Ok kiddies, I have a lot of spare time here lately so I wanted to address a very nerve racking problem with new players and even some old players who never took the time to learn. In light of these aggravating habits and lacks of knowledge I am making a guide to being tactical. It will cover a wide variety of subjects, some more in depth than others, but by the end of this thread you should be able to walk away with new knowledge and a better player. So, without further adieu, here we go. Tactical Communications So, you and your team do not have any of those high speed throat mics that pick up whispers but you are moving through the terrain and have yet to be engaged by enemy forces. This is a situation where you should BE QUIET! Talking out loud or even worse, yelling, is a stupid decision. Why you ask? Simply for the fact, if they have not found you yet, why give yourselves away and ruin the element of surprise. “All warfare is based on deception.” – The Art of War People are lazy, so if you make your presence unknown, they will lower their guard and your attack will be more successful than it would be if they knew you were coming and from where. So how do you communicate silently? Simple; hand signals. You can use the ones I am about to provide or you and your team can come up with your own TTP’s. (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures) These allow your team to communicate with each other and everyone will know exactly what you are saying. An example being, you are point man for the right side on a staggered column movement and you spot movement fifty meters ahead. Holding up a flat hand like you want a high five will freeze the team where they are. Then waving your hand towards the ground will make them all go prone, taking 360 degree security while you look back and basically karate chop toward the position of the movement you had spotted. These actions just stopped your team from walking into a possible ambush, got them all into the prone which provides concealment and complete security on all sides, and made your commander aware of a possible enemy location in three simple hand movements without ever giving your teams position away. Much better than yelling or shooting at the squirrel and letting the enemy who is actually on the opposite side know where you are right? I thought so. So here is the Army TTP on hand signals. Be aware these are VERY generic and old. BTW all hand and arm signals are made with your NON firing hand; this means the one that isn’t on your trigger! Moving Tactically 風 Swift as the wind 林 Quiet as the forest 火 Conquer like the fire 山 Steady as the mountain The worst decision is no decision. This is something I learned early on in the Army and since then I have seen many situations that proved it true. Moving tactically is more than just walking through the woods or down the trail, it is moving in a way that shows unit cohesion and preparedness. It allows your unit to successfully and safely react to fire when the **** hits the fan. How you move is determined by a lot of things including instinct and good judgment, remember though, how you move could be the deciding factor as to whether or not your team makes it to the objective. Yes, it is that important. So in this subject we are going to go over certain movements and how to react to fire from these positions. Ready? The File- A single file line is easy right? Wrong. A lot more comes into play here than your average person would think. First let’s go over when this should be used. - When moving through dense brush. - When moving along trails to small for a wedge or column. - When trying to expedite your teams movements and get to the objective quickly. - When METTTC determines this movement necessary. Now that we know the ideal times to use the file let’s discuss what the file does and does not provide for your team. When using the file your team has excellent left and right security, speed of movement, and allows versatility when it comes to switching to another formation. On the downside, the file does not provide good forward or rear security and makes your point man a target for the enemy. So how exactly do you accomplish a GOOD file movement? It is actually up to the team leader but general TTP is this. Your point man is the tip of the spear and never your team leader; he must be vigilant of booby traps and IED’s and he is also the first line for calling out incoming fire. Your rear man is also equally important; he is the only person keeping you from being attacked from the rear unknowingly. How you form up the center of your line is up to you but there are a few things you need to know. When moving tactically your mean should have alternating fields of fire; meaning that if the man in front of you is looking left, you should be looking right. Your file should be spread out, 3-5 meters in between each man, because one good grenade can kill a lot of people when they are nut to butt. So how do we react to fire from this formation? It is actually really simple. Let’s say you get shot at from the right side, well now that you have been shot at, all those hand signals go out the window. You are compromised and the world is blowing up all around you, why be quiet now? Whoever gets it out first should yell “CONTACT RIGHT!” At this point, the entire team should move like water, facing right, moving forward, and taking cover. If cover is not present what do we do? Go prone. The smaller your silhouette is; the better. From here there are many options available but this comes later, I am just teaching you basic react to fire techniques for this particular formation. Obviously, the same applies to the left side but what about front and rear? If someone yells contact front, the team will move forward and form a wedge off of the point man, taking cover and firing. The same applies to the rear. Now that we have the basics down, let’s move onto the next formation. The Wedge- This is a personal favorite of mine, the wedge is basically an upside down vee and provides an excellent advantage over the file. Let’s talk about when it should be used first though shall we? - When negotiating an open field. - When moving through light vegetation. - When METTTC determines it necessary. So what does a wedge bring to the table when moving tactically? Well the one major thing is an excellent forward security but it also allows a good reaction to indirect fire and rear contact, it also allows for a less noticeable movement. Meaning the enemy may spot one of you but he will most likely miss one or two of you and underestimate his opposition. What it does not provide is good rear security or good reaction to left and right contact. So how do we move in this formation? Well, the wedge is actually an easy one; normally you have a point man followed by people to his left and right rear. There should always be a strong side, meaning one side should always have at least one more person than the other. This provides good security to an anticipated contact on a particular side. Some units place their team leader in the middle of the wedge directly behind the point man, I advise against this because you never want to identify your team leader. There should be, as with the file, at least 3-5 meters between each man. Now let’s learn the very easy way to react to fire from this formation. This explanation is very simple and short, when reacting to fire from any side including front and rear in the wedge, your team will move up and form a line on the forward most man to the fire. See, simple right? Yeah I thought so. The Column and Staggered Column O-O -----------------O O-O -------------------O Column---------------O -----------------Staggered Column This is used mostly when moving down a road or large trail and not really any other time unless METTTC determines it necessary. This is also a very simple formation and it brings a lot of good things to the table and very few bad things. Some good things are excellent left and right security, better forward and rear security than the file, and a better visual for entire team. The worst of the bad things is that your team because an easily spotted target. So let’s learn how to move in a column. Paying attention to the nifty little diagram I gave above you should get the general idea of the difference between a column and a staggered column. A column is two files, one on each side of the road in this instance. In a staggered column you should never be online with the man across the road from you. 3-5 meters distance between the men of course. Your point men serve the same purpose as they do in the file and so do your rear men. The men on the left side should look left and vice-versa with the right side. Now for the tricky part, this formation requires two team leaders; or more technically a team leader and a squad leader. This serves a good purpose when reacting to fire which will be explained later. When moving in the formation your speed should be good but not running, your team is a target when moving like this so moving quickly is smart but running will distract the men.