Need Site Support?

Please contact the staff through the site's Contact Us form.

Land Nav Prep

Physical Training, Getting Ready, Soldiering and Training
everetttt
ArmyOCS.com Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:57 pm
Contact:

Land Nav Prep

Postby everetttt Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:18 am

For those of you who have not done much land nav in the civilian world, I found a good resource to help learn and train land nav similar to the military technique. The US gov't publishes topographic maps which you can search by location on a map. You can either download the PDF version for free or buy a physical copy from the site (usually around $15). If you download the PDF, I would recommend downloading several maps from your surrounding area and having a local print shop run you off the copies on quality paper.

Website, United States Geological Survey: https://store.usgs.gov/map-locator

IMPORTANT - Most of these maps are scaled 1:24000. Use a protractor which is designed to work with a 1:24000 scale map.

There are obviously many other important elements to land navigation other than the map. The map is no use if one does not understand how to read it, how to recognize the terrain features, and how to correctly plot points. The map cannot be used, or used safely, if one does not know how to use it. But I think these maps are a valuable resource to help learn land navigation in a setting which is familiar, in a terrain which can easily be visualized when looking at the map.

I think one should watch several of the videos online explaining the important points of Army land nav (especially pace count) as well as reading the Army publications on land nav before stepping outside to use the map.
RedOctopus
ArmyOCS.com Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:53 am
Contact:

Re: Land Nav Prep

Postby RedOctopus Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:49 pm

Thanks! I've done "land nav" ie. orienting a map and finding points with Boy Scouts (and getting a pace count), but this should help a lot more. I'd like to do some land nav practice before I ship to Basic and OCS this year.
everetttt
ArmyOCS.com Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:57 pm
Contact:

Re: Land Nav Prep

Postby everetttt Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:54 pm

Thanks! I've done "land nav" ie. orienting a map and finding points with Boy Scouts (and getting a pace count), but this should help a lot more. I'd like to do some land nav practice before I ship to Basic and OCS this year.

No problem! I thought this would be a good resource because the maps are both reliable and relevant. I have heard of some people joining an "orienteering club" to help with land nav. I would check them out if you are looking for a relaxed and social way to learn/practice land nav.

viewtopic.php?p=3490#p3490

viewtopic.php?p=340667#p340667
User avatar
Johno
Army Officer
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: Land Nav Prep

Postby Johno Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:42 pm

Can't say enough good things about making Land Nav your "thing" prior to and during BCT/OCS.

(a) It is a critical officer skill and can save your soldiers' lives (or cost them).

(b) As a 2LT your commander and/or battalion commander will (usually in the field and without warning) put you in situations that assume you know how to navigate expertly, whether or not you actually do. Don't blow these situations ahead of time by not being squared away. Unforced error.

(c) As a 2LT your NCOs/joes will generally assume (not without some reason) that you can't navigate your way out of a paper bag. Prove them wrong. Seize a teeny tiny bit of 2LT credibility. (See also, PT and marksmanship.)

(d) Your NCOs will assume this whether or not they themselves are actually accomplished navigators. Some are; some aren't. Don't assume you can lean on Ol' Sarge to have this skill covered. (Insert Johno's tired old story of battalion master gunner getting entire battalion lost in trackless Kuwaiti desert and Johno saving the day with basic competency.)

In short, this is not only a critical officer skill but being a proficient navigator is a "low-hanging fruit" opportunity to surprise your soldiers with competency and separate yourself a little bit as being (gasp) better than some of your NCOs at something. Putting it crudely, you need some of those moments as a junior officer.

:arrow: TECHNIQUE: Learn 'em all. Have a big bag of tricks so you can deal with any situation. Study topo maps against the landscape until their lines and contours rise from the page and speak to you in 3D. Learn to shoot a bonehead azimuth and "break brush" in a straight line and count paces like a good little soldier. Once you can do that, can it till you need it. Put away your compass and learn to take the map seriously. Find your way with features and relationships and "so, when this slope starts to get a little shallower I should be seeing a hilltop to my left and a slightly lower hilltop just north of that. Yep, there they are, so that means I'm right *there* on the map. So, if I walk northish and stay on the flat part of the ground all the way around the curve of the hill then once I cross the creek I'll be about halfway to where I'm going to see the draw that will take me to . . ." *That's* navigating.

Return to “Preparing for Basic Training”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest