Military

Four Tips on How to Clear a Room, According to a Navy SEAL

February 14, 2022Coffee or Die
Clear a Room

U.S. military personnel practicing room clearing tactics. Photo courtesy of We Are The Mighty.

Room clearing is a fundamental skill for combat troops. The art of clearing a room looks simple on the surface, but peel back the many important layers of the maneuver, and you’ll soon realize just how tough the act can be. Thankfully, once you understand the basics, the operation starts to feel like second nature and muscle memory kicks into gear.


Check out these four tips on how to clear a room, straight from a Navy SEAL.


Identify the number of troops entering the room


It’s crucial each man communicates and understands what their exact role in the “stack,” or the lineup, will be. The number one man goes in this direction, number two goes this way, and so on down the line. Each troop must be accounted for by everyone.


U.S. Navy Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Ryan Wehrsig demonstrates the second-man position in room-clearing procedures to Armed Forces of the Philippines special forces candidates. U.S. Navy photo Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Jason Tross.

Predict the shape of the room based on what it looks like from the outside.


It’s primarily up to the number one man to clear sector one, also known as the “uncleared sector.” This is the area of the room you won’t see until you’ve entered the room — in the case of a corner-fed room, this is the far corner and corner on the same wall as the entryway.


Consider the size of each step taken


When entering in through a narrow doorway, the size of the step taken by the number one man can affect the second man’s progression as the team files into the room. Switching up the size of the step in a compressed environment could result in the second man getting knocked off of their path, which could be deadly.


Clear a Room
Columbian Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) team practices take down, search, and seizure tactics. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Richard Rosser.

Once you clear your first sector, move on but don’t “flag” your teammates.


In a small room, each member of the team must avoid “flagging,” or pointing your weapon in the direction of fellow teammates. This can be avoided by maintaining your sector of fire at all times and not forgetting the basic principles of room clearing.


Check out Tactical Rifleman‘s video below to watch this Navy SEAL take you through the proper steps of clearing a room.



This article was originally published by We Are The Mighty. Read more by We Are The Mighty here


Read Next: Georgia Whodunit: The Case of the Body Snarled in Briars



Coffee or Die
Coffee or Die

Coffee or Die is Black Rifle Coffee Company’s online lifestyle magazine. Launched in June 2018, the magazine covers a variety of topics that generally focus on the people, places, or things that are interesting, entertaining, or informative to America’s coffee drinkers — often going to dangerous or austere locations to report those stories.

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