MOVEMENT IN THE FIELD
In my previous guide I went through camouflage and concealment, target indications and
observation. In this guide I will assume you are comfortable with these principals and the
other subjects covered in the basic guide, and take things one step further.
Methods of Movement
When close to the enemy you do not want your movements to be seen – therefore use any
and all cover available. Remember to always use any hedges, walls or dead ground such
as ditches and pot holes for cover.
Crawl on the inside of your knees and your
elbows. This method is useful for moving behind
very low cover or when moving close to enemy
positions. Move using alternate elbows and
knees, rolling your body a little as you bend your
knees. Keep your heels, head and body down but be sure to remain observant at all
times. Hold your rifle with the right hand on the pistol grip and the left hand on the hand
The Monkey Run
This is the normal “hands and knees” crawl. This method is
useful when moving behind low cover. You can move quite
fast, but it does make a noise. Moving slower and to prevent
twigs cracking as you move, put your knees on the spot
where your hands have been. Keep your “backside” and
head down but continue to observe the area. With a rifle,
hold it at the point of balance, and try to ensure no dirt gets into the muzzle.
The rifle is held in the shoulder, ready for instant action. You must
adopt a positive and alert attitude, observing in all directions.
Don’t walk on the flat sole of your boots, use the outside edge to
walk quietly. It helps your balance if you slightly bend your knees
as you move.
This is the quickest way of getting off a skyline or crest of a hill.
Protect your rifle, hold it close into your side. Keep your feet
together and your body straight.
Movement at Night
Always move quietly. Movement used during daylight are not suitable at night – they
have to be adapted.
The Ghost Walk
Lift legs high, sweeping them slowly outwards. Feel gently with
toes for a safe place for each foot and place body weight down
gently. Keep your knees bent. Use the left hand to feel the air in
front of you from head height down to the ground checking for
obstructions, trip wires, booby traps or alarms etc.
The Cat Walk
Crawl on hands and knees. Search the ground ahead for twigs, move
your knees to where your hands and searched. This method of
movement is similar to the monkey run only slower and more cautious.
The Kitten Crawl
This method of movement is very quiet, but also
very slow and tiring. Lie on your front, search
ahead for twigs and move them to one side. Lift
your body on to your forearms and toes, press
forwards and lower yourself onto the ground.
The Principles of Attack
1. Surprise, by the speed carried out and form where is came.
2. The volume of fire from different weapons.
3. The ease and simplicity in which it was carried out
Attacks can take place by day or night, on foot or from vehicles. They may be carried out
quickly as you “bump” the enemy on the initiative of you platoon/section commander or
carefully planned, rehearsed and carried out with all available support. All attacks have
five distinct stages, they are;
1. Planning and preparation
2. Winning the fire fight and brining maximum fire onto the enemy position.
3. The final assault
4. Fighting through the objective.
At the platoon/section level these five stages are set out below as Battle Drills. They are
“Drills” in the sense of being a framework to ensure that no point is overlooked in the
planning of an attack, and also to give the individual commander on the spot the
opportunity to make his own appreciation and plans as the attack progresses.
Fire and Movement
All attacks are based on fire and movement. The term fire and movement and the
principles behind it are important to learn and adopt. In reality it means that while one
FIRE TEAM is up and moving, the other(s) are down in a fire position giving covering
fire to those on the move. Remember it by thinking of “keeping one foot on the ground”.
At a section level, fire and movement is not too complicated, but if it is part of an overall
plan on a much larger scale then it can be very important to keep the plan in detail. The
use of supporting arms such as artillery, anti-tank guided weapons, mortars and aircraft
could all be used during a final assault – timing and good communications would be
The platoon and Section commanders will have to consider the correct use of available
weapons depending on their range, mobility and rate of fire, ability to hit the target, the
shape of the ground or any obstacles and the advantages of one weapon against another.
Only with practice will your skill be acquired to suit the ground and the tactical situation.
