So we have a platoon, and a squad. At the small levels, we would expect organization to be fluid, based on situation and how many people are around to be organized. But we have to organize something administratively, so there it is. As we get further up on the organization table, structures become somewhat more regimented.
Philosophically, people like to debate between the square organization and the triangular organization, i.e. whether there should be three or four main component elements. Triangular units are smaller, so you get more of them. More importantly, they’re easier to command and easier to keep supplied. Square units can do more (since they have more) and are more casualty resistant. The Russians are big fans of the triangular-type organization. NATO uses the square. Or sometimes the triangular. Or some other weird things. The typical rifle company for the West is three rifle platoons and a heavy weapons platoon. The weapons platoon brings things like rocket launchers and GPMGs for added firepower. For a mechanized infantry company, the weapons platoon is pretty redundant, given that you have a bunch of IFVs already included in your platoons.
We’ve established a lean and mean 33-man rifle platoon with three CV90s. We’ll put three in our company. We could add a fourth, but it’s not strictly necessary, and it’s best to try to keep units as simple as we can. We’re also trying to keep things manageable by a Captain with a minimum of staff. Smaller units are easier to command, and Captains aren’t the most experienced officers. Besides, we’re also introducing some support units as part of the headquarters. We do not have an embedded headquarters at this level, unlike at the platoon or squad levels.
Our headquarters contains a CO and his very small staff. More specifically, there’s a CO, an XO, and a first sergeant. This isn’t much of a staff, but most of the HQ section is devoted to support personnel. Supportwise, we have a supply sergeant, a gunnery sergeant2, an armorer’s assistant, three medics, and a senior medic to lead the medical group. We’re also going to add some supply and maintenance personnel. There are a lot of good reasons to have some of these guys. Vehicles need maintenance, and more hands to do that is always good. Supplies often need some physical manhandling, and again, more hands is better. In terms of vehicles, the two officers each have a CV9035 at their disposal. The first sergeant has a Boxer MRAV at his disposal. Additionally, there are two light trucks3 and two medium trucks.4 Also allotted are two trailers: one 600 gallon water trailer and one field kitchen trailer. In terms of additional personnel, the IFVs are each allotted a driver and a gunner, and the APC is allotted a driver. Our supply and maintenance section is eight men, giving a total of 21 men and two officers in the headquarters. As always, everyone is issued a carbine. This way officers don’t stand out as much, and just about anyone can defend himself or be pressed into service as an ersatz rifleman as needed.
For those of you who like a touch of accounting in your TO&Es, this brings our total for the mechanized infantry company to 122 officers and men, and eleven CV9035s. It’s small and agile, and it comes with some limited organic supply and support assets. Overall though, it shouldn’t be too hard for a captain to command effectively. Interestingly, both the Russians, with their centrally-managed tactics and the Israelis, who are the strictest devotees of Aufttragstaktik5 orthodoxy favor smaller organization patterns. They are easier to manage, and this is an advantage for either the central commander or the independent local commander.
1. Cf. the Pentomic division. It’s as bad an idea as it sounds.
2. I have a lot of sergeants floating around here. I should probably make a rank table.
3. Something in the HMMWV or JLTV size class. I haven’t picked one yet, as the reader will note.
4. Something in the FMTV or MTVR size class. Again, choice pending.
5. For those of you who don’t speak German, “mission tactics”. The commander gives the subordinate in charge of a mission the goal, the forces he has at his disposal, and the timeframe required. The subordinate is expected to come up with and execute a plan, and react to complications along the way. Requires good training of one’s subordinates.