Rule of Three
The Marine Corps
uses what is called the 'Rule of Three
' as a general principle of management
. Over many years of trial and error, the people in charge have found that most men can only keep track of three things at once. To those of you who may be thinking "Bah, I'm better than Marines then. Look at me: chewing gum, talking to friends, reading this node, and hurridly typing my nasty reply! That's four!" Well, this is three things during a combat situation; when you're shooting and being shot at. I consider it rather generous.
According to the Rule of Three, all leaders
should only be directly in charge of three subordinates
. At the bottom level is the Rifleman
, who isn't in charge of anyone. After that, there is the Fireteam Leader
, who is in charge of three Riflemen. The Squad Leader
is in charge of three Fireteam leaders; the Platoon Sergeant
is in charge of three Squad Leaders, and there are three platoons in a company.
Those with military
experience will see some small flaws in the practice of the Rule of Three (namely, the fourth, headquarters platoon which is in my
company), but in general it is adhered to, and works very well.