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  • Principles of Being a Good Squad Member

    Here are a few general thoughts on being a good squad member. We have a lot written on how to be a good squad leader or platoon leader spread around the TG forums, but much less on how to be a squad member.

    INTRODUCTION: Why Bother Discussing Being a Good Squad Member?

    I think this discussion is useful for three reasons. 1.) The reality is most players are squad members most of the time. Even if you are someone who spends a good amount of time leading, sooner or later you will be a squad member. 2.) I firmly believe a squad made up of excellent squad members can compensate for a bad squad leader. But even a great leader cannot turn a bunch of bad squad members into a good squad. 3.) I firmly believe there is a huge difference between an OK squad member and a really excellent squad member, and I don't mean in individual skill and marksmanship. For these reasons I think a discussion about being a good squad member is worth having at TG and in Planetside2.

    "Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the soup."
    A final personal reason I think this discussion is worth having: If everyone thinks they are a leader, no one is being a good follower. I find the people who have the hardest time being a good squad member are other leaders, or veteran players. I myself have to work to avoid becoming a bad squad member sometimes, and remind myself that while I am playing as a squad member, it is not my job to be a leader or a hero. It is my job to execute the plan given to me and be a member of the squad/team.


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    PRINCIPLES OF BEING A GOOD SQUAD MEMBER

    1.) Coordination Requires Obedience
    The power of the squad is based on the unity of the squad, and the unity of the squad is based on obedience of squad members to the plan given by leadership. If the whole squad moves in a coordinated and cohesive group, their power is multiplied, when compared to many individuals seeking the same objective in ones and twos. All organizations recognize this principle, and to utilize it, every organization develops a hierarchy to ensure everyone is working in a coordinated manner. At the bottom of the hierarchy is those who follow orders and actually do the work. This is the role of the squad member.


    2.) Obedience Requires Some Loss of Autonomy
    From the lowly squad member’s perspective the concept of obedience can look a whole lot like giving up their autonomy, submission or blind faith. This can seem onerous, after all, no one likes to have a stranger telling them what to do, especially not on their free time. While this is a valid critique, it is what they signed up for when they joined a squad. Lone wolfs get freedom, but not results, squad members get results, but not freedom.

    A simple example: A squad leader gives an order to “jump.” A good squad member has three options: 1.) Ask for clarification on how to execute: “how high should I jump?” 2.) Obey the order: jump, or 3.) Prepare to obey the order, but suggest another course of action before following it: “Sir, I am not sure if you are aware, but jumping here on this mountain will likely cause an avalanche of snow. Would you still like me to jump? I am ready to jump!” Note what is not on this list: failing to jump or delaying in jumping.


    3.) Do Your Job, Not Your Squad Leader’s Job:
    A squad member who is thinking about the big strategic picture is doing his leaders job, and thereby neglecting his own. If everyone is looking at their maps, no one is looking down their sights.


    4.) Prioritizing Comms (AKA Soldiers Should be Seen Not Heard):
    Communications discipline of squad members is paramount. Communications, just like objectives, have different priorities. Squad members have the lowest priority. (Under squad leaders and platoon leaders.) This does not mean a squad member must be completely silent, but it does mean anything a squad member says should meet two requirements. 1.) NEED to be said, and 2.) Be designed around keeping the message as short as possible.


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    CONCLUSION:
    I welcome discussion on this topic and I thank you for reading. These are merely my thoughts, and I could be wrong.
    Last edited by Garthra; 11-12-2016, 01:56 PM.
    The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"

  • #2
    Re: Principles of Being a Good Squad Member

    Something I've found is that it can be helpful to lead other squad members by example. If you're visibly calling out and covering certain angles, properly giving out contact reports, acknowledging SL orders, etc, other members of the squad are more likely to do the same because they're not just seeing orders and roles being given, but responded to and filled. In other words, if squad members SEE teamwork being done they're more likely to join in.

    The corollary there is that it's not enough to be a good squad member, but to be SEEN as a good squad member. Ultimately, most people will be better squad members in the right environment, and it's important to foster that environment.

    If you're often an SL yourself it's tough to restrain yourself from thinking along familiar lines and restrain yourself from back seat SLing, but I've found that it's possible to prompt the SL a bit without undermining their authority. Ask where the rally point is, ask for clarification on orders, or what the intent behind the orders is. Make sure that the information the SL needs to know is flowing back to them in terms of contact and situation reports, and proactively deal with the smaller issues so that the SL doesn't even need to think about them. Most importantly, the best way you can help out your SL is to be the best squad member there and be as visible as is reasonable in following orders and being a good team player.



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    • #3
      Re: Principles of Being a Good Squad Member

      Squad leading a couple of times is the quickest way to find out what it means to be a good squad member. :)
      Teamwork and Tactics are OP


      Strait /strāt/ (Noun) A narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water: "the Northumberland Strait".

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      • #4
        Re: Principles of Being a Good Squad Member

        Although I am guilty of a few of the examples, I think you hit the nail right on the head Garthra.

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        • #5
          Re: Principles of Being a Good Squad Member

          Excellent overview Garthra; but if I may add one more it would be to "Put the Team over Certs". Too many times (I too am guilty of this) people within a squad see and act upon an opportunity that will possibly net large amounts of certs (i.e. suicide c4 run into room of enemies). The majority of the time you do not survive this run and the squad is down a member. In short; lone wolfing should be done alone, not while participating in a squad.

          “Big Brother is Watching You.”
          ― George Orwell, "1984"

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          • #6
            Re: Principles of Being a Good Squad Member

            This should be linked to from the "Outfit Info and Applications - New Recruits Start Here" thread. Of course, that will likely never happen, but you have my vote Garthra. :)
            "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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            • #7
              Re: Principles of Being a Good Squad Member

              Originally posted by Randy_Shughart_ClwFL View Post
              This should be linked to from the "Outfit Info and Applications - New Recruits Start Here" thread. Of course, that will likely never happen, but you have my vote Garthra. :)
              Defeatism will get you nowhere. I linked it in the General SOPs thread under 'Squad Member Preferred Practices'.




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              • #8
                Re: Principles of Being a Good Squad Member

                Originally posted by P.Drona View Post
                Defeatism will get you nowhere. I linked it in the General SOPs thread under 'Squad Member Preferred Practices'.
                "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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