--Organization of Forces


2-259. Once the scheme of maneuver is determined, the Infantry leader task-organizes the force to ensure he has enough combat power to accomplish the mission. The leader normally organizes a security force, main body, and a reserve, which are all supported by some type of sustainment organization. The leader should complete all changes in task organization on time to allow units to conduct rehearsals with their attached and supporting elements.


2-260. Under normal circumstances, the leader resources dedicated security forces during an attack only if the attack uncovers one or more flanks, or the rear of the attacking force as it advances. In this case, the leader designates a flank or rear security force and assigns it a guard or screen mission, depending on METT-TC. Normally an attacking unit does not need extensive forward security forces as most attacks are launched from positions in contact with the enemy, which reduces the usefulness of a separate forward security force. The exception occurs when the attacking unit is transitioning from defense to attack and had previously established a security area as part of the defense.


2-261. The Infantry leader organizes the main body into combined arms formations to conduct the decisive operation and necessary shaping operations. The leader aims the decisive operation toward the immediate and decisive destruction of the enemy force and will to resist, seizure of a terrain objective, or the defeat of the enemy’s plan. The maneuver scheme identifies the focus of the decisive operation. All forces’ available resources operate in concert to assure the success of the decisive operation. The subordinate unit or units designated to conduct the decisive operation can change during the course of attack. The leader designates an assault, breach, and support force, if he expects to conduct a breach operation during the attack.

2-262. If it is impractical to initially determine when or where the echelon’s decisive operation will be, such as during a hasty operation, the leader retains flexibility by arranging forces in-depth, holding out strong reserves, and maintaining centralized control of long-range indirect fire support systems. As soon as the tactical situation develops enough to allow the leader to designate the decisive operation, the leader focuses available resources to support decisive operational achievement of its objective. Enemy actions, minor changes in the situation, or the lack of success by other elements cannot divert forces or their effects from the decisive operation.


2-263. The leader uses the reserve to exploit success, defeat enemy counterattacks, or restore momentum to a stalled attack. For a company mission this usually is a squad size force. For a battalion mission it is usually a platoon-size element. Once committed, the reserve’s actions normally become or reinforce the echelon’s decisive operation. The Infantry leader makes every effort to reconstitute another reserve from units made available by the revised situation. Often the leader’s most difficult and important decision concerns the time, place, and circumstances for committing the reserve. The reserve is not a committed force and is not used as a follow-and-support force, or a follow-and-assumes force.

2-264. In the attack, the combat power allocated to the reserve depends primarily on the level of uncertainty about the enemy, especially the strength of all expected enemy counterattacks. The leader only needs to resource a small reserve to respond to unanticipated enemy reactions when detailed information about the enemy exists. When the situation is relatively clear and enemy capabilities are limited, the reserve may consist of a small fraction of the command. When the situation is vague, the reserve initially may contain the majority of the Infantry leader’s combat power.


2-265. Leaders resource sustaining operations to support the attacking force. A maneuver battalion commander organizes the supporting sustainment and other logistics assets into combat and field trains. In an Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), a forward support company (FSC) is part of the Infantry battalion. It is responsible for sustainment of the Infantry battalion. The IBCT sustainment organization is different in structure from the ABCT and SBCT. Higher echelon commanders appoint someone to control sustaining operations within their echelon support areas.