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Making the Marine Rifle Squad More Lethal – Soldier of Fortune Magazine

Making the Marine Rifle Squad More Lethal – Soldier of Fortune Magazine
USMC Robert Neller twitter

The Marine Rifle Squad

The Marine rifle squad has been the primary tactical unit of theMarine Corps since earlier than World Conflict II. Whereas the composition of the rifle squad has advanced all through the Corps’ historical past in battle, its significance has not.

“At the end of the day, if you unpack any tactical situation you will find that it will always come down to the rifle squad,” stated Lt. Col. Steele, battalion commander, 2nd Battalion, seventh Marine Regiment. “It is up to them to close the last 100 yards and they are the ones that win battles.”

The mission of the rifle squad is to find, shut with, and destroy the enemy by hearth and maneuver, or repel the enemy’s assault by hearth and shut fight.  Regardless of any technological benefits that our armed forces may need over an enemy, solely shut fight between floor forces positive aspects the determination in battle, in line with the USMC.

Earlier this yr in Might, Marine Commander Gen. Robert B. Neller introduced that Marine Rifle Squads can be paired right down to 12 members with an added  methods operator and assistant squad chief.  Every Marine will carry the M27 Infantry Automated Rifle along with different added gear (see under full proposal). However,  others argued that the 15 member rifle squad was extra reasonable.

“Some of the leadership within 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines had characterized the 15-Marine rifle squad as being “at a minimum, the way to go” for Marine infantry working on the future battlefield,” Marinecorptimes wrote.

‘The main reason this organization (12 member rifle squad) will not work in practice is the inability to properly divide a team into the lowest fighting unit—the buddy pair. From day one, Marines are taught about buddy pairs, or two individual Marines together. This is the smallest unit that can effectively fire and move. Breaking a four-man fire team down to three will remove a buddy pair from the equation,” Marine Corp Association’s Kyle Stubbeman wrote. When dropping a person in a workforce, the safety of the group is compromised and should end in extra casualties in an city struggle.

Neller has reconsidered. Neller now’s proposing a 15-man rifle squad for ahead deployed Marines.  Neller, in October, stated the determination so as to add a techniques operator and assistant squad chief was the actual “game changer” out of his infantry modernization efforts. Militarytimes reported.

“The top Marine is considering bolstering the size of the rifle squad to 15 Marines for forward deployed Amphibious Ready Group Marine Expeditionary Units, or MEUs.”  The ultimate determination has not been made. Under is the reasoning from the Commandant as to why he determined that a 12 Marine Rifle Squad was the method to go.


The Marine Corps will implement a brand new squad formation construction so as to meet the calls for of future warfighting. The transition to those superior squad formations will happen in FY 2020.

The mission of the Marine Corps rifle squad is to find, shut with and destroy the enemy by hearth and maneuver, or repel the enemy assault by hearth and shut fight. A lesson Marines are taught in boot camp, which is carried all through their whole profession.


The Marines are making strides to develop into extra deadly and agile based mostly on the threats of the future battlefield.

Final week at the annual Floor Awards Dinner, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller, provided his current selections to many of the Corps’ prime officer and enlisted floor fight leaders.

“We are going to change,” provided Neller. “Not that we aren’t good; we are.  But we must continually strive to get better.”

Neller added that enhancements in know-how, mobility, and firepower supply the Marines an uneven benefit towards potential adversaries, however provided that they seize the alternative.

“The surest way to prevent war is to be prepared to dominate one,” Neller stated.  “And that is what we are going to do.”

The Marine Corps Working Idea (MOC) recognized the improvement of the future drive as a essential process and emphasizes that “superior infantry is a Marine Corps asymmetric advantage.”

The infantry has all the time been the coronary heart of the Marine Corps’ warfighting functionality and the Commandant needed to make sure that Marine Corps infantry formations stay the most deadly, agile, and adaptable in the world.

The MOC, Marine Corps Drive 2025 (MCF 2025), in addition to the related Sea Dragon 2025 experiments and evaluations, have knowledgeable the Commandant’s determination to make a number of foundational selections to extend the lethality, agility, and adaptableness of the infantry battalion.

Reorganization of the infantry will happen over the subsequent three-to-five years, though some of the modifications are occurring now, resembling the transfer to arm infantry Marines with the M27 Infantry Automated Rifle and the distribution of quadcopters.

