In today’s post, I will educate you about the Army Squad Leader duties, responsibilities, and job description. I will provide several examples. This information should give you a 90 to 95 percent solution on what Squad Leader’s do. However, keep in mind that things might vary slightly (but not too much) depending on the type of unit you are assigned to.
Example Army Squad Leader Job Descriptions
Listed below you will find three Army Squad Leader job descriptions. Feel free to use these as a reference or to modify them as needed to fit your situation.
Job Description # 1:
Leads and supervises a Military Police squad consisting of two NCOs and eight Soldiers, responsible for maintaining and enforcing 100% accountability of the squad’s weapons and equipment; Supervises individual and squad level training and mentors subordinates to ensure that they are properly prepared for combat operations; Assists the Platoon Sergeant in planning, coordinating, and supervising all activities that the squad is assigned to accomplish the mission; Additional duties includes Unit Movement NCO.
Job Description # 2:
Serves as a Squad Leader in a Light Infantry Platoon; Supervises two NCOs and eight Soldiers: Responsible for the health, welfare, morale, and training of his Soldiers; Leads and maneuvers squad in combat; Responsible for maintenance and accountability of seven vehicles and $175,000 in MTOE property; Assists the Platoon Sergeant in planning, coordinating and supervising all activities that the squad is assigned to accomplish; Additional duties include TMDE NCO.
Job Description # 3:
Assigned as a Squad Leader in a Maintenance Platoon. Directly supervises two NCOs and six Soldiers; Provide leadership, direction and training to his Soldiers; Develops Soldiers for positions of increased responsibility by counseling, mentoring and job shadowing; Responsible for squad’s MTOE property valued at $180,000; Assists the Platoon Sergeant as necessary; Additional duties include Equal Opportunity NCO.
Army Squad Leader Duties & Responsibilities
The Squad Leader is responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen within the squad. The Squad Leader works closely with their Platoon Sergeant for guidance and direction.
Prepare Soldiers for Wartime Mission– Without a doubt, the number one role of a Squad Leader is to prepare their squad for their wartime mission. This means making sure your squad is mentally and physically tough, and knows how to do their MOS, Warrior Tasks, and collective tasks in combat.
Trains Squad on Individual and Collective Tasks– Squad Leaders ensure their Soldiers know how to shoot, move, and communicate. Soldiers must know how to do their individual job and accomplish their Squad and Platoon (collective) tasks.
Maneuvers Squad in Combat– Squad Leaders are responsible for the maneuver of their squad. This includes convoys, foot march, air movements, or any other maneuver as necessary.
Mentor and Develop Subordinates– Squad Leaders spend time mentoring their Soldiers. They do counseling, job shadowing, one-on-one mentoring, and leading by example. They groom their Soldiers for positions of increased responsibility. They ensure their Soldiers attend the schools they need and get the training they need to be successful today, and in the future.
Manages Administrative & Logistics Needs Within Squad– The Squad Leader coordinates, resources, and manages all the administrative and logistics issues for the squad. This includes administrative paperwork, transportation, food, ammo, personal supply, and more.
Works with the Platoon Sergeant to Accomplish Platoon Objectives– The Squad Leader interacts with the Platoon Sergeant daily to ensure the platoon’s objectives are fulfilled.
Provides C2 Oversight of Soldiers– The Squad Leader always supervises their Soldiers, ensuring they are where they need to be, in the right uniform, and at the right time.
Supervises Maintenance of Squad Vehicles and Equipment– The Squad Leader ensures their squad’s equipment is maintained properly. They work closely with their Soldiers during PMCS and interact with maintenance personnel when needed.
Maintain Accountability of All Equipment and Property within the Squad– The Squad Leader ensures their Soldiers maintain and account for their section and personal equipment.
Recommends Soldiers for Awards, Recognition and Punishments– The Squad Leader submits their Soldiers for awards such as AAMs, COAs, unit coins, etc.
Handle Discipline Issues within the Squad– The Squad Leader supervises the two Team Leaders and is responsible for corrective training, disciplinary issues, and making recommendations for formal punishment.
Prepares OPORDs– When necessary, the Squad Leader prepares OPORDS for combat missions. They also review the Platoon Level OPORD to determine mission requirements and to conduct mission analysis.
If nothing else, remember that the Squad Leader is responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen with their squad of Soldiers.
Tips for Success as a Squad Leader
The Staff Sergeant (E-6) is the workhorse of the Army. This group represents the “middle management” responsible for the execution of much of what goes on day to day. Even the Drill Sergeants who shape new recruits into Soldiers are mostly Staff Sergeants. So, when you step into a Squad Leader role, you must understand some basic changes you’ll need to make from your time as an E-5.
# 1: Start learning to delegate.
As an E-5 Team Leader, you’ve been focused on your three Soldiers. You’ve been directly responsible for their care, training, and oversight. Now it’s time to manage through others—through your two Team Leaders. There are some subtle differences between the direct management you’re accustomed to and successful delegation. The biggest thing is to remember that follow-up means spot checking your Soldiers to ensure the Team Leaders are doing their jobs. That, conveniently enough, leads to the next point.
# 2: Learn to inspect vs. checking.
The Team Leader checks all three of his Soldiers in detail. That’s the “pre-combat check.” As a Squad Leader, you don’t check all eight squad members—that’s duplication of effort and a waste of time. You check your Team Leaders, and then you conduct a pre-combat inspection. Just as your Company Commander in Basic Training didn’t look at every single piece of clothing and equipment of every Soldier when conducting an inspection, you spot check. If you find what you expect, good. If not, you start digging to see what else might be wrong. That extends to asking Soldiers basic questions about the mission to see whether information is flowing down through the Team Leaders.
#3: Let your team leaders handle their business.
Your junior NCOs must have experience if they’re going to develop. Let them get it by doing their jobs. Step in when needed, but only when needed. This includes allowing them to make mistakes. “Good mistakes” are those that result when someone thinks through something, takes the right actions, and still ends up with things going wrong. Don’t crucify people for that. Bad mistakes—the ones that result from carelessness, laziness, or negligence—are the ones that are unacceptable.
# 4: Get a good grasp on the paperwork.
You should have been doing counseling on your Soldiers as a Team Leader. Award recommendations you might or might not have done yourself, depending on your specific unit. But now you need to start mastering counseling, awards, and the many more pieces of paper that will blow your way. You need to be able to train your subordinates in how to handle it the right way, so if necessary do a little research and learn yourself.
# 5: Know the OPORD format.
This one, admittedly, is mostly for combat arms Squad Leaders. In an infantry unit, the Squad Leaders work directly for the Platoon Leader in combat operations. He briefs his OPORD directly to them, and they in turn brief their Team Leaders. You need to be able to navigate the OPORD format and condense the order you receive down to the essentials your Team Leaders will need.
# 6: Watch your platoon sergeant.
One day, assuming you decide to stay in, and you perform to standard, you’ll add another rocker and step up in front of a platoon. The time to start learning is now. Take the opportunity to see what your Platoon Sergeant’s responsibilities are and how they manage them. Ask questions when your job and his or her job permit. At some point, you’ll be the senior Squad Leader, which means in the Platoon Sergeant’s absence you’ll step up and fill the role. Start gathering the knowledge to do so successfully.
In some occupational specialties, you may linger in the various NCO ranks for quite a while. In others, it’s possible to move up quickly. If you find yourself thrust into a Squad Leader position and don’t feel quite ready, these tips will help you get oriented to the terrain and succeed.
Squad Leader Initial Counseling Packet
If you’re in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve and are looking for an example Army Squad Leader Initial Counseling packet, today is your lucky day. I’ve put together a number of resources to help you, the Platoon Sergeant, successfully conduct your initial counseling with your Squad Leader.
Here’s what is included in this pack:
- 22 minute video covering everything you need to know to have a successful initial counseling session.
- Example completed DA Form 4856.
- Example Counseling Form, completed.
- Recommended Reading list to give to your subordinate.
- Example Interview Questions.
- List of Items needed for your counseling packet.
- Example agenda for the counseling session.
You can learn more about this initial counseling packet here.
In conclusion, these are the most common Squad Leader Duties & Responsibilities. Squad Leaders have an IMPORTANT JOB. Do not take your assignment lightly. Take pride in everything you do and give it your best. Your soldiers deserve it.
What are your thoughts about the Army Squad Leader duties, responsibilities, and job description? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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3 thoughts on “Sample Army Squad Leader Duties, Responsibilities & Job Description”
Anyone who is about to get a squad leader position should have all the information in this post readily available. I also believe that someone who may be considering the position, should be provided with all of this so they can make a rational decision on whether they can handle all the responsibilities that this job carries. Yes the packet would make good sense and for 10 bucks, it is a bargain.
I had no idea that a squad leader had so many responsibilities. It would be very beneficial for a Platoon Sgt to purchase this inexpensive packet so that the initial counseling with a squad leader will cover every one of the responsibilities they have. It would be so easy to miss some of these if a Platoon Sgt was to attempt to “wing it” on their own.
Great post Chuck.
I agree, and I also think that any PSG worth their salt should have an arsenal of documents. Like it or not, the more senior we get, the more paperwork we have to do. Taking the time to have solid templates will save you a lot of time in the long run.