Military Organization > United States > U.S. Army Stryker Rifle Platoon (Current)

U.S. Army Stryker Rifle Platoon (Current)

The following is the current organization of the U.S. Army Stryker Rifle Platoon mounted in the M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle "Stryker" effective as of 2016. This is based upon ATP 3-21.8 "Infantry Platoon and Squad" published April 2016, supplemented by news articles detailing different equipment changes. Stryker Rifle Platoons are one of the primary infantry platoon organizations in the U.S. Army. The other 2 are the light infantry and mechanized infantry rifle platoons.

  1. Organization

  2. Mounted Configuration

  3. Discussion

  4. Sources

  5. Posters/Prints

Modern Stryker Infantry Rifle Platoon-01
 

Organization

  • Type: Mechanized Infantry Platoon

  • Origin: U.S. Army (United States)

  • Personnel: 1 Officers and 43 Enlisted

  • Vehicles: 4 Stryker ICVs

​→ Platoon Headquarters (1 Officer and 2 Enlisted + 2 Attachments)

  • 1× Platoon Leader, Second Lieutenant or First Lieutenant (OF-1), armed with 1 M4A1 carbine

  • 1× Platoon Sergeant, Sergeant First Class (OR-7), armed with 1 M4A1 carbine

  • 1× Radiotelephone Operator (RTO), Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Combat Medic [A], Specialist (OR-4), armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Forward Observer [A], Sergeant (OR-5), armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

​→ 3× Rifle Squads (9+2 Enlisted Each)

  • 1× Squad Leader, Staff Sergeant (OR-6), armed with 1 M4A1 carbine

  • Alpha Team (4 men)

    • 1× Team Leader, Sergeant (OR-5) [C], armed with 1 M4A1 carbine

    • 1× Automatic Rifleman, Specialist (OR-4), armed with 1 M249 light machine gun

    • 1× Grenadier, Specialist (OR-4), armed with 1 M4A1 carbine and 1 M320 40mm grenade launcher

    • 1× Rifleman [B], Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 M4A1 carbine

  • Bravo Team (4 men)

    • 1× Team Leader, Sergeant (OR-5) [C], armed with 1 M4A1 carbine

    • 1× Automatic Rifleman, Specialist (OR-4), armed with 1 M249 light machine gun

    • 1× Grenadier, Specialist (OR-4), armed with 1 M4A1 carbine and 1 M320 40mm grenade launcher

    • 1× Rifleman [B], Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 M4A1 carbine

  • Mounted Team (2 men)

    • 1× Vehicle Commander, a Sergeant (OR-5)

    • 1× Driver, a Specialist (OR-4) or Private First Class (OR-3)

  • Additional Mission-Dependent Weapons: 

    • 1 FGM-148 "Javelin" top-attack anti-tank guided missile CLU and 2-3 reloads per rifle squad

    • 1 M240L general-purpose machine gun per rifle squad

    • 2 disposable shoulder-launched munitions (typically AT-4s) per rifle squad

​→ 1× Weapons Squad (5+1 Enlisted)

  • 1× Squad Leader, Staff Sergeant (OR-6), armed with 1 M4A1 carbine

  • Gun Team 1 (2 men)

    • 1× Machine Gunner, Specialist (OR-4), armed with 1 M240L general-purpose machine gun and M9/M17 pistol

    • 1× Assistant Gunner, Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 M4A1 carbine and M9/M17 pistol [D]

  • Gun Team 2 (2 men)

    • 1× Machine Gunner, Specialist (OR-4), armed with 1 M240L general-purpose machine gun and M9/M17 pistol

    • 1× Assistant Gunner, Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 M4A1 carbine and M9/M17 pistol [D]

  • Mounted Team (1 man)​​

    • 1× Driver, a Specialist (OR-4) or Private First Class (OR-3)

[A] Combat medics and forward observers are attached.

[B] If a rifleman receives the proper training and is skilled enough, there is the opportunity to be designated a squad designated marksman. They may be armed with a M4A1 Carbine with a high power optic, Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle (EBR), M110 SASS, or newer M110A1 CSASS (as of 2018-9). However, the usage of designated marksmen at the squad level varies.

[C] Officially, Team Leaders are billeted as Sergeants. However, due to personnel limitations, senior Specialists often fill the Team Leader role in practice.

[D] Although the Weapons Squad's assistant M240 gunner is authorized a pistol, they rarely if ever receive one in practice. The machine gunner typically receives a pistol.

Mounted Configuration

Section A

Stryker ICV (1) 

Dismounted Personnel:

  • 1× Platoon Leader [A], a Second Lieutenant/First Lieutenant (OF-1), armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Radio Operator (RTO), a Private First Class (OR-3), armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Rifle Squad [C]

Mounted Personnel [B]:

  • 1× Driver, a Specialist (OR-4) or Private First Class (OR-3)

  • 1× Vehicle Commander, a Sergeant (OR-5)

Stryker ICV (2) 

Dismounted Personnel:

  • 1× Rifle Squad [C]

Mounted Personnel [B]:

  • 1× Driver, a Specialist (OR-4) or Private First Class (OR-3)

  • 1× Vehicle Commander, a Sergeant (OR-5)

 

Section B

​→ Stryker ICV (3) 

Dismounted Personnel:

  • 1× Platoon Sergeant [A], Sergeant First Class (OR-7), armed with 1 M4A1 carbine

  • 1× Combat Medic, Specialist (OR-4), armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Forward Observer, Sergeant (OR-5), armed with 1 M4A1 Carbine

  • 1× Weapons Squad

Mounted Personnel [B]:

  • 1× Driver, a Specialist (OR-4) or Private First Class (OR-3)

Stryker ICV (4) 

Dismounted Personnel:

  • 1× Rifle Squad [C]

Mounted Personnel [B]:

  • 1× Driver, a Specialist (OR-4) or Private First Class (OR-3)

  • 1× Vehicle Commander, a Sergeant (OR-5)

[A] The Platoon Leader acts as the vehicle commander of 1 ICV and 1 of the platoon's 2 sections when mounted. The Platoon Sergeant commands another vehicle and the other section. When dismounted, the ICV's vehicle commander takes the commander seat from the Platoon Leader and the Platoon Sergeant - who is the vehicle commander of another ICV - takes command of the mounted element. The vehicle the platoon sergeant commands does not have a separate vehicle commander like the other vehicles.

[B] Although there are three elements to the platoon (platoon HQ, dismounted element, and mounted element) each vehicle and its crew within the mounted element are considered to be integral to the rifle squad and under the purview of the squad leader or the platoon commander/platoon sergeant in the case of the platoon HQ's vehicle.

[C] Each rifle squad is equipped with an FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile launcher in their vehicle. This means each rifle platoon has 3 Javelin launchers, while each Stryker Brigade has 81. When employed, in effect one fire team becomes an ATGM team. The Javelin is normally stowed with 2 reloads in the vehicle when not needed.

Discussion

Overview

The Stryker Infantry Rifle Platoon is the principal small infantry unit in the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT). As of 2018, 7 out of the U.S. Army's 31 brigade combat teams were SBCTs. Two of the National Guard's 27 brigade combat teams are SBCTs. The heirarchy is as follows:

  • Stryker Brigade Combat Team (3 Infantry Battalions, 1 Cavalry Squadron, 1 Fires Battalion, supporting and HQ elements)

    • Infantry Battalion (3 Stryker Infantry Companies, HQ)​

      • Stryker Infantry Rifle Company (3 Stryker Infantry Platoons, 1 MGS Platoon, 1 Mortar Section, HQ)​

        • Stryker Infantry Rifle Platoon​

 

In 2016, an update to ATP 3-21.8 “Infantry Platoon and Squad” was published laying out a slightly altered organization for the Stryker BCT rifle platoon. There was little change to the basic structure of the Stryker rifle platoon, although the ammunition bearers for the M240 machine gun teams were removed and one vehicle commander billet was removed. Like before, the platoon consists of 3 rifle squads, 1 weapons squad, and 1 platoon headquarters. The platoon is further subdivided into a mounted and dismounted element, with the mounted element containing a driver and vehicle commander under the purview of the squad leaders when mounted. Each rifle squad contains 2 4-man teams led by a squad leader, while the weapons squad contains 2 M240 machine gun teams. The platoon headquarters contains the platoon leader, platoon sergeant, and radio operator (RTO) with a forward observer and combat medic habitually attached. Overall, the platoon consists of 1 officer and 43 enlisted men, with 4 Stryker ICVs integral to the squads.


