Before a Section Commander can give a fire control order he has to estimate the distance to the
target. This is to ensure that the sections firepower is fully effective. Listed below are several ways
which are effective in judging distances.
1. Unit of Measure. - The way to use this method is to take a recognised distance e.g. 100 metres
or any smaller better recognised distance and see how many of them you can fit in between you and
the target. This method is no good unless you can see all of the ground between you and the target
or for any distance over 400 metres.
2. Appearance Method. - It takes a lot of practice to become good at using the appearance
method. The way to use this method is to study what an object looks like compared to it's
surroundings. The amount of visible detail of a cadet at various ranges gives a good indication of
the distance he is away:
At 100 metres - He is clear in all detail.
At 200 metres - Clear in all detail, Colour of skin/equipment identifiable.
At 300 metres - Clear body outline, Face colour good, Remaining detail blurred.
At 400 metres - Body outline clear, Remaining detail blurred.
At 500 metres - Body begins to taper, Head becomes indistinct.
At 600 metres - Body now wedge shaped
No head apparent.
You have to be careful because things aren't quite what they appear.
Things will seem closer when: a. The sun/light is shining from behind you.
b. The object is bigger than other things around it.
c. There is dead ground between them and you.
d. They are higher up then you are.
Things will seem further away when: a. The light is bad or the sun is in your eyes.
b. They are smaller than other things around them.
c. You are looking across a valley, down a street or a
ride in a wood.
d. You are lying down.
3. Halving. - This is quick and easy to use, simply choose a point that you think is halfway to your
target and estimate the distance to that point then double it.
4. Bracketing. Say to yourself " The target could not be more than X metres, nor less than Y
metres away", add x to y and halve the result; the answer is the range. the further away, the wider
should be your bracket.
5. Key Ranges. If you know the range to any point within your arc you can estimate the distance
to other objects from it.