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Subject: USMC Battalion organisation
interestedamateur    11/8/2005 7:25:49 AM
I've heard that USMC infantry sections are being reduced from 13 to 12 men. Does anyone have any information on this new structure? Also, how are the new Mikor M140 GL's going to be employed? Thanks IA
 
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longrifle    RE:USMC Battalion organisation   11/8/2005 11:23:37 AM
That sounds odd. I think the USMC has stuck with a triangular organization from fire team through corp since WWII. I'd be curious to see what the internal breakdown in the squad is like if that's the case.
 
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bunkerdestroyer    RE:USMC Battalion organisation   11/8/2005 5:44:18 PM
mission dictates, but in iraq, numerous times, the fireteam has add. to it, and instead of 4, the have 5-6 sometimes............ but as policy, I dont know...it does not sound right-12 is the 3fireteams/4per fireteam=12 and the squad leader=13....
 
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Yimmy    RE:USMC Battalion organisation   11/8/2005 5:55:27 PM
Why should the squad leader be seperate?
 
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longrifle    RE:Seperate squad leader   11/8/2005 6:29:15 PM
>>Why should the squad leader be seperate?<< Thats common with both the U.S. Army and the USMC. The Army rifle squad is nine men, two fire teams of four and the squad leader. The USMC squad is thirteen men, three fire teams of four and the squad leader. I know the British have proven that the squad leader doesn't HAVE to be seperate with their eight man squad, which has served them well. But both U.S. organizations feel that there is an advantage to having someone seperate from the fire teams directing them, whenever possible.
 
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Carl S    RE:Marine Squads   11/8/2005 8:45:59 PM
Since WWII the Marines have worked with other squad organizations. In Viet Nam attrition left the squads in the field averaging 7-9 men, so often the formal fire team structure was non existant. There were periodic experiments with other organizations. In 1983 I was attached to 3bn, 6th Marines in Okinawa. 3/6 had formally adopted a oganization of two fire teams of five men & the squad leader (11 total). After two years the conclusion was negative. The squad leaders found it less flexible and were constantly forming ad hoc third teams. The junior corporals and E3s who ran the teams found commanding four elements much more difficult. The platoon and companyy commanders noted that the less robust squads required a change in their use of the other company weapons. Particularly aggravating was the loss of 1/3 of the companys LMG (2 SAW per squad vs 3). Adding a couple extra M203 to the squad and M2 or Mk40 HMG to the company did not make up for the loss of the LMG. Experiments with two team squads were made in the 1920s and 30s. Some regiments had two team squads in late 1942-early 1943, untill the three team squad became common in 1944.
 
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Yimmy    RE:Marine Squads   11/8/2005 8:53:18 PM
What I don't get with 3 fire teams, is that it means at the level of fire and manouver where the sections have broken up into their teams, you can't have half moving and half covering, you either have 2/3 covering and 1/3 moving, or far worse, 1/3 covering the other 2/3 moving. I don't see why the squad leader should be a seperate element - he has to move like everyone else, while on his own is insufficient to provide cover, so he has to combine himself with a fire team to advance... so why not make him attached to one?
 
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Horsesoldier    RE:Marine Squads   11/8/2005 10:12:08 PM
>>What I don't get with 3 fire teams, is that it means at the level of fire and manouver where the sections have broken up into their teams, you can't have half moving and half covering, you either have 2/3 covering and 1/3 moving, or far worse, 1/3 covering the other 2/3 moving.<< A third element would tend to add flexibility, though, in plenty of real world situations. The extra fire team the USMC has also means that their squad is more robust, in terms of combat losses or other attrition compared to US Army squads or UK sections. >>I don't see why the squad leader should be a seperate element - he has to move like everyone else, while on his own is insufficient to provide cover, so he has to combine himself with a fire team to advance... so why not make him attached to one?<< I think the idea is that a fire team leader needs to be fighting his fire team, while a squad leader needs to be fighting the squad, and if you put responsibility for both onto a single guy he is liable to have too much on his plate. But the eight man section seems to work very well for the UK, so I'd say it is one of those cases where either works, with some tradeoffs in either direction.
 
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Yimmy    RE:Marine Squads   11/8/2005 10:15:54 PM
As American marine sections have 13 men, does this mean they only have two sections in a platoon, plus the HQ element?
 
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bunkerdestroyer    RE:Marine Squads   11/8/2005 10:27:04 PM
its all triangular 3 ft in a squad. 3 sq in a plt..3 rifle plt in a company, 3 inf bn in a reg. and 3 reg in a div and 3 marine divisions, but...you have 3 rifle plt in a co. plus a wpns plt-in squad element, but organized diff as they have diff wpns. then you have a hq plt. then you have 3 rifle co in a bn, plus at the bn level, you have wpns co.(which will be attacked to the 3 diff. rifle co) then you have a hq co. at the bn level, you have 3 inf bn, plus a wpns bn and hq bn all in a reg... ie..1st mar div-you have 3rd, 5th, and 7th reg. I was in 1st bn 7th marines(reg)1st mar div. You had alpha, bravo, and charlie co. then you had mine, weapons co. you also had our hq co.
 
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Eagle601    RE:Marine Squads   11/9/2005 1:47:26 AM
Marine platoons have three 13 man squads and a 4 man HQ element. The Marines assign LMGs and ATGMS to company and battalion level units and parcel them out as needed.
 
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