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Tactical hand signals

Средства невербальной коммуникации

Before a group performing a tactical task, a problem arises of mutual understanding and communication. Naturally, during search activities, no one will loudly discuss the order of passage of the doorway, options for cleaning corners or inform teammates that a suspect has lurked around the corner. Meanwhile, information sharing is indispensable, and it will be transmitted by means of non-verbal communication.

A means of non-verbal communication of paramount importance is physical contact with a partner, thanks to which the direction of his movement is literally felt and, accordingly, a conclusion is made about which zone he controls. If someone notices something suspicious, the simplest thing is to put a hand on the partner’s shoulder or stop him by grabbing his belt.

To transmit abstract signals, sign language is used. The following options for hand signals are divided into two parts. The first is a simplified one, consisting of a small number of basic signaling gestures, for law enforcement officials not included in the composition of special groups, but due to their duties, who encounter problems in teamwork. The second option is a sign system of special SWAT units that use a real sign language.

Attention! For non-verbal communication, use only a weapon-free hand, and the barrel of the weapon should always be aimed at the danger zone.

27 basic signals / gestures for tactical groups

Non-verbal communication

  1. “I'm ready” - the signal is used to attract attention, (the hand is raised up, and you wave simply, back and forth, it seems when we greet the friend)
  2. “I understand” - they use the gesture, the fighter has received the code, or completed the task, and is ready to proceed. (Thumb up)
  3. “I do not understand,” the gesture says that the fighter did not accept the information. (The hand rises to the level of the face, and with the palm outward, we drive it, in front of the face from ear to nose).
  4. "Cease fire" - a gesture of an immediate ceasefire. (With your palm out, you move your hand in front of your face, up and down).
  5. “Forward” - means all members of the group should move forward. (The hand rises and a wave is made in the direction. You can use a hand bent at the elbow).
  6. “Stop” - the group stops moving, but the soldiers can move to cover. (The signal is emitted with an open palm toward the recipient, as if you were giving up something).
  7. "Freeze" - this signal means to freeze in the truest sense of the word. Do not run for cover, do not fall to the ground, nothing at all. This signal is given when an enemy patrol passes nearby, or the entire detachment is already in the minefield. (The signal comes from a raised, and bent hand, with a clenched fist.)
  8. “Bend down” means to bend down to the ground. (Served by hand movement, with open palm, from top to bottom)
  9. “Rise” is the opposite, the signal “to bend down” (Movement of the arm from bottom to top is given)
  10. “Increase interval” - this signal is given when a detachment enters an open area to increase the distance in a formation, or between formations. (Served with two hands raised up. We spread our palms to the sides.)
  11. "Reduce the interval" - served before the patrol enters a dense area, or else, before a decisive attack by enemy positions, with the transition to close combat. (Served with raised hands, palms coming together).
  12. "Movement of the column" - means the whole detachment follows the guide. (the hand rises up, and waves back. This signal is exactly the opposite of “Exit”).
  13. "Wedge" is an attacking formation. So the fighters must Build a wedge from the combat units, and prepare for the attack. (The signal is given with slightly raised straight arms from the legs, similar to the inverted letter "V".
  14. “Movement in a line” is an attacking formation. They are given before a decisive attack the positions of the enemy. That the detachment would line up on the sides of the guide. (Hands spread apart at shoulder level.
  15. "Danger zone" - served most often, in front of an open area, or clearings. (The signal is given by a chopping movement of the palm from the neck).
  16. “Undercover movement” - this signal means that the group will cross the open areas of the shoulder-to-shoulder (This gesture is served by a double pat on the left shoulder. Make sure everyone sees your left shoulder)
  17. “Report on patrol distance traveled” - in meters. (To do this, you have to pat yourself, on any boot.) In the afternoon, show the distance with your fingers, 1 finger - 100 meters. At night in the ear.
  18. “Report on quantity” - to estimate the number of the enemy, and assess the degree of danger. (To do this, pat on the top of the head). During the day, the number is shown with fingers, at night in the ear.
  19. “Patrol Commander - Forward” - this means that the patrol commander must go to the vanguard. (Here you need to pat yourself on the forehead, patting on the chest means - ahead of the squad leader, and in the groin the link commander.)
  20. "Forward Intelligence" - a command for reconnaissance patrol. (Two fingers point forward from the eyes.)
  21. “Gather around me” means that the fighters must surround the pointing arm in circular defense. (Pull your hand up and draw a circle above your head).
  22. “Assembly point” - this signal means a certain point of collection of the detachment, it can be a stone, a fallen tree, a ravine. (Draw a circle above your head, and throw your hand in the direction of the collection point)
  23. “Running” - the patrol switches to easy running. (Raise a bent arm at the elbow, clench your fist, and move your hand up and down).
  24. "Step" - the patrol goes on a step. (We extend the hand to the side, palm down, and move the hand up and down)
  25. “Get ready” - means that the patrol must prepare for contact (but not open fire), with the enemy, in the indicated direction. (As if knocking with a fist, in the direction of the enemy).
  26. "Enemy" - is shown only when the presence of the enemy is confirmed. (They show, at a short distance, with an index finger, at a long distance, the machine rises above the head with the magazine up.)
  27. "Numbers" - are shown with fingers. (100 - one finger if reporting the distance, and 1 tank if reporting the number of vehicles.)


one two three four five
six seven eight nine ten
You I (me) Go here (here)
I hear (listen) I see (watch) Faster
Stop Freeze This sector
Go ahead (come up) Enemy Hostage
Sniper Let I take the leader
To the column (battle formation) In a row (battle formation) In line (battle formation)
Wedge (battle formation) Gathering (all to me) Pistol
Rifle Automatic (pump-action) Ammunition (equipment)
Transport Got it Do not understand
(bend down)
a door Window
Entrance point (direction)