> TEOTWAWKI Blog: "Fireteam" specialization for groups



"Fireteam" specialization for groups

The fireteam is the basic element of most modern fighting forces. In the U.S. military, it's a four soldier group; individual roles vary a bit depending on the branch, but they are fairly similar. As an example, in a Striker brigade company, a fireteam consists of:
  • Team Leader - Equipped with an M4
  • Automatic Rifleman - Equipped with and M249 SAW
  • Grenadier - Equipped with an M4 + M203 grenade launcher
  • Designated Marksman or Anti-Armor Specialist
Now the point here is not to suggest that a survival group must have a guy with a grenade launcher and another with a belt-fed machine gun, but rather that some diversification of equipment can be a good thing. 

While the fireteam above has a general overlap in ammunition and magazines (minus a specialty rifle the DM may be carrying), each individual member has capabilities that aren't covered by the others - you've got a grenade launcher for blowing stuff up, a machine gun and a long range rifle. If all were carrying M4s, there'd be less they could do.

In most combat units, you won't find everyone with the exact same skill set and carrying the exact same loadout, and that's on purpose. There are different roles that need to be performed and different gear that needs to be carried.

In survival circles, we often focus on standardization - group standard weapons, standardized packing lists, cookie cutter kind of stuff. And while standardization certainly has its place, it can get in the way and end up limiting overall capabilities.

So, when planning for your family or a larger group, figure out essential capabilities that you need to have, and also gear that is important, but doesn't make sense for every person to carry. Better to have one person carry an axe, another carry a shovel and a third carry a bucksaw than have three axes or three shovels. Or one person with a Ham radio and solar panel, another with a large medical kit, and another with a trapping/fishing kit, then three people with Ham radios or big medical kits.

Another example: if a four person group decided on the AR-15 as their main weapons platform, perhaps two would carry standard ARs plus .22lr conversion kits, one could carry a machine gun-barrel steel AR and higher capacity magazines for suppressive fire and a fourth would carry an AR set up for longer range - a SPR or scoped .300 BLK. Just an example--you could come up with endless combinations--but you can see the different capabilities provided, while still maintaining a high degree of cross compatibility.

In the Wolf family, my wife and I have a some items that are the same between our kits, and some that are different. I carry more of the defensive stuff, while she carries more of the kid support stuff. I carry a shovel, she carries the folding saw. Nothing high speed about diapers, but common sense.

Not too complex at work here, but something that would require a bit of forethought and coordination between group members. If you've got a special skill area, that will inform specialty gear that you carry, or you just may be carrying a general use item so that someone else doesn't have to.

Interested to hear your thoughts, plans and experiences on this.