The platoon sergeant (or another designated NCO) fills the vehicle commander position of the Stryker containing the weapons squad and part of the platoon headquarters. Like in the 2007 organization, when the platoon leader dismounts, the platoon sergeant takes command of the mounted element. If the platoon sergeant also dismounts, the mounted element is headed by the most senior vehicle commander. When mounted, the platoon sergeant commands Section B, while the platoon leader commands the entire platoon and Section A, with each section consisting of 2 of the platoon’s 4 vehicles. The platoon HQ is crossloaded among multiple vehicles. In practice, the platoon leader typically mounts with a rifle squad's vehicle and acts as its vehicle commander (with the squad's vehicle commander taking over after the platoon leader dismounts). The RTO is the platoon leader's buddy and rides with him or her. Meanwhile, the combat medic typically rides with the platoon sergeant's vehicle (usually the one containing the weapons squad) as the platoon sergeant is in charge of coordinating CASEVAC.


From the initial introduction of the Stryker ICV to now, the passenger compartment bench seating were replaced with individual padded seats for additional protection against IEDs. This came  with the tradeoff of making it harder to fit more than the prescribed 9 passengers in the back (not including the two crew positions and one extra jump seat to the left of the vehicle commander’s position). However, this has not made it impossible. Like in the previous iteration, the platoon leader rides with the rifle squad, either sitting in the vehicle commander’s position or in the squad leader’s seat. When the platoon leader takes the vehicle commander position, the vehicle commander sits in the jump seat and takes command of the vehicle when the platoon leader dismounts. Generally, the radio operator (RTO) always stays with the platoon leader so as to keep him connected to the company headquarters when dismounted. Thus, at full strength, the Stryker manned by the platoon leader and a rifle squad would contain 11 dismounts and 2 dedicated crew.


Other differences come down to the equipment of the platoon. The Army began fielding new M4A1 Carbines in 2012 and converting M4 Carbines to M4A1s in 2014. The key difference between the two is the M4A1’s full-auto fire setting replaced the M4’s three-round burst, among other things, including a heavier barrel on the M4A1. Additionally, the M320 grenade launcher produced by Heckler and Koch began replacing the M203 grenade launcher beginning in 2009. The M203 had been authorized to rifle squads since 1970. Additionally, as with the initial organization, one of the squad’s riflemen may be designated a designated marksman. If not armed with the standard carbine, a rifleman with designated marksman training could be armed with an M14 EBR, M110 SASS, or optic equipped M16. As of 2019, the M110A1 — a variant of the Heckler & Koch HK417 — would also be appropriate. However, these are often concentrated in battalion-level sniper teams. The M249 SAW remains in service, although a number of shortened variants have been made available through the product improvement program (PIP). As prior, each rifle squad also has access to a FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile launcher with two missile loads stored in the vehicle.

Summary of Changes

  • The ammunition bearers in the weapons squad for the M240 machine guns were removed.

  • The bench seats of the Stryker ICV were replaced with IED-resistant individual seats. While improving safety, this reduced the practical capacity of the Stryker from as many as 15 to a few men over the prescribed passenger capacity of 9.

  • The M320 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 the introduction of the M4A1 Carbine, the Army had been using M4 Carbines which were in use since 1994. Among the changes, the M4A1 Carbine is capable of full-auto fire while the M4 Carbine is equipped with a 3-round burst instead. The Army began fielding new M4A1s in 2012 and converting older M4s into M4A1s beginning in 2014. They expect the conversion to the M4A1 to be complete by the end of the 2019.

  • The M110A1, a variant of the Heckler and Koch HK417, was planned to be adopted in 2018 as a replacement to the Knight Armament M110 SASS and M14 EBR that had previously been used in the Squad Designated Marksman role.

Sources

 
 
 
 
 
Stryker Platoon 2016-01.png
 

Available Prints:

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

      - Marcus Aurelius

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