Tactical and Simulation Gaming
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Meet the Squad


In today’s brief we will be discussing the squad and fire team elements, and what each team member’s job and/or purpose is. The first thing we need to cover is a few definitions.


A soldier is a person who has enlisted with, or has been conscripted into, the armed forces of a country. The term soldier is usually limited to people who serve in the army. Groups of soldiers are usually divided into military units, which are organized in a strictly hierarchical fashion. A soldier would be considered one individual, the lowest on the list of military unit structure.

Fire team:

A fire team is a military unit consisting of usually four soldiers. In the US Army for example, a fire team would consist of a fire team leader, a grenadier, A machine gunner, and a rifleman. Often the rifleman would be tasked with a missile system, giving the fire team anti-armor capabilities. The fire team is the building block of any infantry unit, and is the smallest team element that can deploy independently.


In today’s US Army, a squad is a military unit consisting of approximately nine soldiers. The squad usually consists of two fire teams and a squad leader. Not to long ago the US Army had a twelve man squad consisting of three fire teams of four soldiers each. The nine-man squad has become standard due to the proliferation of armed infantry fighting vehicles, apparently all of which have a capacity of nine personal. This is true for even light infantry units.

How this pertains to computer gaming:

What you basically need to know is that everything usually evolves around the fire team. Each fire team is comprised of the right mix of weapon systems, making the fire team one mean lean fighting machine. The best set up to have in game is two fire teams, and a squad leader running the show. If your lucky enough to have enough players for three or more fire teams, all the better. It just starts getting a little more hectic for the squad leader with more fire teams.

Each squad is usually run by an experienced non-commissioned officer, In the US Army this rank is usually a Staff Sergeant (SSG). Each fire team is usually run by a newbie sergeant, simply called Sergeant, but also known as buck sergeants.

If you have 9 people playing a tactical shooter then you have a squad. One person should be elected squad leader before the mission starts, and the other players divided into two or more fire teams. Each fire team is assigned a letter for easy use especially under virtual combat.

These designations are usually alpha, bravo, charlie, and delta. (If you have a sniper team or two, they are usually designated as sierra 1 and sierra 2, and so on.)

The squad leader gives the fire team orders, while a fire team leader controls his team to accomplish the mission.

So if the squad leader orders alpha fire team to move up 50 yards, take fighting positions and engage the enemy at 12 O’clock, while bravo fire team will move left, turn North, then come into the enemies left flank, everyone knows what needs to be done, and the squad leader can be prepared to change the orders or issue a withdraw if necessary. If you have a third, charlie, fire team the squad leader can use them to reinforce a team, or to rescue an overwhelmed team if necessary.

Below is a list of each squad member and there purpose:

Squad leader:

US Army soldiers work as a member of a squad. Squads are lead by the Squad leader, who has the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSG). Armed with the same weapons as a rifleman, he is fast and maneuverable. Additionally all SSGs are equipped with binoculars. SSGs also can use the squad radio to issue commands.

Your primary responsibility is leadership in combat, requiring competence, character and skill. Squad Leaders take charge by synchronizing the efforts of their fire teams. Armed with the M16A2 rifle or M4/M4A1 carbine, the Squad/Team Leader accepts overall responsibility for the success or failure of accomplishing the mission.

Fire team leader:

Each squad is divided into 1 – 4 fire teams each having their own purpose. The leaders of these fire teams are Sergeants. Their purpose is to lead their teams to execute a command given by the squad leader in order to complete a mission. Since they are also armed with a rifle, their capabilities are the same as the SSG and rifleman. SGTs also are issued binoculars.

This soldier is a fighting leader, assisting the squad leader by taking charge of a 3-person fire team. Armed with the M16A2 rifle or M4/M4A1 carbine, the team leader controls the actions, movement and placement of fire of his fire team.


The rifleman makes up the bulk of the infantry squad. To make the rifleman more versatile in all types of combat environments, they are equipped with a variety of rifles and grenades.

The purpose of the rifleman is to complete his mission, give covering fire and act as a maneuver element (when organized into fire teams) to execute the squad leader’s plan.

