|USMC Infantry squad A|
The rifle squads are the backbone of any (Bolt Action) army. Here's a picture of my Rifle Sqd. A. Below you will find my tactics and the real WW2 squad formation.
In my Bolt Action USMC force I use at least three rifle squads and try to use them as a highly mobile unit. Because of the American special rule "Move and shoot" the rifles and BAR's do not suffer a -1 penalty on your "to hit"roll. This is very powerful. Always being able to move forward or to an objective and still shoot straight is great.
I make my rifle squads Veterans and use an NCO with SMG, 3 BAR's and four rifles. On top of that I give my BAR's a pistol each so they get 2 attacks in close combat. These 8 men squads are big enough to be a threat to most enemy units. The BAR's outrange most other army's rifles, with 6 shots at 30"they can deal out pins to units further away. Within 24"you get 10 shots and within 12"you get 12 shots. I give the NCO's an SMG because that's what the models have and I think that they should have that weapon,look good on the table and you're able to tell who's the NCO more easily.. In close combat you will get 12 attacks as well.
You could also use rifle squads of 7 and drop one rifle from the unit to get a simular output and you still only have to test for morale if you lose 4 or more men just like 8 men squads. (50% of 8=4 / 50% of 7 is still 4 rounded up).
It's just my personal preference to use 8 men but if I'm tight for points I might drop 1 men from each of my rifle squads to free up more points.
Now Bolt Action is a game and nothing like the real deal in WWII. Below you will find the formation of the USMC rifle squads as they were used after the initial battles in the Pacific. At first they used smaller rifle squads and fire teams but soon found out they needed more firepower against the Japanese that would just try to storm their positions.
1x Platoon Commander (1Lt/2Lt)
1x Platoon Sergeant (Platoon Sergeant)
1x Guide (Sergeant)
1x Demolition Corporal (Corporal)
3x Messengers (Pfc/Pvt)
Three Rifle Squads each with:
1x Squad Leader (Sergeant)
1x Assistant Squad Leader (Corporal)
2x Automatic Riflemen (Pfc/Pvt)
2x Assistant Automatic Riflemen (Pfc/Pvt)
1x Grenadier (Pfc/Pvt)
5x Riflemen (Pfc/Pvt)