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Drill Command Part I – United Kingdom

Drill commands are best given when the person has an excellent command voice. A command voice is characterized by DLIPS: Distinctness, Loudness, Inflection, Projection, and Snap.

Distinctness – This depends on the correct use of the tongue, lips, and teeth to form the separate sounds of a word and to group those sounds to force words. Distinct commands are effective; indistinct commands cause confusion. Emphasize clear enunciation.

Loudness – This is the volume used in giving a command. It should be adjusted to the distance and number of individuals in the formation. The commander takes a position in front of, and centered on, the unit and facing the unit so his or her voice reaches all individuals. Speak loudly enough for all to hear, but do not strain the vocal cords.

Inflection – This is the change in pitch of the voice. Pronounce the preparatory command–the command that announces the movement–with a rising inflection near or at the end of its completion, usually the last syllable. When beginning a preparatory command, the most desirable pitch of voice is near the level of the natural speaking voice. A common fault is to start the preparatory command so high that, after employing a rising inflection, the passage to a higher pitch for the command of execution is impossible without undue strain. A properly delivered command of execution has no inflection. However, it should be given at a higher pitch than the preparatory command.

Projection – This is the ability of your voice to reach whatever distance is desired without undue strain. To project the command, focus your voice on the person farthest away. Counting in a full, firm voice and giving commands at a uniform cadence while prolonging the syllables are good exercises. Erect posture, proper breathing, a relaxed throat, and an open mouth help project the voice.

Snap – This is the conciseness of the command.

Common drill commands

United Kingdom

Each of the three services in the United Kingdom has its own drill manuals. Most commands are the same across all three services, but there are significant differences in the way movements are carried out.

Drill orders are always given in the form of 2 components: the ‘cautionary’ followed the ‘executive'; for example, in the command “Right Turn” “Right” gives warning that an order is to follow, on hearing the word “Turn” the order executed. The first word is usually drawn out (e.g. Ri-i-i-ght…) to allow time for preparation for the order to follow, the second word (the ‘executive’) is delivered sharply with extra emphasis, (e.g. TURN!)

British Army long form: e.g. “Company will retire, AAAbouT TurN!”. This works well on a large parade ground because of the relatively slow delivery. “Company will retire” is the warning and says what is to be achieved. “About Turn” says what to do and gives the timing of when to do it.

 

Royal Navy

In the Royal Navy, commands are given on the right foot except for the left turn. Especially with the shorter commands which have no cautionary, e.g. “HO”, an identifier is used, e.g. “Squad”, “Divisions”, “Parade”, “Ship’s Company”, “Guard of Honour”, etc. Due to the different working environment of the Naval Service, feet are not stamped and knees are not raised except when marking time. The Royal Navy marches at a cadence of 116 paces to the minute in quick time, 65 paces to the minute in slow time (75 for funeral gun carriages), and 180 paces to the minute in double time.

  • “Fall in” – Individuals form a formation at the “at ease” position.
  • “Change ARMS” – Individuals change the side of the body that the rifle is held on. This command can be given both when the rifle is in the shoulder arms position and the slope arms position. This command was introduced for use with the SA80 and was not previously used, except for demonstration drill with the SLR. Also used with the SLR (but no longer in use with SA80) is the command “Trail Arms”, involving the transfer of the soldier’s grip from the pistol grip to the carrying handle of the rifle in order to carry the rifle horizontally.
  • “Present ARMS” – Individuals execute a rifle salute and hold it until given the command “slope arms” (“shoulder arms” with the SLR).
  • “Shoulder ARMS” – Individuals bring their rifle back down to their side. The command “order arms” was used with the longer SLR.
  • “Slope ARMS” – Individuals place the rifle in the slope, which is with the magazine and pistolgrip facing to the individual’s left, and the rifle resting on the left shoulder, supported by the left arm at an angle of ninety degrees. This position was not used with the SLR.
  • “Off CAPS” – This order is given before prayers are read, and formerly before inspection. Men bring the right hand to the left hand brim of the cap (for men dressed as seamen) or to the peak of the cap (for officers and senior rates), grasping the cap. After two marching paces, the cap is brought smartly to the side. Women stand still. A different manoeuvre is carried out to the same command when three cheers are to be given.
  • “On CAPS” – Caps are replaced on the head. After two marching paces, the right hand is brought smartly to the side. Caps and berets are not adjusted until the order “Stand EASY” is next given.
  • “Dis-MISS” – This command is given to disband the unit, individuals do a 90 degree turn to the right, dwell two marching paces, and then disperse.
  • “By the right (left) DRESS” – Individuals in the front rank except those on the extreme right side turn their heads to the right and raise their right arms parallel to the ground in order to get the proper distance from each other. In other ranks, all except those on the extreme right turn their heads to the right. When all movement has ceased, arms are brought smartly down and heads turned to the front, starting at the right, those on the left following on in rapid succession. If the command “Right DRESS” (rather than “By the right DRESS”) is given, heads and arms are kept in position until the command “Eyes FRONT”. If the command is “Left DRESS” or “By the left DRESS”, heads are turned and arms raised to the left. If half-arm or no intervals are desired, the command can be preceded with “With half-arm intervals” or “Without intervals”.
  • “Stand at EASE” – Individuals move the left foot so that both feet are shoulder width apart, bringing both arms behind the back interlocking the hands. If armed, the arms are not brought behind the back. When armed with the SLR, the movement was the same as with the American command.
  • “Stand EASY” – Individuals are permitted light movement, but are not allowed to talk or move their feet. If armed, the left and right arms are brought slowly and uniformly to meet in the centre of the body supporting the butt of the rifle. The barrel rests over the right shoulder. The movement is completed to the timing: “One thousand, two thousand, three thousand, four thousand, still.”
  • “Eyes FRONT” – Individuals face forwards again. 2i/cs bring down their salutes.
  • “HALT” – The executive is given on the right foot, and is followed by a check pace with the left foot followed by the right foot which is placed smartly alongside the left foot without stamping. The timing used is “one, still”. The movement is the same whether given in quick or slow time.
  • “HO” (known as Attention) – Individuals brace up at the identifier (“Parade”/”Divisions”/”Squad”, etc.). At the executive, the left foot is brought smartly together with the right foot and arms are brought down to the side.
  • “Right (left) in-CLINE” – Individuals turn 45 degrees to the right (left).
  • “Close order MARCH” – The formation is restored to its normal interval.
  • “Double MARCH” – Individuals jog in time. The command is usually preceded by the command “By the left (right, centre), depending on which file (left, right or centre) they are take their dressing from, not which foot they use to step off on.
  • “Forward (Step back) MARCH” – Individuals take the appropriate number of steps to the front or rear, starting with the left foot, in quick time. This command is given at the halt, and preceded with the number of paces, e.g. “One pace only”.
  • “Left (Right) close MARCH” – Individuals take the appropriate number of steps to the left or to the right, closing with the other foot, in quick time. This command is given at the halt, and preceded with the number of paces, e.g. “One pace only”.
  • “Open order MARCH” – Each rank (row) spreads out from the middle rank by stepping forwards or backwards. If only two ranks, the rear rank steps backwards. It is usual to precede the command with the number of paces to be marched, as described below, unless this has already been briefed.
  • “Quick MARCH” – Individuals begin marching, always setting off on the left foot. The initial pace follows immediately the executive is given, and is a reduced pace of 20 inches, compared with a full marching pace of 30 inches. The command is usually preceded by the command “By the left (right, centre), depending on which file (left, right or centre) they are take their dressing from, not which foot they use to step off on.
  • “Slow MARCH” – Individuals begin marching at ceremonial pace, bringing their foot forward, holding it level above the ground briefly, then placing it onto the ground. The command is usually preceded by the command “By the left (right, centre), depending on which file (left, right or centre) they are take their dressing from, not which foot they use to step off on.
  • “Eyes RIGHT (LEFT)” – Individuals, except the right (left) marker, turn their heads to the right (left). 2i/cs salute.
  • “About TURN” – Individuals turn 180 degrees (always turning to the right), ending up facing the opposite direction, turning on the heel of the right (left) and the ball of the left (right) foot. The rear foot is then brought smartly alongside the front foot. When given on the march, the executive is given on the right foot, and is followed by a single check pace with the left foot, followed by three mark-time paces during which the body is turned 180 degrees to the right with the hands held still by the side. The step off is with the left foot.
  • “Right (left) TURN” – Individuals turn 90 degrees to the right (left), turning on the heel of the right (left) and the ball of the left (right) foot. The rear foot is then brought smartly alongside the front foot. At the halt, the command is preceded by the precautionary “Into line” (to bring the squad into lines abreast), “Move to the right (left) in threes” (to make the squad three abreast, the officer at the side) or “Move to the right (left) in column of route” (to make the squad three abreast, the officer leading). When ordered on the march, the command is given on the right (left) foot. The arms are held still while a single check pace to the front follows. The next pace is placed at 90 degrees in the direction ordered. On the second pace in the new direction arms are again swung.
  • “To the front (right, left) SALUTE” – The right hand is brought up to touch the rim of the cap over the right eye, palm facing down and slightly inwards. The head faces the front or is turned to the right or left as appropriate. At the halt, the salute is held for two marching paces. On the march, it is held until the person or object being saluted is past.
  • “Change STEP” – The executive is given on the right foot, and is followed by a full pace on the left foot with the instep of the right foot swiftly brought to the heel of the left foot, which continues with another pace. The timing used is “left-close, left”.
  • Mark TIME” – Individuals march in place, with the knees brought up so that the thigh is parallel to the ground.
  • “Right (left) WHEEL” – This command is given on the march. The unit pivots about the front left or right soldier. That inside soldier almost marks time while turning, and the rest of the front line moves round by 90 degrees.