Automatic rifleman:

Armed with the M249 SAW, the automatic rifleman combines awesome firepower with quick maneuverability. The automatic rifleman is essential in providing overwhelming volumes of suppressive fire from medium to long range. No fire team is complete without the Automatic Rifleman.

The Automatic Rifleman provides a fire team with a belt-fed machine gun. The M249’s high rate of fire and large ammunition capacity gives a squad/fire team a weapon that maintains a consistent rate of fire to provide cover for the unit. However, this weapon has its drawbacks, particularly weight. Due to this, the automatic rifleman is the slowest among the classes available.


The grenadier is a key member of the U.S. Army fire team. Armed with an M16 and M203 grenade launcher, the grenadier can deliver explosive fire at point and area targets from medium to long distances.

The grenadier is capable of sending 40mm high explosive grenades a great distance away, providing support fire for the fire team / squad. Additionally grenadiers also have a fully functional M16A2. Each fire team has one grenadier. Since their role is support, grenadiers also carry a larger inventory of smoke and stun grenades. However, their fragmentation grenade inventory is greatly reduced, since they already carry 40mm grenade


Wikipedia (what a wonderful tool)

America’s Army (the game site and fan site kit)

FM 7-8 Infantry Rifle Platoon

FM 22-102 Soldier Team Development



In today’s brief we will be discussing the squad and fire team formations and when to use them. Of course we will also discuss when not to use them.


Formations are arrangements of elements and soldiers in relations to each other. Squads/fire teams use formations for control and security. Leaders choose formations based on their analysis of the different factors of the mission. Leaders are up front in formations. This allows the leader to lead by example, set the pace, and direct the action. All members of a fire team should be able to see there fire team leader at all times.

Different formations:

Column formation:

Column formations are also known as file formations because you are in a single file line behind the fire team leader. Column formations are usually used when the terrain is dense, full of vegetation, or close. The column is the easiest to control because you simply follow the man in front of you, who is following the fire team leader. But the downside is that there is less flexibility in a column formation. It takes longer to get your men adjusted to a certain situation. The column formation is the least secure, you have fire capabilities on your left and right flanks but hardly any in the front or rear.

The best time to use a column formation is when you are pretty sure the area you are in is secured, (in front of enemy lines), and you need to get from point A to point B pretty fast.

Staggered column formation:

Staggered column is just a sloppy column formation. Every other man is slightly offset to the left or right and able to cover and see just a little bit more then a column formation. If your in a desert or open area, then the staggered column could be more useful then the strait and narrow column formation.

Line formation:

A line formation is when all your men come up shoulder to shoulder with you. You still can keep a set interval but for explanation purposes, we will say shoulder to shoulder. This formation is best for heavy forward firepower, like when assaulting a forward objective. But this formation leaves your flanks completely open, and if you don’t control the battlefield you can easily be outflanked and eventually destroyed. It’s always best to have other fire teams or squads on your left and right to control the flanks or move up to your forward targets flank while your line formation of heavy fire keeps the enemy suppressed.

Wedge formation:

The wedge is the basic, and most popular fire team and/or squad formation. The intervals between team members is usually ten meters. The wedge expands and contracts, depending on the terrain. When rough terrain, poor visibility, or other factors make controlling the fire team difficult the normal interval is reduced. The sides of the wedge can collapse into a column/file formation for very difficult terrain, then re-open as needed. The wedge formation is very flexible.

The wedge formation should be used the most, especially in an enemy controlled zone, (behind enemy lines.) The wedge formation provides excellent front and flank coverage, but no back coverage.

Vee formation:

The vee formation is a reverse wedge formation. The fire team and/or squad form a V with the fire team leader or squad leader at the point. This formation gives a lot of firepower on a known enemy, almost surrounding the enemy. But it is very hard to control and adjust. It is not recommended unless you have an enemy pinned and want to move in to squeeze the enemy to death.

Echelon formation (left or right):

The echelon formation is used to cross open areas where you know the enemy is on one side or the other of your flank. It gives you good firepower forward and to either the left or right of your direction of movement. The downside side means that your opposite flank is totally open and in danger. Moving with an enemy on one or both of your flanks is always dangerous and should be avoided.

