At attention

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Polish soldiers standing at attention
Soldiers from the US 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division standing at attention

The position of at attention, or standing at attention, is a military posture which involves the following general postures:[1]

  • Standing upright with an assertive and correct posture: famously "chin up, chest out, shoulders back, stomach in".
  • Arms fixed at the side, thumb or middle finger parallel to trouser or skirt seam, depending on military drill specifics.
  • "Eyes front": head and eyes locked in a fixed forward posture. Ideally eyes unmoving fixated on a distant object. Blank facial expression.
  • Keeping the heels together, toes apart
  • No speech, facial or bodily movements except when as required by military drill.
Attention bugle call

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The above stance position is common in most military organizations throughout the world. It may also be adopted by paramilitary organizations, Law Enforcement, and other organizations requiring a loosely military structure such as Scouts, Cadet Programs, or Police Units, or even the Salvation Army.

It is also used in common in civilian marching bands, fife and drum corps and drum and bugle corps. To stand at attention is also a means of saluting when a junior rank meets an officer or superior but he (the junior) is not wearing a headdress.

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