Stage 1 - Theoretical part

Introduction to leadership.

Position of a squad leader

Being a squad leader in The Lost Battalion is a demanding position to hold. You are expected to lead a full squad of people, be able to work and communicate with them, keep them satisfied and listen to their complaints and also make sure the mission is completed in accordance with the commander’s intent. It is a challenging idea to live up to and the best way to take it on is leading by example, which your soldiers are able to follow. This doesn’t mean just tactical know-how or being an absolute Arma chad, but rather a solid all-over person who others can look up to, respect, and ask for help when it’s needed. As such qualities like maturity, professionalism and good communication skills are a good foundation for a shaping NCO. An active individual who tries to better the community he’s a part of in any aspect is what all leaders should strive to be. Remember, that the best weapon in your arsenal is your own squad, not the gun in your hand.

Combat leadership in Arma

During Arma combat things are likely to become hasty and unclear very fast. No plan survives first contact, especially with technical difficulties and limitations of the game. A good leader must be able to adapt to any situation, playing with the idea of never quitting and always thinking. A good thought pattern is to always think about the bigger picture, plan out with the commander’s intent in mind (asking yourself how does this help the mission? what’s it going to achieve in the long run?), and of course, keeping your soldiers lives safe. You should try to get to know your guys as much as you can, find out what their strengths and weaknesses are both in terms of game knowledge and mental capacity, and apply that knowledge to any situations that may arise. One of the best ways to test out leadership capability is to not carry a weapon into an exercise as commanders’ greatest tool on the battlefield are the troopers he’s leading.

Mission Planning and reconnaissance

METT-TC is an acronym used for planning purposes to help identify relevant information needed in the planning and briefing process.

  • MISSION: The following should be considered requested and learned. The Intent of the commander is two levels up, so as a Fire Team Leader what is the role of your fire team, and what is the role of your squad in the operation? What are the specific and implied mission tasks? What mission complete scenarios look like and require?;

  • ENEMY: Where is the Enemy located? What are their composition and disposition? Include recent enemy activity and possible weaknesses of the enemy force. Always inquire about the Enemy's ability to reinforce their positions;

  • TROOPS AVAILABLE: Who is the leader and what is the defined chain of command? Composition and Strength of friendly forces. This will include any combat supports available for the missions. Also, receive any relevant communications information for how your unit/fireteam/squad will be operating via radio or CTAB;

  • TERRAIN & WEATHER: What will the weather be like, and what details of the terrain are present in the area of operations? This should include observation/fields of fire, cover, and concealment, obstacles, key terrain features, avenues of approach, and egress;

  • TIME: Specific time-related objectives and the time in which the objectives must be completed;

  • CIVILIAN CONSIDERATIONS: ROE and presence of civilian personnel, as well as political implications;

When receiving a mission brief ALWAYS request the maximum amount of information possible. However, when briefing down in the chain of command attempt to withhold details of the operation that do not affect those below you. This is a measure to control information overload and avoid drawing emphasis away from the specific mission of that team.



The Company commander provides initial instructions in a warning order. The warning order contains enough information to begin preparation as soon as possible. If available, the following information may be included in a warning order:

- The probable mission;

- Who is participating in the operation;

- Time of the operation;

- Time and location for issuing operational orders;


A concept of operation is a more detailed planning document utilizing the acronym of METT-TC to plan precise movement and engagement of specific elements. It is largely inspired by orders provided in the WARNO, further relies on intelligence either gathered or received through third parties, and can be further tweaked by FRAGOs (Fragmentary Orders - which are on-the-job changes to the CONOP for various reasons, usually new intelligence surfacing)

Reconnaissance types

  • Area Recon

An area reconnaissance is conducted to obtain information about a specified location and the area around it. The location may be given as a grid reference or an objective on an overlay. In area reconnaissance, the Platoon or Squad uses surveillance or vantage points around the objective from which to observe it and the surrounding area. In planning for an area reconnaissance mission, the Platoon leader considers the following sequence of actions:

- The Squad will move, via a series of checkpoints (WPs) to an ORP[1]. The commander will include a recon element and cover element in his recon of the objective from the ORP. He positions them while on task. Using METTC the recon group gathers as much information as possible;

- The Squad 2ic is responsible for ORP protection and establishes all-around defense at the ORP and positions other force protection measures, such as claymores, as required on likely enemy avenues of approach should it be necessary.