The effective appreciation and use of the ground will enable a section to close effectively
with the enemy. A section ideally consists of 4 riflemen, 2 LMG gunners and 2 LSW
gunners, with 2 of the riflemen equipped with 40mm grenade launchers. Their weapons
will to a great extent depend upon the threats likely to be encountered and the tasks they
will be required to carry out. Likewise the section can be broken down into different
groups as required according to their role etc.
Control of the Platoon
Control is exercised by the platoon commander at all times by using radio, whistle,
voice, flares or field signals or by a member of the section acting as a runner.
SECTION BATTLE DRILLS
These notes are for a section organised with a Fire Support Team and an Assault Fire
The Following “mnemonic” will help you to remember all the details to be covered in
your battle preparation:-
P Protection, sentries, cover, camouflage, NBC, alarms
A Ammunition, supply, reserves
W Weapons, scales, distribution, checking and preparation
P Personal: camouflage, hygiene, food and water
E Equipment, scale required, distribution
R Radio – communications, rehearsals
S Specialist equipment for tasks, cutting, climbing
O Orders “O” group timings
Section Battle Drill No1. Battle Preparation
a. Personal camouflage. Break up outline, use scrim net and local foliage typical of
b. Check weapons. Clean, serviceable and sights are zero’d
c. Check ammo. Magazines and Grenades (HE and Smoke) distributed.
d. Check all radio comms are working and the correct frequencies are given
Section Commanders Orders
a. Ground ref points
b. Situation Enemy and Friendly forces. Platoon formation and task
c. Attachments and detachments
d. Mission – the section mission
e. Execution Fire team group (if altered). Route. Section formation.
f. LSW and LAW tasks
g. Service support – Info from Platoon commanders orders
h. Command and Signals; Info from Platoon commanders orders
Reference Points & Anticipatory Orders.
In the “Advance to Contact£ the section commander will look out for:-
1. Positions giving cover in anticipation of effective enemy fire
2. Reference points for fire control orders
SECTION BATTLE DRILL No 2. – REACTION TO EFFECTIVE ENEMY FIRE
The drill to be adopted is: On the order of the section commander – “TAKE COVER”,
Return Fire, Take Cover, Respond to Enemy Fire (RTR)
Get off the area immediately. Move to the nearest cover as indicated. Take cover, crawl
into the chosen position to observe. Return fire using tracer where possible to indicate
SECTION BATTLE DRILL No 3. – LOCATION OF THE ENEMY
Location of the enemy is usually difficult, failure to locate the enemy quickly means
casualties and loosing the initiative as a result. There are three stages to this drill.
a. Observation – look in the area from which the fire came from. Use binoculars
or SUSAT sight. Look for movement, smoke etc
b. Fire – give fire orders to a couple of riflemen or section LMG gunner to fire at
likely enemy positions. Remainder of section to observe.
c. Movement – Section commander orders rifleman to move while remainder of
SECTION BATTLE DRILL No 4. WINNING THE FIRE FIGHT
As soon as the section commander knows the enemy position, a fire order must be given
to bring sufficient weight of fire on the enemy to either neutralise them and/or force them
to keep their heads down. It is important that the section commander takes control of the
fire fight at the earliest opportunity, otherwise the large amount of ammunition that could
be used may jeopardise the operation.
SECTION BATTLE DRILL No 5. THE ATTACK BATTLE ORDERS
When a section commander knows the enemies position they look for any defended
positions. If they are part of the objective they will issue snap orders so that they can
carry out an assault. This is divided into three stages.
The Approach – including Quick Battle Orders
The Fight Through
The Attack will always be one of the following depending on the number of stages in the
attack. They will be as brief as possible.
Orders for a one stage attack, which is when the assault fire team goes straight into the
1. Fire and Movement to close with the enemy. Left or Right flanking.
2. Assault fire team prepare to move. Fire support team opens fire to cover.
3. Assault fire team moves.
Orders for a two stage attack, which is when the fire support team moves to another
position before the assault team moves.
