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Vehicle Crewmanship

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Intent Statement and scope:

  • The intent of this guide is to inform players of the different crew members in any vehicle, "crew" defined as those that contribute to the operation of the vehicle.
  • The scope of this guide extends only to their common roles and responsibilities.

Crew Overview

Vehicular crewmanship within Arma usually boils down to three or four roles that affect the effectiveness of the vehicle.
The following will discribe the most common roles of the Vehicle Commander, Gunner, Driver and the Loader.


The vehicle commander, as the name suggests, is in overall command of the vehicle. From the angle of the hull, the speed and direction of movement, down to the employment of weapon systems, ultimately the commander has the final say. A good commander will allow his crew some measure of trust with regards to their own responsibilities, as micromanaging the driver and gunner down to individual tasks will prove to not only be detrimental to combat effectiveness, but impossible. The Commander is responsible for knowing where the vehicle is, what its capabilities are, what its likely threats are, the locations of higher and friendly units, communication with these units and to keep the vehicle on task. While maneuvering the vehicle the commander is expected to constantly keep the driver updated on his orders and important terrain information.


The gunner is responsible for the employment of primary weapon systems. He is also responsible for observation for likely enemy threats, and may be tasked by the commander to share the burden of comms if using multiple channels. The gunner, in general, does not engage without a full call for fire from the commander. In emergency situations were asking for permission would risk the crew, the gunner will engage immidiate threats by his own estimate while reporting direction and type of the target and the system he is about to use ('RPG, RIGHT, COAX!'). At no time will the gunner direct orders to the commander or driver.


The driver is responsible for the movement of the vehicle, engine and speed control. The driver is expected to know how to operate his vehicle without full recognition of its surroundings in all available types of terrain. He is highly reliant on the commanders input while maneuvering in difficult terrain and around friendly ground troops. In ermegency situations the driver is permitted to move the vehicle to evade immeditate threats while reporting to the rest of the crew. At no time will the driver direct orders to any crewman.


The loader slot should not be ignored in slotting of MBTs, even if his only functionality currently is the changing of ammounition types and the UP call for loaded or changed rounds, these tasks done by the loader are crucial to the SA and TA of the gunner.
The loader is responsible for loading the primary and secondary weapon systems of the vehicle as per type request of the commander and gunner and the clearing of misfired rounds. In some occasions the loader might have control over a secondary weapon system not controlled by the gunner or commander. At no time will the loader direct orders to any crewman.


Clear, brief and accurate communication inbetween the crew is of utmost importance like nearly nowhere else due to the extremly limited time available to the commander to accurately command his vehicle as per the information he receives, processes and bases his decisions on. Every word of unnecessary or false information can cost the vehicle crew dearly as the verbal command structure is very defined.

Intercom Systems

In most vehicles at least one type of intercom is present: the crew intercom.
Any type of vehicle for fighting troop transport like APCs and IFVs come with an additional, seperate system for the passengers: the pax intercom.
Some vehicles also come with an infantry telephone allowing outside troops to communicate with the vehicle commander. This is especially helpful in urban environment.

The crew intercom helps the crew of a vehicle to properly communicate with each other over simulated in- or on-ear headphones. When getting into a crew slot of a vehicle the player usually is connected to the crew intercom automatically. If unsure if the automation has properly worked, this can be checked via the ACE interaction menue.

Verbal Commands

There are some procedures for the operation of vehicles which can be condensed down to work on all platforms available.
USE THESE as a bare minimum of proper operation!


The commander will issue directions to the driver and gunner in exactly the same way. He has multiple methods available to do this:

Quadrant 'RIGHT REAR'
Traverse 'TRAVERSE RIGHT' - 'STEADY' - 'ON!'
Reference Point 'TRP Crossroad'

Driver Action Terms

When the commander issues orders to the driver he will use the following prowords:

'DRIVER - <SLOW/FAST> - FORWARDS' The driver is expected to move the vehicle in the named speed to the immediate front without turning.
'DRIVER - <SLOW/FAST> - REVERSE' The driver is expected to move the vehicle in the named speed to the immediate rear without turning.
'DRIVER - <FULL/HALF/QUATER> - LEFT/RIGHT' The driver is expected to turn the vehicle (driving or standing) roughly 90°/45°/22.5° into the named sector.
'DRIVER - STOP' The driver is expected to immediately stop any type of movement of the vehicle.
'DRIVER - MARK FALLBACK' The driver is expected to remember the current position of the vehicle as the immediate fallback position for any movement past this point until a new fallback is marked.
'DRIVER - FALLBACK' The driver is expected to rush the vehicle back to the last fallback point in the most fast and concealed manner possible.
'DRIVER - MARK TURRET/HULL DOWN' The driver is expected to remember the current position as TURRET / HULL DOWN.
'DRIVER - UP/DOWN' The driver is expected to move the vehicle from the TURRET DOWN into the HULL DOWN position or vice versa.
'DRIVER - FOLLOW <TARGET> - AT <DISTANCE> - <SLOW/FAST/ADAPT>' The driver is expected to follow the indicated (usually friendly/neutral) vehicle with a default distance of 25-50m while adapting to the targets speed.
'DRIVER - BOUNCE - LEFT/RIGHT - <DISTANCE>' The driver is expected to check the current orientation,
reverse the vehicle 5m,
FULL (90°) turn into the stated sector,
drive forwards for the named distance,
FULL turn into the original orientation and move 5m forwards.
'DRIVER - SEEK - ENFILADE/DEFILADE' The driver is expected to steer the the vehicle to the closest enfilade/defilade available to the drivers view.

Crew Alert Terms

Different types of alerts exist, some of the limited to the VC, others available to the entire crew:

'CONTACT' Any crewman can use this alert to identify a threat to the vehicle, crew, dismounts or other troops. When used with the fire command only the VC and GUNNER should use this alert.

NOTE Vehicles having a Loader are signalled by this alert to arm the main gun and check its ammo type.
'GUNNER' VC alerts crew about pending Gunner order.
'LOADER' VC alerts crew about pending Loader order.
'DRIVER' VC alerts crew about pending positioning order.
'SQUAD' 'DISMOUNTS' VC alerts troops being part of the unit about pending order.
'FIFTY(M2)' 'TWO FOURTY' 'MARK NINETEEN' 'TWO FOUR NINER' VC alerts crew that HE will be firing the VCs weapon system.
'SABOT' 'HEAT' 'HE' 'COAX' 'MISSILE' VC alerts crew that the ongoing fire command requires the specified ammo type. If the VC has given the order of 'FIRE AND ADJUST' the Gunner is free to announce this alert by himself to make the loader change to the type of ammunition that the gunner requires for the current fire command.

NOTE If there is a Loader present in the vehicle this alert initiates the round check. The Loader will immediately load the requested round, once the round is loaded successfully he will respond with 'UP!'.
'FROM MY POSITION' Some vehicles have the abbility for the VC to assume turret control. This alert is issued if the VC assumes control over the turret and intends to fire himself. Applicable scenario could be a gunner that fails twice at identifying a high threat target.
'CEASE FIRE!' The VC informs the crew that all weapon systems are to abort firing on the spot.
'LOST' 'OVER' 'SHORT' 'DOUBTFUL' Sensings are given by the VC or Gunner after a round was fired. It functions as a follow on alert when another fire command is issued right away.
'TARGET' (Sensing) The Gunner alerts the crew that the target or any part of the target has been hit by the fired round. This does not indicate target neutralization.
'TARGET SECURED' The Commander alerts the crew that the target has been neutralized by the fired round and fire is to be ceased at that specific target.
'TARGET - REENGAGE' If the VC or Gunner detects that the round did hit the target but didn't have the desired effect and no 'FIRE AND ADJUST' was ordered by the VC, the VC will use this alert to alert the crew that the Gunner will fire another round. In this case this alert serves as the initial alert for the subsequent fire command.

Report Terms

Some specific prowords are majorly deemed reports in response to the VC:

'UP' / '<TYPE> UP!' The Loader/Gunner informs the crew that the requested ammo type has been loaded.
Second is the answer to a subsequent round command by the gunner.
'IDENTIFIED' The Gunner uses this term to inform the VC that the target named in the fire command has been found and is tracked.
The Gunner at all times will read back the distance of the target called in the fiore command;
'CANNOT IDENTIFY' The Gunner is unable to identify the called target. The VC is required to redirect the Gunner to the target by detailed description or in vehicles with override systems take control over the main weapon and lay/fire the gun for the gunner.
'CANNOT ENGAGE' This term is used when the Gunner can identify the target, but cannot engage.
'ON THE WAY' The Gunner did fire the main gun. The trigger is pulled on 'Y' of 'ON THE WAY'

Engagement Technique Terms

VCs can give order to engage targets in specific ways:

'SUPPRESS' The Gunner is adviced to continuosly engage the target for the purpose of suppression.
'Z-PATTERN' Method to engage threat dismounts.
'RELASE' The VC assumes wrong laser distance and requests the gunner to relase the target.
'LEAD' The VC requires the Gunner to add lead in front of the targets movement direction.

Modifier Terms

A VC can use these terms to enhance fis fire command to the Gunner if for example multiple tagrgets are visible:

'NEAR' 'FAR' 'LEFT' 'RIGHT' 'STATIONARY' 'MOVING' 'DEFILADE/ENFILADE' Terms for the VC to better descripe the target position.
'LEFT TO RIGHT' 'RIGHT TO LEFT' 'NEAR TO FAR' 'FAR TO NEAR' Engage targets in a certain order.
'SHIFT' The Gunner is to shift to a new location/target announced by the VC.
'LOW / HIGH POWER' The Gunner is to switch the lowest/highest magnification available before executing the fire command to be able to properly identify the target.

The Engagement Process

Aim of this process is to rapidly and accurately clear the battlefield of targets using the D-IDEA (detect, identify, decide, engage, assess) method. The process is highly reliant on the situational awareness of each crewman. Folowing we will decribe the process in short.






See Also