often during tactical movements are the staggered column, wedge, line, echelon (right or left) and the vee or split
Staggered Column or Combat Column
One of the formations used when conducting a tactical movement is the combat column. The combat column
is used for rapid movement across open terrain. They afford all around observation and fields of fire. The
platoon leader positions himself where he can best control the platoon. The staggered column formation is used
by a squad or platoon size unit. Vehicles should maintain a 25- to 100-meter interval and lateral dispersion. The
TC of each vehicle maintains observation of his designated sector. The exact separation of the vehicles is METT-
T and mission dependent. When moving in smoke, thermal sites or reflectors may be required to maintain visual
contact between vehicles.
The wedge formation is used by squad or platoon sized elements. It allows for security and good command
and control. Vehicle dispersion and intervals are dependent on METT-T and mission requirements but a good
rule of thumb to follow is that each trailing vehicle must be able to see the one to this front. When moving in
platoon wedge, the platoon leader positions himself where he can best control movement of the entire platoon.
The TC of each vehicle maintains observation of a designated sector. This formation is used when enemy contact
Column of Wedges
The column of wedges is one of the most frequently used platoon movement formations. It allows for
optimum flexibility and security and good command and control. It is best employed when traveling or traveling
overmatch conditions are warranted. Vehicle dispersion and intervals between squads are METT-T dependent,
but the lead vehicle of the trail squad generally needs visual contact with the lead squad. This formation allows
squads to deploy into other formations more rapidly should tactical conditions warrant.
Another formation used by mechanized units is the line formation. This formation allows for wide area
coverage when time is limited; however, it provides little flank security. This formation is used when no enemy
contact is expected, time is critical, and usually with additional security.
Vee or Split Vee
The vee formation affords good security, speed and command and control. The split vee can be used when
the two squads are operating on different routes. These formations are used when contact is possible but speed is
desirable. The lead vee element moves along covered and concealed routes for protection. The trail element
moves at variable speed, continually overwatching and providing security. The trail element will always maintain
visual contact with the lead element and may stop periodically to provide for better observation.