--Security Halts


5-137. Units conducting tactical movement frequently make temporary halts. These halts range from brief to extended periods. For short halts, platoons use a cigar-shaped perimeter intended to protect the force while maintaining the ability to continue movement. When the platoon leader decides not to immediately resume tactical movement, he transitions the platoon to a perimeter defense. The perimeter defense is used for longer halts or during lulls in combat.

Soldiers make a security halt.

Soldiers make a security halt.


5-138. When the unit halts, if terrain permits, Soldiers should move off the route and face out to cover the same sectors of fire they were assigned while moving, allowing passage through the center of the formation. This results in a cigar-shaped perimeter. Actions by subordinate leaders and their Soldiers occur without an order from the leader. Soldiers are repositioned as necessary to take advantage of the best cover, concealment, and fields of fire.


5-139. When operating independently, the platoon uses a perimeter defense during extended halts, resupply, and issuing platoon orders or lulls in combat. Normally the unit first occupies a short halt formation. Then after conducting a leader’s reconnaissance of the position and establishing security, the unit moves into the perimeter defense.


5-140. The platoon employs the coil, herringbone, and triangle “Y” formations to maintain 360-degree security when stationary.

5-141. The coil provides all-round security and observation when the platoon is stationary. The patrol also uses the coil for tactical refueling, resupply, and issuing patrol orders. When in a coil, leaders post security. (See figure 5-20.)

Coil formation

Figure 5-20. Coil formation

5-142. The patrol leader uses the herringbone and triangle during temporary halts or when getting off a road to allow another unit to pass. It lets the patrol move to covered and concealed positions off a road or from an open area and establishes all-round security without issued detailed instructions. The truck commander repositions their vehicles as necessary to take advantage of the best cover, concealment, and fields of fire. Fire team members dismount and establish security. (See videos below.)

Watch the following video to learn more about a Herringbone formation

Herringbone Video

Watch the following video to learn more about a Triangle Y formation

Triangle Y Video


5-143. Table 5-3 lists the standard actions taken at halts by the Soldier, squad leader, and platoon leader.

Table 5-3. Actions at halts