Delta Formation:

Used mainly for a tight defensive hold. Very good command and control, but not much firepower due to be so close to each other. If waiting for an extraction, or maybe defending a high priority person or target. Kind of like a circle around the important command and control elements.

So how to use formations in a computer game:

Say you’re the squad leader of a 9 man squad (including yourself), or even just a 4 man fire team leader (including yourself.) Your objective is to leave your forward base of operations on foot, cross over enemy lines, infiltrate a enemy forward supply point and destroy it. (All other things, like crossing danger zones and proper movements aside, lets talk about the formations you use only.)

You leave your base in a column formation because you want to get from point A to point B pretty quickly, and the friendlies have a pretty good hold on this side of the enemy line. You approach the enemy lines, you then order your squad/team into a wedge formation for the best overall protection. You go through some rough woodland area, the wedge constricts in size in order to maintain visibility. At some point it gets so thick you order your men into a staggered column. Once you exit through the thick woodland, the wedge expands back to proper size. You continue on and right before you crest the hill that you already map recon’ed, you order your men into a line formation. This will give maximum firepower to the front where the enemy better be. Your squad/team goes prone and you crest the hill and on your command engage the enemy. Ok, the enemies are about gone, but you want to sweep in and clear it. You order a vee formation, so you can put the squeeze on the enemy position and close in for the final kills.

There, that covered a few of the formations and what they might be used for. Realize that we didn’t discuss cover fire and bounding overwatch maneuvers, or any of the other things you have to consider and take into account. The purpose was just to explain the formations at this time. More advance lessons will come later in other tactical briefs.


Wikipedia (what a wonderful tool)

Armed Assault (the computer game)

FM 7-8 Infantry Rifle Platoon

FM 22-102 Soldier Team Development



In today’s brief we will be discussing the squad and fire team movements and when to use which type. We will also discuss danger areas and crossing techniques.


A movement technique is the way you as an individual, or as a fire team, or a squad move through terrain. There are three common military style movement techniques. There are others but these are the most used for a fire team or squad.

The three movements we will discuss are traveling, traveling overwatch, and bounding overwatch. The selection of movement is determined by either the fire team leader or the squad leader, and based on likelihood of enemy contact and the need for speed. In real life these movements and formations are given with hand and arm signals, but in our virtual computer world most of the time it’s over a voice communications program. Any of the below listed movement techniques can be used with any of the formations we discussed in tactical brief number two, formations.

Different movements:


Traveling is used when enemy contact is not likely and speed is needed. With traveling you have good, but not great control over your element. Your element is less dispersed. Your speed is fast, but security is weak.

With traveling you simply form up in the ordered formation and move out from point A to point B. Your trying to get somewhere quick, but not too worried about security at the moment. Most of the time your behind friendly controlled lines.

Traveling overwatch:

Traveling overwatch is used when contact with the enemy is possible. You have less control of your element because your more spaced out, Which means your element is more dispersed. Your speed is slower then regular traveling, because your on a higher alert level, therefore security is a little better.

With traveling overwatch, your fire team or squad forms up in the ordered formation, usually a wedge, but with more space and more alertness. If your moving as a squad the squad leader may break the formation down into two fire teams, alpha fire team taking the lead, with the squad leader in the middle, then followed by bravo fire team.

Bounding overwatch:

Bounding overwatch is used when contact is expected, when the fire team leader or squad leader believes that the enemy is near, or when a large area or danger area needs to be crossed.

Bounding overwatch in real life is only done at the squad level or higher because fire teams are never to be broken up, and it takes two different elements (in a squads case, an alpha fire team and a bravo fire team.) But for virtual computer games if it’s only 4 on 4 or something similar, then it would be OK to break down to smaller fire teams. But for this brief we will work as a proper squad.

The lead fire team overwatches first. Soldiers scan for enemies and enemies positions. The squad leader usually stays with the overwatch team.

The trail fire team bounds and signals the squad leader when his team completes his bound and is in a over watch position. The fire team leader should know where the objective is and how best to get there using the available terrain. The overwatching fire team needs to know where the other fire team is and there direction, so they can properly support them especially if they come under fire.

