LAND NAVIGATION DAY COURSE
(REFERENCE FM 3-25-26)
CONDITIONS: During daylight, in the field, the candidate is given a 1:50,000-scale military topographic map, a compass, a coordinate scale and protractor, a pencil, and the eight digit coordinates of the start point, the three intermediate points and the end point.
STANDARDS: The candidate must plot the start, the three intermediate points, and the end point on the map. He or she must then navigate the course using any navigational technique and record the position stake number for each point within 3 hours. The following information must be annotated for record purposes:
1. Start time.
2. Start point grid coordinates.
3. 1st point coordinates and position stake number.
4. 2nd point grid coordinates and position stake number.
5. 3rd point grid coordinates and position stake number.
6. 4th point/end point grid coordinates and position stake number
7. Stop time and elapsed time in hours and minutes.
Familiarize yourself with Field Manual 3-25.26, Map Reading and Land Navigation. Be proficient in the use of your compass and
protractor. Know your pace count.
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The day course has the following rules:
1. You must work alone. Any contact with other candidates, primarily talking, will cause you to fail.
2. You will receive four 8-digit grid coordinates which you must plot, correctly, on your map. Once this is done, you can start your navigation.
3. The only items you will carry are: pencil, protractor, map, score sheet, and compass.
4. You must navigate from the start point, through each intermediate point, in order, to the end point, and correctly record at least three points within 3 hours.
Land Navigation Night Course
(REFERENCE FM 3-25-26)
CONDITIONS: During the nighttime hours, in the field, the candidate is given a compass, flashlight, magnetic azimuths, and distances between the points.
STANDARDS: The candidate must navigate using the compass from a start point, through three intermediate points, to an end point, and record the position stake number for each point within 4 hours. the following information must be annotated for record purposes:
1. Start time.
2. From start point to point 1: degrees magnetic, meters, and position stake number.
3. From point 1 to point 2: degrees magnetic, meters, and position stake number.
4. From point 2 to point 3/end point: degrees magnetic, meters, and position stake number.
5. Stop time and elapsed time in hours and minutes.
1. Again, you must work alone.
2. You may not use a map. You are given your start point. From there, you are given an azimuth and a distance in meters to your next point. This continues for the duration of the course.
3. Only red-lens flashlights are allowed. Use of any other light source results in failure. No larger than a 2 "D" cell battery flashlight may be utilized on the night land navigation course.
4. You will use a compass, but not a map or a protractor. You don't need them anyway.
5. The only way to determine distance is by accurately recording your pace count!!!
6. The only way to determine direction is with your compass!!!
7. Remember to turn in the map and form when course is completed. It's one of the steps to receive a GO.
8. You must navigate from the start point, through each intermediate point, in order, to the end point, and correctly record at least three points within 4 hours.
Map Reading and Land Navigation Quiz
Navigation with Map and Compass
Reading Topographic Maps
EFMB Lessons Learned
Land Navigation and Map Reading Slideshow
Remember that if you thought of it, it has been thought of before. Everyone knows about the chem-light trick. A Chem-light on the course will get you a NO-GO. Chem-light will be utilized only to help graders find lost candidates. Don't memorize points from the day course or from practice runs through the lane. The same points are not utilized on the night. Also the signs are changes on the lanes frequently.
At night, graders will be out on the lanes. There are two reasons for this: one, assist injured or lost soldiers and two, maintain control of the lanes.
During the night course, remember that there are only two variables - your pace count and you azimuth. If used properly, your compass will not lie to you. If measured accurately, your pace count will be correct.
When measuring your pace count, keep in mind that you should adjust slightly if traveling uphill or downhill. The distance shown on a map is from point A to point B over flat terrain, "as the crow flies". You need to understand a little basic geometry to understand this.
For the day course, some soldiers use the IFR technique - I Follow Roads. That technique works extremely well in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, because the hard surface roads in the land navigation area are correctly shown on the map. At Fort Hood, however, this technique will cause complete failure. The roads in the area are dirt and change yearly. Fire breaks are not recommended either because they are changed over the years. Look at the date of the map to help you decide if you should use terrain association.
Wear the black shell gloves. These are great when going through the bush.
Always redo your pace count and recheck your compass. Even if you are doing the same course, your pace count may still fluctuate depending on whether you are hurt, the weather, the time of day, or who knows what else. Also, your compass could have been damaged between your last land navigation practical and now. Therefore, always recheck it.
As soon as time starts, start the timer on your high speed digital watch. Then go to your start point promptly. This will save you time that you may need later. Once at your start point, plot all of your points using a clipboard, mechanical pencil, and your own trustworthy protractor with a thread (or dental floss) tied to the middle.
Plot all four points. Then determine a tentative plan for the order that you will get your points in. Determine the direction and distance to the point you want to go to first.
Before you leave your SP, record the grid coordinates on your Murphy’s Law Notepad (a separate notepad) with pen and put it in your ammo pouch.
Store your map and scorecard in a 1-gal size zip lock bag, put it into your cargo pocket and button both buttons. (This is a proven method candidates had to learn the hard way—I can’t tell you how many scorecards and maps candidates have lost because they were careless in how they carried them.)
Anytime that you are going through an open area, use the thumb to cheek method for shooting your azimuth. I started doing this and it helped keep me on azimuth much better than just holding the compass at my waist.
Adjust your pace count according to the terrain. In open areas, I decrease my pace count by 5-10 steps to estimate 100 meters. In highly vegetated areas, I increase my pace count by 5.
Use your Ranger Beads to keep track of your pace count.
Once you find your point, record the code onto your score sheet in black pen. Make sure you record it next to the right point (i.e., you go to point #4 first because it is closest; but record the code next to point #4 on your score sheet, NOT next to point #1!!!!). Next, record the code onto that Murphy’s Law notepad you have in your ammo pouch.
Before you turn in your score sheet, double check that you wrote the write codes next to the right points. You can use your Murphy’s Law Notepad to do this.