- After observing the objective for a specified time, the recon and cover group return to the ORP and exchange information with the rest of the Squad before moving off back to their extraction point/FOB location, either via the proven route in, or a separate route back to minimise the risk of ambush by the enemy if the squad has been soft compromised..

  • Route Recon

A route reconnaissance is conducted to obtain detailed information about one route and all the adjacent terrain or to locate sites for emplacing obstacles. Route reconnaissance is oriented on a road; a narrow axis, such as an infiltration lane; or a general direction of attack. Normally combat engineers are attached to a squad for a complete route reconnaissance. Rangers can conduct a hasty route reconnaissance without combat engineer support. A route reconnaissance results in detailed information about trafficability, enemy activity, CBRN contamination, and aspects of adjacent terrain from both the enemy and friendly viewpoint.

Issuing commands and reporting


A thought loop which we approach leadership with. Particularly useful, when in stressful situations like in combat. It’s a four-step approach to decision-making that focuses on filtering available information, putting it in context, and quickly making the most appropriate decision while also understanding that changes can be made as more data becomes available.

  • Observe

  • Orient

  • Decide

  • Act


A way of issuing commands. It stands for:

  • Clear,

  • Loud,

  • As an Order and with

  • Pauses.

Anytime you need to issue a target indication, or a fire control order, always follow CLAP, this will prevent pouring out a bunch of information or in case anyone isn't paying attention. Always ensure you are speaking clearly and at an understandable pace. Ensure you are speaking loud enough to ensure authority and people can hear you. When giving the instructions ensure it is as an order and not as a suggestion, and ensure there are pauses so people can process information being given.


Keep. It. Stupid. Simple.

Use abbreviations and short and concise sentences. Filter out your own thoughts or feelings about current developments and transmit only important parts of messages.


When Giving orders, for maximum effectiveness always give them in A.O.E Format.

  • ALERT - Who are you needing to give an order to;

  • ORDER - Give the Order once they are paying attention to you;

  • EXECUTION - Once everyone is ready give a word to execute the order I.e Execute or Move out.

Example: “Red team… Prepare to move 200 meters… northwest to the compound with double doors....in staggered file… Break. Red team, move out.”


A SALTA report is the standard battlefield report for passing information and is also commonly referred to as an OBSREP or Observation Report. It is given in the following format:

  • SIZE: Quantity of the target you are observing;

  • ACTIVITY: What the target is doing, in detail if possible. “Patrolling” is a simple answer. However “ Patrolling East to West and back every 5 mins” conveys much more defined parameters to give the commander an accurate picture of the battlespace;

  • LOCATION: Preferably an 8-10 Digit grid of the observation, However, a six-digit grid can be used to quickly pass the information. Include reference to nearby landmarks such as structures, bodies of water, or roads;

  • TIME: Sometimes due to external factors you cannot immediately transmit your report. The time should be recorded accurately to provide the best picture of the battlespace. If the report is immediate simply state “time now”;

  • ACTIONS TAKEN: What you are doing about the group you are observing, this allows the commander to know exactly what is or has been happening since the contact.

ACE - Team Leader’s responsibility

ACE reports are post-contact reports given during the squad re-group/platoon reorg from the squad leader to the platoon leader. The ACE report allows the Platoon leader to know what the condition of his squads are after every engagement/action. The report is usually defined by color (can also be a percentage) with the exception of casualties which are given by a triage status if a casualty was sustained.

To gather an ACE report the team leaders will move to each team member and then ask “How much ammo do you have? Are you injured? Do you have all of your equipment?” After gathering this information he will pass it on to the squad leader. This can be done via comms if the situation requires it.

