Joeleonhart’s Weblog

To Learn and To Share

Drill Command Part II – United States

More in depth explanations may be found by reading something similar to the Marine Corps Drill and Ceremonies Manual (MCDC) used by the Navy and Marines or Air Force Manual (AFMAN) or a Drill and Ceremonies Manual. [1] Different branches of the Armed Forces have some difference in drill commands, or may not have a drill command that other branches use.

  • “Fall in” – Individuals form a formation at the position of attention.
  • “Fall out” – Individuals drop out of formation. By custom, officers usually take a single step backward with their left foot. Noncommissioned personnel take a step back with the left foot, then with their right, and then perform an about face.
  • “Attention” – Individuals snap to the position in which they are standing straight, looking forward, and not moving. Some commanders prefer to use an easier way by saying, “Atten-hut!,” or, in the Air Force, “Tench-Hut!”
  • Present, ARMS” – Individuals execute a hand or rifle salute and hold it until given the command “order arms”.
  • “Order, ARMS” – Individuals bring their hand or rifle back down to their side.
  • “Open ranks, MARCH” – Movement in which each row (rank) spreads out from another row.
  • “Close ranks, MARCH” – Movement in which the formation is restored to its normal interval.
  • “Dress right, DRESS” – Movement in which individuals except those on the extreme left side raise their left arms parallel to the ground in order to get the proper distance from each other.
  • “Parade, REST” – Individuals spread their feet about 12 inches while bringing both of their arms behind their back interlocking their hands. The back of the left hand rests against the back. The back of the right hand rests on the palm of the left, with the left thumb locked over the right hand and the right thumb locked over the left thumb. If armed, individuals put their left hand behind their back, extending their rifle while the butt remains on the ground by their right foot.
  • “Stand at, ease” – Individuals perform the command of parade rest, but their eyes and head follow the person in charge.
  • “At ease” – Individuals are permitted light movement given their right foot does not leave the ground; they are not allowed to talk.
  • “Rest” – Individuals are permitted light movement and may also engage in quiet conversation as long as their right leg is planted on the ground. Can also be expressed by the command “Relax”
  • “Forward, MARCH” – Individuals begin marching, from the left foot and a 30 inch step at 120 steps per minute.
  • “Company/Platoon/Squad/Detail, Halt” – Individuals stop marching.
  • “Right (Left) Flank, MARCH” – The whole formation turns and continues to march.
  • “Right, (left) FACE” – A turn 90 degrees to the right (left).
  • “About, FACE” – A turn 180 degrees facing the opposite direction, executed to the right.
  • “Recover, TWO” – All persons using the right hand grab their cover on “Recover” and remove the cover on “TWO”
  • “COVER” – Used to align to the person in fron of them in formation, when used after the command “Recover, TWO”, all persons replace their cover and remain holding their cap with ther right hand until “TWO” is given where they return to the position of attention.
  • “Right (left) step, MARCH” – Individuals take side steps to the right (left).
  • “By the Right (left) flank, MARCH” – A 90 degree pivot to the right (left) while marching.
  • “Right (left) oblique, MARCH” – A 45 degree pivot to the right (left) while marching.
  • “Column right (left), MARCH” – A movement in which the entire formation executes a series of turns depending on their position. The goal of this movement is to get the entire formation to turn to the right (left) while keeping the same people in the same positions known as column formation.
  • “To the Rear, MARCH” – A turn 180 degrees while marching, also executed to the right.
  • “Change step, MARCH” – Individuals execute a movement in order to get on step with the formation.
  • “Route step” – Individuals walk normally without being in step. Often used on long marches or when crossing a bridge to avoid creating harmonic rhythms. The Air Force uses a different command: “At ease, march.”
  • “Extend, MARCH” – A movement in which the formation widens.
  • “Close, MARCH” – A movement in which the formation narrows in width.
  • “Mark time, MARCH” – Marching in place.
  • “Half step, MARCH” – Marching at half the distance, often bringing the upper leg parallel to the ground. 15 Inch Steps.
  • “Double time, MARCH” – Marching at twice the cadence of “Forward March;” something of a light jog. The unit is still required to keep in step.
  • “Right shoulder, ARMS” – The rifle is placed on the right shoulder. The right hand holds the butt of the rifle and the forearm is parallel to the ground.
  • “Left shoulder, ARMS” – Same as right shoulder arms except on the left side.
  • “Port arms, ARMS” – The rifle is carried diagonally in front of the body by both hands.
  • “Counter-column, MARCH” – The platoon is ordered to reverse direction while marching. The columns neatly turn in on themselves and at the end of the movement the entire marching column has reversed direction. Also known as “circle counter”, or “counter march”.

Source :


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

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: