Military Organization > United States > ​U.S. Army Mechanized Rifle Company (Current)

U.S. Army Mechanized Rifle Company (Current)

By Brendan Matsuyama, Editor

This is the current organization of the U.S. Army Mechanized Infantry Rifle Company mounted in the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Although the basic structure of the has not changed since 2002, the primary weapons listed herein represents what is in service as of 2019. Any changes to equipment since 2002 are listed in the "Summary of Changes" section.

  1. Organization

  2. Discussion

  3. Sources

  4. Seating & Formation Graphics

  5. Posters/Prints

Mechanized Infantry Platoon graphic-01.p
 

Organization

  • Type: Mechanized Infantry Platoon

  • Origin: U.S. Army (United States)

  • Personnel: 1 Officers and 39 Enlisted

  • Vehicles: 4 Bradley Fighting Vehicles (BFV)

1× Company Headquarters (2 Officers and 10 Enlisted)

→ M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle

  • 1× Company Commander, Captain, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Master Gunner, Staff Sergeant, armed with 1 M9/M17 Pistol

  • 1× Driver, Specialist, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

→ M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle

  • 1× Executive Officer, First Lieutenant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Gunner, Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Driver, Specialist, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

→ M113A3 (RISE) Armored Personnel Carrier

  • 1× First Sergeant, First Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Driver, Specialist, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

→ M1078A1 LMTV 2.5 Ton Cargo Truck*

  • 1× Supply Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Supply Specialist, Specialist, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

* Tows a 400-gallon 1-1/2 ton water tank and carries 18 spare M500 Mossberg 12-gauge shotguns

→ M1165A1 Utility Truck*

  • 1× Forward Signal Support NCO, Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Radiotelephone Operator, Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

* Tows an M1082 trailer

→ M1165A1 Utility Truck

  • 1× Company Commander*, Captain, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

* Only rides in the light truck when not riding in their IFV. The M1165A1 is used for non-combat and liaison purposes.

3× Rifle Platoons (1 Officer and 38-39 Enlisted each)*

Section A

→ BFV-1 (Platoon Leader) — M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle

  • 1× Platoon Leader**, Second/First Lieutenant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Gunner, Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Alternate Gunner, Specialist, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Driver, Specialist, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine
     

  • 1× Team Leader (1B), Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Automatic Rifleman (1B), Specialist, armed with 1 M249 Light Machine Gun

  • 1× Team Leader (2A), Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Automatic Rifleman (2A), Specialist, armed with 1 M249 Light Machine Gun

  • 1× Grenadier (2A), Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine and 1 M320A1 Grenade Launcher

  • 1× Rifleman (2A)***, Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine 

* 39 Enlisted if counting a dedicated RTO, but 38 Enlisted if an RTO is simply a task organized Rifleman as there was not enough room in a full platoon for a separate RTO.

** Platoon Leader sits in vehicle commander seat until dismount. Gunner replaces them on dismount.

*** A Rifleman sitting in the Platoon Leader's vehicle would be task organization as a Radiotelephone Operator (RTO)

→ BFV-2 (Wingman) — M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle

  • 1× Bradley Commander (Plt Master Gunner)*, Staff Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Gunner, Specialist, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Driver, Specialist, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine
     

  • 1× Squad Leader (1), Staff Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Team Leader (1A), Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Automatic Rifleman (1A), Specialist, armed with 1 M249 Light Machine Gun

  • 1× Grenadier (1A), Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine and 1 M320A1 Grenade Launcher

  • 1× Rifleman (1A)**, Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Grenadier (1B), Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine and 1 M320A1 Grenade Launcher

  • 1× Rifleman (1B)**, Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

* Takes over command of Section A when the Platoon Leader dismounts.

** One Rifleman per squad is designated as an Anti-Armor Specialist and is trained to use the Javelin anti-tank guided missile. Each platoon is equipped with 2 Javelin CLUs.
 

Section B

→ BFV-4 (Platoon Sergeant) — M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle

  • 1× Platoon Sergeant*, Sergeant First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Gunner, Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Driver, Specialist, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine
     

  • 1× Squad Leader (2), Staff Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Team Leader (2B), Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Automatic Rifleman (2B), Specialist, armed with 1 M249 Light Machine Gun

  • 1× Grenadier (2B), Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine and 1 M320A1 Grenade Launcher

  • 1× Rifleman (2B)**, Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Grenadier (3A), Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine and 1 M320A1 Grenade Launcher

  • 1× Rifleman (3A)**, Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

* Platoon Sergeant does not dismount. Takes over command of the mounted element when the Platoon Leader dismounts.

** One Rifleman per squad is designated as an Anti-Armor Specialist and is trained to use the Javelin anti-tank guided missile. Each platoon is equipped with 2 Javelin CLUs.

→ BFV-3 (Wingman) — M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle

  • 1× Bradley Commander, Staff Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Gunner, Specialist, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Driver, Specialist, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine
     

  • 1× Squad Leader (3), Staff Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Team Leader (3B), Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Automatic Rifleman (3B), Specialist, armed with 1 M249 Light Machine Gun

  • 1× Grenadier (3B), Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine and 1 M320A1 Grenade Launcher

  • 1× Rifleman (3B), Private First Class, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Team Leader (3A), Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Automatic Rifleman (3A), Specialist, armed with 1 M249 Light Machine Gun

→ Attachments*

  • 1× Combat Medic, Specialist, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Forward Observer, Sergeant, armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

* Combat medics and forward observers are attached from outside the platoon. In the paper organization, there is no room for these attachments in the platoons vehicles. As platoons are often under-strength, these attachments typically ride with the platoon as normal.