  • Ammunition: magazines, grenades, launchers, vehicular ammunition, etc. this is usually given as color, ie: “We are green on 5.56.”, but can be given as a percentage, ie: “We are 75% on 5.56.”. Individuals will give the number of mags, grenades, etc. to the 2ic, who will then establish the patrol’s ammo state as either green, amber, or red.

  • Casualties: What is the status of any casualties, if sustained?

  • Equipment: The status of other equipment such as vehicle condition, demolitions, medical supplies, etc.

  • Green: 75-100%

  • Yellow/Amber: 25-75%

  • Red: 1-25%

  • Black: 0%

Before stepping off on a task, the team leaders should establish how much ammunition the squad is carrying to establish the squad ammo scales. For example, if the squad comprises 8 pax, each carrying an M4BII with 8 mags, then this gives us 64 mags in the squad. Therefore the patrol’s 100% ammo scale is 64 mags, 50% is 32 mags, etc. The same principle can be extended to other items such as smoke, frags, and AT weapons (med supplies can be, however it is not advised due to the different scales some troops carry in this regard). Dems are not included due to, in reality, being carried for specific tasks.

If casualties were sustained and a number was given ie 2 then you will follow the ACE report with a Triage status.

  • Immediate – T1

Immediate means that the casualty needs urgent help, medics will always do the T1’s before the T2’s or T3’s because T1 casualties are critically injured and require immediate treatment..

  • Delayed – T2

Delayed is when a casualty is out of life danger, but he still needs medical attention.

Usually those who cannot move quickly under their own power.

  • Minor – T3

Minor stands for lightly wounded, this means he can treat himself but also means that his injuries are not life threatening.

  • Dead – T4

Deceased means simply dead.

Example: “Havoc 16, 1-2, Ace as follows, green, red, yellow on medical. Break. Casualties are: 2x T2 and 1x T3. Over.”


Battle Damage Assessments or BDA’s are usually given post contact, but can be a specific task for SF troops operating deep behind enemy lines in a conventional war where a rapid assessment of (for example) coalition airstrikes onto enemy positions is required, but there are no ISTAR assets to task.

BDA’s should include numbers of personnel, vehicles, buildings or objective observed post contact. In addition to quantity their status should be given as well. An example would be “3 Enemy KIA”, “1 Tank Damaged, unable to confirm if immobilized”. Commonly three descriptions can be used to show the status of personnel or equipment:

  • Destroyed/KIA

  • Damaged/Wounded

  • Operational /Captured

The more detail you can pass up leads to a better picture of the battlespace.

Example: “Havoc 16, 1-2, BDA as follows: 4 EKIA, 1 EPW T3 casualty. Break. 2x DShKM captured, 1x Offroad disabled. Break. 2x Strella-2 launchers located off-road, suspect manpads in AO, over.”

Contact reports

Contact Reports apply to contact with the enemy - ie, you are under effective enemy fire. In layman’s terms; you are being shot at. If you see the enemy (enemy pre-seen) then it is a SIGHTING report (can be sent in SALTA format).

A contact report is only an initial report and does not convey much information to the command element.

Example: “Havoc 16, 1-2. Contact, small arms. Wait out.”

Once the squad leader has more information and has ensured the squad is reacting accordingly, he can then send a more detailed report in the form of a SALTA.

Squad movement

Squad Movement


Column / File:

The best time to use a column formation is when you are pretty sure the area you are in is secured and you need to get from point A to point B quickly. Allows rapid and controlled movement only allows fire to the flanks. Vulnerable for fire from the front and provides the least amount of fire to the front.


This is used when the enemy is expected to the front or flanks. Allows rapid and controlled movements. Allows fire to the front and Flanks. The AR Should be placed on the weak side of the flank. Ie, if 2-1 has AR left 2-2 will have AR right. When moving as the trailing team of a platoon, the ranger will be about 15 meters behind the center of the formations.

