratrooper, he made five jumps
in Vietnam and eight in Laos. During the Persian Gulf War, Millett volunteered for duty during
Operation Desert Storm, but was denied service because of age.
Over the span of two wars, Winters and Millett remained polar opposites who found common
expression in leading soldiers in battle. Winters always yearned for a quiet farm in southern
Pennsylvania; Millett found comfort in war.
Winters, who enlisted in the Army in May 1941 because enlistment was the most viable alternative
to being drafted as the United States edged toward global war, personified the American citizen soldier.
Serving his tour with the 101st Airborne Division from Normandy to Berchtesgaden, he returned to
civilian life after the war. Temporarily recalled to active duty during the Korean War, he trained
draftees for combat, but he never deployed to Korea. In later years, he and his company became the
subject of historian Stephen E. Ambrose's Band of Brothers and an HBO series based on the book.
In direct contrast to Winters, Millett participated in combat in two armies and three wars in Africa,
Europe, and Asia. His military career spanned 33 years and he served proudly as a military advisor to
the governments and armed forces of Japan, Greece, the Republic of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
Recipient of every major award for valor, Millett has served with distinction as the Honorary Colonel
of the 27th Infantry Regiment since 1985.
Though Winters and Millett never actually met, the unifying feature of their leadership has been
their unquestionable competency in battle and a unique ability to inspire soldiers to perform beyond
their highest expectations in the test of combat.
In the final analysis it is difficult to determine what made commanders as different as Dick Winters
and Lew Millett so effective in combat. As brilliant a commander as George S. Patton was, he had a
difficult time defining the essence of military leadership. "I have it," Patton mused, "but I'll be damned
if I can explain it." Winters and Millett had it, too. Inspirational leadership, coupled with shared
adversity in war's dark crucible, produced outstanding commands, which, at their peak, were among the
best, if not the best, companies in the U.S. Army during their respective wars. Perhaps it was a unique
combination of commander and unit coming together at a critical time that characterized these
excellent organizations. Millett said it best 50 years after that fateful February day when he led his
bayonet attack against an entrenched enemy: "One does not charge up a hill without men who are as
crazy as their leader." Regardless of one's perspective, Dick Winters and Lew Millett have bequeathed
a legacy of combat leadership that serves as a model for the U.S. Army in the 21st century.
COL. COLE C. KINGSEED, USA Ret., Ph.D., a former professor of history at the U.S. MilitaryCOL.
COLE C. KINGSEED, USA Ret., Ph.D., a former professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy,
is a writer and consultant.
Lesson 1: Comprehension
Write out your response to the short answer questions below.
1. Describe the term “Mission Tactics.”
2. The art of making sound decisions quickly lies in:
3. A platoon leader is responsible for:
4. According to the Warrior Ethos, all Army soldiers are:
5. What is the most important line in the Warrior Ethos to you?
If you struggled with any question, go back and review the material.
ORGANIZATION & MISSION OF THE LIGHT
• State the mission of the Infantry.
• State the organizational structure of the Light Infantry Squad.
• State the organizational structure of the Light Infantry Platoon.
• Read Text Chapter 2.
• Complete Chapter 2 questions 1-5.
• Complete Self-Paced Text Unit 2.
• FM 7-8, pg 1-1.
• FM 7-8 Appendix A, pg A-1 – A-8.
• Bring FM 7-8 to class.
• Bring Student Text to class.
• Infantry is the queen of battles.
• General Sir William Napier 1785-1860
Lesson 2: Comprehension
Mastered it lieutenant?
Write out your response to the short answer questions below.
1. State the mission of the Infantry:
2. What is the smallest unit in the Army organization?
3. A squad consist of ______ of these units? (How many)
4. List the Light Infantry Platoon’s organization:
5. What is the symbol for:
Light Infantry Squad:__________ Light Infantry Platoon:_________
If you struggled with any question, go back and review the material.
THE ROLE OF A MEMBER OF SQUAD (MOS)
• State the role of each member of the Light Infantry Squad.
• State the role of the Platoon Sergeant.
• State the role of the Platoon Leader.
• Read Text Chapter 3.
• Complete Chapter 3 questions 1-5.
• Complete Self-Paced Text Unit 3.
• Review FM 7-8, pg 1-3.
• FM 7-8, Section A-3, pg. (1-4) – (A-7).
• Cadets will complete Leadership Exercise #1 as an in-class
• When the smoke cleared away, it was the man with the sword,
or the crossbow, or the rifle, who settled the final issue on the
• General of the Army George C. Marshall 1939
Platoon Leader - Platoon Sergeant
P latoon Leaders
A trem endous source of assistance in your learning is from your noncom m issioned officers and
your fellow officers.... T ake advantage of that from the day that you are com m issioned. It stays
with you as long as you are privileged to wear the uniform .... C om petence...grows from study,
discipline, and plain hard work. As a young officer, you m ust tap one of the greatest sources of
practical k nowledge- the corps of noncom m issioned officers that are throughout our ranks-
sergeants of unm atched ability and dedication. -G EN C arl E. Vuono, C ollected W orks, 1991,
pp. 71, 262
W hat a hard tim e young officers of the arm y would som etim es have but for the old sergeants! I
have pitied from the bottom of m y heart volunteer officers whom I have seen starting out, even in
the m idst of war, with perfectly raw regim ents, and not even one old sergeant to teach them
anything. N o country ought to be so cruel to its soldiers as that. -LT G John M . Schofield, 1897,
Forty-Six Years in the A rm y, p. 18
A m ajor factor for success is how you get along with others, and this perm eates every rank Arm y-
wide.... T his em phasizes the need for m utual respect, m utual professional com petence, and
reciprocal good will- and for both sides to take into consideration that the problem requires
special efforts when young officers are inexperienced.... T he sergeants in your unit can be a new
lieutenant's best professional friends- while both you and they observe proper m ilitary courtesy,
with m utual respect for each other. -M G Aubrey S. N ew m an, F o llow M e II, 1992, pp. 17, 63
[Platoon Leaders:] Look at yourself from [your Platoon Sergeant's] viewpoint and seek to be the
kind of Platoon Leader that you would like to have if you were the Platoon Sergeant.... W ith
regard to the relationship between yourself, your Platoon Sergeant, and your noncom m issioned
officers: if you do not have a copy of [T C 22-6, T he Arm y N oncom m issioned O fficer G uide, get
one. T his m anual] identifies the place of the noncom m issioned officer in the U nited States Arm y.
T here are chapters on leadership, authority, the officer chain of com m and, the N C O support
channel, duties and responsibilities of the noncom m issioned officer, and the relationship between
noncom m issioned and com m issioned officers. It is specifically written for the noncom m issioned
officer, but you should read this m anual, com prehend it....
G entlem en, you don't accept us: we were here first. W e accept you, and when we do, you'll k now.
W e w on't beat drum s, wave flags, or carry you off the drill field on our shoulders. But, m aybe at a
com pany party, we'll raise a canteen cup of beer and say, "Lieutenant, you're O .K." Just like that.
R em em ber one thing. Very few noncom m issioned officers were awarded stripes without showing
som ebody som ething, som etim e, som ewhere. If your platoon sergeant is m ediocre, if he is slow
to assum e responsibility, if he shies away from you, m aybe som etim e not too long ago som eone
refused to trust him , som eone failed to support his decisions, som eone shot him dow n when he
was right. Internal wounds heal slowly; internal scars fade m ore slowly.
Your orders appointing you as officers in the U nited States Arm y appointed you to com m and. N o
orders, no letters, no insignia of rank can appoint you as leaders.... Leaders are m ade, they are
not born. Leadership is developed within yourselves.
You do not wear leadership on your sleeves, on your shoulders, on your caps, or on your calling
cards. Be you lieutenants or generals, w e're the guys you've got to convince and we'll m eet you
m ore than halfway.
You are leaders in an Arm y in which we have served for so m any years, and you will help us
defend the country we have loved for so m any years. I wish you happiness, luck, and success in
the exciting and challenging years that lie ahead. M ay G od bless you all! -SG M John G .
Stepanek, "As a Senior N C O Sees It." A rm y D igest, Aug 1967, pp. 5-6
Let your noncom m issioned officers handle the problem s of the platoon, but be sure they keep you
inform ed. W hen the noncom has exhausted all m eans in trying to right these problem s, step in
them aware that he recognizes a problem or a deficiency and how to correct it....
Be pleasant and approachable, but forget about being a good Joe. You'll be considered a good
Joe if you accomplish your m ission and look to the welfare of your m en....
Look...every inch an officer, not only in dress, proper haircut, spit-shined shoes, but having the
stam p of a quality product.... Don't offer the image of a hotrod teenager.... I m ention this because
during the past few years I have seen newly comm issioned officers use their first pay for a bom b
with four on the floor. If you are going to be our leader we expect you to show m aturity.
There are tim es when noncomm issioned officers can accom plish a m ission for the officer that
seem s alm ost im possible. W e call this NCO business. It falls into many categories, but I will sum
them up into four areas: shady, fishy, funny, and monkey business. Please, Lieutenant, don't get
involved. If you do, sooner or later you'll get burned. For some unknown reason good, sharp,
outstanding noncom s have the knack, when getting involved in this type of business- but only in
order to accom plish the m ission- of com ing out smelling like a rose. Only when an NCO is
involved for personal gain does he get burned. So it is best for the young officer to give the
noncom his head when he says he can get something hopeless accom plished.
Finally, Lieutenant, I will say that you will never become wealthy in the Arm y. Rich, yes; wealthy,
never. Rich in accom plishm ents, in prestige, in the respect of your subordinates. -SGM M orris J.
Terrebonne, "The NCO M eets His Junior Officer." ARMY, M ay 1967, pp. 68, 66
[Platoon Leaders:] Listen to your platoon sergeant. Let him train you, but insist it is done in the
proper m anner. Evaluate what he says, but decide for yourself what is right. -CSM John W.
Gillis, "Training Second Lieutenants." Armor, Jul-Aug 1981, p. 10
Most com pany grade officers arrive in a unit to do a job for the first tim e. Most noncom missioned
officers go through cycle after cycle of new leaders, most all of whom have new ideas for
improving upon the records of their predecessors. The im balance in experience is significant
(although, obviously, first sergeants have to be first-tim ers at som e time also), and it is the NCO
who m ust restore it. W ith full awareness of the need for tact and diplomacy, he m ust offer advice,
prevent disasters, and incorporate the officer into the team he has to lead. It is a dem anding role,
one for which no formal training is provided, but it should also be a very satisfying one because in
the corps of Arm y officers, the good ones never forget the NCOs who guided them to their
successful careers. -GEN Frederick J. Kroesen, "NCOs: Not Only the Backbone but the Vital
Nerve System Link." ARMY, Sep 1992, p. 11
Every platoon sergeant in our battalion took the attitude that it was his job to make sure his
lieutenant was the best platoon leader in the battalion. There was a com petition am ong platoon
sergeants as to who had the m ost proficient lieutenant. -GEN Donn A. Starry, "Sergeants'
Business." Military Review, M ay 1978, p. 3
A platoon sergeant...has an inherent obligation to help his platoon leader becom e proficient at his
job. This m ission is important enough to be listed as one of the platoon sergeant's prim ary
m issions. This in no way negates the responsibility of the officer chain of com m and, but the
platoon sergeant is in daily contact with the platoon leader and is in a unique position to guide
and assist him . A prudent lieutenant will appreciate having a seasoned NCO assist and advise
him as he learns the art of leadership. -LTC Cole C. Kingseed, "The Platoon Sergeant."
Infantry, Jul-Aug 1993, p. 9
It is the job of the senior NCO to m old, guide, and educate the officer to the subtleties of Arm y
life. [Do this right and there will be] fewer problems in the future. The NCO should show the
officer how each job complem ents the other. He should be shown propriety and the unwritten
laws of professional soldiers. These are things that aren't taught in any school- except the one in
which the NCO lives. -CPT David M. Dacus, "Officers and NCO's: A Working Relationship
That M ust Endure." Infantry, Nov-Dec 1972, p.
Your knowledge and experience as a noncommissioned officer must be shared with the officer.
How do you do that and still let the officer learn through experience? It isn't as hard as it seems. It
requires a skill called tact.... The NCO can say to the officer, "Sir, I recommend that we attack the
hill from the right because..." Now suppose the lieutenant says, "I think the left side is better,"...
Right here is where the most important trait is expected to be demonstrated by the noncom:
loyalty. W ithout complete loyalty from his noncommissioned officer the junior officer can never
fully trust him. So what if the lieutenant's choice doesn't work? The officer's ideas may turn out
wrong...but the officer will learn through the experience. It may be good experience merely to
have him realize that your ideas or recommendations are good ones; or, most important, it may
be good experience that will enable him to make a wiser choice, on his own, next time he has to
decide. W hether or not the officer accepts your ideas or approves your recommendations, you
must be loyal enough to do your utmost to see that his solution works. -SGM Morris J.
Terrebonne, "The Junior Officer Meets His Noncom." ARMY, Dec 1966, pp. 70-71
A new lieutenant is a precious thing.... Don't take advantage of him, but train him, correct him
when he needs it (remembering that diplomacy is part of your job description), and be ready to
tell the world proudly that he's yours. If you are ashamed of him, maybe it's because you've
neglected him or failed to train him properly. Do something about it. Show a genuine concern that
he's learning the right way instead of the easy way. But be careful not to undermine his authority
or destroy his credibility. Remember that order and counter-order create disorder.... As the senior
and most experienced NCO in the platoon, you must pass on the benefit of [your] wisdom and
experience to your platoon leader as well as to the soldiers. -1SG Jeffrey J. Mellinger, "Open
Letters to Three NCOs." Infantry, May-Jun 1989, p. 20
Treat the new young officer like a freshly forged piece of steel. A skilled craftsman, who cares
about his work and takes pride in it, can hone that metal, sharpen the edges, and polish the blade
into a quality, long lasting sabre that will serve the Army and its soldiers well.... Developing junior
officers is our job. Senior officers in the unit will mentor young officers. Peers will also provide
advice and guidance. However, only senior NCOs can guide them through the maze of motor
sergeants, supply sergeants, first sergeants, and soldiers. -SFC Michael D. W hyte, "Developing
Junior Officers Is Our Business." NCO Journal, Fall 1994, p. 11
Senior NCOs...are a special breed of soldier. Tried and true, hardened by experience, they
supervise and overwatch the everyday conduct of Army business. These proud and caring
professionals are tough, determined, and committed to mission accomplishment. But they are
much more; they are the soul of our Army. They are the bond to the citizen soldier; they know
first-hand the price of freedom in peace and war; they have compassion and an understanding of
youth derived not only from formal education and training, but from their NCO roots. It is this
unique and special attribute of our senior NCOs which makes them so effective in Cadet
The first time we went out with [our platoon, Platoon Sergeant Lucas] came around to my tank,
saluted and said, "If the lieutenant would please sit under this tree, I will put the platoon in
position, get range cards made out and so on. Then I would like the lieutenant to inspect the
platoon." And I said, "Is there something that I should be doing?" And he said, "Yes, sir. Sitting
right under that tree. That's what the lieutenant ought to be doing." So I did. He went out, took him
an hour or so, and then he came around, saluted and said, "Sir, it's time for inspection. And, sir, if
you don't mind, whatever else you want to look for, here are the things I'd like you to add to your
list." That was the first lesson- my job, his job.
He brought me a tool box another time and said, "Sir, lieutenants should become proficient at
maintenance, the kind of maintenance that soldiers do." He brought me a general mechanic's tool
box and said, "W e're going to learn how to do that." He said, "Classes begin at motor pool at
1900." So I learned how to take tanks apart and put them back together. W hen I became a
company commander, he came around and said, "Sir, I've come for the tool box." I said, "You
gave it to me. It's my tool box." He said, "Sir, company commanders don't use a tool box."... I
learned a lot about what officers and what NCOs are supposed to do from him. -GEN Donn A.
Starry, "This Is a Tough Business." Soldiers, Oct 1985, p. 23
If you've been around the Army for any length of time, you've heard a platoon sergeant speaking
of "My LT". These words can be given any number of inflections to convey any number of
emotions: pride, respect, exasperation, etc. It's important for that platoon sergeant to remember
that the "LT's" performance reflects not only the platoon leader's abilities but the platoon
sergeant's abilities as well.
The earliest level of direct NCO/Officer relationship is at the platoon level, and it's here that
foundations are laid and relationships formed which may last throughout a career. We can sum
up the essence of this relationship in four "C's".
It's essential that the platoon leader and platoon sergeant begin with a common goal. If there is
any question, the goal is simply good training, mission accomplishment, and care of the troops.
Orientation toward this goal begins with genuine, mutual respect- a recognition of the training,
abilities, and aspirations of each leader. It doesn't include an unhealthy preoccupation with
personal rewards, evaluations, or what "the boss" is going to think. If either of you is more worried
about these things than about the mission and the soldiers, resolve it immediately or get out of
the leadership business. Your soldiers will recognize and "tune out" a phony in a very short time.
In order to build cohesion, you should be seen together often (but not always). Some important
places to spend your time are: the motor pool, training, sports, unit social activities, and the dining
facility. (If you want to get a true idea of how your soldiers eat, check the evening and weekend
meals, not weekday lunch.) Prove to members of your platoon that you care about them as
individuals and that you care for them as a team. You're not supposed to become buddies, but
you must work together. Finally, ensure that the troops can't get around one of you by going to
Platoon leaders and platoon sergeants must communicate. Good communication doesn't happen
all by itself; it requires constant, conscious effort. Both sides must work at it; one person can't
communicate. One of your earliest sessions will include your NCOER counseling. At this time,
discuss who's responsible for what and ensure that neither can abdicate responsibilities. Set
guidelines for how you will deal with routine business and how you will react to anything out of the
Talk, talk, talk, and listen, listen, listen. Then add some more "listen." Both of you should listen to
guidance and directions from above, listen to your soldiers, and to each other. Set aside time
each day to discuss training, activities, and problems. Be sure to include time for brainstorming-
sounding out new ideas and improvements.
As platoon sergeant, you must be constantly aware of your role as teacher to your platoon leader.
In most cases, you will be older, more experienced, and more established as a leader. Your task
is to convey your knowledge and experience to your lieutenant without being condescending or
disrespectful. And remember- you're never so knowledgeable that you can't learn something new
The next aspect of communicating is so important I almost give it a "C" of its own. Meanwhile,
timely counseling is absolutely necessary to maintain a motivated, disciplined, smooth-running
platoon. Counseling- to include rewards and punishments- is integral to caring for soldiers. In fact,
it's as important as good training and good equipment. You and your platoon leader will work
together to establish realistic, recognizable standards. Then, you must correct soldiers who fall
short, recognize those who meet the standards, and reward those who exceed them. It's not
necessary for you to sit together during the counseling session, but you must counsel and you
must communicate the results to each other.
As an NCO your professionalism should present a constant challenge to your platoon leader and
to the soldiers assigned to you. Every day, you set the example in appearance, physical fitness,
dependability, and attitudes. If you slip, you give someone else an excuse to slip with you. When
it comes to common task, MOS competence, weapons, or general military knowledge, you must
be the most proficient soldier in the platoon. If you're doing all of this, you will earn the [deep
respect of the young lieutenant. Deep] respect does not come with the job; you earn it.
-CSM John D. Woodyard, "My LT and Me." NCO Journal, Winter 1993, pp. 10-11
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
West Point, New York 10996
Leadership Exercise #1
You arrive at your new unit, fresh out of school. The Platoon Sergeant greets you while you lug
your duffle bag and TA-50 to the HMMWV. “Welcome to Afghanistan. We lost the last L.T. to an
RPG round. Stick close to me and you will be fine, sir.”
After a week “in country,” you have the organization and names of your standard Light Infantry
Platoon down. They are all trained to standard and all seem reliable and combat efficient.
You haven’t seen any Taliban since you arrived, but you feel ready.
The CO calls you into his CP tent:
“The city lost power yesterday. The people need water and we have a generator at the U.N.
compound. If we don’t get water out to the people, we will have some serious health issues.
Lieutenant, I need for you to organize three water distribution points inside the U.N. compound. You
will need to provide security for your three sites. Just make sure the people distributing water are not
mobbed inside the compound. Here is an aerial photo; your sites are marked 1 through 3.“
“The company will secure the perimeter outside of the walled compound. We will control the
flow of who gets inside the compound. You need to make sure the personnel distributing water at
each water point are safe and order is maintained. The company won’t allow weapons on those
entering the compound. It should be easy.”
“Bring me a sketch of your plan for approval in 10 minutes.”You head back to the Platoon
Sergeant thinking about various courses of action. What now, Lieutenant? [Note: U.N. personnel all
wear a light blue hat of some sort.]
In a time of ten minutes, answer
the following questions:
1. What do you have to do?
(task) Why? (purpose)
2. List the assets you have 2
available to accomplish
the mission (ie. The
elements of a Light
Infantry Platoon with
3. Tell how you plan to
provide security for the 1
three water distribution 3
points. (Important points:
How many soldiers/assets
where? Who’s in charge
4. Why did you choose this
Lesson 3: Comprehension
Got it, Sir?
Write out your response to the short answer questions below.
1. List (5) five of the eleven tasks that a rifle squad leader is
2. What is the most critical responsibility of the team leader?
3. Describe the relationship between the squad leader and his
4. How many squads are in a Light Infantry Platoon?
5. Describe in your own words the purpose of the Grenadier.
If you struggled with any question, go back and review the material.
WEAPON SYSTEMS OF THE LIGHT INFANTRY
• State the characteristics and maximum effective range of the M-4
• State the characteristics and maximum effective range of the M-
203 Grenade Launcher.
• State the characteristics and maximum effective range of the M-
249 Squad Auto Weapon.
• State the characteristics and maximum effective range of the M-
240B Machine Gun.
• Read Student Text, Chapter 4.
• Complete Chapter 4 questions 1-6.
• Complete Self-Paced Text Unit 4.
• There is but one means to extenuate the effects of enemy
fire: it is to develop a more violent fire oneself.
• Marshal of France Ferdinand Foch, 1919
The grenade launcher M203 is a single shot weapon designed for use with the M16 series
rifles and fires a 40-mm grenade. It has a leaf sight and a guardant sight. The grenade launcher
M203A1 is a single shot weapon designed for use with the M4 series carbines
When firing High Explosive (HE) grenades at targets within 130 meters (427 ft), be in a
protected position. When training, do not fire at targets within 165 meters (541 ft). When in
combat, do not fire at targets closer than 31 meters (102 ft).
Weight: Maximum effective range:
Launcher 1.35 kg (3 lb) Area Target 350 meters (1,155 ft)
Rifle M16A1 2.93 kg (6.5 lb) Point Target 150 meters (495 ft)
Total 4.28 kg (9.5 lb)
M249 Squad Automatic Weapon
M240 Platoon Automatic Weapon
Lesson 4: Comprehension
Ready! Aim! Fire!
Write out your response to the short answer questions below.
1. What is the maximum range of the M-16A2 Service Rifle?
2. What is the maximum effective range of the M-203 Grenade Launcher (Area
3. What is the maximum effective range of the M-240-B Machine Gun(point target on
4. What is the maximum effective range of the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon(area
5. What is the cyclic rate of fire for the Squad Automatic Weapon?
6. What is the cyclic rate of fire for the M-240-B Machine
If you struggled with any question, go back and review the material.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY
West Point, New York 10996
PURPOSE: The purpose of the Weaponeering Exercise is to reinforce the Cadet knowledge
of various weapon systems, their capabilities, and their strengths in combat.
INTENT: The intent of this exercise is to provide graphic reinforcement of the lesson the
Cadets just completed in a fun-type of Practical Application Exercise.
1. Upon completion of the classroom period of instruction, the Instructor should transition to
the Weaponeering Exercise. The exercise consists of a simple PowerPoint Presentation.
Cadets may remain in their seats during the exercise. This exercise is not graded.
2. The Instructor begins to show the individual slides, one at a time, and elicits Cadet
response from each slide. Example:
The first slide is shown.
All Cadets state out loud what weapon from the standard Light Infantry Squad
they would use in the situation pictured.
The Instructor picks a Cadet to explain his selection.
The class critiques the selection.
The Instructor provides insight/experience on class’s decision.
The Instructor shows the next slide (cycle continues to end of class).
3. The critical component of the exercise is the Cadet’s explanation of “why” he chose a
certain weapon system. In some cases, more than one weapon system may be
4. Instructors should view the exercise ahead of time to prepare questions and thoughts
about each scenario pictured.
SQUAD LEVEL MANEUVER
• State the definition of the term Mission Tactics.
• Describe Team and Squad Formations.
• State the definition of Fire and Movement.
• Read Text Chapter 5
• FM 7-8 Section 2-1, pg. (2-1) – (2-3)
• Section III, pg. (2-27) – (2-31)
• Battle drill pg. (4-8) – (4-17)
• Complete Unit 5 Self paced text: [ Reference FM 21-60 (pgs 1-43)]
• War means fighting… The business of the soldier is to fight…
to find the enemy and strike him; to invade his country, and do
him all possible damage in the shortest time.
• LTG Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson 1824-1863
Eulogy to a Fallen Platoon Leader
On 27 February 1991, Captain W.L. Roach USMCR (Ret) finally succumbed to complications from war
wounds suffered twenty-four years earlier at a place called Con Thien. Before he was hit in the small of his
back by a fist sized piece of recoilless rifle shrapnel, then LT Roach had been one of the most highly
revered platoon leaders in 1st BN, 4th Marines. He instinctively knew how to hurt the enemy without
suffering casualties himself. A brief look at his life and times may give platoon leaders of today some
valuable insight into what it takes to succeed in combat.
Bill was the son of an Irish father, who had seen desperate action during WWII as an enlisted Army
infantryman, and a wonderfully compassionate Italian mother. He was also the product of the mean streets
of the south side of Chicago, and as such was a born leader. He and several of his buddies had even worked
in the Gary steel mills before joining the Marine Corps in 1965, much as the heroes of the movie “The Deer
Hunter” had. At Quantico, he roomed with an All-American from Georgia who would give anyone the shirt
off his back, Jack “the Georgia Peach” Cox. Then both Marines embarked for the Far East to meet their
Bill joined A Company just in time to help 1LT Don Campbell’s Marines repulse the large NVA force that
partially overran Cam Lo in August of 1966. Jack joined D Company and went on to be killed in December
of that year trying to single handedly outflank a dug-in NVA battalion at the Three Gateways to Hell
portion of the trail between Gio Linh and Con Thien. As the Georgia Peach had been unabashedly loved by
all ranks in the Battalion, his passing was deeply felt by all. But Bill suppressed his grief and continued to
happily guide his flock through many engagements along the DMZ until the early summer of 1967. Then,
his turn to “ante up” came. What made LT Roach such and outstanding combat leader?
Quiet Aggressiveness: Unaffected by the mixed signals of the Vietnam era, LT Roach knew instinctively to
attack, but uniquely, he did it without bravado. One night on the Deck House VI Operation south of Chu
Lai, LT Roach without fanfare decided to take his whole platoon on what could best be described as a tiger
hunt around the periphery of an abandoned village. They made good contact that night. The other platoon
leaders followed standard operating procedures, and each dispatched one squad to ambush a trail junction
within their respective sectors. These squads made no contact.
Coolness under Fire: If LT Roach ever knew a day of fear in this life, he hid it well. He could sleep
soundly until the last second before an opposed landing by his Special Landing Force. Meanwhile, his
peers would nervously pace the bowels of the ship.
Self-Perspective: LT Roach never pulled rank on anyone. He was so well respected by his men that he
didn’t have to. He considered himself to be nothing more than a quarterback on a platoon football team and
was never the least bit self-serving. He must have gained insight into the importance of the team concept in
combat from his father and his buddies in Chicago. His SNCO’s were his equals and friends, he valued
advice and he was deeply hurt when their professionalism would cost them their lives. He talked until his
death about this PSG, SSGT Gus Gustafson, who loved his troops to the point of almost mothering them. A
couple of weeks after Bill was hit, Gus died as he had lived, with this troops, facing an NVA flamethrower
as the mouth of the troop compartment to this AMTRACK.
Now CPT Roach belongs to the ages. The full depth of his character did not reveal itself until after Vietnam.
The severity of his wounds should have killed him outright, and most certainly should have permanently
sapped his drive. But as a paraplegic with a permanent colostomy, Bill never saw any reason to complain or
to quit. With the encouragement of his lovely wife Betty and adopted daughter Susan, he went on in 1990 to
earn a Ph.D. in English and then to land a job as a college profession. Even after he was sent home for the
last time and he knew that his lungs were slowly filling with fluid, Bill couldn’t relinquish his humor or
quietly putting others first. One wonders if it was coincidental that he died on the very day the Gulf War
was won, or if he held back death just long enough to the cheer on his beloved Marines one last time.
• Develop personal perspectives on the role of the small unit leader
as a Warfighter.
• Review course material to date.
• Read Bio of Guest Speaker.
• Write one pertinent question on a 3x5 index card.
Fear is a natural reaction to the unknown; it is not necessarily a negative.
A positive from fear is the heightened awareness that comes from being
afraid. Harnessed, this heightened awareness is an asset.
CSM Michael T. Hall
Guest speaker Bio
OPERATIONAL TERMS AND GRAPHICS
• Define the Operational Terms listed in the Self-Paced Text.
• Depict and identify the Military Symbols listed in the Self-Paced
• Describe the purpose of Military Symbols and Graphics.
• Read Student Text, Chapter 7.
• Complete Chapter 7 questions 1-5.
• Complete Self-Paced Text Unit 7.
• Review all course materials to date.