Bounding overwatch works like this: The squad leader, using intelligence, binoculars, and map recon techniques, calls out the beginning bounding overwatch location, the direction of movement, and the end point. The alpha fire team moves out depending on terrain, (close terrain only 20 yards or less, while a nice open area could be 50 yards or more if necessary, but never over extended past the cover teams sight and fire power.) Once the alpha fire team moves out and finds a good cover location overlooking the direction of movement, the fire team leader signals the second fire team, fire team bravo, to move out. Bravo fire team moves past the alpha fire team and takes up a good cover position overlooking the direction of movement. After scanning the area for enemies, bravo fire team leader signals alpha team to move forward and this continues till out of the area or enemy contact occurs.

The squad leader can stay with one fire team or can move back and forth from fire team to fire team as needed, because one fire team will always be passing another one stopped and scanning. (basically bunny hopping team by team.)

Danger areas:

A danger area is any area on the movement route that might expose the unit to enemy observation, fire, or both.

You should always try to avoid danger areas, but if it’s a needed area to cross it should be done as safe as possible and as quickly as possible.

Technically to cross a danger area you should do three things:

1. Designate rally points on both sides of the danger area in case something goes wrong and the unit breaks.
2. Secure the side your on, both your flanks and rear.
3. Recon and secure the far side of the danger area before sending over the full unit.

There are many danger areas, but the most common are roads, streams, and/or open areas.

To cross an open area, stay concealed and observe carefully from your near side. Post security units on the left and right, and also the rear for a early warning incase of enemy contact. Then send a small recon team across the area to clear and secure the far side. Once the all clear is received send the rest of the units over, the next to last being the flank security units, then finally the rear security unit.

To cross a road or trail, do it at a bend or as near to a bend as possible, this minimizes your exposure.

To cross a stream or river, use the same techniques as crossing a road, just make sure the stream/river is shallow enough to get your men across.


Wikipedia (what a wonderful tool)

Armed Assault (the computer game)

FM 7-8 Infantry Rifle Platoon

FM 22-102 Soldier Team Development

Move to Contact


OK virtual soldiers, we got the basics down, right?

We know the role of each member in a squad and fire team, right?

We know the basic combat formations and when to use them, right?

We know how to move from point A to point B using one of the three common military movements, right?

Now it’s time to get into the meat and potatoes of virtual combat.

Today we are going to talk about our first actual combat scenario. We’re going to discuss and demonstrate movement to contact. What I mean by that is, what you as a virtual squad or fire team do when you run into the enemy.

I could go into great detail about all the steps and procedures of an ambush or an assault like forms of movement, sequence of operations, assembly areas, line of departure, movement, deployment, and then eventually the assault. But I want to concentrate on the basics so you can act and react with at least a minimal amount of tactics and teamwork. I know there is a lot more to this stuff than the simple steps presented here, but that’s not the purpose of these “tactical briefs”.

There are two types of enemy contact that we will discuss. The first is mutual contact, where you see the enemy and the enemy sees you. The second is non-mutual, where you spot the enemy but they don’t spot you. You then set up a hasty ambush (or a retreat, if it’s not winnable). By the way, if the enemy sees you first and you don’t see them, that’s an ambush on you and that’s not good.


Let’s discuss mutual contact. Say for example you have a squad out on patrol, you’re looking for the enemy; the enemy is looking for you. You have your squad broken down into two fire teams, Alpha and Bravo. You’re moving either in an overwatch or bounding overwatch.

As the lead fire team turns a bend or crests a hill, and there in front of you at 50, 100, or 200 meters is an enemy patrol. That patrol sees you and they begin to maneuver for engagement.

The first thing the lead fire team does is go prone. If cover is nearby, and I’m talking within 10 to 15 meters, then feel free to dive for cover. But no matter what — get down. Make yourself harder to hit because bullets will be flying within seconds from this point, if they aren’t already.

The lead fire team then begins to immediately engage the enemy. The fire team leader reports the contact to the squad leader, who should be between the two fire teams. The squad leader then makes an immediate decision on where to send the second fire team for support. If you can’t see, feel free to take a quick peek at your map. Locate where the woods and terrain features are, but don’t waste much time. You have no more than 10 seconds. 5 would be better to order your second fire team to flank left or right. You, as the squad leader can then either move up to support the first fire team, or go with the second fire team on the flank.

