Infantry Drills

FM 3-21.8 – Chapter 6 – Section I – Individual Responsibilities

Section I – Individual Responsibilities

6-1.        Sustainment is an ever present requirement in all operations.  All Soldiers, leaders, and units have sustainment responsibilities.  At the tactical level there are two main categories of personnel: sustainment providers; and sustainment users. Both the sustainment provider and the sustainment user have responsibilities for making the system work.  The sustainment provider brings the sustainment user the supplies needed to fight.  An Infantry platoon is normally a sustainment user only, having no organic sustainment assets. This section focuses on specific individual responsibilities within the platoon’s sustainment chain.

Platoon Sergeant

6-2.         As the platoon’s main sustainment operator, the platoon sergeant executes the platoon’s logistical plan based on mission requirements, and platoon and company SOPs. The platoon sergeant’s sustainment duties include—

– Participating in sustainment rehearsals at the company level and integrating sustainment into the platoon’s maneuver rehearsals.

– Receiving, consolidating, and forwarding all administrative, personnel, and casualty reports to the 1SG as directed or IAW unit SOP.

– Obtaining supplies, equipment (except Class VIII), and mail from the supply sergeant and ensuring proper distribution.

– Supervising evacuation of casualties, KIAs, EPWs, and damaged equipment.

– Maintaining the platoon’s manning roster.

– Cross-leveling supplies and equipment throughout the platoon.

– Coordinating logistics/personnel requirements with attached or OPCON units.

Squad Leader

6-3.        Each squad leader’s sustainment duties include:

– Ensuring Soldiers perform proper maintenance on all assigned equipment.

– Ensuring Soldiers maintain personal hygiene.

– Compiling personnel and logistics reports for the platoon and submitting them to the platoon sergeant as directed or IAW unit SOP.

– Obtaining supplies, equipment (except Class VIII), and mail from the platoon sergeant and ensuring proper distribution.

– Cross-leveling supplies and equipment throughout the squad.

Trauma Specialist/Platoon Medic

6-4.        The trauma specialist/platoon medic is attached from the battalion medical platoon to provide emergency medical treatment for sick, injured, or wounded platoon personnel. Emergency medical treatment procedures performed by the trauma specialist may include opening an airway, starting intravenous fluids, controlling hemorrhage, preventing or treating for shock, splinting fractures or suspected fractures, and providing relief for pain. The trauma specialist is trained under the supervision of the battalion surgeon or physician’s assistant (PA) and medical platoon leader. The trauma specialist is also responsible for—

– Triaging injured, wounded, or ill friendly and enemy personnel for priority of treatment.

– Conducting sick call screening for the platoon.

– Assisting in the evacuation of sick, injured, or wounded personnel under the direction of the platoon sergeant.

– Assisting in the training of the platoon’s combat lifesavers in enhanced first-aid procedures.

– Requisitioning Class VIII supplies from the battalion aid station (BAS) for the platoon according to the tactical standing operating procedure (TSOP).

– Recommending locations for platoon casualty collection point(s) (CCP).

– Providing guidance to the platoon’s combat lifesavers as required.

Combat Lifesaver

6-5.        The combat lifesaver (CLS) is a nonmedical Soldier trained to provide advanced first aid/lifesaving procedures beyond the level of self‑aid or buddy aid. The CLS is not intended to take the place of medical personnel. His specialized training can slow deterioration of a wounded Soldier’s condition until treatment by medical personnel is possible. Each certified combat lifesaver is issued a CLS aid bag. Whenever possible, the platoon leader ensures there is at least one CLS in each fire team.


6-6.        Because combat lifesaving is an organic capability, the platoon should make it a training priority. An emerging “first responder” program is now expanding CLS trauma treatment with increased emphasis on combat and training injuries.


6-7.        The combat lifesaver ensures that the squad CLS bag, litters, and IVs are properly packed. He also identifies any Class VIII shortages to the platoon medic, and participates in all casualty treatment and litter‑carry drills. His advanced first-aid skills are called upon in the field until casualties can be evacuated. The combat lifesaver must know the location of the CCP and the SOP for establishing it. The CLS has a laminated quick reference nine-line MEDEVAC card.

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