• LESSON QUOTE
“The secret of war lies in the communications"
- Napoleon Bonaparte
Operational Terms and Graphics
It is critical that military leaders share a common understanding of the
words and the language used within their profession. Each word or military term
has a specific meaning and often a specific requirement when used by a military
officer. Military terms reduce ambiguity and allow for effective communication
with minimal explanations. It is imperative that junior leaders quickly learn the
military meaning of operational terms in order to meet the expectations of their
peers and commanders.
Below are several common military terms one must become familiar with
in order to understand the language of the Army.
abatis — A vehicular obstacle constructed by felling trees (leaving a 1- to 2-
meter stump above the ground on both sides of a road, trail, gap, or defile) so
that they fall, interlocked, toward the expected direction of enemy approach.
air assault — Operations in which air assault forces (combat, combat support,
and combat service support), using the firepower, mobility, and total integration
of helicopter assets in their ground or air roles, maneuver on the battlefield to
engage and destroy enemy forces or to seize and hold key terrain.
alternate position — The position given to a weapon, unit, or individual to be
occupied when the primary position becomes untenable or unsuitable for carrying
out its task. The alternate position is located so that the individual can continue to
fulfill his original task.
ambush — A surprise attack by fire from concealed positions on a moving or
temporarily halted enemy.
assault — 1. The climax of an attack, closing with the enemy in hand-to-hand
fighting. 2. To make a short, violent, but well-ordered attack against a local
objective, such as a gun emplacement, a fort, or a machine gun nest.
assault position — That position between the line of departure and the objective
in an attack from which forces assault the objective. Ideally, it is the last covered
and concealed position before reaching the objective.
assembly area (AA) — An area in which a command is assembled preparatory
to further action.
attack — A form of offensive operation characterized by coordinated movement
supported by fire. It may be designated as a main or a supporting attack. The
principal attack options include hasty attack, deliberate attack, spoiling attack,
counterattack, raid, feint, and demonstration.
attack by fire — Fires (direct and indirect) employed to destroy the enemy from
a distance, normally used when the mission does not dictate or support
occupation of the objective. This task is usually given to the supporting element
during the offensive and as a counterattack option for the reserve during
defensive operations. An attack by fire is not done in conjunction with a
maneuvering force. W hen assigning this task, the commander must specify the
intent of fire — either to destroy, fix, or suppress.
attack position — The last position occupied by the assault echelon before
crossing the line of departure.
avenue of approach (AA) — An air or ground route of an attacking force of a
given size leading to its objective or to key terrain in its path.
axis of advance — A line of advance assigned for purposes of control; often a
road or a group of roads, or a designated series of locations, extending in the
direction of the enemy. Deviations from an assigned axis of advance must not
interfere with the maneuver of adjacent units without prior approval of the higher
base of fire— Continuous and active suppression from a support-by-fire position
of an objective (even though the enemy has not shown himself) to reduce or
eliminate the enemy's capability to interfere by fire and movement with an
assaulting unit. It may be provided by a single weapon or a grouping of weapon
systems. (See also overwatch and support by fire).
battle drill — Standardized actions made in response to common battlefield
occurrences. They are designed for rapid reaction situations.
battle position (BP) — A defensive location oriented on the most likely enemy
avenue of approach from which a unit may defend. A unit assigned a BP is
located within the general outline of the BP. A battle position graphic control
measure may be used independently or in combination with sectors.
begin morning nautical twilight (BMNT) — The start of that period where, in
good conditions and in the absence of other illumination, enough light is available
to identify the general outlines of ground objects and conduct limited military
block — 1. A tactical task assigned to a unit that requires it to deny the enemy
access to a given area or to prevent enemy advance in a given direction or an
avenue of approach. 2. An obstacle effect that integrates fire planning and
obstacle effort to stop an attacker on a specific avenue of approach or to prevent
an enemy from exiting an engagement area.
breach — A tactical task where any means available are employed to break
through or secure a passage through an enemy defense, obstacle, minefield, or
bypass — A tactical task that involves maneuvering around an obstacle,
position, or enemy force to maintain the momentum of advance.
canalize — A tactical task used to restrict operations to a narrow zone by the
use of obstacles, fires, or unit maneuvering or positioning.
clear — A tactical task to remove all enemy forces and eliminate organized
resistance in an assigned zone, area, or location by destroying, capturing, or
forcing the withdrawal of enemy forces such that they cannot interfere with the
friendly unit's ability to accomplish its mission.
concealment — The protection from observation or surveillance.
control measures — Directives given graphically or orally by a commander to
subordinate commands to assign responsibilities, coordinate fires and maneuver,
and control combat operations. Each control measure can be portrayed
counterattack — An attack with a reserve or lightly committed forward element
that is launched after the enemy begins its attack, after the commander has
identified the enemy's effort, or when a resolute defense creates an assailable
cover — Shelter or protection from enemy observation that reduces the effects
of enemy direct and indirect fire.
defeat — A tactical task to either disrupt or nullify the enemy force commander's
plan and subdue his will to fight so that he is unwilling or unable to further pursue
his adopted course of action and yields to the will of his opponent.
defend — A combat operation designed to defeat an attacker and prevent him
from achieving his objectives. It employs all means and methods available to
prevent, resist, or destroy an enemy attack. The defensive techniques are defend
in sector, defend a battle position, and defend a strong point.
defilade — Protection from hostile observation and fire provided by an obstacle
such as a hill, ridge, or bank.
defile — A narrow gorge or pass that tends to prevent easy movement of troops.
destroy — A tactical task to physically render an enemy force combat-ineffective
unless it is reconstituted.
disengagement — Breaking contact with the enemy and moving to a point
where the enemy can neither observe nor engage the unit by direct fire.
end evening nautical twilight (EENT) — At the EENT, there is no further
final protective fire (FPF) — An immediately available prearranged barrier of
fire designed to impede enemy movement across defensive lines or areas.
final protective line (FPL) — A line of fire selected where an enemy assault is
to be checked by interlocking fire from all available weapons and obstacles.
fix — A tactical task in which actions are taken to prevent the enemy from
moving any part of his forces either from a specific location or for a specific
period of time by holding or surrounding them to prevent their withdrawal for use
grazing fire — Fire approximately parallel to the ground where the center of the
cone of fire does not rise above 1 meter from the ground.
line of contact (LC) — A general trace delineating the location where two
opposing forces are engaged.
line of departure (LD) — In land warfare, a line designated to coordinate the
departure of attack elements.
line of departure is line of contact (LD/LC) — The designation of forward
friendly positions as the LD when opposing forces are in contact. [i.e. W hen the
line of departure is the same as the line of contact.)
movement to contact — A form of the offense designed to develop the situation
and to establish or regain contact.
neutralize — To render enemy personnel or material incapable of interfering with
a particular operation.
objective — 1. The physical object of the action taken (for example, a definite
terrain feature, the seizure or holding of which is essential to the commander's
plan, or, the destruction of an enemy force without regard to terrain features). 2.
The clearly defined, decisive, and attainable aims which every military operation
should be directed towards.
observation post (OP) — A position from which military observations are made,
or fire directed and adjusted, and which possesses appropriate communications.
and equipment on the opposing force. Obstacles can exist naturally or can be
man-made, or can be a combination of both.
offensive operations — Combat operations designed primarily to destroy the
enemy. Offensive operations may be undertaken to secure key or decisive
terrain, to deprive the enemy of resources or decisive terrain, to deceive or divert
the enemy, to develop intelligence, and to hold the enemy in position. Forms of
offensive operations include movement to contact, attack, exploitation, and
overwatch — A tactical technique in which one element is positioned to support
by fire the movement of another element by observing known or suspected
enemy locations and engaging the enemy if he is visible or tries to fire on the
friendly element. The overwatching element must be told if it is to destroy,
suppress, or fix the enemy.
phase line (PL) — A line used for control and coordination of military operations,
usually a terrain feature extending across the zone of action.
primary position — A place for a weapon, a unit, or an individual to fight that
provides the best means to accomplish the assigned mission.
principal direction of fire (PDF) — The direction of fire assigned or designated
as the main direction in which a weapon will be oriented.
sector — An area designated by boundaries within which a unit operates, and
for which it is responsible. Normally, sectors are used in defensive operations.
secure— A tactical task to gain possession of a position or terrain feature, with
or without force, and to deploy in a manner which prevents its destruction or loss
to enemy action. The attacking force may or may not have to physically occupy
seize — A tactical task to clear a designated area and obtain control of it.
suppression — A tactical task to employ direct or indirect fires, electronic attack,
or smoke on enemy personnel, weapons, or equipment to prevent or degrade
enemy fires and observation of the friendly forces.
supplementary position — That location which provides the best sectors of fire
and defensive terrain along an avenue of approach other than the primary
avenue the enemy is expected to attack along, for example, a flank avenue of
support by fire — A tactical task in which a maneuver element moves to a
position on the battlefield where it can engage the enemy by direct fire to support
target reference point (TRP) — An easily recognizable point on the ground
(either natural or man-made) used to initiate, distribute, and control fires. TRPs
are designated by maneuver leaders from platoon through battalion to define
battalion, company, platoon, section, squad, or individual sectors of fire and
observation usually within an engagement area. TRPs can be designated as
indirect fire targets using the standard target symbol with letters and numbers
issued by the fire support officer.
BASIC MILITARY SYMBOLS AND GRAPHIC CONTROL MEASURES
References: FM 7-8, FM 7-10, and FM 101-5-1.
Military symbols are a tool used by leaders to graphically communicate
the location, size, type of units, equipment, features (obstacles or fortifications), and
services (supply trains and medical station) that impact on military operations. In this section
you will learn to identify and construct basic military symbols for units, equipment,
fortifications and obstacles. You will also learn the colors used in constructing military
symbols and how to construct threat forces symbols. Military symbols reduce the volume
of material required in orders and more clearly communicate the plan than words
alone while reducing the risk of misunderstanding.
Military graphics provide a symbolic means for demonstrating movement or
activities, as well as tactical and fire support control measures on a map. While military
symbols allow you to show location and size of units, military graphics show a path
for movement as well as what type of action is being executed.
During MS 103 and later in your Army career, you will combine symbols with graphics to
communicate which units are executing, where they are going, and what action they are to
DEFINITION OF A MILITARY SYMBOL
A military symbol is a sign composed of diagram, number, letter, abbreviation, color
or combination thereof, which is used to identify and distinguish a particular military unit,
activity or installation (FM 101-5-1).
MILITARY SYMBOLS ARE USED PRIMARILY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FOLLOWING
1. All types of situation maps and overprints.
2. Field sketches and overlays.
3. Aerial photographs.
4. Organizational charts.
The basic unit symbol used to represent Combat service support elements organic to
units, command posts, and combat a combat unit have an additional line
service support elements organic to drawn within the rectangle at the bottom.
combat units is a rectangle. Example: Example:
For a command post, a staff is extended An observation post is depicted with a
from the lower left corner of the rectangle. triangle. Example:
The symbols used to represent the size of units are shown below:
SYMBOL UNIT SIZE
---------------------------------- Platoon or Platoon-size
------------------------------ Company, Troop, or Battery
The following are samples of branch symbols to show the type of unit depicted:
FIELD AIR DEFENSE
ARMOR ARTILLERY ARTILLERY AVIATION
ENGINEER INFANTRY BFV UNIT (LIGHT)
AIRBORNE POLICE SIGNAL SUPPLY
The unit designation is placed to the left of the symbol, and it agrees
with the unit size depicted at the top of the symbol. Only one unit
designation is placed to the left of the symbol.
B = B Company 1 = 1st Sqd
To further identify the unit, a combination of numbers and letters are added
to the right of the symbol. For example, 1st platoon, B company, 3rd Battalion,
187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade is drawn below.
Different levels of command (squad, platoon, company, battalion, etc.) are
separated by a slash. Numerical designations of the regimental system are
always written together and separated by a dash. 1st Squad, 2nd Platoon,
Company E, 1st Bn of the 30th Inf (a Regimental unit) is written:
Colors in conjunction with military symbols denote the following:
1. Blue or Black -Friendly units, installations, equipment and
2. Red -Enemy units, installations, equipment and
3. Yellow -Friendly or enemy areas of NBC contamination.
4. Green -Friendly or enemy man-made obstacles.
A solid line symbol represents the present location of a unit or installation.
A broken line on the outside of a symbol indicates a future or proposed
location for units, command posts, combat service support elements, installations,
and observation or listening posts.
Proposed location Proposed location
for Infantry Squad for Infantry Company
Units and installations are often located in close proximity and it is difficult to
graphically depict their location. To avoid cluttering symbols and preserve clarity,
the offset technique is used. When using the offset technique a line is extended
vertically from the bottom center of the symbol. The staff may be straight or it may be
bent one time in any direction as illustrated. The point at which the offset staff ends
indicates the location. Examples:
The center of mass of the symbol indicates the general vicinity of the center of mass
Observation Post Supply Trains
Strongpoint Battle Position (Company)
The point at which the staff ends indicates the exact location of the command post.
example a company covers a large area so the company area would be indicated:
The company headquarters is in one small area, so it is indicated:
Enemy activities, equipment, and units are shown using a diamond in lieu of a b
The symbols enclosed in the diamond remain the same symbols as used for the U
equivalent (i.e. – an infantry unit is still an infantry unit).
Enemy Armor Platoon
Enemy Infantry Battalion
W PONS SYMBOLS
Sym are used to indicate the type and location of a weapon or group of weapons. W a weapon sym appears bol
on a m or overlay, the base of the shaft indicates the location of the weapon. The approxim size of a weapon,
(light, m , bol
edium or heavy), is denoted by using the appropriate sym for the light (sm bol,
allest) sym and horizontal
bars are added for increased size. One horizontal cross-bar represents mediumand two for heavy. For exam ple,
Light M edium Heavy
Machinegun Machinegun Machinegun
(SA ) 240 G)
(M M (.50 cal)
Light M edium Heavy
Antitank Rocket Antitank Missile Antitank Missile
[NOTE: The LAWsym represents both the M72A2 and the M136.]
Indirect fire weapons in an infantry battalion (m e
ortars) are drawn using the sam guidelines for light, medium,
and heavy weapons:
Light M edium Heavy
(60-m ) m
(81-m ) m
FORTIFICATIONS AND OBSTACLES
Fortifications represent fighting positions in a general area or a specific
location. To show a specific location, use a “staff” originating at the exact point of
the fortification. Obstacles are generally depicted by showing the general location of
the activity (a mine field), or by showing a specific point (a road crater).
Weapon Fighting Position Trench System
Tank Ditch Roadblock
Wire: Concertina Mine Field
Antipersonnel Mine Antitank Mine
INDIRECT FIRE SUPPORT SYMBOLS
You will be required to identify and construct the following symbols:
Note: Be familiar with the definition of each symbol so you will know their proper
Target Reference Point An easily recognizable point on the ground
used for identifying targets or controlling
007 fires. Designated by the company
commander or platoon leader. Consists of
Indirect Target Reference Point
Same as Target Reference Point, with an
assigned target number. Four digits
preceded with a two letter designator to
designate the responsible unit.
An immediately available preplanned
Final Protective Fire barrier of direct and indirect fire to provide
close protection to friendly positions. Unit
AM 1201 or weapon size is indicated.
1-91 IN (M)
O TR L E S R S
C N O MAU E
TR D C N
IN O U TIO
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Tactical leaders com unicatetheir intent for com operations usingw andsym bols.
They usegraphic control m ovem
easures toregulateor direct eachunit's m ent, position, andfire.
C ontrol measures arenot intendedtorestrict theexerciseof initiative.
Leaders usecontrol m easures toclarify their intent, focus theunit effort, andensuresynchronization.
E control m easureshouldhaveaspecific purposethat contributes tom issionaccomplishment.
If acontrol measurefails thepurposetest, leaders shouldnot useit.
Control m n ap,
easures canbedraw onam overlay, sketch, or terrainm odel.
Leaders shouldstrivetokeepcontrol m easures easily identifiable(terrainfeatures) andsim ple.
hen binedw unit andequipm sym control m
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easures canm clearly andconcisely
depict toyour subordinates theconcept youhavefor m ords
aneuver thanw alone.
Y instructor m requireyoutolearnandapply additional control m easures not listedinthis chapter.
CONTROL MEASURE: Ambush Position.
DEFINITION: The location from which a surprise attack is conducted
from concealed positions on a moving or temporarily halted enemy.
CONTROL MEASURE: Assault Position.
DEFINITION. That position between the line of departure (LD) and the objective
in an attack from which forces assault the objective. Ideally, it is the last
covered and concealed position before reaching the objective.
CONTROL MEASURE: Assembly Area.
DEFINITION: An area in which a command is assembled prior to further
CONTROL MEASURE: Attack Position.
DEFINITION: The last position occupied or passed through by the assault
echelon before crossing the line of departure (LD).
CONTROL MEASURE: Axis of Advance.
DEFINITION: A line of advance assigned for purposes of control; often a road
or a group of roads, or a designated series of locations, extending in the direction of
the enemy. Deviations from an assigned axis of advance must not interfere with the
maneuver of adjacent units without prior approval of the higher commander.
CONTROL MEASURE: Battle Position.
DEFINITION: A defensive location oriented on the most likely enemy
avenue of approach from which a unit may defend or attack. A unit assigned a BP
is located within the general outline of the BP. Security, combat support
(CS), and combat service support (CSS) forces may operate outside
a BP to provide early enemy detection and all-around security.
CONTROL MEASURE: Boundary.
DEFINITION: A control measure normally drawn along identifiable terrain
features and used to delineate areas of tactical responsibility for subordinate
Within their boundaries, units may maneuver within the overall plan without
close coordination with neighboring units unless otherwise restricted. Depending
on the unit's SOP, direct fire may be placed across boundaries on clearly
identified enemy targets without prior coordination, provided friendly forces
are not endangered. Indirect fire also may be used after prior coordination.
CONTROL MEASURE: Checkpoint.
DEFINITION: A predetermined point on the ground used as a means
of coordinating friendly movement. Checkpoints are not used as reference
points in reporting enemy locations.
CONTROL MEASURE: Coordination Point.
DEFINITION: A control measure that indicates a specific location for
the coordination of fires and maneuver between adjacent units. They usually
are indicated whenever a boundary crosses the forward edge of the battle
area (FEBA) and may be indicated when a boundary crosses report lines or
at phase lines (PLs).
CONTROL MEASURE: Direction of Attack.
DEFINITION: A specific direction or route that the main attack or the main body
of the force will follow. If used, it is normally at battalion and lower levels.
Direction of attack is a more restrictive control measure than axis of advance,
and units are not free to maneuver off the assigned routes. It usually is
associated with infantry units conducting night attacks, or units involved in
limited visibility operations.
CONTROL MEASURE: Infiltration Lane.
DEFINITION: A designated axis of movement that implies contact is avoided
by the infiltrating unit. May be used by individuals or small groups.
Infiltration lanes are normally marked by a scout or lead element to aid
follow-on units from being detected.
CONTROL MEASURE: Limit of Advance (LOA).
DEFINITION: An easily recognizable terrain feature beyond which
attacking elements will not advance.
DEFINITION: A general trace that delineates where opposing forces are in contact
CONTROL MEASURE: Line of Departure (LD).
DEFINITION: A line designated to coordinate the commitment of attacking units
or scouting elements at a specified time. The physical location of the start line.
Time of attack given in an order is the time at which the attacking unit
crosses the LD with its lead element.
CONTROL MEASURE: Line of Departure is Line of Contact (LD/LC).
DEFINITION: The designation of forward friendly positions as the LD when
opposing forces are in contact. [i.e. When the line of departure is the same
as the line of contact.)
SYMBOL: [Enemy side]
CONTROL MEASURE: Linkup Point.
DEFINITION: An easily identifiable point on the ground where two
forces conducting a linkup meet. When one force is stationary, linkup points
normally are established where the moving force's routes of advance intersect the
stationary force's security elements. Linkup points for two moving
forces are established on boundaries where the two forces are expected to
CONTROL MEASURE: Phase Line (PL).
DEFINITION: A line used for control and coordination of military operations. I
usually a recognizable terrain feature extending across the zone of action.
PLs are often used to prescribe the timing of operations.
CONTROL MEASURE: Objective.
DEFINITION: The physical object of the action taken (for example, a definite
terrain feature, the seizure and/or holding of which is essential to the
commander's plan, or, the destruction of an enemy force without regard to
CONTROL MEASURE: Obstacle.
DEFINITION: Any natural or man-made obstruction that canalizes, delays, restricts, or
diverts movement of a force. The effectiveness of an obstacle is enhanced considerably
when covered by fire. Obstacles can include abatis, antitank ditches, blown bridges,
built-up areas, minefields, rivers, road craters, terrain, and wire.
CONTROL MEASURE: Rally Point.
DEFINITION: An easily identifiable point on the ground at which units can reassem-
ble/reorganize if they become disbursed. An Objective Rally Point (ORP) is a location
where a unit can temporarily halt to reorganize and prepare prior to actions in the objective
area. An ORP should afford concealment, be easy to defend, and be within close
proximity to the objective. An ORP IS NOT AN ASSAULT POSITION!
CONTROL MEASURE: Support by Fire Position.
DEFINITION: The location from which a unit supports the maneuver of another unit by
providing suppressive fire in a specified direction, or on a designated enemy location.
MS103 MAP EXAMPLE
MAP WITH OVERLAY EXAMPLE
Security Patrol #3
152300 Oct 2003
152300 Oct 03
Lesson 7: Comprehension
Say Again, Over…..
Write out your response to the short answer questions below.
1. Make the following symbols:
Support by fire position:_______ Anti-personnel minefield:________
Link-up point 6: _____________ Direction of main attack:________
Ambush position: ____________
2. What is the definition of a military symbol?
3. Make the military symbol for 2nd Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion,
188th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade.
Assembly Area: ____________________________________________
End Evening Nautical Twilight:_________________________________
Grazing Fire: ______________________________________________
5. Order these military symbols from smallest to largest unit:
If you struggled with any question, go back and review the material.
THE TROOP LEADING PROCEDURES
• List and describe the eight steps in the Troop Leading Procedures.
• Define the purpose of a Pre-Combat Inspection.
Read Text Chapter 8.
Read Goose Green, pg. 169-212.
Student Self-Paced Text Chapter 8.
TLP Handbook, pg. 2
• Bring the TLP Handbook to class as an outline to the classroom
• LESSON QUOTE:
• When making a plan, try to put yourself in the enemy’s mind,
and think what course it is least probable he will foresee and
sorestall. The surest way to success in war is to choose the
course of least expectation.
• Captain sir Basil Liddell Hart, 1944
TROOP LEADING PROCEDURES
1. RECEIVE MISSION • MISSION ANALYSIS METT-TC
2. ISSUE WARNING ORDER
• DEVELOP MISSION
3. MAKE TENTATIVE PLAN COURSES OF ACTION
4. INITIATE MOVEMENT • ANALYZE
COURSES OF ACTION TERRAIN-OCOKA
5. CONDUCT RECONNAISSANCE
• COMPARE COURSES OF TROOPS/FIRE SUPT
6. COMPLETE PLAN
7. ISSUE OPERATIONS ORDER TIME
• SELECT BEST COA
8. SUPERVISE CIVILIAN CONSIDER
Reconnaissance is conducted based on the
Tentative plan. Information discovered during
Reconnaissance is “plugged back in” to both
METT-TC & the estimate of the situation.
Platoon Troop-Leading Procedures (TLPs):
Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP)
"Gentlemen, that concludes the company warning order (WARNO); be back at 1500 for the
Operations Order (OPORD)," concluded CPT Jones, the company commander. 2LT Smith
stared at his WARNO notes with amazement; here was his first tactical mission and he was
suffering from information overload. Sure, he had been taught to prepare and give an OPORD,
but all the other tasks that had to be accomplished were overwhelming. How in the world was he
going to manage rehearsals, chow, weapons maintenance, and load rucks into the 5-tons by
New platoon leaders (PLs) face a steep learning curve when they first join their platoons. They
understand the concepts and procedures, but lack experience implementing them in real-world
scenarios. After several rotations as a Rifle Platoon Observer/Controller at the Joint Readiness
Training Center (JRTC), I have noticed several trends with Infantry lieutenants' use of TLPs. As a
group, they do an excellent job preparing and issuing their OPORDs, but they have great difficulty
accomplishing all specified and implied tasks prior to crossing the line of departure (LD). I would
like to offer several TTP based on lessons learned at JRTC while following the eight-step TLPs as
found in FM 3.21.8 (FM 7-8), Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad.
Standardize Planning Products
Before even going to the field, the platoon needs to establish some planning standing operating
procedures (SOPs) to assist with TLPs in the field. These TTP need to be prepared, rehearsed
and understood by all members of the platoon. If done properly, they will save the platoon time
by streamlining, standardizing and simplifying field operations. Here are some items, as a
minimum, that the platoon should prepare:
• Laminated OPORDs: Regardless of the format used, the PL, platoon sergeant (PSG),
and squad leaders (SLs) need three laminated copies of order formats. The WARNO and
OPORD formats should be identical. This saves a lot of time by keeping leaders from
writing the same thing twice. The PSG should keep several additional copies in case of
attachments or loss by a subordinate. The PL should have three laminated copies of the
company OPORD for himself. Thus, leaders facilitate steps two and six of the TLPs.
• Laminated Information Cards: Team leaders and all soldiers should have laminated
cards with the information that their leaders expect them to know for the upcoming
operation. First, this ensures that the soldier understands what information he needs to
know. With training, he will learn to fill in all the blanks on his card, and seek out that
information when he does not have it. Second, it allows leaders to easily spot-check
information dissemination by asking a soldier for his information card and quizzing him on
Preplanned Priorities of Work (POW): By using or creating your own version of Chart 1, you
can easily manage and track POW in your platoon. PLs and PSGs can assign POW by issuing a
number off of the left-hand column. The chart allows the leaders to manage by Fire Team and
Gun ensuring that all necessary personnel
• anything important. That alone is a premium once sleep deprivation sets in on a
• Sketch Board/Terrain Model: Platoons need a way to visualize an operation. The
easiest way is to have a terrain model kit and then designate the soldiers who always
build it. Sometimes it is easier to laminate several pieces of butcher-block paper and use
dry erase markers to portray the mission. Whatever the method, platoons need to think
through any mission and allow SLs to visualize the operation before briefing their
• Standardized TLPs: By using or creating your own Chart 2, you develop a tentative
timeline that ensures you accomplish most of the implied tasks while still preparing for
your mission. The chart has several TTP to help leaders manage the myriad of assigned
tasks. Paragraph 1 is an example of who can assist the PL during TLPs. Paragraph 2
helps streamline TLPs across the company. It provides suggested activities that can
occur simultaneously with other events. The last three paragraphs provide shell timelines
that can further help PLs manage time. I recommend you modify them based on your
battalion and company's field battle rhythm.
• Pre-Combat Checks (PCCs)/Pre-Combat Inspection (PCI) Checklist: Creating a
detailed list for all leaders to follow on PCC/PCIs sets a standard for the platoon. All
subordinate leaders know exactly what their jobs are in the POW. With training, senior
leaders gain confidence that their subordinate leaders can accomplish them to standard.
Standardize the Planning Process
1. Receive the Mission: Step 1 occurs when the PL receives the company WARNO. The PL
needs to issue guidance on POW to be executed in his absence. A good idea is to focus on non-
mission-specific POW such as chow and personal hygiene. At JRTC, while the PL is off getting
the WARNO, the platoon often does nothing but wait. Once the PL returns, he needs to take
some time before he issues his WARNO. That should include a solid timeline for his platoon.
Too often, the PL returns to his platoon and fumbles through a platoon WARNO that just
regurgitates what the company commander said.
2. Issue a warning order: The PL should issue a solid WARNO using the five-paragraph
OPORD format. Using the laminated copies mentioned above, a SL shows up understanding
what is going to be said. The WARNO should include a detailed timeline using the 1/3-2/3 rule,
guidance on squad rehearsals, PCCs and PCIs, and time and place for the OPORD. The more
detail the PL places in his WARNO, the better. Subordinates will know everything to be
accomplished prior to the OPORD and will free the PL up to develop his plan. The less he puts
out, the more questions subordinates will have while he is planning.
3. Make a tentative plan: The PL should spend a good portion of his time developing the plan.
If the WARNO contained enough information, the PSG can run the platoon while the PL is free to
think about his plan. Chart 2 provides examples on how long to spend on each paragraph of the
OPORD based on the overall timeline. Too often, PLs spend too much time on one paragraph
and rush to complete the rest. Some simply rush the process and provide no worthwhile
information to the SLs. The PLs need to use observation and fields of fire, concealment and
cover, obstacles, key terrain, and avenues of approach (OCOKA), mission, enemy, terrain,
troops, and time available (METT-T), and intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) to
develop the plan. Finally, the PL should use a shell OPORD format. This allows the PL to fill in
all the blanks and ensures that no information is missing.
4. Start necessary movement: If necessary, the WARNO should contain all information
needed to execute this step. The non-commissioned officers (NCOs) can handle the movement
allowing the PL to continue planning.
5. Reconnoiter: This step is frequently overlooked at the platoon level. In the defense,
there is no excuse for not walking your entire engagement area with subordinate leaders. By
doing this, the PL provides a common picture for the platoon. In offensive operations, this can be
done via map reconnaissance, a TTP seldom used anymore at JRTC. Consequently, platoons
routinely fumble through the route given by higher. They decide where to execute actions
enroute. A simple map reconnaissance can confirm or deny routes, crossing points, help the PL
evaluate the enemy, and tentatively determine likely objective rally points (ORPs), release points
(RPs), SBF, and assault positions.