You would order the fire team to flank from the best position of cover, or at least concealment. If there is a small decline in the terrain to the left along with some woodland, and on the right side is an open area, then the left side would be best.

While the first fire team is laying suppressive fire by keeping the enemy pinned or at least their heads down, the other fire team would move as fast as possible to the direct flank, staying out of sight and hopefully the minds of the enemy. Once that fire team has gone enough flank distance, they then move up into the side of the enemy who are hopefully still pinned down. The second flanking fire team then moves in and destroys the enemy patrol while the first fire team continues suppression.

Once the firefight has ended, one fire team provides cover while the other moves in for the confirmed kills.


Non-mutual is when the front team is moving forward and they spot the enemy patrol but the enemy patrol has not spotted them. They immediately go prone to not be seen. One member can stay in the sight of the enemy for Intel, while the rest of the team slowly move back out of view. The fire team leader then contacts the squad leader. The squad leader then makes a decision on whether to set up an ambush on the enemy patrol, call in for support, or just disengage.

If the squad leader decides to conduct a hasty ambush then the fire teams are pulled back. A plan is made based on known information like enemy movement, strength, and of course the all important terrain. He will determine the best place for the ambush that would maximize surprise and firepower.


Wikipedia (what a wonderful tool)
Armed Assault (the computer game)
FM 7-8 Infantry Rifle Platoon
FM 22-102 Soldier Team Development

Plan and execute a squad size assault


Welcome virtual soldier. Today we will be discussing how to plan as a squad leader, and then execute that plan, an assault on a small town.

One of the most important things to know about launching an assault is intelligence. You need to know what your squad is up against, and if they are capable of succeeding in that assault. Sending a squad of men against a fortified company of enemy infantry with armor and air support is not a winnable situation.

If you have support of your own like air support or a sniper support team. You have to take that into account. Brief the support units and have them assigned to a place to provide that support and be able to respond quickly enough when time for that support is needed.

Besides intelligence, you need to know how to read a map, make your plan based on enemy forces, enemy contact, and terrain layout of a map. Plan to protect your flanks, and be able to retreat if necessary.

I’ve decided with the last two tactical brief articles to present them in a little different fashion. I’m going to show you an assault mission, and explain what and why I did certain things.

This mission is based on an Armed Assault game mission, but it can be used with any tactical simulation that allows you the freedom to plan, move, and attack as needed. Unfortunately, some games force you down a certain path, where your leadership skills aren’t that important. But for the games that allow free movement, like the excellent Armed Assault, you can attack a defended position, and if done right the enemy won’t even know your team is there until it’s too late.

Final word before we start. Make a plan, but be flexible. Sometimes you have to change your plan on the fly. Be prepared to do that as a leader, and as a soldier be prepared to follow new orders.

Remember what I said in the introduction of this briefing — using available intel then good map reading skills are the first two and most important things to know.

In Armed Assault the mission briefing should give you the needed intel on the mission. The mission maker shouldn’t create missions that are not winnable.

As for the map, learn how to read terrain and then use that terrain to get your teams into position to engage and destroy the enemy. In Armed Assault, zoom in and out with the mouse wheel. Know where the hills are and which way the terrain lines (contour lines) move.

Don’t rush planning — spend some time with it. Double-clicking on your map allows you to insert a text message on the map. This can be used as a reminder to you during the mission in single player mode, or you can use it to instruct and brief your fire teams on the plan during multiplayer sessions. Everyone in your squad can see these text messages.

You then start your mission only after you’ve made a plan and explained the plan to your squad members.

First we order the squad to load up in their vehicles. Once mounted, order them into a column formation and return to formation. I always drive the lead vehicle due to the limits of intelligence in the AI, but if you’re doing a multiplayer mission, make sure humans do the driving.

After a check of the map and intended direction is determined by using the compass, the squad moves out in from a friendly, secured area towards waypoint 1.

We arrive at waypoint 1 which is still far enough away from the assault location to not be spotted.

