Roles in the fireteam - Core Infantry - United Task Force (UNITAF) Arma 3

P3-3 Roles in the fireteam

UNITAF / Arma 3 / Core Infantry Procedures

Version 2 / 13min read / Updated Sun 08 May 2022 / 6324 views / of verified

Table of Contents

    In addition to the responsibilities of a fireteam member, each fireteam member will have additional responsibilities based upon their role in the team.


    Fireteam Leader

    The Fireteam Leader's mantra is "Follow me and do as I do". They are the most combat-oriented leader position on the battlefield, and leads their fireteam from the front while acting as the example that his team members will follow.

    Fireteam leader with an underbarrel grenade launcher attached to his rifle


    Second-in-command (2IC)

    The 2IC is an experienced person who can be utilised by the Team Leader to spread the work load of leading the team. Typical duties of the 2IC are;
    • Taking command if the Team Leader becomes a casualty
    • Leading a sub-team (buddy team) of the fireteam
    • Augmenting the team leaders role, but only as asked or required by the team leader


    The team leader ensures that a 2IC is always assigned and known by the team as the element prepares to step off on its mission. A 2IC assignment as made as follows;
    The person who has the highest;
    1. Field Leadership Tier
    2. or if the same tier; person with the highest Rank.
    3. Whereby said person is not in a medical role.
    If the person indicated by this criteria does not wish to be the 2IC, then they can opt-out and the next person according to this criteria becomes the 2IC.
    In some cases a 2IC may be pre-designated by the ORGCOC to the Field Leader for training purposes, and the Team Leader would be informed by the OPCOC prior to the mission.


    Automatic Rifleman (AR)

    The Automatic Rifleman is the fireteam's heavy firepower.

    • Control their fire.
      Short bursts tend to be the best way to employ a machinegun. The general guideline is to fire in six to eight round bursts, pausing between bursts to observe the effects of your fire, assess, and then reengage as necessary. With that being said, bear in mind that as contacts appear closer to the team, longer bursts can be used due to the greater chances of hitting closer targets.
    • Stay aware of their ammunition state.
      This takes two forms: One, know how many rounds are left in your current belt or box - make sure not to get caught with only a few left when contact is made - and two, stay aware of your overall ammo count. You must ensure that you're carrying as much ammo as feasible, and as you free up space for more ammo, your assistant should be ready to pass you fresh belts or boxes.
    • Take initiative on contact & achieve fire superiority. 
      Upon receiving enemy fire, each AR knows that it is their responsibility to return as heavy of a volume of fire as possible, with the intent of achieving fire superiority over the attacking forces. The amount of return fire given by each AR is a decisive factor in the ability of his fireteam members to maneuver to advantageous positions, or towards cover or concealment as required.
    • Are comfortable with being employed in the base of fire element.
      ARs must be familiar with the concept of acting as part of a 'base of fire' element. This includes being proficient at long-range fire, knowing how to shift fire to account for friendly forces reaching and moving through the objective area, and how to fire controlled, sustained, and effective suppression.
    • Maintain appropriate positioning. When the Fireteam Leader does not explicitly dictate otherwise, it's up to the Automatic Rifleman to maintain a position in the formation appropriate to the terrain, enemy, et cetera. He must constantly be aware of possible firing positions from which he can best employ his AR, and be able to move to them and begin engaging the enemy at a moment's notice.



    Assistant Automatic Rifleman (AAR)

    The assistant automatic rifleman, or "AAR", is the right-hand man of the automatic rifleman. They help spread-load the ammunition duties with the AR by carrying additional ammunition for that weapon.

    The AAR's role is to stick with the AR and provide support - the two always form a buddy team. The AAR supports the AR in the form of providing security, helping to spot, engage, and adjust fire on targets.

    If the Automatic Rifleman is killed, the assistant will take control of the weapon and become the fireteam's new automatic rifleman. In the event that both the AR and FTL become casualties, the AAR will take control of the team's riflemen and assess the situation. If possible, the AAR will maintain the remaining four members as a distinct fireteam - if unable, such as due to high casualties or confusion, the crippled fireteam may merge with another.

    A typical assistant automatic rifleman, kitted out to carry high-capacity  magazines in addition to his rifle mags

    • Look out for their Automatic Rifleman combat buddy.
      Your role is to protect the AR and help to augment their effectiveness. Do whatever you can to help keep them in the fight. Be especially alert for any enemies attempting to flank them. While the entire fireteam should be concerned with flank security, the AAR should be even more active in scanning for such threats. The AR is a devastating unit when employed properly, with the enemy will recognize and attempt to elimate.
    • Scan for, spot, and call out targets for the AR.
      Particularly while the AR is engaging, it's up to the assistant to search for, spot, and communicate the positions of any priority targets.
    • Are proactive in ammo distribution.
      Don't wait until the AR asks for a reload, instead be ready to supply a new box of ammo during lulls in combat. Always ensure that the AR is loaded and good to go.
    • Assist in making fire adjustments.
      The assistant can often see the results of the AR's fire more clearly than the AR can. If need be, the assistant should be ready to call out fire adjustments to help the AR work their rounds onto target. For instance - "bring it up, you're hitting low", "more left", etc.
    • Never drop the extra Automatic Rifleman ammo you're carrying because it's "heavy".
      The AAR's role is in large part to bring along extra ammunition for their Automatic Rifleman buddy.
    • Maintain appropriate positioning.
      The assistant should generally be within shouting distance of the automatic rifleman, and oftentimes much closer.