6. Complete the plan: During the preparation of the OPORD, the PL needs to step away from
the plan for five to ten minutes to spot-check POW he issued in the W ARNO. The shell timelines
in Chart 2 allows for this. This accomplishes two things. First, the PL is supervising his plan. It
gives him a break from the orders process so he can go back to it ready to re-evaluate what he
was planning. The PL should spot-check his terrain model, sketch, and OPORD tasks which he
has delegated. Finally, he should rehearse briefly before giving the OPORD.
7. Issue the complete order: The PL should issue the plan to SLs using either a terrain model
or a sketch to assist visualization. The laminated OPORD should be used. This allows the SLs
to know how they will receive the information; if something is missed, they will have a blank that
needs to be completed. Matrix orders tend to save space and time in issuing but they lack the
detail of the more traditional written orders. Common mistakes in platoon OPORDs:
• Area of Operations and Area of Interest. PLs don't give Area of Operations and Area of
Interest at the start of the Order. This is important since it gives subordinate leaders a
look at the bigger picture and how they can influence the fight.
• OAKOC. PLs do a good job of talking each part of OAKOC in order. However, they need
to go into detail about cause and effect of each factor. Just announcing that a hill is key
terrain is not enough. W hy that hill is key terrain, and the tactical advantage it provides
needs to be discussed.
• The Enemy. PLs don't reanalyze the enemy forces. They need to break down the
enemy as it relates to the platoon fight. Finally, they need to refine the enemy situation
template (SITEMP) as given by the commander.
• The Mission Statement. PLs rarely say the mission statement slowly and they almost
never say it twice. This is important since it is the mission statement. It needs to read
slowly and be said twice to ensure everyone understands it.
• Graphics. Friendly graphics never make it down to the SL prior to the OPORD, so that it
can be referenced during the brief.
• Concept of the Operation versus Maneuver versus Tasks to Combat Unit's
Subparagraphs. PLs routinely mix these up in the OPORD. Remember:
• The Concept of the Operation is a simple paragraph of no more than six sentences
briefly talking in generic terms the operation.
• The Maneuver paragraph addresses all elements by name and should give excruciating
detail using the terrain model and/or sketch.
• Tasks to combat units should specify by element what must be accomplished to
complete the mission.
• Coordinating Instructions. This subparagraph doesn't go into enough detail about the
basics of the operation. Reference STP 21-76 and FM 3-21.8 (FM 7-8) for everything
that needs to be included in your laminated order for this subparagraph.
• Supervise! This NEVER stops!
• Rehearsals. Rehearsals need to be planned in the timeline and ruthlessly protected.
W henever possible, a full-force rehearsal needs to be executed. Full-force means every
soldier with every piece of equipment for the entire rehearsal.
Briefbacks. All leaders do briefbacks throughout the TLPs. A laminated information card down
to the soldier level ensures he receives all pertinent information. It is then up to leaders to inspect
cards, and ensure he has a thorough understanding at all
• Inspections. All leaders from TL through PL inspect and then reinspect. Platoons
should develop a PCC/ PCI checklist that details who is responsible from TL through PL
to inspect an item or action.
Whether a lieutenant or SFC, a PL has a lot or responsibilities in the field when he usually has the
most to accomplish with the least amount of time. By the time higher headquarters (at all levels)
abuse the 1/3-2/3 rule, platoons are left with an inadequate amount of time to plan, prepare and
rehearse. Through a better understanding of TLPs, standardizing the POW in relation to TLPs,
and standardizing the orders' process, platoons can save themselves time. This time can be
spent on the important items such as rehearsals and better planning. Most of the recommended
actions need to be prepared and planned in garrison before deploying to the field. Remember
planning for the expected allows greater flexibility in meeting the unexpected.
Lesson 8: Comprehension
Write out your response to the short answer questions below.
1. List the (8) eight Troop Leading Procedures:
2. Which is the most important and why?
3. What is the acronym the military uses to analyze situations and
what does each represent?
4. Describe the 1/3 - 2/3 Rule.
5. What must you have before you make your Leader’s
If you struggled with any question, go back and review the material.
THE WARNING ORDER
• List and describe the five requirements of the Warning Order.
• Write a Squad Mission Statement and delineate the Task and
• Issue a Warning Order.
• Write a complete Squad Warning Order.
• Ensure you bring the TLP Handbook, Tenino 1:50,000 map, and
protractor to class.
• LESSON QUOTE:
• The issuance of an order is the simplest thing in the world.
The important and difficult thing is to see; first, that the
order is transmitted; and, second, that it is obeyed.
• GEN George S. Patton Jr. 08 July 1941
This section discusses combat orders. The successful execution of Mission
Tactics depends on cogent, concise communications between higher and lower
levels of command. Combat orders serve as a means of facilitating this
communication. Commanders use combat orders to organize their thoughts,
ensure completeness of their plan, and to clearly explain their concept for
accomplishing an assigned mission. Completeness and brevity are the keys to
success in orders presentation! With more time, leaders can plan and prepare in
depth. With less time, they must rely on previously rehearsed actions, battle
drills, and standing operating procedures.
The warning order is used to alert a unit of impending action and may be
issued at any time. Do not wait for complete information. Make the best
warning order possible with the information at hand, and update it as needed.
Subordinate leaders need time to begin preparations and rehearsals. We will
use thirty minutes as the course standard for passing a warning order from
platoon leader to squad leaders.
The warning order has no specific format, and there are several methods
for organizing the necessary information. One technique is to use the five-
paragraph operations order format. Most people are familiar with this format,
and it allows for simplicity. Format is not as important as getting the "word"
disseminated quickly and accurately. If available, the following information
may be included in a warning order
• The type of mission
• Who is participating in the operation
• The earliest time of movement
• Any special equipment or changes to the task organization
• Time and location of the operations order
See Figures 9-1 to 9-3 for an annotated Warning Order format and oral
An operation order (OPORD) is a directive issued by the leader to his
subordinate leaders in order to effect the coordinated execution of a specific
operation. OPORDs have a TASK ORGANIZATION plus A STANDARD FIVE-
PARAGRAPH FORMAT. The information contained in the platoon leader's
OPORD is derived from the company commander's OPORD, and any other
information that the platoon leader has obtained through reconnaissance. The
OPORD is like the warning order, in that the platoon leader extracts what his
units, or will not have sufficient detail to allow your squad leaders to take
The OPORD by itself is a good means of communicating a plan, but an
overlay or sketch makes it even clearer. Overlay and concept sketches assist
the platoon leader in visualizing the company commander's plan. Terrain
models are also used when time allows. One or more members of the
headquarters are assigned the responsibility for developing a terrain model to
support the leader's OPORD. The model may be very detailed at battalion or
brigade level, and incorporates scaled models, computer assisted graphics,
or aerial photographs.
(1) The leader briefs his OPORD orally from notes that follow the five-
paragraph format below.
(2) The leader uses a fragmentary order (FRAGO) to change an existing
order. He normally uses the OPORD format, but addresses only
those elements that have changed. The leader should make his
instructions brief, simple, clear, and specific.
(3) Annexes provide the instructions for conducting specific instructions (such
as air assault, boat, and truck movement, stream crossings, establishing
patrol bases, and airborne insertions), if they are so detailed that a unit
SOP is insufficient for a particular situation. The format is the same as
the five-paragraph OPORD.
(4) An operation overlay is a tracing of graphic control measures on a map. It
shows boundaries, unit positions, routes, objectives, and other control
measures. It helps to clarify the operation order. Platoons normally trace
their overlays from the company operations map. Squad leaders transfer
control measures on their maps as needed. The subordinate's need for
higher unit graphics must be balanced against the risk of the enemy
obtaining this information.
(5) W hen possible, the leader uses the actual terrain or a terrain model to
brief his OPORD. He may also use concept sketches - large, rough
drawings of the objective areas - to show the flow of events and actions
Concept sketch. The sketch shows the locations and positions of
objectives, control measures, and key terrain in relation to each other. It is
effective for briefing and discussing the actions on the objective. It may depict
the entire mission area. However, for offensive missions, priority should be
given to building a model of the objective area.
• It should be built oriented to the ground (north on the model is north on
the ground) and should show the main terrain features in the model.
• The next step after orienting the model to the ground is the
construction of grid squares. The leader should identify the grid
squares that the model will show. These ensure a more accurate
• The terrain model should depict key terrain, friendly control measures,
and enemy dispositions.
TACTICAL TASKS: A clearly defined, measurable activity accomplished by
individuals and organizations. Tasks are specific activities that contribute to the
accomplishment of encompassing missions or other requirements. A task should
be definable, measurable, and decisive (achieve the purpose).
Enemy Terrain Friendly
Attack by fire Clear Breach
Block Occupy Cover
Bypass Reconnoiter Disengage
Canalize Retain Exfiltrate
Contain Secure Follow and support
Defeat Seize Guard
Feint Support by fire
PURPOSE (in order to): The desired or intended result of the tactical operation
stated in terms related to the enemy or the desired situation. The why of the
mission statement. The most important component of the mission statement.
Allow Divert Prevent
Cause Enable Protect
Create Envelop Support
Deceive Influence Surprise
OPERATIONS: “A military action or the carrying out of a military action to gain
the objectives of any battle or campaign.” Types of operations include –
Attack Counterattack Defend
Movement to contact Retrograde Mobility
Countermobility Survivability River
Crossing Breakout Security
SAMPLE OPERATIONS ORDER FORMAT. There are several similar formats
for the five-paragraph operations order. This is an annotated example of one,
which attempts to reflect current doctrine for a light infantry platoon. See
Figures 9-4 to 9-14 for an annotated Operations Order format and oral
Task Organization: Describe the allocation of forces to support the leader’s
concept. Task organization may be shown in one of two places: preceding
paragraph one, or in an annex, if the task organization is long and complicated.
a. Enemy forces. The enemy situation in higher headquarters’ OPORD
(paragraph 1.a.) is the basis for this, but the leader refines this to provide the
detail required by his subordinates.
(1) W eather and Light Data and General Forecast:
High Moonrise Sunrise
Low Moonset Sunset
W ind Speed Moonphase BMNT
W ind Direction % Illumination EENT
(2) Terrain (factors of OCOKA).
• Observation and fields of fire
• Cover and concealment
• Key terrain
• Avenues of approach
NOTE: Describe the effects on enemy and friendly forces for lines (1) and
(1) Enemy Forces.
• Composition/order of battle
• Recent activities
• Current location
• Most probable course of action
• Most dangerous course of action
• W eaknesses
b. Friendly forces. This information is in paragraph 1b, 2 and 3 of higher
• Higher commander’s concept of the operation two levels up
• Adjacent unit missions/locations (units to the left, right, front, and rear).
State those units’ task and purpose and how those units will influence
your unit, particularly adjacent unit patrols.
• Units providing fire support (if any)
a. Attachments and detachments. Do not repeat information already listed
under Task Organization. However, when not in the Task Organization, list
units that are attached or detached to the headquarters that issues the order.
State when attachment or detachment is to be effective if different from when
the OPORD is effective (such as on order, on commitment of the reserve).
2. MISSION. State the mission derived during the planning process. There are
no subparagraphs in a mission statement. Include the 5 W 's: W ho, W hat
(task), W here, W hen, and W hy (purpose).
Intent. The intent is a clear, concise statement of what the platoon must do
to succeed in relation to the enemy, terrain, and the desired end state. It
provides the link between the mission statement and the concept of the
operation by stating the key tasks that, along with the mission, are the basis for
subordinates to exercise initiative when unanticipated opportunities arise or
when the original concept of the operation no longer applies. It is not merely a
restatement of the why (purpose) from the mission statement. The intent can be
expressed in bullets or a paragraph. For example—
My intent is to accomplish these actions during the operation:
• Control the choke point until the company has passed.
• Prevent effective enemy fires against the company as it passes
through the choke point.
• Be prepared to defend the choke point against a counterattack from
My intent is to suppress all enemy forces that can place effective direct
fires against 2 nd platoon as it assaults across the objective. W e will
maintain this suppression until 2 nd platoon begins its maneuver.
Additionally, we must be prepared to assume 2 nd platoon assault to
seize the objective should they fail.
a. Concept of the Operations. The concept of operations may be a
single paragraph, may be divided into two or more subparagraphs or, if
unusually lengthy, may be prepared as a separate annex. The concept
of operations should be based on the COA statement from the decision-
making process and will designate the main effort. The concept
statement should be concise and understandable and describe, in
general terms, how the unit will accomplish its mission from start to
• A plan of fire support or “scheme of fires” supporting the maneuver
• The integration of other major elements or systems within the
operation. These include, for example, reconnaissance and security
elements, intelligence assets, engineer assets, and air defense.
1. Maneuver. The maneuver paragraph addresses, in detail, the
mechanics of the operations. Specifically address all subordinate units
and attachments by name, giving each its mission in the form of a task
and purpose. The main effort must be designated and all other
subordinates’ missions must relate to the main effort. Actions on the
objective will comprise the majority of this paragraph and therefore could
address the plan for actions on the objective, engagement/disengagement
criteria, an alternate plan in the event of compromise or unplanned
movement of enemy forces, and a withdrawal plan.
2. Fires. Clarify scheme of fires to support the overall concept. This
paragraph should state which maneuver unit is the main effort and has
priority of fires, to include stating purpose of, priorities for, allocation of,
and restrictions for fire support. A target list worksheet and overlay are
referenced here, if applicable. Specific targets are discussed and pointed
out on the terrain model (see chapter 3, Fire Support).
b. Tasks to maneuver units. Clearly state the missions or tasks for each
maneuver unit that reports directly to the headquarters issuing the order. List
units in the same sequence as in the task organization, including reserves. Use a
separate subparagraph for each maneuver unit. Only state tasks that are
necessary for comprehension, clarity, and emphasis. Place tactical tasks that
affect two or more units in subparagraph 3d. Platoon leaders task their
subordinate squads. Those squads may be tasked to provide any of the
following special teams: reconnaissance and security, assault, support, aid and
litter, EPW and search, clearing, and demolitions. Detailed instructions may also
be given to platoon sergeant, RTOs, compass man, and pace man.
c. Tasks to combat support units. Use these subparagraphs only as
necessary. List CS units in subparagraphs in the same order as they appear in
the task organization. Use CS subparagraphs to list only those specific tasks that
CS units must accomplish and that are not specified or implied elsewhere.
Include organization for combat, if not clear from task organization.
d. Coordinating instructions. List only instructions applicable to two or more
units and not routinely covered in unit SOPs. This is always the last
subparagraph in paragraph 3. Complex instructions should be referred to in an
(1) Time Schedule (rehearsals, back briefs, inspections and movement).
(2) Commander's critical information requirements (CCIR)
(a) Essential elements of friendly information (EEFI). – Critical aspects of
friendly operations that, if known by the enemy, would compromise,
lead to failure, or limit success of the operation.
(b) Friendly force information requirements (FFIR). – Information the
commander needs about friendly forces available for the operation.
May include personnel status, ammunition status, and leadership
(1) Risk reduction control measures. These are measures unique to this
operation and not included in unit SOPs and can include mission-
oriented protective posture, operational exposure guidance, vehicle
recognition signals, and fratricide prevention measures.
(2) Rules of engagement (ROE).
(3) Environmental considerations and control measures.
(4) Force Protection control measures.
(5) Movement Plan. Use terrain model and/or sketch. State azimuths,
directions, and grid coordinates.
4. SERVICE SUPPORT Address service support in the areas shown below as
needed to clarify the service support concept. Subparagraphs can include:
a. General: Reference the SOP’s that govern the sustainment operations of the
unit. Provide current and proposed company trains locations, casualty, and
damaged equipment collection points and routes.
b. Materiel and Services.
a. Class I – Rations Plan
b. Class V – Ammunition
c. Class VII – Major end items (weapons)
d. Class VIII – Medical
e. Class IX – Repair parts
f. Distribution Methods
(3) Services (Locations of Laundry, Showers, mortuary, procedures for
(4) Maintenance (weapons and equipment)
a. Medical evacuation and hospitalization. Method of evacuating dead and
wounded, friendly and enemy personnel. Include priorities and location of
b. Personnel support. Method of handling EPW s and designation of the EPW
5. COMMAND AND SIGNAL
This paragraph states where command and control facilities and key leaders are
located during the operation.
(1) Location of the higher unit commander and CP.
(2) Location of key personnel and CP during each phase of the
(2) Methods of communication in priority.
(3) Pyrotechnics and signals, to include arm and hand signals.
(4) Code words.
(5) Challenge and password (used when behind friendly lines).
(6) Number Combination (used when forward of friendly lines).
(7) Running Password.
(8) Recognition signals (near/far and day/night).
c. Special Instructions to RTOs.
GIVE TIME HACK.
ASK FOR QUESTIONS.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
UNITED STATES MILITARY
West Point, New York 10996
The Warning Order
Leadership Exercise #2
1. Purpose: The purpose of the Leadership Exercise is to ensure that the
Cadets have fully grasped the concept and demonstrate the ability
to craft a Warning Order.
2. Intent: This Exercise will provide the necessary elements for the Cadets to
craft their WARNO and issue it to the class. The intent is to build
confidence and demonstrate the ability to experience receiving
orders and issuing instructions to a group of soldiers.
Inform the cadets that they are about to receive a FRAGO. Allow
them a few moments to get out some paper and pens and prepare
to copy the order. Ensure they have out the Tenino 1:50,000 map.
Ensure that the slide with the map is on the screen. Then, read the
FRAGO as if issuing it to a subordinate. When complete, allow
them to ask a few questions. (If it isn’t on the paper, then you do
not know the answer.) Allow the cadets 12 minutes to form a quick
Warning Order. They may use the format page from the TLP
Allow the Cadets 15 minutes to read and write out their Warning
Orders. Select (1) one Cadet from each squad to take a turn
standing and issuing his WARNO to the class. Critique the
WARNO as a group.
Did Cadet cover basic information requirements?
Did Cadet present it clearly, well organized, confident?
Focus on squad? (or did Cadet regurgitate platoon Leader’s
Did it warn, or try to be a FRAGO?
Ensure to collect all written work. Assign Instructor Points as
4. Prepare to copy FRAGO.
• Demonstrate the ability to conduct a Pre-Combat Inspection.
• Prepare Uniform and TA-50 for inspection.
• Learn Cadet Knowledge Questions to date.
• Read and follow USCC SOP.
• Prepare yourself for Combat Operations according to your squad
leaders warning order and the CFT TACSOP.
• Ensure you prepare your “knowledge” as well as your
• Meet in designated location at designated time. This normal class
period is a drop.
• LESSON QUOTE:
• A unit that does well only those things the boss checks will
have great difficulty.
• MG E. S. Leland, Commander of Fort Irwin 1987
EXAMPLE AS PER RANGER BATTALION
Pre-Combat Inspection Format
1. Prior to any mission, leaders at all levels, especially Team Leaders, will inspect their
subordinates on the items listed below at a minimum. These items should be inspected
during initial and final inspections.
2. Pre-combat inspections will focus on the following areas:
3. The following areas will be inspected, this list is the minimum, don't limit your inspection to
only these areas.
a. Weapons are clean and lubricated.
b. Slings are properly rigged and taped.
c. Optics and lasers are tied down IAW the SOP.
d. Spare batteries are taped in pistol grip.
b. Spare batteries are present in LBE/RACK.
c. NVG’s are tied down or have a tie down present and IAW the SOP.
d. Properly rigged for an airborne assault, padding is present.
a. Ammunition is clean and serviceable.
b. Ammunition is properly loaded in magazines and placed in LCE.
c. Grenades and Flash-bangs are properly carried and rigged IAW SOP.
d. Pyrotechnics are properly carried and easily identified.
a. Chem-lights are carried and easily accessed.
b. Each man has an IR Chem-light on an 18” piece of 550 cord to signal CSAR aircraft (in pocket).
c. White E-tape (18”) to mark tree landings or breach points in LBE/RACK.
d. VS-17 (2” x 12”) strip in K-pot.
e. IR tape armband present and 1" x 1" square for K-pot.
f. Individual Commo is properly rigged and works.
5. Casualty care:
a. Israeli Litters/SKEDCO’s are carried.
b. Squad aid bags are carried.
c. Individual aid packs are carried.
d. First Aid Bags are marked with red-cross or red tape and in easily identifiable location.
6. Load Carrying Equipment:
a. LBV is properly rigged.
b. Rucksack or Assault pack are properly packed and rigged.
c. Equipment is marked with A Company markings.
d. All sensitive equipment is tied down.
e. Body armor is rigged properly and has Ranger’s name on it.
f. Water is present in proper quantity.
7. Breaching Equipment:
a. Hooligan tool is properly rigged and can be accessed rapidly.
b. Sledge/Axe is rigged and can be accessed rapidly.
c. Charges are carried in easily accessible area. Every Fire Team member knows where charges are. Firing
systems are separate from charges.
d. Shotgun is loaded. Shells are carried properly. Shotgun is easily accessible.
8. Check mission knowledge and that each individual has no sensitive information on them.
a. Mission Statement for Ranger’s element.
b. Commanders Intent (Company and Platoon or two levels up).
c. Number Combo and Running Password.
d. The Emergency Link-Up (ERV) plan and/or E+R Plan.
e. How are we going to exfil and from where?
f. MEDEVAC plan is understood, HLZ’s, assets, CCP’s, location of litters and medic.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY
West Point, New York 10996
Name: ___________________________ Cadet Section: _____
Cadet Inspector: ___________________
____ Serviceability ____ (2) Canteens
____ Cleanliness ____ (1) Canteen cup
____ Accountability ____ (2) Mag pouches
____ Rank ____ Dummy cording
____ Boots (buff shine) ____ First-aid pouch
____ Glasses (as req) ____ Compass with case
____ ID tags / allergy tags ____ Buttpack
____ ID card ____ Properly rigged according
____ Notebook with pen to SOP
____ Camo stick ____ (6) Magazines
____ Protractor ____ (1) Poncho
____ Watch ____ (1) Pair Black gloves
____ Red lens flashlight ____ (1) BFA
____ Whistle on lanyard
____ Kevlar helmet
____ Cadet knowledge questions
____ USCC SOP
____ Mission of the Infantry Overall Appearance: _____________
3. Person: Overall Attitude: _____________
____ Facepaint (to standard)
____ Haircut Overall Preparations: _____________
Final Grade: _______
BRING TO INSPECTION Enclosure (1)
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
UNITED STATES M ILITARY ACADEM Y
W est Point, New York 10996
Leadership Exercise #3
1. Purpose: The purpose of this exercise is to familiarize the Cadet with the
expectations, methodology, and endstate of a properly conducted
2. Intent: The intent of the exercise is to immerse the Cadet in a real military
inspection environment. They will conduct/stand a “green”
inspection to standard (vice a Cadet “grey” inspection.)
The Cadet Leaders are required to have written and posted
their own W arning Order to all members of their units according
to Instructor’s directions (prior to this event). (Note: The Cadet
should have posted it outside of the Instructor’s door. The
Instructor should check to ensure timeliness and compliances.)
The Instructor will also post the grade sheet next to his door for
all to see as they stop in to check the W ARNO.
The Cadet Platoon Sergeant (Section Marcher) will form the
Platoon in the designated area at the designated time. He is
still responsible to report accountability to the Instructor at the
beginning of the class period.
Timeline: The first 5 minutes are for admin and setup. Cadet
Team Leaders will have 15 minutes to inspect and make on-
the-spot corrections. Cadet squad leaders will conduct the PCI
for their entire squad. The squad leader will have 30 minutes to
conduct his inspections. The last 10 minutes are for admin and
The Instructor should view each of the inspecting Cadets. Be
prepared to provide guidance or feedback on the Cadet’s
methodology or technique. Make notes and assign Instructor
Points (or take Instructor Points) to Leaders and to MOSs as
4. Enclosure (1) is the PCI Grade Sheet.
BASIC MAP READING
•Identify a Topographic Map.
•Review the following CBT Lessons:
List and describe the five major terrain features of a map.
Identify a Map’s Basic Symbology.
Locate and identify a Map’s Marginal Information.
Define the term Azimuth.
Determine an Azimuth between two specified locations on a map.
Determine Straight Line and Curve Line distance on a map.
•Complete Self Paced Text Unit 11
•Review all course material to date.
•Bring Tenino Map and Protractor to Class.
It is worth recalling that the Mongols, although their army was entirely
composed of mobile troops, found neither the Himalayas nor the far-
stretching Carpathians a barrier to progress. For mobile troops there is
usually a way around.
Captain Sir Basil Liddell Hart, 1927
Maps and their Properties
Cartography is the art and science of expressing the known
physical features of the earth graphically by maps and charts. No
one knows who drew, molded, laced together, or scratched out in
the dirt the first map. But a study of history reveals that the most
pressing demands for accuracy and detail in mapping have come
as the result of military needs. Today, the complexities of tactical
operations and deployment of troops is such that it is essential for
all soldiers to be able to read and interpret their maps in order to
move quickly and effectively on the battlefield. This chapter
explains maps; it includes the definition and purpose of a map and
describes map types, categories, and scale.
A topographic map is a graphic representation of a portion of the
earth's surface drawn to scale on a flat surface. Symbols, lines, colors, and
forms depict man-made and natural features. The ideal representation would be
realized if every feature of the area being mapped could be shown in true shape,
orientation, and proportion with legibility retained. Obviously, such
representation is impossible. This is evident when one considers that on a map
at a scale of 1:250,000 (one inch on the map equals 250,000 inches on the
ground), all appropriate information contained within a square mile of the earth's
surface must be condensed into a small area approximately .25 by .25 inch. An
attempt to plot each feature true to scale would result in a product impossible to
read, for many items would be delineated so minutely as to defy recognition. To
be understandable, conventional lines, symbols, colors, and forms must indicate
features; for legibility, most of these symbols must be exaggerated in size. For
example, on a 1:250,000 scale map, the prescribed symbol for a road is 100
meters wide on the map (whereas the actual road is certainly much smaller in
width); a single track railroad (which is actually five meters wide) must be
depicted by a symbol 200 meters wide on the map. A map provides information
on the existence, location, and distance between ground features, such as
populated places and routes of travel. It also indicates variations in terrain,
heights of natural features, and the extent of vegetation cover.
You must remember that when using a standard military map, you are
actually looking at a portion of the earth's surface projected onto a flat piece of
paper. The construction of a map from data obtained by earth measurements
would be a relatively simple process if the world were flat. However, the world is
spherical in shape and a sphere, or any portion thereof, cannot be spread flat
without distortion. (Visualize drawing a picture on an inflated balloon and the
distortion of that picture when you let the air out of the balloon.) Distortion is a
major problem of all mapmakers when trying to represent a portion of the earth's
surface on a flat piece of paper (a map).
Since only a sphere will present a true picture of the earth, why not use a
globe and forget about the flat and inaccurate map? Consider the Indian Head
equipment for a lieutenant to carry about in a rucksack. Using a map projection solves the
problem of representing the spherical three-dimensional grid on a flat two-dimensional sheet of
A map projection is an orderly arrangement of parallels of latitude (east-west) and
meridians of longitude (north-south) upon which a map is drawn. After the grid forming the
framework for a map has been laid out on paper, the latitude and longitude of selected
reference points are determined and plotted on the grid to provide control points from which
additional points may be accurately located.
There are several different types of map projections that are used throughout the world;
however, for your purposes you will work only with the map projection called the Universal
Transverse Mercator (UTM) Projection. All you need to be aware of now is that the military
uses the UTM Projection to divide the world into smaller and smaller sections or grids. You
then transpose the Military Grid System onto the UTM Projection until eventually the world is
divided into sections or grids, which are the grid lines that you see on your map sheet. (Grid
lines are the north/south and east/west lines on your map.)
The cartographer (map maker) initially seeks to accurately translate to the map all
spherical characteristics of the earth's surface. It is more convenient to visualize these
spherical characteristics in terms of five properties, which an ideal map would preserve.
These properties are:
LOCATION: Every map projection satisfies one basic property, which is essential to
effective navigation. This property is location. Objects, which are depicted on a map sheet,
occupy the same location on the globe. If this were not true, it would be pointless to develop
the map sheet.
Now consider the remaining four map properties, which experience some degree of
distortion with all map projections.
SHAPE: In the process of transposing the spherical surface of the earth onto the flat
surface of a map, it is necessary to cut or stretch parts of the projection. This causes the
patterns to appear distorted on a flat surface.
DISTANCE: On an ideal map, the user would wish to compute the true distance
between two points with the use of a straightedge ruler and map scale. This means that the
map must have a constant scale in all areas of the map sheet and that any straight line on the
map would trace the path of a great circle on the globe. Unfortunately, this is
an impossible requirement. No flat map has a constant scale in all directions. The
cartographer's task is to select a projection, which will come closest to this ideal of a
constant scale and true distance computation.
DIRECTION: On an ideal map, the direction between two locations would be
conveniently shown as a straight line. The azimuth of this line would be determined with
a protractor. However, if a projection is selected which allows all points on the earth to be
connected with straight lines, other properties of the map will be distorted. Accuracy in
direction inevitably results in distortion in distance measurements.
AREA: On the ideal map, equal areas on the ground will be represented as equal
areas throughout the map. This property, as with all the previous properties we have
discussed, except location, is unattainable without some degree of distortion.
There are five basic colors used on a map which represent the following features:
BLACK - Indicates cultural (man-made) features, such as buildings, railroads,
and minor roads, surveyed spot elevations, and all labels.
BLUE - Identifies hydrograph or water features, such as lakes, ponds, rivers,
drainage and swamps.