The squad is ordered to dismount and return to formation.

As a squad leader, order your squad into fire teams using the “Assign” menu of Armed Assault. Also order your AI to “Hold Fire” and “Combat Mode, Danger”. This keeps them from firing too early and makes them go into the prone position whenever you stop.

We move out in wedge formation towards the town from waypoint 1 to waypoint 2. Noticed how I used the hill to approach the town for protection and not be seen.

Now as a squad leader, most of my mission time is watching, observing, ordering, and adjusting my orders to my fire teams. Don’t watch individuals. Concentrate on the entire fire or support teams as a group.

Once I have both alpha team (red) and bravo team (blue) in position, I order an “Open Fire” in the target menu. Alpha team then moves up to the hills ridge, overwatches the town, and opens fire on targets.

Bravo team moves into location and opens fire.

You’ll notice that Alpha team has been ordered into line formation to maximize firepower while bravo team is still being ordered to move from cover-to-cover on the flank.

If a man goes down, you can order a medic to move near the injured soldier. Then use the action menu of your wounded soldier and order him to “Heal at Medic”. Keep your people healthy. If they remain injured, move them back to a support / overwatch role.

Depending on the game settings difficulty, whenever a friendly unit sees an enemy it will appear on the map. You can then use the target menu to assign team members to engage a specific target.

Once all known enemies have been eliminated. Then order one team to cover from high ground, and send the other team into the town to sweep and clear.

Now don’t be afraid to adjust your plan. In this case, alpha team cannot cover bravo team properly due to obstructing buildings, so I order alpha team to move to another overwatch location.


Once the town has been swept and cleared, have your squad regroup, check for injuries, re-arm, and prepare for either defending the location you have just taken, or follow new orders. Hopefully, the new orders will be an extraction order back to the rear for some much needed R&R.


Wikipedia (what a wonderful tool)
Armed Assault (the computer game)
FM 7-8 Infantry Rifle Platoon
FM 22-102 Soldier Team Development

SWAT Tactics and Procedures

Mainly for the SWAT 3 and SWAT 4 game from Sierra/Irrational Games, but these tactics and procedures can be used on any urban type game.

Purpose of SWAT:

The mission of the Special Weapons and Tactics team is to provide ready response to situations beyond the capabilities of normally equipped and trained law enforcement officers. SWAT responds to three basic type calls.

a) Barricaded person(s).
b) Hostage situation.
c) High risk warrant serves.

Voice Communications:

All game play members are expected to utilize a dedicated team speak server. It is recommended and highly suggested that all gamers playing co-op operate as one team with one leader. Using the team speak server is for communications with all members.

If there is a large map, and the element leader decides to split the teams into two. In game VOIP can then be used. Red team will “ignore” members of blue team, and visa versa. So team operations will be over in game VOIP, while overall communications will be utilized with the team speak server.

Weapon and Equipment Load Out:

The default load out for each officer is the following:
One main assault weapon (recommend either the MP5 or G36), a Tazer for a secondary weapon, three flash bangs, and two door wedges..

The above is known as a “default” load out, but can be changed by the element leader, or the individual based on mission type and number of partners.

There are two types of ammo modeled in game. Full Medal Jacket (FMJ) is recommended for known suspects with body armor. Be advised that FMJ rounds can go through one person and kill another also. The other is Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) which is recommended when there’s a hostage possibility.

Element Leaders:

The game assigns the element leader once the mission is started. It is recommended that we allow whoever the game picks to lead. This will give everyone a chance to lead, and also done randomly.

The first thing the element leader does is assign numbers and partners to the element. This is vital for control and teamwork. Officers 1 and 2 are assigned as partners, then 3 and 4, and then 5 and 6 if needed, and so on. Once assigned a number, remember it, once assigned a partner never leave them.

Odd number officers are the ones that do the mirroring, opening, and usually enter first.
Even number officers are the ones that cover, toss in flash bangs, then follows in there partner.
Odd number officers cover danger areas and doors, while even number partners secure subjects and hostages.

The element leader calls the plan of entry, orders the team to execute, then enters in last after hearing clear from every officer.


