U.S. Army TC 21-306: Tracked Combat Vehicle Driver Training

Training Circular 21-306

  • 54 pages
  • For Official Use Only
  • March 2007


This training circular (TC) provides the unit commander, vehicle commander, and the vehicle driver with the basis for developing a tracked combat vehicle driver training program and can assist commanders in selecting highly qualified drivers. TC 21-306 is a result of the Chief of Staff of the Army’s (CSA) direction to the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) to develop tracked and wheeled vehicle driver training programs, to include the development of training support packages (TSPs) that will standardize driver training Armywide. The TSPs described in this publication fulfill that requirement for tracked vehicles by providing units with flexible training programs that can be implemented as stand-alone courses or integrated into existing training. The
intent is not to burden unit commanders with unrealistic training programs that cannot be resourced. The goal is to provide units with TSPs to support driver training that promotes safe driving practices, accident avoidance, and technical competence. This TC deals with the training of tracked combat vehicle drivers in support of this program. The information contained in this publication is applicable to the Active Army, the Army National Guard/Army National Guard of the United States, and United States Army Reserve that use these tracked combat vehicles unless otherwise stated.


a. When preparing to conduct a driver training program, make an estimate of the
driver training situation by answering these questions:

(1) How many personnel require qualification (monthly/annually)?

(2) How many previously licensed drivers need verification or recertification?

(3) What are the capabilities and general experiences of new drivers who
need qualification?

(4) What are the seasonal requirements for unit location?

(5) How much time is available?

(6) What type of tracked-vehicle accidents has the unit experienced?

(7) How many instructors are available?

(8) Will the training be part of unit in-processing?

(9) What special training do the instructors require?

(10) What facilities, supplies, and equipment (including training aids, vehicles,
and driving ranges with varied terrain) are available?

(11) What major training events are scheduled for the unit?

b. Analyze the answers to help develop and organize an effective plan to carry out
the training. In organizing the training program, analyze the appropriate TSP to
determine the following:

(1) The number of instructors who need training and a schedule for their instruction.

(2) The duties and responsibilities of each instructor.

(3) The number of drivers who require training or retraining and a schedule for
their instruction.

(4) How students will be grouped and how each group will be rotated.

(5) What facilities, supplies, and equipment are needed and how to get them

(6) The standards for training required by the appropriate TSP and your unit’s


Everyone in the chain of command should strictly supervise driver training for tracked
vehicle drivers. The following guidelines have proven to be effective when integrated
into training and should be included in programs of instruction:

• Conduct a complete and thorough safety briefing before the start of all training

• Make sure all drivers are trained and licensed to operate their assigned tracked
vehicles. During training, student drivers should have an OF 346 (US
Government Motor Vehicle Operator’s Identification Card) stamped “LEARNER”
(a learner’s permit). A licensed instructor must accompany a student driver with a
learner’s permit when he drives. The student must never be permitted to operate
a tracked vehicle without proper supervision.

• Use caution when driving through towns and villages. Streets are sometimes
narrow and difficult to negotiate. If the driver is in doubt, he should stop so the
track commander can dismount a ground guide. Pay attention to pedestrians,
and be aware that tracked vehicles draw curious people who have no idea how
dangerous the vehicles can be.

• Be aware of vehicle height when entering tunnels, underpasses, and building
overhangs close to roadways.

• Beware of icy spots on roadways, especially overpasses, which ice over very

• Be alert to the presence of overhead power lines. Before driving on roadways, tie
down antennas to make sure they do not come in contact with overhead power

• Be aware of steep or excessively rough terrain.

• Be aware of potential soft soil conditions or soil erosion.

• Recon the route of travel when possible.

• Make sure drivers understand all road signs and traffic signals. Despite their size,
tracked vehicles do not always have the right of way on roadways.

• Before crossing any bridge or overpass, note the bridge load classification and
the height and width limitations of underpasses. If the vehicle exceeds the
classification, it cannot cross.


Crew members in a tracked combat vehicle must wear CVC helmets and ride with only
their heads and shoulders extended (name tag defilade) out of the hatches. When a
tracked vehicle collides or overturns, injuries are usually the result of crew members
being thrown from the vehicle. If seat belts are installed, they must be worn.


Elements in a column of any length may simultaneously encounter many different types
of routes and obstacles; this causes different parts of the column to move at varying
speeds at the same time. To increase safety and reduce column whipping, the
movement or march order should give march speed, vehicle interval, and maximum
catch-up speed.


The driver may have to apply emergency stopping procedures in response to the
loss of brakes, steering, or engine power. Refer to the appropriate vehicle technical
manual (TM) for detailed emergency stopping procedures. If the TM does not contain
information on emergency stopping procedures, the crew should perform the

• Driver notifies the vehicle commander that the brakes, steering, or engine power
have malfunctioned.

WARNING: All crew members must remain inside the vehicle.

• Driver moves the gear select to N (neutral).

• Driver centers the steering column or laterals.

• Driver lets the vehicle coast to a stop.

• Driver sets the parking brake if the vehicle has one.

• Driver shuts down the engine once the vehicle has stopped.

• Vehicle commander notifies the chain of command.


a. Fratricide is a component of force protection and is closely related to safety.

(1) Fratricide is the employment of weapons, with the intent to kill the enemy or
destroy his equipment, that results in unforeseen and unintentional death,
injury, or damage to friendly personnel or equipment.

(2) Fratricide is by definition an accident.

(3) Risk assessment and management is the mechanism with which incidence
of fratricide can be controlled.

b. The primary causes of fratricide are:

• Direct fire control failures. These occur when units fail to develop defensive
and, particularly, offensive fire control plans.

• Land navigation failures. These result when units stray out of sector, report
wrong locations, and become disoriented.

• Combat identification failures. These failures include gunners or pilots being
unable to distinguish thermal and optical signatures near the maximum range
of their sighting systems and units in proximity mistaking each other for the
enemy under limited visibility conditions.

• Inadequate control measures. Units fail to disseminate the minimum
maneuver and fire support control measures necessary to tie control
measures to recognizable terrain or events.

• Reporting communication failures. Units at all levels face problems in
generating timely, accurate, and complete reports as locations and tactical
situations change.

• Weapons errors. Lapses in individual discipline lead to weapon charging
errors, accidental discharges, mistakes with explosives and hand grenades,
and similar incidents.

• Battlefield hazards. Unexploded ordnance, unmarked or unrecorded
minefields, and booby traps litter the battlefield. Failure to mark, remove,
record, or anticipate these hazards increases the risk of friendly casualties.

c. Fratricide results in unacceptable losses and increases the risk of mission
failure. Fratricide undermines the unit’s ability to survive and function. Units
experiencing fratricide often observe these consequences:

• Loss of confidence in the unit leadership.

• Increasing self-doubt among leaders.

• Hesitation to use supporting combat systems.

• Over-supervision of units.

• Hesitation to conduct night operations.

• Loss of aggressiveness during fire and maneuver.

• Loss of initiative.

• Disrupted operations.

• General degradation of cohesiveness, morale, and combat power.

d. Actions to control fratricide should include the following:

• Establish a restricted fire line or other spatial separation from supporting fires.

• Reconnoiter and mark the entire route with key leaders.

• Train vehicle recognition and identification continually.

• Complete full-force rehearsals of all phases and possible contingencies.

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