Fireteam leading - Field Leadership - United Task Force (UNITAF) Arma 3

P1-89 Fireteam leading

UNITAF / Arma 3 / Combat Leadership Procedures

Version 3 / 7min read / Updated Thu 02 Mar 2023 / 3090 views / of verified

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


Fireteam leaders get their orders from their squad leader. This may include aspects like the formation required, special rules of engagement, sectors of responsibility, order of movement, and so forth.They are tactically proficient and capable of exercising good initiative and sound judgment. Micromanagement of fireteam leaders should not be required. Once given a task, a FTL should be capable of understanding the intent of the order, and executing it with competence. A FTL should be capable and competent at using their fireteam members to carry out any order given by the squad leader.


  • Work towards accomplishing the squad mission while attempting to minimize loss of life in their fireteam. 
  • Augment the squad leader's situational awareness by reporting significant observations. 
  • Talk to their teams and keep them informed. They are clear and concise when speaking, and ensure that their team members know everything relevant to the successful fulfillment of their mission.
  • Ensure that their fireteam members maintain good interval and situational awareness.
  • Control and direct the team's fire. 


  • Maintain disciplined initiative and momentum.
    • When the squad commits to a fight, the fireteam leaders are at the cutting edge of the battle.
    • It is often up to them to use initiative based on what they see, and maintain momentum and combat action in accordance with the stated intent of the Squad Leader or platoon commander.
    • When in doubt, they request additional guidance from the squad leader.
  • Utilize buddy teams. By having a standard split to work with, each Fireteam Leader is able to more rapidly and effectively order their subordinates. Fireteam leaders should not change buddy team assignments from the ORBAT as they are standardised, in cases where the FTL wishes to change buddy team assignments from those on the ORBAT this should be approved by the field leader.
  • Designate point men as required. Having a single man on point can work quite well in many situations.
    • In other situations using an entire fireteam is more ideal.
    • This is a judgment call that needs to be made by the Fireteam Leader or Squad Leader, dicated by the situation.
  • Maintain accountability of their team members.
    • It is up to the Fireteam Leader to ensure that no team members are left behind.
    • An FTL should do a team check after every engagement, and multiple times during extended fights.
    • Having a team member go down without the FTL knowing about it can be a major issue and must be avoided.


UGL Employment

The Fireteam Leader must be able to use their UGL to carry out a number of tasks, such as firing high-explosive shells at significant enemy positions, screening friendly movement, marking or masking the enemy with smoke shells, or using illumination shells in low light conditions. More esoteric grenade types, such as buckshot or teargas, can also be found from time to time. A team leader is expected to spend time familiarizing themselves with and becoming skilled at the usage of the grenade launcher.


Basic Grenadier Guidelines

  • A typical UGL grenade requires up to 35 meters of travel distance before it will arm.
    • If you land a UGL shot within this distance, the grenade will be a dud.
    • This can come into significance when engaging in MOUT combat, so keep it in mind.
  • When employing high explosive grenades, a grenadier should focus on high-value targets (e.g. crew-served machineguns, snipers, etc) or clusters of the enemy.
    • Due to the limited supply of grenades an FTL typically has, it is important to reserve and employ them to inflict maximum damage.
    • Let your team members deal with what they can with their AR and rifles, and employ your UGL grenades to supplement them and cover any gaps in their fires.
  • Ensure that you are able to estimate range properly, and also are aware of what range you are most effective at with your grenades.
    • First-round accuracy is important - using rounds to "feel out" the range is to be avoided as it wastes precious ammo.
    • Arma 3 introduces animated grenade launcher sights in order to help adjust fire.
    • Most launchers have a sight that can be set to 100, 200, 300, or 400 meters of range.
    • Once set, the red dot of the sight will correspond to that impact distance, as seen in the below illustrations.




  • Grenades can be used to put fire into dead zones
    • This is generally imprecise and should be reserved for when the grenadier has a good idea of where the enemy is, how they need to fire to hit them, if the probability of a kill is unusually high, or if it is important to harass the enemy and attempt to disrupt their attack.
    • Alternatively, if the grenadier has an excess of grenades, or a crate full of them, indirect fire can be a useful option.


  • Illumination can be used to great effect at night via aerial flares.
    • When firing flares, avoid firing them behind the enemy, especially in wooded terrain.
    • This causes the flare light to silhouette them while leaving you and your team clearly illuminated. It is better to either fire the flare between you and the enemy or off to one side of them.
    • Star shells are a variation of flares that are short-lived and provide less illumination. They are primarily used for signaling, though they can work for illumination in a pinch.



  • UGL smoke grenades can be used to great effect for a variety of tasks.
    • These can include marking targets or friendly positions for close air support assets, obscuring the enemy's line of sight, masking friendly movement, and marking landing zones for helicopters.
    • Individual initiative and good judgment is the key to being successful and timely with smoke grenades.
    • When employing smoke, pay attention to which way the wind is blowing, and aim your smoke grenades such that the wind blows the smoke in a useful direction.


  • Pay attention to what grenade you have loaded, or are loading into the launcher.
    • The currently loaded grenade type will be indicated in the upper-right in the weapon info section of the HUD.
    • You can change grenade types with your action menu in the event that you need to swap to a different type without firing.
    • When reloading, try to get in the habit of reloading from the action menu or look at the HUD info before each shot.
    • This prevents you from accidentally loading the wrong type of round once you have exhausted the previous type's supply.

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

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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