Most drill commands have two parts: the preparatory command and the command of execution. Neither part is a command by itself, but the parts are termed commands to simplify instruction. The preparatory command states the movement to be carried out and mentally prepares the soldier for its execution. The command of execution tells when the movement is to be carried out. To change direction of a unit when marching, the preparatory command and command of execution for each movement are given so they begin and end on the foot in the direction of the turn: Right Flank, MARCH is given as the right foot strikes the marching surface, and Left Flank, MARCH as the left foot strikes the marching surface. The interval between the preparatory command and the command of execution is always one step or count. The preparatory command and command of execution are always given when the same foot strikes the marching surface.
In some commands, the preparatory command and the command of execution are combined; for example, FALL IN, AT EASE, and REST. These commands are given without inflection and at a uniformly high pitch and loudness comparable to that for a normal command of execution.
Supplementary commands are oral orders given by a subordinate leader that reinforce and complement a commander’s order. They ensure proper understanding and execution of a movement. They extend to the lowest subordinate leader exercising control over an element affected by the command as a separate element within the same formation.
a. A supplementary command may be a preparatory command, a portion of a preparatory command, or a two-part command. It is normally given between the preparatory command and the command of execution. However, when a command requires an element of a unit to execute a movement different from other elements within the same formation, or the same movement at a different time, subordinate leaders give their supplementary commands at the time prescribed by the procedures covering that particular movement.
The platoon is in column formation, and the platoon leader commands Column of Twos From the Left (pause), MARCH. The first and second squad leaders command Forward; the third and fourth squad leaders command STAND FAST. On the command of execution MARCH, the first and second squads march forward. At the appropriate time, the squad leader (third squad) nearest the moving element commands Column Half Left, MARCH (for both remaining squads). As the third and fourth squad leaders reach the line of march, they automatically execute a Column Half Right and obtain normal distance behind the first and second squads.
b. A subordinate leader gives all supplementary commands over his right shoulder except when his command is based on the actions of an element on his left or when the subelement is to execute a Column Left (Half Left) or Left Flank. Giving commands over the left shoulder occurs when changing configuration or a formation, such as forming a file or a column of fours and re-forming. (See Chapter 7, paragraph 7-14, for more information on forming a file and re-forming.)
The platoon is in column formation and is going to form a file to the left. The left flank squad leader will give the supplementary command Column, LEFT over the left shoulder, since the movement will be to the left. The other squad leaders will give the supplementary command STAND FAST over the left shoulder as their movement will be to the left and is based on an element to the left.
When in formation at present arms and the preparatory command Order of Order, ARMS is given, subordinate leaders terminate their salute before giving their supplementary command.
c. Except for commands while in mass formation, platoon leaders give supplementary commands following all preparatory commands of the commander. When the preparatory command is Company, the platoon leaders immediately come to Attention and command Platoon. The company commander allows for all supplementary commands before giving the command of execution.
d. When no direction is given, the response is understood to be Forward; when no rate of march is given, the response is Quick Time. Normally, when a direction or rate of march is included in the preparatory command, only the direction or rate of march is given as a supplementary command.
THE COMMAND VOICE
a. The voice must have carrying power, but excessive exertion is unnecessary and harmful. A typical result of trying too hard is the almost unconscious tightening of the neck muscles to force sound out.
b. The best posture for giving commands is the position of Attention. Soldiers in formation notice the posture of their leader. If his posture is unmilitary (relaxed, slouched, stiff, or uneasy), the subordinates will imitate it.
The preparatory command is the command that indicates movement. Pronounce each preparatory command with a rising inflection. The most desirable pitch, when beginning a preparatory command, is near the level of the natural speaking voice. A common fault with beginners is to start the preparatory command in a pitch so high that, after employing a rising inflection for the preparatory command, it is impossible to give the command of execution with clarity or without strain. A good rule to remember is to begin a command near the natural pitch of the voice
The command of execution is the command that indicates when a movement is to be executed. Give it in a sharper tone and in a slightly higher pitch than the last syllable of the preparatory command. It must be given with plenty of snap. The best way to develop a command voice is to practice.
