Communication is vital for a team's success. There are a three forms of
communication used today:
Hand signals, Verbal
commands and team radios. Communication should be short and to the point
Hand signals are quiet and useful if light and distance allows it to be seen
by other team members. Your set of hand signals should be developed by your
team so no one other than your own unit can understand you. Hand signals are
almost only used if you conduct a slow/stealth operation. The signals you
make have to be shown with only one hand this being the week hand, while the
strong hand is operating the weapon.
If you use radios, always have a backup plan. Radios tend to break down,
when you need them most. Use a headset that allows you to look down the
barrel of your gun, and not down the microphone when in need to give
information on the radio. Holding your weapon and concentrating on the task
at hand can be complicated enough.
Verbal commands are best if kept to a maximum about 20- 30 words. Verbal
commands can be very effective when conducting a dynamic room clearing. It
adds to aggression.
Communication should be short and to the point. Communication Standard
Operating Procedures, are best developed by the teams themselves.
information below is only there to help you formulate your own ideas. No
matter what form of communication you choose, the same principles apply.
Restrict communication to only necessary comments that directly affect the
Here are some standard commands:
"STATUS" Signal by an element leader that requires all members to report
whether their sectors are clear and if they are prepared to continue the
"CLEAR" Signal given by individuals to report their sector is clear.
"UP" Signal given by individuals to report they are ready to continue
the mission (weapon loaded, equipment accounted for).
"ROOM CLEAR" Signal from team leader to team members, squad leader,
and follow-on teams that the room is secure and cleared.
"COMING OUT" Signal given by an individual or team that they are
about to exit a room.
"COME OUT" Reply given by security element or follow-on team that it
is safe to exit the room.
"COMING IN" Signal given by an individual who is about to enter an
"COME IN" Reply given by an occupant of a room stating it is safe to
"COMING UP/DOWN" Signal given by an individual or team that is
about to ascend or descend a stairway.
"COME UP/DOWN" Reply given by security element that it is safe to
ascend or descend a stairway.
"MAN DOWN" Signal given when an individual has been wounded or
injured and cannot continue his mission.
"SHORT ROOM" Signal given by either operator ❶ or operator
❷ to indicate a small room, and that all team members should not enter.
"GRENADE" A command given by any operator, when an enemy grenade has
been thrown. All operators need to take immediate actions. Although
difficult, the operator should identify the location of the grenade, if
"GO LONG" A command given by one member of the team to tell another
team member to take up security farther into the room or farther down a
"STOPPAGE" A signal given when an individual's weapon has
malfunctioned or if the operator is reloading.
"READY" A signal given when an individual has corrected a malfunction
and is ready for action.
"STACK UP" A command to get ready to enter the next room.
A command given to get the operators to get in a dominating
position in the room
A command to get the operators to form a chain, they can push hostages from
operator to operator out the house.