Discussion

The Mechanized Infantry Rifle Company are the principle infantry component of Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCT). Together with the Armor Company, the Mechanized Rifle Company forms the maneuver element of Combined Arms Battalions (CABs). Each ABCT has 1 CAB with 2 Mechanized Infantry Companies and 1 Armor Company as well as 2 CABs with 1 Mechanized Infantry Company and 2 Armor Companies. Mechanized Companies can be employed by Combined Arms Battalions (CABs) as Armor and Mechanized Infantry Company Teams, which are combined arms formations consisting of armor and mechanizned infantry companies. As of 2018, 10 out of the U.S. Army's 31 brigade combat teams were SBCTs. Five of the National Guard's 27 brigade combat teams are SBCTs. The basic structure of the mechanized infantry platoons has been unchanged since 2002 back when ABCTs were called Heavy Brigade Combat Teams, although the equipment issued has changed over the years.

Each Rifle Platoon is equipped with 4 M2A3 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, abbreviated BFV for "Bradley Fighting Vehicle". The M2A3 variant was introduced in 2000, while the M2A1 and M2A2 variants were introduced in the 1980s. The Bradley is armed with an M242 25mm chain gun, M240C 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, and 2 TOW anti-tank missiles. The Bradley is currently the U.S. Army's infantry fighting vehicle, although as of 2019 it is currently looking to replace it under the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program. 

In terms of personnel, the platoon consists of a mounted element and dismounted element. In the mounted element are the Platoon Leader, Platoon Sergeant, and vehicle crews. The vehicles are split into 2 sections (A and B), each containing 2 BFVs. When mounted, the Platoon Leader commands Section A (containing BFV-1 and BFV-2) and the Platoon Sergeant commands Section B (containing BFV-3 and BFV-4). They also act as their vehicles' Bradley Commanders when mounted. When the Platoon Leader dismounts, the Gunner of their vehicle takes over as Bradley Commander and the Bradley Commander of the other Bradley in the section takes over as Section Commander. The Platoon Sergeant, like in Stryker units, typically does not dismount and commands the mounted element when the Platoon Leader dismounts. If the Platoon Sergeant does dismount, the gunner of their vehicle takes over as Bradley Commander and the Bradley Commander of the other Bradley in Section B takes over as Section Commander.

The dismounted element consists of 3 rifle squads. Due to passenger capacity in the Bradley, the squads are split up and crossloaded among the 4 vehicles. Details about how the squads are crossloaded as per doctrine can be seen in the infographic in the "Organization" section. Squads are mounted in a manner where when dismounted they can reform quickly. Additionally, when fire teams are crossloaded, automatic riflemen stay with their fire team leaders.

On paper, a full-strength platoon does not have room in its BFVs to mount critical attachments, including a Combat Medic, Radiotelephone Operator (RTO), and Forward Observer (FO). In practice, platoons typically operate under strength, allowing enough room for attachments as normal. If a platoon were to be operating at full strength, other platoon personnel - such as riflemen from the rifle squads - could be crossloaded in the company headquarters' vehicles to allow for attachments. Based on consultation with soldiers in mechanized units as of 2019, the role of RTO is often task-assigned to a rifleman in the platoon rather than attached. Fitting more personnel than the prescribed passenger capacity is also an option.

Unlike Stryker and Light Infantry rifle platoons, Mechanizned Infantry platoons lack weapons squads. Rather, weapons that are typically contained within dedicated weapons squads are stowed in each rifle squad's Bradley giving them the ability to augment their firepower as needed. Weapons available to the rifle squads include the FGM-148 Javelin top-attack anti-tank guided missile and M240L general-purpose machine gun. When the Javelin is used, one of the squad's fire teams essentially becomes an anti-armor team with that team's rifleman acting as an anti-tank specialist. This is similar to how Stryker infantry rifle platoons operate. Further, as per doctrine, 2 disposable shoulder-launched munitions are available to the rifle squad. These are typically issued to riflemen - although this varies depending on mission and unit standard operating procedures (SOPs) - and are now typically AT4s.

Summary of Changes

Structural Changes from Before 2002:

  • One rifle squad was added to the BFV rifle platoon. Prior, each vehicle mounted 1 of the platoon's 4 rifle fire teams plus attachments.

Equipment Evolution:

  • The M320A1 grenade launcher, a development of the Heckler and Koch AG36, was first fielded by the Army in 2009. It fully phased out the M203 by 2015. Prior to this, M320s listed in this article would have been M203s.
     

  • The current service rifle of the U.S. Army is the M4A1 Carbine. It began replacing the older M4 Carbines in 2012, with almost a full phase out in the infantry by 2019. The M4 Carbine replaced the M16A2, which was fully phased out by the M4 Carbine by 2005.
     

  • The M240 general-purpose machine guns available to the rifle squads (stowed in the Bradleys) are currently the lightened and shortened M240L variant. In the past, the M240B would have been appropriate.
     

  • The current standard IR illuminator/pointer is the AN/PEQ-15. In the 2000s, the AN/PEQ-2 would have been more appropriate.

Sources

 
Mechanized Bradley Platoon 2016-01.png
 

Seating & Formation Graphics

 
 

Available Prints:

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

      - Marcus Aurelius

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