The Project Gutenberg EBook of Manual of Military Training, by James A. Moss

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: Manual of Military Training
       Second, Revised Edition

Author: James A. Moss

Release Date: September 26, 2008 [EBook #26706]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Brian Sogard, Chris Logan and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at

Manual of
Military Training





(Officially adopted by ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE [105] of our military schools and colleges.)

Intended, primarily, for use in connection with the instruction and training of Cadets in our military schools and colleges and of COMPANY officers of the National Army, National Guard, and Officers' Reserve Corps; and secondarily, as a guide for COMPANY officers of the Regular Army, the aim being to make efficient fighting COMPANIES and to qualify our Cadets and our National Army, National Guard and Reserve Corps officers for the duties and responsibilities of COMPANY officers in time of war.

Publishers Logo

Price $2.25



Army and College Printers


Copyright 1917


Jas. A. Moss

First impression (October, 1914) 10,000
Second impression (September, 1915) 10,000
Third impression (March, 1916) 10,000
Fourth impression (July, 1916) 10,000
Fifth impression (February, 1917) 3,000
Sixth impression (April, 1917) 4,000
First impression (May, 1917) 40,000
Second impression (August, 1917) 30,000
Third impression (November, 1917) 50,000
Total 167,000

Publishers and General Distributers


(Order from nearest one)

Boston, Mass. The Harding Uniform and Regalia Co., 22 School St.

Chicago, Ill. A. C. McClurg & Co.

Columbus, Ohio. The M. C. Lilley & Co.

Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
U. S. Cavalry Association.
Book Dept., Army Service Schools.

Fort Monroe, Va. Journal U. S. Artillery.

Kalamazoo, Mich. Henderson-Ames Co.

New York.
Baker & Taylor Co., 4th Ave.
Army and Navy Coöperative Co., 16 East 42nd St.
Ridabock & Co., 140 West 36th St.
Warnock Uniform Co., 16 West 46th St.

Philadelphia, Pa. Jacob Reed's Sons, 1424 Chestnut.

Portland, Ore. J. K. Gill Co.

San Antonio, Tex. Frank Brothers Alamo Plaza.

San Francisco, Cal. B. Pasquale Co., 115–117 Post St.

Washington, D. C.
Army and Navy Register, 511 Eleventh St. N. W.
Meyer's Military Shops, 1331 F. St. N. W.
U. S. Infantry Association, Union Trust Bldg.

PHILIPPINE ISLANDS: Philippine Education Co., Manila, P. I.

HAWAIIAN ISLANDS: Hawaiian News Co., Honolulu, H. T.

CANAL ZONE: Post Exchange, Empire, C. Z.


In order to learn thoroughly the contents of this manual it is suggested that you use in connection with your study of the book the pamphlet, "QUESTIONS ON MANUAL OF MILITARY TRAINING," which, by means of questions, brings out and emphasizes every point mentioned in the manual.

"QUESTIONS ON MANUAL OF MILITARY TRAINING" is especially useful to students of schools and colleges using the manual, as it enables them, as nothing else will, to prepare for recitations and examinations.

The pamphlet can be gotten from the publishers, Geo. Banta Publishing Co., Menasha, Wis., or from any of the distributers of "MANUAL OF MILITARY TRAINING." Price 50 cts., postpaid.

Cover Insert Fig. I Cover Insert Fig. I


Cover Insert Fig. II Cover Insert Fig. II


Cover Insert Fig. III Cover Insert Fig. III


Not only does this manual cover all the subjects prescribed by War Department orders for the Junior Division, and the Basic Course, Senior Division, of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, but it also contains considerable additional material which broadens its scope, rounding it out and making it answer the purpose of a general, all-around book, complete in itself, for training and instruction in the fundamentals of the art of war.

The Company is the basic fighting tactical unit—it is the foundation rock upon which an army is built—and the fighting efficiency of a COMPANY is based on systematic and thorough training.

This manual is a presentation of MILITARY TRAINING as manifested in the training and instruction of a COMPANY. The book contains all the essentials pertaining to the training and instruction of COMPANY officers, noncommissioned officers and privates, and the officer who masters its contents and who makes his COMPANY proficient in the subjects embodied herein, will be in every way qualified, without the assistance of a single other book, to command with credit and satisfaction, in peace and in war, a COMPANY that will be an efficient fighting weapon.

This manual, as indicated below, is divided into a Prelude and nine Parts, subjects of a similar or correlative nature being thus grouped together.

PRELUDE. The Object and Advantages of Military Training.
PART I. Drills, Exercises, Ceremonies, and Inspections.
PART II. Company Command.
PART III. Miscellaneous Subjects Pertaining to Company Training and Instruction.
PART IV. Rifle Training and Instruction.
PART V. Health and Kindred Subjects.
PART VI. Military Courtesy and Kindred Subjects.
PART VII. Guard Duty.
PART VIII. Military Organization.
PART IX. Map Reading and Sketching.

A schedule of training and instruction covering a given period and suitable to the local conditions that obtain in any given school or command, can be readily arranged by looking over the TABLE OF CONTENTS, and selecting therefrom such subjects as it is desired to use, the number and kind, and the time to be devoted to each, depending upon the time available, and climatic and other conditions.

It is suggested that, for the sake of variety, in drawing up a program of instruction and training, when practicable a part of each day or a part of each drill time, be devoted to theoretical work and a part to practical work, theoretical work, when possible, being followed by corresponding practical work, the practice (the doing of a thing) thus putting a clincher, as it were, on the theory (the explaining of a thing). The theoretical work, for example, could be carried on in the forenoon and the practical work in the afternoon, or the theoretical work could be carried on from, say, 8 to 9:30 a. m., and the practical work from 9:30 to 10:30 or 11 a. m.

Attention is invited to the completeness of the Index, whereby one is enabled to locate at once any point covered in the book.


The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance received in the revision of this Manual in the form of suggestions from a large number of officers on duty at our military schools and colleges, suggestions that enabled him not only to improve the Manual in subject-matter as well as in arrangement, but that have also enabled him to give our military schools and colleges a textbook which, in a way, may be said to represent the consensus of opinion of our Professors of Military Science and Tactics as to what such a book should embody in both subject-matter and arrangement.

Suggestions received from a number of Professors of Military Science and Tactics show conclusively that local conditions as to average age and aptitude of students, interest taken in military training by the student body, support given by the school authorities, etc., are so different in different schools that it would be impossible to write a book for general use that would, in amount of material, arrangement and otherwise, just exactly fit, in toto, the conditions, and meet the requirements of each particular school.

Therefore, the only practical, satisfactory solution of the problem is to produce a book that meets all the requirements of the strictly military schools, where the conditions for military training and instruction are the most favorable, and the requirements the greatest, and then let other schools take only such parts of the book as are necessary to meet their own particular local needs and requirements.


Jas. A. Moss

Camp Gaillard, C. Z.,
March 4, 1917.

[Pg 6]


    Par. No.
  Object of: Setting-Up Exercises, Calisthenics, Facings and Marchings, Saluting, Manual of Arms, School of the Squad, Company Drill, Close Order, Extended Order, Ceremonies, Discipline—Advantages: Handiness, Self-Control, Loyalty, Orderliness, Self-Confidence, Self-Respect, Training Eyes, Teamwork, Heeding Law and Order, Sound Body. 1–23
CHAPTER I. INFANTRY DRILL REGULATIONS—Definitions—General Remarks—General Rules for Drills and Formations—Orders, Commands, and Signals—School of the Soldier—School of the Squad—School of the Company—School of the Battalion—Combat—Leadership—Combat Reconnaissance—Fire Superiority—Fire Direction and Control—Deployment—Attack—Defense—Meeting Engagements—Machine Guns—Ammunition Supply—Mounted Scouts—Night Operations—Infantry Against Cavalry—Infantry Against Artillery—Artillery Supports—Minor Warfare—Ceremonies—Inspections—Muster—The Color—Manual of the Saber—Manual of Tent Pitching—Appendices A and B. 24–710
CHAPTER II. MANUAL OF THE BAYONET—Nomenclature and Description of the Bayonet—Instruction without the Rifle—Instruction with the Rifle—Instruction without the Bayonet—Combined Movements—Fencing Exercises—Fencing at Will—Lessons of the European War—The "Short point"—The "Jab." 711–824
CHAPTER III. MANUAL OF PHYSICAL TRAINING—Methods—Commands—Setting-Up Exercises—Rifle Exercises. 825–860
CHAPTER IV. SIGNALING—General Service Code—Wigwag—The Two-Arm Semaphore Code—Signaling with Heliograph, Flash Lanterns,[Pg 7] and Searchlight—Sound Signals—Morse Code. 861–866
CHAPTER I. GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION OF A COMPANY—Duties and Responsibilities of the Captain and the Lieutenants—Devolution of Work and Responsibility—Duties and Responsibilities of the First Sergeant and other Noncommissioned Officers—Contentment and Harmony—Efficacious Forms of Company Punishment—Property Responsibility—Books and Records. 867–909
CHAPTER II. DISCIPLINE—Definition—Methods of Attaining Good Discipline—Importance—Sound Discipline—Punishment—General Principles. 910–916
CHAPTER I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF COMPANY TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION—Object of Training and Instruction—Method and Progression—Individual Initiative—The Human Element—Art of Instruction on the Ground—Ocular Demonstration. 917–941
CHAPTER II. GENERAL COMMON SENSE PRINCIPLES OF APPLIED MINOR TACTICS—Art of War Defined—Responsibilities of Officers and Noncommissioned Officers in War—General Rules and Principles of Map Problems, Terrain Exercises, the War Game, and Maneuvers—Estimating the Situation—Mission. 942–953
CHAPTER IV. THE SERVICE OF INFORMATION—General Principles of Patrolling—Sizes of[Pg 8] Patrols—Patrol Leaders—Patrol Formations—Messages and Reports—Suggestions for Gaining Information about the Enemy—Suggestions for the Reconnaissance of Various Positions and Localities—Demolitions—Problems in Patrolling. 959–1019
CHAPTER V. THE SERVICE OF SECURITY—General principles—Advance Guard—Advance Guard Problems—Flank Guards—Rear Guard—Outposts—Formation of Outposts—Outguards—Flags of Truce—Detached Posts—Examining Posts—Establishing the Outpost—Outpost Order—Intercommunication—Outpost Problems. 1020–1079
CHAPTER VI. THE COMPANY ON OUTPOST—Establishing the Outpost. 1080
CHAPTER VII. THE COMPANY IN SCOUTING AND PATROLLING—Requisites of a Good Scout—Eyesight and hearing—Finding Way in Strange Country—What to do when Lost—Landmarks—Concealment and Dodging—Tracking—The Mouse and Cat Contest—Flag Stealing Contest. 1081–1090
CHAPTER VIII. NIGHT OPERATIONS—Importance—Training of the Company—Individual Training—Collective Training—Outposts. 1091–1108
CHAPTER IX. FIELD ENGINEERING—Bridges—Corduroying—Tascines—Hurdles—Brush Revetment—Gabions—Other Revetments—Knots—Lashings. 1109–1139
CHAPTER X. FIELD FORTIFICATIONS—Object—Classification—Hasty Intrenchments—Lying Trench—Kneeling Trench—Standing Trench—Deliberate Intrenchments—Fire Trenches—Traverses—Trench recesses; sortie steps—Parados—Head Cover—Notches and Loopholes—Cover Trenches—Dugouts—Communicating Trenches—Lookouts—Supporting Points—Example of Trench System—Location of Trenches—Concealment of Trenches—Dummy Trenches—Length of Trench—Preparation of Foreground—Revetments—Drainage—Water Supply—Latrines—Illumination of the foreground—Telephones—Siege Works. 1140–1172
[Pg 9]CHAPTER XI. OBSTACLES—Object—Necessity for Obstacles—Location—Abatis—Palisades—Fraises—Cheveaux de Frise—Obstacles against Cavalry—Wire Entanglements—Time and Materials—Wire Fence—Military Pits or Trous de Loup—Miscellaneous Barricades—Inundations—Obstacles in Front of Outguards—Lessons from the European War—Wire Cheveaux de Frise—Guarding Obstacles—Listening Posts—Automatic Alarms—Search Lights. 1173–1193
CHAPTER XII. TRENCH AND MINE WARFARE—Asphyxiating Gases—Protection against Gases—Liquid Fire—Grenades—Bombs—Aerial Mines—Winged Torpedoes—Bombs from Air-Craft—Protection against Hand Grenades—Tanks—Helmets—Masks—Periscopes—Sniperscopes—Aids to Firing—Mining—Countermining. 1194–1211
CHAPTER XIII. MARCHES—Marching Principal Occupation of Troops in Campaign-Physical Training Hardening New Troops—Long Marches Not to Be Made with Untrained Troops—A Successful March—Preparation—Starting—Conduct of March—Rate—Marching Capacity—Halts—Crossing Bridges and Fords—Straggling and Elongation of Column—Forced Marches—Night Marches—No Compliments Paid on March—Protection on March—Fitting of Shoes and Care of Feet. 1212–1229
CHAPTER XIV. CAMPS—Selection of Camp Sites—Desirable Camp Sites—Undesirable Camp Sites—Form and Dimensions of Camps—Making Camp—Retreat in Camp—Parade Ground—Windstorms—Making Tent Poles and Pegs Fast in Loose Soil—Trees. 1230–1240
CHAPTER XV. CAMP SANITATION—Definition—Camp Expedients—Latrines—Urinal Tubs—Kitchens—Kitchen Pits—Incinerators—Drainage—Avoiding Old Camp Sites—Changing Camp Sites—Bunks—Wood—Water—Rules of Sanitation—Your Camp, Your Home. 1241–1255
CHAPTER XVI. INDIVIDUAL COOKING—Making Fire—Recipes—Meats—Vegetables—Drinks—Hot Breads—Emergency Ration. 1256–1275
[Pg 10]CHAPTER XVII. CARE AND PRESERVATION OF CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT—Clothing—Pressing—Removing Stains—Shoes—Cloth Equipment—Washing—Shelter Tent—Mess Outfit—Leather Equipment—Points to Be Remembered. 1276–1320
CHAPTER XVIII. CARE AND DESCRIPTION OF THE RIFLE—Importance—Care of Bore—How to Remove Fouling—Care of Mechanism and Various Parts—How to Apply Oil—Army Regulation Paragraphs About Rifle—Nomenclature of Rifle. 1321–1343
  Object and Explanation of Our System of Instruction—Individual Instruction—Theory of Sighting—Kinds of Sights—Preliminary Drills—Position and Aiming Drills—Deflection and Elevation Correction Drills—Gallery Practice—Range Practice—Use of Sling—Designation of Winds—Zero of Rifle—Estimating Distances—Wind—Temperature—Light—Mirage—Combat Practice—Fire Discipline—Technical Principles of Firing—Ballistic Qualities of the Rifle—Cone of Fire—Shot Group—Center of Impact—Beaten Zone—Zone of Effective Fire—Effectiveness of Fire—Influence of Ground—Grazing Fire—Ricochet Shots—Occupation of Ground—Adjustment of Fire—Determination of Range—Combined Sights—Auxiliary Aiming Points—Firing at Moving Targets—Night Firing—Fire Direction and Control—Distribution of Fire—Individual Instruction in Fire Distribution—Designation of Targets—Exercises in Ranging, Target Designation Communication, etc. 1344–1450
CHAPTER I. CARE OF THE HEALTH—Importance of Good Health—Germs—The Five Ways of Catching Disease—Diseases Caught by Breathing in Germs—Diseases Caught by[Pg 11] Swallowing Germs—Disease Caught by Touching Germs—Diseases Caught from Biting Insects. 1451–1469
CHAPTER II. PERSONAL HYGIENE—Keep the Skin Clean—Keep the Body Properly Protected against the Weather—Keep the Body Properly Fed—Keep the Body Supplied with Fresh Air—Keep the Body well Exercised—Keep the Body Rested by Sufficient Sleep—Keep the Body Free of Wastes. 1470–1477
CHAPTER III. FIRST AID TO THE SICK AND INJURED—Object of Teaching First Aid—Asphyxiation by Gas—Bite of Dog—Bite of Snake—Bleeding—Broken Bones (Fractures)—Burns—Bruises—Cuts—Dislocations—Drowning—Electric Shock—Fainting—Foreign Body in Eye, in Ear—Freezing—Frost Bite—Headache—Heat Exhaustion—Poison—Sprains—Sunburn—Sunstroke—Wounds—Improvised Litters. 1478–1522
CHAPTER II. MILITARY COURTESY—Its Importance—Nature of Salutes and Their Origin—Whom to Salute—When and How to Salute—Usual Mistakes in Saluting—Respect to Be Paid the National Anthem, the Colors and Standards. 1532–1575
  Importance—Respect for Sentinels—Classification of Guards—General Rules—The Commanding Officer—The Officer of the Day—The Commander of the Guard—Sergeant of the Guard—Corporal of the Guard—Musicians of the Guard—Orderlies and Color Sentinels—Privates of the Guard—Countersigns and Paroles—Guard Patrols—Compliments from Guards—Gen[Pg 12]eral Rules Concerning Guard Duty—Stable Guards—Troop Stable Guards—Reveille and Retreat Gun—Formal Guard Mounting—Informal Guard Mounting. 1576–1857
  Composition of Infantry, Cavalry and Field Artillery Units up to and Including the Regiment. 1858
CHAPTER I. MAP READING—Definition of Map—Ability to Read a Map—Scales—Methods of Representing Scales—Construction of Scales—Scale Problems—Scaling Distances from a Map—Contours—Map Distances—Slopes—Meridians—Determination of Positions of Points on Map—Orientation—Conventional Signs—Visibility. 1859–1877
CHAPTER II. MILITARY SKETCHING—The Different Methods of Sketching—Location of Points by Intersection—Location of points by Resection—Location of Points by Traversing—Contours—Form Lines—Scales—Position Sketching—Outpost Sketching—Road Sketching—Combined Sketching—Points for Beginners to Remember. 1878–1893