1. Direction of assault. Left or right hand flanking.
2. Fire support team moves first, prepare to move.
3. Assault fire team fire. Fire support team move.
4. Continues as a one stage attack.
Orders for a three stage attack, in which the assault fire team moves first, then the
support fire team, followed by a final move and attack by the assault fire team.
1. Direction of assault. Left or right hand flanking.
2. Assault fire team moves first to… Prep to move. Fire support team fires.
3. Fire support team moves. Assault fire team fires.
4. Assault fire team prep to assault. Fire support team fire and switch.
5. Assault fire team moves. Fire support team fires
Fire support team should fire or move automatically on the previous order to the assault
The Assault and Fighting Through the Objective
All movement by either fire team must be covered by fire from the other. An angle of
1600 mils between the two fire teams allows the most effective fire support for the
assault. As the assault is made the Fire Support Team should fire across the objective for
as long as possible, then switch it’s fire across the objective onto enemy in depth
positions. Watch out for enemy interference from the flanks. The section commander
should make continuous appreciation of the situation throughout the attack.
SECTION BATTLE DRILL No 6. REORGANISATION
When the objective is cleared of enemy the section commander must regain close control
over the men and the position, ready to beat off any counter attack. The re-org must be
swift and efficient; if not, all that was gained may be lost.
The Section Commander Will:
1. Allot fire tasks to each member of the section
2. Post sentries
3. Check on casualties
4. Check on ammunition, arrange re-distribution of ammo
5. Supervise re-digging of shell scrapes
6. Send prisoners and captured kit to the rear
7. Report to the Platoon commander for orders
The Fire Support Team Will;
1. On prearranged signal, rejoin the assault fire team via the proven route taken by
the assault team once the section is in control of the objective.
2. Check Support Weapons and re-distribute ammo.
1. Check weapons and equipment.
2. Check ammunition and grenades.
3. Recharge all magazines.
NOTE: While the “fight-through” is in progress the capture of the objective is the first
priority. As soon as the position is cleared then casualties take high priority.
If you are to move across country, check in advance exactly where you are to move to.
SECTION AND PLATOON FIELD SIGNALS
Field signals are a silent means of communication between members of the
platoon/section. They should be used whenever possible and be constantly practiced,
even when going about normal duties it is as well to use them so they become second
nature to everyone.
Very often there is a need to attract the attention of the those who are to receive the
signal, especially if the section commander wants to tell several members of his section at
the same time. This does not absolve you as a member of the platoon/section from
watching out for signals, there may be times when audible signals are not practical.
There are four recognised methods of attracting attention:-
EXPLANATION AND KEY TO FIELD SIGNALS
1. A SINGLE whistle blast – during fire contact only.
2. Snapping forefinger and thumb
3. Knocking butt of weapon with knuckles
4. Silent whistle
Whistle blasts are often used to indicate situations, they are as follows:-
1. Short Blasts – ALARM – air attack, NBC attack etc
2. Long Blasts – Indicate “Stand Down”
KEY TO FIED SIGNAL ILLUSTRATIONS
1. READY TO MOVE. Move hands as if cranking handle
2. DEPLOY. Arm extended below shoulder level, waved slowly from side to side,
hand open. If deployment to either flank is wanted commander points to flank
after completing signal.
3. ADVANCE or FOLLOW ME. Arm swung from rear to front below shoulder
4. HALT or REST. Arm raised until the hand is level with the shoulder. Indicate
length of halt by number of fingers. Point to rest area.
5. GO BACK or TURN ABOUT. Hand circled at hip height.
6. CLOSE or ON ME. Hand placed on top or head, elbow square to the right or
left according to which hand is used. Point to RV area.
7. DOUBLE. Clenched hand moved up/down between thigh/shoulder.
8. SLOW DOWN (APC). Arm extended to the side below shoulder, palm
downwards, moved slowly up and down, wrist loose.
