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Individual Movement Techniques or IMTs (also known as Infantry Minor Tactics in Australia) are the most basic tactics that are employed at the squad, section or platoon level. They are similar in most modern armies.

In most situations except static defense, IMTs are based on the principle of fire and movement. That is, firing and moving, often in pairs, with one soldier firing to suppress the enemy whilst the other moves either toward the enemy or to a more favourable position. The movement is often only 5-10 metres per move. This technique is sometimes referred to as "pepper-potting" (British/Commonwealth) or "fireteam rushes" (US).

IMTs are typically taught to all arms and services both in basic training and often also whilst undergoing non-infantry specialty training. In some military forces, such as the Australian Army, the entire British Armed Forces and the United States Marine Corps all units in the field force regardless of corps, regiment, trade or specialty are supposed to undergo annual refresher training in IMTs, on the basis that all soldiers can be expected to at least provide local security for their unit.

Most IMTs are taught in the form of a battle drill, a series of choreographed steps that occur automatically in reaction to certain stimuli, such as sighting an enemy to the front, or being fired upon by an enemy from the flank. The initial stages of the drill are always the same and therefore action does not require full appraisal of the situation. Such stimulus-response training allows coordinated responses without the need for direct orders.

In combat, this allows the first few moments of the engagement to occur almost automatically and gives the soldiers a way to respond appropriately and predictably while the unit commander evaluates the situation prior to issuing orders.

Basic Drill

Perhaps the most basic of all IMTs is the "Basic Drill". The Basic Drill is one that all individual soldiers are supposed to perform if they come under fire.

The basic drill is:

  • Double tap
  • Run two or three steps
  • Drop to the ground or into cover
  • Crawl a few yards (or move under concealment/cover)
  • Observe
  • Shoot (identified targets of opportunity within effective range)
  • Move
  • Observe
  • Shoot
  • Repeat until issued orders or killed.

The basic drill is designed to provide a soldier with simple steps to follow under the stress of combat. The essential goal of the basic drill is to move the soldier into cover, remove him from the last position where he was likely to be seen by the enemy, and keep him positively engaged by identifying and shooting any targets in range until his commander makes an appraisal and issues instructions.

See also

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