In combined commands, such as FALL IN and FALL OUT, the preparatory command and command of execution are combined. Give these commands without inflection and with the uniform high pitch and loudness of a normal command of execution.
INDIVIDUAL DRILL WITH WEAPONS
At the Halt, all movements are initiated from Order Arms or Sling Arms, which are the Positions of Attention with the rifle.
Facings, alignments, and short-distance marching movements are executed from Order Arms or Sling Arms. When these movements are commanded while at Order Arms, automatically raise the rifle about 1 inch off the marching surface on the command of execution. When the movement has been completed, automatically return the rifle to Order Arms.
Facing movements are executed from Order Arms or Sling Arms. When a Facing is necessary to establish the direction of march, the facing movement is executed before the command for the manual of arms. After a marching movement has been completed, Order, ARMS or Sling, ARMS is commanded before the command for the facing movement.
a. Assume Order Arms on the command FALL IN or from Parade Rest on the command of execution ATTENTION (Figure 5-2).
b. At Order Arms, maintain the Position of Attention with the rifle. Place the butt of the rifle on the marching surface, centered on the right foot, with sights to the rear. The toe of the butt touches the foot so that the rear sight and pistol grip form a straight line to the front. Secure the rifle with the right hand in a "U" formed by the fingers (extended and joined) and thumb. Hold the rifle above the front sight assembly with the right thumb and forefinger pointed downward, and on line with the flat surface of the handguard. Keep the right hand and arm behind the rifle so that the thumb is straight along the seam of the trouser leg.
Figure 5-2. Order Arms and Parade Rest.
a. On the command of execution REST of Parade, REST, thrust the muzzle forward, simultaneously changing the grip of the right hand to grasp the barrel, keeping the toe of the butt of the rifle on the marching surface and the right arm straight.
b. Execute Stand at Ease in the same manner as Parade Rest except turn the head and eyes toward the commander.
c. On the command AT EASE or REST, keep the butt of the rifle in place as in Parade Rest.
a. Port Arms from Order Arms is a two-count movement. The command is Port, ARMS.
(1) On the command of execution ARMS, grasp the rifle barrel with the right hand and raise the rifle diagonally across the body, keeping the right elbow down (without strain). With the left hand, simultaneously grasp the handguard just forward of the slip ring so that the rifle is about 4 inches from the waist.
(2) On count two, regrasp the rifle at the small of the stock with the right hand. Hold the rifle diagonally across the body, about 4 inches from the waist, the right forearm horizontal, and the elbows close to the sides.
Figure 5-3. Port Arms from Order Arms.
FORMATIONS AND MOVEMENTS
a. To form at normal interval, the squad leader comes to the Position of Attention and commands FALL IN. On the command FALL IN, the following actions occur simultaneously:
(1) Each member double-times to his position in the formation.
(2) The right flank man positions himself so that when the squad is formed it is three steps in front of and centered on the squad leader.
(3) The right flank man comes to the Position of Attention and raises his left arm laterally at shoulder level, elbow locked, fingers and thumb extended and joined, and palm facing down. He ensures that the left arm is in line with the body.
(4) The man to the immediate left of the right flank man comes to the Position of Attention, turns his head and eyes to the right, and raises his left arm in the same manner as the right flank man. He obtains proper alignment by taking short steps forward or backward until he is on line with the right flank man. He then obtains exact interval by taking short steps left or right until his shoulder touches the extended fingertips of the right flank man. As soon as the man to the left has obtained Normal Interval, each man individually lowers his arm to his side, sharply turns his head and eyes to the front, and assumes the Position of Attention.
(5) The right flank man then sharply returns to the Position of Attention.
(6) All other members of the squad form in the same manner except that the left flank man does not raise his left arm.