Staggered File / Column:

Staggered File is used mostly when moving along a trail or a road. Staggered File can both be used as a troop and a patrol. In a platoon a squad will be on each side of the road in a column formation and in a squadlevel formation the 1 and 3 will be on the same side and the 2 and 4 will be on the same side. The Staggered File provides fire to the flank and some towards the front.

Extended Line:

The Extended Line is used for reaction to contact sighting and enemy fire. The Line is also used when advancing onto an enemy position. The line formation allows a quick and effective response to fire from the front and provides full firepower to the forward area. The Flank has little firepower.


The Echelon Formation is rarely used, It's mainly used for moving through an open flanked area such as along the side of a hill or on the edge of a town. This formation provides heavy firepower to the front and flank that is occupied.

Movement in combat

During movements in open areas or when reacting to enemy contact, fire and maneuver are used to maneuver onto the threat position and destroy them. For the patrol, fire and maneuver can be used in both buddy teams and as a patrol.

Alternate Bounding:

Alternate Bounding, also referred to as leap, is having one team cover and the 2nd team will move forward. Once they are set they will become the cover team and the initial team will begin to move and push past the cover team. This process will continue by bounding past the cover team until the last bound is called..

Successive Bounding:

Successive Bounding is having one team providing cover then the 2nd team bounding forward and becoming the cover team. Once the Moving team calls set the Initial cover team will bound forward and get in line with the first team that moved. This process will continue until the last bound is called.


Peeling is a method of breaking contact by moving left or right from a line formation. If a peel right is called the person of the farthest left will crawl back, stand up and sprint to the right side of the line and go prone and begin engaging again. When moving once you pass the person that was next to you, you will call peeling or passing and that will signal them to begin their peel. This will continue until the last peel is called.

Fire and Maneuver:

Fire and Maneuver is to establish a Base of Fire team that will maintain stationary support by fire position while a second team will maneuver towards the enemy position by flanking either left or right. Once the Maneuver team reaches the flank they will call for Shift fire depending on the direction they are coming from, Ie Assaulting left call shift fire right. Once The maneuver team is within grenade throwing range, they will frag the enemy position and push into it to confirm the position is clear.

Reaction to Effective Enemy Fire

When Reacting to effective enemy fire, the squad turns and faces the threat (depending upon their formation. They may need to fan out into a rudimentary baseline first) and fire their “lifesaver shots” in the direction of the threat. Every member of the squad should make every effort to locate the enemy and give a target indication to the team/squad leader

Group - who you are directing the targeting message to, eg, “Squad/Fire team Red/Blue fireteam/AR”, etc.

Range - how far away you think the enemy is in meters. eg: “200”

Indication - a rough ‘talk on’/description of the enemy, eg: “Lone single story building. A right-hand window of the building. Machine gunner”

Reaction to indirect fire

In the event that the squad comes under indirect fire, the squad should go firm and go prone until the bombardment has finished. If any squad member can move to hard cover then they should do so, however, moving around during an IDF attack will increase the risk of injury, therefore movement should be kept to a minimum. Once the bombardment has finished then the squad team leaders conduct a (very) hasty head and casualty check before the squad moves out of the area.

Ambush Tactics

An ambush is a surprise attack by fire from concealed positions on a moving or temporarily halted enemy. Depending on the tactical situation and objective; an ambush could also include a follow-on maneuver in which the ambush force assaults the enemy in order to destroy his forces. An ambush is clearly enemy focused with no intent to seize or control terrain.


  • organization

  • hasty - refers to a quick opportunity presented to a military element to initiate contact with an enemy;

  • deliberate - refers to planned ambushes that meet a specific operational or strategic goal.

  • distance

  • Far Ambush – In a far ambush, the assault element is firing into the kill zone at a far greater distance. If the terrain is open, then your fields of fire will be extended. Of course, the challenge in a far ambush is finding the cover to place your assault element so they won’t be compromised or threatened.

