Military Organization > United States > ​U.S. Army Airmobile Rifle Company (1965)

U.S. Army Airmobile Rifle Company (1965)

The following was the organization of the Airmobile Rifle Company of the U.S. Army from 1965. This is the organization that would have been around during the Battle of Ia Drang Valley with the 1st Air Cavalry Division featured in the movie "We Were Soldiers." The next level up would have been the Airmobile Infantry Battalion that consisted of a battalion HQ & HQ company, 3 rifle companies, and a combat support company with more mortars and recoilless rifles.

Contents:

  1. Organization

  2. Diagram

  3. Additional Equipment

  4. Posters/Prints

  5. Sources

 

Organization

  • Type: Air Assault Infantry Company

  • Origin: U.S. Army (United States)

  • Time Frame: 1965-1966

  • Personnel: 6 Officers and 164 Enlisted

Company Headquarters (2 Officers and 9 Enlisted)

  • 1× Commanding Officer, Captain (OF-2), armed with 1 M1911A1 pistol (XM16E1 rifle in practice)

  • 1× Executive Officer, First Lieutenant (OF-1), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • 1× First Sergeant, First Sergeant (OR-8), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle
     

  • 1× Supply Sergeant, Staff Sergeant (OR-6), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • 1× Communications Sergeant, Sergeant (OR-5), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • 2× Radio Telephone Operators, Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle each

  • 1× Clerk, Specialist 5 (OR-5), armed with 1 M79 grenade launcher and 1 M1911A1 pistol

  • 1× Armorer/Light Truck Driver, Specialist 4 (OR-4), armed with 1 M79 grenade launcher and 1 M1911A1 pistol

  • 1× Switchboard Operator, Specialist 4 (OR-4), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • 1× Radio Mechanic, Specialist 4 (OR-4), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

3× Rifle Platoons (1 Officer and 43 Enlisted each)

​→ Platoon Headquarters (1 Officer and 2 Enlisted)

  • 1× Platoon Commander, Second or First Lieutenant (OF-1), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • 1× Platoon Sergeant, Sergeant First Class (OR-7), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • 1× Radio Telephone Operator, Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle
     

​→ 3× Rifle Squads (10 Enlisted each)

  • 1× Squad Leader, Staff Sergeant (OR-6), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • Alpha Team:

    • 1× Fire Team Leader, Sergeant (OR-5), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

    • 1× Grenadier, Specialist 4 (OR-4), armed with 1 M79 grenade launcher and 1 M1911A1 pistol

    • 1× Automatic Rifleman, Specialist 4 (OR-4), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

    • 1× Rifleman, Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • Bravo Team:

    • 1× Fire Team Leader, Sergeant (OR-5), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

    • 1× Grenadier, Specialist 4 (OR-4), armed with 1 M79 grenade launcher and 1 M1911A1 pistol

    • 1× Automatic Rifleman, Specialist 4 (OR-4), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

    • 2× Riflemen, Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle each

​→ 1× Weapons Squad (11 Enlisted)

  • 1× Squad Leader, Staff Sergeant (OR-6), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • 2× Machine Gunners, Specialist 4 (OR-4), armed with 1 M60 machine gun and 1 M1911A1 pistol each

  • 2× Assistant Machine Gunners, Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 M1911A1 pistol each

  • 2× Anti-Tank Gunners, Specialist 4 (OR-4), armed with 1 M67 90mm recoilless rifle and 1 M1911A1 pistol each

  • 2× Assistant Anti-Tank Gunners, Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 M1911A1 pistol each

  • 2× Ammunition Bearers, Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle each

1× Mortar Platoon (1 Officer and 26 Enlisted each)

​→ Platoon Headquarters (1 Officer and 8 Enlisted)

  • 1× Platoon Commander, Second or First Lieutenant (OF-1), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • 1× Platoon Sergeant, Sergeant First Class (OR-7), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • 3× Forward Observers, Sergeant (OR-5), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • 2× Radio Telephone Operator, Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle (one acted as a truck driver)

  • 1× Fire Direction Computer, Specialist 5 (OR-5), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle

  • 1× Fire Direction Computer, Specialist 5 (OR-5), armed with 1 M79 grenade launcher and 1 M1911A1 pistol
     

​→ 3× Mortar Squads (6 Enlisted each)

  • 1× Squad Leader, Sergeant (OR-5), armed with 1 M1911A1 pistol

  • 1× Mortar Gunner, Specialist 4 (OR-4), armed with 1 81mm mortar and 1 M1911A1 pistol

  • 1× Assistant Mortar Gunner, Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 M79 grenade launcher and 1 M1911A1 pistol

  • 3× Ammunition Bearers, Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 XM16E1 rifle each

[A] The XM16E1 (adopted in 1965) was the direct predecessor to the M16A1 (adopted in 1967 and standardized as the main service rifle in 1969). At the time of its adoption, only airborne, special forces, and air cavalry (airmobile) units were armed with it, with the remainder of U.S. Army infantry being outfitted with the M14 rifle.

Diagram

 
 

Additional Equipment

  • The company headquarters had 2 AN/PRC-6 portable radio sets and 4 AN/PRC-25 manpack radios. Each rifle platoon headquarters had 1 PRC-25 and 2 PRC-6s, while each rifle and weapons squad had 1 PRC-6. The mortar platoon had 7 PRC-25s.
     

  • Each rifle platoon headquarters had 1 spare flamethrower to be issued out at the platoon commander's discretion.
     

  • The company headquarters and mortar platoon headquarters had 1 light truck each.

 

Available Prints:

Sources

  • Table of Organization No. 7-57F “Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion, Air Assault Division” published 22 June 1965

 

"The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious."

      - Marcus Aurelius

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