9. LIE DOWN. Two or three slight movements with the open hand towards the
ground (palm downwards).
10. AS YOU WERE. Forearm extended downwards, hand open, waved across body
parallel to ground.
11. ENEMY SEEN or SUSPECTED. Thumb pointed towards the ground from
12. NO ENEMY IN SIGHT or ALL CLEAR. Thumb point upwards from
13. GUN GROUP. Clenched fist raised to shoulder height.
14. SCOUT GROUP. Clenched fist with forefinger upright.
15. RIFLE GROUP. Victory Sign – first and second finger extended and open in V,
remainder of fist clenched.
16. LIGHT MORTAR. Weapon held vertical. Imitate loading mortar rounds.
17. LAW/MAW. Weapon placed on shoulder and held like a LAW/MAW.
18. SECSTION COMMANDER. Two opened fingers held against arm to indicate
19. PLATOON COMMANDER. Two open fingers held on shoulder to indicate
20. GIVE COVERING FIRE. Weapon brought to aim.
21. OBSTACLES. CROSSING. TRACK JUNCTION. Arms crossed. For water
obstacles make waves.
22. HOUSE or HUT. Hands folded in inverted V; to indicate shape of a roof.
23. RECONNAISSANCE. Hand held to eye, as though using eye glass.
24. ATTACK. A chopping movement with edge of hand in direction attack is
25. MOVE UP. Fingers spread, arms swung slowly in direction movement is
26. FORM AMBUSH. Hand placed over face, followed by pointing to place of
27. FREEZE AND LISTEN. Hand cupped to ear.
28. “O” GROUP. Fingers together, moved in conjunction with thumb to indicate
29. RIGHT OR LEFT FLANKING. A curved sweeping movement of the arm in
30. FIRE ANDMANOEUVRE. One hand used in a rolling forward action in front
of the body.
31. SPACE OUT. Palm of hand held against weapon and moved away several times.
32. SINGLE FILE. One arm fully extended above head.
33. STAGGERED FILE. Both arms fully extended above head.
34. ARROWHEAD. Both arms forced backwards or forwards at an angle of
800mils, depending whether arrow is to the back or forward.
35. DIAMOND. Arms raised above head in the shape of a diamond.
36. EXTENDED LINE. Arms raised to the side of the body level with the ground.
THE BEST WAY TO LEARN FIELD SIGNALS IS TO USE AND PRACTICE
THEM ON EVERY POSSIBLE OCCASION.
Ideal for moving along hedge lines, walls and other linear features. This formation
provides the section commander with good control. It is easy to maintain both during the
day and at night. Gives good arcs of fire to the flanks, but is vulnerable to attack from
the front or rear.
Used mainly for moving along road and tracks. Similar characteristics to single file,
although while it gives slightly better firepower to the front and rear there is a danger of
members of the section being caught in other section members fire during an attack from
This 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. It is
however difficult to maintain and control, especially at night.
This formation is used in much the same way as arrowhead. It is especially useful in
place of arrowhead at night and is much easier to control and maintain. It does however
provide less firepower to the front than arrowhead.
Extended line is used mainly when preparing for an assault on an enemy position as it
leads itself to easy movement into a bounding assault. It is also useful when searching an
area for equipment or injured personnel. It is however difficult to maintain, especially
when moving at speed.
Half attack is a formation that is often used in place of staggered file. It works in much
the same way as the former, although it is especially useful when you are expecting
contact from either flank. As the 2 fire teams are in separate bricks rather than simply
offset a bounding attack or withdrawal can begin without first having to organise the
section into an extended line, saving valuable time when under fire.
This guide was written for the airsoft community by James “Eddie182” Knight. Certain images are taken from “A
Soldier Pocket Book” and are used for illustration purposes only. Information contained in this guide is as far as
possible accurate and current and comes solely from the brain of Eddie182 and his team mates. This guide is intended
for members of Arnies Airsoft and other airsofters and is provided free of charge.