Formations are used to establish member positions and sectors of responsibility. They are not intended to be rigid, with members remaining an appropriate distance apart at every moment.

A good guide to spacing is making sure that a grenade can only kill one member at a time due to wide enough spacing, but close enough to maintain verbal communication and formation integrity.

Formation spacing will tend to increase on flatter and clearer terrain, and tend to close with greater foliage and rougher terrain.

When the formation or movement speed of a patrol changes, Every member of the patrol must echo the change so that the rest of the patrol knows that Patrol cohesion is maintained after each change.

NOTE: The RTO has been replaces by the Medic role. So the RTO position is substituted for the Medic in these formations (These graphics will be updated).




  • Good speed.
  • Easy to control.
  • Good Fire power to the flanks, but permits less fire power to the front.
  • Used when enemy contact is not likely.


Staggered File


  • Good fire-power to the front and flanks
  • Good speed.
  • Used when there is limited room for lateral dispersion, such as Narrow roads/alley ways.
  • Used when enemy contact is probable.




  • Maximum fire power to the front.
  • Used when the patrol is assaulting an enemy position with over-watch provided, or having it’s  flanks otherwise secured. Or used to provide over-watch.
  • Note: When moving into a line, a line left/right is called, then all the members will pivot either the left or right around the LS to form the line.


Echelon Left/Right


  • Good fire power to the front and to one flank.
  • Observational… traveling with an expectation of a contact to one or the other direction.


Static Formations

Go Firm


  • Used when the patrol has an extended halt, or the follow-through phase of a firefight, when the patrol is consolidating and reorganizing.
  • Also Used when a member is undergoing medical attention.
  • Note: The exact positions of each patrol member is not important, only that each sector is covered and that each member knows which sector every other member is covering.


Wall Formation


  • Also known as a stack formation, it is used when lining up on a wall or stacking up for an entry.
  • Each member has 180 degree covering arcs with interlocking sectors, covering both high and low.