Vehicle basics and roles - Cavalry - United Task Force (UNITAF) Arma 3

P5-25 Vehicle basics and roles

UNITAF / Arma 3 / Cavalry Procedures

Version 1 / 7min read / Updated Wed 04 May 2022 / 1066 views / of verified

The main thing one must remember when taking a vehicle role is that you ultimately are there to support the infantry. It is not your job to run around pell-mell trying to rack up an impressive kill count; instead, you should do everything you can to work with friendly forces so that you can best support the infantry. This first section will be oriented around giving you an understanding of basic ground vehicles. From there, we'll work up to more advanced concepts like armored vehicles and crew coordination.


Foot Recon & Ground Guides

When the tactical situation permits it, the commander of a vehicle can dismount from the vehicle to do a 'foot recon'. This is typically done when the vehicle is about to crest some significant terrain feature. Dismounting and checking over the crest 'on foot' allows for the commander to decide on where possible enemy threats might be, locate obvious threats, and choose on where and how to crest the terrain, where his gunner should be aiming when they crest, and so forth.

Ground guides, on the other hand, are infantry who walk in front of a vehicle to guide it through a tricky area. Ground guides can be used to get a vehicle positioned specifically where the infantry need it, to help guide vehicles through a potentially mined area, or to help them navigate through tight or confusing terrain.


Throwing the Weight Around

Depending on their weight and hardiness, vehicles can be used to knock down trees, bushes, walls, and other obstacles in order to clear lanes of fire & observation for themselves or the infantry that they support. Tanks are generally able to knock down anything, whereas trucks and such generally focus on light bushes and light walls to prevent disabling themselves in the process.

Close coordination with the infantry commanders is needed in order to create effective lanes of fire that are integrated into the defensive plans of the supported infantry. Too many trees knocked down, or holes punched in walls, can compromise the ability of the infantry to put up an effective defense.

Keep in mind that in addition to clearing obstacles, vehicles can also be used to create better concealment. A tank may have a hard time finding concealment in an area where the trees have their branches at too high of a level to mask the tank - however, knocking a tree down in the direction of the enemy may suddenly provide concealment. From the enemy's point of view, it will likely just look like a bush and blend in with the natural terrain.



Basic Vehicle Roles

As a general rule, you should be capable of handling vehicle role responsibilities early in your Arma career. It is important that players are familiar with all of the roles available so that they can operate as a motorized vehicle crewman, or a mechanized one, when the time comes - or gain the basic proficiency to allow them to train up as a heavier vehicle crew in the future.

To that end, let's look at the different vehicle roles available to basic infantry.



A driver does what it sounds like - drives the vehicle around the battlefield in accordance with his team leader or squad leader's directions.

The driver does not dismount unless he is explicitly told to by his team leader, or when the verbal command "BAIL OUT, BAIL OUT, BAIL OUT!" is given by himself or another player.

A summary of the driver's responsibilities follow.


Driver Responsibilities

  • Drives the vehicle according to the directions of his team leader.
  • Maintains spacing when moving with other vehicles
  • Knows the overall formation being employed, also known as the 'order of march', and his vehicle's place in it.
  • Stays mounted at all times unless told to dismount directly, or when a "BAIL OUT" command is issued.
  • Communicates the vehicles' status and issues a "BAIL OUT!" command if necessary. If the vehicle's tires are blown, he immediately attempts to pull the vehicle into cover or concealment or out of the kill zone before giving the "BAIL OUT!" order. If this is not possible, he immediately halts the vehicle and gives the bail out command.
  • Exercises good navigation techniques either by listening to his navigator's directions or navigating on his own in the absence of a dedicated navigator.
  • Watches the road for any signs of satchels, mines, IEDs, explosives, etc. Dangerous explosives will require immediate evasive action - while other members of the crew should be observing as well, the driver is the one who can react most rapidly to avoid them.
  • Stays alert and avoids colliding with other vehicles as well as any unexpected obstacles in his path.


The driver position in a Hunter MRAP



The navigator is often a fireteam leader. He typically sits in the front passenger seat of the vehicle and utilizes his map and view of the terrain to give the driver clear, concise directions on where to go and how to get there.


Navigator Responsibilities

  • Gives the driver clear and concise direction at all times. This includes describing the route, giving advance warning of any turns that may be needed, etc. The navigator never assumes that the driver knows anything about the route - he always explicitly calls for turns and other maneuvers, and gives plenty of advance warning to the driver - such as telling him that a turn is on the right, 500 meters ahead, and then updating him as the vehicle closes on it.
  • Must be familiar with what the movement plan is from start to finish, in order to be able to make judgment calls if re-routing becomes necessary.




A gunner is tasked with employing the crew-served weapon system of the vehicle, or in the case of many vehicles, the Remote Weapon System (RWS). Due to his elevated position or the use of an RWS sensor, he has better observation of the terrain than the rest of the vehicle and communicates what he sees to help maintain the rest of the vehicle's situational awareness. A gunner does not dismount the vehicle unless his crew-served weapon is empty, when he is directed to by his team leader, or when the command "BAIL OUT, BAIL OUT, BAIL OUT!" is given.

A summary of the gunner's responsibilities follow.


Gunner Responsibilities

  • Employs the vehicles crew-served weapon system or Remote Weapon System.
  • Maintains a high state of situational awareness and conveys what he sees to the passengers of the vehicle.
  • Scans a sector appropriate to the position of his vehicle in the overall vehicle formation or convoy
    • Front vehicles always scan to the front
    • Rear vehicles always scan to the rear
    • All other vehicles watch either left or right, alternating
  • Stays mounted on his weapon until it is empty, he is directed by his team leader to dismount, or the command "BAIL OUT!" is received.


Manning the RWS on a Hunter MRAP



Passengers of transport vehicles are generally infantry embarked for the purpose of transporting them to a fight. They're interested in getting safely to the fight, and their responsibilities reflect this.


Passenger Responsibilities

  • Scan for and communicate threats. While they will sometimes not have a good view of their surroundings, they will take advantage of whatever view they do have to maintain situational awareness.
  • Dismount to provide local security. When required, infantry dismount to provide local security for vehicles. This is generally done during temporary halts en route to their actual final dismount point.
  • Dismount to fight. Once at the final dismount point, or as required otherwise, infantry disembark the vehicles, form up into their respective units, and begin the assigned fight. This can include reacting to a convoy ambush as well as any other unexpected fights that might happen before the main objective.



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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