Other services

 

The following commands are generally used, with a few variations, by the British Army, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force. Most commands given whilst marching are given when the left foot hits the ground (with the exception of the left turn and the change step), i.e. the last word of the command is timed to match the left foot’s impact. Actions are described with SLRs rather than the traditional Drill Purpose .303’s

  • “Fall in” – Individuals form a formation at the “at ease” position. In more informal drill, many NCOs say “Get fell in”.
  • “Attention” – Individuals snap to the position of attention, bringing the left leg up so that the thigh is parallel to the ground and bringing the left foot down in a stamp. The command is usually abbreviated to “Shun”, although the RAF has only recently adopted this usage.
  • “Present arms” – Individuals execute a rifle salute and hold it until given the command “slope arms” (“shoulder arms” with the SLR).
  • “Slope arms” – Individuals place the rifle in the slope, which is with the magazine and pistolgrip facing to the individual’s left, and the rifle resting on the left shoulder, supported by the left arm at an angle of ninety degrees. This position was not used with the SLR.
  • “Shoulder arms” – Individuals bring their rifle back down to their side. The command “order arms” was used with the longer SLR.
  • “Change arms” – Individuals change the side of the body that the rifle is held on. This command can be given both when the rifle is in the shoulder arms position and the slope arms position. This command was introduced for use with the SA80 and was not previously used, except for demonstration drill with the SLR. Also used with the SLR (but no longer in use with SA80) is the command “Trail Arms”, involving the transfer of the soldier’s grip from the pistol grip to the carrying handle of the rifle in order to carry the rifle horizontally.
  • “Open Order, March” – Each rank (row) spreads out from the middle rank by stepping forwards or backwards. If only two ranks, the rear rank steps backwards.
  • “Close Order, March” – The formation is restored to its normal interval.
  • “Dressing right dress” – Individuals except those on the extreme right side turn their heads to the right and raise their right arms parallel to the ground in order to get the proper distance from each other. Individuals at the extreme right, apart from the individual at the front (the right marker), raise their right arms straight out in front of them. Sometimes combined with open or close order as “In open/close order, right dress”. This can also be given as left dress (looking to the left, left arms raised), or inwards dress (looking to the centre, with left and right arms raised depending on position from the centre.)
“Right dress” –
  • “Stand at ease” – Individuals spread their feet about twelve inches, by lifting the thigh parallel to the ground, while bringing both of their arms behind their back interlocking their hands. If armed, the left and right arms maintained at the sides of the body. When armed with the SLR, the movement was the same as with the American command.
  • “Stand easy” – Individuals are permitted light movement, but are not allowed to talk or move their feet. If armed, the left and right arms are brought slowly and uniformly to meet in the centre of the body supporting the butt of the rifle. The barrel rests over the right shoulder. The movement is completed to the timing: “One thousand, two thousand, three thousand, four thousand, still.”
  • “Right (left) turn” – Individuals turn 90 degrees to the right (left). Can also be ordered on the march. For a left turn, the command is given when the right foot hits the ground, the left foot is then placed as normal, the next right pace is placed at 90 degrees in front of the left foot. The next right pace is in that direction as well and marching continues.
  • “Right (left) incline” – Individuals turn 45 degrees to the right (left).
  • “Right (left) wheel” – The unit pivots about the front left or right soldier. That inside soldier almost marks time while turning, and the rest of the front line moves round by 90 degrees.
  • “About turn” – Individuals turn 180 degrees (always turning to the right), ending up facing the opposite direction. Can also be ordered on the march. When given whilst marching, the command is given as the right heel strikes the ground. A check pace is taken with the left, and the right foot is carried into the instep of the left foot. The Left knee is raised while the right pivots the body 90 degrees to the right, the right knee is raised while the left pivots 90 degrees to the right, bringing the body to face 180 degrees. The left knee is raised to complete the movement. Then step off with the right foot.