[Pg 13]



1. Prelude. We will first consider the object and advantages of military training, as they are the natural and logical prelude to the subject of military training and instruction.


2. The object of all military training is to win battles.

Everything that you do in military training is done with some immediate object in view, which, in turn, has in view the final object of winning battles. For example:

3. Setting-up exercises. The object of the setting-up exercises, as the name indicates, is to give the new men the set-up,—the bearing and carriage,—of the military man.

In addition these exercises serve to loosen up his muscles and prepare them for his later experiences and development.

4. Calisthenics. Calisthenics may be called the big brother, the grown-up form, of the setting-up exercise.

The object of calisthenics is to develop and strengthen all parts and muscles of the human body,—the back, the legs, the arms, the lungs, the heart and all other parts of the body.

First and foremost a fighting man's work depends upon his physical fitness.

To begin with, a soldier's mind must always be on the alert and equal to any strain, and no man's mind can be at its best when he is handicapped by a weak or ailing body.

The work of the fighting man makes harsh demands on his body. It must be strong enough to undergo the strain of marching when every muscle cries out for rest; strong enough to hold a rifle steady under fatigue and excitement; strong enough to withstand all sorts of weather, and the terrible nervous and physical strain of modern battle; and more, it must be strong enough to resist those diseases of campaign which kill more men than do the bullets of the enemy.

Hence the necessity of developing and strengthening every part and muscle of the body.

5. Facings and Marchings. The object of the facings and marchings is to give the soldier complete control of his body in drills, so that he can get around with ease and promptness at every command.

The marchings,—the military walk and run,—also teach the soldier how to get from one place to another in campaign with the least amount of physical exertion.

Every man knows how to walk and run, but few of them how to do so without making extra work of it. One of the first principles in training the body of the soldier is to make each set of muscles do its own work and save the strength of the other muscles for their work. Thus the soldier marches in quick time,—walks,—with his legs, keeping the rest of his body as free from motion as possible. He marches in double[Pg 14] time,—runs,—with an easy swinging stride which requires no effort on the part of the muscles of the body.

The marchings also teach the soldier to walk and run at a steady gait. For example, in marching in quick time, he takes 120 steps each minute; in double time, he takes 180 per minute.

Furthermore, the marchings teach the soldier to walk and run with others,—that is, in a body.

6. Saluting. The form of salutation and greeting for the civilian consists in raising the hat.

The form of salutation and greeting for the military man consists in rendering the military salute,—a form of salutation which marks you as a member of the Fraternity of Men-at-arms, men banded together for national defense, bound to each other by love of country and pledged to the loyal support of its symbol, the Flag. For the full significance of the military salute see paragraph 1534.

7. Manual of Arms. The rifle is the soldier's fighting weapon and he must become so accustomed to the feel of it that he handles it without a thought,—just as he handles his arms or legs without a thought,—and this is what the manual of arms accomplishes.

The different movements and positions of the rifle are the ones that experience has taught are the best and the easiest to accomplish the object in view.

8. School of the Squad. The object of squad drill is to teach the soldier his first lesson in team-work,—and team-work is the thing that wins battles.

In the squad the soldier is associated with seven other men with whom he drills, eats, sleeps, marches, and fights.

The squad is the unit upon which all of the work of the company depends. Unless the men of each squad work together as a single man,—unless there is team-work,—the work of the company is almost impossible.

9. Company Drill. Several squads are banded together into a company,—the basic fighting unit. In order for a company to be able to comply promptly with the will of its commander, it must be like a pliable, easily managed instrument. And in order to win battles a company on the firing line must be able to comply promptly with the will of its commander.

The object of company drill is to get such team-work amongst the squads that the company will at all times move and act like a pliable, easily managed whole.

10. Close Order. In close order drill the strictest attention is paid to all the little details, all movements being executed with the greatest precision. The soldiers being close together,—in close order,—they form a compact body that is easily managed, and consequently that lends itself well to teaching the soldier habits of attention, precision, team-work and instant obedience to the voice of his commander.

In order to control and handle bodies of men quickly and without confusion, they must be taught to group themselves in an orderly arrangement and to move in an orderly manner. For example, soldiers are grouped or formed in line, in column of squads, column of files, etc.

In close order drill soldiers are taught to move in an orderly[Pg 15] manner from one group or formation to another; how to stand, step off, march, halt and handle their rifles all together.

This practice makes the soldier feel perfectly at home and at ease in the squad and company. He becomes accustomed to working side by side with the man next to him, and, unconsciously, both get into the habit of working together, thus learning the first principles of team-work.

11. Extended Order. This is the fighting drill.

Modern fire arms have such great penetration that if the soldiers were all bunched together a single bullet might kill or disable several men and the explosion of a single shell might kill or disable a whole company. Consequently, soldiers must be scattered,—extended out,—to fight.

In extended order not only do the soldiers furnish a smaller target for the enemy to shoot at, but they also get room in which to fight with greater ease and freedom.

The object of extended order drill is to practice the squads in team-work by which they are welded into a single fighting machine that can be readily controlled by its commander.

12. Parades, reviews, and other ceremonies. Parades, reviews and other ceremonies, with their martial music, the presence of spectators, etc., are intended to stimulate the interest and excite the military spirit of the command. Also, being occasions for which the soldiers dress up and appear spruce and trim, they inculcate habits of tidiness,—they teach a lesson in cleanliness of body and clothes.

While it is true it may be said that parades, reviews and other ceremonies form no practical part of the fighting man's training for battle, they nevertheless serve a very useful purpose in his general training. In these ceremonies in which soldiers march to martial music with flags flying, moving and going through the manual of arms with perfect precision and unison, there results a concerted movement that produces a feeling such as we have when we dance or when we sing in chorus. In other words, ceremonies are a sort of "get-together" exercise which pulls men together in spite of themselves, giving them a shoulder-to-shoulder feeling of solidity and power that helps to build up that confidence and spirit which wins battles.

13. Discipline. By discipline we mean the habit of observing all rules and regulations and of obeying promptly all orders. By observing day after day all rules and regulations and obeying promptly all orders, it becomes second nature,—a fixed habit,—to do these things.

Of course, in the Army, like in any other walk of life, there must be law and order, which is impossible unless everyone obeys the rules and regulations gotten up by those in authority.

When a man has cultivated the habit of obeying,—when obedience has become second nature with him,—he obeys the orders of his leaders instinctively, even when under the stress of great excitement, such as when in battle, his own reasoning is confused and his mind is not working.

In order to win a battle the will of the commander as expressed through his subordinates down the line from the second in command to the squad leaders, must be carried out by everyone. Hence the vital[Pg 16] importance of prompt, instinctive obedience on the part of everybody, and of discipline, which is the mainspring of obedience and also the foundation rock of law and order.

And so could we go on indefinitely pointing out the object of each and every requirement of military training, for there is none that has no object and that answers no useful purpose, although the object and purpose may not always be apparent to the young soldier.

And remember that the final object of all military training is to win battles.

Advantages of Military Training

The following are the principal advantages of military training:

14. Handiness. The average man does one thing well. He is more or less apt to be clumsy about doing other things. The soldier is constantly called upon to do all sorts of things, and he has to do all of them well. His hands thus become trained and useful to him, and his mind gets into the habit of making his hands do what is required of them,—that is to say, the soldier becomes handy.

Handy arms are a valuable asset.

15. Self-control. In the work of the soldier, control does not stop with the hands.

The mind reaches out,—control of the body becomes a habit. The feet, legs, arms and body gradually come under the sway of the mind. In the position of the soldier, for instance, the mind holds the body motionless. In marching, the mind drives the legs to machine-like regularity. In shooting, the mind assumes command of the arms, hands, fingers and eye, linking them up and making them work in harmony.

Control of the body, together with the habit of discipline that the soldier acquires, leads to control of the mind,—that is, to self-control.

Self-control is an important factor in success in any walk of life.

16. Loyalty. Loyalty to his comrades, to his company, to his battalion, to his regiment becomes a religion with the soldier. They are a part of his life. Their reputation is his; their good name, his good name; their interests, his interests,—so, loyalty to them is but natural, and this loyalty soon extends to loyalty in general.

When you say a man is loyal the world considers that you have paid him a high tribute.

17. Orderliness. In the military service order and system are watchwords. The smooth running of the military machine depends on them.

The care and attention that the soldier is required to give at all times to his clothes, accouterments, equipment and other belongings, instill in him habits of orderliness.

Orderliness increases the value of a man.

18. Self-confidence and self-respect. Self-confidence is founded on one's ability to do things. The soldier is taught to defend himself with his rifle, and to take care of himself and to do things in almost any sort of a situation, all of which gives him confidence in himself,—self-confidence.

Respect for constituted authority, which is a part of the soldier's creed, teaches him respect for himself,—self-respect.

[Pg 17]Self-confidence and self-respect are a credit to any man.

19. Eyes trained to observe. Guard duty, outpost duty, patrolling, scouting and target practice, train both the eye and the mind to observe.

Power of observation is a valuable faculty for a man to possess.

20. Teamwork. In drilling, patrolling, marching, maneuvers and in other phases of his training and instruction, the soldier is taught the principles of team-work,—coöperation,—whose soul is loyalty, a trait of every good soldier.

Teamwork,—coöperation,—leads to success in life.

21. Heeding law and order. The cardinal habit of the soldier is obedience. To obey orders and regulations is a habit with the soldier. And this habit of obeying orders and regulations teaches him to heed law and order.

The man who heeds law and order is a welcome member of any community.

22. Sound body. Military training, with its drills, marches, and other forms of physical exercise, together with its regular habits and outdoor work, keeps a man physically fit, giving him a sound body.

A sound body, with the physical exercise and outdoor life of the soldier, means good digestion, strength, hardiness and endurance.

A sound body is, indeed, one of the greatest blessings of life.

The Trained Soldier

23. Look at the trained soldier on the following page; study him carefully from top to bottom, and see what military training does for a man.

[Pg 18]


The Trained Soldier WHAT DO YOU THINK OF HIM, EH?

[Pg 19]



[Pg 20]



(To include Changes No. 20, Aug. 18, 1917.)


(The numbers following the paragraphs are those of the Drill Regulations, and references in the text to certain paragraph numbers refer to these numbers and not to the numbers preceding the paragraphs.)

(Note.—Company drills naturally become monotonous. The monotony, however, can be greatly reduced by repeating the drills under varying circumstances. In the manual of arms, for instance, the company may be brought to open ranks and the officers and sergeants directed to superintend the drill in the front and rear ranks. As the men make mistakes they are fallen out and drilled nearby by an officer or noncommissioned officer. Or, the company may be divided into squads, each squad leader drilling his squad, falling out the men as they make mistakes, the men thus fallen out reporting to a designated officer or noncommissioned officer for drill. The men who have drilled the longest in the different squads are then formed into one squad and drilled and fallen out in like manner. The variety thus introduced stimulates a spirit of interest and rivalry that robs the drill of much of its monotony.

It is thought the instruction of a company in drill is best attained by placing special stress on squad drill. The noncommissioned officers should be thoroughly instructed, practically and theoretically, by one of the company officers and then be required to instruct their squads. The squads are then united and drilled in the school of the company.—Author.)


24. Alignment: A straight line upon which several elements are formed, or are to be formed; or the dressing of several elements upon a straight line.

Fig. 1 Fig. 1

Note.—The line A-B, on which a body of troops is formed or is to be formed, or the act of dressing a body of troops on the line, is called an alignment.—Author.

25. Base: The element on which a movement is regulated.

26. Battle sight: The position of the rear sight when the leaf is laid down.

Fig. 2 Fig. 2
Fig. 3 Fig. 3

27. Center: The middle point or element of a command. (See Figs. 2, 3 and 5.) (The designation "center company," indicates the right center or the actual center company, according as the number of companies is even or odd.—Par. 298.)

[Pg 21]28. Column: A formation in which the elements are placed one behind another. (See Figs. 4, 5, 6.)

29. Deploy: To extend the front. In general to change from column to line, or from close order to extended order.

30. Depth: The space from head to rear of any formation, including the leading and rear elements. The depth of a man is assumed to be 12 inches. (See Figs. 4, 5, 6.)

31. Distance: Space between elements in the direction of depth. Distance is measured from the back of the man in front to the breast of the man in rear. The distance between ranks is 40 inches in both line and column. (See Figs. 4, 5, 6.)

Fig. 4 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 6

32. Element: A file, squad, platoon, company, or larger body, forming part of a still larger body.

33. File: Two men, the front-rank man and the corresponding man of the rear rank. The front-rank man is the file leader. A file which has no rear-rank man is a blank file. The term file applies also to a single man in a single-rank formation.

34. File closers: Such officers and noncommissioned officers of a company as are posted in rear of the line. For convenience, all men posted in the line of file closers.

35. Flank: The right or left of a command in line or in column; also the element on the right or left of the line. (See Figs. 2, 3 and 4.)

36. Formation: Arrangement of the elements of a command. The placing of all fractions in their order in line, in column, or for battle.

37. Front: The space, in width, occupied by an element, either in line or in column. The front of a man is assumed to be 22 inches. Front also denotes the direction of the enemy. (See Figs. 2, 3 and 5).

38. Guide: An officer, noncommissioned officer, or private upon whom the command or elements thereof regulates its march.

39. Head: The leading element of a column. (See Figs. 4, 5 and 6.)

[Pg 22]40. Interval: Space between elements of the same line. The interval between men in ranks is 4 inches and is measured from elbow to elbow. Between companies, squads, etc., it is measured from the left elbow of the left man or guide of the group on the right, to the right elbow of the right man or guide of the group on the left. (See Fig. 3.)

41. Left: The left extremity or element of a body of troops.

42. Line: A formation in which the different elements are abreast of each other. (See Figs. 2 and 3.)

43. Order, close: The formation in which the units, in double rank, are arranged in line or in column with normal intervals and distances.

44. Order, extended: The formation in which the units are separated by intervals greater than in close order.

45. Pace: Thirty inches; the length of the full step in quick time.

46. Point of rest: The point at which a formation begins. Specifically, the point toward which units are aligned in successive movements.

47. Rank: A line of men placed side by side.

48. Right: The right extremity or element of a body of troops.

49. Note. In view of the fact that the word "Echelon" is a term of such common usage, the following definition is given: By echelon we mean a formation in which the subdivisions are placed one behind another, extending beyond and unmasking one another either wholly or in part.—Author.



50. Object of military training. Success in battle is the ultimate object of all military training; success may be looked for only when the training is intelligent and thorough. (1)

51. Commanding officers accountable for proper training of organizations; field efficiency; team-work. Commanding officers are accountable for the proper training of their respective organizations within the limits prescribed by regulations and orders. (2)

The excellence of an organization is judged by its field efficiency. The field efficiency of an organization depends primarily upon its effectiveness as a whole. Thoroughness and uniformity in the training of the units of an organization are indispensable to the efficiency of the whole; it is by such means alone that the requisite team-work may be developed.

[Pg 23]52. Simple movements and elastic formations. Simple movements and elastic formations are essential to correct training for battle. (3)

53. Drill Regulations a Guide; their interpretation. The Drill Regulations are furnished as a guide. They provide the principles for training and for increasing the probability of success in battle. (4)

In the interpretation of the regulations, the spirit must be sought. Quibbling over the minutiae of form is indicative of failure to grasp the spirit.

54. Combat principles. The principles of combat are considered in Pars. 50–363. They are treated in the various schools included in Part I of the Drill Regulations only to the extent necessary to indicate the functions of the various commanders and the division of responsibility between them. The amplification necessary to a proper understanding of their application is to be sought in Pars. 364–613. (5)

55. Drills at attention, ceremonies, extended order, field exercises and combat exercises. The following important distinctions must be observed:

(a) Drills executed at attention and the ceremonies are disciplinary exercises designed to teach precise and soldierly movement, and to inculcate that prompt and subconscious obedience which is essential to proper military control. To this end, smartness and precision should be exacted in the execution of every detail. Such drills should be frequent, but short.

(b) The purpose of extended order drill is to teach the mechanism of deployment of the firing, and, in general, of the employment of troops in combat. Such drills are in the nature of disciplinary exercises and should be frequent, thorough, and exact, in order to habituate men to the firm control of their leaders. Extended order drill is executed at ease. The company is the largest unit which executes extended order drill.

(c) Field exercises are for instruction in the duties incident to campaign. Assumed situations are employed. Each exercise should conclude with a discussion, on the ground, of the exercise and principles involved.

(d) The combat exercise, a form of field exercise of the company, battalion, and larger units, consists of the application of tactical principles to assumed situations, employing in the execution the appropriate formations and movements of close and extended order.

Combat exercises must simulate, as far as possible, the battle conditions assumed. In order to familiarize both officers and men with such conditions, companies and battalions will frequently be consolidated to provide war-strength organizations. Officers and noncommissioned officers not required to complete the full quota of the units participating are assigned as observers or umpires.

The firing line can rarely be controlled by the voice alone; thorough training to insure the proper use of prescribed signals is necessary.

The exercise should be followed by a brief drill at attention in order to restore smartness and control. (6)

56. Imaginary, outlined and represented enemy. In field exercises the enemy is said to be imaginary when his position and force are merely assumed; outlined when his position and force are indicated by a few men; represented when a body of troops acts as such. (7)

[Pg 24]

General Rules for Drills and Formations

57. Arrangement of elements of preparatory command. When the preparatory command consists of more than one part, its elements are arranged as follows:

(1) For movements to be executed successively by the subdivisions or elements of an organization: (a) Description of the movement; (b) how executed, or on what element executed.

(For example: 1. Column of Companies, first company, squads right. 2. March.—Author.)

(2) For movements to be executed simultaneously by the subdivisions of an organization: (a) The designation of the subdivisions; (b) The movement to be executed. (For example: 1. Squads right. 2. March.—Author.) (8)

58. Movements executed toward either flank explained toward but one flank. Movements that may be executed toward either flank are explained as toward but one flank, it being necessary to substitute the word "left" for "right," and the reverse, to have the explanation of the corresponding movement toward the other flank. The commands are given for the execution of the movements toward either flank. The substitute word of the command is placed within parentheses. (9)

59. Any movement may be executed from halt or when marching unless otherwise prescribed. Any movement may be executed either from the halt or when marching, unless otherwise prescribed. If at a halt, the command for movements involving marching need not be prefaced by forward, as 1. Column right (left), 2. MARCH. (10)

60. Any movement may be executed in double time unless specially excepted. Any movement not specially excepted may be executed in double time.

If at a halt, or if marching in quick time, the command double time precedes the command of execution. (11)

61. Successive movements executed in double time. In successive movements executed in double time the leading or base unit marches in quick time when not otherwise prescribed; the other units march in double time to their places in the formation ordered and then conform to the gait of the leading or base unit. If marching in double time, the command double time is omitted. The leading or base unit marches in quick time; the other units continue at double time to their places in the formation ordered and then conform to the gait of the leading or base unit. (12)

62. To hasten execution of movement begun in quick time. To hasten the execution of a movement begun in quick time, the command: 1. Double time, 2. MARCH, is given. The leading or base unit continues to march in quick time, or remains at halt, if already halted; the other units complete the execution of the movement in double time and then conform to the gait of the leading or base unit. (13)

63. To stay execution of movement when marching, for correction of errors. To stay the execution of a movement when marching, for the correction of errors, the command: 1. In place, 2. HALT, is given. All halt and stand fast without changing the position of the pieces. To[Pg 25] resume the movement the command: 1. Resume, 2. MARCH, is given. (14)

64. To revoke preparatory command or begin anew movement improperly begun. To revoke a preparatory command, or, being at a halt, to begin anew a movement improperly begun, the command, AS YOU WERE, is given, at which the movement ceases and the former position is resumed. (15)

65. Guide. Unless otherwise announced, the guide of a company or subdivision of a company in line is right; of a battalion in line or line of subdivisions or of a deployed line, center; of a rank in column of squads, toward the side of the guide of the company.

To march with guide other than as prescribed above, or to change the guide: Guide (right, left, or center).

In successive formations into line, the guide is toward the point of rest; in platoons or larger subdivisions it is so announced.

The announcement of the guide, when given in connection with a movement follows the command of execution for that. Exception: 1. As skirmishers, guide right (left or center), 2. MARCH. (16)

66. Turn on fixed and moving pivots. The turn on the fixed pivot by subdivisions is used in all formations from line into column and the reverse.

The turn on the moving pivot is used by subdivisions of a column in executing changes of direction. (17)

67. Partial changes of direction. Partial changes of direction may be executed:

By interpolating in the preparatory command the word half, as Column half right (left), or Right (left) half turn. A change of direction of 45° is executed.

By the command: INCLINE TO THE RIGHT (LEFT). The guide, or guiding element, moves in the indicated direction and the remainder of the command conforms. This movement effects slight changes of direction. (18)

68. Line of platoons, companies, etc. The designations line of platoons, line of companies, line of battalions, etc., refer to the formations in which the platoons, companies, battalions, etc., each in column of squads, are in line. (19)

69. Full distance in column of subdivisions; guide of leading subdivision charged with step and direction. Full distance in column of subdivisions is such that in forming line to the right or left the subdivisions will have their proper intervals.