BROWN - Identifies all relief features and elevation, such as contours on older
edition maps, and cultivated land on red-light readable maps.
GREEN - Identifies vegetation of military significance, such as woods,
orchards, and vineyards.
RED - Indicates cultural features, such as populated areas, main roads, and
boundaries, on older maps.
OTHER - Occasionally other colors may be used to show special information.
These are indicated in the marginal information as a rule.
NOTE: The colors red and brown are combined to identify cultural features, all
relief features, and elevation, such as built up areas and contour lines on the newer
red-light readable maps.
MAP SHEET MARGINAL INFORMATION
The marginal data printed around the outer edges of a map is considered to be the
instructions for the use of the map. All maps are not the same, so every time a different
map is used the marginal information should be carefully examined. The following
diagram is a quick-reference explanation of the marginal information found on most maps.
Refer to the Tenino 1:50,000 map sheet while we examine the marginal information.
MAP MARGINAL INFORMATION
1. Sheet Name
2 3 1 4 5 6
2. Series Name
4. Edition Number
5. Series Number
6. Sheet Number
8. Bar Scales
9. Contour Interval
10. Grid Reference Box
11. Declination Diagram
12. Elevation Guide
13. Adjoining Sheets
7 8 12 13 14 Diagram
14. Index to Boundaries
9 11 15. Hydrographic Datum
15 16. Stock Number
6 5 4 1 16
(1) Sheet Name. The sheet name is found in two places: the center of the upper
margin and either the right or left side of the lower margin. A map is named after the most
prominent cultural or geographical feature depicted. Whenever possible, the name of the
largest city depicted on the map is used. The sheet name of the Tenino 1:50,000 map
sheet is TENINO.
(2) Series Name. The map series name is found in the upper left margin. A map
series usually includes a group of similar maps at the same scale and designed to cover a
particular geographic area. The name given to a series is that of the most prominent area.
The series name of the Tenino map sheet is Washington.
(3) Scale. The scale is found both in the upper left margin, after the series name,
and in the center of the lower margin. The scale is a representative fraction (RF), which
gives the ratio of map distance (MD) to the corresponding ground distance (GD).
Representative Fraction = Map Distance or RF = MD
Ground Distance GD
Therefore, the scale of 1:50,000 means that one unit measured on the map is
equal to 50,000 of the same units measured on the ground.
Map scales are classified based on the amount of area covered and the detail
shown. The classifications are small, medium, and large scale:
Large scale maps = 1:75,000 and larger
Those maps with scales of 1:75,000 and larger are used for tactical,
administrative, and logistical planning. These are the maps that you as a junior
leader are most likely to encounter (Platoon and Company level) standard large-
scale map is 1:50,000; however, many areas have been mapped to 1:25,000.
The map issued in MS103 is a large scale map.
Medium scale maps = between 1:75,000 and 1:1,000,000
The maps with scales larger than 1:1,000,000 but smaller than 1:75,000 are used
for operational planning. They contain a moderate amount of detail, but terrain
analysis is best done with the large-scale maps described above. The standard
medium-scale map is 1:250,000. Medium scale maps of 1:100,000 are also
Small scale maps = 1:1,000,000 and smaller
Those maps with scales 1:1,000,000 and smaller are used for general planning
and for strategic studies (Corps and Armies). The standard smaller scale map is
1:1,000,000. This map covers a very large land area at the expense of detail.
A rule of thumb states that:
"The smaller the representative fraction, the smaller the scale."
(4) Edition Number. The edition number is found in the upper right
margin and in the lower left margin. It represents the age of the map, in relation
to other editions of the same map, and the agency responsible for its production.
7-DMA indicates the seventh edition prepared by the Defense Mapping Agency.
Edition numbers run consecutively; a map bearing a higher edition number is
assumed to contain more recent information than the same map bearing a lower
1 Series Number. The series number is found in both the upper right margin
and the lower left margin. It is a sequence reference expressed either as a four-
digit numeral (such as 1125) or as a letter, followed by a three- or four-digit
numeral (V791 for the Tenino map sheet).
(6) Sheet Number. The sheet number is found in both the upper right
margin and the lower left margin. It is used as a reference number for the map
sheet. The sheet number for the Tenino 1:50,000 map sheet is "1477 IV".
(7) Legend. The legend is located in the lower left margin. It illustrates
and identifies the topographic symbols used to depict some of the more
prominent features on the map. Symbol design is logical, and the symbol will
resemble what you would see on the ground if you looked down from an aircraft.
error when reading the map. The symbol for a spot elevation on the Tenino 1:50,000
map sheet is ".144", where the "." indicates the location and the "144" indicates the
(8) Bar Scales. The bar scales are located in the center of the lower margin. They
are rulers used to convert map distance to ground distance. Maps typically have three or
four bar scales, each in a different unit of measure (i.e., Meters, Yards, Statute Miles, and
Nautical Miles). The bar scale is divided into two sections: the primary scale and the
extension scale. The primary scale is the right most portion of the bar scale and is
divided into sections representing whole units of measure. The extension scale is the left
most portion of the bar scale and is divided into sections representing tenths of the unit of
measure. The zero mark separates the two sections of the bar scale and is not located
on an outer edge. Care should be exercised when using the bar scales, especially in the
selection of the unit of measure that is needed.
(9) Contour Interval. The contour interval is located in the center of the lower
margin, normally below the bar scales. It states the vertical distance between adjacent
intermediate contour lines. When supplementary contour lines are used, the interval is
indicated on the supplementary contour line. The contour interval of the Tenino 1:50,000
map sheet is ten meters.
(10) Grid Reference Box. This box is normally located in the center of the lower
margin. It contains instructions for constructing a grid reference, the grid zone
designation, and the 100,000 meter square identification for the map sheet.
(11) Declination Diagram. This is located on the right side of the lower margin
and indicates the angular relationships of grid north (GN), magnetic north (arrow head),
and true north (*). It also contains specific instructions on converting azimuths from grid
to magnetic or magnetic to grid. For our purposes, the only important angle is the angle
between grid north and magnetic north (The Grid-Magnetic or GM angle). The GM angle
always consists of an azimuth and a direction (either east or west).
(12) Elevation Guide. This is normally located in the lower right margin. It is a
miniature characterization of the terrain shown on the map sheet. The terrain is
represented by shaded bands of elevation, spot elevations, and major drainage features.
The elevation guide provides the map reader with a means of rapid recognition of major
landforms. While the guide does not always specifically list the highest or lowest points of
elevation on the map sheet, it provides a quick means to identify the general area that
would contain the highest or lowest point.
(13) The Index to Adjoining Sheets Diagram. The adjoining sheets diagram is
located in the lower right margin. It usually contains nine rectangles, representing
adjoining map sheets, with the center rectangle representing the map being used
(indicated by bold lines). Their sheet numbers identifies all adjoining map sheets. Dashed
lines represent map sheets of an adjoining series that are at the same scale and their
series number is indicated along the appropriate side of the division line between the
This index is used when determ ining the requirements for additional maps. If
a planned tactical operation extends into an area not covered by the user's map,
identification of the m aps needed can be obtained from the index to adjoining
map sheets. A close look at the index will reveal that a regular numbering
system exists to quickly identify adjoining map sheets.
(14) Index to Boundaries. The index to boundaries diagram appears in
the lower right margin. It is a miniature of the m ap, depicting the boundaries,
which appear on the map, such as county lines and state boundaries.
(15) Hydrographic Datum. The hydrographic datum is an extension of
the legend and is located in the lower right margin. It illustrates and identifies the
topographic symbols used to depict the more prom inent water related features on
(16) Stock Number. The stock num ber is located in the lower right
margin and is a unique designation that is com posed of the series number, the
sheet num ber of the individual m ap, and, on recently printed m aps, and the
edition num ber. The first five digits are the series number; when the series
num ber is less than five digits, then the letter "X" is substituted as the fifth digit.
The sheet num ber is the next component; however, the Roman numerals are
converted to Arabic numerals for simplicity. The last two digits, if present, are the
edition num ber. The stock number for the Tenino 1:50,000 map sheet is
Terrain Features, Elevation, and Distance
PORTRAYAL OF ELEVATION AND RELIEF
There are several techniques used to indicate elevation (distance above mean sea
level) and relief (shape of the surface due to differences in elevation) on a map. Some of
the more common techniques are: (See figures on previous page.)
a. Layer Tinting. Layer tinting is a method of showing relief by color. A different
color is used for each band of elevation. Each shade of color, or band, represents a
definite elevation range. A legend is printed on the map margin to indicate the elevation
range represented by each color. However, this method does not allow the map user to
determine the exact elevation of a specific point--only the range.
b. Form Lines. Form lines are not measured from any datum plane. Form lines
have no standard elevation and give only a general idea of relief. Form lines are
represented on a map as dashed lines and are never labeled with representative
c. Shaded Relief. Relief shading indicates relief by a shadow effect achieved by
tone and color--that results in the darkening of one side of terrain features, such as hills
and ridges. The darker the shading, the steeper the slope is. Shaded relief is sometimes
used in conjunction with contour lines to emphasize these features.
d. Hachures. Hachures are short, broken lines used to show relief. Hachures are
sometimes used with contour lines. They do not represent exact elevations, but are
mainly used to show large, rocky outcrop areas. Hachures are used extensively on small-
scale maps to show mountain ranges, plateaus, and mountain peaks.
e. Contour Lines. Contour lines are the most common method of showing relief
and elevation on a standard topographic map. A contour line represents an imaginary line
on the ground, above or below sea level. All points on the contour line are at the same
elevation. The elevation represented by contour lines is the vertical distance above or
below sea level.
ELEVATION AND RELIEF
The elevation (vertical distance above or below mean sea level) of points on the
ground and the relief (shape of the terrain) of an area affect the movement, positioning,
and, in many cases, effectiveness of military units. Soldiers must know how to determine
locations of points, measure distances and azimuths, identify map symbols, and determine
the elevation and relief, as depicted on the map. To do this, they must first understand
how the mapmaker indicates the elevation and relief on the map
Contour lines (the brown lines on your map) Contour lines are the most common method
of showing relief and elevation to a standard topographic map. The elevation represented
by contour lines is the vertical distance above or below sea level. The three distinct types
of contour lines normally present on standard military topographic maps are as follows:
- Index contour lines are the heavier lines, usually every fifth line, and are
normally labeled with their elevation. Index contours make determining elevations easier.
- Intermediate contour lines are the lighter contour lines between the index
contours. The stated contour interval separates adjacent intermediate contours.
Normally, they are labeled only in places in which their values are not obvious. There are
normally four intermediate contour lines between index contour lines.
- Supplementary contour lines are short dashed lines, which are used to
produce a more complete picture of relief, particularly in relatively flat areas. They are
normally placed at half contour intervals from the surrounding contour lines and are
extended only as far as necessary to properly portray relief. Supplementary contours are
usually labeled with their elevation.
Locate the hill at grid coordinate WL74839180 on your West Point and Vicinity
1:50,000 map sheet. The elevation of the heavy dark contour line around this hill is 150
The vertical distance between adjacent contour lines is called the contour interval.
The size of the contour interval is given in the marginal information. The contour interval
for your West Point and Vicinity 1:50,000 map sheet is 10 meters. (Look at the bottom
center of your map sheet.)
Refer again to grid square WL7491. You see that there are many other contour
lines in addition to the one that you found to be 150 meters in elevation. A contour line
above or below the 150 meter contour would be at a different elevation. The contour line
immediately below the 150-meter contour (downhill) would indicate 140 meters above
mean sea level.
NOTE: NO MATTER HOW FAR APART TWO ADJACENT CONTOUR LINES ARE
DRAWN ON A MAP, THE CONTOUR INTERVAL DEFINES THE VERTICAL
DIFFERENCE IN ELEVATION BETWEEN THESE TWO LINES.
The elevation of points and the relief of an area affect the movement and tactical
employment of units. The elevation of a point on a map can be determined as follows:
Identify the point and the map contour interval.
Locate the nearest index contour line.
Count the contour lines, upward or downward, from the index contour line to the point.
If the point's center of mass falls directly on a contour line, then the point's elevation is the
same as that of the contour line.
If the point's center of mass is not directly on a contour line, or is located in between
contour lines, then the point's elevation can be determined by adding 1/2 the contour
interval to the elevation of the lowest adjacent contour line. For military purposes, we
lines are at the same height, no matter how near or distant they are from the
If there is no index contour line nearby, then any labeled elevation, such as a
benchmark or spot elevation, can be used as a reference.
Benchmarks are normally symbolized as BMx792, where BM represents
the presence of the benchmark, the center of the x is the actual location, and the
number (792 in this example) is the elevation. Benchmarks are either
monumented or nonmonumented. A monumented benchmark means that there
is physically a marker or a monument at that point on the ground, while a
nonmonumented benchmark does not have a marker located at the point;
however, the elevation has been verified.
Spot elevations are shown by printing the elevation directly on the face of
the map. On large-scale maps, the points of elevation are symbolized as x1664,
where the center of the x is the actual location and the number (1664 in this
example) is the elevation. On small-scale maps, a dot indicates the point of
elevation (.1664). There are many places on a map where the true relief picture
cannot be shown exactly. At these places a spot elevation can be very useful or
even critical to a military operation. Prominent crossroads, saddles, pinnacle
rocks in a landing area, and the highest points of rounded hilltops are examples
of such places. Spot elevations are either checked or unchecked. A checked
spot elevation means that the elevation has been measured and verified by a
surveyor, while an unchecked spot elevation is the cartographer's best guess.
W hen finding the elevation of any body of water, you are actually finding
the surface elevation of the water. As such, the body of water is treated like any
other symbol or point between two contour lines. Frequently the surface
elevation of a body of water has previously been determined and is indicated by
a spot elevation printed within the body of water. Look at Offutt Lake located in
grid square EG1395 on the Tenino 1:50,000 map sheet. The elevation of the
lake is labeled as 70 meters so there is no need to interpolate.
ELEVATION OF DEPRESSIONS
A depression is shown on a map as a closed line with short tick marks or dashes inside
the enclosed area. The open end of the tick marks will always point downhill. Thus, the area
enclosed by the depression line is lower than the surrounding ground.
IMPORTANT: The line that shows the outline of a depression on the map IS NOT A
STANDARD CONTOUR LINE. This perimeter line simply shows the outline of the depression
and is the same elevation as the LOWEST ADJACENT CONTOUR LINE. Historically,
determining the elevation of a depression is a difficult task for most beginning map readers,
since they typically choose the closest adjacent, instead of the lowest adjacent contour line.
You should always check all contour lines that are adjacent to the depression, to
ensure that you actually select the lowest adjacent contour line. Once you have found the
lowest adjacent contour line, you then use the reverse of the 1/2 rule (the opposite of for a
hilltop) to determine the elevation of the bottom of the depression. Look at the depression
located in grid square WL7893 on your West Point and Vicinity 1:50,000. The adjacent
contour lines to the north and south are 100 meters; however, the contour line to the east is
90-meter contour line. Thus, the elevation of the perimeter of the depression is 90 meters,
which means the elevation of the bottom of the depression is 85 meters [90 meters - 5 meters
(1/2 contour interval) = 85 meters].
Remember, the elevation of a depression is always measured as the elevation at the
bottom of the depression and that all features on the bottom of the depression are considered
to be at the same elevation, unless labeled otherwise.
1. TERRAIN FEATURES
In the figure below, the ground slopes down in all directions, and the contours close to
form concentric circles, ovals, or loops. The feature you are viewing is a HILL. Hills are
usually the most easily identifiable terrain feature because the contour lines ALWAYS CLOSE
on high ground. The closer the contour lines, the steeper the hill is. On maps, the hilltop is
indicated by the last closed contour line. However, the closed contour line does not represent
the highest elevation. Do not forget the 1/2 contour interval rule.
The figure below shows contour lines that depict a relatively low point between two
hilltops or along a formation of high ground. There is high ground in two opposing
directions and low ground in two opposing directions. This feature is called a SADDLE.
On a map, the saddle resembles an hourglass or figure eight shaped contour lines.
A RIDGE is a sloping line of high ground. When you are on a ridge, the ground
normally slopes down in three directions and is generally high and fairly level in one
direction. A ridge is not simply a line of hills; all points on the ridge are appreciably
higher than the ground on both sides of the ridge. A ridge is seldom straight and seldom
level along its crest. Typically, ridges and valleys alternate with each other, i.e., on both
sides of a ridge are valleys, and on both sides of a valley are ridges.
A SPUR is usually a short, sloping portion of ground extending outward from a
ridge. Like a ridge, the ground slopes down in three directions and up in one direction;
however, a spur is much smaller than a ridge. Spurs bulge or protrude AWAY from high
and toward low ground. A spur is usually indicated by a series of successive "U shaped"
contour lines; the bottom of the "U" is in the downhill direction.
A VALLEY is a stretched-out groove in the land, usually formed by streams or rivers. A
valley begins with high ground on three sides, and typically has a course of running
water through it. If standing in a valley, there is high ground in two opposite directions
and a gradual inclination in the other two directions. It generally has enough level
ground to permit limited maneuver within its confines.
A DRAW is a narrow or less developed stream course than a valley. It is
distinguishable from a valley by being too narrow to allow maneuver within its confines.
Lateral movement in a draw requires climbing out of the draw. In a draw, the ground
slopes upward on three sides and down in one direction. This is exactly the opposite of
a SPUR! A draw is usually indicated by a series of successive "V" shaped contour lines
with the point of the "V" pointing uphill.
The following diagram shows a VALLEY, DRAW, and SPUR. These three
features are sometimes confusing when reading a map.
A CLIFF is a vertical or near vertical slope so steep that it cannot be shown at
the contour interval without the contour lines converging or overlapping. Cliffs
can also be depicted as a contour line with tick marks on one side pointing
toward low ground.
Two additional terrain features, which are often confused when reading a
map, are CUTS and FILLS.
A CUT is a man-made feature that is the result of cutting through high
ground, usually to form a level bed for a road or railroad track. Cuts are normally
depicted as a straight line through a terrain feature. Since contours do not
normally travel in a straight line, if you see a straight contour line, it is probably
man-made. If shown with hachured lines, the hachures will point toward the
inside of the man-made feature.
A FILL is exactly the opposite of a cut. A fill is shown with the hachured
lines pointing away (toward the outside) from the man-made feature. These are
usually produced when leveling or filling in the terrain feature.
MAP DISTANCE AND GRAPHIC SCALE
Map scale is the fixed relationship between map distance and the corresponding
ground distance. A bar (graphic) scale is a ruler printed in the marginal information of
all standard military topographic maps and is used to convert distances on the map to
actual ground distances. The bar scale is divided into two parts. To the right of the
zero, the scale is marked in full units of measure and is called the primary scale. To the
left of the zero, the scale is divided into tenths and is called the extension scale. Most
maps have three or more bar scales, each using a different unit of measure. The most
common units of measure used on standard military topographic maps are statute
miles, meters, yards, and nautical miles.
Even though the bar scale is simple to use, many map readers make two
common errors. The first common error is forgetting that the zero mark is within the
body of the scale and not on either end of the scale. The other common error is
measuring using one scale and misreading the distance by using a different scale on
the bar scale, i.e., measuring using meters but reading the yard scale, or vice versa.
Using the below figure, to determine the straight-line ground distance from the
road junction to the road intersection in meters, do the following. First, take a
straightedge (a piece of paper) and place it on the map so that one corner is at the
center of mass of one of the points of interest (Point A). Ensure that the straightedge
passes through the center of mass of the other point of interest (Point B) and place a
tick mark on the straightedge adjacent to the center of mass of the second point. Now,
place the straightedge adjacent to the bar scale for measuring in meters and align the
second tick mark with a graduation on the primary scale which causes the end of the
paper to align over the extension scale. Add the value of the graduation from the
primary scale to how far the end extends over the extension scale, yielding your total
distance measured with only one reading. Therefore, the straight-line ground distance
between the two points is 2,250 meters (+/- 50 meters).
Inches, centimeters, or miles (any unit of measurement) on the map will always
represent that same unit of measurement on the ground. Sometimes map-readers make
the mistake of using one measure for map distance and a different measure for ground
distance. Remember, YOU MUST ALWAYS WORK WITH THE SAME UNIT OF
On your Tenino 1:50,000 map sheet, the straight-line distance, in kilometers, from
Chency School located at UH13638800 to Washington Mill School located in grid square
UH1786 is 3.56 kilometers (+/- 50 meters).
To measure distance along a winding road, stream, or any other curved-line, the
straightedge of a piece of paper is still used. Make a tick mark near one end of the paper
and position the tick mark adjacent to the center of mass of the point from which the
curved-line measurement is to begin. Keeping the end of your paper stationary, rotate the
paper to align the edge of the paper along the center of mass of a straight portion of the
linear feature to be measured, and make a tick mark on both the paper and map going
from the paper onto the map when the edge of the paper begins to leave the center of
mass of the feature being measured. Keeping the newest tick marks together, place the
point of your pencil on the edge of the paper on the newest tick mark to hold it in place
and pivot the paper until another approximately straight segment is aligned with the paper
and make another tick mark. Continue in this manner until the entire measurement is
completed. By measuring the length of a curved road in this manner, you have in effect
"straightened out" the curve by ticking off short, straight segments in sequence on the
edge of a sheet of paper. The equivalent straight-line distance of the curve can now be
measured on the bar scale the same way that we measure straight-line distance.
On your Tenino 1:50,000 map sheet, measure the road distance, in kilometers,
from the road junction located at UH16426620 to the road junction located at
UH18956846. Your measurement should be 3.55 kilometers (+/- 100 meters).
On your Tenino 1:50,000 map sheet, measure the road distance, in miles, from the
road intersection located at UH10156850 to Chicamuxen Church located at UH06406746.
Your measurement should be 2.63 miles (+/- .06 miles).
NOTE: When measuring a curved-line, always stay in the center of mass of the
linear feature. The topographical symbol covers more map distance than the actual object
does on the ground. If you change from one side of a feature to the other, you are
including additional distance in the measurement.
1. Map scale is the fixed relationship between map distance and the corresponding
2. Both map and ground distance must be in the same unit of measurement.
3. Two common errors of map-readers are:
a. To measure from either end of the bar scale, forgetting the zero mark is within
the body of the scale.
b. Reading the distance from the wrong scale.
4. Always measure center of mass to center of mass. When measuring curved-line
distance, stay in the center of the feature being measured.
Lesson 11: Map Reading
Queen of Battle!
1. What are the (5) five basic colors utilized on the military map and what do they
2. Azimuths are always measured to the nearest degree(s).
3. Where the legend located on a standard military map?
4. Does straight-line distance measurement take into consideration elevation
differences when measured on a military map?
5. What is a topographic map?
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY
West Point, New York 10996
This is an in-class Practical Exercise. It is to be completed in your team size
unit. Each member is to work on the same problem together, then determine if
the unit has reached the correct answer. Assist one another in figuring out the
problems. DO NOT DIVIDE UP THE PRACTICAL EXERCISE TO FINISH
1. What are the 5 major terrain features of a topographical map?
2. What is the sheet name of your Tenino 1:50,000 map?
3. What is the series name of your Tenino 1:50,000 map?
4. What is the edition number of your Tenino 1:50,000 map?
5. What is the series number of your Tenino 1:50,000 map?
6. What is the sheet number of your Tenino 1:50,000 map?
7. What is the contour interval of your Tenino 1:50,000 map?
For the following map reading requirements, you find yourself unchecked spot
elevation 68 (located in the EG 0794 grid square). It is critical to your mission
that you determine the following:
8. Determine the straight line distance (in meters) between:
a. Unchecked spot elevation 68 and the Deschutes Fire Tower (located in
the EG 1795 grid square).
b. Unchecked spot elevation 68 and Hill 147 Unchecked spot elevation 147
(located in EG 1297 grid square).
c. Unchecked spot elevation 68 and Benchmark 86 (located in EG 0589
For the follow ing m ap reading requirem ents, you find yourself at B enchm ark 86
on the road (located in E G 0589 grid square). It is critical to your m ission that
you determ ine the follow ing:
9. W hat is the curve line distance (in statute m iles) betw een:
a. B enchm ark 86 (located in E G 0589 grid square) and the B eaver C reek
overpass (located E G 0692 grid square).
b. B enchm ark 86 (located in E G 0589 grid square) and T he C hurch of G od
B ridge (located in E G 0385 grid squa re) [rem ain on paved roads only].
c. A long the C hicago M ilw aukee S t. P aul and P acific R ail from the R oute 5
O verpass B ridge (located in E G 0393 grid square) to the W estern
Junction B ridge (located in E G 1594 grid square).
10. Locate the w ater tower (E G 0985 grid square) on your T enino 1:50,000
m ap. U tilizing this as your starting position, determ ine the grid azim uth to
the following points:
a. T o the T V R elay T ower E G 1287 grid square:
b. T o the S pot E levation 170 E G 0990 grid square:
T o M onarch M ine E G 0278 grid square:
MILITARY GRID REFERENCE SYSTEM
•Summarize the purpose of the Military Grid Reference System.
•Define the term Grid Coordinate.
•Review the CBT Lesson:
*Determine an eight digit Grid Coordinate to with +or-
•Complete Self-Paced Text unit 12. (Reference on-line FM 21-26)
•Review Self Paced Text Unit 12.
A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while
on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of
General of the Armies John J. Pershing. 1931
MILITARY GRID REFERENCE SYSTEM
The Military Grid Reference System provides a method, which enables you
to locate specific points on a map quickly and accurately. In order to fully
understand map reading, you should possess a general understanding as to how
topographical maps are derived form the Military Grid Reference System.
Accuracy to within 1,000 meters is still unacceptable for most military
operations, so you must continue to subdivide the grid square. The precision desired
determines the number of digits to be read beyond the four principle digits. A grid
coordinate is defined as a series of letters and numbers which are used in conjunction
with a military map and protractor to accurately identify a specified point on the surface
of the earth. The term "grid coordinate" always includes both the 100,000-meter
square identification and the desired number of digits.
To locate the letter "X" to within 100 meters, we use a coordinate scale
protractor. The coordinate scales (triangular cutouts) are used to divide each side of
the 1,000-meter square into tenths (hundred-meter increments). Select the coordinate
scale which corresponds to the scale of your map and orient the scale so it looks like a
Now, outline the grid square containing your identified point by placing the horizontal
scale parallel to and directly over the horizontal grid line immediately below your
identified point, ensuring the "TIC" mark extensions of the scale are superimposed on
both the horizontal and vertical grid lines, which function as reference marks for
measuring (Step 1). Next, slide the scale to the left, along the horizontal grid line, until
the vertical scale intersects the center of mass of the point you are measuring (Step 2).
Then simply read RIGHT (where the horizontal scale intersects the vertical grid line)
and UP (where the vertical scale intersects the center of mass of the point). These
numbers will, respectively, be the third and sixth digits of the grid coordinate. If the
point is located exactly half way between two digits, always round down. The six-digit
grid coordinate of the "X" in the diagram below is UH964052 and is accurate to within
To locate a point to within ten meters, visually subdivide the hundred-meter
increments of the scale into tenths (ten-meter increments) and estimate the last two
digits of the grid coordinate. These numbers will, respectively, be the fourth and eighth
digits of the grid coordinate. The eight-digit grid coordinate of the "X" in the diagram
above is UH96390519 and is accurate to within ten meters.
When working with a map, you will not always be able to work within a complete
grid square. Look around the outer edge of the Tenino map sheet and you will notice
incomplete grid squares. To find coordinates within an incomplete grid square, you
must replace the missing reference line. When the incomplete grid square is located at
either the top or right side of the map sheet, no adjustments are necessary since the
normal reference lines are available.
The most common and accurate method for determining grid coordinates in an
incomplete grid square is as follows:
The subtraction method. Whenever the lower left corner of a grid square (the point
from which grid coordinates are normally measured) is unavailable to you, use either
the lower right corner (when on the left side of the map) or upper left corner (when on
the bottom of a map) as your reference. To accomplish this, rotate the protractor until
the coordinate scale aligns with the new reference. Now align the coordinate scale over
the designated point and read its grid coordinate. It is important to remember that you
must now subtract this number from 100 since you are measuring the distance from the
opposite side of the grid square. The other half of the measurement will be read
normally since you are using the normal reference line.
1. Incomplete grid square on left side of map sheet.
Therefore, the grid coordinate for point Y is UH13728425.
2. Incomplete grid square on bottom of map sheet.
Therefore, the grid coordinate for point Z is UH14618375.
There is another method, Draw or complete the grid square, for determining grid
coordinates within an incomplete grid square that is in common use. With this method,
you will use your protractor as a guide and actually draw or complete the grid square on
the map. Once the grid square is completed, the coordinate is read from a complete
grid square. While this method may be acceptable in a classroom environment,
because of the availability of flat desktop and sharp pencils, it is not practical in a field
environment and is not recommended.
Always check the grid square you are working in to verify that it is a complete grid
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY
West Point, New York 10996
Practical Application Exercise
Ref: 1. Protractor
2. Tenino 1:50,000 map
1. What is the purpose of the Military Grid Reference System?
2. What is located at the following grids:
a) EG 086958: e) EG 071846:
b) EG 142906: f) EG 158822:
c) EG 103888: g) EG 078923:
d) EG 022783: h) EG 176952:
3. What is the eight digit grid of the following:
a) Mud Lake: e) Cozy Valley Pump:
b) South Union Church: f) Black Prince Coal Mine:
c) Pattison Lake Bridge: g) Mound Prairie Church of
d) Landing Strip No.13: h) Forest Cemetery:
4. What is the contour interval of the Tenino 1:50,000 map?
5. What scale map is the Tenino 1:50,000 map (large, medium, or small scale)?
6. What is the 100,000 meter square identification of the Tenino 1:50,000 map?
7. What is the GM angle for the Tenino 1:50,000 map?
MANIPULATING THE MAP
Lesson Objectives :
• Review the following CBT Objectives:
*Identify Easterly and Westerly GM Angle on a
*Convert Grid Azimuth to Magnetic Azimuth.
