Encyclopedia > Fireteam

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A fireteam is the smallest recognized military unit. As an army unit it consists of four to five (4-5) soldiers under a non-commissioned fireteam leader. Often the fireteam is responsible for operating one heavy weapon such as a heavy machine gun or a piece of artillery. Two fireteams form a squad.

The United States Army particularly emphasizes the fire team concept, as do most Special Operations units. Many other armed forces see the squad as the smallest military unit.

The creation of effective fireteams is seen as essential for creating an effective military. Psychological studies by the United States army have indicated that the willingness to fight is more heavily influenced by the desire to defend and avoid a loss of face among other members of the fireteam and the squad than by abstract concepts.

See also military science.

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