Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual Advanced Training
It is impossible to lay down any hard-and-fast rule governing the
formation and conduct of the operations of a patrol. Each situation will
have to be worked out by itself. The patrol should assume the general
formation of a column of troops on the march; that is, it will have an
advance guard, a main body, flankers and a rear guard. These several
elements may each be represented by only one man.