In column of subdivisions the guide of the leading subdivision is charged with the step and direction; the guides in rear preserve the trace, step, and distance. (20)

70. Double rank, habitual close order formation; uniformity of interval between files obtained by placing hand on hip. In close order, all details, detachments, and other bodies of troops are habitually formed in double rank.

To insure uniformity of interval between files when falling in, and in alignments, each man places the palm of the left hand upon the[Pg 26] hip, fingers pointing downward. In the first case, the hand is dropped by the side when the next man on the left has his interval; in the second case, at the command front. (21)

71. Posts of officers, noncommissioned officers, and special units; duties of file closers. The posts of officers, noncommissioned officers, special units (such as band or machine-gun company), etc., in the various formations of the company, battalion, or regiment, are shown in plates.

In all changes from one formation to another involving a change of post on the part of any of these, posts are promptly taken by the most convenient route as soon as practicable after the command of execution for the movement; officers and noncommissioned officers who have prescribed duties in connection with the movement ordered, take their new posts when such duties are completed.

As instructors, officers and noncommissioned officers go wherever their presence is necessary. As file closers it is their duty to rectify mistakes and insure steadiness and promptness in the ranks. (22)

72. Special units have no fixed posts except at ceremonies.

Except at ceremonies, the special units have no fixed places. They take places as directed; in the absence of directions, they conform as nearly as practicable to the plates, and in subsequent movements maintain their relative positions with respect to the flank or end of the command on which they were originally posted. (23)

Formation of Staff

73. General, field and staff officers habitually mounted; formation of staff; drawing and returning saber. General, field, and staff officers are habitually mounted. The staff of any officer forms in single rank, 3 paces in rear of him, the right of the rank extending 1 pace to the right of a point directly in rear of him. Members of the staff are arranged in order from right to left as follows: General staff officers, adjutant, aids, other staff officers, arranged in each classification in order of rank, the senior on the right. The flag of the general officer and the orderlies are 3 paces in rear of the staff, the flag on the right. When necessary to reduce the front of the staff and orderlies, each line executes twos right or fours right, as explained in the Cavalry Drill Regulations, and follows the commander.

When not otherwise prescribed, staff officers draw and return saber with their chief. (24)

74. Mounted officer turns to left in executing about; when commander faces about to give commands, staff and others stand fast. In making the about, an officer, mounted, habitually turns to the left.

When the commander faces to give commands, the staff, flag, and orderlies do not change position. (25)

75. Saluting when making and receiving reports; saluting on meeting. When making or receiving official reports, or on meeting out of doors, all officers will salute.

Military courtesy requires the junior to salute first, but when the salute is introductory to a report made at a military ceremony or[Pg 27] formation, to the representative of a common superior (as, for example, to the adjutant, officer of the day, etc.), the officer making the report, whatever his rank, will salute first; the officer to whom the report is made will acknowledge by saluting that he has received and understood the report. (26)

76. Formation of mounted enlisted men for ceremonies. For ceremonies, all mounted enlisted men of a regiment or smaller unit, except those belonging to the machine-gun organizations, are consolidated into a detachment; the senior present commands if no officer is in charge. The detachment is formed as a platoon or squad of cavalry in line or column of fours; noncommissioned staff officers are on the right or in the leading ranks. (27)

77. Post of dismounted noncommissioned staff officers for ceremonies. For ceremonies, such of the noncommissioned staff officers as are dismounted are formed 5 paces in rear of the color, in order of rank from right to left. In column of squads they march as file closers. (28)

78. Post of noncommissioned staff officers and orderlies other than for ceremonies. Other than for ceremonies, noncommissioned staff officers and orderlies accompany their immediate chiefs unless otherwise directed. If mounted, the noncommissioned staff officers are ordinarily posted on the right or at the head of the orderlies. (29)

79. Noncommissioned officer commanding platoon or company, carrying of piece and taking of post. In all formations and movements a noncommissioned officer commanding a platoon or company carries his piece as the men do, if he is so armed, and takes the same post as an officer in like situation. When the command is formed in line for ceremonies, a noncommissioned officer commanding a company takes post on the right of the right guide after the company has been aligned. (30)


80. When commands, signals, and orders are used. Commands only are employed in drill at attention. Otherwise either a command, signal, or order is employed, as best suits the occasion, or one may be used in conjunction with another. (31)

81. Instruction in use of signals; use of headdress, etc., in making signals. Signals should be freely used in instruction, in order that officers and men may readily know them. In making arm signals, the saber, rifle, or headdress may be held in the hand. (32)

82. Fixing of attention; a signal includes command of preparation and of execution. Officers and men fix their attention at the first word of command, the first note of the bugle or whistle, or the first motion of the signal. A signal includes both the preparatory command and the command of execution; the movement commences as soon as the signal is understood, unless otherwise prescribed. (33)

83. Repeating orders, commands and signals; officers, platoon leaders, guides and musicians equipped with whistles; whistles with different tones. Except in movements executed at attention, commanders or leaders of subdivisions repeat orders, commands, or signals whenever such repetition is deemed necessary to insure prompt and correct execution.

[Pg 28]Officers, battalion noncommissioned staff officers, platoon leaders, guides, and musicians are equipped with whistles.

The Major and his staff will use a whistle of distinctive tone; the captain and company musicians a second and distinctive whistle; the platoon leaders and guides a third distinctive whistle. (34)

84. Limitation of prescribed signals; special prearranged signals. Prescribed signals are limited to such as are essential as a substitute for the voice under conditions which render the voice inadequate.

Before or during an engagement special signals may be agreed upon to facilitate the solution of such special difficulties as the particular situation is likely to develop, but it must be remembered that simplicity and certainty are indispensable qualities of a signal. (35)


85. Orders defined; when employed. In these regulations an order embraces instructions or directions given orally or in writing in terms suited to the particular occasion and not prescribed herein.

Orders are employed only when the commands prescribed herein do not sufficiently indicate the will of the commander.

Orders are more fully described in paragraphs 378 to 383, inclusive. (36)


86. Command defined. In these regulations a command is the will of the commander expressed in the phraseology prescribed herein. (37)

87. Kinds of commands; how given. There are two kinds of commands:

The preparatory command, such as forward, indicates the movement that is to be executed.

The command of execution, such as MARCH, HALT, or ARMS, causes the execution.

Preparatory commands are distinguished by italics; those of execution by CAPITALS.

Where it is not mentioned in the text who gives the commands prescribed, they are to be given by the commander of the unit concerned.

The preparatory command should be given at such an interval of time before the command of execution as to admit of being properly understood; the command of execution should be given at the instant the movement is to commence.

The tone of command is animated, distinct, and of a loudness proportioned to the number of men for whom it is intended.

Each preparatory command is enunciated distinctly, with a rising inflection at the end, and in such manner that the command of execution may be more energetic.

The command of execution is firm in tone and brief. (38)

88. Battalion and higher commanders repeat commands of superiors; battalion largest unit executing movement at command of its commander. Majors and commanders of units larger than a battalion repeat such commands of their superiors as are to be executed by their units, facing[Pg 29] their units for that purpose. The battalion is the largest unit that executes a movement at the command of execution of its commander. (39)

89. Facing troops and avoiding indifference when giving commands. When giving commands to troops it is usually best to face toward them.

Indifference in giving commands must be avoided as it leads to laxity in execution. Commands should be given with spirit at all times. (40)

Bugle Signals

90. Bugle signals that may be used on and off the field of battle. The authorized bugle signals are published in Part V of these regulations.

The following bugle signals may be used off the battlefield, when not likely to convey information to the enemy:

The following bugle signals may be used on the battlefield:

These signals are used only when intended for the entire firing line; hence they can be authorized only by the commander of a unit (for example, a regiment or brigade) which occupies a distinct section of the battlefield. Exception: Fix bayonet. (See par. 355.)

The following bugle signals are used in exceptional cases on the battlefield. Their principal uses are in field exercises and practice firing.

Commence firing: Officers charged with fire direction and control open fire as soon as practicable. When given to a firing line, the signal is equivalent to fire at will.

Cease firing: All parts of the line execute cease firing at once.

These signals are not used by units smaller than a regiment, except when such unit is independent or detached from its regiment. (41)

Whistle Signals

91. Attention to orders. A short blast of the whistle. This signal is used on the march or in combat when necessary to fix the attention of troops, or of their commanders or leaders, preparatory to giving commands, orders, or signals.

When the firing line is firing, each squad leader suspends firing and fixes his attention at a short blast of his platoon leader's whistle. The platoon leader's subsequent commands or signals are repeated and enforced by the squad leader. If a squad leader's attention is attracted by a whistle other than that of his platoon leader, or if there are no orders or commands to convey to his squad, he resumes firing at once.

Suspend firing. A long blast of the whistle. All other whistle signals are prohibited. (42)

[Pg 30]

Arm Signals

92. The following arm signals are prescribed. In making signals either arm may be used. Officers who receive signals on the firing line "repeat back" at once to prevent misunderstanding.

Forward Forward

Forward, MARCH. Carry the hand to the shoulder; straighten and hold the arm horizontally, thrusting it in the direction of march.

This signal is also used to execute quick time from double time.


Halt—arm held stationary. Double Time— arm moved up and down several times Halt—arm held stationary

Double Time— arm moved up and down several times

Halt. Carry the hand to the shoulder; thrust the hand upward and hold the arm vertically.

Double time, MARCH. Carry the hand to the shoulder; rapidly thrust the hand upward the full extent of the arm several times.


Squads Right Squads Right

Squads right, MARCH. Raise the arm laterally until horizontal; carry it to a vertical position above the head and swing it several times between the vertical and horizontal positions.


Squads Left Squads Left

Squads left, MARCH. Raise the arm laterally until horizontal; carry it downward to the side and swing it several times between the downward and horizontal positions.


Squads Right About. To the Rear Squads Right About

To the Rear

[Pg 31]Squads right about, MARCH (if in close order) or, To the rear, MARCH (if in skirmish line). Extend the arm vertically above the head; carry it laterally downward to the side and swing it several times between the vertical and downward positions.


Change Direction Change Direction

Change direction or Column right (left), MARCH. The hand on the side toward which the change of direction is to be made is carried across the body to the opposite shoulder, forearm horizontal; then swing in a horizontal plane, arm extended, pointing in the new direction.


As Skirmishers As Skirmishers

As skirmishers, MARCH. Raise both arms laterally until horizontal.


As Skirmishers, Guide Center As Skirmishers, Guide Center

As skirmishers, guide center, MARCH. Raise both arms laterally until horizontal; swing both simultaneously upward until vertical and return to the horizontal; repeat several times.


As Skirmishers, Guide Right As Skirmishers, Guide Right

[Pg 32]As skirmishers, guide right (left), MARCH. Raise both arms laterally until horizontal; hold the arm on the side of the guide steadily in the horizontal position: swing the other upward until vertical and return it to the horizontal; repeat several times.


Assemble Assemble

Assemble, March. Raise the arm vertically to full extent and describe horizontal circles.


To Announce Range—Battle Sight To Announce Range—Battle Sight

Range or Change elevation. To announce range, extend the arm toward the leaders or men for whom the signal is intended, fist closed; by keeping the fist closed battle sight is indicated;


Range 300—Or Increase By 300 Range 300—Or Increase By 300

by opening and closing the fist, expose thumb and fingers to a number equal to the hundreds of yards;


Add 50 Yards (Top View) Add 50 Yards
(Top View)

to add yards describe a short horizontal line with forefinger.


Decrease By 300 Decrease By 300

To change elevation, indicate the amount of increase or decrease by fingers as above; point upward to indicate increase and downward to indicate decrease.


What Range Are You Using? What Range Are You Using?

[Pg 33]What range are you using? or What is the range? Extend the arms toward the person addressed, one hand open, palm to the front, resting on the other hand, fist closed.


Are You Ready? Are You Ready?

Are you ready? or I am ready. Raise the hand, fingers extended and joined, palm toward the person addressed.


Commence Firing Commence Firing

Commence firing. Move the arm extended in full length, hand palm down, several times through a horizontal arc in front of the body.

Fire faster. Execute rapidly the signal, "Commence Firing."

Fire slower. Execute slowly the signal, "Commence Firing."


Swing the Cone of Fire to the Right Swing the Cone of Fire to the Right

Swing the cone of fire to the right, or left. Extend the arm in full length to the front, palm to the right (left); swing the arm to right (left), and point in the direction of the new target.


Fix Bayonet (1)
Fix Bayonet (2)

Fix Bayonet. Simulate the movement of the right hand in "Fix bayonet." (See par. 142.)


Suspend Firing. Cease Firing Suspend Firing

Cease Firing—Swing Arm Up And Down Several Times

[Pg 34]Suspend firing. Raise and hold the forearm steadily in a horizontal position in front of the forehead, palm of the hand to the front.

Cease firing. Raise the forearm as in suspend firing and swing it up and down several times in front of the face.


