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Spectre77

Advice for a first time squad leader

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Hiya everyone, so I just checked my facebook messages today and found that I've somehow ended up squad leader for an upcoming milsim event I'm signed onto. Frankly I didn't expect it and I really have no experience with being in a leadership position, so I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share some tips or stories or anything like that, I expect a lot of the guys under me are newbies so I want to show them a good time.

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Ask them what they prefer. Some like to be pointman, some like staying behind. Assign them the roles they prefer. Rotate them from time to time when there are more than one for a role, or someone is getting tired.

 

Set them up in pairs. Everyone is personally responsive for one other guy. They should cover each other, communicate and stick together. It's way more effective.

 

Don't forget about people. Don't put them on guard duty and forget them there. Make sure everyone has fun.

 

Try to always know where everyone is. That means most of the time you will be at the center / back.

 

In every contact try to see how good your chances are to win that contact. If it's not "we surely win" then you lost the initiative. Retreat, regroup and choose an other place/time.

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^^^^^

 

Plus, comms. Do you have at least a couple of radios between your group? In MilSims, comms are possibly one of the most important aspects.

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I've yet to have the chance to find out whether they are going to have a comms set-up or not, but I'm not optimistic. I've got one, but given that we're a traveling team with the entry requirement of 'can you pay the airfare' we get alot of newbies, so I can't really expect them to have to much.

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Split your team into groups of 2-4. Based on the ranges of airsoft rifles more can rarely support each other so smaller military like structures work better.

 

Think ahead and have a plan. As a commander your job is to know what to do, so while everyone else is getting their guns sorted out and reloaded you need to be preparing the plan and telling any allies about your intentions. Tardiness will get everyone killed so make sure you are ready before they are. If you are going to discuss something with your second in command (always have one you need him) then do it before you are about to move off or in an actual fight.

 

Always come to the the briefing with your plan and what you want them doing. That doesn't mean don't listen to feedback but you always provide the starting point of any discussion. You should be the person spending most of your time thinking on this topic while everyone else is fulfilling the combat roles.

 

You are in charge and while you wont always be right you will choose to do something rather than nothing when loosing an engagement. As you are moving towards the enemy consider where they could be and how they would move and fight given the terrain and how to counter that. Change the formation given the terrain and always be looking around and considering all your options so you just know what to do if an unexpected fight happens. If you end up with a fight to the front in a column you got it all wrong, but if you loose the whole column you failed to plan what to do when contact occurred.

 

Equally when it comes to defence always prepare and be precise with people. Look at the sight lines and setup positions to counter the best approaches. If there isn't a good position make it, sandbags etc can turn a bad approach into your strongest defence. But when you do take contact adjust it based on what is happening, always have an outer and inner ring of defence so there is a place to fall back to and ultimately send reinforcements.

 

There are two sayings that guide a lot of my leads:

 

1. If you fail to plan you plan to fail

2. No plan survives contact with the enemy

 

Somewhere between the two lays the ideal commander.

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"It's nice to be important, but its more important to be nice"

 

Remember the squad are your peers, your team mates and paying the same price for the same game experience, don't allow yourself to become power crazy, start barking or reprimanding people.

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