Basic training part 3
One of the most critical things to practice during your training is communication. Often you will not be able to talk or even shout to your team mates during actual combat. So you must use other forms of communication to relay messages to one another.
Many people recommend using a whistle for communication. Do do this, each drill will be asigned a specific whistle 'code'. One of the simplest ways to do this is to use a series of short and long blasts on the wistle to signal a certain movement or drill. For example, for the "flanking right" drill, you could asign one short and one long wistle blast. For flanking left, use something opposite. The main thing is to keep it simple and easy to remember and perform.
Another time you will need communication other than talking is when you must maintain stealth. During these times, hand signals are often best. The U.S. military has a set of standard hand signals that work well. FM 21-75 chapter 7 deals with the basics of combat communication. FM 21-60 deals with hand signals in much more depth.
Or you could make up your own hand signals, or learn sign language. However, I suggest that you study FM 21-60 and utilize as many of the standard signals as you can. This will help you in the long run, should you and your team need to work with other groups.
The most important thing with comunication is that you practice it every time you train. Just as knowing drills instinctively is critical, so is being able to communicate with your men. You simply will not be able to act as a group if you cannot communicate. Each man in your team must reflexively act when they hear or see a particular communication from the team leader or pointman. Knowing how to communicate and how to perform drills reflexively wil save lives in combat.