Platoon Platoon

Platoon. Extend the arm horizontally toward the platoon leader; describe small circles with the hand. (See par. 93.)


Squad Squad

Squad. Extend the arm horizontally toward the platoon leader; swing the hand up and down from the wrist. (See par. 93.)

Rush. Same as double time. (43)

93. Use of signals "platoon" and "squad." The signals platoon and squad are intended primarily for communication between the captain and his platoon leaders. The signal platoon or squad indicates that the platoon commander is to cause the signal which follows to be executed by platoon or squad.

Note.—The following signals, while not prescribed, are very convenient:

Combined Sights. Extend the arm toward the leaders for whom the signal is intended, hand open and turn hand rapidly from right to left a number of times. Then indicate ranges in the manner prescribed, giving the mean of the two ranges. (For example: If the combined sights are 1050 and 1150, indicate a range of 1100 yards. The leaders who give the oral commands, give the command, "Range 1050 and 1150," whereupon every man in the front rank, before deployment, fixes his sight at 1150, and every man in the rear rank, before deployment, fixes his sight at 1050.)

Company. Bring the hand up near the shoulder and then thrust to the front, snapping fingers in usual way; repeat several times.

Contract fire. Extend both arms horizontally, fingers extended, arms parallel, palms facing each other; bring hands together once, and hold them so and look at the leader concerned.

Disperse fire. Bring hands together, fingers extended, pointing in direction of leader concerned, arms extended horizontally; swing arms outward once, and hold them so and look at the leader concerned.

Platoon column. Raise both arms vertically, full length, arms parallel, fingers joined and extended, palms to the front.

[Pg 35]Prepare to rush. Cross the arms horizontally several times.

Squad Column. Raise both arms vertically from elbows, elbows at side of body, fingers joined and extended, palms to the front.—Author. (44)

Flag Signals

94. Signal flags carried by company musicians; description of flags. The signal Hags described below are carried by the company musicians in the field.

In a regiment in which it is impracticable to make the permanent battalion division alphabetically, the flags of a battalion are as shown; flags are assigned to the companies alphabetically, within their respective battalions, in the order given below.

First battalion:

Second battalion:

Third battalion:

Note.—An analysis of the above system of signal flags will show: 1. The color of the field indicates the battalion and the colors run in the order that is so natural to us all, viz: Red, White and Blue. Hence red field indicates the first battalion; white field, the second; blue field, the third.

2. The squares indicate the first two companies of each battalion, and the diagonals, the second two. Hence,

Companies Indicated by
A E I Squares
C G L Diagonals

[Pg 36]3. The colors of the squares and diagonals in combination with those of the fields, run in the order that is so natural to us all, viz.: Red, White and Blue, the color of any given field being, of course, omitted from the squares and diagonals, as a white square for instance, would not show on a white field, nor would a blue diagonal show on a blue field. For example, with a red field we would have white and blue for the square and diagonal colors; with a white field, red and blue for the square and diagonal colors; with a blue field, red and white for the square and diagonal colors.

4. From what has been said, the following table explains itself:

Battalion Field Co. Squares Diagonals
First Red A White  
B Blue  
C   White
D   Blue
Second White E Red  
F Blue  
G   Red
H   Blue
Third Blue I Red  
K White  
L   Red
M   White

Note how the square and diagonal colors always follow in the natural order of red, white, and blue, with the color of the field omitted.—Author. (45)

95. Signal flags used to mark assembly point of company, etc. In addition to their use in visual signaling, these flags serve to mark the assembly point of the company when disorganized by combat, and to mark the location of the company in bivouac and elsewhere, when such use is desirable. (46)

96. Signals used between firing line and reserve or commander in rear. (1) For communication between the firing line and the reserve or commander in the rear, the subjoined signals (Signal Corps codes) are prescribed and should be memorized. In transmission, their concealment from the enemy's view should be insured. In the absence of signal flags, the headdress or other substitute may be used. (See par. 863 for the semaphore code and par. 861 for the General Service, or International Morse Code.) (47)

[Pg 37]

Letter of alphabet If signaled from the rear to the firing line If signaled from the firing line to the rear
A M Ammunition going forward. Ammunition required.
C C C Charge (mandatory at all times). Am about to charge if no instructions to the contrary.
C F Cease firing. Cease firing.
D T Double time or "rush." Double time or "rush."
F Commence firing. Commence firing.
F B Fix bayonets. Fix bayonets.
F L Artillery fire is causing us losses. Artillery fire is causing us losses.
G Move forward. Preparing to move forward.
H H H Halt. Halt.
K Negative. Negative.
L T Left. Left.
(Ardois and semaphore only.)
What is the (R. N. etc.)? Interrogatory. What is the (R. N. etc.)? Interrogatory.
(All methods but ardois and semaphore.) What is the (R. N. etc.)? Interrogatory. What is the (R. N. etc.)? Interrogatory.
P Affirmative. Affirmative.
R Acknowledgment. Acknowledgment.
R N Range. Range.
R T Right. Right.
S S S Support going forward. Support needed.
S U F Suspend firing. Suspend firing.
T Target. Target.

For the semaphore signals, see par. 863.


97. Duties of instructor. The instructor explains briefly each movement, first executing it himself if practicable. He requires the recruits to take the proper positions unassisted and does not touch them for the purpose of correcting them, except when they are unable to correct themselves. He avoids keeping them too long at the same movement, although each should be understood before passing to another. He exacts by degrees the desired precision and uniformity. (48)

98. Grouping of recruits according to proficiency. In order that all may advance as rapidly as their abilities permit, the recruits are grouped[Pg 38] according to proficiency as instruction progresses. Those who lack aptitude and quickness are separated from the others and placed under experienced drill masters. (49)

Instruction Without Arms

98a. Formation of squad for preliminary instruction. For preliminary instruction a number of recruits, usually not exceeding three or four, are formed as a squad in single rank. (50)

Position of the Soldier, or Attention

99. Heels on the same line and as near each other as the conformation of the man permits.

Feet turned out equally and forming an angle of about 45°.

Knees straight without stiffness.

Hips level and drawn back slightly; body erect and resting equally on hips; chest lifted and arched; shoulders square and falling equally.

Arms and hands hanging naturally, thumb along the seam of the trousers.

Head erect and squarely to the front, chin drawn in so that the axis of the head and neck is vertical; eyes straight to the front.

Weight of the body resting equally upon the heels and balls of the feet. (51)

The Rests

100. Being at a halt, the commands are: FALL OUT; REST; AT EASE; and, 1. Parade, 2. REST.

At the command fall out, the men may leave the ranks, but are required to remain in the immediate vicinity. They resume their former places, at attention, at the command fall in.

At the command rest each man keeps one foot in place, but is not required to preserve silence or immobility.

At the command at ease each man keeps one foot in place and is required to preserve silence but not immobility. (52)

1. Parade, 2. REST.

101. 1. Parade, 2. REST. Carry the right foot 6 inches straight to the rear, left knee slightly bent; clasp the hands, without constraint, in front of the center of the body, fingers joined, left hand uppermost, left thumb clasped by the thumb and forefinger of the right hand; preserve silence and steadiness of position. (53)

[Pg 39]102. To resume the attention: 1. Squad, 2. ATTENTION.

The men take the position of the soldier. (54)

Eyes Right or Left

103. 1. Eyes, 2. RIGHT (LEFT), 3. FRONT.

1. Eyes, 2. RIGHT.

At the command right, turn the head to the right oblique, eyes fixed on the line of eyes of the men in, or supposed to be in, the same rank. At the command front, turn the head and eyes to the front. (55)


104. To the flank: 1. Right (left), 2. FACE.

Raise slightly the left heel and right toe; face to the right, turning on the right heel, assisted by a slight pressure on the ball of the left foot; place the left foot by the side of the right. Left face is executed on the left heel in the corresponding manner.

Right (left) half face is executed similarly, facing 45°.

"To face in marching" and advance, turn on the ball of either foot and step off with the other foot in the new line of direction; to face in marching without gaining ground in the new direction, turn on the ball of either foot and mark time. (56)

105. To the rear: 1. About, 2. FACE.

Carry the toe of the right foot about a half foot-length to the rear and slightly to the left of the left heel without changing the position of the left foot; face to the rear, turning to the right on the left heel and right toe; place the right heel by the side of the left. (57)

Salute with the Hand
1. Hand, 2. SALUTE.

106. 1. Hand, 2. SALUTE.

Raise the right hand smartly till the tip of the forefinger touches the lower part of the headdress or forehead above the right eye, thumb and fingers extended and joined palm to the left, forearm inclined at about 45°, hand and wrist straight; at the same time look toward the person saluted. (TWO) Drop the arm smartly by the side. (58)

(For rules governing salutes, see "Military Courtesy," Chapter XI, Part II.)

[Pg 40]

Steps and Marchings

107. Steps and marchings begin with left foot. All steps and marchings executed from a halt, except right step, begin with the left foot. (59)

108. Length and cadence of full step; indicating cadence. The length of the full step in quick time is 30 inches, measured from heel to heel, and the cadence is at the rate of 120 steps per minute.

The length of the full step in double time is 36 inches; the cadence is at the rate of 180 steps per minute.

The instructor, when necessary, indicates the cadence of the step by calling one, two, three, four, or left, right, the instant the left and right foot, respectively, should be planted. (60)

109. Steps and marchings and movements involving marchings habitually executed in quick time. All steps and marchings and movements involving march are executed in quick time unless the squad be marching in double time, or double time be added to the command; in the latter case double time is added to the preparatory command. Example: 1. Squad right, double time, 2. MARCH (School of the Squad). (61)

Quick Time

110. Being at a halt, to march forward in quick time: 1. Forward, 2. MARCH.

At the command forward, shift the weight of the body to the right leg, left knee straight.

At the command march, move the left foot smartly straight forward 30 inches from the right, sole near the ground, and plant it without shock; next in like manner, advance the right foot and plant it as above; continue the march. The arms swing naturally. (62)

111. Being at a halt, or in march in quick time, to march in double time: 1. Double time, 2. MARCH.

If at a halt, at the first command shift the weight of the body to the right leg. At the command march, raise the forearms, fingers closed, to a horizontal position along the waist line; take up an easy run with the step and cadence of double time, allowing a natural swinging motion to the arms.

If marching in quick time, at the command march, given as either foot strikes the ground, take one step in quick time, and then step off in double time. (63)

To resume the quick time: 1. Quick time, 2. MARCH.

At the command march, given as either foot strikes the ground, advance and plant the other foot in double time; resume the quick time, dropping the hands by the sides. (64)

To Mark Time

112. Being in march: 1. Mark time, 2. MARCH.

At the command march, given as either foot strikes the ground, advance and plant the other foot; bring up the foot in rear and continue the cadence by alternately raising each foot about 2 inches and planting it on line with the other.

[Pg 41]Being at a halt, at the command march, raise and plant the feet as described above. (65)

The Half Step

113. 1. Half step, 2. MARCH.

Take steps of 15 inches in quick time, 18 inches in double time. (66)

Forward, half step, halt, and mark time may be executed one from the other in quick or double time.

To resume the full step from half step or mark time: 1. Forward, 2. MARCH. (67)

Side Step

114. Being at a halt or mark time: 1. Right (left) step, 2. MARCH.

Carry and plant the right foot 15 inches to the right; bring the left foot beside it and continue the movement in the cadence of quick time.

The side step is used for short distances only and is not executed in double time.

If at order arms, the side step is executed at trail without command. (68)

Back Step

115. Being at a halt or mark time: 1. Backward, 2. MARCH.

Take steps of 15 inches straight to the rear.

The back step is used for short distances only and is not executed in double time.

If at order arms, the back step is executed at trail without command. (69)

To Halt

116. To arrest the march in quick or double time: 1. Squad, 2. HALT.

At the command halt, given as either foot strikes the ground, plant the other foot as in marching; raise and place the first foot by the side of the other. If in double time, drop the hands by the sides. (70)

To March by the Flank

117. Being in march: 1. By the right (left) flank, 2. MARCH.

At the command march, given as the right foot strikes the ground, advance and plant the left foot; then face to the right in marching and step off in the new direction with the right foot. (71)

To March to the Rear

118. Being in march: 1. To the rear, 2. MARCH.

At the command march given as the right foot strikes the ground advance and plant the left foot; turn to the right about on the balls of both feet and immediately step off with the left foot.

If marching in double time, turn to the right about, taking four steps in place, keeping the cadence, and then step off with the left foot. (72)

[Pg 42]

Change Step

119. Being in march: 1. Change step, 2. MARCH.

At the command march, given as the right foot strikes the ground, advance and plant the left foot; plant the toe of the right foot near the heel of the left and step off with the left foot.

The change on the right foot is similarly executed, the command march being given as the left foot strikes the ground. (73)


120. Instruction of recruit in use of rifle, manual of arms, etc. As soon as practicable the recruit is taught the use, nomenclature, and care of his rifle. (See "The Care, Description, and Management of the Rifle," Chapter XIV, Part II.); when fair progress has been made in the instruction without arms, he is taught the manual of arms; instruction without arms and that with arms alternate. (74)

121. Rules governing carrying of piece. The following rules governing the carrying of the piece:

First. Piece habitually carried without cartridges in chamber or magazine. The piece is not carried with cartridges in either the chamber or the magazine except when specifically ordered. When so loaded, or supposed to be loaded, it is habitually carried locked; that is, with the safety lock turned to the "safe." At all other times it is carried unlocked, with the trigger pulled.

Second. Inspection of pieces when troops are formed and when dismissed. Whenever troops are formed under arms, pieces are immediately inspected at the commands: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS, 3. Order (Right shoulder port), 4. ARMS, which are executed as explained in pars. 145–146.

A similar inspection is made immediately before dismissal.

If cartridges are found in the chamber or magazine they are removed and placed in the belt.

Third. Cut-off habitually turned "off." The cut-off is kept turned "off" except when cartridges are actually used.

Fourth. Bayonet habitually not carried fixed. The bayonet is not fixed (See par. 142), except in bayonet exercise, on guard, or for combat.

Fifth. "Fall in" executed at order; "attention" resumed at order. Fall in is executed with the piece at the order arms. Fall out, rest, and at ease are executed as without arms, as explained in par. 100. On resuming attention the position of order arms is taken.

Sixth. If at order, pieces brought to right shoulder at command "march"; execution of movements at trail; piece brought to trail in certain movements executed from order. If at the order, unless otherwise prescribed, the piece is brought to the right shoulder at the command march, the three motions corresponding with the first three steps. Movements may be executed at the trail by prefacing the preparatory command with the words at trail; as, 1. At trail, forward, 2. MARCH; the trail is taken at the command march.

When the facings, alignments, open and close ranks, taking interval or distance, and assemblings are executed from the order, raise the piece to the trail while in motion and resume the order on halting.

[Pg 43]Seventh. Piece brought to order on halting. The piece is brought to the order on halting. The execution of the order begins when the halt is completed.

Eighth. Holding disengaged hand in double time. A disengaged hand in double time is held as when without arms. (75)

122. Rules governing manual of arms. The following rules govern the execution of the manual of arms:

First. Position of left hand at balance. In all positions of the left hand at the balance (center of gravity, bayonet unfixed) the thumb clasps the piece; the sling is included in the grasp of the hand.

Second. Positions of piece "diagonally across the body." In all positions of the piece "diagonally across the body" the position of the piece, left arm and hand are the same as in port arms. (See par. 125.)

Piece To Strike Ground Gently

Third. Next to last motion in resuming order from any position; piece to strike ground gently. In resuming the order from any position in the manual, the motion next to the last concludes with the butt of the piece about 3 inches from the ground, barrel to the rear, the left hand above and near the right, steadying the piece, fingers extended and joined, forearm and wrist straight and inclining downward, all fingers of the right hand grasping the piece. To complete the order, lower the piece gently to the ground with the right hand, drop the left quickly by the side, and take the position of order arms.

Allowing the piece to drop through the right hand to the ground, or other similar abuse of the rifle to produce effect in executing the manual is prohibited.

Fourth. Cadence of motions; at first attention to be paid to details of motion. The cadence of the motions is that of quick time; the recruits are first required to give their whole attention to the details of the motions, the cadence being gradually acquired as they become accustomed to handling their pieces. The instructor may require them to count aloud in cadence with the motions.

Fifth. Execution of manual "by the numbers." The manual is taught at a halt and the movements are for the purpose of instruction, divided into motions and executed in detail; in this case the command of execution determines the prompt execution of the first motion, and the commands, two, three, four, that of the other motions.

To execute the movements in detail, the instructor first cautions: By the numbers; all movements divided into motions are then executed as above explained until he cautions: Without the numbers; or commands movements other than those in the manual of arms.

Sixth. Regular positions assumed without regard to previous positions; carrying rifle in any position. Whenever circumstances require, the regular positions of the manual of arms and the firings may be ordered without regard to the previous position of the piece.

[Pg 44]Under the exceptional conditions of weather or fatigue the rifle may be carried in any manner directed. (76)

Position of Order Arms Standing

123. Position of order arms standing: The butt rests evenly on the ground, barrel to the rear, toe of the butt on a line with toe of, and touching, the right shoe, arms and hands hanging naturally, right hand holding the piece between the thumb and fingers. (77)


1. Present, 2. ARMS.

124. Being at order arms: 1. Present, 2. ARMS.

With the right hand carry the piece in front of the center of the body, barrel to the rear and vertical, grasp it with the left hand at the balance, forearm horizontal and resting against the body. (TWO) Grasp the small of the stock with the right hand. (78)


1. Port, 2. ARMS.

125. Being at order arms: 1. Port, 2. ARMS.

With the right hand raise and throw the piece diagonally across the body, grasp it smartly with both hands; the right, palm down, at the small of the stock: the left, palm up, at the balance; barrel up, sloping to the left and crossing opposite the junction of the neck with the left shoulder; right forearm horizontal; left forearm resting against the body; the piece in a vertical plane parallel to the front. (79)

[Pg 45]126. Being at present arms: 1. Port, 2. ARMS.

Carry the piece diagonally across the body and take the position of port arms. (80)

127. Being at port arms: 1. Present, 2. ARMS.

Carry the piece to a vertical position in front of the center of the body and take the position of present arms. (81)

128. Being at present or port arms: 1. Order, 2. ARMS.

Let go with the right hand; lower and carry the piece to the right with the left hand: regrasp it with the right hand just above the lower band; let go with the left hand, and take the next to the last position in coming to the order. (TWO) Complete the order. (82)

1. Right shoulder, 2. ARMS.

129. Being at order arms: 1. Right shoulder, 2. ARMS.

With the right hand raise and throw the piece diagonally across the body; carry the right hand quickly to the butt, embracing it, the heel between the first two fingers. (TWO) Without changing the grasp of the right hand, place the piece on the right shoulder, barrel up and inclined at an angle of about 45° from the horizontal, trigger guard in the hollow of the shoulder, right elbow near the side, the piece in a vertical plane perpendicular to the front; carry the left hand, thumb and fingers extended and joined, to the small of the stock, tip of the forefinger touching the cocking piece, wrist straight and elbow down. (THREE) Drop the left hand by the side. (83)

130. Being at right shoulder arms: 1. Order, 2. ARMS.

Press the butt down quickly and throw the piece diagonally across the body, the right hand retaining the grasp of the butt. (TWO), (THREE) Execute order arms as described from port arms. (84)

131. Being at port arms: 1. Right shoulder, 2. ARMS.

Change the right hand to the butt. (TWO), (THREE) As in right shoulder arms from order arms. (85)

132. Being at right shoulder arms: 1. Port, 2. ARMS.

Press the butt down quickly and throw the piece diagonally across the body, the right hand retaining its grasp of the butt. (TWO) Change the right hand to the small of the stock. (86)

133. Being at right shoulder arms: 1. Present, 2. ARMS.

Execute port arms. (THREE) execute present arms. (87)

134. Being at present arms: 1. Right shoulder, 2. ARMS.

Execute port arms. (TWO), (THREE), (FOUR) Execute right shoulder arms as from port arms. (88)

1. Left shoulder, 2. ARMS.

[Pg 46]135. Being at port arms: 1. Left shoulder, 2. ARMS.

Carry the piece with the right hand and place it on the left shoulder, barrel up, trigger guard in the hollow of the shoulder; at the same time grasp the butt with the left hand, heel between first and second fingers, thumb and fingers closed on the stock. (TWO) Drop the right hand by the side.

136. Being at left shoulder arms: 1. Port, 2. ARMS.

Grasp the piece with the right hand at the small of the stock. (TWO) Carry the piece to the right with the right hand, regrasp it with the left, and take the position of port arms.

Left shoulder arms may be ordered directly from the order, right shoulder or present, or the reverse. At the command arms execute port arms and continue in cadence to the position ordered. (89)

1. Parade, 2. REST.

137. Being at order arms: 1. Parade, 2. REST.

Carry the right foot 6 inches straight to the rear, left knee slightly bent; carry the muzzle in front of the center of the body, barrel to the left; grasp the piece with the left hand just below the stacking swivel, and with the right hand below and against the left.

138. Being at parade rest: 1. Squad, 2. ATTENTION.

Resume the order, the left hand quitting the piece opposite the right hip. (90)

1. Trail, 2. ARMS.

[Pg 47]139. Being at order arms: 1. Trail, 2. ARMS.

Raise the piece, right arm slightly bent, and incline the muzzle forward so that the barrel makes an angle of about 30° with the vertical.

When it can be done without danger or inconvenience to others, the piece may be grasped at the balance and the muzzle lowered until the piece is horizontal; a similar position in the left hand may be used. (91)

140. Being at trail arms: 1. Order, 2. ARMS.

Lower the piece with the right hand and resume the order. (92)

Rifle Salute
1. Rifle, 2. SALUTE.

141. Being at right shoulder arms: 1. Rifle, 2. SALUTE.

Carry the left hand smartly to the small of the stock, forearm horizontal, palm of hand down, thumb and fingers extended and joined, forefinger touching end of cocking piece; look toward the person saluted. (TWO) Drop left hand by the side; turn head and eyes to the front. (93)


1. Rifle, 2. SALUTE.

Being at order or trail arms: 1. Rifle, 2. SALUTE.

Carry the left hand smartly to the right side, palm of the hand down, thumb and fingers extended and joined, forefinger against piece near the muzzle; look toward the person saluted. (TWO) Drop the left hand by the side; turn the head and eyes to the front.

For rules governing salutes, see "Military Courtesy," Chapter XI, Part II.

[Pg 48]

The Bayonet

142. Being at order arms: 1. Fix, 2. BAYONET.

If the bayonet scabbard is carried on the belt: Execute parade rest; grasp the bayonet with the right hand, back of hand toward the body; draw the bayonet from the scabbard and fix it on the barrel, glancing at the muzzle; resume the order.

If the bayonet is carried on the haversack: Draw the bayonet with the left hand and fix it in the most convenient manner. (95)

143. Being at our arms: 1. Unfix, 2. BAYONET.

If the bayonet scabbard is carried on the belt: Execute parade rest; grasp the handle of the bayonet firmly with the right hand, pressing the spring with the forefinger of the right hand; raise the bayonet until the handle is about 12 inches above the muzzle of the piece; drop the point to the left, back of the hand toward the body, and, glancing at the scabbard, return the bayonet, the blade passing between the left arm and the body; regrasp the piece with the right hand and resume the order.

If the bayonet scabbard is carried on the haversack: Take the bayonet from the rifle with the left hand and return it to the scabbard in the most convenient manner.

If marching or lying down, the bayonet is fixed and unfixed in the most expeditious and convenient manner and the piece returned to the original position.

Fix and unfix bayonet are executed with promptness and regularity but not in cadence. (For unfixing bayonet with Krag rifle, see Par. 697.) (96)

144. CHARGE BAYONET. Whether executed at halt or in motion, the bayonet is held toward the opponent as in the position of guard in the Manual for Bayonet Exercise.

Exercises for instruction in bayonet combat are prescribed in the Manual for Bayonet Exercise. (97)

The Inspection
1. Inspection, 2. ARMS.

145. Being at order arms: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS.

At the second command take the position of port arms. (TWO) Seize the bolt handle with the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, turn the handle up, draw the bolt back, and glance at the chamber. Having found the chamber empty, or having emptied it, raise the head and eyes to the front. (For inspection of arms with Krag rifle see par. 698.) (98)

146. Being at inspection arms: 1. Order (Right shoulder, port), 2. ARMS.

At the preparatory command push the bolt forward, turn the handle down, pull the trigger, and resume port arms. At the command arms, complete the movement ordered. (To execute with Krag rifle see par. 699.) (99)

[Pg 49]

To Dismiss the Squad

147. Being at halt: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS, 3. Port, 4. ARMS, 5. DISMISSED. (100)


148. Grouping into Squads. Soldiers are grouped into squads for purposes of instruction, discipline, control, and order. (101)

149. Composition of squad; object of squad movements. The squad proper consists of a corporal and seven privates.

The movements in the School of the Squad are designed to make the squad a fixed unit and to facilitate the control and movement of the company. If the number of men grouped is more than 3 and less than 12, they are formed as a squad of 4 files, the excess above 8 being posted as file closers. If the number grouped is greater than 11, 2 or more squads are formed and the group is termed a platoon.

For the instruction of recruits, these rules may be modified. (102)

150. Squad leader; his post. The corporal is the squad leader, and when absent is replaced by a designated private. If no private is designated, the senior in length of service acts as leader.

The corporal, when in ranks, is posted as the left man in the front rank of the squad.

When the corporal leaves the ranks to lead his squad, his rear rank man steps into the front rank, and the file remains blank until the corporal returns to his place in ranks, when his rear rank man steps back into the rear rank. (103)

151. Preservation of integrity of squads in battle. In battle officers and sergeants endeavor to preserve the integrity of squads; they designate new leaders to replace those disabled, organize new squads when necessary, and see that every man is placed in a squad.

Men are taught the necessity of remaining with the squad to which they belong and, in case it be broken up or they become separated therefrom, to attach themselves to the nearest squad and platoon leaders, whether these be of their own or of another organization. (104)

152. Certain movements executed by squad as in School of the Soldier. The squad executes the halt (See par. 116), rests (See par. 100–101), facings (See pars. 104–105), steps and marchings (See pars. 107–119), and the manual of arms (See pars. 120–147), as explained in the School of the Soldier. (105)

To Form the Squad

153. To form the squad the instructor places himself 3 paces in front of where the center is to be and commands: FALL IN.

The men assemble at attention, pieces at the order, and are arranged by the corporal in double rank, as nearly as practicable in order of height from right to left, each man dropping his left hand as soon as the man in his left has his interval. The rear rank forms with distance of 40 inches.

[Pg 50]The instructor then commands: COUNT OFF.

At this command all except the right file execute eyes right, and beginning on the right, the men in each rank count one, two, three, four; each man turns his head and eyes to the front as he counts.

Pieces are then inspected. (106)


154. To align the squad, the base file or files having been established: 1. Right (Left), 2. DRESS, 3. FRONT.

At the command front, given when the ranks are aligned, each hip (whether dressing to the right or left); each man, except the base file, when on or near the new line executes eyes right, and taking steps of 2 or 3 inches, places himself so that his right arm rests lightly against the arm of the man on his right, and so that his eyes and shoulders are in line with those of the men on his right; the rear rank men cover in file.

The instructor verifies the alignment of both ranks from the right flank and orders up or back such men as may be in rear, or in advance, of the line; only the men designated move.

At the command dress all men place the left hand upon the man turns his head and eyes to the front and drops his left hand by his side.

In the first drills the basis of the alignment is established on, or parallel to, the front of the squad; afterwards, in oblique directions.

Whenever the position of the base file or files necessitates a considerable movement by the squad, such movement will be executed by marching to the front or oblique, to the flank or backward, as the case may be, without other command, and at the trail. (107)

155. To preserve the alignment when marching: GUIDE RIGHT (LEFT).

The men preserve their intervals from the side of the guide, yielding to pressure from that side and resisting pressure from the opposite direction; they recover intervals, if lost, by gradually opening out or closing in; they recover alignment by slightly lengthening or shortening the step; the rear-rank men cover their file leaders at 40 inches.

In double rank, the front-rank man on the right, or designated flank, conducts the march; when marching faced to the flank, the leading man of the front rank is the guide. (108)

[Pg 51]

To Take Intervals and Distances

156. Being in line at a halt: 1. Take interval, 2. To the right (left), 3. MARCH, 4. Squad, 5. HALT.

Being in Line at a Halt.

Being in line at a halt.


1. Take interval, 2. To the right

1. Take interval, 2. To the right (left)

At the second command the rear-rank men march backward 4 steps and halt;




At the command march all face to the right and the leading man of each rank steps off; the other men step off in succession, each following the preceding man at 4 paces, rear-rank men marching abreast of their file leaders.


4. Squad, 5. HALT

4. Squad, 5. HALT

At the command halt, given when all have their intervals, all halt and face to the front. (109)


(At Intervals) (At Intervals)

157. Being at intervals, to assemble the squad:


(Assemble) (Assemble)
(Assembled) (Assembled)

1. Assemble, to the right (left), 2. MARCH.

The front-rank man on the right stands fast, the rear rank man on the right closes to 40 inches. The other men face to the right, close by the shortest line, and face to the front. (110)


(At Distances) 1. Take distance, 2. MARCH, 3. Squad, 4. HALT. (In Line)

[Pg 52]158. Being in line at a halt and having counted off: 1. Take distance, 2. MARCH, 3. Squad, 4. HALT.

At the command March No. 1 of the front rank moves straight to the front; Nos. 2, 3, and 4 of the front rank and Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the rear rank, in the order named, move straight to the front, each stepping off so as to follow the preceding man at 4 paces. The command halt is given when all have their distances.

In case more than one squad is in line, each squad executes the movement as above. The guide of each rank of numbers is right. (111)


(Assembled) 1. Assemble, 2. MARCH. (At Distances)

159. Being at distances, to assemble the squad: 1. Assemble, 2. MARCH.

No. 1 of the front rank stands fast; the other numbers move forward to their proper places in line. (112)

To Stack and Take Arms
grasps his piece with the left hand at the upper band

160. Being in line at a halt: STACK ARMS. Each even number of the front rank grasps his piece with the left hand at the upper band


and rests the butt between his feet

[Pg 53] and rests the butt between his feet, barrel to the front, muzzle inclined slightly to the front and opposite the center of the interval on his right, the thumb and forefinger raising the stacking swivel; each even number of the rear rank then passes his piece, barrel to the rear, to his file leader, who grasps it between the bands with his right hand


and throws the butt about 2 feet in advance of that of his own piece

and throws the butt about 2 feet in advance of that of his own piece and opposite the right of the interval, the right hand slipping to the upper band, the thumb and forefinger raising the stacking swivel, which he engages with that of his own piece;


raises his piece with the right hand

each odd number of the front rank raises his piece with the right hand, carries it well forward, barrel to the front; the left hand, guiding the stacking swivel,


engages the lower hook of the swivel of his own piece

[Pg 54]engages the lower hook of the swivel of his own piece with the free hook of that of the even number of the rear rank; he then turns the barrel outward into the angle formed by the other two pieces and lowers the butt to the ground, to the right and against the toe of his right shoe.

The stacks made, the loose pieces are laid on them by the even numbers of the front rank. When each man has finished handling pieces, he takes the position of the soldier. (113)

161. Being in line behind the stacks: TAKE ARMS.

(See preceding illustration.)

The loose pieces are returned by the even numbers of the front rank; each even number of the front rank grasps his own piece with the left hand, the piece of his rear rank man with his right hand, grasping both between the bands; each odd number of the front rank grasps his piece in the same way with the right hand; disengages it by raising the butt from the ground and then turning the piece to the right, detaches it from the stack; each even number of the front rank disengages and detaches his piece by turning it to the left,

passes the piece of his rear-rank man to him

and, then passes the piece of his rear-rank man to him, and all resume the order. (114)

[Pg 55]Should any squad have Nos. 2 and 3 blank files, No. 1 rear rank takes the place of No. 2 rear rank in making and breaking the stack; the stacks made or broken, he resumes his post.

Pieces not used in making the stacks are termed loose pieces.

Pieces are never stacked with the bayonet fixed. (115)

The Oblique March

162. For the instruction of recruits, the squad being in column or correctly aligned, the instructor causes the squad to face half right or half left, points out to the men their relative positions, and explains that these are to be maintained in the oblique march. (116)

After Obliquing After Obliquing
Before Obliquing Before Obliquing

163. Right (Left) oblique, 2. MARCH.

Each man steps off in a direction 45° to the right of his original front. He preserves his relative position, keeping his shoulders parallel to those of the guide (the man on the right front of the line or column), and so regulates his steps that the ranks remain parallel to their original front.

At the command halt the men halt faced to front.

To resume the original direction: 1. Forward 2. MARCH.

The men half face to the left in marching and then move straight to the front.

If at halfstep or mark time while obliquing, the oblique march is resumed by the commands: 1. Oblique, 2. MARCH. (117)

To Turn on Moving Pivot

164. Being in line: 1. Right (Left) turn, 2. MARCH.

1. Right turn, 2. MARCH.

The movement is executed by each rank successively and on the same ground. At the second command, the pivot man of the front rank faces to the right in marching and takes the half step; the other men of the rank oblique to the right until opposite their places in line, then execute a second right oblique and take the half step on arriving abreast of the pivot man. All glance toward the marching flank while at half step and take the full step without command as the last man arrives on the line.

Right (Left) half turn is executed in a similar manner. The pivot man makes a half change of direction to the right and the other men make quarter changes in obliquing. (118)

To Turn on Fixed Pivot

165. Being in line, to turn and march: 1. Squad right (left), 2. MARCH.

(a) (a)

[Pg 56]At the second command, the right flank man in the front rank faces to the right in marching and marks time; the other front rank men oblique to the right, place themselves abreast of the pivot, and mark time. In the rear rank the third man from the right, followed in column by the second and first, move straight to the front


(b) (b)

until in rear of his front-rank man,


(c) (c)

when all face to the right in marching and mark time; the other number of the rear rank moves straight to the front four paces and places himself abreast of the man on his right. Men on the new line glance toward the marching flank while marking time and, as the last man arrives on the line, both ranks execute forward, MARCH, without command. (119)

166. Being in line, to turn and halt: 1. Squad right (left), 2. MARCH, 3. Squad, 4. HALT.

The third command is given immediately after the second. The turn is executed as prescribed in the preceding paragraph except that all men, on arriving on the new line, mark time until the fourth command is given, when all halt. The fourth command should be given as the last man arrives on the line. (120)

167. Being in line, to turn about and march: 1. Squad right (left) about, 2. MARCH.

At the second command, the front rank twice executes squad right initiating the second squad right when the man on the marching flank has arrived abreast of the rank. In the rear rank the third man from the right, followed by the second and first in column, moves straight to the front until on the prolongation of the line to be occupied by the rear rank; changes direction to the right; moves in the new direction until in rear of his front-rank man, when all face to[Pg 57] the right in marching, mark time, and glance toward the marching flank. The fourth man marches on the left of the third to his new position; as he arrives on the line, both ranks execute forward, MARCH, without command. (121)

168. Being in line, to turn about and halt: 1. Squad right (left) about, 2. MARCH, 3. Squad, 4. HALT.

The third command is given immediately after the second. The turn is executed as prescribed in the preceding paragraph except that all men, on arriving on the new line, mark time until the fourth command is given, when all halt. The fourth command should be given as the last man arrives on the line. (122)

To Follow the Corporal
(In Line) (In Line)

169. Being assembled or deployed, to march the squad without unnecessary commands, the corporal places himself in front of it and commands: FOLLOW ME.


(As Skirmishers) (As Skirmishers)

If in line or skirmish line, No. 2 of the front rank follows in the trace of the corporal at about 3 paces; the other men conform to the movements of No. 2, guiding on him and maintaining their relative positions.


(In Column) (In Column)

If in column, the head of the column follows the corporal. (123)

To Deploy as Skirmishers
(Deployed On Corporal) (In this diagram the corporal was in front of the squad before the movement began.) (Assembled In Line)

(In this diagram the corporal was in front of the squad before the movement began.)

170. Being in any formation, assembled: 1. As skirmishers, 2. MARCH.

The corporal places himself in front of the squad, if not already there. Moving at a run, the men place themselves abreast of the corporal at[Pg 58] half-pace intervals, Nos. 1 and 2 on his right, Nos. 3 and 4 on his left, rear rank men on the right of their file leaders, extra men on the left of No. 4; all then conform to the corporal's gait.

(Deployed On Corporal) Deployed On Corporal (Assembled In Column Of Files)

When the squad is acting alone, skirmish line is similarly formed on No. 2 of the front rank, who stands fast or continues the march, as the case may be; the corporal places himself in front of the squad when advancing and in rear when halted.

(Deployed On No. 2) Deployed On No. 2 (Assembled In Line And Advancing)

When deployed as skirmishers, the men march at ease, pieces at the trail unless otherwise ordered.

The corporal is the guide when in the line; otherwise No. 2 front rank is the guide. (124)

171. The normal interval between skirmishers is one-half pace, resulting practically in one man per yard of front. The front of a squad thus deployed as skirmishers is about 10 paces. (125)

To Increase or Diminish Intervals

172. If assembled, and it is desired to deploy at greater than the normal interval; or if deployed, and it is desired to increase or decrease the internal: 1. As skirmishers, (so many) paces, 2. MARCH.

Intervals are taken at the indicated number of paces. If already deployed, the men move by the flank toward or away from the guide. (126)

The Assembly

173. Being deployed: 1. Assemble. 2. MARCH.

The men move toward the corporal and form in their proper places.

If the corporal continues to advance, the men move in double time, form, and follow him.

The assembly while marching to the rear is not executed. (127)

Kneeling and Lying Down

174. If standing: KNEEL.

Half face to the right; carry the right toe about 1 foot to the left rear of the left heel;


[Pg 59]kneel on right knee, sitting as nearly as possible on the right heel; left forearm across left thigh; piece remains in position of order arms, right hand grasping it above lower band. (128)

175. If standing or kneeling: LIE DOWN.


Kneel, but with right knee against left heel:



carry back the left foot and lie flat on the belly, inclining body about 35° to the right



piece horizontal, barrel up, muzzle off the ground and pointed to the front; elbows on the ground; left hand at the balance, right hand grasping the small of the stock opposite the neck. This is the position of order arms, lying down. (129)

[Pg 60]176. If kneeling or lying down: RISE.

If kneeling, stand up, faced to the front, on the ground marked by the left heel.

If lying down, raise body on both knees; stand up, faced to the front, on the ground marked by the knees. (130)

177. If lying down: KNEEL.

Raise the body on both knees; take the position of kneel. (131)

178. In double rank, the positions of kneeling and lying down are ordinarily used only for the better utilization of cover.