• Given a situational vignette, plot and mark a Military
Navigational Route on a map.
• Complete basic operations overlay.
[Reference FM 7-8,101-5-1 and FM 21-26].
Remarks: Overlay Paper will be provided in Class.
Night operations are a boon to troops who know the terrain like
the palm of their hand and a reckless risk for those who don’t…
There is no easier way to scramble a force than to deploy it at
night on jumbled, unfamiliar ground. Voice recognition is about
five per cent efficient in the dark. Too quickly, men drift away,
units become mixed and all control is lost.
BG S. L. A. Marshall, 1970
Manipulating the Military Map
Azimuth and Direction
Military personnel need a way of
expressing direction that is accurate,
adaptable to any part of the world, and
has a common unit of measure.
The unit of measure used by the military is
the DEGREE and the angle measured
clockwise from a north base line is an
The point from which the azimuth
originates is the center of an imaginary
circle which has been divided into 360o
and the direction of interest is measured
as an azimuth.
A protractor is used to measure
azimuths on a map. Its outer edge
is graduated at 1o intervals from
0o to 360o. The vertical line from
0o to 180o is called the base line of
the protractor. Where the baseline
intersects the horizontal line,
between 90o and 270o, is the
index or center of the protractor.
When using the protractor, the
base line is always oriented
parallel to a north-south grid line
with the 0o mark toward the top
(north) of the map and the 90o
mark to the right (east) of the map.
MEASURING AN AZIMUTH BETWEEN KNOWN POINTS
To measure an azimuth between two points use the following procedure:
a. Locate the two specific points on the map, your start and end point,
b. Use a sharp pencil to draw a line connecting the center of mass of the
two points; extend the line beyond each point.
1. P lace the index of the protractor at the start point, ensuring that the 0 o
m ark is to the m ap's north and the 90 o m ark is to the m ap's east.
2. K eeping the index over the line connecting the two points, slide the
protractor along the line until the line connecting the two points
intersects either a north-south or east-west grid line.
3. K eeping the index over this intersection, align the protractor's 0 o -180 o
line or the 90 o -270 o line, as appropriate, with the grid line.
4. R ead the azim uth by following the connecting line from the start point,
toward the end point, until it crosses the scale on the outer edge of the
N O TE: Azim uths are alw ays m easured to the nearest 1/2 o and distance has no
effect on azim uths.
O n your Tenino 1:50,000 m ap sheet, m easure the grid azim uth from the
reservoir (located in 0499 grid square) to the Salm on C reek Bridge (located in
0198 grid square). Your answer should be 253 o (+/- 1 o ). If your answer was
73 o , then you m easured the azim uth from the bridge to the reservoir.
PLO TTIN G AN AZIM U TH
To plot an azim uth on a m ap, use the following procedure:
1. P lace the protractor's index squarely over the center of m ass of the given
point ensuring that the 0 o m ark is toward the m ap's north, the 90 o is
toward the east, and the protractor's base line is parallel to a north-south
A sim ple m ethod to check the orientation of the protractor is to use the
protractor's degree m arks as a m easuring scale. First, note where the
protractor's outer edge cuts, on opposite sides of the protractor, a grid
line. N ow count the num ber of degree m arks from 0 o and 180 o or 90 o
and 270 o to where the protractor cuts the grid line. Adjust the
protractor's orientation until the num ber of degree m arks separating the
grid line from the opposing cardinal directions are the sam e. The
protractor is now properly aligned.
2. P lace a pencil m ark adjacent to the protractor's outer scale at the desired
3. R em ove the protractor and draw a straight line from the known location
through the m ark on the m ap. (Ensure the line extends a couple of
inches beyond the m ark for ease of reading.)
4. C heck the accuracy of the plotted azim uth by placing the protractor's
index over the intersection of the azim uth's plot and a grid line and
aligning either the protractor's 0 o -180 o or 90 o -270 o line with the grid line.
C onfirm the plotted azim uth by following the line you drew from the
known point, through the protractor's index, until the line crosses the
protractor's degree scale. If this azim uth reading is not the sam e as the
On your Tenino 1:50,000 map sheet, plot a grid azimuth from the pit
located at 0699 grid square to the oil storage tank in 0893 grid square. If you
plotted the azimuth properly, it should be 166o.
Now that you know how to measure and plot azimuths on a map, let's
apply this knowledge.
You are a platoon leader and at 1600 hours your company commander
orders your platoon to set up an ambush at the bend in the road located 1,500
meters away along an azimuth of 115o. At 2300 hours, your company
commander calls you on the radio to inform you that the enemy is about to
attack the company's main defensive position and that your platoon must return
It is now night time, so how can you reliably find your way back to your
company commander's location?
The answer is very simple; you need to
follow a BACK AZIMUTH. If you do an
"about face" while facing your original
direction of travel, then you will be traveling
back towards your commander's location.
Since the azimuth circle contains 360o, then
an "about face" would change your direction
of travel by 180o.
Therefore, you should follow an azimuth of
295o to return to your commander's location.
The rules for determining a back azimuth are as follows:
1. If your original azimuth is 180o or less, then add 180o to your
2. If your original azimuth is 180o or more, then subtract 180o from
Remember, when we defined an azimuth, we said that the azimuth is
measured from the base direction of north. The figure below illustrates that
there are actually three northerly directions to be considered when reading a
A line from any position of the
earth's surface to the north pole.
All lines of longitude are true
north lines. True north is
symbolized by a line with a star
at the apex. True north is rarely
used for military purposes.
The direction to the north
magnetic pole (located in
northern Canada) as indicated
by the north-seeking needle
of a magnetic compass.
Magnetic north is symbolized
by a line with a half arrowhead
at the apex.
The north that is established by
the vertical grid lines on a map.
Grid north is symbolized by a line with the letters GN
Since standard military topographic maps use the Universal Transverse
Mercator (UTM) projection for their northern reference (normally the top of the
map sheet) and compasses use magnetic north as their reference, a conversion
between grid and magnetic north is necessary. The conversion, most
commonly called the Grid-Magnetic angle (G-M angle), is contained within the
declination diagram of the map, along with specific instructions on how to
accomplish the conversion. The G-M angle is the angular difference between
grid north and magnetic north measured to the nearest 1/2o.
The G-M angle can be either easterly (the arrow
pointing to the right of Grid North or westerly (the
arrow pointing to the left of Grid North) depending
on where you are located relative to the North
Magnetic Pole. Consequently, the G-M angle
must always include an azimuth and a direction.
NOTE: The Hudson Bay is located in northern Canada and has nothing to do with the
Since W est Point is southeast of the Hudson Bay, the G-M angle on your W est Point
and Vicinity 1:50,000 map sheet is 14 o west. This information is contained in the map's
declination diagram where "1990 G-M angle 14 o " is printed on the left side of the diagram
and the magnetic north arrow points to the west of grid north.
Different G-M angles are shown on the following declination diagrams:
Historically, improper azimuth conversion is the most common error made by cadets
during map reading. To avoid confusion over whether an azimuth is grid or magnetic,
adhere to the following:
1. Always specify whether the azimuth is grid or magnetic. If not stated, then ask.
2. If the azimuth is measured or plotted on a map, then it is always a grid azimuth.
3. If the azimuth is measured or shot with a compass, then it is always a magnetic
A simple rule of thumb to follow, in case your map does not contain the conversion
instructions, is to use the acronym "GMLARS" as follows:
GMLARS: Grid to Magnetic, Left-Add, Right-Subtract
This means that when converting a grid azimuth to a magnetic azimuth:
If the magnetic north arrow is to the left of the grid north line, then you add the G-M
angle to your grid azimuth to convert to a magnetic azimuth.
If the magnetic north arrow is to the right of the grid north line, then you subtract the G-
M angle from your grid azimuth to convert to a magnetic azimuth. Here is an example:
Using the G-M angle from the W est Point and Vicinity 1:50,000 map sheet (14 o ) convert a
100 o grid azimuth to a magnetic azimuth.
Add 14 o (the G-M angle) to 100 o (the grid azimuth), the magnetic azimuth is 114 o
If converting from magnetic to grid, then reverse the acronym:
MGRALS: Magnetic to Grid, Right-Add, Left Subtract
If the m agnetic north arrow is to the left of the grid north line, then
you subtract the G -M angle from your m agnetic azim uth to convert to a grid
If the m agnetic north arrow is to the right of the grid north line, then
you add the G -M angle to your m agnetic azim uth to convert to a grid azim uth.
Here is an exam ple:
Using the G -M angle from the W est Point and Vicinity 1:50,000 m ap
sheet (14 o ) convert a 90 o m agnetic azim uth to a grid azim uth.
Sim ply subtract 14 o (the G -M angle) from 90 o (the m agnetic azim uth),
the grid azim uth is 76 o
Each year there is a sm all shift of the earth's m agnetic field, which over
the course of several years could have a significant im pact on navigation.
However, the annual shift is so sm all, when com pared to the 1/2 o increm ents of
the G -M angle, that it is no longer shown on standard large scale m aps.
Norm ally, the Defense M apping Agency will update their m aps long before the
annual m agnetic change will significantly effect your G -M angle conversion.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY
West Point, New York 10996
Practical Application Exercise
Ref: 1. Protractor
2. Tenino 1:50,000 map
3. Self-Paced map
4. Map pens/scrap paper
5. Overlay paper
SITUATION: The Tenino rebels have been utilizing the local Grange as fuel storage
and distribution for their small “technical” vehicles and resupply vehicles, traveling the
Skookumchuck River. Read. The supplies and reinforcements these trucks are
bringing is seriously hampering U.S. efforts to stabilize the Northern Tenino region.
Current operations presents significant commitment of forces to the
Skookumchuck River Valley. Higher has determined that a single combat patrol (raid
type) will be conducted to eliminate the Grange Refuel Point. You have been assigned
Your platoon commander has given you discretion to plan your squad’s combat
patrol. He provided only this guidance:
You have 2 days to conduct the patrol in order to use the helicopters. (Helos
available tomorrow and the next day only.)
Mission has priority.
You may only have your squad and a medic attached.
You must plot 3 artillery targets using Platoon ID: AB1001-AB1003.
You must give three brevity codes.
NLT XX21002MMMYY 1ST Platoon will conduct a combat patrol (raid) to destroy
the Grange Fuel Farm (EG 143832) IOT stop the flow of supply and
reinforcements north to Tenino City.
I. 1st Squad Task Organization (+) (1) Squad Leader
= (2) Fire Teams (4 soldiers each)
(1) Medic (attached)
(1) RTO (attached)
II. Platoon Leader’s Requirement of You:
Provide the overlay to me in 20 minutes. It must include:
o Mission Statement • Extract Point (plot)
o Name/Rank • Enemy Position (plot)
o Call Sign o Azimuth to:
o Date/Time • Each leg of patrol
o Map Reference • Back azimuth each leg
o Grid Coordinate to: o Distance on each leg of patrol.
• Objective (plot) o Must use proper military symbology.
• Each Checkpoint o Alternate route (check points).
• Each Mortar Target x 4 o Orientation tic marks.
• Insert Point (plot) o 3 Brevity Codes
THE PRINCIPLES OF WAR
• List and describe the three Levels of War.
• List and describe the principles of War.
• Read Text Chapter 14
The principles of the art of war are within reach of
the most ordinary intelligence, but that does not
mean that it is capable of applying them.
General Mikhail I. Dragomirov, 1913
Elements of Combat Power
& The Principles of War
THE ELEMENTS OF COMBAT POWER
Combat power is the ability to fight. It is the total means of
destructive or disruptive force, or both, that a military unit or formation can
apply against the opponent at a given time. The ability of Army forces to fight
and win underlies success in all operations, whether using lethal force or not.
Commanders combine all elements of combat power ⎯ maneuver, firepower,
protection, information and leadership ⎯ to defeat an opponent. No single
element is more important than any other element. Commanders combine them
to meet constantly changing requirements. Combat power ensures success and
denies an enemy or adversary any chance to escape or effectively retaliate.
Combat power is the surest means of limiting friendly casualties and swiftly
ending a campaign or operation.
Commanders combine elements of combat power to create overwhelming
effects. By synchronizing effects at the decisive time and place, commanders
convert the potential of forces, resources, and opportunities into actual
capabilities. Conversely, defeating an opponent requires reducing his combat
power and increasing the disparity between friendly and enemy forces.
Commanders reduce the enemy’s combat power by interfering with the enemy’s
ability to lead, maneuver, apply firepower, protect, and maintain relevant
Firepower Information Protection
Elements of Combat Power
Maneuver is the employment of forces on the battlefield through
movement in combination with fire, or fire potential, to achieve a position
of advantage in respect to the enemy in order to accomplish the mission.
Maneuver is the means by which commanders concentrate combat power to
achieve surprise, shock, momentum, and dominance.
Tactical maneuver wins battles and engagements. It also protects the force
by keeping the enemy off balance. In both the offense and defense, it positions
forces to destroy the enemy. Effective tactical maneuver continually poses new
problems for the enemy. It renders his reactions ineffective and eventually drives
him to defeat.
Close combat is inherent in maneuver. Close combat is combat carried
out with direct fire weapons, supported by indirect fire, air-delivered fires,
and nonlethal engagement means. Close combat defeats or destroys
forces or seizes and retains ground. The range between combatants may
vary between several thousand meters down to hand-to-hand combat. Close
combat has one purpose ⎯ to decide the outcome of battles and engagements.
All tactical actions inevitably require seizure of terrain, either as a means to an
end or an end in itself. If the enemy is skilled and resolute, fires alone will not
compel an enemy to abandon his position. Ultimately, the outcome of battle
depends upon the ability of Army forces to close with and destroy enemy forces
with direct fire, closely supported by indirect fires. The certainty of destruction
through close combat persuades the enemy to yield before the event.
Maneuver is most effective when combined with firepower. Maneuver and
firepower are complementary combat dynamics. Although one might dominate a
phase of an action, the synchronized effects of both are present in all operations.
The threat of one in the presence of the other magnifies the impact of both. One
without the other makes neither decisive. Their combined use makes destroying
larger enemy forces feasible and enhances protection of friendly forces.
Firepower generates destructive force. Direct or indirect, it is the amount
of fire that may be delivered by a position, unit, or weapons system.
Effective firepower is essential to overcoming an enemy’s ability and will to fight.
Firepower produces effects — lethal, nonlethal, or a combination of both.
Integrated as part of the commander’s concept, firepower includes fire support
functions used separately from or in combination with maneuver. The extended
range and accuracy of precision munitions and target acquisition systems make
firepower more lethal than ever before.
and will to fight. Commanders take special care to synchronize firepower with
the effects of other systems. Massing maximum firepower requires Army and
joint procedures for determining priorities; locating, identifying, and tracking
targets; allocating firepower assets; and assessing effects. Effective firepower
demands well-trained, competently led units with a high degree of situational
Confident and competent leadership unites the other elements of combat
power and serves as the catalyst that creates conditions for success. Leaders
who embody the warrior ethos inspire soldiers with the will to succeed. They
provide purpose, direction, and motivation in all operations.
The duty of every leader is to be competent in the profession of arms.
Competence requires four sets of skills: interpersonal, conceptual, technical, and
tactical. These are not skills that the Army supplies the leader, although training
constantly emphasizes them. They are skills developed by the individual and
honed by constant self-study.
Leaders instill their units with Army values, energy, methods, and will. The
professional competence, personality, and will of strong commanders at all levels
represent a significant part of every unit’s combat power. All Army leaders must
demonstrate strong character and high ethical standards. Leaders are soldiers
first: they know and understand their subordinates and act with courage and
conviction. During operations, they must know where to be, when to make
decisions, and how to influence the action. Leaders build teamwork and trust.
Trust encourages subordinates to seize the initiative. In unclear situations, bold
leaders who exercise disciplined initiative within the commander’s intent
accomplish the mission.
Protection is the preservation of the fighting potential of a force so
that the commander can apply the maximum force at the decisive time and
place. Protection is neither timidity or risk avoidance. The Army operates in
tough and unforgiving environments where casualties occur. Soldiers are the
Army’s most important resource. They are the sons and daughters of America;
no commander can afford to waste this precious resource.
Protection has four components: force protection, field discipline, safety,
and fratricide avoidance. Force protection, the primary component, minimizes
the effects of enemy firepower (including WMD), maneuver, and information.
Field discipline precludes losses from hostile environments. Safety reduces the
inherent risk of nonbattle deaths and injuries. Fratricide avoidance minimizes the
inadvertent killing or maiming of friendly troops by friendly fires.
Force protection consists of those actions to prevent or mitigate hostile
actions against DOD personnel (to include family members), resources,
facilities, and critical information. Force protection does not include
actions to defeat the enemy or protect against accidents, weather, and
disease. The increased emphasis on force protection at every echelon stems
from the conventional dominance of Army forces. Often unable to challenge the
Army in conventional combat, opponents seek to frustrate Army operations by
resorting to unconventional means, weapons, or tactics. Force protection
counters these threats.
Force protection at all levels minimizes losses to hostile action. Skillful and
aggressive counter-reconnaissance keeps adversaries from seeing friendly
forces while defining enemy actions and positions. Effective operations security
(OPSEC) keeps the adversary from exploiting friendly information. Proper
dispersion helps reduce losses from enemy fires and terrorist action.
Camouflage discipline, security operations, and field fortifications do the same.
Field discipline, a second component of protection, guards soldiers from
the physical and psychological effects of the environment. Hostile environment
can sap soldier strength and morale far more quickly than enemy action.
Soldiers adapt to the point that they outperform their fully acclimatized
opponents, who may be native to the region. This mastery can only stem from
thorough preparation and training in fieldcraft skills.
Actions include securing equipment and supplies from loss or damage.
Commanders ensure systems are in place for adequate health service support,
quick return of minor casualties, and preventive medicine. They provide effective
systems for maintenance evacuation and rapid replacement or repair of
equipment. Tactical commanders take care of their soldiers’ basic health needs
and prevent unnecessary exposure to debilitating conditions.
Safety is a third component of protection. Operational conditions often
impose significant risks to soldiers’ lives and health and make equipment
operation difficult. Trained crews and operators must know the capabilities and
limitations of their weapon systems. Commanders must know how to employ
them. In designing operations, commanders consider the margins of human
endurance. They balance the benefits and risks of sustained, high-tempo
operations. In combat, fatigue extends reaction times and reduces alertness.
Fatal accidents, loss of combat power, and missed tactical opportunities can
follow. Command attention to safety and high levels of discipline
lessen those risks, particularly as soldiers reach exhaustion. Safe operations
come from enforcing standards during training. While taking calculated risks,
commanders assume the obligation to embed safety in the conduct of all
A fourth component of protection is fratricide avoidance. Fratricide is the
unintentional killing or wounding of friendly personnel by friendly
firepower. The destructive power and range of modern weapons, coupled with
the high intensity and rapid tempo of combat, increase the potential for fratricide.
Tactical maneuvers, terrain, and weather conditions may increase the danger of
fratricide as well. Commanders seek to lower the probability of fratricide without
discouraging boldness and audacity. Situational understanding, positive weapons
control, control of troop movements, and disciplined operational procedures
coupled with good leadership can do this. Reducing fratricide increases soldiers’
willingness to act boldly, confident that misdirected friendly fires will not kill them.
Information is a powerful operational and tactical multiplier. It enhances
leadership and magnifies the effects of maneuver, firepower, and protection at
decisive points. In the past, commanders made enemy contact, developed the
situation, and gained information. Today, Army leaders increase their situational
understanding before maneuvering forces and engaging the enemy.
Commanders benefit from information in planning, preparing, and executing
operations. They use information as an element of combat power to shape the
operational environment and create the conditions for employing the other
elements of combat power.
Army forces are modernizing information systems to an unprecedented
degree. This effort will have far-reaching effects on Army operations. The aim of
these improvements is to provide every leader with real-time ability to understand
the tactical situation and act within the commander’s intent.
Information management (IM) is the direction of relevant information
to the right person at the right time in a usable form to facilitate decision-
making. It uses procedures and information systems to collect, process, store,
display, and disseminate data and information.
Relevant information (RI) is information the commander and staff
need to exercise command and control. The better commanders understand
the situation, the better decisions they can make and the more combat power
they can generate.
THE PRINCIPLES OF WAR
Understanding the principles of war and tenets of Army operations is
fundamental to operating successfully across the range of military operations.
The nine principles of war provide general guidance for conducting war and
MOOTW at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. They are the enduring
bedrock of Army doctrine. The US Army published its original principles of war
after World War I. In the ensuing years, the Army adjusted the original principles
of war, but overall they have stood the tests of analysis, experimentation, and
The Principles of War
Economy of Force
Unity of Command
The principles of war are not a checklist. They do not apply in the same
way to every situation. At times, they may counterbalance each other. The
principles of war summarize the characteristics of successful Army operations.
They guide and instruct each leader in proven fundamentals of the profession of
arms. Their greatest value lies in the education of the military professional.
Applied to the study of past campaigns, major operations, battles, and
engagements, the principles of war are powerful tools for analysis.
Direct every military operation toward a clearly defined and attainable
At the operational and tactical levels, objective means ensuring all actions
contribute to the goals of the higher headquarters. The principle of objective
drives all military activity. When undertaking any mission, commanders should
have a clear understanding of the expected outcome and its impact. Military
action cannot divorce objective from considerations of restraint and legitimacy.
This is particularly true in stability operations and support operations. The
Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative.
Offensive action is key to achieving decisive results. It is the
essence of successful operations. Offensive actions are those taken to
dictate the nature, scope, and tempo of an operation. They force the enemy
to react. Offensive actions are the means by which commanders impose
their will on an enemy, adversary, or situation. Offensive operations are
essential to maintain the freedom of action necessary for success on the
4-2. Concentrate the effects of combat power at the decisive place and
Commanders mass the elements of combat power to overwhelm
opponents and gain control of the situation. They mass combat power in
time and space to achieve both destructive and constructive results.
Massing in time applies the elements of combat power simultaneously.
Massing in space concentrates the effects of combat power against a
combination of physical points. Both achieve dominance of the situation;
commanders select the method that best fits the circumstances. To an
increasing degree, Army operations concentrate the effects of combat
power in time and space, while not necessarily concentrating and massing
forces. The enemy is overwhelmed at the decisive time and place before
he can assemble his force or react effectively. Commanders concentrate
elements of combat power against the right combination of points. The
aim is to strike a combination of critical elements whose loss shatters the
coherence of the enemy force.
ECONOMY OF FORCE
4-4. Allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts.
Economy of force is the reciprocal of mass. Economy of force
requires accepting prudent risk in selected areas to achieve superiority—
overwhelming effects—in the decisive operation. Economy of force
missions often require forces to conduct operations with minimum
4-6. Place the enemy in a disadvantageous position through the flexible
application of combat power.
application of leadership, firepower, information, and protection as well. It
requires flexible thought, plans, and operations, and the skillful application
of mass, surprise, and economy of force.
UNITY OF COMMAND
4-1. For every objective, ensure unity of effort under one responsible
Developing the full combat power of a force requires unity of
command. Unity of command means that a single commander directs and
coordinates the actions of all forces toward a common objective.
Cooperation may produce coordination, but giving a single commander the
required authority unifies action. The complex joint, multinational, and
interagency nature of unified action creates situations where the military
commander directly controls only some of the elements in the AO. Despite
the absence of command authority, commanders use cooperation,
negotiation, and consensus building to achieve unity of effort.
4-3. Never permit the enemy to acquire an unexpected advantage.
Security protects and preserves combat power. It does not suggest
excessive caution. Calculated risk is inherent in conflict. Security results
from measures taken by a command to protect itself from surprise,
observation, detection, interference, espionage, sabotage, or annoyance.
Military deception greatly enhances security. The threat of unconventional
action and terrorism requires emphasis on security even in benign
4-5. Strike the enemy at a time or place or in a manner for which he is
Surprise is the reciprocal of security. Surprise results from taking
actions for which an opponent is unprepared. It is not essential to take the
adversary completely unaware; it is necessary only that he become aware
too late to react effectively. Factors contributing to surprise include speed,
using unexpected systems, conducting military deception operations,
varying tactics and methods of operation, and enforcing OPSEC measures.
Surprise applies across the range of operations.
determine the degree of simplicity required. Simple plans executed promptly
are better than complex plans executed late. Commanders at all levels
weigh the apparent benefits of sophisticated, complex concepts against
the risks that subordinates will not understand or follow them because of
THE PRINCIPLES OF WAR (CONTINUED)
• Identify the appropriate Principle of War and its
significance given a tactical vignette.
• Review Text Chapter 14
• Ensure you fully understand the Principles of War
and there Three Levels.
Battles are won by fire and by movement. The purpose of the
movement is to get the fire in a more advantageous place to play on
the enemy flank. This is from the rear of flank.
GEN George S. Patton Jr. “War as I know it.”
Approach to Darwin - Late on Wednesday 26 May 1982 as some 500 men of 2 Para move south towards Darwin,
there is much uncertainty about Argentine strength in the area. However by the time of the surrender, and after
allowance is made for the nearly 50 killed (not the originally reported 250), there are over 1,000 POW's including the
12th Inf Regt and a Co from the 25 th Inf Regt. With their approaches mined, the infantry are in well-prepared defensive
positions, especially between Boca House and Darwin half way down the isthmus, and for support they can call on
105mm artillery, anti-aircraft guns laid in the ground defence role, and attack aircraft from Port Stanley.
By early Thursday morning 27 May 1982, 2 Para has marched the eight miles from Sussex Mountain and reached the
holding position at Camilla Creek House where most lie up all day. Two patrols from C Co probe forward towards either
side of the isthmus to plot some of the enemy defences, but later pull back under fire. (1 - map below) Early that
afternoon, two Harrier GR.3's attack Argentine positions with CBU's (Cluster Bomb Units), and in a subsequent strafing
run, one of them is hit probably by 35mm Oerlikon fire and crashes to the west of Goose Green [b27]. Sqdn Ldr Iveson
ejects and hides out before being rescued three days later.
That night, the three 105's of 8 Bty Royal Artillery and their ammo are flown to Camilla Creek House by No.846 Sea
Kings, and HMS Arrow heads into Grantham Sound, opening fire from there under the control of a naval gunfire
observer. A later turret fault is repaired and she remains on station supporting the paras advance towards Darwin, when
with the threat of air attack at dawn, has to return to San Carlos Water. Meanwhile that same evening, 2 Para moves off
the two miles to the start line with C (Patrol) Co leading the way. With D Co at first in reserve, A and B Co's wait on
either side of Burntside Pond, the mortars to their rear, and the fire support company with its Milans initially across
Camilla Creek from the forward Argentine positions. Early on Friday, 28 May 1982, the men of 2 Para prepare for a
night attack against largely unknown forces across the open ground of the Goose Green area, five miles long and ov er
a mile wide.
1. British aircraft lost west of Goose Green - [b27] Harrier
SUMMARY OF MAIN EVENTS - 28th May 1982
2. A Co 2 Para occupies Burntside House
3. B & D Co’s 2 Para move forward towards Boca House
4. A Co moves past Coronation Point
5. B & D Co’s come up against strongpoint at Boca House
6. A Co comes up against main defenses along Darwin Hill
.... to dawn
By midday - A Co has taken and holds Darwin Hill, and B
and D Co's have finally silenced Boca House
7. British aircraft lost west of Camilla Creek House - [b28]
Scout (1155 hrs)
8. Argentine aircraft lost on return to Stanley - [a58] Pucara
From midday ....
9. D and C Co’s head towards Goose Green airfield
10. B Coy circles around airfield to cut off Goose Green
11. Argentine aircraft lost near Goose Green Schoolhouse
- [a59] Aermacchi MB-339A, [a60] Pucara (both 1700 hrs)
12. Harrier GR3's hit Argentine AA positions
13. Argentine helicopter-borne reinforcements continue to
.... to dusk
The Battle for Darwin and Goose Green, Friday 28 May 1982 - (2) At 0330, A Co moves off on the left and attacks
Burntside House believed to be occupied by an Argentine platoon, but finds no-one there other than four unhurt
civilians. (3) At 0410, B Co starts forward from the other side of Burntside Pond down the right flank with D Co following
them long the middle. With artillery support on both sides, B and D Co's are soon in confused action against a series of
enemy trenches, and as they slowly make progress, (4) A Co moves past unoccupied positions at Coronation Point.
Leaving one platoon of A Co to provide covering fire from the north side of Darwin, the remainder start to circle round
the inlet to take the settlement. As dawn breaks, the attacks on both flanks bog down as (5) B Co comes up against the
strongpoint of Boca House and (6) A Co finds that a small rise, later known as Darwin Hill, is the key to the Argentine
defences. Not until midday will 2 Para break through.
As A Co is hit and goes to ground, Lt Col Jones and his TAC HQ come up, and another attempt to push forward is
made which leads to two officers and an NCO being killed. He then moves off virtually on his own, and is soon shot and
dying in an action which leads to the award of a Victoria Cross. Maj Keeble is called up from the rear, and leaving A Co
to slowly crest Darwin Hill and pulling B Co slightly back from Boca House, orders D Co to move round them on the far
right along the edge of the sea. Now in daylight, the battle continues with the Argentines helicoptering in their first
reinforcements and flying more support missions. The first attack by Falkland's based aircraft took pla ce earlier when a
Grupo 3 Pucara was hit, probably by a Blowpipe SAM, but limped back to Stanley. (7) The next sortie by two more
Pucaras catches two Royal Marine Scouts on their way in to casevac Lt Col Jones. Capt Niblett manages to evade
them, but Lt Nunn is killed by cannon fire and goes down near Camilla Creek House [b28]. (8) One of the Pucaras is
later found to have crashed into high ground returning to Stanley [a58].
