Movement as a part of the shot process, part 1


“Though he was in a similarly desperate situation on the south side of the roof, the idea of leaping off a four-story building never occurred to Corriveau. Instead, as he bounded back and forth across the building’s edge, alternately firing into the northern stairwell door and taking cover from whatever return fire came his way, his mass of conflicting emotions was overridden by only one thought: get to the radio on the other side of the roof.”

 Excerpt of The Longest Morning by Jeff Manuel

For Manual Monday, we are beginning our discussion on Movement. Specifically, we will define movement, and what the different movement types there are according to doctrine. Our reference for this discussion is TC 3-22.9 Change 1, dated January 2017.

For those who have not kept up with it, the Army has updated their doctrine when it comes to shooting. There are now four functional elements of the shot process. To recap, they are Stability, Aim, Control, and Movement. We’ve discussed Stability, Aim, and Control previously. Now we are addressing movement as a part of the shot process.

The reason movement is a functional element, is because, on the modern battlefield, it is imperative that Paratroopers be able to engage threats on the move with precision. Movement increases the survivability of the Paratrooper. Outside of a prepared defense, movement is a part of maintaining the initiative in the offense. This is especially true of fights in dense, urban areas, where close-quarters marksmanship is an essential skillset.

Movement was also addressed a little in our discussion on control, specifically on complex engagements of moving targets while the Paratrooper is moving. Knowing how to compensate for movement both of the threat, and yourself is essential to ensure your rounds are placed where you are aiming at.

TC 3-22.9 defines movement as: “The process of the Soldier moving tactically during the engagement process. It includes the Soldier’s ability to move laterally, forward, diagonally, and in a retrograde manner while maintaining stabilization, appropriate aim, and control of the weapon.” There are two major categories of movement; they are vertical and horizontal.

Vertical movements are those actions taken by the Paratrooper to transition between positions, and also when moving through vertical terrain. Examples of this include negotiating a stairwell in an urban environment or maneuvering up a mountainside. Keep in mind, this is being done while actively seeking to engage a threat.

Horizontal movements are more commonplace on the battlefield. There are eight major categories of these movements; they are: forward, retrograde, lateral left/right, and turning left/right/about. Forward is the most basic movement technique.  Retrograde is the most challenging to learn to do safely, due to lack of a view of the direction of movement. Lateral movement is challenging to learn how to position your body while moving to maintain a stable platform while shooting off-hand.

So to sum up, we’ve discussed what movement is, we addressed why it was added to the functional elements, and we’ve discussed what the differences are between vertical and horizontal movement.  Next week we will continue our discussion on movement as we focus on forward movement.

#weaponsmastery #shotprocess

As a part of All American Week, We’re including heroes from the 82nd who emulate what it means to be a Paratrooper. Today’s hero is Christopher Corriveau.  Here is the story cited at the beginning of the article that describes what he went through to receive the Distinguished Service Cross:


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