  • Near Ambush – In a near ambush, the assault element is placed very close to the kill zone which they will fire into. This distance is normally 50 meters or less. The terrain in which you would conduct a near ambush is fairly obvious. This could include urban environments, wooded areas, etc…. — Really any terrain in which your fields of fire are very constrained.

  • formation

  • Linear (or Line) – A linear ambush places both its’ assault and support elements on line, parallel to the kill zone. This usually provides a fairly lengthy kill zone with fires being directed at the flanks of the enemy. Obviously, you want to get as much of the enemy as possible in the kill zone prior to firing the first round. Fire too early or too late and the availability of targets are diminished. A linear ambush is usually easier to execute and command and control than other formations.

  • L-Shaped – As the graphic depicts, ambush forces form an L during execution. The assault element forms the long leg parallel to the enemy’s direction of movement along the kill zone. The support element forms the short leg at one end of and at a right angle to the assault element. This provides both flanking (long leg) and enfilading (short leg) fires against the enemy. Of course, the L-Shaped formation is highly dependent on the right piece of terrain. That right piece of terrain should contain a sharp bend to it. If you are ambushing mechanized forces; you are looking for a sharp turn in a road. If you are ambushing light forces; you are seeking the same bend in a trail or even a swallow stream. In executing the L-Shaped formation, you must ensure all forces understand the direct fire control measures. As the graphic alludes to, it can be very easy for your assault elements to fire into the security element and vice versa. Forces must know where friendly forces are located at all times.

  • V-Shaped Ambush — This formation is not as utilized as the linear or L, but when it is executed it can produce devastating results. In the V (see below diagram), the assault elements are positioned on the flanks of the kill zone thus, forming the V. This formation should enable the assault force to shoot interlocking fires into the kill zone. With friendly fires dispersed and the angles of fire a little more extreme than other formations; this can lead to fratricide potential without good command and control and discipline. Again, the perfect piece of terrain is needed to execute the V. If it is found, the enemy will be subject to massive amounts of fire at various angles.

Keynotes for a successful ambush

  • The obvious most important fundamental of the ambush is surprise. Surprise and ambush are linked together. This surprise differentiates the ambush from most other offensive operations. The surprise should equate to a more lethal kill zone for the ambush force and less risk.

  • In most ambushes, the focus is on destroying the enemy. This leads us to the next fundamental which is coordinated fires. These fires are primarily direct fires but can include indirect as well.

  • As in any operation, discipline usually means the difference between success and failure. Discipline in an ambush is exhibited in numerous ways. These include: 1) As stated above, firing weapons when and where you are supposed to. 2) Remaining quiet and still in the ambush location so as to not give away your surprise.

  • The combination of surprise and coordinated fires are two key contributors to creating a shock effect. An ambush should paralyze the enemy mentally and physically from its beginning.

  • You can’t get too complex in your planning of the ambush. A complex ambush plan does not set the conditions for a successful mission. Consequently, simplicity in planning is a must. As in any plan, it must be clear and concise. Each element conducting the ambush must completely understand its purpose and task. The KISS Principle must be adhered to.

Reaction to ambush

Successful reaction to an ambush situation depends upon the speed of concerted and violent reaction to enemy fire. The initial stages of any reaction should be conducted by all personnel in the absence of verbal orders unless these are given immediately. It’s highly unlikely you will survive a well-planned ambush so, at this point, you will be expected to throw everything at the enemy - smoke, grenades, and fully automatic fire. If possible, break contact via the proven route, or in the opposite direction with smoke & cover fire. The priority is to get out of the enemy’s killing zone as quickly as possible.

Breaking Contact

Breaking contact consists of retreating from an active engagement with an enemy force due to numerous reasons. A good starting point is to conceal one's location by deploying smokes and begin squad movements in form of leap / bound or peeling to collapse behind hard cover. The important part is to remain in control during squad maneuvers and facilitate a safe extraction of one's element.