By midday, A Co has taken and holds Darwin Hill, and B and D Co's have finally silenced Boca House. Still under fire,
(9) D and C Co's head towards the airfield and Goose Green while (10) B Co circles east to cut off the settlement.
During the attack towards the schoolhouse, three men of D Co are killed in an incident involving a white flag. (11) Now
into the late afternoon, aircraft from both sides come on the scene, starting with two MB.339's of CANA 1 Esc and two
Pucaras of Grupo 3 which hit the school area. One of the Navy jets is brought down by a Royal Marine Blowpipe [a59],
and minutes later one of the Pucaras drops napalm and the other is shot down by small arms fire [a60]. (12) Then three
Harrier GR.3's bring much needed relief by hitting the AA guns at Goose Green with CBU's and rockets.
With evening approaching and the Argentines squeezed in towards Goose Green, (13) more reinforcements arrive to
the south by helicopter, while to the north, J Co 42 Commando Royal Marine is flown in reinforce 2 Para but too late to
join in the fighting. Two Argentine POW's are sent in to start negotiations which last most of the night, and next morning,
Group Capt Pedroza surrenders all his forces to Maj Keeble. British losses are fifteen men from 2 Para, a Royal
Engineer and the Marine pilot, and 30 to 40 paras wounded. Many of the 1,000 Argentine POW's including the FAA
men sail on "Norland" to Montevideo in early June.
David Norris, "Daily Mail", Brigadier J H Thompson RM, 3 Supporting frigate HMS Arrow in more peaceful
Commando Brigade, Colour Sergeant Cotton, 2 Para, times
•List and describe the six factors of Military Analysis ( METT-TC).
•List and describe the five factors used to Analyze Terrain (OAKOC).
•Read Text Chapter 16 (reference FM 7-8 the TLP Handbook, and FM 21-26).
•Do Your Readings!
…the kind of person who could not lead a patrol of nine men is happy
to arrange armies in his imagination, criticize the conduct of a
general, and say to his misguided self; “My God, I know I could do
better if I was in his place!”
Frederick the Great, 14 July 1745
The Factors of METT-TC
METT-TC refers to factors that are fundamental to assessing and visualizing:
Mission, Enemy, Terrain and weather, Troops and support available, Time
available, and Civil considerations. The first five factors are not new. However,
the nature of full spectrum operations requires commanders to assess the
impact of nonmilitary factors on operations. Because of this added complexity,
civil considerations has been added to the familiar METT-T to form METT-TC.
All commanders use METT-TC to start their visualization.Staff estimates may
address individual elements of, and add to, the commander’s visualization.
Mission. Commanders determine
the mission through analysis of
the tasks assigned. The results
of that analysis yield the
essential tasks that, together
with the purpose of the
operation, clearly indicate the
action required. The mission
includes what tasks must be
accomplished; who is to do
them; and when, where, and
why the tasks are to be done.
Enemy. The analysis of the enemy
includes current information
about his strength, location,
activity, and capabilities.
Commanders and staffs also
assess the most likely enemy Visualize, Describe, Direct
courses of action. In stability
operations and support operations, the analysis includes adversaries,
potentially hostile parties, and other threats to success. Threats may
include the spread of infectious disease, regional instabilities, or
misinformation. Commanders consider asymmetric as well as conventional
Terrain and Weather. Analysis of terrain and weather helps commanders
determine observation and fields of fire, avenues of approach, key
terrain, obstacles and movement, and cover and concealment (OAKOC [see
FM 6-0]). Terrain includes manmade features such as cities, airfields,
bridges, railroads, and ports. Weather and terrain also have pronounced effects
on ground maneuver, precision munitions, air support, and CSS operations.
The nature of operations extends the analysis of the natural environment
(weather and terrain) into the context of the physical environment of a
contaminated battlefield. To find tactical advantages, commanders and staffs
analyze and compare the limitations of the environment on friendly, enemy,
and neutral forces.
Troops and Support Available. Commanders assess the quantity,
training level, and psychological state of friendly forces. The analysis includes
the availability of critical systems and joint support. Commanders examine
combat, combat support (CS), and CSS assets. These assets include
(see FM 3-100.21).
Time Available. Commanders assess the time available for planning, preparing,
and executing the mission. They consider how friendly and enemy or adversary
forces will use the time and the possible results.
Proper use of the time available can fundamentally alter the situation. Time
available is normally explicitly defined in terms of the tasks assigned to the
unit and implicitly bounded by enemy or adversary capabilities.
Civil Considerations. Civil considerations relate to civilian populations,
culture, organizations, and leaders within the AO. Commanders consider
the natural environment, to include cultural sites, in all operations directly
or indirectly affecting civilian populations. Commanders include
civilian political, economic, and information matters as well as more immediate
civilian activities and attitudes.
At the operational level, civil considerations include the interaction between
military operations and the other instruments of national power. Civil
considerations at the tactical level generally focus on the immediate impact of
civilians on the current operation; however, they also consider larger, longterm
diplomatic, economic, and informational issues. Civil considerations can
tax the resources of tactical commanders while shaping force activities. Civil
considerations define missions to support civil authorities.
Political boundaries of nations, provinces, and towns are important civil
considerations. Conflict often develops across boundaries, and boundaries
may impose limits on friendly action. Boundaries, whether official or not, determine
which civilian leaders and institutions can influence a situation. These
considerations can be important at all levels.
Media presence guarantees that a global audience views US military
activities in near real-time. Commanders factor public opinion into their vision
of the battlespace. The activities of the force—including individual
soldiers—can have far reaching effects on domestic and international opinion.
The media also affect activities and opinions within the AO and often prove a
valuable information resource.
The local population and displaced persons influence commanders’ decisions.
Their presence and the need to address their control, protection, and
welfare affect the choice of courses of action and the allocation of resources.
In stability operations and support operations, these people are a central feature
•Conduct Military Analysis of the situation given a tactical vignette.
•Review Text Chapter 17.
•Review METT-TC and OAKOC.
Rangers of Connaught! It is not my intention to expend any powder
this evening. We’ll do this business with cold steel.
General Sir Thomas Picton before the assault on Badajoz 06 April
ATTACK ON HILL 209
ORIENTATION: You are the 1st platoon Commander, Company A of the 1st
BN/504th (82nd Airborne Infantry). You have been operating for the last four
months in the forested mountains of Finland. Your purpose for being deployed
here is to defend the Finnish city of Kjahnd from Russian incursions. Since the
collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian military forces have gone unpaid and live
in near poverty conditions. Recently they have begun to raid surrounding
communities for food, money, and anything that they can carry off for their own
To date you have been conducting defensive operations with limited
security patrols to maintain the peace and halt the Russian incursions. A trained
conventional force, the Russians are armed with AK-47s, RPKs, RPGs and
120mm Mortars for support during their raids. Contact with the raiders has
always proven bloody and dangerous as they rarely surrender.
SITUATION: While on an aerial patrol, an Apache section located a raider
resupply position on top of Hill 209. Observing the hill with his FLIR, he
discovered that the position was occupied by a reinforced squad of Russian
raiders. He also noted that they had a tent, a radio (by the large antenna
outside) and two UAZ(s) with trailers full of supplies. He estimated that the unit
on Hill 209 was a rearguard, and the rest of the unit was off on a raid. It didn’t
take long for the Company Commander to receive the order to destroy the
resupply site. You conducted rapid inspections and issued a quick FragO to your
Currently it is noon. Your platoon has been on the march for 3 hours and
is now nearing the planned Assault Position. Suddenly you hear three single
shots from the vicinity of your lead squad. You hear over the radio: “Sir, we ran
into an enemy OP. He fired us up and ran back toward the Hill. No casualties.”
You are sure that the shots alerted the enemy on Hill 209.
Your Platoon is looking at you. What do you do?
About the Author:
Major General Sir Ernest D. Swinton, K.B.E., C.B., D.S.O., was a noted English
soldier, author, scholar and professor. Considered by Field Marshal Earl Wavell as one
of the most far-sighted officers the British Army has produced, he wrote before World
War I on the effects of air warfare, mining and of psychological warfare. In 1914 Sir
Ernest completely revolutionized warfare by his invention of the machine that was to
became known as the "tank". He, more than anyone else, was responsible for its early
He served as Professor of Military History at Oxford from 1925 to 1939, and as
Commandant of the Royal Tank Corps from 1934 to 1938 -- earning the rank of Major
As a Captain, shortly after service in the Boer War, he wrote "The Defence of Duffer's
Drift," using the pseudonym. Lieutenant Backsight Forethought, or BF. Duffer's Drift
has become a military classic on minor tactics in this century. In addition to Duffer's
Drift, and contributing to many journals, he authored The Green Curve in 1909 and the
great Tab Dope, in 1915, under the pseudonym O'le Luk-Oie (Olaf Shut-eye). His other
works include The Study of War in 1926 and his final publication, An Eastern Odyssey
written in 1935.
THE BOER WAR
The Boers, Dutch for farmer, first settled what is now Cape Province, Republic of
South Africa in 1652. After Great Britain annexed this territory in 1806, many of the
Boers departed on the "Great Trek" and created the Republic of Natal, the Orange Free
State, and the Transvaal. Gradual commercial control by the British and discovery of
gold and diamonds, among other things, served to create hostility between the Boers and
British, resulting in the South African War or Boer War from 1899 to 1902. The Boers
initially outnumbered the British and were well equipped, scoring impressive victories in
the areas adjacent to their territories. Even though the Boer armies finally surrendered,
apparent victory for the British was retarded by extensive and coordinated guerilla
warfare. The war was finally ended by the systematic destruction of the Boer guerrilla
units and hostilities were terminated by the Treaty of Vereeniging in May 1902. The Boer
territories were annexed by Great Britain and were organized into the Union of South
Africa eight years later.
ABATIS: A barricade of felled trees with branches facing the enemy.
ANT HILL: A large cone-shaped mound of earth.
BOER: Descendents of Dutch Colonists in South Africa.
DONGA: South African gully or ravine.
DRIFT: A ford, a shallow place in a stream or river that can be crossed by walking or
riding on horseback.
DUFFER: An incompetent, awkward or stupid person.
KAFFIR: A fierce black tribe of South Africa (19th Century).
KOPJE: A rocky hill or butte of South Africa usually 200- 800 meters high.
KRAALS: A village of South African natives surrounded by a stockade for protection.
QUI VIVE: Fr., a sentry’s challenge; "who goes there?"
SUBALTERN: A British officer holding a commission below that of captain; a
VELD: A grassy plain of South Africa, similar to the Western Tableland of the United
VC: Victoria Cross, highest British medal for valor.
"It was our own fault, and our very grave fault, and now we must turn it to use. We have
forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse." KIPLING.
This tale of a dream is dedicated to the "gilded Popinjays" and "hired assassins" of the
British nation, especially those who are now knocking at the door, to wit the very junior.
It embodies some recollections of things actually done and undone in South Africa, 1899-
1902. It is hoped that its fantastic guise may really help to emphasize the necessity for the
practical application of some very old principles, and assist to an appreciation of what
may happen when they are not applied, even on small operations. This practical
application has often been lost sight of in the stress of the moment, with dire results, quite
unrealized until the horrible instant of actual experience. Should this tale, by arousing the
imagination, assist to prevent in the future even one such case of disregard of principles,
it will not have been written in vain. The dreams are not anticipations, but merely a
record of petty experiences against one kind of enemy in one kind of country only, with
certain deductions based thereupon. But from these, given the conditions, it is not
difficult to deduce the variations suitable for other countries, or for those occasions when
a different foe with different methods of fight- ing and different weapons has to be met.
Upon an evening after a long and tiring trek, I arrived at Dreamdorp. The local
atmosphere, combined with a heavy meal, is responsible for the following nightmare,
consisting of a series of dreams. To make the sequence of the whole intelligible, it is
necessary to explain that though the scene of each vision was the same, by some curious
mental process I had no recollection of the place whatsoever. In each dream the locality
was totally new to me, and I had an entirely fresh detachment. Thus, I had not the great
advantage of working over familiar ground. One thing, and one only, was carried on from
dream to dream, and that was the vivid recollection of the general lessons previously
learnt. These finally produced success.
The whole series of dreams, however, remained in my memory as a connected whole
when I awoke.
"Any fool can get into a hole." — Old Chinese Proverb.
"If left to you, for defence make spades. " — Bridge Maxim.
I felt lonely, and not a little sad, as I stood on the bank of the river near Duffer’s Drift
and watched the red dust haze, raised by the southward departing column in the distance,
turn slowly into gold as it hung in the afternoon sunlight. It was just three o’clock, and
here I was on the banks of the Silliaasvogel river, left behind by my column with a party
of fifty NCOs and men to hold the drift. It was an important ford, because it was the only
one across which wheeled traffic could pass for some miles up or down the river.
The river was a sluggish stream, not now in flood, crawling along at the very bottom of
its bed between steep banks which were almost vertical, or at any rate too steep for
wagons anywhere except at the drift itself. The banks from the river edge to their tops
and some distance outwards, were covered with dense thorn and other bushes, which
formed a screen impenetrable to the sight. They were also broken by small ravines and
holes, where the earth had been eaten away by the river when in flood, and were
consequently very rough.
Some 2000 odd meters north of the drift was a flat- topped, rocky mountain, and about
a mile to the north-east appeared the usual sugerloaf kopje, covered with bushes and
boulders-steep on the south, but gently falling to the north; this had a farm on the near
side of it. About 1000 meters south of the drift was a convex and smooth hill, somewhat
like an inverted basin, sparsely sown with small boulders, and with a Kaffir kraal,
consisting of a few grass mud huts on top. Between the river and the hills on the north the
ground consisted of open and almost level veld; on the south bank the veld was more
undulating, and equally open. The whole place was covered with ant-hills.
My orders were to hold Duffer’s Drift at all costs. I should probably be visited by some
column within three or four days time. I might possibly be attacked before that time, but
this was very unlikely, as no enemy were known to be within a hundred miles. The
enemy had guns.
It all seemed plain enough, except that the true inwardness of the last piece of
information did not strike me at the time. Though in company with fifty "good men and
true," it certainly made me feel somewhat lonely and marooned to be left out there
comparatively alone on the boundless veld; but the chance of an attack filled me, and I
am quite sure, my men, with martial ardour. At last here was the chance I had so often
longed for. This was my first "show," my first independent command, and I was
determined to carry out my order to the bitter end. I was young and inexperienced, it is
true, but I had passed all my examinations with fair success; my men were a good willing
lot, with the traditions of a glorious regiment to uphold, and would, I knew, do all I
should require of them. We were also well supplied with ammunition and rations and had
a number of picks, shovels, and sandbags, etc., which I confess had been rather forced on
As I turned towards my gallant little detachment, visions of a bloody and desperate
fight crossed my mind a fight to the last cartridge, and then an appeal to cold steel, with
ultimate victory and-but a discreet cough at my elbow brought me back to realities, and
warned me that my Colour-sergeant was waiting for orders.
After a moment’s consideration, I decided to pitch my small camp on a spot just south
of the drift, because it was slightly rising ground, which I knew should be chosen for a
camp whenever possible. It was, moreover, quite close to the drift, which was also in its
favour, for, as every one knows, if you are told off to guard anything, you mount a guard
quite close to it, and place a sentry, if possible, standing on top of it. The place I picked
out also had the river circling round three sides of it in a regular horse- shoe bend, which
formed a kind of ditch, or, as the book says, "a natural obstacle." I was indeed lucky to
have such an ideal place close at hand; nothing could have been more suitable.
I came to the conclusion that, as the enemy were not within a hundred miles, there
would be no need to place the camp in a state of defence till the following day. Besides,
the men were tired after their long trek, and it would be quite as much as they could do
comfortably to arrange nice and shipshape all the stores and tools, which had been
dumped down anyhow in a heap, pitch the camp, and get their teas before dark. Between
you and me, I was really relieved to be able to put off my defensive measures till the
morrow, because I was a wee bit puzzled as to what to do. In fact, the more I thought, the
more puzzled I grew. The only "measures of defence" I could recall for the moment were,
how to tie "a thumb or overhand knot," and how long it takes to cut down an apple tree of
six inches diameter. Unluckily neither of these useful facts seemed quite to apply. Now,
if they had given me a job like fighting the battle of Waterloo, or Sedan, or Bull Run, I
knew all about that, as I had crammed it up and been examined in it too. I also knew how
to take up a position for a division, or even an army corps, but the stupid little subaltern’s
game of the defence of a drift with a small detachment was, curiously enough, most
perplexing. I had never really considered such a thing. However, in the light of my
habitual dealings with army corps, it would, no doubt, be child’s-play after a little
Having issued my immediate orders accordingly, I decided to explore the
neighbourhood, but was for a moment puzzled as to which direction I should take; for,
having no horse, I could not possibly get all round before dark. After a little thought, it
flashed across my mind that obviously I should go to the north. The bulk of the enemy
being away to the north, that of course must be the front. I knew naturally that there must
be a front, because in all the schemes I had had to prepare, or the exams I had undergone,
there was always a front, or—"the place where the enemies come from." How often, also,
had I not had trouble in getting out of a dull sentry which his "front" and what his "beat"
was. The north, then, being my front, the east and west were my flanks, where there
might possibly be enemies, and the south was my rear, where naturally there were none.
I settled these knotty points to my satisfaction, and off I trudged, with my field-glasses,
and, of course, my Kodak, directing my steps towards the gleaming white walls of the
little Dutch farm, nestling under the kopje to the north-east. It was quite a snug little farm
for South Africa, and was surrounded by blue gums and fruit trees. About a quarter of a
mile from the farm I was met by the owner, Mr. Andreas Brink, a tame or surrendered
Boer farmer, and his two sons, Piet and Gert. "Such a nice man too," with a pleasant face
and long beard. He would insist on calling me "Captain," and as any correction might
have confused him, I did not think it worth while to make any, and after all I wasn’t so
very far from my "company." The three of them positively bristled with dog’s-eared and
dirty passes from every Provost Marshal in South Africa, and these they insisted on
showing me. I had not thought of asking for them, and was much impressed; to have so
many they must be special men. They escorted me to the farm, where the good wife and
several daughters met us, and gave me a drink of milk, which was most acceptable after
my long and dusty trek. The whole family appeared either to speak or to understand
English, and we had a very friendly chat, during the course of which I gathered that there
were no Boer commandos anywhere within miles, that the whole family cordially hoped
that there never would be again, and that Brink was really a most loyal Briton, and had
been much against the war, but had been forced to go on a commando with his two sons.
Their loyalty was evident, because there was an oleograph of the Queen on the wall, and
one of the numerous flappers was playing our National Anthem on the harmonium as I
entered. The farmer and the boys took a great interest in all my personal gear, especially a
brand-new pair of the latest-pattern field-glasses, which they tried with much delight, and
many exclamations of "Allermachtig." They evidently appreciated them extremely, but
could not imagine any use for my Kodak in war-time, even after I had taken a family
group. Funny, simple fellows! They asked and got permission from me to sell milk, eggs
and butter in the camp, and I strolled on my way, congratulating myself on the good turn
I was thus able to do myself and detachment, none of whom had even smelt such luxuries
After an uneventful round, I directed my steps back towards the thin blue threads of
smoke, rising vertically in the still air, which alone showed the position of my little post,
and as I walked the peacefulness of the whole scene impressed me. The landscape lay
bathed in the warm light of the setting sun, whose parting rays tinged most strongly the
various heights within view, and the hush of approaching evening was only broken by the
distant lowing of oxen, and by the indistinct and cheerful camp noises, which gradually
grew louder as I approached. I strolled along in quite a pleasant frame of mind,
meditating over the rather curious names which Mr. Brink had given me for the
surrounding features of the landscape. The kopje above his farm was called
Incidentamba, the flat-topped mountain some two miles to the north was called Regret
Table Mountain, and the gently rising hill close to the drift on the south of the river they
called Waschout Hill. Everything was going on well, and the men were at their teas when
I got back. The nice Dutchman with his apostolic face and the lanky Piet and Gert were
already there, surrounded by a swarm of men, to whom they were selling their wares at
exorbitant rates. The three of them strolled about the camp, showing great interest in
everything, asking most intelligent questions about the British forces and the general
position of affairs and seemed really relieved to have a strong British post near. They did
not even take offence when some of the rougher man called them "blarsted Dutchmen,"
and refused to converse with them, or buy their "skoff." About dusk they left, with many
promises to return with a fresh supply on the morrow. After writing out my orders for
next day, one of which was for digging some trenches round the camp, an operation
which I knew my men, as becomes good British soldiers, disliked very much, and
regarded as fatigues. I saw the two guards mounted, one at the drift, and the other some
little way down the river, each furnishing one sentry on the river bank.
When all had turned in, and the camp was quite silent, it was almost comforting to hear
the half-hourly cry of the sentries. "Number one-all is well!; Number two-all is well!" By
this sound I was able to locate them, and knew they were at their proper posts. On going
round sentries about midnight, I was pleased to find that they were both alert, and that, as
it was a cold night, each guard had built a bonfire silhouetted in the cheerful blaze of
which stood the sentry-a clear-cut monument to all around that here was a British sentry
fully on the qui-vive. After impressing them with their orders, the extent of their "beat,"
and the direction of their "front," etc., I turned in. The fires they had built, besides being a
comfort to themselves, were also useful to me, because twice during the night when I
looked out I could, without leaving my tent, plainly see them at their posts. I finally fell
asleep, and dreamt of being decorated with a crossbelt made of V.C.s and D.S.O.s, and of
wearing red tabs all down my back.
I was suddenly awoken, about the grey of dawn, by a hoarse cry, "Halt! who goes. . . ."
cut short by the unmistakable "plipplop" of a Mauser rifle. Before I was off my valise, the
reports of Mausers rang round the camp from every side, these, mingled with the smack
of the bullets as they hit the ground and stripped, the "zipzip" of the leaden hail through
the tents, and the curses and groans of men who were hit as they lay or stumbled about
trying to get out, made a hellish din. There was some wild shooting in return from my
men, but it was all over in a moment, and as I managed to wriggle out of my tent the
whole place was swarming with bearded men, shooting into the heaving canvas. At that
moment I must have been clubbed on the head for I knew no more until I found myself
seated on an empty case having my head, which was dripping with blood, tied up by one
of my men. Our losses were 10 men killed, including both sentries, and 21 wounded; the
Boers’ had one killed and two wounded.
Later on, as, at the order of the not ill-natured but very frowzy Boer commandant, I
was gloomily taking off the saucy warm spotted waistcoat knitted for me by my sister, I
noticed our friends of the previous evening in very animated and friendly conversation
with the burghers, and "Pappa" was, curiously enough, carrying a rifle and bandolier and
my new field-glasses. He was laughing and pointing towards something lying on the
ground, through which he finally put his foot. This, to my horror, I recognized as my
unhappy camera. Here, I suppose, my mind must have slightly wandered, for I found
myself repeating some Latin lines, once my favourite imposition, but forgotten since my
school-days---"Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. . . . " when suddenly the voice of the field
cornet broke into my musing with "Your breeches too, captain." Trekking all that day on
foot, sockless, and in the boots of another, I had much to think of besides my throbbing
head. The sight of the long Boer convoy with guns, which had succeeded so easily in
crossing the drift I was to have held, was a continual reminder of my failure and of my
responsibility for the dreadful losses to my poor detachment. I gradually gathered from
the Boers what I had already partly guessed, namely, that they had been fetched and
guided all round our camp by friend Brink, had surrounded it in the dark, crawling about
in the bush on the river bank, and had carefully marked down our two poor sentries.
These they had at once shot on the alarm being given, and had then rushed the camp from
the dense cover on three sides. Towards evening my head got worse, and its rhythmic
throbbing seemed gradually to take a meaning, and hammeredout the following lessons,
the result of much pondering on my failure:
1. Do not put off taking your measures of defence till the morrow, as these are more
important than the comfort of your men or the shipshape arrangement of your camp.
Choose the position of your camp mainly with reference to your defence.
2. Do not in war-time show stray men of the enemy's breed all over your camp, be they
never so kind and full of butter, and do not be hypnotised, by numerous "passes," at once
to confide in them.
3. Do not let your sentries advertise their position to the whole world, including the
enemy, by standing
in the full glare of a fire, and making much noise every half-hour.
4. Do not, if avoidable, be in tents when bullets are ripping through them; at such times a
hole in the ground is worth many tents.
After these lessons had been dinned into my soul millions and millions of times, so that
I could never forget them, a strange thing came to pass-there was a kaleidoscopic change
- I had another dream.
"And what did ye look they should compass?
Warcraft learnt in a breath,
Knowledge unto occasion
at the first far view of Death?" KIPLING.
I suddenly found myself dumped down at Duffer’s Drift with the same orders as
already detailed, and an equal detachment composed of entirely different men. As before,
and on every subsequent occasion, I had ample stores, ammunition, and tools. My
position was precisely similar to my former one, with this important exception, running
through my brain were four lessons.
As soon as I received my orders, therefore, I began to make out my plan of operations
without wasting any time over the landscape, the setting sun, or the departing column,
which, having off-loaded all our stores, soon vanished. I was determined to carry out all
the lessons I had learnt as well as I knew how. To prevent any strangers, friendly or
otherwise, from coming into my position and spying out the elaborate defenses I was
going to make, I sent out at once two examining posts of one NCO and three men each,
one to the top of Waschout Hill, and the other some 1000 meters out on the veld to the
north of the drift. Their orders were to watch the surrounding country, and give the alarm
in the event of the approach of any body of men whatever (Boers were, of course,
improbable, but still just possible), and also to stop any individuals, friendly or not, from
coming anywhere near camp and to shoot at once on non-compliance with the order to
halt. If the newcomers had any provisions to sell, these were to be sent in with a list by
one of the guard, who would return with the money, but the strangers were not to be
allowed nearer the camp on any account.
Having thus arranged a safeguard against spies, I proceeded to choose a camping
ground. I chose the site already described in my former dream, and for the same reasons,
which still appealed to me. So long as I was entrenched, it appeared the best place
around. We started making our trenches as soon as I had marked off a nice squarish little
enclosure which would about contain our small camp. Though, of course, the north was
the front, I thought, having a camp, it would be best to have an all-round defence as a sort
of obstacle. The majority of the men were told off to dig, which they did not relish, a few
being detailed to pitch camp and prepare tea. As the length of trench was rather great for
the available number of diggers, and the soil was hard, we were only able by dark, by
which time the men were quite done up by their hard day, to make quite a low parapet
and shallow trench. Still we were "entrenched," which was the great thing, and the trench
was all round our camp, so we were well prepared, even should we be attacked during the
night or early next morning, which was quite unlikely.
During this time one or two strangers had approached the guard of the north from a
farm under Incidentamba. As they had eggs and butter, etc., to sell, these were brought in
as arranged for. The man sent in with the stuff reported that the elder of the Dutchmen
was a most pleasant man, and had sent me a present of a pat of butter and some eggs,
with his compliments, and would I allow him to come in and speak to me? However, not
being such a fool as to allow him in my defenses, I went out instead, in case he had any
information. His only information was that there were no Boers anywhere near. He was
an old man, but though he had a museum of "passes," I was not to be chloroformed by
them into confidence. As he seemed friendly, and possibly loyal, I walked part of the way
back to his farm with him, in order to look around. At dark the two examining posts came
in, and two guards were mounted close by the object I was to watch, namely, the drift, at
the same places as in my previous dream. This time, however, there was no half-hourly
shouting, nor were there any fires, and the sentries had orders not to challenge but to
shoot any person they might see outside camp at once. They were placed standing down
the river bank, just high enough to see over the top, and were thus not unnecessarily
exposed. Teas had been eaten, and all fires put out at dusk, and after dark all turned in,
but in the trenches instead of in tents. After going round sentries to see everything snug
for the night, I lay down myself with a sense of having done my duty, and neglected no
possible precaution for our safety.
Just before dawn much the same happened as already described in my first dream,
except that the ball was started by a shot without challenge from one of our sentries at
something moving amoung the bush, which resulted in close-range fire opening up to us
from all sides. This time we were not rushed, but a perfect hail of bullets whistled in from
every direction-from in front of each trench, and over and through our parapet. It was
sufficient to put a hand or head up to have a dozen bullets through and all round it, and
the strange part was, we saw no one. As the detachment wag plaintively remarked, we
could have seen lots of Boers, "if it wasn’t for the bushes in between."
After vainly trying until bright daylight to see the enemy in order to do some damage
in return, so many men were hit, and the position seemed so utterly hopeless, that I had to
hoist the white flag. We had by then 24 men killed and six wounded. As soon as the
white flag went up the Boers ceased firing at once, and stood up; every bush and ant-hill
up to 100 meters range seemed to have hid a Boer behind it. This close range explained
the marvelous accuracy of their shooting, and the great proportion of our killed (who
were nearly all shot through the head) to our wounded.
As we were collecting ourselves preparatory to marching off there were one or two
things which struck me; one was that the Dutchman who had presented me with eggs and
butter was in earnest confabulation with the Boer commandant, who was calling him
"Oom" most affectionately. I also noticed that all male Kaffirs from the neighbouring
kraal had been fetched and impressed to assist in getting the Boer guns and wagons
across the drift and to load up our captured gear, and generally do odd and dirty jobs.
