Core Infantry Handbook - UNITAF Force Manual (FM)

Core Infantry Handbook
The FM outlines our core skills, policies and guides to ensure every member stands ready for the mission ahead.

FM/G94 - Infantry Formations

FM/BG-466 - Fireteam Wedge

The wedge formation is a very versatile one that is easy to establish and control. It allows for good all-around observation and security, and can be used in the majority of situations encountered. Fire can be placed in any direction in good quantity, and a shift in formation upon contact is easy to accomplish to suit where the contact came from.

If contacted from the front, the wedge allows easy transfer into a forward facing line formation. If attacked from the sides, at least one buddy team is able to turn and lay fire, whilst the other outmaneuvers around them to support.

The Fireteam leader will usually take the furthest forward position, with his buddy team to his left, and the second buddy team to his right. The Fireteam order may be adjusted based on needs, such as putting the Automatic Rifleman to the front, and the medic to the rear, but should almost always consist of one buddy team on each side. 

A Fireteam wedge with the Fireteam Leader on point

Above: A Fireteam wedge with the Fireteam Leader on point

FM/BG-467 - Fireteam Line

The line formation is well-suited for advancing towards a known or suspected threat with the maximum number of guns brought to bear, and excels at placing a heavy volume of fire to the formation's front.

A Fireteam Line

Above: A Fireteam Line

FM/BG-468 - Fireteam File

The Fireteam File formation is the opposite of a Fireteam Line in that, instead of being lined up left-to-right, the Fireteam is in a single file line from front-to-back.

File is usually employed when the threat of mines/IEDs is high, and sees each team member walking where the previous walked, to ensure minimum exposure to such explosive ordinance (XO), usually with a role with a mine detector, such as an EOD or Combat Engineer, on point.

File can be risky to use, since it is difficult to effectively lay down fire to the front quickly, and requires rear team members to step sideways to be able to fire frontwards without risk of friendly fire, which is very risky if operating under threat of XO.

FM/BG-469 - Fireteam Echelon (Left/Right)

Echelon (Left/Right) comprises of the Fireteam creating a diagonal line rearwards to the left/right of the point man, usually the Fireteam Leader.

Used when the operational unit has a different element covering the direction this formation would be weak from i.e. to the right of the team if they are in an echelon left. Most commonly used to create a squad wedge by having one Fireteam in echelon left, and the other in echelon right, creating a wedge using both Fireteams.

Buddy teams should create the front or rear of the echelon, almost never being mixed together.

FM/BG-470 - Fireteam Staggered Column

Fireteam staggered column sees the Fireteam split into two files, staggered so that one person is still in front of the other from one column to the other. They should never walk alongside each other, as this prevents one team member from being able to effectively return fire when contacted from the side.

Staggered column is usually utilized when following a road, which allows the team to quickly create a line when needed on one side or the other.

Staggered column does make it more difficult to effectively return fire to the front without forming a wedge but is useful for moving ahead of friendly vehicles and sweeping the roads.

Buddy teams should create the front and rear of the formation, not the left and right files. This is because, when contacted from the front or rear, one buddy team can return fire whilst the other maneuvers, or when contacted from the sides, allow the quick formation of a Fireteam line, with one buddy team on the left and right.

A staggered column lead by the Fireteam Leader

Above: A staggered column lead by the Fireteam Leader

FM/BG-471 - Squad Wedge

The squad wedge is created by having each Fireteam create an echelon left/right respectively, creating a wedge at the squad level. The squad lead element can then sit inside this wedge for maximum protection.

The squad wedge allows for full fire frontwards by quickly transitioning to a squad line, and also allows for squad level maneuvers if contacted from the sides, by automatically creating a front and rear element from which to use fire and maneuver tactics, such as bounding.

FM/BG-472 - Squad Column

A squad column is created with a Fireteam in wedge at the front, the other in wedge at the rear, and the squad lead element in the middle. The most common squad formation, contact from the sides can be turned to by both fireteams, and contact to the front or rear allows one fireteam to establish a base of fire, whilst the other maneuvers to a supporting position

FM/BG-473 - Squad File

Squad file is created when the whole squad establishes one single-file line, with one fireteam at the front, the squad lead element in the middle, and the other fireteam at the rear.

Usually used when there is a risk of mines/IEDs or other XO to limit the potential of triggering them by ensuring each person steps where the first one did, it can also be used to maintain stealth since the risk of the enemy seeing a sole individual from the front, is a lot lower than them seeing an extended formation.

FM/BG-474 - Squad Staggered Column

The squad staggered column is created by having one fire team in staggered column at the front, the squad lead element in the middle, and the other fireteam in staggered column at the rear.

The squad staggered column is used in the similar situations as the fireteam staggered column.

FM/G96 - Map & Compass

FM/BG-480 - How to read a map

The main thing to remember is that the grids must be read right, and then up. Due to the fact that the map grid is composed entirely of numbers, it's important that you do not transpose them, else you're likely to send someone far, far away from where you needed them to go.


Read the x (horizontal) axis first, then read the y (vertical) axis

Above: Read the x (horizontal) axis first, then read the y (vertical) axis

Excluded Skill
FM/BS-477 - Read an eight-figure grid reference
Excluded Skill

Read grid coordinates to a 8 figure level (### “tack” ###) by combining the first 4 coordinate digits representing west-east and the first 4 coordinate digits representing south-north, with the resulting grid representing 1m².

Excluded Skill
FM/BS-476 - Read a six-figure grid reference
Excluded Skill

Read grid coordinates to a 6 figure level (### “tack” ###) by combining the first 3 coordinate digits representing west-east and the first 3 coordinate digits representing south-north, with the resulting grid representing 100m².

Excluded Skill
FM/BS-478 - Recognise points of elevation & hill numbers
Excluded Skill

Recognise points of elevation and hill numbers:

  • 2 or 3-digit numbers on the tops of hills are known as hill numbers and should be referenced as ‘Hill xxx’
  • The zoom scale of the map affects whether some of these numbers are visible (specifically the smaller/minor hills).
  • In mountainous or hilly terrain there may be multiple hills with the same number. In these circumstances, provide additional context, such as a grid reference to ensure clarity of communication.
Excluded Skill
FM/BS-479 - Read contours intervals
Excluded Skill

Read contour lines using the 2 types contour intervals marked on map:

  • Thinner brown lines representing the places of same height at the minor interval (listed in the map legend)
  • Thicker brown or red lines representing places of same height at the major interval level (5 times the minor interval)

Recognize the gradient (steepness) of the terrain, based on the spread of the contour lines (the closer contour lines are, the steeper the terrain)

FM/G95 - Basic Smoke Colours

Excluded Skill
FM/BS-475 - Recognize the meaning of basic smoke colors
Excluded Skill

Recognize the following meanings of smoke colors:

Smoke ColorMeaningCarried by
RedEnemy PositionTeam leaders+, FAC
BlueFriendly Position/LZTeam leaders+, FAC
GreenLOGPACK/Ammo dropSupport callsigns
PurpleMASCAS/MEDEVAC LZAll medical roles
OrangeDamaged Vehicle in need of repairsAll crew roles
WhiteConcealmentAll infantry
BlackOnly used by OPFOROPFOR
YellowUsed for specific purpose laid out in OPORDFriendly
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