The right flank man raises his arm and looks straight to the front unless the squad is to align on an element to its right. If he is to align on an element to the right he turns his head and eyes to the right and aligns himself with that element.
b. To form at Close Interval, the formation is completed in the manner prescribed for Normal Interval, except that the command is At Close Interval, FALL IN. Squad members obtain Close Interval by placing the heel of the left hand on the left hip even with the waist, fingers and thumb joined and extended downward, and with the elbow in line with the body and touching the arm of the man to the left.
The command is Count, OFF.
When the squad is in a line formation, the counting is executed from right to left. On the command of execution OFF, each member, except the right flank man, turns his head and eyes to the right, and the right flank man counts off "ONE." After the man on the right counts off his number, the man to his left counts off with the next higher number and simultaneously turns his head and eyes to the front. All the other members execute count off in the same manner until the entire squad has counted off.
ALIGNING THE SQUAD
To align the squad at Normal Interval, the commands are Dress Right, DRESS and Ready, FRONT. These commands are given only when armed soldiers are at Order Arms or Sling Arms. On the command of execution DRESS, the right flank man stands fast. Each member, except the right flank man, turns his head and eyes to the right and aligns himself with the man on his right. Each member, except the left flank man, extends his left arm laterally at shoulder level, elbow locked, fingers and thumb extended and joined, palm facing down. He ensures his left arm is in line with his body and positions himself by short steps right or left until his right shoulder touches the fingertips of the man on his right. On the command of execution FRONT, each member returns sharply to the Position of Attention (Figure 6-2).
Figure 6-2. Alignment (Normal Interval).
To align the squad at Close Interval, the commands are At Close Interval, Dress Right, DRESS and Ready, FRONT. The movement is executed in the same manner prescribed for alignment at Normal Interval except that the squad members obtain Close Interval (Figure 6-3).
Figure 6-3. Alignment (Close Interval).
CHANGING THE DIRECTION OF A COLUMN WHILE MARCHING YOUR SQUAD
To change the direction of march 90 or 45 degrees when marching, the preparatory command Column Right (Left) or Column Half Right (Half Left) is given as the foot (in the desired direction) strikes the marching surface. The command of execution MARCH is given the next time the foot in the desired direction strikes the marching surface. On the command of execution MARCH, the lead man takes one additional step, pivots in the commanded direction as the pivot foot strikes the marching surface, and continues to march in the new direction. Other members continue to march forward and execute the pivot as prescribed from the Halt.
To avoid an obstacle in the line of march, the leader directs, INCLINE LEFT(RIGHT). The lead man inclines left(right) around the obstacle and resumes the original direction. All other members follow the lead man
MARCHING TO THE FLANK
The squad may be marched to the flank (for short distances only) when marching in column. The command for this movement is Right (Left) Flank, MARCH. The preparatory command is given as the foot in the desired direction strikes the marching surface, and the command of execution is given the next time the foot in the desired direction strikes the marching surface. On the command of execution MARCH, all members take one more step, pivot 90 degrees in the commanded direction on the ball of the lead foot, and step off in the new direction with the trailing foot. As the members begin to march in the new direction, they glance out of the corner of the right eye and dress to the right.
FORMING A COLUMN OF TWOS AND RE-FORMING
To form a column of twos and re-form, use the following procedures:
a. Forming a column of twos from a file is executed only from the Halt. The command is Column of Twos to the Right (Left), MARCH. On the preparatory command, the lead team leader commands STAND FAST. The trailing team leader commands Column Half Right (Left). On the command of execution MARCH, the trailing team leader executes a Column Half Right (Left), inclines to the left or right when the correct interval is obtained, and commands Mark time, MARCH and Team, HALT to Halt abreast of the lead team leader.
b. Forming a file from a column of twos is executed only from the Halt. The command is File from the Left (Right), MARCH. On the preparatory command, the lead team leader commands FORWARD. The trailing team leader commands STAND FAST. On the command of execution MARCH, the lead team marches forward. The trailing team leader commands Column Half Left (Right) when the second man from the rear of the lead team is abreast. He gives the command MARCH when the last man of the lead team is abreast of him and his right foot strikes the marching surface. He then inclines right or left to follow the lead team at the correct distance.