Convoy transport

Should the platoon move in a motorized convoy the Platoon net shall act as convoy net for present vehicles. The typical things to control during such manouvers are vehicle speed and seperation depending on the nature of the Area of Operations.

Should a convoy come under fire during transit, two stances which are briefed prior are usually taken:

  • Push Through - The unit pushes through the fire either stopping after convering some distance and manouvering on enemy contact or breaking the engagement all together.

  • Fix and fight - The unit sets up an ARD and coordinates either direct or indirect fires on enemy contact.

Map & Land Navigation

Terrain features

Terrain features play a key role in both the mission planning and execution stages of an operation. Choosing the proper terrain can give you the advantage in any engagement, and failing to utilize the terrain could put you at a distinct disadvantage.

Hill-a point or small area of high ground. When you are on a hilltop, the ground slopes down in all directions.

Ridge-a line of high ground with height variations along its crest. The ridge is not simply a line of hills; all points of the ridge crest are higher than the ground on both sides of the ridge.

Valley-reasonably level ground bordered on the sides by higher ground. A valley may or may not contain a stream course. A valley generally has maneuver room within its confines. Contour lines indicating a valley are U-shaped and tend to parallel a stream before crossing it. The course of the contour line crossing the stream always points upstream.

Saddle-a dip or low point along the crest of a ridge. A saddle is not necessarily the lower ground between two hilltops; it may be a break along an otherwise level ridge crest.

Depression-a low point or hole in the ground, surrounded on all sides by higher ground.

Draw-similar to a valley, except that it normally is a less developed stream course in which there is generally no level ground and, therefore, little or no maneuver room. The ground slopes upward on each side and toward the head of the draw.

Spur-a usually short, continuously sloping line of higher ground, normally jutting out from the side of a ridge. A spur is often formed by two thoroughly parallel streams cutting draws down the side of a ridge

Cliff-a vertical or near-vertical slope. A cliff may be shown on a map by contour lines being close together, touching, or by a ticked "carrying" contour line. The ticks always point toward lower ground.

Grid references

To read map grids, you will work from the vertical numbers first then followed by the horizontal numbers - this makes up a grid square,

6 Digit Grids are used for giving a 100x100 meter grid reference and are mostly used for a general location. When you Zoom your map into where there are 3 numbers on the side and

8 Digit Grids are used for giving a 10x10 meter grid reference and are prefered for when revealing locations of targets and even for calling in CAS, in order to do this you will need to break the grid in having imaginary 0-9 on the side and bottom, Once you read the first 3 Bottom numbers for a standard 6 Digit you would add the 4th digit for the first half and then repeat for the side.

KEYPADS are used for breaking a grid into 30x30 meters and for giving a general area of a target or location inside a 6 Digit Location. Keypads would be given after a 6 Digit is called ie. 054 456 Kilo Papa 7. To get a Keypad just imagine your keyboard number pad in the grid.

Road types

  • MSR (Main Supply Route) is represented by a thick Dark Orange road and these are the most used roads. They are normally Highways, Wide Paved Roads or the Most Accessible road.

  • ASR (Auxiliary Supply Route) are represented by a pale orange road and these are normally less used compared to MSR’s. These roads are normally Small Pave Roads.

  • SR (Secondary/Supply Routes) are represented by a transparent or white road. These are rarely used and are normally dirt tracks.


Stage 2 - Exercise

The attendee pool will take a 5-10 minute break for food and water and the senior instructor will begin creating a zeused mission for the attendees to conduct which will require the trainee’s use of the tactics taught throughout the course.

The attendee pool will form a patrol led by an attendee. The Squad Leader has his weapon revoked - to emphasize the initial point. The greatest weapon of a leader is his own commanded element. The squad leader will be swapped during the Live Fire Exercise depending on the situation. Once the mission is complete you will grade the trainee’s on a Pass or Fail ground.

[1]ORP= Objective Rally Point. This is a location out of sight, sound, and small-arms range of the objective area. Serves as a staging point for smaller tactical elements.

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