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Squad Leader Practical and Mental Game
By Eazy
[WIP] Understand the practical and mental-strategies of a Squad Leader and learn to utilise this in your Squad to lead an effective Squad.
This guide is not talking about tactics as an SL, it is simply talking about the mental game and mental strategies of the SL.
This guide is very opinionated, if you disagree then feel free to comment why!
I could possibly make an SL tactic guide later if everyone keeps talking about tactics in the comments
*** Practical Theory of Squad Leaders ***
Understanding the SL Role
Congratulations soldier! You have now made the wanting decision to step up in responsibility and claim the Squad Leader role. This kit is the most crucial role and comes with many responsibilities and expectations to fulfil. This will seem daunting, stressful and overwhelming for your first few hours at Squad Leading but it is the most satisfying role to perform.

The amount of information that comes your way is going to be the most overwhelming aspect of Squad Leading and with this continuous influx of information, you must balance out your Squad's objective, your men you are leading, communication and support with other Squad and Squad Leaders, being decisive and sticking with your decisions, and morale.
Expectations of a Squad Leader
Before you choose the Squad Leader kit, you must understand the expectations of a Squad Leader. It is unadvisable to choose the kit and not understand the requirements of being a Squad Lead.

As a Squad Leader, you are expected to:
  • Unite a group of men to become one, a unit, and create teamwork and unity within the Squad.
  • Be the steering wheel of the Squad, give the Squad clear instructions and share an overall objective your 8 Squad Members all work towards accomplishing.
  • Provide your Squad and team with appropriate spawn points.
  • Communicating with other Squad Leaders to establish co-ordination within the team.
  • Keep morale high within your Squad and prevent your Squad from breaking down and becoming ineffective to the team.
  • Make sure your Squad is in some way playing for the objectives and contributing to the overall success of the team.
It's Not About You!
Most people when first starting to Squad Lead click on that 'create a squad' button and automatically assume that everything is about them. WRONG! It is not all about you at all, you are only there to help maximise the effectiveness of the Squad by giving an objective and utilising your Squad to gain the best chances of success and survivability of your Squad.
Pre-Game Preparation

Now that you've created a Squad, it is time to decide on a strategy for the match. With each strategy, it requires the use of different kits within the Squad to successfully carry out the strategy and ensuring the best chance of success and survivability.
For example: If you are doing a rush against the US or RUS, you would typically delegate 2 Squad Members to grab the Light Anti-Tank kit (LAT) to quickly take out their Stryker's or BTR's.

We will first look at the fundamental kits offered in Squad and learn how to utilise each kit to its fullest potential.

  • Squad Leader:
    This role is responsible for leading and managing the men in his Squad, distil teamwork, and co-ordinate the Squad in working together to accomplish a shared objective.
    This kit carries around a massive responsibility and expectations so effective communication is paramount. This kit is the backbone of the Squad.

  • Medic:
    This kit is an essential role in any Squad as he has the ability to heal and revive teammates and boosts the chances of survivability of a Squad. The Medic is there to keep the Squad alive when in battle. The Medics are a support class and not a fire support or fighter role, so the Medics should avoid contact and stay at the rear of the Squad because a dead Medic means a dead Squad . There are 2 Medic slots available and should always be prioritised when delegating Squad roles.

  • Rifleman:
    This kit is the spearhead of your Squad as it is the first into battle. A rifleman with iron-sights will carry an extra grenade and a sandbag and a skilled rifleman will be effective up to 300m in combat.
    Another rifleman variant is the rifleman + optics. This adds an optic to the gun and allows the rifleman to engage targets up to medium ranges. However, unlike the normal rifleman, it only carries one grenade and no sandbags.

  • Autorifleman:
    This kit is one of the most under-utilised kits in Squad. This kit is effective at providing suppresive fire on the enemies from medium to long ranges and helps the Squad assault or defend a position. This kit is essential in any anti-infantry scenario. It has the highest magazine capacity in the Squad and limits or pins enemy movement when effectively utilised. Also great at holding down corners and corridors.

  • Light Anti-Tank:
    This kit gives the Squad capability to engage armoured and non-armoured targets. The US Light Anti-Tanks receive the LAW while every other faction receives the RPG-7. The US receives no frag rockets and the Russians receive 1 frag rocket. The Militia and Insurgents receive 2 frag rounds. Frag rounds are anti-infantry whereas the HEAT rounds are for vehicles.

