A section must always move so that the section commander can control it instantly by word of mouth or signal, and the members of the section must be able to react to his orders instantly. This will not be possible if the members move as individuals having no regard for the other members of the section. There are, therefore, two basic formations in which a section can move during an Advance to Contact. In addition a section may use three formations during Patrol Movement.
This is useful for linear features, such as hedges, ditches, walls, tracks, and roads. This allows the feature to be easily followed, and in the case of a woodline or ditch, it mean that every man in the section benefits from the cover provided. This formation provides a lot of firepower towards the flanks, however is weak to the front and rear. It is also easily controlled, as each member of the section merely has to follow the one in front. However, this does provide a disadvantage in communication, as it means that commands can be slow to filter through the section.
This is similar to file, however it allows for both sides of a linear feature to be used for cover. For example, this could be used to allow members of the section to move up a wider road, providing firepower to both sides and more to the front than is allowed by file.
In this formation the section is deployed in an extended, horizontal line across a large area such as a field or wood, in which they can should ensure to occupy as much space as possible to maximise search coverage. Charlie fire-team would be deployed on one side, and delta dire-team on the other. This would be most often utilised in wood clearance operations. This formation has the advantage of providing maximum firepower directed towards potential enemy contacts at the front, but its weakness is the possibility of an enemy attack to the flank.
The arrowhead formation deploys the section in an inverted V formation, with the tip pointed towards the direction of travel. This would be used to move the section across unfamiliar open ground with no particular cover or features. Similarly to the extended line formation, charlie fire-team and delta fire-team are deployed on each side of the arrowhead. This formation has the advantage of providing large amounts of firepower to the front, back and flanks, and also provides for the protection of an HQ element in the centre.
In diamond formation the section is deployed in a diamond shape, and this is most often used to move the section whilst protecting a casualty or person of importance in the middle of the diamond. However, this is rarely used in the cadets and although it provides an equal amount of firepower to all sides, this is not very large.