Drill consists of certain movements by which a military unit is moved in an orderly manner from one formation to another or from one place to another. Standards such as the 24-inch step, cadence of 100 to 120 steps per minute, distance, and interval have been established to ensure movements are executed with order and precision. The task of each person is to learn these movements and execute each part exactly as described. Individuals also must learn to adapt their own movements to those of the group. Everyone in the formation must move together on command.
Below are instructions for accomplishing the major military individual drill movements:
Position of Attention
To come to attention, bring the heels together smartly and on line. Place the heels as near each other as the conformation of the body permits, and ensure the feet are turned out equally, forming a 45-degree angle. Keep the legs straight without stiffening or locking the knees. The body is erect with hips level, chest lifted, back arched, and shoulders square and even. Arms hang straight down alongside the body without stiffness, and the wrists are straight with the forearms. Place thumbs, which are resting along the first joint of the forefinger, along the seams of the trousers or sides. of the skirt. Hands are cupped (but not clenched as a fist) with palms facing the leg. The head is kept erect and held straight to the front with the chin drawn in slightly so the axis of the head and neck is vertical; eyes are to the front, with the line of sight parallel to the ground. The weight of the body rests equally on the heels and balls of both feet, and silence and immobility are required.
Execute rests (parade rest, at ease, rest, and fall out) from a halt and only from the position of attention as follows:
Parade Rest. The command is Parade, REST. On the command REST, the airman will raise the left foot from the hip just enough to clear the ground and move it smartly to the left so the heels are 12 inches apart, as measured from the inside of the heels. Keep the legs straight, but not stiff, and the heels on line. As the left foot moves, bring the arms, fully extended, to the back of the body, uncupping the hands in the process; and extend and join the fingers, pointing them toward the ground. The palms will face outwards. Place the right hand in the palm of the left, right thumb over the left to form an “X”. Keep head and eyes straight ahead, and remain silent and immobile.
At Ease. The command is AT EASE. On the command AT EASE, airmen may relax in a standing position, but they must keep the right foot in place. Their position in the formation will not change, and silence will be maintained.
Rest. The command is REST. On the command REST, the same requirements for at ease apply, but moderate speech is permitted.
Fall Out. The command is FALL OUT. On the command FALL OUT, individuals may relax in a standing position or break ranks. They must remain in the immediate area, and no specific method of dispersal is required. Moderate speech is permitted.
To resume the position of attention from any of the rests (except fall out), the command is (for example) Flight, ATTENTION. On the command Flight, the airmen assume the position of parade rest; and at the command ATTENTION, they assume the position of attention.
Right (Left) Face
Right (Left) Face. The commands are Right (Left), FACE. On the command FACE, raise the right (left) toe and left (right) heel slightly and pivot 90 degrees to the right (left) on the ball of the left (right) foot and the heel of the right (left) foot, assisted by slight pressure on the ball of the left (right) foot. Keep legs straight, but not stiff. The upper portion of the body remains at attention. This completes count one of the movement. Next, bring the left (right) foot smartly forward, ensuring heels are together and on line. Feet should now be forming a 45-degree angle, which means the position of attention has been resumed. This completes count two of the movement
About Face. The command is About, FACE. On the command FACE, lift the right foot from the hip just enough to clear the ground. Without bending the knees, place the ball of the right foot approximately half a shoe length behind and slightly to the left of the heel. Distribute the weight of the body on the ball of the right foot and the heel of the left foot. Keep both legs straight, but not stiff. The position of the foot has not changed. This completes count one of the movement. Keeping the upper portion of the body at the position of attention, pivot 180 degrees to the right on the ball of the right foot and heel of the left foot, with a twisting motion from the hips. Suspend arm swing during the movement, and remain as though at attention. On completion of the pivot, heels should be together and in line and feet should form a 45-degree angle. The entire body is now at the position of attention (figure 3.4). This completes count two of the movement.
Hand Salute. This is used for training purposes only. The command is Hand, SALUTE, and it is performed in two counts. On the command SALUTE, the individual raises the right hand smartly in the most direct manner while at the same time extending and joining the fingers. Keep the palm flat and facing the body. Place the thumb along the forefingers, keeping the palm flat and forming a straight line between the fingertips and elbows (figure 3.5). Tilt the palm slightly toward the face. Hold the upper arm horizontal, slightly forward of the body and parallel to the ground. Ensure the tip of the middle finger touches the right front corner of the headdress. If wearing a no billed hat, ensure the middle finger touches the outside corner of the right eyebrow or the front corner of glasses. The rest of the body will remain at the position of attention. This is count one of the movement. To complete count two of the movement, bring the arm smoothly and smartly downward, retracing the path used to raise the arm. Cup the hand as it passes the waist, and return to the position of attention.