  • Grenadier:
    This kit provides the Squad with indirect fire support using his UGL sending High-Explosive shells hurtling towards the enemies. Useful for clearing out enemies within a close proximity, such as inside buildings or HAB. The kit also comes equipped with Smoke shells which sends a thin column of smoke upwards. The smoke should mainly be used for marking enemy targets and almost never used for concealing your Squad's movements as it is easily spotted by enemies and provide little to no concealment. Smoke shells can also be used to block vision through windows or doorways etc.

  • Marksman:
    Don't use the marksman kit, there are better alternatives out there. I would prefer the AR rather than the marksman for medium-long range. However, it can be usedful when utilised properly. As for instance in Gorodok or Kohat.
How and When To Utilise Kits
It is imperative your Squad has the kits which are critical for the type of strategy you are following or for the type of situation you are faced with or are in. The Squad that best utilises these kits always have the upperhand when in a firefight.

I have already talked about what each kit is effective for (see section above).

Let's first look at which kits are effective for which map.

Sumari is without a doubt one of the smallest maps in the game. It is full of small alleyways and small buildings.

Grenadiers: Probably the most useful kit in this map as the Grenadier is capable of hurtling grenades through windows and into tight rooms where the grenade blast should kill anyone in the room. Useful for breaching into compounds such as Palace with the grenade launchers. With the tight alleyways, GL's are also effective as the blast radius will cover most of the alleyway.

Autoriflemen: Capable of suppressing and holding down corners and alleyways. With the tight alleyays, it is even more effective at covering the whole alleyway and suppressing enemies in buildings. AR's are most useful for defending. Use them to cover corners, alleyways and entrances etc.

Light Anti-Tank: Useful mainly for sending a rocket into a room or alleyway with lots of enemies in close proximity. Also for targeting US's Humvees/MRAPs

Scout: Useful for mining roads since the roads are tight and small. Vehicles can't maneouver off-road too much on this map.
Decide Your Approach/Strategy For The Game
Now that you have taken the initiative of creating a Squad, you will need to decide on a strategy your Squad will follow for the first part of the game.
This may seem a bit overwhelming for inexperienced Squad Leader's as you might not be able to decide on what you want to be doing, and setting up the game is crucial for the outcome of a match. I also know that most new Squad Leaders do not want to let down their Squad and will get nervous as they think their Squad Members are going to get angry or start hating on him. But take it from me, I often fail and often let my Squad down. You just have to accept it and move on. Surprisingly, most of your Squad Members won't care if you stuff up.

For very inexperienced Squad Leaders, I personally recommend taking the backcap approach. It enables you to see what is going on at the usual contested flags and know where the enemies went. Then, you can decide on the next decision to take while co-ordinating with the other Squad Leaders.
For your first few flags, the enemies might be able to rush your first few flags. If you are backcapping a flag which has the potential for an enemy rush, this approach will also allow you ample time to set-up a defence and is a good way to learn how to control your Squad with a generous amount of time you normally wouldn't get otherwise.

Once you can grasp the basics and are able to decently control your Squad, take it up a level and rush a flag around the middle of the map where both sides usually contest in the first 5 minutes of the match. This will test your ability to effectively control and lead your Squad as you will need to set-up a defence or assault quickly. This will also encourage you to test out new strategies and approaches. This is one of the best ways to hone your skills as a Squad Leader.

Once you have great control and effective lead over your Squad, nominate your Squad to rush the enemy's first flags or a flag where enemies always set-up first. This can and will push your Squad Leading skills to the very limit and will make or break a Squad Leader. This is a high-stress scenario and only those with excellent game sense, Squad control and adaptability will succeed. This over time will help you learn to think fast and adapt to the situation.

Remember, whenever you fail that is when you learn. You don't learn from success, you learn from your mistakes. And when you fail, you can try again but with the knowledge you learnt from your last failure, and that is real success.

Those Squad Leaders you respect and admire, they have failed more times than you have tried. That is why they are good at it, because they learned from each of their mistakes and improved upon it each time.

I've failed many more times Squad Leading than I have succeeded. And that is one of the reasons why I am a good Squad Leader. Learn from your mistakes and grow.
*** Psychology and Mental Game ***
The Squad Leader is without a doubt, the hardest role to fulfil in Squad. The amount of information thrown at you will be overwhelming, with this never-ending flow of information you must make quick, critical and tactical decisions which will affect the survivability of the squad, of your team, and the outcome of the battle. With these factors constantly in the back of the Squad Leader’s mind, this will increase stress and tension in the Squad Leader. It is up to you to decide how you will handle the stress and situation.

And one tip for squad leads, at the end of the day everyone joined your squad to have fun. There is a certain amount of fun and seriousness you need to balance when you squad lead (when you are playing with pubbies). What satisfies me everytime I squad lead is that even though we lost hard, people still had fun and want to join your squad again.
Most Important Quality As a Squad Leader
The number one quality of a Squad Leader I believe is not in having the wits, but the ability to empower and influence your Squad Members so that they WANT to follow you, they want to listen to you. Even if you have a well-thought-out plan, if your Squad Members do not want to listen or follow you, that plan will fail.

Why? Squad Members are the most important people in a Squad, not the Squad Leader, the role of a Squad Leader is to give the Squad an objective. The Squad Members are the people that are in the fight, they are the ones that will complete the objectives. This is what aspiring Squad Leaders must understand.
Are You In The Right Mindset To Squad Lead?
I personally never recommend Squad Leading when you are not in the right mindest as Squad Leading takes away a lot of your energy. If you aren't in the right mindset you will not fulfil the epectations of a Squad Leader and will usually leave your Squad and/or team with a bad experience.

Whenever I squad lead, this is what I tell myself everytime I create a squad:
1. Make sure everyone feels important in the Squad. People love feeling important. If someone has to canary a cap while everyone else attacks, make it so that his job is important so he will want to canary.
2. Play seriously while squad leading and make sure the squad stays focused on task, all the while mixing the serious vibe with some fun.
3. Am I going to stay the whole game? If not, don't squad lead. Everyone hates the squad leader that leaves during the match.
4. Be willing to accept criticism from anyone. If you aren't in the right mood to accept criticism then don't squad lead.
5. Am I switched on? Squad leading a match is always going to use up a lot of energy due to the sheer amount of multi-tasking required. Information will be thrown at you and you need to quickly adapt and make the correct decisions every minute. If I am not able to think properly, if i am tired, if I am sad, frustrated or angry, do not squad lead. If I squad lead without me switched on, then I will not fulfil to my team the expectations that are required of me as a Squad leader.
6. Make sure everyone has fun playing in my Squad.

I always ask myself this everytime I make a Squad. Follow this and with a bit of experience and practice, they will WANT you to Squad lead again next match. It is a great feeling when everyone wants you to Squad lead again. You can be sure you are a great squad leader and the feeling when you know you are a great squad leader is amazing.
Psychology In Squad: Appreciate Them
If you consider human psychology, people perform better if they are confident and comfortable. If all you’re doing as a Squad Leader is telling people what to do, you show no appreciation for your Squad Members, you must understand they are the most important people in the Squad, not you.

People want to be appreciated and they need to feel important in the Squad to perform at their best. This is basic human nature. If you show honest appreciation and how important they are for the Squad, they will without a doubt follow you and want to listen to you. Why? Because they feel important and appreciated. They feel comfortable and safe around you. If people are comfortable and feel good around you, this will increase their performance. This is a scientifically-proven fact.

Make sure to constantly tell your squad AND your team that they are doing well. Let them know what they are doing right or wrong and help them whenever they need help.

There are exceptions to the rule of flattery, a simple 'good work' or 'nice find' is enough if your Squad's morale is fine and happy. However, just a small thing what I have noticed is to keep your compliments unique, because people will tend to favour joining your Squad over some other Squad if you appreciate them in your Squad. Nothing feels worse for me than not feeling valued in the Squad.

"Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement," - Carnegie
Change Your Approach To Anger
If a Squad Member stuffs up do not yell at them, do not get angry. This will only hurt their feelings, respect and self-esteem. What good does it achieve to yell at someone because they made a mistake. We are human, we all make mistakes. Do not condemn or complain. They tried their best. Accept it and move on. Do not dwell on the past.

"Any fool can criticise, condemn, and complain - and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving." - Carnegie

As a Squad Leader, acknowledge if the Squad Member/s did not successfully complete their objective, but only acknowledge what worked, avoid resentment and always encourage improvement.

