The Effects of Increasing the Size of the Infantry Squad

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Systems Engineering

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the Annual General Donald R. Keith Memorial Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


After major conflicts, the United States Army re-evaluates the optimal size of its infantry squads, given changes in military technology and enemy strategy. The Army is currently evaluating changing the size of the infantry squad from nine to thirteen. This analysis sets out to analyze the change in soldier survivability and lethality from this change. The Lanchester equations, the standard attrition models used in military modeling, provided initial insight into these changes. The Lanchester equations indicated that the squad would have an increase in survivability and mission effectiveness. A more detailed analysis used the Infantry Warrior Simulation (IWARS) to simulate four standard infantry missions and evaluate the overall changes in mission performance. This model indicated that across the mission sets the infantry squad saw an increase in lethality and a decrease in survivability when shifting from nine to thirteen soldiers.

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