Drill commands

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Drill commands are generally used with a group that is marching, most often in military foot drill or marching band. All branches of the military use drill commands.

Command voice[edit]

Drill commands are best given in an excellent command voice. A command voice is characterized by DLIPS: Distinctness, Loudness, Inflection, Projection, and Snap.[1]

Due to the requirements of the command voice, the actual words of the command undergo elision to the point that those unfamiliar with the specific words may be unable to recognize them. An example of such elision is the command "Attention", which is usually uttered with the initial "a" hardly if at all audible, "ten" drawn out, and "tion" drastically shortened such that, in popular culture, the command often ends up being spelled "ten-hut".

Common drill commands[edit]

Australia, New Zealand, and United Kingdom[edit]

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.[2]

  • Mark Time: March without movement in the Quick time pace (a pace of 116 paces to the minute (normal) and up to 140 paces to the minute (Rifle regiments))
  • Forward: continue marching in quick time without breaking step
  • Change step on the march: order to step in on the left foot on the march (despite the name no change in the step should be made if completed properly).


  • Squad: Push your arms down behind your back and let your shoulders lock into place. Brace and push your chest out and hold your head up high.
  • Squad-shun (Attention): Bring your left leg up at 90 degrees and stamp down so both of your feet are in a 'V' shape. In the Royal Navy, however, the squad bring the left foot over to the right without stamping, so that the feet are at a 45 degree angle. This is traditionally done in the interest of not putting ones foot through the deck of a ship.
  • Stand at ease: Standing at ease is exactly the same as squad, just don't lock your shoulders or brace up.
  • Stand easy: Bring your arms behind your back at the top of your behind.
  • Squad will turn to the left in file, left turn: Use the toes of your right foot and the heel of your left to pivot to your left. Stamp down like you would in Squad Attention.
  • Squad will turn to the right in file, right turn: Use the heel of your right foot and the toes of your left to pivot to your right. Stamp down like you would in Squad Attention.


The commands in English are very similar to British Drill commands while the commands in French are generally translations of the English. The Canadian Forces sometimes call weapon drill in French while march commands are called in English. This is done at units such as trades schools where both English and French are used. Unilingual English units and unilingual French units generally use their own language for all commands.[3] Commands are broken up into two parts: the "precautionary" (i.e. "Squad, single file from the left quick -") followed by the "executive" (-MARCH). There is a standard pause of two paces in quick time or one full second between the two commands, as well as between all drill movements.

Standard English commands[edit]

  • Attention (or "HO" in the Royal Navy): The position of attention is one of readiness for a word of command. Alertness and exactness in this position is important, and therefore personnel should not be kept at attention longer than necessary. Heels together and in line; feet turned out to form an angle of 30 degrees; body baleight distributed evenly on both feet; shoulders level, square to the front; arms hanging as straight as their natural bend will allow, with elbows and wrists touching the body; wrists straight, the back of the hands outwards;fingers aligned, touching the palm of the hand, thumbs placed on the side of the forefinger at the middle joint with the thumbs and back of the fingers touching the thighs lightly and the thumbs in line with the seam of the trousers; and head held erect, neck touching the back of the collar, eyes steady, looking their height and straight to the front.
  • Stand at Ease: The position of standing at ease is an intermediate position between attention and standing easy. It allows no relaxation but can be maintained without strain for a longer time than the position of attention. Heels are 10" (25 centimetres) apart; arms behind the back, stretched to their full extent, and place the back of the right hand in the palm of the left, with thumbs crossed right over left, the fingers together and extended; and weight evenly distributed on both feet.
  • Stand Easy: The position of stand easy is ordered when it is desirable to permit troops to relax. This command is only given when the squad is in the position of stand at ease. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, upper body is relaxed without slouching. When standing easy, squad members may, with permission, move all but their feet and adjust clothing and equipment, but they shall not smoke or talk.
  • To the (Front, Left, Right) Salute: Salute to the (front, left, right) (When called on the march, is called on the left foot)
  • Right Turn: Turn 90 degrees to the right (When called on the march, is called on the left foot)
  • Left Turn: Turn 90 degrees to the left (When called on the march, is called on the right foot)
  • About Turn: Turn 180 degrees to face the opposite direction (always turning to the right) (When called on the march, is called on the right foot)
  • Right Incline: Turn 45 degrees to the right (When called on the march, is called on the left foot)
  • Left Incline: Turn 45 degrees to the left (When called on the march, is called on the right foot)
  • Dismiss: Turn 90 degrees to the right, salute (if the Canadian flag is present on the parade square), and march (off the parade square or until three paces have been completed)
  • Open order march: The ranks of a formed group will take three check paces away from the centre rank. (When there are three ranks, the front rank will take three check paces forward and the rear rank will take three check paces backwards. When there are two ranks, only the rear rank takes three check paces back)
  • Close order march: The ranks of a formed group will take three check paces toward the centre rank. (When there are three ranks, the front rank will take three check paces backwards and the rear rank will take three check paces forwards. When there are two ranks, only the rear rank takes three check paces forward)
  • Right/Left dress: The formed group will take one check pace forward (excluding the right marker),and all ranks will turn their head and eyes towards the right on a right dress or towards the colour party on an inwards dress. They then shuffle back and everyone will align themselves with the person on their right/left. The right/left marker remains in place during the movement. (The movement can be adjusted for elbow or shoulder dressing. The commander will add the words "Elbow/Shoulder dressing-" before "right/inwards dress").
  • By the (Left, Centre, or Right) Quick march: Marching in quick time (120 beats per minute), arms swing breast-pocket high in the front and waist high in the back.
  • By the (Left, Centre, or Right) Slow march: Marching in slow time (60 beats per minute), arms checked at sides.
  • By the (Left, Centre, or Right) Double march: Marching in double time (180 beats per minute), bend arms at the elbow and swing naturally from the shoulder.
  • Mark time: Called on the right foot when on the march. A check pace is taken on the left foot, the right slides beside the left, and then marches on the spot starting with the left foot. (The formed group will still continue with the pace used (quick or slow (cannot mark time while in double time)). Knees are raised and bent 90 degrees while marking time. Arms are checked at the sides as if at attention.
  • Forward: Called on the left foot while marking time. A pace will be taken on the right foot and then begin marching forward starting with the left foot.
  • By the (Left or Right) : is given on the march to move the blank file to the left or right, so that the dias and reviewing officer on parade always sees a full file.


In Finnish military drill, commands are twin parted: valmistava (precautionary/readying) and käskevä (executive). When ordering a formation, the commanding soldier (officer or assigned drill supervisor) gives a precautionary command so the soldiers know what formation they need to fall into. At the executive order they fall in the specified formation. An example being Kahteen riviin... (into two lines) JÄRJESTY (form). A command can be terminated by calling LEPO (At ease).

At järjesty the soldiers align themselves in the specified number of rows, with the kulmamies (cornerman) at an arms length from the one who gave the order. When a formation is formed they ojentaa (extend), so as to make sure the lines and rows are in perfect order: Soldiers are an arms length apart from each other, as the first row extends their left arm onto the right shoulder of the one next to them and turn their heads to the cornerman. The men behind the cornerman extend their left arm forward to the shoulderblade of the man in front of them. The cornerman checks the straightness of the lines/rows, lowering his arm and turning his head forward when ready. At this the soldiers turn their heads forward and lower their arm when the one next to them has done so, forming a wave. When an extension is order e.g. OJENNUS (extension) the cornerman keeps his head forward while the rest of the formation extends. At the command katse eteen—PÄIN (eyes—FRONT) the formation lowers theirs arms and turns their heads forward simultaneously.

A variant of järjesty used is ryhmity (group), at which the unit ordered runs into formation.

When ordering from one formation to another, mars (march) is used as the executive order (mars mars would mean "double time!", an order to run). To have the attention of a unit, the commanding officer shouts e.g. yksikkö! (unit). At this the unit in question stands in attention, facing towards the one who has their attention.

  • ASENTO: Stand in attention. Often called as STOO.
  • LEPO: At ease
  • OJENNUS: Extension. The kulmamies keeps his head forward while the rest of the formation extends.
  • Katse eteen/oikeaan—PÄIN: Dress ranks, Eyes forward/right. Order to turn the heads of the formation front/left/right. Katse oikeaan—PÄIN (eyes—RIGHT) is also used in parades to instruct marching soldiers to salute (and look at) the receiving officer of the parade, even if he/she was on the left side.
  • Käännös vasempaan/oikeaan—PÄIN: Left/right turn. order to turn 90 degrees left/right.
  • Täyskäännös vasempaan—PÄIN: About turn. Order to turn 180 degrees (the soldiers always turn left at this command, as the one giving orders can NEVER be behind them).
  • (Kahteen/kolmeen/neljään/etc) riviin—JÄRJESTY: Fall in. Order to form a rank (row). The first section contains the number of ranks: riviin (into a single rank), kahteen riviin or paririviin (into two ranks), kolmeen riviin (into three rank). JÄRJESTY is often called as STY.
  • (Kahteen/kolmeen/neljään/etc) jonoon—JÄRJESTY: Fall in. Order to form a file (line). The first command contains the number of files: jonoon (into a single file), kahteen jonoon (into two files), kolmeen jonoon (into three files).
  • Opetusavoneliöön—MARS: Open Square March. Order to form an open square where the trainees face inside the square. Usually used in exercises, so the trained unit could better see what the trainer wishes to show and teach them.
  • Opetusavoriviin—MARS: Open Order March. Order for the ranks of the formation to space apart. This command is preceded by instructions on how far apart the ranks are (e.g. Rivien väliset etäisyydet 10 askelta. Ensimmäinen rivi ottaa 20 askelta, toinen rivi 10. [Distance between rows, ten paces. First row takes 20 paces, second takes ten]). This formation is used in training, when the training officer has subtrainers at his disposal, who teach each row individually.
  • Taakse—POISTU: Dismiss. Order to run (not walk) ten paces back at the best possible speed. Can be ordered for other directions. The length of the run can be controlled by stating the destination or the amount of paces. The soldiers must run to their destination. The POISTU is often called as STU. Unlike the American and British commands of dismiss, the soldiers ordered to dismiss are always to run, never walk.
  • Tahdissa—MARS: Forward March. Order to march in pace.
  • Tahditta (or Ilman tahtia)—MARS: Order to march out of pace. This command is usually given when crossing a bridge or if the marching unit is for some reason incapable of marching in pace.
  • Tahtiin—Mars: Unit marching out of pace begins marching in pace.
  • Juoksuun—Mars: Order to run in formation.
  • Käyntiin—Mars: Order to return to walking speed.
  • Paikallaan—MARS: Mark Time. Order to march at place without advancing.
  • Kaarto oikeaan/vasempaan (tahdissa/)—MARS: Order to wheel either to right or left. The unit reduces marching speed to half steps. The kulmamies marks time while turning ( or in case of a road/path follows the edge at very small steps) and the unit begins to pivot around him until the command Eteen—PÄIN is given. Here the preparatory Eteen part also acts as an executive by ordering the front of the formation to resume moving forward, while the executive PÄIN then resumes normal marching speed when the whole formation is aligned to the new direction. Tahdissa or Ilman tahtia is given if the unit is standing still before the command is issued.
  • Eteen—PÄIN: Order to halt wheeling and to continue marching to the direction where the unit is heading. The kulmamies will start to march forward and the others will follow him.
  • Mars—MARS: Double march. The soldiers will run. Used when soldiers are not in formation.
  • Oikeaan—MARS: Right incline. The soldiers march inclining 45 deg to right. Called while marching.
  • Tielle—MARS: Left incline. The soldiers march incliing 45 deg to left. Called while marching.
  • Osasto—SEIS [Yks Kaks]: Halt. The unit will halt their move, taking two steps and ending in attention.
  • Eteen—VIE: Present arms. Soldiers bring rifles to the rifle salute.
  • Olalle—VIE: Shoulder arms. Soldiers bring rifles back to their shoulders.
  • Jalalle—VIE: Stand arms. Soldiers bring rifles to their side with the rifle butt on ground. Not used with RK62.
  • Selkään—VIE: Carry arms. Soldiers bring their rifles to their back with strap diagonally from left shoulder to right hip.
  • Lakki—PÄÄSTÄ: Off Caps. Soldiers take their headgear off and present them at their belt buckle.
  • Lakki—PÄÄHÄN: On Caps. Soldiers put their headgear back to their heads.


See fr:Ordre serré (in French)


The Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Bundeswehr, use a basis of commands for all three service branches. The Army (Deutsches Heer) and Air Force (Luftwaffe) use the same commands; the German Navy (Deutsche Marine) has a number of additional commands for duty on a ship. The German "Guards Battalion" of the Federal Department of Defense ("Wachbataillon" beim Bundesministerium der Verteidigung) also have additional commands for honorary duties (Protokolldienst). The Wachbataillon commands mentioned below are only an excerpt of the latter's regulations.

The basic commands are usually divided into two parts, the announcement that a command is to follow (Ankündigungskommando) and the executory command (Ausführungskommando). The entire process is called Kommandosprache (lit. "command language"). These are the basic commands, the Ausführungskommando is in bold:

  • Kompanie/Zug/Gruppe/Abteilung, stillgestanden: (lit. company/platoon/group/squad, stand still): The soldier (or respective detail, announcement usually with the attached number or name, e.g. 8. Kompanie) is to stand at Attention.
  • Achtung (lit. Attention): Similar to the above, but soldier(s) are to turn their front either towards the soldier calling the command or a superior who is being reported to. Therefore not used in formation, in contrast to stillgestanden, but as means of preparation for either disciplining of subordinates, forming formation or reporting to a superior (e.g. upon entering a room of subordinates or as supervisory authority). Often divided into syllables to create the executory command, sometimes even with attached prefix (3. Gruppe, Ach-tung).
  • Richt Euch: (lit. line yourselves up): The formation, except the very right 3 Men turn their heads to the right to align themselves.
  • (Die) Augen gerade-aus: (lit. eyes straight ahead) The formation returns their heads to face front.
  • Kompanie/Zug/Gruppe/Abteilung, Rührt Euch (lit. move yourselves): The Soldier (or respective detail) stands at ease by joining their hands behind their back, right hand resting against the back, right thumb locked over left wrist and moving their right foot approximately 20 cm—30 cm to the right. If armed, the individual's left hand is kept at the thigh, the rifle remains being strapped on the right shoulder unless ordered otherwise beforehand (additional Wachbataillon command, see below).
  • Kompanie/Zug/Gruppe/Abteilung, habt acht: (lit. be alert or fig. have respect) Soldier (or the respective detail) assumes a posture mixed between Rührt euch and Stillgestanden: The hands, fingers outstretched but touching another, stay on the sides of the thighs as in Stillgestanden, right foot assumes Rührt euch position. Used by the Wachbataillon during special ceremonies, yet included in the general honorary duties regulations.
  • Das Gewehr über: (lit. rifle across) Rifle is either taken from the shoulder and set down at the left foot or taken from that position to be thrown over the right shoulder and locked in place, therefore a combination of the American Shoulder/Order, arms (Wachbataillon command).
  • Achtung, präsentiert das Gewehr: (lit. attention, present rifle) Rifle salute (Wachbataillon command).
  • Gewehr ab: (lit. rifle, down) Rifle is brought down to the side of the left foot, equivalent to the American Order, arms .
  • (Paradeaufstellung, etc.) Achtung, präsen-tiert: (lit. [formation commanded to a parade, etc.], attention, present) Rifle salute (outside the Wachbataillon).
  • Rechts/Links um: (lit. right/left around) Right/Left Face, 90°, left heel serves as the pivot.
  • Abteilung kehrt: (lit. squad, turn) About face, 180°, left heel serves as pivot. Squad/Abteilung is not meant to address a specific number of individuals.
  • Im Gleichschritt Marsch: (lit. in step, march) The soldiers march in step, beginning with the left foot at approx. 114–116 steps a minute. Fingers are outstretched, thumb pressed flat against the hand. As the arms swing, hands are brought up to a point just below the navel, about a hand width away from the stomach.
  • Ohne Tritt Marsch: (lit. without step, march) Marching without being in step, suitable for long marches and bridges etc.
  • Links/Rechts schwenkt Marsch: (lit. wheel left/right ) Used to indicate the beginning of a left/right-turn motion of the whole formation in half step (up to 180°), with the pivot at the point indicated by Marsch. As the three soldiers at the very front reach the desired angle, gerade (lit. straight) is called, on which the turn is completed and the formation keeps walking in that direction. Once the whole formation has passed the pivot, aus (here, lit. on or ahead, thus straight ahead) lets it return to full step.
  • Rechts/Links ran: (lit. [move] near [the] right/left) Similar to the British Right/Left incline but called and executed while marching. Suitable for giving additional way to traffic passing in a narrow road, etc., otherwise rarely used.
  • Abteilung (called on left foot), halt: Formation halts by taking two last steps after "Halt" and pulling the right foot towards the left, ending up in Stillgestanden. Close to the British Halt.
  • Zur Meldung/Zum Ein(Aus-)marsch der Truppenfahne, Augen rechts: (lit. for the report/for the entrance(procession) of colours, eyes right) usually followed by the report to a superior by the commander of the formation, followed by the soldiers turning their heads freely to watch the colours being carried to their predestined place of the formation or away from it. Subsequently followed by Augen geradeaus. Platoon leaders and above within formation salute with heads turned/turning; in case of colours being carried, all soldiers of the rank of Sergeant and above outside formation do so as well while keeping their front towards (thus, if necessary, following) the flag(s). In both cases, hands are brought down on Augen geradeaus.
  • Zur Meldung/Zum Einmarsch der Truppenfahne die Augen links: the article die is used to indicate that the command links (left) is to follow.
  • Wegtreten (lit. step away): Dismissed/Fall out, introduced by an About face/Abteilung kehrt.
  • Antreten (lit. step up): Fall in.


During the British Raj the Indian Armed Forces essentially used the British (English language) drill commands. Soon after independence, the drill commands were Indianised. The official language of the armed forces is Hindi and thus Hindi words were used where ever possible. Some of the state police units however still continue to use British drill commands.

  • Line Ban: Fall In
  • Line Thod: Fall out
  • Savdhan: Attention
  • Hilo Matt: Stand Still or Don't Move
  • Vishram: Stand at-ease,rest-position
  • Aaram Se: Stand easy (but no talking or shifting from the current place)
  • Sajj-Dahine Sajj: Dress-Right Dress
  • Sajj-Bah(y)en Sajj: Dress-Left Dress
  • Khuli Line chal: Open order march
  • Nikat Line chal: Close order march
  • Salami Shastr: Present Arms. The English words "General Salute" is used, but "National Salute" has been replaced with Rashtriya Salute
  • Baaju Shastr: Order Arms
  • Bagal Shastr: Shoulder Arms. On this command rifles are thrown up using the right hand. It is caught by using both the left hand, and the right. The rifle would be in an elevated position, so that the soldier can put a finger into the trigger guard, and hold the rifle firmly. The left hand is then snapped to the left side.
  • Bayen Shastr: Port Arms
  • Oonch Bayen Shastr: High Port Arms. Rifles are held above the head.
  • Shok Shastr: Mourn Arms
  • Ulte Shastr: Reverse Arms. The rifles are held tightly under the left arms with the barrel facing backwards. The soldier's right hand would be used to hold the barrel steady at the back. Used when escorting funeral caskets/gun carriages etc.
  • Dahine/Bhah(y)e/Peechhe Mud: Right/Left/About Turn
  • Tham: Halt
  • Tez Chal: Quick march. For breaking into quick time from slow time, the command would be Tez Chal Mein... Tez Chal..
  • Dheere Chal: Slow march. For breaking into slow time from quick time, the command would be Dheere Chal Mein... Dheere Chal..
  • Daudke Chal: Super quick time, or running
  • Parade Teeno-teen mein dahine/baye chalega...: Move to the right/left in columns of threes. This command is given just before the orders to actually execute the turn.
  • Kooch kar: Take charge. Usually given when a senior officer wants someone junior to him to take charge of the parade/company/troop. On hearing this command, the junior officer would take a step forward, salute and then about turn to the men on parade.
  • Parade par: On Parade. Usually given during parades, when certain officers/JCOs/NCOs who would be standing as a separate group, is to march up to stand in front of the troops coming under them.
  • Hoshiar: Stand to. This command is essentially used at the quarter guard when the sentry senses any danger (or is ordered by the duty officer/JCO to test the alertness of the guard). The sentry is to shout out thrice Guard Hoshiar, and within this time period the members of the quarter guard must run out of the guard room and occupy their pre-determined positions.
  • Visarjan: Dismiss
  • Dahine Dekh: Eyes right
  • Ba(h)yen Dekh: Eyes left
  • Saamne Dekh: Eyes front


In Indonesia, marching and drills are regulated in a government approved system which is called Peraturan Baris Berbaris or PBB which means "Regulations of Drills and Marching", this is a regulation which is widely used in Indonesia starting from Educational uses in schools, colleges, scouts etc. to the Defense Forces like Military and Police and firefighters. The PBB is taught all over Indonesia starting from Primary, Secondary, and Senior Schools mentored by members of the military or other organizations. This is also used in Ceremonial occasions in Indonesia which is usually for commemorating the Independence day, flag raising ceremony, etc. Note that in Indonesia, all commands end with 3 words according to the command given: Ger-AK! which is shouted by the commander which tells the participants to act or do the drill command given by the commander, Jal-AN! is also ordered for moving commands like marching, and Mul-AI!, is to give order to Start the command/order given. For military commands, it is usually added the word Senjata which means Arms but differs according to which type of command is given. It is recommended for any commander which would order commands for a drill has to say Pimpinan, Saya Ambil Alih which means: Commanding drill, I take hold, this is to ensure the participants of the drill or parade to know that the commands are given by the regarding person/commander. If the commander gives a command by mistake, the commander should say Ulangi which means: As you were. There are such commands that are given throughout drills in Indonesia such as:

  • Siap, Gerak: Attention. For soldiers while carrying arms, is to position order arms which is the arms beside the right leg while the butt of the rifle is touching the ground and the barrel is held by the soldier's right hand.
  • Istirahat Ditempat, Gerak: Stand at ease/stand easy. Is done by putting both arm at the back while opening the legs about 5 cm distance from each foot.
  • Lenchang kanan, Gerak: Dress Right. Is done by straightening the right arm to the right facing the person beside for making accuracy of each person's distance.
  • Setengah Lengan Lenchang kanan, Gerak: Half Right Dress. This means that the person should only make a half waist starting arm to the right to make a shorter distance from the normal right dress.
  • Tegak, Gerak: Eyes front. In this command, the person would put the arm back to attention.
  • Tegak Senjata, Gerak: Order Arms. In this command the soldier would place the arms to the position of attention
  • Pundak Kiri Senjata, Gerak: Slope Arms
  • Tangan Kanan/Kiri Senjata, Gerak: Left/Right Shoulder Arms
  • Hormat, Gerak: Salute. This command is given for the hand salute without arms/weapon/rifle
  • Hormat Senjata, Gerak: Present Arms. Given when using arms
  • Kepada ......., Hormat/Hormat Senjata, Gerak: For/to the ....., Salute/Present Arms. Is ordered to present arms or salute to the object for the salutation. For example: Salute to the National Flag of Indonesia, so it is given order: Kepada Sang/Bendera Merah Putih, Hormat/Hormat Senjata, Gerak. Sang Merah Putih is the name for the heirloom flag, Bendera Merah Putih is the name for the normal flag. If the ceremony is taking place in a normal ceremony, the command is given Hormat, Gerak (Salute), but if the command is taking place in a military occasion/ceremony, the command is Hormat Senjata, Gerak (Present Arms).
  • Pasang Sangkur, Gerak: Fix Bayonet to the Rifle. This command is only given to/for the military before a ceremony starts which commands the soldiers to fix their bayonets to the rifle.
  • Jalan Ditempat, Gerak: Walk at place. Is done by the participants to raise the legs right and left repeatedly about 90 degrees angle in a tempo per beat.
  • Hadap Kanan, Gerak: Right turn. Is done in 3 steps, first placing the left foot in front of the right foot towards in a 40 degree angle, second turn the right foot with the body 90 degree until facing to the right, third is to place the left foot together with the right foot and stand at attention.
  • Hadap Kiri, Gerak: Left turn.
  • Hadap Serong Kanan/Kiri, Gerak: is to turn the body 40 degree angle to the right/left with 3 steps similar to the normal turns.
  • Balik Kanan, Gerak: About Turn. This is to turn 180 degree to the right with 3 steps but the first step is to place the left foot further in front of the right foot, then to turn the right foot 180 degree to the right, and finally to place the left foot beside the right foot and stand at attention
  • Langkah Tegap Maju, Jalan: Forward March. In Indonesia the marching is different with other countries, it is done with the Goose step method and followed by the swinging of the arm right and left following British and Dutch practice. For soldiers, it is done while in the Slope Arms or Port Arms position on the march while using only the right hand swinging (in the slope arms position) or with both hands holding the weapon (in the port arms position).
  • Hormat Kanan, Gerak: Saluting on the march, Eyes Right. This is done while marching on parade. All officers either salute their sabers or execute a hand salute when this command is done, all others except the right file turn their heads to the right.
  • Maju, Jalan: Marching without Goose step and swinging the arm not fully 90 degrees but only 40 degrees, following British practice
  • Henti, Gerak: Halt
  • Satu/Dua/Tiga/Empat Langkah ke Kiri/Kanan/Depan/Belakang, Gerak: This is ordering the participant to move one, two, three, or four steps to the right, left, Front, or Back/Rear. For this command, it is maximum for only four times and not more.
  • Belok Kiri/Kanan, Jalan: In the marching formation, the commander gives this command to order the marching platoon to march while turning to the right or left to take a different direction. This formation is done like a closing door which is done in a 90 degree angle moving formation
  • Haluan Kiri/Kanan, Mulai: In the marching formation, this is done while doing the "walk at place" movement but the participant should move in a formation that should make the platoon face in a different direction to the right/left. This is the most tricky drill for a platoon
  • Melintang Kiri/Kanan, Mulai: This is done by first doing the normal turn individually for every participant in the one platoon according to the command, then the turn should be the opposite of the command, then after that doing the Haluan command.
  • Panji-Panji: The Colour
  • Pasukan: Troops/Parade
  • Pemeriksaan Pasukan: Troops/Parade Inspection
  • Lapor: Report
  • Laksanakan: Implement
  • Lanjutkan: Continue/Carry On
  • Bubar: Dismiss
  • Bubarkan: Please Dismiss. Is usually ordered from the ceremony inspector to the ceremony commander to dismiss the assembled troops after finishing a ceremony/parade

And there are more types of command in the marching/drill activity of Indonesia which is widely used in the country in all levels. This tradition dates from the early days of national independence.


In the Irish Defence Forces, foot and arms drill commands are given in the Irish language.

Irish language is the primary language when a body of soldiers is on the square, but in cases where live ammunition is used or where gun drill for live ammunition practice or deployment is being carried out, English commands are used to ensure that the order is fully understood. Examples of this substitution would be mounting the guard or artillery gun drill. Because foot and arm drill commands are passed down by word of mouth through training, the Irish commands have become distorted from their original pronunciations. In the same way that has occurred in the British Army (the subject of many parodies with screaming Sergeant Majors), words of command lose their defined pronunciation; examples being Aire (Arra) which often becomes Ahha and Cle (Kley) which is sometimes distorted to Hey or Huy.

A list of Irish Commands follows.

  • Meitheal: Party
  • Gasra: Section
  • Buíonn: Platoon
  • Complacht: Company
  • Cathlain: Battalion
  • Paráid: Parade
  • Rang: Rank
  • Aire: Attention
  • Seasáig ar Áis: Stand at Ease
  • Ar Socracht: Stand Easy
  • Le Heathraimh Ó Dheis-Deasaíg: With Intervals-Right Dress
  • Ó Dheis-Deasaíg: Right-Dress
  • Dearcaig Fó Dheis (Clé): Eyes Right (Left)
  • Dearcaig Romhaibh: Eyes Front
  • Ag Iompó: Turning (precedes the following commands)
  • Deas Iompaíg: Right Turn
  • Clé Iompaíg: Left Turn
  • Iompaíg Thart: About Turn
  • Leathdeas Iompaíg: Half Right Turn
  • Leathchlé Iompaíg: Half Left Turn
  • Do Réir Dheis (Clé): By the Right (left)
  • Go Mear Máirseáil: Quick March
  • Go Mall Máirseáil: Slow March
  • Clúdaíg: Cover (replace head dress)
  • Díclúdaíg: Uncover (remove head dress)
  • Stad: Stop
  • Greadaíg Fuibh: Mark Time
  • Ar Aghaidh: Forward
  • Dhá Choiscéim Ar Aghaidh Máirseáil: Two paces forward March
  • Dhá Choiscéim Ar Ais Máirseáil: Two paces Backward March
  • Oscail Na Ranga Máirseáil: Open Ranks March
  • Dún Na Ranga Máirseáil: Close Ranks March
  • Ar Sodar Máirseáil: Double March
  • Luigh Isteach: Fall In
  • Luigh Amach: Fall Out
  • Scaipig: Dismissed (Mounting or dismounting the guard)
  • Chun Mall Chéim Athraigh Go Mall Máirseáil: Break into Slow Time, Slow March
  • Chun Mear Chéim Athraigh Go Mear Máirseáil: Break into Quick Time, Quick March
  • Ar Dheis(Chlé) i Line Teigh: On the Right Form a Line
  • Athraíg Treo Fó Dheis (Chlé) Deas Chasaigh: Change Direction Right (Left) Right (Left) Wheel
  • Cúirtéis: Salute
  • Ó Dheis, Comhraigh: From the Right, Number
  • Socair: Steady
  • Mar a Bhí: As you Were

Arms Drill

Gaeilge: English

  • Tairgig Airm: Present Arms
  • Iompraígh Airm: Carry Arms
  • Chun Cigireachta Taispeánaig Airm: For Inspection Port Arms
  • Bogaig Tuailimí: Ease Springs
  • Tógaig Airm: Pick Up Arms
  • Garda: Guard
  • Lucht Dualgas: Security Duty
  • Lódáil: Load
  • Lámhach: Fire
  • Réidh: Ready
  • Dílódáil: Unload
  • Aisiompaíg Airm: Reverse Arms
  • Ar Airm Aisiompaithe Lúig: Rest on Arms Reversed

Using this, the order for a platoon of soldiers to go from the halt to a quick march would be

"Rachaidh an Buionn cun cionn, de reir dheis, go mar marseaill" etc.

Public displays of foot and arms drill by the Defence Forces are not common but are not unusual. A guard of honour is usually detailed by the Defence Forces to act on state occasions, and occasions of local importance, especially those where the President is present, or where the Defence Forces have specific interest. Examples of those events televised would be the 1916 Rising commemorations and the National Day of Remembrance. Units of the Defence Forces also march in the annual St Patricks Day Parade in the towns or cities where they are stationed, a tradition which they have continued on overseas postings.

Foot and arms drill commands are taught using a formulaic method known as the Screed. Drill instructors are usually of the rank of corporal, and ability to teach drill movements by the screed is one of the skills which must be attained prior to promotion to this rank. The Screed usually begins "Taking you a stage further in your foot/arms drill I will now teach you the … Irish word of command…" and includes instructor demonstrations and time set aside for soldiers in the recruit sections to practice the movement in pairs on the square. Although this system is meant to teach movements correctly and quickly, and set a standard of foot and arms drill throughout the forces, it is not favoured by many drill instructors who see it as too rigid, promoting an atmosphere of mindless obeyance which fails to produce good soldiers who can think for themselves.

For practical and historical reasons, the foot and arms drill of the Irish Army remains similar to that of the British Army.


The Italian Armed Forces use a basis of commands for all four service branches. The Army (Esercito Italiano), Air Force (Aeronautica Militare) e Carabinieri use the same commands; the Navy (Marina Militare) has a number of additional commands for duty on a ship. The Bersaglieri also have additional commands for their parade double march. The basic commands are usually divided into two parts, the announcement that a command is to follow and the executory command.


  • At-TENTI: at attention.
  • Ri-POSO: stand easy.
  • Fianco sinist/dest, SINIST/DEST or fronte sinist/dest, FRUNT: turn 90 degrees to the left/right.
  • Dietro FRONT: turn 180 degrees to face the opposite direction (always turning to the left).
  • Presentat ARM: present arms.
  • Fianc ARM: order arms.
  • Tracoll ARM: the rifle is carried diagonally in front of the body by both hands.
  • Rompere le righe, MARSC: soldiers drop out of formation.


  • Singolo/sezione/squadra/plotone/compagnia/battaglione avanti MARSC: soldier or respective detail marches in beginning with the left foot, at 130 steps a minute (110 for Alpini and Granatieri di Sardegna, 140 for Bersaglieri).
  • Singolo/sezione/squadra/plotone/compagnia/battaglione ALT: the entire formation stop from marching.
  • Segnare il passo: marching in place.
  • Attenti a SINIST/DEST: eyes left/right.
  • Fissi: eyes front.
  • Obbligo a SINIST/DEST: every individual executes a 45-degree pivot to the left/right while marching.
  • Sinistra/destra MARSC: while the entire formation is marching, it executes a series of turns depending on their position. The goal of this movement is to get the entire formation to turn 90 degrees to the left/right.

Russian Federation[edit]

Russian drill commands are similar to the German military commands of old but are spoken in Russian and are divided into unarmed and armed drill. These commands are commonly heard nowadays during the Victory Day parades every May 9, but are heard during parades and ceremonies of the various national military, police and civil defense units, and youth uniformed and cadet organizations.

Some principal commands without arms:

  • СТАНОВИСЬ (stanavis') or СМИРНО (smirna): standing straight, looking forward and not moving.
  • ВОЛЬНО (vol'na): loosening any one leg in the knee but not stepping aside and not talking.
  • Напра-ВО (napra-VO), Нале-ВО (nale-VO), Кру-ГОМ (kru-GOM): while standing, turning 90 degrees to the right, 90 degrees to the left, and 180 degrees executed to the left.
  • Правое/Левое плечо, вперёд-МАРШ!
    (Pravoye/Levoye plecho, vperyod-MARSH, Right/Left shoulder, facing forward-MARCH!) on march, a complicated movement the entire formation turns left or right respectively whilst keeping the same people in the same positions. Similar to American military's Column right.
  • Строевым шагом—МАРШ (stroyevym shagom—MARSH): start parade march.
  • Шагом—МАРШ (shagom—MARSH): start route march.


The Singapore Armed Forces (plus the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Civil Defence Force) use a unified system of drill commands across all three service branches. Formal commands are issued in Malay with informal conversation conducted in English. All drills are performed with feet stomping unless specifically instructed to perform "silent drills". Singapore's cadet organizations also use the same commands.E.g NPCC, NCC, Red cross.... Malaysia and Brunei both follow a nearly identical system of commands.

  • 'SKUAD' Means squads in malay
  • Sedi-A: Stand at Attention. Elbows locked, eyes stare forward, chin up. No movement.
  • Kekanan lu-rus: Face to the right, Dress
  • Kekiri lu-rus: Face to the left, Dress
  • Keblakang/Kedalam lu-rus: Above face/Inward, Dress
  • Betulkan Barisan: Dress Up
  • Senang di-Ri: Stand at Ease. Legs placed shoulder width apart, hands behind backs, right hand over left hand, fingers straightened. Eyes still forward, looking up, no talking.
  • Diam: Steady. To freeze at wherever you are and stop talking.Also to get back to Senang di-Ri positions with locked elbows.
  • Rehatkan di-RI: Stand Easy
  • Begerak Ke-kanan/kiri, bertiga-tiga, Ke-kanan/kiri Pu-sing: Move to the right/left, three by three, right/left turn. "Kiri" and "Kanan" stand for left and right respectively. They are interchangeable in commands. "Bertiga-tiga" is also given in context, depending on how many rows deep the formation is. Three by three stands for the standard formation depth of three rows. "Dalam dua/empat barisan" would be used for two and four rows respectively.
  • Mengadap Ka-hadapan, Ka-kanan/kiri Pu-sing: (Parade will) Advance, right/left turn
  • Mengadap Ka-belakang, Ka-belakang Pu-sing: (Parade will) Retire, About Turn
  • Diam: Steady. To freeze at wherever you are and stop talking.
  • Ma-JU: Forward
  • Dari kiri/kanan, perlahan jalan: by the left/right, slow march
  • Dari kiri/kanan, cepat jalan: by the left/right, quick march
  • Dari tengah, perlahan/cepat jalan: by the center, slow/quick march
  • Akan mara untuk diperhatikan semula, dari tengah, cepat jalan: Advance in review order, by the center, quick march
  • Berhen-TI: halt
  • Hentak kaki, cepat hen-TAK: Quick Mark time
  • Hentak kaki, perlahan hen-TAK: slow mark time
  • Hormat senja-TA: Present, Arms. Salutes are given to:
The President of Singapore: Hormat Presiden
The Prime Minister of Singapore: Hormat Perdana Menteri
The Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore: Hormat Timbalan Perdana Menteri
Cabinet Ministers: Hormat Menteri
visiting dignitaries
Military Colours of the SAF/SPF/SCDF: Hormat Panji Panji
unit commanders: Hormat Panglima
other officers and dignitaries: Hormat Sedia
All those commands for salutes are shouted before giving the command to present arms.
  • Sendang, senja-TA: Slope Arms
  • Rusok, senja-TA: Shoulder Arms
  • Turun, senja-TA: Order Arms (Only with the M16 rifle or flag party)
  • Khalid, senja-TA : Transfer arms from right to left arm/ left to right arm (SAR 21 rifle only, for pledge-taking)
  • Tatang, senja-Ta: Port Arms
  • Julang, senja-Ta: High Port Arms
  • Baring, senja-Ta: Ground Arms
  • Angkat, senja-Ta: Take Up Arms
  • Kiri/Kanan be-LOK: Left/Right Wheel
  • Dari Kanan/Kiri/Belakang, BILANG: number off from the right/left/rear.
  • Ke-kiri/kanan, pu-SING: Left/Right Turn.
  • Keblakang pu-Sing: About Turn
  • Dari Kiri/Kanan, Pandang kekiri/kekanan pan-DANG: By the Right/Left, Eyes Left/Right
  • Hormat ke hadapan, hor-MAT: Saluting to the front at a halt. This is then followed by a subsequent about turn.
  • Hormat kekiri/kekanan hor-Mat: Saluting at the halt to the left/right
  • Skuad, Keluar-BARIS: Squad, fall out
  • Bersurai: Dismiss

As for sizing these are the commands that need to be executed (these are in fact nearly identical to the British 'form up' commands);

  • Yang Tinggi Ke Kanan, Rendah ke Kiri, Dalam Satu Barisan Paras: Fall out. Then arrange yourselves from right to left, from the tallest to shortest.
  • Dari Kanan, Be Dua Bilang: from the right, shout 1 and 2.
  • Nombor Ganjil Satu Langkah Kehadapan, Nombor Genap Satu Langkah Ke Belakang, Gerak: Odd number move 1 step forward, even numbers move 1 step backward, march.
  • Orang di Sebelah Kanan Diam. Nombor Ganjil Bergerak Ke Kanan, Nombor Genap Bergerak Ke Kiri. Barisan, Ke Kanan Dan Ke Kiri Pu-SING: The right person stay put. Odd number turn to their right while even numbers turn to their left.
  • Jadikan Tiga Barisan, cepat jalan: March to form three rows.

Spanish speaking countries[edit]

Spain and Spanish speaking nations of Latin America have all parade commands in the Spanish language both in unarmed and armed drill as well as in marching and saluting. These commands are common in almost all countries. In Mexico, the suffix ya is used after every command, while in Spanish countries of South America the suffix ar (short for armas) is used for armed drill while the suffix mar (short for marcha or marchen) is used for marching drill and the suffix al (short for alto) is used to call to a halt.

Unarmed drill[edit]

  • Atencion, Firm (or Firmes): Attention
  • Soldado (Escuadra, Pelotón, Compañía, etc.)... Atencion, Fir/Firmes: Solder (Squad, Platoon, Company, etc.), Attention
  • A Discrecion (or in Cuba, En su lugar, Descansen or Descanso): Stand at Ease
  • Retirar: Dismiss
  • Alinear: Dress (left or right)
  • Cubrirse: Form Up
  • Numerarse: Count Off
  • Saludo: Salute
  • Continuar: Continue, carry on
  • Vista a la de... re/iz ... quierda/quier: Eyes Right/Left
  • Vista al.. fren: Eyes Front/Above Face
  • Con vista a la derecha—izquierda ... Saludo: Eyes Right/Left, Salute
  • A la de ... re /iz... quier: Left/Right Face/Turn
  • Media.... vuel: Above Face/Turn

Armed and firing drill (the latter for ceremonial occasions like funerals)[edit]

  • Al hombro, Ar: Slope/Shoulder, Arms
  • Al hombro derecho/izquierdo, Ar: Left Shoulder/Right Shouler Arms
  • Portan/Al pecho, Ar: Port Arms
  • (Atencion) presenten,... Ar: Present Arms
  • Descansen, Ar: Order Arms
  • Revisten, Ar: Inspection Arms
  • Arma en balanza: Balance Arms
  • Calar al Bayoneta: Fix Bayonets
  • Fuego: Fire
  • Apunten: Ready
  • Recarguen : Reload

Marching drill[edit]

Marchen is the standard Spanish word for March, but the marching commands may vary, with mar being used as a shorthand command.

  • Marquen el paso, Mar - Mark Time, March
  • De frente, Mar - Forward, March
  • Al trote/Paso ligero, Mar - Double March
  • Paso lento, Mar - Slow March
  • A la derecha/izquierda, de frente, Mar - To the left/right, Forward, March
  • Media vuleta, Mar - About Turn March
  • Cambien el paso, Mar - Changing march pace, March
  • Columna de uno/dos/tres/etc... Mar - Columns of one, two, three, four, etc... March


While marching all commands are given on the left foot and carried out the next time the left foot hits the ground. When given forward march and halting everyone does a "marschanträde" which is done by slamming the foot down.


  • Giv AKT: Stand at attention (lit. give attention)
  • Lystring STÄLL: Stand at ease, look forward
  • Manöver: Stand at easy, quiet conversations are allowed
  • Lediga: Stand however you want, conversations are allowed


  • Höger OM: Turn 90 degrees to the right
  • Vänster OM: Turn 90 degrees to the left
  • Helt OM: Turn 180 degrees to face the opposite direction (always turning to the left)
  • Rättning (HÖGER/VÄNSTER/MITT ÅT): The soldiers turn their heads to the (left/right/center), and correct their position in the formation.
  • Åt (höger/vänster) SE: The soldiers turn their heads to the (right/left).
  • Mitt ÅT: Return to standard posture. Mostly used after "Rättning".


  • Framåt MARSCH: Forward march.
  • Giv AKT: Everyone slams their feet on the next left foot, this is called a "marschanträde" and is done after every command as a sign that it has been understood and once again when the move is completed.
  • Avdelning HALT: Halt.
  • Vänster om HALT: Halt, then turn to the left (this command is given on the right foot).
  • Vänster om MARSCH: The whole formation turns 90 degrees to the left and continues to march.
  • Höger om MARSCH: The whole formation turns 90 degrees to the right and continues to march.
  • Dubbelt till vänster MARSCH: The whole formation turns 180 degrees to the right and continues to march.
  • Dubbelt till höger MARSCH: The whole formation turns 180 degrees to the right and continues to march.
  • Ryck in MARSCH: The soldiers turn 180 degrees (to the left), take four steps forward and then starts jogging. This is only done at Stockholm palace.
  • Språng MARSCH: Jogging march (lit. Running march).

Armed drill

  • Skyldra GEVÄR: The soldiers execute a hand or rifle salute and hold it until given another command
  • I armen GEVÄR: The rifle is placed under the arm with the muzzle resting against the shoulder. The right hand holds the pistol grip of the rifle.
  • På axeln GEVÄR: The rifle is placed on the left shoulder. The right hand holds the butt of the rifle and the forearm is parallel to the ground, also keeping a 90-degree angle between the forearm and arm.
  • Parad bajonett PÅ: Orders the soldiers to fasten bayonets.
  • Parad bajonett AV: Orders the soldiers to remove bayonets.

Mounted and sabre drill
This is only done by the Royal guards.

  • Färdiga för uppsittning: Get ready to mount horses.
  • Sitt UPP: Mount your horses
  • Färdiga för avsittning: Get ready to dismount.
  • Sitt AV: Dismount, the soldiers swing their right leg over the horse and removes the left stirrup. Thus hanging by hands from the saddle.
  • NER: Jump down from the horse.
  • UppSTÄLL: (after dismounting and inspection) the Soldiers form three lines while jogging 13 steps forward.
  • Parad GEVÄR... UT: At the first part the soldiers grab their sabres, at the command "UT" they take out the sabres.
  • Parad GEVÄR... NER: At the first part the soldier ready their sabres to be sheathed, at the command "NER" the sheath their sabres.
  • På axeln GEVÄR: Put the sabre to the shoulder.
  • I handen GEVÄR: Put the rifle in your hand.
  • I remmen GEVÄR: Put the rifle in its sling.
  • Plantera GEVÄR: Place the rifle in its holder, this is only done at Stockholm palace
  • Ta GEVÄR: Take the rifle from its holder, this is only done at Stockholm palace.


  • Струнко (stroon-KO): Attention (when called while marching, the ranks start marching in step)
  • Спочинь (spoh-CHIN): At ease (left foot slightly forward, resting on the right foot, no talking. Allowed to switch feet, during prolonged periods)
  • Праворуч (pravo-ROOCH): Right face (if given while marching, the command should fall on the right step, after which one more step is made with the left foot and then a pivot to the right, starting marching again from the right foot)
  • Ліворуч (livo-ROOCH): Left face (if given while marching, the command should fall on the left step, after which one more step is made with the right foot and then a pivot to the left, starting marching again from the left foot)
  • Обернись (оber-NIS): About face (turn around to the left; if given while marching, the command should fall on the left step, after which one more step is made with the right foot and then a pivot about face and starting marching again in the opposite direction from the left foot)
  • Кроком руш (krokom ROOSH): Forward march
  • Вільно (Vil-NO): Relax (given either at halt or during marching—allows free movement and talking on the spot or in the marching rank)

United States[edit]

  • Left shoulder, ARMS: The rifle is placed on the left shoulder. The left hand holds the butt of the rifle and the forearm is parallel to the ground, also keeping a 90-degree angle between the forearm and arm.
  • Order, ARMS: Individuals bring their hand or rifle back down to their side.
  • Port, ARMS: The rifle is carried diagonally in front of the body by both hands.
  • Present, ARMS: Individuals execute a hand or rifle salute and hold it until given the command "order arms"
  • 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, also keeping a 90-degree angle between the forearm and arm.

  • [formation], ATTENTION: Individuals snap to the position in which they are standing straight, looking forward, and not moving. When called while in "Forward March" the formation will begin to march in cadence. The command "Route Step (forward), March" is given when there is no need to stay in step.
Drill and Ceremony: HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FM 3-21.5 (FM 22-5) contains most of the US Army and US Air Force drill commands, mostly different from the USMC's and the Navy's.

  • At ease: Individuals are permitted light movement given their right foot does not leave the ground; they are not allowed to talk.
  • At Rest: Individuals are permitted light movement and may also engage in quiet conversation as long as their right leg is planted on the ground.

  • Dress right, DRESS: Movement in which individuals except those on the extreme right side raise their left arms parallel to the ground and lock their heads to the right at a 45° angle in order to get the proper distance from each other. This is maintained until the command: "Ready, FRONT." At which point, the individuals return to the position of attention.

  • Cover: All persons using the right hand place their cover on their head on "Cover" and remove their hand from their cover on. (Not used in the Army)
  • COVER: Used to align to the person in front of them in formation, when used after the command "Uncover, TWO", all persons replace their cover and remain holding their cap with their right hand until "TWO" is given where they return to the position of attention. In the Army, this command has nothing to do with the soldiers' headgear. On the command of "Cover" the troops (except the front rank) raise their right arms straight out in front of them at shoulder level, with the hand and fingers extended, to acquire the proper distance of approximately 40 inches from the soldier in front of them.

  • About, FACE: A turn 180 degrees facing the opposite direction, executed to the right.
  • Half (Right/Left), FACE: A command given from a halt towards a formation to turn 45 degrees to the right or left as one unit
  • (Right/Left), FACE: A command given from a halt towards a formation to turn 90 degrees to the right or left as one unit

  • Fall in: Individuals form a formation at the position of attention, the basic drill position from which most commands are executed.
  • Fall out: Individuals drop out of formation. By custom, officers usually take a single step backward with their left foot. Non-commissioned officers break ranks but generally stay in the area unless dismissed.

  • Company/Platoon/Squad/Detail/Ready, HALT or in the Air Force, "Wing/Group/Squadron/Flight/Ready, HALT"- Used to stop a unit (formation) from marching by calling it either on the right or left foot.

  • Change step, MARCH: Individuals execute a movement in order to get on step with the formation.
  • Close ranks, MARCH: Movement in which the formation is restored to its normal interval. The first rank stays put, and the second takes one step forward, the third takes two steps forward, and so on.
  • Column right (called on the right foot and executed on the left foot), 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 90 degrees to the right while keeping the same people in the same positions known as column formation. On the command of execution "MARCH", the lead person faces to the right as in marching by pivoting to the right on the ball of the left foot and steps off to the right taking a 30-inch step with the right foot and continues to march. The number two person adjusts his or her step by lengthening or shortening as necessary to reach the approximate pivot point of the lead person. When he or she reaches the approximate pivot point of the lead person, he or she pivots to the right on the ball of the left foot taking a 30-inch step with the trail foot in the new direction. All other members step off with the right foot and continue to march forward taking 30-inch steps and execute in the same manner as the number two person in approximately the same place until the entire group has executed the column movement.
  • Column Half Right (Called on the right foot), MARCH: A 45-degree pivot to the right (left) while marching.
  • Column Left (called on the left foot and executed on the right foot), MARCH: A mirror image of a Column Right.
  • Counter-column, MARCH: The platoon is ordered to reverse direction while marching or from the halt. 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".
  • Double time, MARCH: Marching at twice the cadence of "Forward March;" 100 to 180 steps per minute something of a light jog. The unit is still required to keep in step.
  • Forward, MARCH: Individuals begin marching, from the left foot and a 30-inch step (Army) or 24-inch step (Air Force) at 120 steps per minute.
  • Left Flank, MARCH or simply "Left Flank, MARCH": A mirror image of a Right Flank.
  • Mark time, MARCH: Marching in place.
  • Open ranks, MARCH: Movement in which each row (rank/element) spreads out from another row. The last rank stays put, the second last takes one step, the third last takes two steps, etc. It is followed by an automatic "dress right, dress".
  • Right Flank, MARCH or simply "Right Flank, MARCH": The whole formation turns 90 degrees to the right and continues to march.
  • Right Oblique, MARCH: Every individual executes a 45-degree pivot to the right while marching.
  • Route step, MARCH: The formation is not required to march in step, but are required to stay aligned.
  • Steps to the Right (left), MARCH: Individuals take side steps to the right (left).
  • To the Rear, MARCH : A turn 180 degrees while marching, also executed to the right.

  • Recover: The right arm is dropped back to the side to return to the position of attention.

  • Parade, REST: Starting from the "attention" position, individuals move their left foot about 12 inches to the left, their right foot remains anchored. They bring 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.

  • Hand, SALUTE: Individuals raise and lower a hand salute. The amount time in between the words "hand" and "salute" must be the same amount of time in which the salute is held before being lowered.

  • Uncover: All persons using the right hand grab and remove their cover on "Uncover". (Not used in the Marine Corps or the Army.)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]