If your LAT is pressured under enemy fire and he needs to take out an enemy Stryker and misses both shots, DO NOT yell at him. This will worsen his self-confidence and feelings as he is already sad he didn't kill the Stryker for his team. If you blow your anger at your LAT then he will feel really crap and you will leave him worse off than before. What good is that to your squad? Why would you want a Squad Member who is already demoralised to be even worse off than when he first missed his shot. If you control your anger and be empathetic and understanding as to why he missed his shots. In his circumstance, he was under lots of direct enemy fire. He did not have enough time to adjust his aim. If you consider things from their point of view like this, then you will be more understanding of them. Once you considered it from their POV, acknowledge this and tell them what they did good and/or encourage them for next time, for example "Hey (insert name), they were really close rockets. I would've done the same. Bad luck"
This makes the person feel better about themselves even though they didn't kill the Stryker. Their self-confidence isn't damaged and their feelings aren't hurt. This player respects you more as a person and is more willing to follow and listen to you.
Handling Suggestions/Orders From Squad Members
Suggestions from Squad Members are appreciated from some SL's, and for others dislike receiving suggestions from Squad Members. Some people may be too egotistical and want everyone to know who is boss and therefore don't really like receiving suggestions from Squad Members, others might not like receiving suggestions from Squad Members because it might ruin their image of being that SL who knows what he's doing and making the correct choices or whatever.

The point is, most SL's don't mind if a Squad Member suggests something and others hate when Squad Members give advice. Then, there are the rare few who genuinely appreciate suggestions from Squad Members and take the time to listen to anyone that has anything to say.

Out of these 3 SL's, which one would you prefer to join? I would definitely join the last SL because he lets people have a voice in how they should play out the match and listens to whatever you want to say. People like others who listen and care about what they have to say, and what better way to show you care by listening to suggestions when playing Squad! Because anything can happen in Squad and only the best decisions and teamwork wins the round.
This might sound cringe for a game but real-world psychology is still there in a teamwork-oriented game.

If you are a person that disregards suggestions, the next time someone suggests something take the time to listen and maybe it might be a good suggestion and could possibly help you take that enemy FOB down or take the CAP.

If you disregard suggestions, it is unlikely but these things can happen (I've seen all these things happen):
  • Squad Members feel as if they don't have a voice or not valued in the Squad and could disregard orders or leave your Squad.
  • People avoid joining your Squad as they don't like playing with you as you seem to come off as too aggressive or rude etc.
  • Worst-case scenario: You earn a bad repuation in the server if you do this consistently and aggressively so most people won't like playing with you, therefore leaving you bad experiences with Squad.

You cannot think of everything alone, as the famous saying goes;
"two minds are better than one mind.
And 9 minds are better than 1.
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CocaineCruise May 28 @ 5:55am 
Thank you for taking the time to make this I loved reading through it! I also notice values you mentioned that are important to myself and it encourages me to be on the right track of becoming a great squad leader. Amazing guide.
[ZSU] ¡Matador! Oct 15, 2017 @ 5:44am 
Instructions were not clear enought. I got my dick stuck in the ceiling fan.

jk, great guide. especially the part about keeping moral high
Gronkanator Oct 13, 2017 @ 2:36am 
You are right. Sometime you need the right mental disipline. Especially when resisting bodily urges...
Eazy  [author] Oct 13, 2017 @ 1:03am 
New section added to the Mental Game. Are you in the right mindset?
MSGT-KILLEM_ALL Oct 12, 2017 @ 4:15pm 
as playing squad leader most of the time i would like to see the marksman role be able to provide more to the squad. if they had a real scope like maybe 6x or 8x i wouldnt mind having it in my squad but i think if you want a scope take a non support role rifleman with the acog thats just as effective as the marksman role.
Villainous Valkyrie Oct 7, 2017 @ 7:05pm 
You forgot heavy anti tank
Grizzly Sep 26, 2017 @ 5:03pm 
man all this hate for snipers...
fvbcks Sep 25, 2017 @ 2:42am 
These are just a few of the things that annoyed me in this guide. No offense but this looks like it was written by someone who's too easily insulted, also known as a snowflake. Squad is supposed to simulate a real life scenario of war, and in war there's chaos. If a member of your Squad keeps f*cking up over and over again, you have all the right to kick him from the Squad and/or yell at him.
fvbcks Sep 25, 2017 @ 2:42am 
"If a Squad Member stuffs up do not yell at them, do not get angry. This will only hurt their feelings, respect and self-esteem."

"Remember, whenever you fail that is when you learn. You don't learn from success, you learn from your mistakes."

"What good does it achieve to yell at someone because they made a mistake."

"If your LAT is pressured under enemy fire and he needs to take out an enemy Stryker and misses both shots, DO NOT yell at him."

"This will worsen his self-confidence and feelings as he is already sad he didn't kill the Stryker for his team."

"But you cannot just compliment them, that is just flattery and flattery is just a selfish act by oneself. You must appreciate them, not flatter."
darthmaul69 Sep 21, 2017 @ 7:00am