Note: Usually remembered by “Step” “T” “L” “V” “Step” “March” where T, L, V stands for the general shape of the feet when the ‘about turn’ is done.

  • “By the right (left, centre), quick, march” – Individuals begin marching, always setting off on the left foot. The term “by the…” refers to which file (left, right or centre) they take their dressing from, not which foot they use to step off on. Timing used is “check, in, left, right, left, away.”
  • “By the right (left, centre), slow march” – Individuals begin marching at ceremonial pace, bringing their foot forward, holding it level above the ground briefly, then sliding it into the ground.
  • “Halt” – Given on the left foot in quick time. Timing used is “check, one, two.” Given on as the left foot passes the right in slow time, with the left striking the ground and the right thigh bent parallel to the ground, the right foot driven in beside the left in quick time.
  • “Change step” – Individuals execute a movement in order to get in step with the formation. Ordered on the right foot.
  • Mark time” – Individuals march in place.
  • “Double time” – Individuals begin to jog.
  • “Eyes right (left)” – Individuals, except the right marker, turn their heads to the right (left).
  • “Eyes front” – Individuals face forwards again.
  • “Salute to the front, salute” – Individuals initiate a halt, perform two salutes then a full about turn and march off in the opposite direction. If given at the halt, the only one salute is given, and is held until the command “Shun” (attention).
  • “Salute to the right (left), salute” – Individuals move their head so as to look to the right (left), while at the same time bringing their hand up to the salute position parallel to their right eye for five seconds, then snap it back down to their sides and turn their head so they are facing the front again.
  • “Dismiss” – This command is given to disband the unit, individuals do a 90 degree turn to the right (45 for RAF), salute if an officer (or other personage accorded a salute) is present, March 3 paces (5 paces for RAF) smartly and then continue to march until clear of the parade ground.
  • “Paces” – Units can be told to do a certain number of paces forward/backward/left/right, with a command like “3 paces left/right close, march” or “2 paces forward/back, march.” The advised limit on the number of paces is 6 left or right, 6 backwards or forwards. The idea of the limit is if you want to go further left or right or backwards, you should turn the unit and march them, and if you want to go further forward, you have enough time to give a halt command so a standard quick march is preferable. Side stepping a unit is also prone to miss aligning them and a dress may be needed after. Paces to the side are carried out in slow time, with paces forward and back in quick time, without the arm movement.

Source : Wikipedia.org

 

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June 6, 2008 - Posted by | Education, Info and Events

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