Transcript approved for training purposes
So, what exactly are all these CO, SL, FTL things I keep hearing about?
The missions (mostly) incorporate the FA2015 Platoon structure. The Platoon, led by a CO, consists of three Squads, led by SLs, each made up of two Fireteams, led by FTLs.
Oh, well, obviously. But let's pretend for a moment that I didn't understand a word of that...
You'll figure it out the minute you see it in action. If you're 100% new to this, my advice would be to grab one of the 'riflemen' slots. You can even ask the host to save you one. It's a perfect position to see how the system works, and it takes no prior knowledge past "listen to your leader" and "point and shoot".
Right. But suppose I still wanna hear the details?
The fireteam element consists of the Fire Team and Manoeuvre Team. They all talk to each other over Group VON (AKA the in-game channel). It's advised to have a dedicated push-to-talk key set up for group VON exclusively.
Fire and Maneuver?
Exactly. One team suppresses the enemy (so they can't shoot back), and then the other team moves in for the kill.
An infantry squad consists of two fireteams and the Squad Leader element (basically, SL and Medic). SL and FTLs talk to each other over TeamSpeak.
So, if I'm not an SL or FTL...
You generally don't talk on TS. Unless there's something really, really urgent.
An infantry platoon consists of (up to) three squads, attachments, and the CO element (basically CO, Medic, and UAV operator). The CO and SLs speak to each other over Channel Commander.
Infantry squad. There are other kinds?
Very observant! There is, indeed, a mechanized squad. Basically, the mech. squad trades one fireteam for an armored transport/fire support vehicle.
And as you can imagine, three mech. squads and attachments make up a mech. platoon.
Wait, what are 'attachments'?
Attachments are typically 2-man elements (spotter and gunner) that can be used to add a specific type of special weapon to the platoon. For example, the Heavy AntiTank (HAT) team adds, as the name suggests, a heavy AT weapon. An MMG team adds a medium machinegun, which is bigger than what the automatic riflemen have. A mortar team, well, you get the picture.
So, where do they fit on the diagram?
Wherever the CO wants them. When attached to a squad, the Attachment lead (the 'spotter') talks on TS. When attached directly to CO, they speak on Channel commander.
Wait, wait, back up: what's "Channel Commander"?
Oh, right, that thing. Well, CC is a TeamSpeak feature that lets you talk to people outside of your channel. We use it for comms 'one level up' from TS. You can more or less ignore it unless you slot as an element lead. or your lead gets shot and you have to take over.
And if that happens?
I am glad you asked! Proceed right down this hatch for your comms training: