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Inspections (Platoon)

Basic information, in-ranks, squad leaders', platoon sergeant's, platoon leader's, and in quarters inspection

Inspections at platoon level are typically conducted by the platoon sergeant. If the platoon leader wants to inspect, he conducts the inspection from his post. For continuity purposes, this section will address the platoon sergeant's actions only.

BASIC INFORMATION

Consider the following when conducting inspections.

a. The platoon has one prescribed formation for inspecting personnel and equipment in ranks-the line formation. When inspecting crew-served weapons and vehicles, the personnel are normally positioned to the rear of the formation with the operator (gunner) standing by his vehicle (weapon).

b. The platoon leader or platoon sergeant may conduct an in-quarters (barracks) inspection to include personal appearance, individual weapons, field equipment, displays, maintenance, and sanitary conditions. The platoon leader or platoon sergeant will follow local guidelines.

c. When field equipment is to be inspected, it should be displayed as shown in Chapter 8, Figure 8-5 (as a guide). Additional equipment not shown or different models of the equipment should be arranged in a uniform manner established by the local commander. The squad leaders may carry and use materials to record deficiencies if the local chain of command authorizes it.

IN-RANKS INSPECTION

To conduct in-ranks inspections, use the following procedures:

a. With the platoon in line formation, the platoon sergeant commands Count, OFF. On the command of execution OFF, all personnel with the exception of the right flank personnel turn their head and eyes to the right and the right flank personnel count off with "ONE." After the right flank soldiers have counted their number, the soldiers to their left count off with the next higher number and simultaneously turn their head and eyes to the front. All other members of the formation count off in the same manner until the entire formation has counted off.

b. After the platoon has counted off, the platoon sergeant commands Open Ranks, MARCH. On the command of execution MARCH, the front rank takes two steps forward, the second rank takes one step forward, the third rank stands fast, and the fourth rank takes two steps backward. If additional ranks are present, the fifth rank takes four steps backward, and the sixth rank takes six steps backward.

NOTE: After taking the prescribed number of steps, the men do not raise their arms. If the platoon leader wants exact interval or alignment, he commands At Close Interval (At Double Interval), Dress Right, DRESS. (See paragraph 7-6 for more information on aligning the platoon.)

c. At this point, the platoon is ready to be inspected. Typically, the squads are inspected by the squad leaders; however they may be inspected by the platoon sergeant or platoon leader. (See paragraphs 7-17 and 7-18 FM 3-21.5 .)

SQUAD LEADERS' INSPECTION

If the platoon sergeant wants the squad leaders to inspect their squads, he will direct INSPECT YOUR SQUADS. Salutes are not exchanged.

a. The squad leader marches forward and to the left, inclines as necessary until he is at a point 15 inches in front of and centered on the first man.

NOTE: If the members of the platoon are armed, the squad leaders will sling their weapons diagonally across the back with the muzzle down and to the right. This movement will be executed without command and prior to the squad leader stepping off. (For more information on how to inspect personnel with weapons and how to manipulate the weapon, see paragraph 7-17, c-f FM 3-21.5 .)

b. The squad leader remains at a modified Position of Attention moving his head and eyes only. After inspecting at the center position, he takes a short step forward and to the left and inspects, returns to the center and steps forward and to the right and inspects, and returns to the center position.

c. Having inspected the first man, the squad leader faces to the right as in marching and takes one (two if at normal interval) step, halts, and faces the next man at the appropriate distance. The squad leader conducts the inspection for the rest of the soldiers in the squad.

d. After inspecting the last soldier in the squad, the squad leader faces to the right as in marching and marches around behind the squad, inclining as necessary. While the squad leader marches back to his post, he inspects the squad from the rear.

e. After resuming his post, the squad leader turns his head and eyes over his left shoulder and commands his squad to assume At Ease.

f. The platoon sergeant remains at his post (inspects the guidon bearer if appropriate). After the last squad has been inspected and is at At Ease, the platoon sergeant commands the platoon to Attention.

g. After commanding the platoon to Attention, the platoon sergeant commands Close Ranks, MARCH. On the command of execution MARCH, the first rank takes four steps backward, the second rank takes two steps backward, the third rank stands fast, and the fourth rank takes one step forward. On the command of execution MARCH, the platoon leader and platoon sergeant take the appropriate number of steps to maintain their posts.

h. If the platoon is being inspected as part of a larger formation and control of the platoon has not been turned over to the platoon sergeant, he faces about, executes At Ease, and awaits further instructions from the first sergeant.

