The column formation is very handy when you want to move fast or slow over a large distance. The column gives you 360° coverage when you are moving. Here is how the column works: 1 is holding straight forward, 2 is holding right, 3 is holding left, and 4 is holding the back.
The line formation is very handy when you want to cover a large area in front of you. For example you are moving up to an city or a compound, then you have a large line that can give suppressive fire.
The Arrowhead formation is ideal for crossing large open areas such as fields and desert. It provides excellent firepower to the front and 50% of the sections firepower to either flank.
The echelon formation gives protection against left flank. Maximum power to the left. But what is also good with the echelon formation is that the whole squad can give fire power for North, East, South, West and you wont hit any of your squad members. The echelon right works the same way but it goes to the right instead of to the left side.
The vee formation provides excellent protection and control, but limits fires to the front. This formation is used when terrain restricts movement or when overwatch within the platoon is required.
The Staggered Column is used when speed is critical, when there is a limited area for lateral dispersion, and/or when enemy contact is possible.
The box formation is used when you want to transport a VIP. It gives the fire team access to have 360° covering and have the VIP safe inside of the box.
The diamond formation is used when you want to transport a VIP or an injured person, you have fire power at all directions and you still have a safe area inside of the diamond.
The scatter formation is used all the time and is just a mess. This is the worst formation to use when you are moving or standing still, you are an easy target and everyone is everywhere.