Commands are given over the team leader’s right shoulder if the direction of movement is to the right or if the team is following an element to its right. Commands are given over the left shoulder if the direction of movement is to the left or if the team is following an element to its left.
PLATOON FORMATIONS AND MOVEMENT
ALIGNING THE PLATOON
On the command of execution DRESS, the first squad leader stands fast and serves as the base. Other squad leaders obtain correct distance by estimation. The members of the first squad execute in the same manner as in squad drill to obtain exact interval. All other squads execute as the first squad, except that each squad member raises the left arm only for uniformity, actually covering (glancing out the corner of the left eye) on the man to the front.
After the last squad is aligned, the platoon sergeant centers himself on the squad leader by taking short steps left or right, faces to the right (left) in marching, returns to his position (centered on the platoon), halts perpendicular to the formation, faces to the left (right), and commands Ready, FRONT.
When the platoon dresses as part of a larger formation, all squad leaders turn their heads and eyes to their right and align themselves on the unit to their right. The platoon sergeant aligns the platoon from the left flank rather than from the right flank when his platoon is not formed as the right flank platoon.
OPENING AND CLOSING RANKS
To open or close ranks, use the following procedures:
a. Open Ranks, MARCH is executed from a line formation while at the halt. It may be executed while at any of the prescribed intervals. The command for this movement is Open Ranks, MARCH. On the command of execution MARCH, the front rank takes two steps forward, the second rank takes one step forward, the third rank stands fast, and the fourth rank takes two steps backward. If additional ranks are present, the fifth rank takes four steps backward, and the sixth rank takes six steps backward.
After taking the prescribed steps, the men do not raise their arms. If the platoon sergeant wants exact interval or alignment, he commands At Close Interval (At Double Interval), Dress Right, DRESS. If the platoon is to align on an element to the right, the squad leaders turn their head and eyes to the right and align themselves with that element.
b. To Close Ranks, the command is Close Ranks, MARCH. On the command of execution MARCH, the first rank takes four steps backward, the second rank takes two steps backward, the third rank stands fast, and the fourth rank takes one step forward. On the command of execution MARCH, the platoon leader and platoon sergeant take the appropriate number of steps to maintain their posts.
The platoon renders courtesy during ceremonies or when marching past the Colors by executing Eyes Right. The commands for this movement are Eyes, RIGHT and Ready, FRONT.
When marching, the preparatory command Eyes is given as the right foot strikes the marching surface and the command of execution RIGHT is given the next time the right foot strikes the marching surface. On the command of execution RIGHT, all men, except the right file, turn their heads and eyes to the right and align themselves on the right file while continuing to march. Men in the right file do not turn their heads and eyes but continue looking straight to the front and maintain correct distance. Only the platoon leader salutes. To terminate the courtesy, the preparatory command Ready is given as the left foot strikes the marching surface, and the command of execution FRONT is given the next time the left foot strikes the marching surface. On the command of execution, the men turn their heads and eyes sharply to the front and the platoon leader terminates the Hand Salute.
When space is limited and the platoon sergeant wants to march his unit in the opposite direction (reverse), with the squad leaders at the head of their squads, he commands Counter Column, MARCH. On the command of execution MARCH (at the Halt), the first squad marches forward three steps, executes a Column Right, marches across the front of the platoon, and executes another Column Right just beyond the fourth squad. The second squad steps forward one step, executes a Column Right, marches forward, and execute another Column Right between the third and fourth squads. The third squad executes two short Column Lefts from the Halt and marches between the remainder of the third squad and the second squad. The fourth squad marches forward two steps, executes a Column Left, marches across the front of the platoon, and executes another Column Left between the first and second squads (Figure 7-2).