Mounted Land Navigation - Navigator's Duties



A vehicle commander should be able to navigate from one point on the ground to another with or without a compass. If separated from his unit and given an azimuth and distance from their position to his, he should be able to reach the unit and continue the mission. To move effectively while mounted, he must know the principles of mounted navigation.


The principles of land navigation while mounted are basically the same as while dismounted. The major difference is the speed of travel. Walking between two points may take one hour, but riding the same distance may only take 15 minutes. To be effective at mounted land navigation, the travel speed must be considered.


The duties of a navigator are so important and exacting that he should not be given any other duties. The leader should never try to be the navigator, since his normal responsibilities are heavy, and one or the other job would suffer.

a. Assembling Equipment. The navigator must gather all the equipment that will help him perform his job (maps, pencils, and so forth). He must do this before the mission starts.

b. Servicing Equipment. It is the navigator's duty to make sure that all the equipment he may use or require is working.

c. Recording Data for Precise Locations. During movement, the navigator must make sure that the correct direction and distance are recorded and followed. Grid coordinates of locations must be recorded and plotted.

d. Supplying Data to Subordinate Leaders. During movement, any change in direction or distance must be given to the subordinate leaders in sufficient time to allow them to react.

e. Maintaining Liaison with the Commander. The commander will normally select the route he desires to use. The navigator is responsible for following that route; however, there may be times when the route must be changed during a tactical operation. For this reason, the navigator must maintain constant communication with the commander. The navigator must inform the commander when checkpoints are reached, when a change in direction of movement is required, and how much distance is traveled.