-Hallways: Teams of two move down a hallway, officer 1 directs the movement, while officer 2 is slightly behind and just right of officer 1. Any doors on the left are covered by 1 while doors on the right are covered by 2. Both officers NEVER cross in front of a door or area without clearing it first.

-Staircases: Teams of two moves up or down stairs, 1 watch up or down in the direction the team is moving, officer 2 walks backwards covering the rear or high ground. Unless there is another team to cover the rear while that team moves up and clears the stairs. You stop at the top or bottom of the stairs (depending on direction moving) while the element re-stacks.


Stacking up on a door or entry is the most important key to proper room entry. A “regular” stack is 1 at the left side of the door, 2 on the right, 3 on the left side behind officer 1, and 4 on the right behind 2, (1 and 2 enter together, then 3 and 4 together.) A “stack left” is where you stack in a line on the left side of a door in numerical order. “Stack right” is the same but stacked on the right of the door. Usually when one side is a danger zone and unsafe to be on that side.

Using the Optiwand:

Officer 1 is the primary user of the opti-wand, officer 2 covers in case a door is opened on him. Officer 1 kneels down, mirrors, and reports a quick description of the room and any known contacts. Once his report is made, the element leader calls out the entry mode.

Basic Entry:

A basic entry is where there are no known contacts or subjects on the other side. Officer 1 opens the door, enters going left, with officer 2 right behind him. Then officer 3 moves in and goes right, followed by officer 4. The all clear is given for each room.

Specialized Entries:

Specialized entries are when you know or think there’s a subject or hostage in the room. These are default combat entries but the first officer in ALWAYS goes strait to the known contact. Then the back up officer goes opposite, covering other danger areas.

-Button Hook: A button hook is where officer 1 enters and goes left and stops on the left side of the inside of door covering 9 o’clock. Officer 2 enters and goes right, just inside the door and covers 3 o’clock. If more officers, then 3 enters and goes left covering 10 o’clock, followed by 4 going right and cover 2 o’clock. Your all close to the door, you don’t go in deep, just within 5 yards of the door. But NEVER block the door.

-Criss Cross: A criss cross is where officer 1 enters from the left and goes kind of strait to the right side of the inside door, covering 3 o’clock, followed by officer 2 from the right to the left covering 9 o’clock. Other officer’s criss cross, 3 from the left to the right to cover 2 o’clock, and 4 from the right to the left to cover 2 o’clock. Criss cross is a faster entry because your moving strait, but dangerous with a teammate walking in front of you.

-Starburst: A starburst is usually used when entering a big area, it’s the same as a button hook, but you move further into the room, and each 4 man officer covers 1/4th of the room. You move into the room in order, you get to the center of the room, and your backs are all together. 1 covers 6 o’clock (the door you entered) to 9 o’clock, 2 covers 6 o’clock to 3 o’clock, 3 covers from 9 o’clock to 12 o’clock, and finally 4 from 3 o’clock to 12 o’clock.

-Penetration: A penetration entry is another large room entry. All officers enter; move down to position on the entry wall, and then all face and cover 12 o’clock. Then in a line formation and upon the element leaders command you move slowly towards 12 o’clock clearing everything.
1 enters left of door and moves all the way down wall to the left, 2 follows stopping halfway between 1 and the door, 3 then enters and goes right all the way down, then finally 4 enters right and goes halfway to 3 and the door. The Element Leader then takes the door position.

Calling Clear:

It is imperative for the element leader to hear all his officers call “clear” after each entry. Usually it’s in unison “1 clear, 2 clear, 3 clear, 4 clear”.


Reload your weapon before each entry into known threats. Know how much ammo is in your gun always. If you must reload under fire. Kneel down, call “reloading”, your partner should then be standing next to you and covering. Never reload at the same time.

Officer Down:

If an officer goes down, immediately call him in. The Element leader then becomes the forth man in the assault team. Unless there was another 2 man team, then they move up and the loner moves to rear guard.

Hostage & Subject Control:

After a team enters and clears a room or area. The odd number officers provide cover to danger areas, doors, and suspects. The even number officers are the ones that hand cuff and call in subjects first then hostages. Pick up subject weapons as soon as you approach them.