These same Kaffirs did their work with amazing alacrity, and looked as if they enjoyed it;
there was no "back chat" when an order was given—usually by friend "Oom."
Again, as I trudged with blistered feet that livelong day, did I think over my failure. It
seemed so strange, I had done all I knew, and yet, here we were, ignominiously captured,
24 of us killed, and the Boers over the drift. "Ah, BF, my boy," I thought, "there must be
a few more lessons to be learnt besides those you already know." In order to find out
what these were, I pondered deeply over the details of the fight. The Boers must have
known of our position, but how had they managed to get close up all round within
snapshooting range without being discovered? What a tremendous advantage they had
gained in shooting from among the bushes on the bank, where they could not be seen,
over us who had to show up over a parapet every time we looked for an enemy, and show
up, moreover, just in the very place where every Boer expected us to. There seemed to be
some fault in the position. How the bullets seemed sometimes to come through the
parapet, and how those that passed over one side hit the men defending the other side in
the back. How, on the whole, that "natural obstacle," the river-bed, seemed to be more of
a disadvantage than a protection.
Eventually the following lessons framed themselves in my head—some of them quite
new, some of them supplementing those four I had already learnt:
5. With modern rifles, to guard a drift or locality does not necessitate sitting on top of it
(as if it could be picked up and carried away), unless the locality is suitable to hold for
other and defensive reasons. It may even be much better to take up your defensive
position some way from the spot, and so away from concealed ground, which enables the
enemy to crawl up to very close range, concealed and unperceived, and to fire from cover
which hides them even when shooting. It would be better, if possible, to have the enemy in
the open, or to have what is called a clear "field of fire."
A non-bullet-proof parapet or shelter which is visible serves merely to attract bullets
instead of keeping them out—the proof of thickness can be easily and practically tested.
When fired at by an enemy at close range from nearly all round, a low parapet and
shallow trench are not of much use, as what bullets do not hit the defenders on one side
hit those on another.
6. It is not enough to keep strange men of the enemy’s breed away from your actual
defenses, letting them go free to warn their friends of your existence and whereabouts—
even though they should not be under temptation to impart any knowledge they may have
obtained. "Another way," as the cookery book says, more economical in lives, would be
as follows: Gather and warmly greet a sufficiency of strangers. Stuff well with chestnuts
as to the large force about to join you in a few hours; garnish with corroborative detail,
and season according to taste with whiskey or tobacco. This will very likely be sufficient
for the nearest commando. Probable cost—some heavy and glib lying, but no lives will be
7. It is not business to allow lazy men (even though they be brothers and neutrals) to sit
and pick their teeth outside their kraals whilst tired soldiers are breaking their hearts
trying to do heavy labour in short time. It is more the duty of a soldier to teach the lazy
neutral the dignity of labour, and by keeping him under guard to prevent his going away
to talk about it.
By the time the above lessons had been well burnt into my brain, beyond all chance of
forgetfulness, a strange thing happened. I had a fresh dream.
"So when we take tea with a few guns, o’course you will
know what do do—hoo! hoo!" KIPLING.
I was at Duffer’s Drift on a similar sunny afternoon and under precisely similar
conditions, except that I now had seven lessons running through my mind.
I at once sent out two patrols, each of one NCO and three men, one to the north and
one to the south. They were to visit all neighbouring farms and kraals and bring in all
able-bodied Dutch men and boys and male Kaffirs, by persuasion if possible, but by force
if necessary. This would prevent the news of our arrival being carried round to any
adjacent commandos, and would also assist to solve the labour question. A small guard
was mounted on the top of Waschout Hill as a look-out.
I decided that as the drift could not get up and run away, it was not necessary to take
up my post or position quite close to it. especially as such a position would be under close
rifle fire from the river bank, to which the approaches were quite concealed, and which
gave excellent cover. The very worst place for such a position seemed to be anywhere
within the horseshoe bend of the river, as this would allow an enemy practically to
surround it. My choice therefore fell on a spot to which the ground gently rose from the
river bank, some 700 to 800 meters south of the drift. Here I arranged to dig a trench
roughly facing the front (north), which thus would have about 800 meters clear ground on
its front. We started to make a trench about 50 meters long for my 50 men, according to
the usual rule.
Some little time after beginning, the patrols came in, having collected three Dutchmen
and two boys, and about thirteen Kaffirs. The former, the leader of whom seemed a man
of education and some importance, were at first inclined to protest when they were given
tools to dig trenches for themselves, showed bundles of "passes," and talked very big
about complaining to the general, and even as to a question in the "House" about our
brutality. This momentarily staggered me, as I could not help wondering what might
happen to poor BF if the member for Upper Tooting should raise the point; but
Westminster was far away, and I hardened my heart. Finally they had the humour to see
the force of the argument, that it was, after all, necessary for their own health, should the
post be attacked, as they would otherwise be out in the open veld.
The Kaffirs served as a welcome relief to my men as they got tired. They also dug a
separate hole for themselves on one side of and behind our trench, in a small ravine.
By evening we had quite a decent trench dug—the parapet was two feet six inches
thick at the top, and was quite bulletproof, as I tested it. Our trench was not all in one
straight line, but in two portions, broken back at a slight angle, so as to get a more
divergent fire (rather cunning of me), though each half was of course as straight as I
could get it.
It was astonishing what difficulty I had to get the men to dig in a nice straight line. I
was particular as to this point, because I once heard a certain captain severely "told off" at
maneuvers by a very senior officer for having his trenches "out of dressing." No one
could tell whether some "brass hat" might not come round and inspect us next day, so it
was as well to be prepared for anything.
At dusk the guard on Waschout Hill, for whom a trench had also been dug, was
relieved and increased to six men, and after teas and giving out the orders for the next
day, we all "turned in" in our trenches. The tents were not pitched, as we were not going
to occupy them, and it was no good merely showing up our position. A guard was
mounted over our prisoners, or rather "guests," and furnished one sentry to watch over
Before falling asleep I ran over my seven lessons, and it seemed to me I had left
nothing undone which could possibly help towards success. We were entrenched, had a
good bulletproof defence, all our rations and ammunition close at hand in the trenches,
and water-bottles filled. It was with a contented feeling of having done everything right
and of being quite "the little white-haired boy," that I gradually dozed off.
Next morning dawned brightly and uneventfully, and we had about an hour’s work
improving details of our trenches before breakfasts were ready. Just as breakfast was
over, the sentry on Waschout Hill reported a cloud of dust away to the north, by Regret
Table Mountain. This was caused by a large party of mounted men with wheeled
transport of some sort. They were most probably the enemy, and seemed to be trekking in
all innocence of our presence for the drift.
What a "scoop" I thought, if they come on quite unsuspecting, and cross the drift in a
lump without discerning our position. I shall lie low, let the advanced party go past
without a shot, and wait until the main body gets over the side within close range, and
then open magazine fire into the thick of them. Yes, it will be just when they reach that
broken ant- hill about 400 meters away that I shall give the word "Fire!"
However, it was not to be. After a short time the enemy halted, apparently for
consideration. The advanced men seemed to have a consultation, and then gradually
approached Incidentamba farm with much caution. Two or three women ran out and
waved, whereupon these men galloped up to the farm at once. What passed, of course, we
could not tell, but evidently the women gave information as to our arrival and position,
because the effect was electrical. The advanced Boers split up into two main parties, one
riding towards the river a long way to the east, and another going similarly to the west.
One man galloped back with the information obtained to the main body, which became
all bustle, and started off with their wagons behind Incidentamba, when they were lost to
sight. Of course, they were all well out of range, and as we were quite ready, the only
thing to do was to wait till they came out in the open within range, and then to shoot them
The minutes seemed to crawl—five, then ten minutes passed with no further sign of
the enemy. Suddenly, "Beg pardon, sir; I think I see something on top of that kopje on the
fur side yonder." One of the men drew my attention to a few specks which looked like
wagons moving about on the flattish shoulder of Incidentamba. Whilst I was focusing my
glasses there was a "boom" from the hill, followed by a sharp report and a puff of smoke
up in the air quite close by, then the sound as of heavy rain pattering down some 200 feet
in front of the trench, each drop raising its own little cloud of dust. This, of course, called
forth the time-honoured remarks of "What ho, she bumps!" and "Now we shan’t be long,"
which proved only too true. I was aghast, I had quite forgotten the possibility of guns
being used against me, though, had I remembered their existence, I do not know, with my
then knowledge, what difference it would have made to my defensive measures. As there
was some little uneasiness among my men, I, quite cheerful in the security of our nice
trench with the thick bulletproof parapet, at once shouted out, "It’s all right, men; keep
under cover, and they can’t touch us." A moment later there was a second boom, the shell
whistled over our heads, and the hillside some way behind the trench was spattered with
By this time we were crouching as close as possible to the parapet, which, though it
had seemed only quite a short time before so complete, now suddenly felt most woefully
inadequate, with those beastly shells dropping their bullets down from the sky. Another
boom. This time the shell burst well, and the whole ground in front of the trench was
covered with bullets, one man being hit. At this moment rifle fire began on Waschout
Hill, but no bullets came our way. Almost immediately another shot followed which
showered bullets all over us; a few more men were hit, whose groans were unpleasant to
listen to. Tools were seized, and men began frantically to try and dig themselves deeper
into the hard earth, as our trench seemed to give no more protection from the dropping
bullets than a saucer would from a storm of rain—but it was too late. We could not sink
into the earth fast enough. The Boers had got the range of the trench to a nicety, and the
shells burst over us now with a horrible methodic precision. Several men were hit, and
there was no reason why the enemy should cease to rain shrapnel over us until we were
all killed. As we were absolutely powerless to do anything, I put up the white flag. All I
could do was to thank Providence that the enemy had no quick-firing field guns or,
though "we had not been long," we should have been blotted out before we could have
As soon as the gunfire ceased, I was greatly surprised to find that no party of Boers
came down from their artillery position on Incidentamba to take our surrender, but within
three minutes some fifty Boers galloped up from the river bank on the east and the west,
and a few more came up from the south round Waschout Hill. The guard on Waschout
Hill, which had done a certain amount of damage to the enemy, had two men wounded by
rifle fire. Not a single shell had come near them, though they were close to the Kaffir
huts, which were plain enough.
What an anti-climax the reality had been from the pleasurable anticipations of the early
morn, when I had first sighted the Boers.
Of course, the women on the farm had betrayed us, but it was difficult to make out
why the Boers had at first halted and begun to be suspicious before they had seen the
women at the farm. What could they have discovered? I failed entirely to solve this
During the day’s trek the following lessons slowly evolved themselves, and were
stored in my mind in addition to those already learnt:
8. When collecting the friendly stranger and his sons in order to prevent their taking
information to the enemy of your existence and whereabouts, if you are wishful for a
"surprise packet," do not forget also to gather his wife and his daughter, his manservant
and his maidservant (who also have tongues), and his ox and his ass (which may possibly
serve the enemy). Of course, if they are very numerous or very far off, this is impossible;
only do not then hope to surprise the enemy.
9. Do not forget that, if guns are going to be used against you, a shallow trench with a
low parapet some way from it is worse than useless, even though the parapet be
bulletproof ten times over. The trench gives the gunners an object to lay on, and gives no
protection from shrapnel. Against well-aimed longrange artillery fire it would be better
to scatter the defenders in the open hidden in grass and bushes, or behind stones or ant
hills, than to keep them huddled in such a trench. With your men scattered around, you
can safely let the enemy fill your trench to the brim with shrapnel bullets.
10. Though to stop a shrapnel bullet much less actual thickness of earth is necessary than
to stop a rifle bullet, yet this earth must be in the right place. For protection you must be
able to get right close under cover. As narrow a trench as possible, with the sides and
inside of the parapet as steep as they will stand, will give you the best chance. To hollow
out the bottom of the trench sides to give extra room will be even better, because the open
top of the trench can be kept the less wide. The more like a mere slit the open top of the
trench is, the fewer the shrapnel bullets will get in.
While chewing over these lessons learnt from bitter experience, I had yet another
"O was some power the gittie gie us, To see oursels as
others see us!" BURNS.
Again did I find myself facing the same problem, this time with ten lessons to guide
me. I started off by sending our patrols as described in my last dream, but their orders
were slightly different. All human beings were to be brought into our post, and any
animals which could be of use to the enemy were to be shot, as we had no place for them.
For my defensive post I chose the position already described in my last dream, which
seemed very suitable, for the reasons already given. We consequently dug a trench
similar in plan to that already described, but, as I feared the possibility of guns being used
against us, it was of a very different section. In plan it faced north generally, and was
slightly broken forward to the front, each half being quite straight. In section it was about
three feet six inches deep, with a parapet about twelve inches high in front of it; we made
the trench as narrow as possible at the top compatible with free movement. Each man
hollowed out the under part of the trench to suit himself, and made his own portion of the
parapet to suit his height. The parapet was about two feet six inches thick at the top and
quite steep inside, being built up of pieces of broken ant-hill, which were nearly as hard
The patrols returned shortly with their bag of a few men, women and children. The
women indulged in much useless abuse, and refused to obey orders, taking the matter less
philosophically than their mankind. Here was evidently an opportunity of making use of
the short training I had once had as an A.D.C. I tried it. I treated the ladies with tons of
"tact" in my suavest manner, and repeated the only Dutch words of comfort I knew
"Wacht een beetje"—"AI zal rech kom"—but to no purpose. They had not been brought
up to appreciate tact; in fact, they were not taking any. I turned regretfully round to the
Colours-sergeant, winked solemnly and officially, and seeing an answering but respectful
quiver in his left eyelid, said—
"Which do you think is the best way of setting alight to a farm?"
"Well, sir, some prefer the large bedstead and straw, but I think the ‘armonium and a
little kerosene in one corner is as neat as anything."
There was no need for more. The ladies quite understood this sort of tact; the trouble
The Dutchmen and Kaffirs were at once started digging shelters for themselves and the
women and children. The latter were placed together, and were put into a small ravine not
far from the trench, as it was necessary to place them in a really deep trench, firstly to
keep them safe, and secondly to prevent their waving or signaling to the enemy. The
existence of this ravine, therefore, saved much digging, as it only required some
hollowing out at the bottom and a little excavation to suit admirably.
All dug with a will, and by night the shelters for the women and children, men
prisoners, and the firing trench, were nearly done. All arrangements for the guards and
sentries were the same as those described in the last dream, and after seeing everything
was all correct and the ladies provided with tents to crawl under (they had their own
blankets), I went to sleep with a feeling of well-earned security.
At daybreak next morning, as there were no signs of any enemy, we continued to
improve our trench, altering the depth and alignment where necessary, each man suiting
the size of the trench to his own legs. In the end the trench looked quite neat—"almost as
nice as mother makes it," with the fresh red earth contrasting with the yellow of the veld.
As one of my reservists remarked, it only wanted an edging of oyster shells or gingerbeer
bottles to be like his little broccoli patch at home. Upon these important details and
breakfast a good two hours had been spent, when a force was reported to the north in the
same position as described in the previous dream. It advanced in the same manner,
except, of course, the advanced men were met by no one at the farm. When I saw this, I
could not help patting myself on the back and smiling at the Dutch ladies in the pit, who
only scowled at me in return, and (whisper) spat!
The advanced party of the enemy came on, scouting carefully and stalking the farm as
they came. As they appeared quite unwarned, I was wondering if I should be able to
surprise them, all innocent of our presence, with a close-range volley, and then magazine
fire into their midst, when suddenly one man stopped and the others gathered round him.
This was when they were some 1800 meters away, about on a level with the end of
Incidentamba. They had evidently seen something and sniffed danger, for there was a
short palaver and much pointing. A messenger then galloped back to the main body,
which turned off behind Incidentamba with its wagons, etc. A small number, including a
man on a white horse, rode off in a vague way to the west. The object of this move I
could not quite see. They appeared to have a vehicle with them of some sort. The
advanced party split up as already described. As all were still at long range, we could
Very shortly "boom" went a gun from the top of Incidentamba, and a shrapnel shell
burst not far from us. A second and third followed, after which they soon picked up our
range exactly, and the shell began to burst all about us; however, we were quite snug and
happy in our nice deep trench, where we contentedly crouched. The waste of good and
valuable shrapnel shell by the enemy was the cause of much amusement to the men, who
were in great spirits, and, as one of them remarked, were "as cosy as cockroaches in a
crack." At the expenditure of many shells only two men were hit in the legs.
After a time the guns ceased fire, and we at once manned the parapet and stood up to
repel an attack, but we could see no Boers though the air began at once to whistle and
hum with bullets. Nearly all these seemed to come from the riverbank in front, to the
north and northeast, and kept the parapet one continual spurt of dust as they smacked into
it. All we could do was to fire by sound at various likely bushes on the riverbank, and this
we did with the greatest possible diligence, but no visible results.
In about a quarter of an hour, we had had five men shot through the head, the most
exposed part. The mere raising of a head to fire seemed to be absolutely fatal, as it had on
a former occasion when we were attempting to fire at close range over a parapet against
the enemy concealed. I saw two poor fellows trying to build up a pitiful little kind of
house of cards with stones and pieces of ant-hill through which to fire. This was as
conspicuous as a chimney-pot on top of the parapet, and was at once shot to powder
before they had even used it, but not before it had suggested to me the remedy for this
state of affairs. Of course, we wanted in such a case "head cover" and "loopholes." As
usual, I was wise after the event, for we had no chance of making them then, even had we
not been otherwise busy. Suddenly the noise of firing became much more intense, but
with the smack of the bullets striking the earth all round quite close it was not easy to tell
from which direction this fresh firing came. At the same time the men seemed to be
dropping much oftener, and I was impressing them with the necessity of keeping up a
brisker fire to the front, when I noticed a bullet hit our side of the parapet.
It then became clear, the enemy must evidently have got into the donga behind us (to
which I had paid no attention, as it was to the rear), and were shooting us in the back as
we stood up to our parapet.
This, I thought, must be what is called being "taken in reverse," and it was.
By the time I had gathered what was happening, about a dozen more men had been
bowled over. I then ordered the whole lot to take cover in the trench, and only to pop up
to take a shot to the front or rear. But no more could be done by us towards the rear than
to the front. The conditions were the same-no Boers to be seen. At this moment two of
the guard from Waschout Hill started to run in to our trench, and a terrific fusillade was
opened on to them, the bullets kicking up the dust all round them as they ran. One poor
fellow was dropped, but the other managed to reach our trench and fall into it. He too was
badly hit, but just had the strength to gasp out that except himself and the man who
started with him, all the guard on Waschout Hill had been killed or wounded and that the
Boers were gradually working their way up to the top. This was indeed cheering.
So hot was the fire now that no one could raise his head above ground without being
shot, and by crouching down altogether and not attempting to aim, but merely firing our
rifles over the edge of the trench, we remained for a short time without casualties. This
respite, however, was short, for the men in the right half of the trench began to drop
unaccountably whilst they were sitting well under cover, and not exposing themselves at
all. I gradually discovered the cause of this. Some snipers must have reached the top of
Waschout Hill, and were shooting straight down our right half trench. As the bullets
snicked in thicker and thicker, it was plain the number of snipers was being increased.
This, I thought, must be being "enfiladed from a flank." It was so.
Without any order, we had all instinctively vacated the right half of our trench and
crowded into the left half, which by great good luck could not be enfiladed from any
point on the south side of the river, nor indeed by rifle-fire from anywhere, as, owing to
the ground, its prolongation on the right was up above ground for some 3000 meters
away on the veld on the north bank.
Though we were huddled together quite helpless like rats in a trap, still it was in a
small degree comforting to think that, short of charging, the enemy could do nothing. For
that we fixed bayonets and grimly waited. If they did make an assault, we had bayonets,
and they had not, and we could sell our lives very dearly in a rough-and-tumble.
Alas! I was again deceived. There was to be no chance of close quarters and cold steel,
for suddenly we heard, far away out on the veld to the north, a sound as of someone
beating a tin tray, and a covey of little shells whistled into the ground close by the trench;
two of these burst on touching the ground. Right out of rifle-range, away on the open veld
on the north, I saw a party of Boers, with a white horse and a vehicle. Then I knew. But
how had they managed to hit off so well the right spot to go to enfilade our trench before
they even knew where we were?
Pom-pom-pom-pom-pom again, and the little steel devils ploughed their way into the
middle of us in our shell-trap, mangling seven men. I at once diagnosed the position with
great professional acumen; we were now enfiladed from both flanks, but the knowledge
was acquired too late to help us, for-
"We lay bare as the paunch
of the purser’s sow,
To the hail of the Nordenfeldt. "
This was the last straw; there was nothing left but surrender or entire annihilation at
long range. I surrendered.
Boers, as usual, sprang up from all round. We had fought for three hours, and had 25
killed and 17 wounded. Of these, seven only had been hit by the shrapnel and rifle-fire
from the front. All the rest had been killed or hit from the flanks, where there should be
few enemies, or the rear, where there should be none! This fact convinced me that my
preconceived notions as to the front, and its danger relative to the other points of the
compass, needed considerable modification. All my cherished ideas were being ruthlessly
swept away, and I was plunged into a sea of doubt, groping for something certain or fixed
to lay hold of. Could Longfellow, when he wrote that immortal line, "Things are not what
they seem," ever have been in my position?
The survivors were naturally a little disheartened at their total discomfiture, when all
had started so well with them in their "crack." This expressed itself in different ways. As
one man said to a corporal, who was plugging a hole in his ear with a bit of rag—
"Something sickening, I call it, this enfilading racket; you never know which way it
will take yer. I’m fairly fed up." To which the gloomy reply, "Enfiladed? Of course
we’ve been enfiladed. This ’ere trench should have been wiggled about a bit, and then
there would not have been quite so much of it. Yes, wiggled about—that’s what it should
have been. " To which chipped in a third, "Yes, and something to keep the blighters from
shooting us in the back wouldn’t `ave done us much ‘arm, anyway."
There were evidently more things in earth than I had hitherto dreamt of in my
As we trekked away to the north under a detached guard of Boers, many little points
such as the above sank into my soul, but I could not for some time solve the mystery of
why we had not succeeded in surprising the enemy. There were no men, women, children
or Kaffirs who, knowing of our arrival, could have warned them. How did they spot our
presence so soon, as they evidently must have done when they stopped and consulted in
the morning? It was not until passing Incidentamba, as I casually happened to look round
and survey the scene of the fight from the enemy’s point of view, that I discovered the
simple answer to the riddle. There on the smooth yellow slope of the veld just south of
the drift was a brownish-red streak, as conspicuous as the Long Man of Wilmington on
the dear old Sussex downs, which positively shrieked aloud, "Hi! Hi! Hi!--this way for
the British defence." I then grimly smiled to think of myself sitting like a "slick Alick" in
that poster of a trench and expecting to surprise anybody!
Besides having been enfiladed and also taken in reverse, we had again found ourselves
at a disadvantage as compared with the concealed enemy shooting at close range, from
having to show up at a fixed place In order to fire.
Eventually I collected the following lessons-
11. For a small isolated post and an active enemy, there are no flanks, no rear, or, to put
it otherwise, it is front all round.
12. Beware of being taken in reverse; take care, when placing and making your defences,
that when you are engaged in shooting the enemy to the front of your trench, his pal
cannot sneak up and shoot you in the back.
13. Beware of being enfiladed. It is nasty from one flank - far worse from both flanks.
Remember, also, that though you may arrange matters so that you cannot be enfiladed
by rifle fire, yet you may be open to it from long range, by means of gun or pompom fire.
There are few straight trenches that cannot be enfiladed from somewhere, if the enemy
can only get there. You can sometimes avoid being enfiladed by so placing your trench
that no one can get into prolongation of it to fire down it, or you can "wiggle" it about in
many ways, so that it is not straight, or make "traverses" across it, or dig separate
trenches for every two or three men.
14. Do not have your trench near rising ground over which you cannot see, and which
you cannot hold.
15. Do not huddle all your men together in a small trench like sheep in a pen. Give them
16. As once before—cover from sight is of often worth more than cover from bullets.
For close shooting from a non-concealed trench, head cover with loopholes is an
advantage. This should be bulletproof and not be conspicuously on the top of the parapet,
so as to draw fire, or it will be far more dangerous than having none.
17. To surprise the enemy is a great advantage.
18. If you wish to obtain this advantage, conceal your position. Though for promotion it
may be sound to advertise your position, for defence it is not.
19. To test the concealment or otherwise of your position, look at it from the enemy’s
point of view.
A trifling sum ot misery
New added to the foot of they account. " DRYDEN.
"Jack Frost looked forth one still clear night,
And he said, `Now I shall be out ot sight;
So over the valley and over the height
In silence !’ll take my way’." GOULD.
Again I faced the same task with a fresh mind and fresh hopes, all that remained with
me of my former attempts being 19 lessons.
Having detailed the two patrols and the guard on Waschout Hill as already described, I
spent some 20 minutes—whilst the stores, etc., were being arranged—in walking about to
choose a position to hold in the light of my 19 lessons.
I came to the conclusion that it was not any good being near the top of a hill and yet
not at the top. I would make my post on the top of Waschout Hill, where I could not be
overlooked from any place within rifle range, and where I should, I believed, have
"command." I was not quite certain what "command" meant, but I knew it was
important—it says so in the book, besides, in all the maneuvers I had attended and
tactical schemes I had seen, the "defence" always held a position on top of a hill or ridge.
My duty was plain: Waschoiit H ill seemed the only place which did not contravene any
of the 19 lessons I had learnt, and up it I walked. As I stood near one of the huts, I got an
excellent view of the drift and its southern approach just over the bulge of the hill, and a
clear view of the river further east and west. I thought at first I would demolish the few
grass and matting huts which, with some empty kerosene tins and heaps of bones and
debris, formed the Kaffir kraal; but on consideration I decided to play cunning, and that
this same innocent-looking Kaffir kraal would materially assist me to hide my defences. I
made out my plan of operations in detail, and we had soon conveyed all our stores up to
the top of the hill, and started work.
Upon the return of the patrols with their prisoners, the Dutchmen and "boys" were told
off to dig for themselves and their females. The Kaffirs of the kraal we had impressed to
assist at once.
My arrangements were as follows: All round the huts on the hilltop and close to them,
we dug some ten short lengths of deep-firing trenches, curved in plan, and each long
enough to hold five men. These trenches had extremely low parapets, really only serving
as rifle rests, some of the excavated earth being heaped up behind the trenches to the
height of a foot or so, the remainder being dealt with as described later. In most cases the
parapets were provided with grooves to fire through at ground-level, the parapet on each
side being high enough to just protect the head. As with the background the men’s heads
were not really visible, it was unnecessary to provide proper loopholes, which would
have necessitated also the use of new sandbags, which would be rather conspicuous and
troublesome to conceal. When the men using these trenches were firing, their heads
would be just above the level of the ground. Once these firing trenches were well under
way, the communication trenches were started. ‘These were to be narrow and deep,
leading from one trench to the next, and also leading from each trench back to four of the
huts, which were to be arranged as follows, to allow men to fire standing up without
being seen. Round the inside of the walls of these huts part of the excavated earth, of
which there was ample, would be built up with sandbags, pieces of anthill, stones, etc., to
a height that a man can fire over, about four and a half feet, and to a thickness of some
two and a half feet at the top, and loopholes, which would be quite invisible, cut through
the hut sides above this parapet. There was room in each hut for three men to fire. In
three of them I meant to place my best shots, to act as snipers, as they would have a more
favourable position than the men in the trenches below, and the fourth was a conning-
tower for myself. All the tents and stores were stacked inside one of the huts out of sight.
That evening, in spite of the hardness of the work, which caused much grousing among
my men, we had got the firing trenches complete, but the others were not finished—they
were only half the necessary depth. The earth walls inside the huts were also not quite
completed. The Kaffirs and Dutch had deep pits, as before, in three of the huts.
Ammunition and rations were distributed round the trenches the last thing before we
turned in. I also had all water-bottle and every vessel that would hold water, such as
empty tins, Kaffir gourds, and cooking-pots, filled and distributed in case of a long and
protracted fight. Having issued orders as to the necessity for the greatest secrecy in not
giving away our position should Boers turn up early next morning, I went to sleep with
confidence. We had, anyhow, a very good position, and though our communications were
not perfect quite, these we could soon improve if we had any time to ourselves the next
Next morning broke; no enemy in Sight. This was excellent, and before daylight we
were hard at it, finishing the work still undone. By this time the men had fully entered
into the spirit of the thing, and were quite keen on surprising Brother Boer if possible.
While the digging was proceeding, the "dixies" were being boiled for the breakfasts
inside four grass screens, some of which we found lying about, so as to show nothing but
some very natural smoke above the kraal. I picked out one or two of my smartest NCOs,
and instructed them to walk down the hill in different directions to the riverbank and try
if they could see the heads of the men in the firing trenches against the sky. If so, the
heaps of earth, tins, bones, grass, screens, etc., should be rearranged so as to give a
background to every man’s head.
To review the place generally, I and my orderly walked off some half-mile to the north
of the river. As we were going some distance, we doffed our helmets and wrapped
ourselves in two beautiful orange and magenta striped blankets, borrowed from our
Kaffir lady guests, in case any stray Boer should be lurking around, as he might be
interested to see two "khakis" wandering about on the veld. It was awkward trying to
walk with our rifles hidden under our blankets, and, moreover, every two minutes we had
to look round to see if the sentry at the camp had signaled any enemy in sight. This was
to be done by raising a pole on the highest hut. The result of our work was splendid. We
saw a Kaffir kraal on a hill, and to us "it was nothing more." There were the heaps of
debris usually round a kraal, looking most natural, but no heads were visible, and no
trenches. There was only one fault, and that was that a few thoughtless men began, as we
looked, to spread their brown army blankets out in the sun on top of the huts and on the
veld. To the veriest new chum these square blots, like squares of brown sticking-plaster
all around the kraal, would have betokened something unusual. To remedy this before it
was too late I hastened back.
