Navigation Equipment and Methods - Using a Compass
94. USING A COMPASS
Magnetic azimuths are determined with the use of magnetic instruments, such as lensatic and M2 compasses. The techniques employed when using the lensatic compass are as follows:
a. Using the Centerhold Technique. First, open the compass to its fullest so that the cover forms a straightedge with the base. Move the lens (rear sight) to the rearmost position, allowing the dial to float freely. Next, place your thumb through the thumb loop, form a steady base with your third and fourth fingers, and extend your index finger along the side of the compass. Place the thumb of the other hand between the lens (rear sight) and the bezel ring; extend the index finger along the remaining side of the compass, and the remaining fingers around the fingers of the other hand. Pull your elbows firmly into your sides; this will place the compass between your chin and your belt. To measure an azimuth, simply turn your entire body toward the object, pointing the compass cover directly at the object. Once you are pointing at the object, look down and read the azimuth from beneath the fixed black index line . This preferred method offers the following advantages over the sighting technique:
(1) It is faster and easier to use.
(2) It can be used under all conditions of visibility.
(3) It can be used when navigating over any type of terrain.
(4) It can be used without putting down the rifle; however, the rifle must he slung well back over either shoulder.
(5) It can be used without removing eyeglasses.
b. Using the CompasstoCheek Technique. Fold the cover of the compass containing the sighting wire to a vertical position; then fold the rear sight slightly forward. Look through the rearsight slot and align the frontsight hairline with the desired object in the distance. Then glance down at the dial through the eye lens to read the azimuth
NOTE: The compasstocheek technique is used almost exclusively for sighting, and it is the best technique for this purpose.
c. Presetting a Compass and Following an Azimuth. Although different models of the lensatic compass vary somewhat in the details of their use, the principles are the same.
(1) During daylight hours or with a light source:
(a) Hold the compass level in the palm of the hand.
(b) Rotate it until the desired azimuth falls under the fixed black index line (for example, 320°), maintaining the azimuth as prescribed
(c) Turn the bezel ring until the luminous line is aligned with the northseeking arrow. Once the alignment is obtained, the compass is preset.
(d) To follow an azimuth, assume the centerhold technique and turn your body until the northseeking arrow is aligned with the luminous line. Then proceed forward in the direction of the front cover's sighting wire, which is aligned with the fixed black index line that contains the desired azimuth.
(2) During limited visibility, an azimuth may be set on the compass by the click method. Remember that the bezel ring contains 3° intervals (clicks).
(a) Rotate the bezel ring until the luminous line is over the fixed black index line.
(b) Find the desired azimuth and divide it by three. The result is the number of clicks that you have to rotate the bezel ring.
(c) Count the desired number of clicks. If the desired azimuth is smaller than 180°, the number of clicks on the bezel ring should be counted in a counterclockwise direction. For example, the desired azimuth is 51°. Desired azimuth is 51° ÷ 3 = 17 clicks counterclockwise. If the desired azimuth is larger than 180°, subtract the number of degrees from 360° and divide by 3 to obtain the number of clicks. Count them in a clockwise direction. For example, the desired azimuth is 330°; 360° 330° = 30 ÷ 3 = 10 clicks clockwise.
(d) With the compass preset as described above, assume a centerhold technique and rotate your body until the northseeking arrow is aligned with the luminous line on the bezel. Then proceed forward in the direction of the front cover's luminous dots, which are aligned with the fixed black index line containing the azimuth.
(e) When the compass is to be used in darkness, an initial azimuth should be set while light is still available, if possible. With the initial azimuth as a base, any other azimuth that is a multiple of three can be established through the use of the clicking feature of the bezel ring.
NOTE: Sometimes the desired azimuth is not exactly divisible by three, causing an option of rounding up or rounding down. If the azimuth is rounded up, this causes an increase in the value of the azimuth, and the object is to be found on the left. If the azimuth is rounded down, this causes a decrease in the value of the azimuth, and the object is to be found on the right.
d. Bypassing an Obstacle. To bypass enemy positions or obstacles and still stay oriented, detour around the obstacle by moving at right angles for specified distances.
(1) For example, while moving on an azimuth of 90°, change your azimuth to 180° and travel for 100 meters; change your azimuth to 90° and travel for 150 meters; change your azimuth to 360° and travel for 100 meters; then change your azimuth to 90° and you are back on your original azimuth line
(2) Bypassing an unexpected obstacle at night is a fairly simple matter. To make a 90° turn to the right, hold the compass in the centerhold technique; turn until the center of the luminous letter E is under the luminous line (do not move the bezel ring). To make a 90° turn to the left, turn until the center of the luminous letter W is under the luminous line. This does not require changing the compass setting (bezel ring), and it ensures accurate 90° turns.
e. Offset. A deliberate offset is a planned magnetic deviation to the right or left of an azimuth to an objective. Use it when the objective is located along or in the vicinity of a linear feature such as a road or stream. Because of errors in the compass or in map reading, the linear feature may he reached without knowing whether the objective lies to the right or left. A deliberate offset by a known number of degrees in a known direction compensates for possible errors and ensures that upon reaching the linear feature, the user knows whether to go right or left to reach the objective. Ten degrees is an adequate offset for most tactical uses. Each degree offset will move the course about 18 meters to the right or left for each 1,000 meters traveled. For example, the number of degrees offset is 10. If the distance traveled to "x" in 1,000 meters, then "x" is located about 180 meters to the right of the objective.