Exchange of Salutes. The salute is a courteous exchange of greetings, with the junior member always saluting first. When returning or rendering an individual salute, the head and eyes are turned toward the Colors or person saluted. When in ranks, the position of attention is maintained unless otherwise directed. Members of the Armed Forces in uniform exchange salutes under the following conditions:
Outdoors, salutes are exchanged upon recognition between officers and warrant officers and between officers or warrant officers and cadets or enlisted members of the Armed Forces. Saluting outdoors means salutes are exchanged when the persons involved are outside of a building. For example, if a person is on a porch, a covered sidewalk, a bus stop, a covered or open entryway, or a reviewing stand, the salute will be exchanged with a person on the sidewalk outside of the structure or with a person approaching or in the same structure. This applies both on and off military installations. The junior member should initiate the salute in time to allow the senior officer to return it. To prescribe an exact distance for all circumstances is not practical, but good judgment indicates when salutes should be exchanged. A superior carrying articles in both hands need not return the salute, but he or she should nod in return or verbally acknowledge the salute. If the junior member is carrying articles in both hands, verbal greetings should be exchanged. Also, use these procedures when greeting an officer of a friendly foreign nation.
Indoors, except for formal reporting, salutes are not rendered.
In formation, members do not salute or return a salute unless given the command to do so. Normally the person in charge salutes and acknowledges salutes for the whole formation.
In groups, but not in formation, when a senior officer approaches, the first individual noticing the officer calls the group to attention. All members face the officer and salute. If the officer addresses an individual or the group, all remain at attention (unless otherwise ordered) until the end of the conversation, at which time they salute the officer.
In public gatherings, such as sporting events, meetings, or when a salute would be inappropriate or impractical, salutes between individuals need not be rendered.
Exchange of salutes between military pedestrians (including gate sentries) and officers in moving military vehicles is not mandatory. However, when officer passengers are readily identifiable (for example, officers in appropriately marked vehicles), the salute must be rendered.
Civilians may be saluted by persons in uniform. The President of the United States, as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, is always accorded the honor of a salute. Also, if the exchange of salutes is otherwise appropriate, it is customary for military members in civilian clothes to exchange salutes upon recognition.
Prisoners whose sentences include punitive discharges do not render the salute. All other prisoners, regardless of custody or grade, render the prescribed salute except when under armed guard.
In a work detail, individual workers do not salute. The person in charge salutes for the entire detail.
Any military person recognizing a need to salute or a need to return one may do so anywhere at any time.
Present Arms & Order Arms
Present Arms and Order Arms. The commands are Present, ARMS and Order ARMS. On the command Present, ARMS, the airman executes the first count of hand salute. Count two of hand salute is performed when given the command Order, ARMS.
Eyes Right (Left) & Ready Front
Eyes Right (Left) and Ready Front. The commands are Eyes, RIGHT (LEFT) and Ready, FRONT. These commands may be given at a halt or while marching. The preparatory command and command of execution are given on the right (left) foot while marching. On the command RIGHT (LEFT), all persons, except those on the right (left) flank, turn their heads and eyes smartly 45 degrees to the right (left) (figure 3.6). To return their heads and eyes to the front, the command Ready, FRONT is given as the left (right) foot strikes the ground. On the command FRONT, heads and eyes are turned smartly to the front.
When executed from a halt, all steps and marching begin with the left foot, except right step and close march
Both the preparatory command and the command of execution are given as the foot in the direction of the turn strikes the ground. For single formations, the preparatory command is normally given as the heel of the left (right) foot strikes the ground, and the command of execution is given when the heel of the left (right) foot next strikes the ground.
For multiple units, time is allowed for the subordinate commanders to give appropriate supplementary commands. The pause between commands is three paces.
Forward March & Halt
To march forward in quick time from a halt, the command is Forward, MARCH. On the command MARCH, the airman smartly steps off straight ahead with the left foot, taking a 24-inch step (measured from heel to heel), and places the heel on the ground first. When stepping off and while marching, the airman will use coordinated arm swing; that is, right arm forward with the left leg and left arm forward with the right leg. The hands will be cupped with the thumbs pointed down, and the arms will hang straight, but not stiff, and will swing naturally. The swing of the arms will measure 6 inches to the front (measured from the rear of the hand to the front of the thigh) and 3 inches to the rear (measured from the front of the hand to the back of the thigh). If applicable, proper dress, cover, interval, and distance will be maintained; and cadence will be adhered to. Count cadence as follows: counts one and three are given as the heel of the left foot strikes the ground, and counts two and four are given as the heel of the right foot strikes the ground.
To halt from quick time, the command is Flight, HALT, given as either foot strikes the ground. On the command HALT, the airman will take one more 24-inch step. Next, the trailing foot will be brought smartly alongside the front foot. The heels will be together, on line, and form a 45-degree angle Coordinated arm swing will cease as the weight of the body shifts to the leading foot when halting.
To march in double time from a halt or when marching in quick time, the command is Double Time, MARCH.
