[RLT's] Regimental Landing Teams consisted of three Battalion Landing Teams with attached Combat Support elements.

RLT's were numbered by their Regimental designation, as RLT-7, which consisted of the 7th Marine Regiment including all supporting elements.


Consisted of Three Battalions and a Headquarters Company.


BLT's were numbered, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. They also included their Regimental designation as BLT 1-7 or 1st Battalion, 7th Marines.

Consisted of a Headquarters and Service Company, and four Rifle [lettered] Companies including supporting elements. An attached artillery battery [105mm Howitzers), a Tank Platoon [M48A1), an Amtrac Platoon [Amphibious Tractor or Track Vehicle LVPT-5, capable of mounting a Rifle Company], an Anti-armour Platoon [*ONTOS these saw limited action in VietNam].


Consisted of four Rifle Companies [lettered Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta in the 1st Battalion. Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, and Hotel in the 2nd Battalion, and India, Kilo, Lima, and Mike in the 3rd Battalion.] Each Battalion also had a Headquarters and Service Company, which included a Communications Platoon, a M29 81mm Mortar Platoon, a 106mm Recoiless Rifle Platoon, Flame Thrower Section, Scout Section, Medical Section, Motor Transport Section, Supply and Support Personel [Operations, Intelligence, Civil Affairs etc.].

  • One Company HQ
  • Three Rifle Platoons [each with one Platoon HQ, and three Rifle Squads]
  • One Weapons Platoon Weapons Platoon HQ, one Mortar Squad, one Anti-Tank Squad, and oneMachine Gun Squad]


Company HQ

  • Captain
  • Gunnery Sergeant
  • Two Corpsman
  • Two Radiomen [one for the Artillery FO]
  • Two Riflemen [Runners]
  • 1st Lieutenant [Artillery Forward Observer]

Rifle Platoon HQ

  • 2nd Lieutenant
  • Platoon Sergeant
  • Right Guide
  • Two Corpsman
  • One Radioman

Rifle Squad

  • One Sergeant [Squad Leader]
  • Three Corporals [Fireteam Leaders]
  • One Grenadier M-79
  • Six Riflemen [Armed with M-14 replaced by M-16 Rifle]
  • Three Automatic Riflemen

Weapons Platoon HQ

  • 2nd Lieutenant
  • Platoon Sergeant
  • One Corpsman
  • Two Radiomen [one for the Mortar FO]
  • One Mortar FO

Weapons Section Mortars

  • One Sergeant
  • Three Corporals
  • Nine Riflemen
  • Three M19 60mm Mortars

Weapons Section Anti-Tank

  • One Sergeant
  • Three Corporals
  • Eighteen Riflemen
  • Six 3.5 M-20 Rocket Launcher [Replaced by the LAW]

Weapons Section Machine Gun

  • One Sergeant
  • Three Corporals
  • Eighteen Riflemen
  • Six 7.62mm M-60 Machine Guns


Unit strength in personnel outlined above existed "on paper" only, in fact it is safe to say that Marine Units that participated in the VietNam War never were at full strength but never-the-less performed at their optimum. It was common practice to attach the Machine Gun and Antitank elements of the Weapons Platoon amongst the Rifle Platoons within the Company so that each Platoon would have the firepower of two M-60 Machine guns and two Rocket Launchers which were often deployed against fortifications.

The Rifle Squad

Each Marine squad consists of three fireteams of four men. Each fireteam has an NCO as leader, an automatic rifleman, and two riflemen.

Each Rifle Squad had a man armed with an M-14 Rifle modified to fire on full automatic fire mode and equipped with a bipod, for use as an automatic weapon. The other men were equipped with the standard M-14 prior to 1967. From 1967 onward, the Marines were issued with the M-16 Rifle, though it was not uncommon for units to retain the Modified M-14's for their firepower and proven dependability.

The M-79 grenadier was usually directed by the squad leader.

Weapons Platoon

All troops were armed with the standard M-14 later replaced by the M-16.

M-60 Machine Gun Section

The section was commanded by a Sergeant and consisted of three M-60 MG teams with two M-60 Machine Guns per team. Each team was commanded by a Corporal and consisted of two Gunners, two Assistant Gunners, and two Ammo Carriers affectionally called "Ammo Humpers". The Marines were trained to fire the M-60 using a tri-pod, bi-pod, or if the situation arose hand-held, at the carry position.

Anti-Tank Section

Commanded by a Sergeant, and at times referred to as the Assault Section consisted fo three squads. Each had two weapons teams armed with an M-20 3.5 Rocket Launcher commanded by a Corporal, and a Gunner, Loader and Ammo Carrier.

By 1969 most M-20's had been replaced by the lighter M-72 LAW.

Mortar Section

The section was commanded by a Sergeant, with three squads commanded by a Corporal. Each squad had a crew of three* men [Tube, Baseplate, and Ammo].

[*81 mm Mortar squad had an additonal man to carry the Bi-pod].


At the Platoon level there could be from two to five M-48A1 Tanks, two to four Amtrac's [LVPT-5's]), a 81mm FO from the Battalion 81mm Mortar Platoon and/or Artillery Forward Observer from the supporting Artillery Battery.

At Company level frequently a 81mm Section was [permanently] attached as well as a Tank Platoon, an Amtrak Section of 10 Tracks, an ONTOS section [2 vehicles armed with six 103mm Recoilless Rifles], Engineers and Forward Air Controllers.

Page Top