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Retrograde and Lateral Movement

For Manual Monday, we are continuing our discussion on Movement. Specifically, we will addressing Retrograde movement according to doctrine. Our reference for this discussion is TC 3-22.9 Change 1, dated January 2017.

As mentioned last week, there are four major categories of movement according to doctrine. Forward, Retrograde, Lateral, and Turning about Left/Right. We are going to focus in on Retrograde and Lateral movement for today.

Retrograde movement is defined by the TC as “where the orientation of the weapon remains to the Paratrooper’s front while the moving methodically rearward.” Retrograde is one of the more challenging movement techniques to use, as the Paratrooper has to go based off feel and their peripherial vision to move while engaging a threat.

During retrograde movement, the Paratrooper should—

Take only one or two steps that will open the distance or reposition the feet.

Place the feet in a toe to heel manner and drop the center body mass by consciously bending the knees, using a reverse combat glide.

Maintain situational awareness of team members, debris, and terrain.

Use the knees as a shock absorber to steady the body movement to maintain the stability of the upper body, stabilizing the rifle sight(s) on the target.

Ensure all movement is smooth and steady to maintain stability.

Bend forward at the waist to put as much mass as possible behind the weapon for recoil management.

Keep the muzzle oriented downrange toward the expected or detected threat.

Keep the hips as stationary as possible. Use the upper body as a turret, twisting at the waist, maintaining proper platform with the upper body.

The GIF below illustrates what Retrograde movement looks like:

 

Lateral movement is defined as “the Paratrooper maintains weapon orientation downrange at the expected or detected threat while moving to the left or right. In the most extreme cases, the target will be offset 90 degrees or more from the direction of movement.”

During lateral movement, Soldiers should—

Place their feet heel to toe and drop their center mass by consciously bending the knees.

Use the knees as a shock absorber to steady the body movement to maintain the stability of the upper body, stabilizing the rifle sight(s) on the target.

Ensure all movement is smooth and steady to maintain stability.

Bend forward at the waist to put as much mass as possible behind the weapon for recoil management.

Roll the foot, heel to toe, as you place the foot on the ground and lift it up again to provide for the smoothest motion possible.

Keep the weapon at the alert or ready carry. Do not aim in on the target until ready to engage.

Maintain awareness of the surroundings, both to the left and right, at all times during movement.

Trigger control when moving is based on the wobble area. The Soldier shoots when the sights are most stable, not based on foot position.

Keep the muzzle of the weapon facing down range toward the threat.

When moving, the placement of the feet should be heel to toe.

Do not overstep or cross the feet, because this can decrease the Soldier’s balance and center of gravity.

Keep the hips as stationary as possible. Use the upper body as a turret, twisting at the waist, maintaining proper platform with the upper body.

The GIF below illustrates this for us:

Keep in mind, it is more difficult to engage adversaries to the firing side while moving laterally. The twist required to achieve a full 90-degree offset requires proper repetitive training. The basic concept of movement must be maintained, from foot placement to platform.

As you see in the GIF Twisting at the waist will not allow the weapon to be brought to a full 90 degrees off the direction of travel, especially with nonadjustable butt stocks. The Soldier will need to drop the non-firing shoulder and roll the upper body toward the non-firing side. This will cause the weapon and upper body to cant at approximately a 45-degree angle, relieving some tension in the abdominal region, allowing the Soldier to gain a few more degrees of offset.

So to sum up, we’ve re-visited the various movement techniques, and we addressed the major points of how to create a stable platform for fire for retrograde and lateral movement. Next week we will continue our discussion on movement as we focus on turning movement.

#Weaponsmastery #Shotprocess

 

For the Video that these GIF’s were created from, here is the link:

 

Raymond Miller
82nd Airborne Division Small Arms Master Gunner: primary weapons trainer, force modernization for individual weapons, and range liason for the 82nd.

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