When halted and on the command MARCH, the airman begins with the left foot, raises the forearms to a horizontal position along the waistline, cups the hands with the knuckles out, and begins an easy run of 180 steps per minute with 30-inch steps, measured from heel to heel. Coordinated motion of the arms are maintained throughout.
When marching in quick time and on the command MARCH (given as either foot strikes the ground), the airman takes one more step in quick time and then steps off in double time.
To resume quick time from double time, the command is Quick Time, MARCH, with four steps between commands. On the command MARCH (given as either foot strikes the ground), the airman advances two more steps in double time, resumes quick time, lowers the arms to the sides, and resumes coordinated arm swing.
To halt from double time, the command Flight, HALT is given as either foot strikes the ground, with four steps between commands. The airman will take two more steps in double time and halt in two counts at quick time, lowering the arms to the sides.
The only commands that can be given while in double time are Incline To The Right (Left); Quick Time, MARCH; and Flight, HALT.
Mark Time. The command is Mark Time, MARCH. When marching, the command MARCH is given as either foot strikes the ground. The airman takes one more 24-inch step with the right (left) foot. He or she then brings the trailing foot to a position so both heels are on line. The cadence is continued by alternately raising and lowering each foot. The balls of the feet are raised 4 inches above the ground. Normal arm swing is maintained.
At a halt, on the command MARCH, the airman raises and lowers first the left foot and then the right. Mark time is executed in quick time only. The halt executed from mark time is similar to the halt from quick time.
To resume marching, the command Forward, MARCH is given as the heel of the left foot strikes the ground. The airman takes one more step in place and then steps off in a full 24-inch step with the left foot.
Half Step. The command Half Step, MARCH is given as either foot strikes the ground. On the command MARCH, the airman takes one more 24-inch steps followed by a 12-inch step (measured from heel to heel) in quick time, setting the heel down first without scraping the ground. The airman maintains coordinated arm swing and continues the half step until marched forward or halted.
To resume a full 24-inch step, the command Forward, MARCH is given as the heel of the left foot strikes the ground. On the command MARCH, the airman takes one more 12-inch step with the right foot and then steps out with a full 24-inch step with the left foot.
The halt executed from half step is similar to the halt executed from a 24-inch step. The half step is not executed from the halt nor are changes of direction made from the half step. It is executed only in quick time, and normal arm swing is maintained.
Right (Left) Step
Right (Left) Step. The command is Right (Left) Step, MARCH, given only from a halt and for moving short distances. On the command MARCH, the airman raises the right (left) leg from the hip just high enough to clear the ground. The leg will be kept straight, but not stiff, throughout the movement. The individual places the right (left) foot 12 inches, as measured from the inside of the heels, to the right (left) of the left (right) foot. Transfer the weight of the body to the right (left) foot, then bring the left (right) foot (without scraping the ground) smartly to a position alongside the right (left) foot as in the position of attention. This movement is continued in quick time; the upper portion of the body remains at attention and arms remain at the sides throughout.
Cadence may be counted during this movement. Counts one and three are given as the right (left) foot strikes the ground. Counts two and four are given as the heels come together.
To halt from the right (left) step, the preparatory command and command of execution are given as the heels come together. The halt from the right (left) step is executed in two counts. On the command HALT, one more step is taken with the right (left) foot and the left (right) foot is placed smartly alongside the right (left) foot as in the position of attention.
Change Step. The command is Change Step, MARCH. On the command MARCH, given as the right foot strikes the ground, the airman takes one more 24-inch step with the left foot. Then in one count, place the ball of the right foot alongside the heel of the left foot, suspend arm swing, and shift the weight of the body to the right foot. Step off with the left foot in a 24-inch step, resuming coordinated arm swing. The upper portion of the body remains at the position of attention throughout.
To the Rear March
To the Rear March. The command is To the Rear, MARCH, given as the heel of the right foot strikes the ground. On the command MARCH, the airman takes a 12-inch step with the left foot, placing it in front of and in line with the right foot and distributes the weight of the body on the balls of both feet Then pivot on the balls of both feet, turning 180 degrees to the right, and take a 12-inch step with the left foot in the new direction, with coordinated arm swing, before taking a full 24-inch step with the right foot. While pivoting, do not force the body up or lean forward. The pivot takes a full count, and the arm swing is suspended to the sides as the weight of the body comes forward while executing the pivot, as if at the position of attention.
Flanking Movement. The command is Right (Left) Flank, MARCH, given as the heel of the right (left) foot strikes the ground. On the command MARCH, the airman takes one more 24-inch step, pivots 90 degrees to the right (left) on the ball of the left (right) foot, keeping the upper portion of the body at the position of attention. Then step off with the right (left) foot in the new direction of march with a full 24-inch step and coordinated arm swing. Arm swing is suspended to the sides as the weight of the body comes forward on the pivot foot. The pivot and step off are executed in one count. This movement is used for a quick movement to the right or left for short distances only. Throughout the movement, maintain proper dress, cover, interval, and distance.