Version 1 / 5min read / Updated Tue 25 Feb 2020 / 158 views
Composed of three squads as well as a four-man Command Element, platoons are one of the largest exclusively player-controlled units that can be fielded in Arma 3.
Platoon, with command element on the right side
The platoon headquarters element ("PltHQ") consists of:
- Platoon Commander ("PltCo"). Takes orders from the Company Commander and leads their platoon in accordance with said orders.
- Platoon Sergeant ("PltSgt"). The right-hand of the PltCo, fulfilling a wide variety of roles depending on the mission type given.
- Platoon Medic ("PltMed"). Acts as the senior medic of the platoon. They deal with any casualties that the squad medics cannot handle, and stand ready to reinforce a rifle squad in the event that their medic becomes a casualty.
- Rifleman. Tasked with providing security for the PltHQ element.
A platoon commander's role can vary significantly depending on whether they're operating as the senior member of a mission, or as one of multiple platoon commanders under the direction of a company commander. In the event that they are the senior member, their role expands to encompass the considerations detailed in the company command section and if not, his task is made somewhat easier by the company commander assuming the higher-level aspects of the mission. They are the final say in all things related to their platoon and are responsible for the conduct of their assigned mission from start to finish. They direct the three main squads of the platoon, as well as any attachments, and use a multitude of skills to accomplish the platoon's mission with the minimal friendly and the maximum enemy casualties.
Briefs the squad leaders and element leaders and ensures that the plan conveyed to them by the company commander is understood.
Conveys the commander's intent to all of their squad and element leaders.
- They insure that their squad and element leaders know why they're doing what they're doing, how they're doing it, and what the desired end state is - both at the platoon and company level.
Thus, if necessary, an element leader can make a rapid tactical decision, or assume command of the entire platoon if casualties are taken, all while still acting within the guidance of the intent of the PltCo.
- Distributes special assets assigned to their platoon by the company commander.
Supervises the execution of the platoon's mission, issuing new or updated orders as it progresses.
Position themselves where they can exercise the best command and control of his squads.
- In order to guide the fight effectively, it is important that the PltCo is able to see it.
In the event that the platoon splits into assault and support elements, the PltCo will go with one element and their PltSgt goes with the other.
Uses their PltSgt to share the workload.
Avoids micromanagement, trusts in the judgment of their squad leaders, and allows them to develop the fight when possible.
- Squad leaders are smart and capable individuals, so the PltCo treats them as such.
- In turn, squad leaders shine in the fight, it's their job to carry out orders while keeping their men alive.
Giving them an opportunity to be creative in how they carry out orders, and trusting their assessment of the situation when given, is an important aspect of being PltCo.
Keeps their squads within mutual supporting distance of each other whenever possible.
- A PltCo must be capable of making plans in which the platoon does not run off disorganized or attempting to do too much at once.
- This dilutes the combat power of the platoon and sacrifices the squads' ability to mutually support each other.
- The PltCo must be able to make judgment calls as to when the platoon should stay tightly focused and mutually-supporting, and when it is necessary to detach a squad (or more) to facilitate mission accomplishment.
When in doubt, they consult with the company commander for guidance.
Reorganizes the platoon as needed to fulfill the mission.
Maintains awareness on the platoon's combat status, casualties, ammo, and other capabilities.
- This includes getting ACE (ammo, casualties, equipment) reports after fights.
- If resupply is needed in the future, he communicates this up to the company commander.
Platoon Sergeant ("PltSgt")
The Platoon Sergeant is an interesting leadership role that can be used for a variety of purposes. Primarily, they are as follows.
- To increase the platoon's efficiency in any mission by spreading the workload between the PltCo and PltSgt
- To help a player learn how to PltCo, or to observe an existing PltCo and help them develop
- Actively search for ways that they can assist the PltCo in carrying out the assigned mission and is prepared to carry out any tasks that the PltCo assigns to them.
Position themselves so that their view of the battlefield complements that of the Platoon Commander.
Exercises or assists in the command and control of the following elements when required.
- Vehicle or weapons elements.
- Close air support
- Artillery support
- Ammo resupply
Helicopter insertions or extractions
- Is prepared to step up and take command of the platoon if required.
UNITAF Standard Operating Proceedure (SOP) is adapted from two primary source materials - in addition to our own experience and past learnings:
US Army Techniques Publication, Infantry Platoon and Squad (ATP 3-21.8) ->view online
Dyslexi's Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures for Arma 3 (TTP3) -> view online