The squad is the basic unit from which all larger army units are constructed. In this briefing, we will look at the organization of a typical (there really is no such thing) infantry squad, and see how squads are combined to form platoons.
An infantry squad usually consists of eight people: 1 squad leader, an NCO with the rank of Corporal or Sergeant; 5 riflemen, 1 light machine gunner, and 1 machine gunner's assistant.
The squad leader and the machine gunner's assistant carry the M11 carbine and four 30 round magazines for weight reasons: the squad leader has maps and binoculars (amongst other gear) to carry, while the MGA has to carry extra ammunition and spare barrels for the LMG.
Riflemen carry the M1 assault rifle with six 30 round magazines. One or two of the riflemen will have an underbarrel 1.6" grenade launcher fitted, and wear a vest that holds 24 to 30 grenades. The remaining riflemen carry a half dozen hand grenades and a disposable 2.75" anti-tank rocket.
The light machine gunner carries the M22 light machine gun, which is usually belt fed (but can also accept rifle magazines), and two 100 round belts.
An infantry platoon will generally consist of five squads: three rifle squads, one weapons squad, and a headquarters squad.
The weapons squad operates a 2.5" light mortar and an M27 medium machine gun and provides supporting fire as directed by the platoon leader or platoon sergeant. Personal weapons are either the M11 carbine or the M30/M31 submachine gun. Personnel are 2 spotters, 2 gunners, and 4 ammo carriers.
The headquarters squad consists of the platoon leader (a commissioned officer, either a 2nd or 1st Lieutenant), the platoon sergeant (who usually holds the rank of Platoon Sergeant), a clerk/orderly, a radio operator, a medic, and four runners/stretcher bearers.
An infantry company is generally made up of five platoons. There are usually three rifle platoons, one weapons platoon, and a headquarters platoon.
A company is commanded by a Captain, who is assisted by a First Sergeant.
A company level weapons platoon consists of four weapons squads and a headquarters squad. Three are equipped with some combination of the 3.5" medium mortar, the M27 medium machine gun, the ATR-4 four inch anti-tank rocket launcher, and/or the ATM-2 thermo-optically guided medium anti-tank missile. The fourth squad, like the other three, operates a combination of weapons, in this case the 4.5" heavy mortar, the M2 heavy machine gun (for local air defense, heavy fire support, and anti-vehical use), and/or the ATM-5 Scythe heavy anti-tank missile.
The headquarters platoon consists of the company commander, the first sergeant, a radio operator, and supply, medical, canteen, ordinance and transport specialists.