    Rifleman (R)

    Every member of the platoon is a rifleman first and foremost. In a fireteam, the rifleman is the lowest ranking or newest member of the team. This role is a great way to get new players into the action, without burdening them with additional responsibilities such as those carried by the AR and AAR.

    A rifleman listens to a briefing pre-mission

    • Stick with their buddy teammate(s).
      This fundamental low-level teamwork is an essential part of the fireteam, and by association, the squad's effectiveness.
    • Scan for, spot, and call out targets.
      Always be alert, always be scanning, and provide security when halted.
    • Maintain appropriate positioning. The rifleman should generally be within shouting distance of their assigned buddy teammates, and oftentimes much closer.



    Anti-Tank Rifleman, Light (LAT/ATL)

    Fireteams will typically carry light anti-tank weaponry if enemy armor is expected to be present in an area. Generally, this will result in the team's rifleman being given a single-shot light anti-tank weapon like the AT-4 or M136. The anti-tank rifleman will carry out their normal rifleman duties, and in the event that enemy armor is encountered, they will immediately transition into anti-tank mode and attempt to take it out based upon their team and squad leader's directives.

    As their name implies, light anti-tank launchers are an effective weapon for usage against light armor such as armored personnel carriers, while heavier armor such as that found on main battle tanks will require multiple impacts from LAT weaponry to defeat.


    An anti-tank rifleman prepares to fire their AT-4 at enemy light armor


    Note that if the standard rifleman role is replaced by an anti-tank gunner in the fireteam, the AAR becomes the junior role, followed by the anti-tank gunner, the AR, and finally the FTL. This is to ensure that the junior team member does not have anti-tank responsibilities, as they can be rather significant roles in the missions that need them.

    • Are proficient with their assigned anti-tank weapon and are able to engage enemy armor with confidence out to at least 300 meters.
      The more, the merrier - 300m is the bare minimum expected. To attain this proficiency, AT riflemen are expected to spend 'range time' engaging stationary and moving targets at various distances until they are confident in their first-shot abilities.
    • Take only the shots they know they can hit.
      Due to it being a single-shot weapon, an AT rifleman cannot afford to miss their shot. When in doubt, if time and the tactical situation allow for it, don't hesitate to pass the AT off to a player who is more proficient if you feel that you cannot be successful with it - preferably before combat starts.
    • Aim for the flanks, rear, or top of an armored vehicle.
      Armored vehicles tend to have their heaviest armor in the front, with the sides, rear, and top being thinner and more favorable places to hit them. Bear in mind that flank shots will have a chance to induce a "mobility kill" via 'tracking' (destroying the tank tracks) a tank. A tank that has been "mobility killed" is still a threat if the turret is still functional, so ensure that it is fully knocked out with an additional AT shot from another squad member.
    • Take cover once they've fired their anti-tank weapon.
      Tank crews tend to react with anger towards being shot at by things that can actually harm them. If firing a hard-launch weapon, the backblast will kick up a dust signature that will allow a tank crew to spot you if you do not take cover or relocate.
    • Know the capabilities and limitations of their weapon and utilize the principle of "volley firing" on targets when in doubt of a one-shot kill.
      Light anti-tank weapons have a tendency to not be terribly effective against medium and heavy armor. With this in mind, anti-tank personnel are expected to work towards using "volley firing" to engage difficult targets (either heavy armor or difficult shots). Volley firing is the act of having multiple anti-tank gunners ready to engage a target at the same time. This maximizes the chance to knock out a target - if one gunner misses, the other can adjust and fire a killing shot. Or, for heavy armor like tanks, multiple hits can be delivered in the span of seconds.
    • Are familiar with the backblast danger presented by their weapon, and know how to clear it.
      In some mods, anti-tank weapons produce a hazardous backblast when they are fired - typically in the form of a cone extending 60-90° from the rear of the launch tube, and producing damage anywhere from 30-60 meters behind the launcher. The backblast of most anti-tank weapons has the capacity to kill or seriously wound those who are in the danger area, though it falls off over distance significantly. Some weapons are designed to have "soft-launch" capabilities that reduce or remove the backblast hazard, but you're unlikely to find light anti-tank weapons with such a feature.


    Clearing Backblast

    To prevent their anti-tank weapon from injuring or even killing friendly troops, an anti-tank rifleman must "clear backblast" before firing their weapon.

    1. When preparing to make an anti-tank shot, the gunner quickly scans to their left and right while loudly declaring other players to "Clear backblast!". The gunner's scan is intended to give them visibility on who or what may be behind them, and help them visually verify that the backblast area is clear of friendly personnel.
    2. Any team members nearby, upon hearing "Clear backblast!" spoken immediately shift position out of the danger area.
    3. Anyone who has cleared the danger area, upon visually scanning it, is expected to declare "Backblast all clear!" to let the gunner know that they are able to safely fire.
    4. Upon hearing "Backblast all clear!", or having visually confirmed that the area is clear, the anti-tank gunner confirms their sight picture before loudly declaring "Rocket!" and firing the weapon.

    Firing from Enclosures

    Firing anti-tank weapons indoors can be very hazardous to your health. Avoid doing so when possible, as the backblast can kill or seriously injure you due to the restrictions of the structure.

    Soft-launch weapons like the Javelin or PCML can be safely fired out of an enclosed space, but RPGs, AT-4s, SMAWs, and other common hard-launch anti-tank weapons cannot.

    This SOP has been contributed to by 1 editors:
    Major James
    Sergeant Johnson

    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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