Highlights of the introduced and up to date modifications all through the floor fight aspect:

12-Marine Rifle Squad

One of the most anticipated modifications Neller introduced was the construction of the Marine rifle squad.  The brand new 12-Marine squad displays modifications aimed toward higher equipping the small unit chief with elevated lethality and enhanced situational consciousness.  It is going to be organized into three hearth groups of three Marines every with two new positions added to account for an assistant squad chief and a squad methods operator.  Further riflemen, one for every hearth group, will stay on the books (Desk of Group) as an unmanned requirement to permit the Corps to shortly add depth to the squad, if wanted.

This new squad shall be carried out throughout all Marine infantry battalions throughout the subsequent three-to-five years. One of the key elements is that every squad chief would have 5-7 years of expertise and formal coaching as a squad chief.  The brand new squad techniques operator will even obtain formal coaching on a spread of applied sciences.  The squad, by billet, will probably be organized as such:

•           (1) Squad Chief (Sgt)

•           (1) Assistant Squad Chief (Cpl)

•           (1) Squad Methods Operator (Lance Cpl)

•           (three) Hearth Group Leaders (Cpls)

•           (three) Grenadiers (Lance Cpls)

•           (three) Automated Riflemen (Lance Cpls)

Squad Firepower, Comms, and Optics

Neller added that each Marine in the rifle squad might be armed with an M27 Infantry Automated Rifle with suppressors and improved optics.  The present rifle squad is constructed round three automated weapons, nevertheless, the future squad could have 12. Marines may also have improved binocular night-vision units, improved optics, together with a thermal functionality, and a number of improved grenade launchers (M320).

Marines are fielding the Multi-Position Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (MAAWS), “Carl Gustav”, as a alternative to the Mk-153 Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon (SMAW), for extra firepower and elevated rocket vary and selection.

They may obtain enhanced communications gear and the Marine Corps widespread handheld system that gives a digital hyperlink to close-air help, oblique fires, and adjoining models to extend shared situational consciousness.

Every squad may also have an M38 Squad Designated Marksmanship Rifle with a suppressor and variable 2.5-Eight energy optic.  This rifle is organizationally assigned to the rifle squad, to not a selected billet, to offer improved identification and engagement of targets out to 600 meters.  The person using this weapon won’t be a sniper, however a Marine who’s given further coaching on vary estimation, scope concept and statement.

Sniper Rifle Upgrades

Mk13 Mod 7 Lengthy Vary Sniper Rifle (LRSR).  The Marine Corps will subject a restricted quantity of Mk13 Mod 7 LRSRs throughout FY18 to offer elevated vary and hit chance.  The Mk13 Mod 7 LRSR is presently utilized by parts of U.S. Particular Operations Command; it employs a .300 Winchester Magnum spherical.

Unmanned Aerial Methods/Counter UAS

Every squad may have a UAS ‘quad copter’ to extend situational consciousness of the squad leaders. Past the squads, every platoon could have a further UAS operator, and the rifle corporations will add a UAS/Counter-UAS part of 5 Marines.

More Javelins, Much less TOWs and 81s…however Elevated Vary and Mobility

Weapons corporations are going to get 4 further Javelin techniques bringing the complete to 12.  Javelins are man-portable, anti-armor missiles; Javelins could have prolonged vary with the command launch unit.  That is to off-set the elimination of 4 Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided (TOW) missiles in the firm, and the eventual elimination of TOWs in the battalion.  The Commandant additionally introduced the choice to scale back the quantity of 81 mm. mortar methods by two in every weapons firm, as eight was a hold-over from days once we had 4 rifle corporations in the battalion.  The six remaining could have prolonged ranges by way of ammunition enhancements, and Marines will leverage the Polaris MRZRs (all-terrain automobiles) for enhanced mobility.

More Tanks, Rockets

2nd Tank Battalion will get a further tank firm, and the Corps is upgrading its M1A1 lively safety techniques and goal acquisition and sensor suites.

fifth Bn, 10th Marines is coming again as a Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) Battalion, with plans to face up this unit in FY23.

Marines are fielding the Mild Armored Car Anti-Tank Modernization (LAV-ATM) upgrades – improved weapon techniques, capability to accumulate targets whereas on-the-move with a precision long-range anti-armor/anti-materiel functionality, utilizing a complicated thermal sight and steerage system.

More Info, Intel and Logistics

Every rifle firm may have an Operations/Intelligence part, in addition to a logistics cell and a Small Arms Repairer (Army Occupational Specialty designation 2111).  At the battalion degree, Marines are including an Info Administration Officer and an Info Setting Operations Officer and Chief to combine Info Warfare capabilities.

More Fight Engineers

Fight Engineer squads will improve to 13 Marines, and every infantry battalion may have an engineer platoon aligned to it.

More FACs (Ahead Air Controller)

With a further FAC assigned to every infantry battalion, every rifle firm may have an assigned FAC.

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