PLATOON SERGEANT'S/PLATOON LEADER'S INSPECTION

If the platoon sergeant is not going to inspect the entire platoon, he directs the squad leaders of the appropriate squads to inspect their squads. All others will be inspected by the platoon sergeant. When armed, the platoon sergeant slings his weapon in the same manner as the squad leaders.

a. The platoon sergeant faces to the Half Left as in marching and marches by the most direct route to a point 15 inches in front of and centered on the first squad leader (or the squad leader of the squad to be inspected). As soon as the platoon sergeant halts in front of the squad leader, he commands the other squads to At Ease and inspects the squad leader.

b. The platoon sergeant remains at a modified Position of Attention moving his head and eyes only. After inspecting at the center position, he takes a short step forward and to the left and inspects, returns to the center and steps forward and to the right and inspects, and returns to the center position.

c. Having inspected the squad leader, the platoon sergeant faces to the right as in marching and takes one (two if at normal interval) steps, halts, and faces the next man at the appropriate distance. After the platoon sergeant steps off, the squad leader takes a half step forward and faces about. When moving from man to man, the squad leader and platoon sergeant move simultaneously.

d. Having inspected the last soldier in the squad, the platoon sergeant faces to the right as in marching and marches around behind the squad, inclining as necessary, and inspects the squad from the rear.

e. As the platoon sergeant begins to inspect the first squad from the rear, he commands the next squad to Attention. The squad leader returns to his post. After the platoon sergeant arrives in front of the next squad leader, he commands the first squad to At Ease over the right shoulder.

f. The platoon sergeant and squad leader execute in the same manner as in inspecting the first squad until the entire platoon has been inspected. After inspecting the rear of the last squad, the platoon sergeant marches by the most direct route to his post, halts, faces to the left and commands the platoon to Attention.

g. After commanding the platoon to Attention, the platoon sergeant commands Close Ranks, MARCH. On the command of execution MARCH, the first rank takes four steps backward, the second rank takes two steps backward, the third rank stands fast, and the fourth rank takes one step forward. On the command of execution MARCH, the platoon leader and platoon sergeant take the appropriate number of steps to maintain their posts.

h. If the platoon is being inspected as part of a larger formation and control of the platoon has been not been turned over to the platoon sergeant, he faces about, executes At Ease, and awaits further instructions from the first sergeant.

IN-QUARTERS (STAND BY) INSPECTION

When the platoon sergeant wants to conduct an in-quarters inspection, he uses the following procedures:

a. The squad members are positioned on line with their equipment or as near it as possible. The squad leader positions himself in the path of the inspector at a point near his area of responsibility. At the approach of the inspector, the squad leader commands, Squad, ATTENTION, and reports, "Sergeant, the platoon is prepared for inspection."

NOTE: When the situation dictates, the squad leader may report to the inspector outside of the quarters. A designated individual commands the members to ATTENTION as the inspector enters the area.

b. The squad leader then guides the inspector along a route dictated by the physical arrangement of the personnel and equipment. Upon entering the area, the highest ranking soldier present commands AT EASE. As the inspector approaches each individual or his equipment, the individual automatically assumes the Position of Attention. When the inspector has moved to the next man, the last man inspected resumes the position of At Ease. As the inspector begins to exit the area after completing the inspection, CARRY ON is commanded.

NOTE: When inspecting soldiers' rooms, Attention is not commanded. The individuals automatically assume the Position of Attention as the inspector enters the room. The inspector then commands AT EASE. As the inspector approaches each soldier, the soldier assumes the Position of Attention and resumes At Ease after he has been inspected.