|US CAVALRY||USMC||RIVERINE||MILITARY POLICE|
ORGANISING A LINE INFANTRY COMPANY
|COMPOSITION OF COMPANY|
|Infantry Company HQ
Attached FAO Team
|Infantry Rifle Platoon HQ
|Infantry Rifle Squad
The squad may, depending on the mission, have an RTO, which will be one of the riflemen.
|Infantry Weapons Squad
The E-6 SSG is usually the most senior SSG in the platoon. Note that the TO&E for the Weapons Squad includes a 90-mm Recoilless Rifle (2 man team) but it was common practice for the 90mm Recoilless Rifle to be left at base camp or the NDP (troops could still carry the LAW as an anti-tank weapon) and replaced by a third M-60 GPMG or alternatively the 90mm RR team would hump extra ammo for the 60's (as above).
|Infantry Weapons Platoon HQ
|Infantry Mortar Squad
There were a number of operational problems associated with the employment of the Weapons Platoon. In particular, without their integral vehicles the squads were effectively immobile. Add to this the ROF of the mortars and the inability of the platoon to carry sufficient ammunition for sustained periods of fire.
Using the platoon as a fourth maneuver element in the Company also had problems since the platoon lacked integral firepower and had limited personnel. Have fun trying to maneuver and supply these guys!
Generally the Weapons Platoon stayed at the NDP and gave fire support from that location.
Originally the Battalion had only 3 Rifle Company's (A - C) but in mid-1967 a fourth Rifle Company (D) was added to the establishment.
Combat Support Company (see note below) : 1 x 4.2" (107mm) Mortar Platoon (four squads consisting of 6 men + 1 Mortar, plus a Platoon HQ consisting of 1 officer and 7 men) and 1 x Assault Platoon (12 x portable flame throwers, one officer and 48 men), 1 x Scout Platoon (the Combat element of the Headquarters Company) consisting of 1 officer and 48 men divided into 8 x 6 man squads.
Note : Whilst the Combat Support Company was depicted on official TO&E's (as below), I have been unable to find a single Veteran who remembers such a Company being present in RVN. Al Baker wrote,
"The combat support company did not come
into effect while I was commanding in RVN. If there was an E company
on the TO&E it was taken off my modification. There used to be a
lot of MTOES. The Mortars, Recon and AT were all in HHC. The Platoons
were called separate platoons and worked directly for the Operations
officer. By doctrine the Recon Platoon and the Ground Surveillence
Radar worked for the S2 but they almost never did. I can't remember
the E Company TO&E. I never served in a battalion that had one. When
I commanded a Battalion later, there was a Combat Support Company..."
I have tabled below the 'official' Battalion TO&E, but please note that the organisation of the Company, as given above, represents a modified TO&E.
Please contact me if you have any further information or comments
TABLE OF ORGANISATION & EQUIPMENT
Source : Vietnam Order of Battle (Shelby Stanton)
|HQ and HQ Cpy.||A Cpy.||B Cpy.||C Cpy||D Cpy.||E Cpy.|
|Portable Flame Thrower||----||----||----||----||----||12|
For a complete listing and
rank and insignia see
US Army Rank Insignia
See also Rapid Fire for details of organisation for use with Rapid Fire wargaming rules
Charlie Company, Reeves & Novak 1988, Ulster Imports