After we had done our breakfasts, and some three hours after dawn, the sentry in one
of the huts reported a force to the north. We could do nothing but wait and hope;
everything was ready, and every man knew what to do. No head was to be raised nor a
rifle fired until I whistled from conning-tower; then every man would pop up and empty
his magazine into any of the enemy in range. If we were shelled, the men in the huts
could at once drop into the deep trenches and be safe. Standing in my conning-tower,
from the loopholes of which I could see the drift, I thought over the possibilities before
us. With great luck perhaps the Boer scouts would pass us on either side, and so allow us
to lie low for the main body. With a view to seeing exactly how far I would let the latter
come before opening fire, and to marking the exact spot when it would be best to give the
word, I got down into the firing trenches facing the drift and the road south to see how
matters appeared from the level of the rifles. To my intense horror, I found that from
these trenches neither the drift nor the road on the near bank of the river, until it got a
long way south of Waschout Hill, could be seen! The bulging convexity of the hill hid all
this; it must be dead ground! It was. The very spot where I could best catch the enemy,
where they must pass, was not under my fire! At most, the northern loopholes of the
conning-tower and one other hut alone could give fire on the drift. How I cursed my
stupidity! However, it was no-good. I could not now start digging fresh trenches further
down the hill; it would betray our whole position at once. I determined to make the best
of it, and if we were not discovered by the scouts, to open fire on the main body when
they were just on the other side of the river bunched up on the bank, waiting for those in
front. Here we could fire on them; but it would be at a much longer range than I had
intended. It was really a stroke of luck that I had discovered this serious fault, for
otherwise we might have let the bulk of the enemy cross the drift without discovering the
little fact of the dead ground till too late. I reflected, also (though it was not much
consolation), that I had erred in good company, for how often had I not seen a "brass-hat"
ride along on horseback, and from that height, fix the exact position for trenches in which
the rifles would be little above the ground. These trenches, however, had not been put to
the test of actual use. My error was not going to escape the same way.
Meanwhile the enemy’s scouts had advanced in much the same way as detailed before,
except that after coming past Incidentamba Farm, they had not halted suspiciously, but
came on in small groups or clumps. They crossed the river in several places and
examined the bushy banks most carefully, but finding no "khakis" there, they evidently
expected none on the open veld beyond them, for they advanced "anyway" without care.
Several of the clumps joined together, and came on chatting in one body of some 30 men.
Would they examine the kraal, or would they pass on? My heart pounded. The little hill
we were on would, unluckily, be certain to prove an attraction for them, because it was an
excellent vantage ground whence to scan the horizon to the south, and to signal back to
the main body to the north. The kraal was also a suitable place to off-saddle for a few
minutes while the main body came up to the drift, and it meant possibly a fire, and
therefore a cup of coffee. They rode up towards it laughing, chatting, and smoking quite
unsuspectingly. We uttered no sound. Our Dutch and Kaffir guests uttered no sound
either, for in their pits was a man with a rifle alongside them. At last they halted a
moment some 250 meters away on the northeast, where the slope of the hill was more
gradual and showed them all up. A few dismounted, the rest started again straight
towards us. It was not magnificent, but it was war. I whistled.
About ten of them succeeded in galloping off, also some loose horses; five or six of
them on the ground threw up their hands and came into the post. On the ground there
remained a mass of kicking horses and dead or groaning men. The other parties of scouts
to east and west had at once galloped back to the river where they dismounted under
cover and began to pepper us. Anyway, we had done something.
As soon as our immediate enemy were disposed of, we opened fire on the main body
some 1500 meters away, who had at once halted and opened out. To these we did a good
deal of damage, causing great confusion, which was comforting to watch. The Boer in
command of the main body must have gathered that the river-bed was clear, for he made
a very bold move; he drove the whole of the wagons, etc., straight on as fast as possible
over the odd 400 meters to the river and down the drift into the riverbed, where they were
safe from our fire. Their losses must have been heavy over this short distance, for they
had to abandon two of their wagons on the way to the river. This was done under cover of
the fire from a large number of riflemen, who had at once galloped up to the river-bank,
dismounted, and opened fire at us, and from two guns and a pompom, which had
immediately been driven a short distance back and then outwards to the east and west. It
was really the best thing he could have done, and if he had only known that we could not
fire on the ground to the south of the drift, he might have come straight on with a rush.
We had so far scored; but now ensued a period of stalemate. We were being fired at
from the riverbank on the north, and from ant-hills, etc., pretty well all round, and were
also under the intermittent shellfire from the two guns. They made most excellent
practice at the huts, which were soon knocked to bits, but not till they had well served
their turn. Some of the new white sandbags from inside the huts were scattered out in full
view of the enemy, and it was instructive to see what a splendid target they made, and
how often they were hit. They must have drawn a lot of fire away from the actual
trenches. Until the Boers discovered that they could advance south from the drift without
being under rifle fire from our position, they were held up.
Would they discover it? As they had ridden all round us, by now, well out of range,
they must know all about us and our isolation.
After dark, by which time we had one man killed and two wounded, the firing died
away into a continuous but desultory rifle fire, with an occasional dropping shell from the
guns. Under cover of dark, I tried to guard the drift and dead ground to the south of it, by
making men stand up and fire at that level; but towards midnight I was forced to
withdraw them into the trenches, after several casualties, as the enemy then apparently
woke up and kept up a furious rifle fire upon us for over an hour. During this time the
guns went through some mysterious evolutions. At first we got it very hot from the north,
where the guns had been all along. Then suddenly a gun was opened on us away from the
southwest, and we were shelled for a short time from both sides. After a little while the
shelling on the north ceased, and continued from the southwest only for 20 minutes. After
this the guns ceased, and the rifle fire also gradually died away.
When day dawned not a living soul was to be seen; there were the dead men, horses,
and the deserted wagons. I feared a trap, but gradually came to the conclusion the Boers
had retired. After a little we discovered the riverbed was deserted as well, but the Boers
had not retired. They had discovered the dead ground, and under the mutually supporting
fire of their guns, which had kept us to our trenches, had all crossed the drift and trekked
True, we were not captured, and had very few losses, and had severely mauled the
enemy, but they had crossed the drift. It must have evidently been of great importance to
them to go on, or they would have attempted to capture us, as they were about 500 to our
I had failed in my duty.
During the next few hours we buried the dead, tended the wounded, and took some
well-earned rest, and I had ample leisure to consider my failure and the causes. The
lessons I derived from the fight were:
20. Beware of convex hills and dead ground. Especially take care to have some place
where the enemy must come under your fire. Choose the exact position of your firing
trenches, with your eye at the level of the men who will eventually use them.
21. A hill may not, after all, though it has "command," necessarily be the best place to
22. A conspicuous "bluff" trench may cause the enemy to waste much ammunition, and
draw fire away from the actual defences.
In addition to these lessons, another little matter on my mind was what my colonel
would say at my failure.
Lying on my back, looking up at the sky, I was trying to get a few winks of sleep
myself before we started to improve our defences against a possible further attack, but it
was no use, sleep evaded me.
The clear blue vault of heaven was suddenly overcast by clouds which gradually
assumed the frowning face of my colonel. "What? You mean to say, Mr. Forethought, the
Boers have crossed?" But, luckily for me, before more could be said, the face began
slowly to fade away like that of the Cheshire puss in "Alice in Wonderland," leaving
nothing but the awful frown across the sky. This too finally dissolved, and the whole
scene changed. I had another dream.
"Sweet are the uses ot adversity. "
Once more was I fated to essay the task of defending Duffer’s Drift. This time I had 22
lessons under my belt to help me out, and in the oblivion of my dream I was spared that
sense of monotony which by now may possibly have overtaken you, "gentle reader."
After sending out the patrols, and placing a guard on Waschout Hill, as already
described, and whilst the stores were being collected, I considered deeply what position I
should take up, and walked up to the top of Waschout Hill to spy out the land. On the top
I found a Kaffir kraal, which I saw would assist me much as concealment should I decide
to hold this hill. This I was much inclined to do, but after a few minutes’ trial of the shape
of the ground, with the help of some men walking about down below, and my eyes a little
above ground level, I found that its convexity was such that, to see and fire on the drift
and the approach on the south side, I should have to abandon the top of the hill, and so
the friendly concealment of the Kaffir huts, and take up a position on the open hillside
some way down. This was, of course, quite feasible, especially if I held a position at the
top of the hill as well, near the huts on the east and southeast sides; but, as it would be
impossible to really conceal ourselves on the bare hillside, it meant giving up all idea of
surprising the enemy, which I wished to do. I must, therefore, find some other place
which would lend itself to easy and good concealment, and also have the drift or its
approaches under close rifle fire. But where to find such a place?
As I stood deep in thought, considering this knotty problem, an idea gently wormed
itself into my mind, which I at once threw out again as being absurd and out of the
question. This idea was to hold the riverbed and banks on each side of the drift! To give
up all idea of command, and, instead of seeking the nearest high ground, which comes as
natural to the student of tactics as rushing for a tree does to a squirrel, to take the lowest
ground, even though it should be all among thick cover, instead of being nicely in the
No, it was absolutely revolutionary, and against every canon I had ever read or heard
of; it was evidently the freak of a sorely tried and worried brain. I would have none of it,
and I put it firmly from me. But the more I argued to myself the absurdity of it, the more
this idea obtained possession of me. The more I said it was impossible, the more
allurements were spread before me in its favour, until each of my conscientious
objections was enmeshed and smothered in a network of specious reasons as to the
advantages of the proposal.
I resisted, I struggled, but finally fell to temptation, dressed up in the plausible guise of
reason. I would hold the riverbed.
The advantages I thus hoped to obtain were:
1. Perfect concealment and cover from sight.
2. Trenches and protection against both rifle and gunfire practically ready made.
3. Communications under good cover.
4. The enemy would be out in the open veld except along the riverbank, where we, being
in position first, would still have the advantage.
5. Plentiful water supply at hand.
True, there were a few dead animals near the drift, and the tainted air seemed to hang
heavy over the riverbed, but the carcasses could be quickly buried under the steep banks,
and, after all, one could not expect every luxury.
As our clear field of fire, which in the north was only bounded by the range of our
rifles, was on the south limited by Waschout Hill, a suitable position for the enemy to
occupy, I decided to hold the top of it as well as the riverbed. All I could spare for this
would be two NCOs and eight men, who would be able to defend the south side of the
hill, the north being under our fire from the riverbank.
Having detailed this party, I gave my instructions for the work, which was soon
started. In about a couple of hours the patrols returned with their prisoners, which were
dealt with as before.
For the post on Waschout Hill, the scheme was that the trenches should be concealed
much in the same way as described in the last dream, but great care should be taken that
no one in the post should be exposed to rifle fire from our main position in the river. I did
not wish the fire of the main body to be in any degree hampered by a fear of hitting the
men on Waschout Hill, especially at night. If we knew it was not possible to hit them, we
could shoot freely all over the hill. This detachment was to have a double lot of
waterbottles, besides every available receptacle collected in the kraal, filled with water, in
anticipation of a prolonged struggle.
The general idea for the main defensive position was to hold both sides of the river,
improving the existing steep banks and ravines into rifle-pits to contain from one to four
men. These could, with very little work, be made to give cover from all sides. As such a
large amount of the work was already done for us, we were enabled to dig many more of
these pits than the exact number required for our party. Pathways leading between these
were to be cut into the bank, so that we should be able to shift about from one position to
another. Besides the advantage this would give us in the way of moving about, according
as we wished to fire, it also meant that we should probably be able to mislead the enemy
as to our numbers-which, by such shifting tactics might, for a time at least, be much
exaggerated. The pits for fire to the north and south were nearly all so placed as to allow
the occupants to fire at ground level over the veld. They were placed well among the
bushes, only just sufficient scrub being cut away to allow a man to see all round, without
exposing the position of his trench. On each side of the river, just by the drift, were some
"spoil" heaps of earth, excavated from the road ramp. These stood some five or six feet
above the general level, and were as rough as the banks in outline. These heaps were
large enough to allow a few pits being made on them, which had the extra advantage of
height. In some of the pits, to give head-cover, loopholes of sandbags were made, though
in most cases this was not needed, owing to the concealment of the bushes. I found it was
necessary to examine personally every loophole, and correct the numerous mistakes made
in their construction. Some had the new clean sandbags exposed to full view, thus serving
as mere whited sepulchres to their occupants, others were equally conspicuous from their
absurd cock-shy appearance, others were not bulletproof, whilst others again would only
allow of shooting in one direction, or into the ground at a few meters range, or up into the
blue sky. As I corrected all these faults I thought that loopholes not made under
supervision might prove rather a snare.
The result was, in the way of concealment, splendid. From these pits with our heads at
ground level we could see quite clearly out on to the veld beyond, either from under the
thicker part of the bushes or even through those which were close to our eyes. From the
open, on the other hand, we were quite invisible, even from 300 meters distance, and
would have been more so had we had the whiskers of the "brethren." It was quite evident
to me that these same whiskers were a wise precaution of nature for this very purpose,
and part of her universal scheme of protective mimicry.
The numerous small dongas and rifts lent themselves readily to flanking fire, and in
many places the vertical banks required no cutting in order to give ideal protection
against even artillery. In others, the sides of the crooked waterways had to be merely
scooped out a little, or a shelf cut to stand upon.
In one of these deeper ravines two tents, which, being below ground level, were quite
invisible, were pitched for the women and children, and small caves cut for them in case
of a bombardment. The position extended for a length of some 150 meters on each side of
the drift along both banks of the river, and at its extremities, where an attack was most to
be feared, pits were dug down the riverbanks and across the dry riverbed. These also
were concealed as well as possible. The flanks or ends were, of course, our greatest
danger, for it was from here we might expect to be rushed, and not from the open veld. I
was undecided for some time as to whether to clear a "field of fire" along the river-banks
or not, as 1 had no wish to give away our presence by any suspicious nudity of the banks
at each end of our position. I finally decided, in order to prevent this, to clear the scrub
for as great a range as possible from the ends of the position, everywhere below the
ground level, and also on the level ground, except for a good fringe just on the edges of
the banks. This fringe I thought would be sufficient to hide the clearance to any one not
very close. I now blessed the man who had left us some cutting tools. Whilst all this was
being carried out, I paced out some ranges to the north and south, and these we marked
by a few empty tins placed on ant-heaps, etc.
At dusk, when we had nearly all the pits finished and some of the clearance done, tents
and gear were hidden, ammunition and rations distributed to all, and orders in case of an
attack given out. As I could not be everywhere, I had to rely on the outlying groups of
men fully understanding my aims beforehand, and acting on their "own." To prevent our
chance of a close-range volley into the enemy being spoilt by some over-zealous or
jumpy man opening fire at long range, I gave orders that fire was to be held as long as
possible, and that no man was to fire a shot until firing had already commenced
elsewhere (which sounded rather Irish), or my whistle sounded. This was unless the
enemy were so close to him that further silence was useless. Firing having once started,
every man was to blaze away at any enemy within range as judged by our range marks.
Finally we turned in to our pit for the night with some complacency, each eight men
furnishing their own sentry.
We had about three hours next morning before any enemy were reported from
Waschout Hill (the prearranged signal for this was the raising of a pole from one of the
huts). This time was employed in perfecting our defences in various ways. We managed
to clear away the scrub in the dry riverbed and banks for some 200 meters beyond our
line of pits on each side, and actually attained to the refinement of an "obstacle"; for at
the extremity of this clearance a sort of abatis entanglement was made with the wire from
an adjacent fence which the men had discovered. During the morning I visited the post on
Waschout Hill, found everything all correct, and took the opportunity of showing the
detachment the exact limits of our position in the riverbed, and explained what we were
going to do. After about three hours work, "Somebody in sight" was signaled, and we
soon after saw from our position a cloud of dust away to the north. This force, which
proved to be a commando, approached as already described in the last dream; all we
could do meanwhile was to sit tight in concealment. Their scouts came in clumps of twos
and threes which extended over some mile of front, the centre of the line heading for the
drift. As the scouts got closer, the natural impulse to make for the easiest crossing place
was obeyed by two or three of the parties on each side of the one approaching the drift,
and they inclined inwards and joined forces with it. This was evidently the largest party
we could hope to surprise, and we accordingly lay for it. When about 300 meters away,
the "brethren" stopped rather suspiciously. This was too much for some man on the east
side, who let fly, and the air was rent by the rattle as we emptied our magazines, killing
five of this special scouting party and two from other groups further out on either side.
We continued to fire at the scouts as they galloped back, dropping two more, and also at
the column which was about a mile away, but afforded a splendid target till it opened out.
In a very few moments our position was being shelled by three guns, but with the only
result, as far we were concerned of having one man wounded by shell-fire, though the
firing went on slowly till dark. To be accurate, I should say the river was being shelled,
our position incidentally, for shells were bursting along the river for some half-mile. The
Boers were evidently quite at sea as regards to the extent of our position and strength, and
wasted many shells. We noticed much galloping of men away to the east and west, out of
range, and guessed that these were parties who intended to strike the river at some
distance away, and gradually work along the bed, in order probably to get into close
range during the night.
We exchanged a few shots during the night along the riverbed, and not much was done
on either side, though of course we were on the qui vive all the time; but it was not till
near one in the morning that Waschout Hill had an inning.
As I had hoped, the fact that we held the kraal had not been spotted by the enemy, and
a large body of them, crawling up the south side of the hill in order to get a good fire on
to us in the river, struck a snag in the shape of a close-range volley from our detachment.
As the night was not very dark, in the panic following the first volley our men were able
(as I learnt afterwards) to stand right up and shoot at the surprised burghers bolting down
the hill. However, their panic did not last long, to judge by the sound, for after the first
volley from our Lee-Metfords and the subsequent minutes of independent firing, the
reports of our rifles were soon mingled with the softer reports of the Mausers, and we
shortly observed flashes on our side of Waschout Hill. As these could not be our men, we
knew the enemy was endeavouring to surround the detachment. We knew the ranges
fairly well, and though, as we could not see our sights, the shooting was rather
guesswork, we soon put a stop to this maneuvre by firing a small volley from three or
four rifles at each flash on the hillside. So the night passed without much incident.
During the dark we had taken the opportunity to cunningly place some new shite
sandbags (which I had found among the stores) in full view at some little distance from
our actual trenches and pits. Some men had even gone further, and added a helmet here
and a coat there peeping over the top. This ruse had been postponed until our position
was discovered, so as not to betray our presence, but after the fighting had begun no harm
was done by it. Next morning it was quite a pleasure to see the very accurate shooting
made by "Brother" at these sandbags, as betokened by the little spurts of dust.
During this day the veld to the north and south was deserted by the enemy except at
out-of-range distance, but a continuous sniping fire was kept up along the riverbanks on
each side. The Boer guns were shifted - one to the top of Incidentamba and one to the
east and west in order to enfilade the river bank but, owing to our good cover, we escaped
with two killed and three wounded. The enemy did not shell quite such a length of river
this time. I confidently expected an attack along the riverbank that night, and slightly
strengthened my flanks, even at the risk of dangerously denuding the north bank. I was
Under cover of the dark, the enemy came up to within, perhaps, 600 meters of the open
veld on the north and round the edges of Waschout Hill on the south, and kept up a
furious fire, probably to distract our attention, whilst the guns shelled us for about an
hour. As soon as the gunfire ceased they tried to rush us along the riverbed east and west,
but, owing to the abatis and the holes in the ground, and the fact that it was not a very
dark night, they were unsuccessful. However, it was touch-and-go, and a few of the Boers
did succeed in getting into our position, only to be bayoneted. Luckily the enemy did not
know our strength, or rather our weakness, or they would have persisted in their attempt
and succeeded; as it was, they must have lost 20 or 30 men killed and wounded.
Next morning, with so many men out of my original 40 out of action (not to include
Waschout Hill, whose losses I did not know) matters seemed to be serious, and I was
greatly afraid that another night would be the end of us. I was pleased to see that the
detachment on Waschout Hill had still got its tail well up, for they had hoisted a red rag
at the masthead. True, this was not the national flag, probably only a mere handkerchief,
but it was not white. The day wore on with intermittent shelling and sniping, and we all
felt that the enemy must have by now guessed our weakness, and were saving themselves
for another night attack, relying upon our being tired out. We did our best to snatch a
little sleep by turns during the day, and I did all I could to keep the spirits of the little
force up by saying that relief could not be very far off. But it was with a gloomy
desperation at best that we saw the day wear on and morning turn into afternoon.
The Boer guns had not been firing for some two hours, and the silence was just
beginning to get irritating and mysterious, when the booming of guns in the distance
aroused us to the highest pitch of excitement. We were saved! We could not say what
guns these were-they might be British or Boer but, anyway, it proved the neighbourhood
of another force. All faces lighted up, for somehow the welcome sound at once drew the
tired feeling out of us.
In order to prevent any chance of the fresh force missing our whereabouts, I collected a
few men and at once started to fire some good old British volleys into the scrub,
"Ready—present—fire!!," which were not to be mistaken. Shortly afterwards we heard
musketry in the distance, and saw a cloud of dust to the northeast. We were relieved!
Our total losses were 11 killed and 15 wounded; but we had held the drift, and so
enabled a victory to be won. I need not here touch upon the well-known and far-reaching
results of the holding of Duffer’s Drift, of the prevention thereby of Boer guns,
ammunition, and reinforcements reaching one of their sorely pressed forces at a critical
moment, and the ensuing victory gained by our side. It is now, of course, public
knowledge that this was the turning point in the war, though we, the humble instruments,
did not know what vital results hung upon our action.
That evening the relieving force halted at the drift, and, after burying the dead, we
spent some time examining the lairs of the Boer snipers, the men collecting bits of shell
and cartridge cases as mementos-only to be thrown away at once. We found some 25
dead and partly buried Boers, to whom we gave burial.
That night I did not trek, but lay down (in my own breeches and spotted waistcoat). As
the smoke from the "prime segar," presented to me by the Colonel, was eddying in spirals
over my head, these gradually changed into clouds of rosy glory, and I heard brass bands
in the distance playing a familiar air: "See the Conquering Hero comes," it sounded like.
I felt a rap on my shoulder, and heard a gentle voice say, "Arise, Sir Backsight
Forethought"; but in a trice my dream of bliss was shattered-the gentle voice changed
into the well-known croak of my servant. "Time to pack your kit on the wagon, sir.
Corfy’s been up some time now, sir."
I was still in stinking old Dreamdorp.
TERM END REVIEW
•Review all lesson objectives and material presented during the course of
•Review all class materials in preparation for the Capstone Test. Be
prepared to ask any questions you feel necessary.
•NO QUESTION IS A STUPID QUESTION!!
"If you're not gonna pull the trigger, don't point the gun."
- James Baker
"Battles are sometimes won by generals; wars are nearly always won
by sergeants and privates."
-F.E. Adcock, British classical scholar
• Identify and take notes on Field Craft Tips and lessons learned that will
assist the cadet during Cadet Field Training.
• See you this summer at Cadet Field Training.
Leadership cannot really be taught. I t can only be learned.
Har old S. Geneen (1910 - 1997) US businessman
Managing/ N ineteen Eighty-Four
FIRST CONTACT! TDME #1
ORIENTATION: You are the 2nd squad Leader, 3rd Platoon, Company B of 3-7
Infantry. For the last few days your squad has been moving across the open desert of Iraq
in Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) in a swift attack toward Baghdad. Your
purpose for being deployed here is to liberate the people of Iraq and locate/confiscate all
Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
In the forward push to date, your unit has taken large amounts of prisoners as
several units have surrendered without engagement. As you have closed on Baghdad,
resistance against Coalition Forces has stiffened, last night, another company in the 3-7
had a tough firefight with Iraqi regulars in a small bunker complex it stumbled upon in its
advance. Some Iraqi soldiers faked surrender while another group attacked the
Americans. Their attack consisted of uncoordinated AK-47, RPK, and RPG fires.
Additionally, S-2 says that they have an assortment of BRDMs, BMPs, and T-65 Tanks
that support their defensive positions.
Now, it seems that once an enemy unit is located, Coalition forces never really
know for certain if the unit is going to surrender or fight.
SITUATION: It has been a long and exhausting ride. Ahead, the lead unit has located
another small bunker complex near Checkpoint 55. The Platoon has been tasked with
clearing it as it sits astride the road the 3-7 is using in the main advance. The road is
critical for smaller wheeled vehicles as loose sand in the area prevents their rapid forward
movement. Currently it is dusk (1730). Your squad has been brought up to within 500
meters of the complex. A sandstorm is currently hitting the area hard, cutting visibility to
around 100 meters. Taking advantage of the low visibility, your squad dismounts and
heads toward the bunkers, leaving the IFVs in overwatch.
The bunkers are small concrete boxes and sandbag fortifications. You all see
about 19 Iraqi soldiers moving in the two positions. They appear to be preparing for
combat. Several sandbag fighting positions and two bunkers are directly in front of you.
There is one BRDM in a hull down position, the crew outside digging a shelter.
The soldier next to you pulls on your sleeve and says, “Hey Sarge, there are a
couple guys giving up.” On a small hill to your right, you see a group of three Iraqis
struggling toward you and waving white shirts on sticks.
The rest of the squad is looking at you. What do you do?
ORIENTATION: You are the 1st Squad Leader, 1st Platoon, Company A of the
1st BN/504th (82nd Airborne Infantry). You have been operating for the last two
months in the dry desert conditions of the South African country of Zymdoa.
Your purpose for being deployed here is to enforce an unsteady peace between
To date you have been conducting security patrols to maintain the peace
and to assist with Humanitarian Relief operations. An elusive unconventional
guerrilla force armed with AK-47s, RPKs, and RPGs has been rebelling against
the presence of your unit and the arrests that have been made to keep the
peace. Contact with the guerrillas has always been brief, as they tend to run
upon contact with US forces.
SITUATION: The Platoon Leader tasked you with conducting a security patrol
South East to link up with 2nd Platoon and ensure that there were no guerillas
operating in the valley between the two units. Currently it is dusk (1930). Your
squad has been on patrol for 2 hours and is now nearing a small grouping of
hovels and some cultivated land. The village is one kilometer away from the 2nd
Platoon’s position. You have had no contact with enemy forces to this point.
You and your men are tired and ready for a rest.
As you approach, you can see several villagers in and around the huts
and water well. They appear to be cooking and conversing and unconcerned
about your presence. You can see a low wall and a road to your front, and two
rising hills on either side. Smoke from several fire pits obscures the fields
Suddenly a RPK opens up from a hut behind the low wall downing a
member of the first fire team. His team goes prone and begins to return fire.
Several other weapons, you estimate four AK-47s and another RPK, also begin
to fire into your patrol from the village. Villagers run about in a chaotic frenzy.
The steady fire from the vil has pinned down the first team.
Immediately you get on the radio and call for artillery support. Your
Platoon Leader informs you that the artillery is unable to provide you fire support
in that area and denies you fires. Enemy fire against you and the remainder of
the squad is sporadic and ineffective at the moment.
The rest of the squad is looking at you. What do you do?
ASSAULT ! TDME #3
ORIENTATION: You are the 3rd Platoon Leader, Company A of the 1-30th (3rd
ID). For the last 2 weeks you and your unit have been racing across Iraq in an
effort to reach Baghdad. Your purpose for being deployed here is to liberate the
people of Iraq from the harsh regime of Saddam Hussein.
Your unit has been encountering varying levels of resistance since the
operation began. Coalition forces have taken many prisoners, but there are still
many Iraqi soldiers willing to fight what they see as an aggressive invader.
Regular Iraqi Army forces and Republican Guard forces armed with AK-47s,
RPKs, and RPGs have been conducting a disorganized withdrawl back toward
SITUATION: Your unit has been moving slowly along the El Saib highway
near the Tigris River. The objective of your push is to capture a large bridge that
will allow the 3rd ID to conduct its attack on its assigned sector of Baghdad. Your
company is the Main Effort. Currently it is noon. Several oil fires burn in the
vicinity of El Basaria. Your platoon, as the lead element of the company, arrives
at the bridge first. The Company Commander planned for you to move across
the bridge with support from the other two platoons in the company in a rapid
frontal assault. One platoon apparently got lost and the other is engaged with
another Iraqi force to the east. As you arrive at the bridge, you can see about 13
Iraqis and a machine gun dug in around the bridge. Another 12 are on the hill
next to them. They have two trucks and a light anti-tank cannon there as well.
Through the smoke you can see another squad-sized element with a machine
gun across the bridge (near Check Point 4). They all look to be ready for a fight.
They have seen the dust trails of your Bradley IFVs as you followed came upon
their position. Their small arms fire is sporadic against the sand and rock
formations to your front. It is only a matter of time until some indirect fires will be
called in on you.
Immediately you get on the radio and call for artillery support. Your
Company Commander informs you that the artillery is unable to provide you fire
support in that area due to a “No Fire Area (Artillery)” that has been placed
around the bridge. “We need that bridge intact! We have to take it before they
can blow the thing up! Move in there!” He informs you that mortars and a single
Apache helicopter with two Hellfire Missiles are available. You move your four
Bradley IFVs close to the ridge and begin to disseminate your plan….
What do you do?
0 50 100
Introduction to Warfighting
Military science 103
Self paced text
Close With And Destroy The Enemy