What it means to lead: A quick look at leading a squad.

Being inspired by Ollie’s medic post, I figured I should follow suit. This is a quick overview on squad tactics and essentials for every engagement.

First: No plan survives contact.

It doesn’t matter how elaborate, well trained and timed plan you put together is, it will crumble at first contact. While that shouldn’t dissuade leaders from making plans, you need to know to be flexible and adapt to the situation. Having certain members in your squad kitted out for different roles helps. As leader you need to listen to the communication your squad chatters about as they engage an enemy or flee from an unexpected tank. A good first reaction is to have your squad get into hard cover. Anything that will stop bullets and hopefully explosions from killing them. This will give you time to asses a situation for a few seconds before deciding on the next course of action. Other than that you need to be flexible and feel how you’r squad is feeling after that first engagement. If they are confident, you can encourage and curb their enthusiasm by reminding them how you want them to move. If they are feeling pressure, perhaps half of them died in a mortar strike, remind them of spacing and then move on, always focusing on what you need to do, what your squad needs to do in order to survive.

Second: Think first, move second.

Any leader should be able to read a topographical map. Even if you have never been in an area before you can assern good vantage points, approaches and likely ambush locations by looking at topography. You may not have much time before an attack begins, but look at the map and see where you can assign different members to move to. Some times a straight on assault is the only thing you can do. Other times you have time to flank and set up snipers. Each mission is different and you should learn how to make terrain an asset. Bullets can’t shoot through the ground or rocks. Enemies typically can’t see though walls, but can some times glitch through them and shoot you that way. You should also consider how to get out of a situation if you push in too far. Reinforcements can show up at any time, from anywhere.
Third: Flanking and Timing.

This is more personal preference, but I believe assaults or combat movements should always be two pronged (If not more based on the situation). When a larger group is able to divide and conquer, it relaxes the overall pressure on each member of the unit. On the large scale, this can help to eliminate escape routes of enemies and can also catch an enemy group off guard. It can also cause confusion amongst the AI or players you are engaging, opening them up for an easy kill. In smaller groups, flanking also can act as securing an exit route. If a four man team is pinned down and two of them move to flank, only to find there is no way to flank, the direction the two moved out in would be relatively safe for the remaining fire team members to move to. The second part of flanking is timing the attack, and all attacks have a window where they can be executed flawlessly. This window rarely occurs and it’s up to each member of the unit to adjust to the change in plans and act accordingly. As a leader you can help fine tune the timing but having your team hold fire. But in the face of danger, your team will engage to preserve their own lives.

Fourth: Communication Breakdown

As leader, you will have troops that don’t listen to you, that want to do their own thing and generally annoy you. You’re job is to suck it up and deal with them. Yelling works on occasion, but it’s not going to leave the team trusting or listening to your calls. There is a time to yell, and that’s when some one compromises the entire mission. Otherwise find out what that person is doing and re-task them accordingly. If you have a player pushing way out in front continuing to break away from the team, they are now your scout. Have the buddy up and be the first eyes on. If a group of players is constantly going to snipe, have them be overwatch to help spot enemies they can’t take out and inform everyone else of major dangers or squads. If a player has an abnormal desire to blow stuff up, have them blow stuff up on purpose. Re-tasking will not always work and it’s your job then to step in and bring down the curb. If they don’t want to work as a team, the team will not support them. Cut your losses and move on. If they come around again, great, but otherwise you need to focus on keeping the rest of your team alive and moving. There are times when command will issue you a truly inane task, or give you an impossible mission. As a leader you need to figure out how to get it done, or find a way around it. Ask command for support if you find the task is impossible. If you have no AT, you aren’t going to be able to take out a tank. Ask for help when you need it. Finally, treat your team, squad, whatever you are leading like they belong there and they will respect you. Giving clear orders and tasks will help. Letting members complete those tasks at their discretion will help. Be a leader, not a commander.

The more you lead, the more you will find out how exactly people respond to you and you’r own leadership style. Trust your teammates with important tasks and they will enjoy following you.

Awesome! Hopefully this can continue with each of the positions.

Also good information, thanks.