Foot Patrol at SOI

While attending the School of Infantry (SOI), Marines will be instructed on how to conduct foot patrols in both urban and rural environments. Learning the proper techniques of foot patrolling is a critical component to becoming a rifleman, as patrolling is a key element of asserting combat power and gaining battlefield dominance to accomplish the mission.

An infantry patrol is a detachment of troops that may be sent out for the purpose of gathering information, carrying out a destructive combat mission, or conducting a security mission. All patrols generally have two types of missions: combat patrols and reconnaissance patrols. A combat patrol is intended to harass the enemy, while a reconnaissance patrol is intended to gather information on the enemy.

The organization of a patrol is based on elements and teams. A patrol must be organized so that that it can move quickly and effectively. Every element, team, and individual must be assigned positions in the formation's movement. The origins of many of these movements can be traced back to Marine Corps drill first learned on the parade deck at boot camp. Patrols of any size, from as few as four Marines to as many as 50 or more Marines, are organized into elements. These elements are organized into the teams. These teams consist of assault, security, and support teams.

Each member of an infantry patrol is responsible for the success of the patrol's mission. Therefore, it is critical that while attending SOI, Marines learn and become proficient in movement, land navigation, cover and concealment, camouflage, observation, and tracking.

Added January 12, 2016
Written by a Marine who served USMC '08-'12.
Edited by Collin Hoeferlin.

Image info:
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment conduct a patrol during the Basic Urban Skills Training course at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 30, 2015. The BUST course trains Marines how to carry out different combat operations in urban environments. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Damarko Bones.

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