Being an effective fireteam member - Core Infantry - United Task Force (UNITAF) Arma 3

P3-1 Being an effective fireteam member

UNITAF / Arma 3 / Core Infantry Procedures

Version 1 / 8min read / Updated Sun 08 May 2022 / 3247 views / of verified

Table of Contents

    Introduction to Fireteams

    Each fireteam consists of four to six players: a leader and 3 to 5 subordinates. As a new player, you will end up acting as a rifleman in one of the fireteams. As the rifleman, you will be under charge of a more experienced player, acting as the fireteam leader. He, in turn, will be under the command of a Squad Leader who leads the two Fireteams that make up each squad. Likewise, the Squad Leader will be under the command of the Platoon Commander, who commands the three squads that form the platoon - who is in turn led by the Company Commander, who directs the movements of the platoons.



    Working as a Team

    The key aspect of our organization is that of closely-knit teams - a rifleman by himself is not nearly as useful as a group of players working as one cohesive unit. Fireteams look out for their own members as well as those of their fellow fireteams. Fireteams are the tip of the infantry spear.

    You will find yourself grouped with different players in different missions, and your comprehension of this guide is what will allow you to all act as a cohesive and combat-effective group, regardless of who exactly is in your fireteam.


    A fireteam takes cover at a low stone wall


    Common Verbal Calls

    • Up  (e.g. "James Up")
      General statement to indicate that a player has returned to a ready state. A player can use "Up" to indicate that they have caught up to their team, have successfully reloaded, have received medical aid, et cetera. It's also used when mounting vehicles.
    • Set 
      Said to indicate that an element is in position. Can be used by buddy team members as well to coordinate low-level movement.
    • Weapon Dry / Empty
      Used to indicate that your weapon is temporarily out of action due to running out of ammo in your current magazine. Only spoken when it's urgent, with the intent being to notify teammates so that they can cover you / your assigned sector while you correct the issue.
    • Misfire / Jammed
      Used to indicate that your weapon has jammed. Same usage as the above - only when it's urgent, so that teammates know to cover/help you.
    • Changing / Reloading
      To announce that you have to change a mag and can not continue firing
    • Frag Out / Smoke Out
      Warning call given when throwing a grenade.
    • Grenade
      Warning call given when an enemy grenade has been thrown at friendlies, a grenade is fumbled, or anything else that poses a close-in grenade threat.
    • Incoming / IDF / Indirect
      Warning calls given when enemy indirect fire (grenade launchers, mortars, artillery, etc) is inbound on friendly positions. IDF is pronounced "Eye dee eff".



    Basic Responsibilities of Fireteam Members

    In order to play at the highest possible level of coordination, teamwork, and effectiveness, there are many things that each player must be familiar with. The key foundational aspects of this are in the "basic responsibilities" of each fireteam member, and by association, every player in the platoon or company. In order to maintain cohesion and combat effectiveness, every player in our community is expected to abide by these simple ground rules.



    • Know your squad and fireteam.
      With our structure, squads are lettered and Fireteams numbered. Remember what team and squad you are in, as this allows you to pick out, confirm, and act upon voice orders relevant to you. Make sure you are familiar with your fireteam leader's voice, as well as that of your buddy team member(s). You can find out what group/team you are in via the map screen - the top-right will list your current group.
    • Listen to your team leader and follow their directions.
      Fireteam and Squad Leaders are typically the more experienced players. Their role is to try to keep you alive and in the fight, while accomplishing whatever mission the squad may be tasked with. Listen to them and stick with your team.
    • Practice fire discipline and know the Rules Of Engagement, described in detail shortly.
      Do not be the one to give away a stealthy approach by accidentally firing your rifle or firing at a target without having been given clearance. Once things heat up, and the element of surprise is lost, you're usually free to shoot at anything that poses a threat. Until then, maintain good fire discipline, in accordance with the instructions of your element leader.
    • Maintain appropriate interval. Bunching up gets people killed. Keep several meters of distance between yourself and other players at all times. If not, a grenade, rocket, or machinegun is going to have a fun time with you and those you have clustered with.

    • Maintain situational awareness, avoid tunnel vision, and know where friendly forces are. This all helps to prevent being surprised by enemy contacts, prevents friendly-fire incidents, and gives you an idea of what areas may need more observation based upon how the squad or platoon is oriented. More on this in the "Situational Awareness" section, later.
    • Cover your sector. 360° security is needed at all times. This means that with a fireteam of six, every person should be observing or covering a different area. Good security means that your team is that much less likely to be surprised by the enemy, and thus is going to survive longer in combat. When halted, ensure that somebody is paying attention to rear security as well. If nobody else is, take it upon yourself to do so - your team will thank you later.
    • Scan for, spot, and call out enemy contacts.
      Do it concisely via voice so that everyone can hear you. When giving the direction of contacts, relative directions (front, left, rear, right) can be used when friendly forces are moving in a known direction and front, rear, right, left are known to everyone. Otherwise, compass directions and degree bearings should be used. More on this in the "Contact Report" section later on.
    • Know your target.
      Don't wildly shoot at everything that moves, as that tends to cause friendly fire casualties. If in doubt, don't shoot. Ask someone else in your fireteam to check out the questionable contact. Check the map to see if friendly forces are where you're looking. If you're still unsure, ask the element leader and he can take it up the Chain of Command if necessary. Once you pull the trigger, there's nothing you can do to bring that round back. Don't be the one to shoot a friendly through carelessness!
    • Be concise on comms. Learn how to speak with Brevity on voice channels to avoid cluttering them up when they're most needed.
    • Avoid crossing lines and lanes of fire. If you need to move past a person, always try to pass behind them. If you ever do need to move in front of someone in a combat situation, ensure that you call them by name and tell them that you're about to cross their line of fire. Obviously common sense will dictate when this is necessary. Crossing in front of someone during general movement towards an objective is not a huge deal and does not merit a call, whereas running in front of someone during a firefight can get you killed and requires coordination with whoever you need to cross in front of.

    • Always work as part of a buddy team. More info in the "Buddy Team" is covered in the next check.

    This SOP has been contributed to by 3 editors:
    Major James
    Specialist William
    Private First Class Ross (Ret.)

    UNITAF Standard Operating procedures (SOP)
    are adapted primarly from US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Our written and audio procedures are a combination of the following primary source materials, as well as our own learnings, modifications and adaptations:
    - US Army Techniques Publication, Infantry Platoon and Squad (ATP 3-21.8)
    - Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Leader Skills Level 2, 3, and 4 (STP 21-24-SMCT)
    - The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills (FM 3-21.75 / FM 21-75)
    - Leadership Development (FM 6-22)
    - Dyslexi's Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures for Arma 3 (TTP3)

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