When deployed as skirmishers, a sitting position may be taken in lieu of the position kneeling. (132)

Loadings and Firings

179. The commands for loading and firing are the same whether standing, kneeling, or lying down. The firings are always executed at a halt.

When kneeling or lying down in double rank, the rear rank does not load, aim, or fire.

The instruction in firing will be preceded by a command for loading.

Loadings are executed in line and skirmish line only. (133)

180. Pieces having been ordered loaded are kept loaded without command until the command unload, or inspection arms, fresh clips being inserted when the magazine is exhausted. (To execute with Krag rifle see par. 700.) (134)

181. The aiming point or target is carefully pointed out. This may be done before or after announcing the sight setting. Both are indicated before giving the command for firing, but may be omitted when the target appears suddenly and is unmistakable; in such case battle sight is used if no sight setting is announced. (135)

182. The target or aiming point having been designated and the sight setting announced, such designation or announcement need not be repeated until a change of either or both is necessary.

Troops are trained to continue their fire upon the aiming point or target designated, and at the sight setting announced, until a change is ordered. (136)

183. If the men are not already in the position of load, that position is taken at the announcement of the sight setting; if the announcement is omitted, the position is taken at the first command for firing. (137)

184. When deployed, the use of the sling as an aid to accurate firing is discretionary with each man. (138)

To Load

185. Being in line or skirmish line at halt:

1. With dummy (blank or ball) cartridges, 2. LOAD.

[Pg 61]1. With dummy (blank or ball) cartridges, 2. LOAD.

At the command load each front-rank man or skirmisher faces half right and carries the right foot to the right, about 1 foot, to such position as will insure the greatest firmness and steadiness of the body; raises, or lowers, the piece and drops it into the left hand at the balance, the left thumb extended along the stock, muzzle at the height of the breast, and turns the cut-off up.


With the right hand he turns and draws the bolt back

With the right hand he turns and draws the bolt back,


takes a loaded clip

takes a loaded clip and inserts the end in the clip slots, places the thumb on the powder space of the top cartridge, the fingers extending around the piece and tips resting on the magazine floor plate;[Pg 62] forces the cartridges into the magazine by pressing down with the thumb; without removing the clip, thrusts the bolt home, turning down the handle; turns the safety lock to the "safe,"


carries the hand to the small of the stock

and carries the hand to the small of the stock.


Each rear rank man moves to the right front

Each rear rank man moves to the right front, takes a similar position opposite the interval to the right of his front rank man, muzzle of the piece extending beyond the front rank and loads.

A skirmish line may load while moving, the pieces being held as nearly as practicable in the position of load.

the left forearm rests on the left thigh

If kneeling or sitting, the position of the piece is similar; if kneeling, the left forearm rests on the left thigh;


the elbows are supported by the knees

[Pg 63]if sitting the elbows are supported by the knees.


the left hand steadies and supports the piece at the balance

If lying down, the left hand steadies and supports the piece at the balance, the toe of the butt resting on the ground, the muzzle off the ground.

For reference, these positions (standing, kneeling, and lying down) are designated as that of load. (For Krag rifle as prescribed in 701.) (139)

186. For instruction in loading: 1. Simulate, 2. LOAD.

Executed as above described except that the cut-off remains "off" and the handling of cartridges is simulated.

The recruits are first taught to simulate loading and firing; after a few lessons dummy cartridges may be used. Later, blank cartridges may be used. (140)

The rifle may be used as a single loader by turning the magazine "off." The magazine may be filled in whole or in part while "off" or "on" by pressing cartridges singly down and back until they are in the proper place. The use of the rifle as a single loader is, however, to be regarded as exceptional. (Explained for Krag rifle in par. 702.) (141)

To Unload

187. UNLOAD.

Take the position of load, turn the safety lock up and move bolt alternately back and forward until all the cartridges are ejected. After the last cartridge is ejected the chamber is closed by first thrusting the bolt slightly forward to free it from the stud holding it in place when the chamber is open, pressing the follower down and back to engage it under the bolt and then thrusting the bolt home; the trigger is pulled. The cartridges are then picked up, cleaned, and returned to the belt and the piece is brought to the order. (Explained in par. 703 for Krag rifle.) (142)

To Set the Sight


The sight is set at the elevation indicated. The instructor explains and verifies sight settings. (143)

[Pg 64]

To Fire by Volley

189. 1. Ready, 2. AIM, 3. Squad, 4. FIRE.

turn the safety lock to the "ready"

At the command ready turn the safety lock to the "ready";


raise the piece with both hands

at the command aim raise the piece with both hands and support the butt firmly against the hollow of the right shoulder, right thumb clasping the stock, barrel horizontal, left elbow well under the piece, right elbow as high as the shoulder; incline the head slightly forward and a little to the right, cheek against the stock,


left eye closed, right eye looking through the notch of the rear sight

left eye closed, right eye looking through the notch of the rear sight so as to perceive the object aimed at, second joint of the forefinger resting lightly against the front of the trigger and taking up the slack; top of front sight is carefully raised into, and held in, the line of sight.


aims through the interval to the right of his file leader

[Pg 65]Each rear-rank man aims through the interval to the right of his file leader and leans slightly forward to advance the muzzle of his piece beyond the front rank.


the left elbow rests on the left knee

In aiming kneeling, the left elbow rests on the left knee, point of elbow in front of kneecap.


the elbows are supported by the knees

In aiming sitting, the elbows are supported by the knees.


rest on both elbows

In aiming, lying down, raise the piece with both hands; rest on both elbows and press the butt firmly against the right shoulder.

[Pg 66]At the command fire press the finger against the trigger; fire without deranging the aim and without lowering or turning the piece; lower the piece in the position of load and load. (144)

To continue the firing: 1. AIM, 2. Squad, 3. FIRE.

Each command is executed as previously explained. Load (from magazine) is executed by drawing back and thrusting home the bolt with the right hand, leaving the safety lock at the "ready." (145)

To Fire at Will


Each man, independently of the others, comes to the ready, aims carefully and deliberately at the aiming point or target, fires, loads, and continues the firing until ordered to suspend or cease firing. (146)

191. To increase (decrease) the rate of fire in progress the instructor shouts: FASTER (SLOWER).

Men are trained to fire at the rate of about three shots per minute at effective ranges and five or six at close ranges, devoting the minimum of time to loading and the maximum to deliberate aiming. To illustrate the necessity for deliberation, and to habituate men to combat conditions, small and comparatively indistinct targets are designated. (147)

To Fire by Clip


Executed in the same manner as fire at will, except that each man, after having exhausted the cartridges then in the piece, suspends firing. (For Krag rifle see par. 704.) (148)

To Suspend Firing

193. The instructor blows a long blast of the whistle and repeats same, if necessary, or commands: SUSPEND FIRING.

Firing stops; pieces are held, loaded and locked, in a position of readiness for instant resumption of firing, rear sights unchanged. The men continue to observe the target or aiming point, or the place at which the target disappeared, or at which it is expected to reappear.

This whistle signal may be used as a preliminary to cease firing. (149)

To Cease Firing


Firing stops; pieces not already there are brought to the position of load; those not loaded, are loaded; sights are laid, pieces are locked and brought to the order.

Cease firing is used for long pauses, to prepare for changes of position, or to steady the men. (For Krag rifle see par. 705.) (150)

Commands for suspending or ceasing fire may be given at any time after the preparatory command for firing whether the firing has actually commenced or not. (151)

[Pg 67]

The Use of Cover

195. Individual instruction; things to be impressed upon the recruit. The recruit should be given careful instruction in the individual use of cover. (152)

It should be impressed upon him that, in taking advantage of natural cover, he must be able to fire easily and effectively upon the enemy; if advancing on an enemy, he must do so steadily and as rapidly as possible; he must conceal himself as much as possible while firing and while advancing. While setting his sight he should be under cover or lying prone.

196. Practice in simulated firing from behind hillocks, trees, etc.; firing around right side of concealment. To teach him to fire easily and effectively, at the same time concealing himself from the view of the enemy, he is practiced in simulated firing in the prone, sitting, kneeling, and crouching positions, from behind hillocks, trees, heaps of earth or rocks, from depressions, gullies, ditches, doorways, or windows. He is taught to fire around the right side of his concealment whenever possible, or, when this is not possible, to rise enough to fire over the top of his concealment.

When these details are understood, he is required to select cover with reference to an assumed enemy and to place himself behind it in proper position for firing. (153)

197. Evil of remaining too long in one place; advancing from cover to cover by running, crawling, etc. The evil of remaining too long in one place, however good the concealment, should be explained. He should be taught to advance from cover to cover, selecting cover in advance before leaving his concealment.

It should be impressed upon him that a man running rapidly toward an enemy furnishes a poor target. He should be trained in springing from a prone position behind concealment, running at top speed to cover and throwing himself behind it. He should also be practiced in advancing from cover to cover by crawling, or by lying on the left side, rifle grasped in the right hand, and pushing himself forward with the right leg. (154)

198. Action when fired on while acting independently. He should be taught that, when fired on while acting independently, he should drop to the ground, seek cover, and then endeavor to locate his enemy. (155)

199. Proper advance and effectiveness of fire of greater importance than cover. The instruction of the recruit in the use of cover is continued in the combat exercises of the company, but he must then be taught that the proper advance of the platoon or company and the effectiveness of its fire is of greater importance than the question of cover for individuals. He should also be taught that he may not move about or shift his position in the firing line except the better to see the target. (156)


200. Importance of observation; training of recruit. The ability to use his eyes accurately is of great importance to the soldier. The[Pg 68] recruit should be trained in observing his surroundings from positions and when on the march.

He should be practiced in pointing out and naming military features of the ground; in distinguishing between living beings; in counting distant groups of objects or beings; in recognizing colors and forms. (157)

201. Training in mechanism of firing line and estimating distance. In the training of men in the mechanism of the firing line, they should be practiced in repeating to one another target and aiming point designations and in quickly locating and pointing out a designated target. They should be taught to distinguish, from a prone position, distant objects, particularly troops, both with the naked eye and with field glasses. Similarly, they should be trained in estimating distances. (158)


202. Captain responsible for instruction of officers and noncommissioned officers. The captain is responsible for the theoretical and practical instruction of his officers and noncommissioned officers, not only in the duties of their respective grades, but in those of the next higher grades. (159)

203. Formation of company in double rank, according to height; division into squads. The company in line is formed in double rank with the men arranged, as far as practicable, according to height from right to left, the tallest on the right.

The original division into squads is effected by the command: COUNT OFF. The squads, successively, from the right, count off as in the School of the Squad, as explained in par. 153, corporals placing themselves as Nos. 4 of the front rank. If the left squad contains less than six men, it is either increased to that number by transfers from other squads or is broken up and its members assigned to other squads and posted in the line of file closers. These squad organizations are maintained, by transfers if necessary, until the company becomes so reduced in numbers as to necessitate a new division into squads. No squad will contain less than six men. (160)

204. Division of company into platoons. The company is further divided into two, three or four platoons, each consisting of not less than two, nor more than four squads. In garrison or ceremonies the strength of platoons may exceed four squads. (161)

205. Designation of squads and platoons. At the formation of the company the platoons or squads are numbered consecutively from right to left and these designations do not change.

For convenience in giving commands and for reference, the designations, right, center, left, when in line, and leading, center, rear, when in column, are applied to platoons or squads. These designations apply to the actual right, left, center, head, or rear, in whatever direction the company may be facing. The center squad is the middle or right middle squad of the company.

The designation "So-and-so's" squad or platoon may also be used. (162)

[Pg 69]206. Assignment of platoons; assignment of guides. Platoons are assigned to the lieutenants and noncommissioned officers, in order of rank, as follows: 1, right; 2, left; 3, center (right center); 4, left center.

Plate II. Plate II.

The noncommissioned officers next in rank are assigned as guides, one to each platoon. If sergeants still remain, they are assigned to platoons as additional guides. When the platoon is deployed, its guide, or guides, accompany the platoon leader.

[Pg 70]During battle, these assignments are not changed; vacancies are filled by noncommissioned officers of the platoon, or by the nearest available officers or noncommissioned officers arriving with reënforcing troops. (163)

207. Post of first sergeant, quartermaster sergeant and musicians. The first sergeant is never assigned as a guide. When not commanding a platoon, he is posted as a file closer opposite the third file from the outer flank of the first platoon; and when the company is deployed he accompanies the captain.

The quartermaster sergeant, when present, is assigned according to his rank as a sergeant.

Enlisted men below the grade of sergeant, armed with the rifle are in ranks unless serving as guides; when not so armed they are posted in the line of file closers.

Musicians, when required to play, are at the head of the column. When the company is deployed, they accompany the captain, and perform the duties laid down in par. 272. (164)

208. Certain movements executed by company and by platoon as prescribed in Schools of the Soldier and the Squad. The company executes the halt, rests, facings, steps, and marchings, manual of arms, loadings, and firings, takes intervals and distances and assembles, increases and diminishes intervals, resumes attention, obliques, resumes the direct march, preserves alignments, kneels, lies down, rises, stacks, and takes arms, as explained in the Schools of the Soldier and the Squad, substituting in the commands company for squad.

The same rule applies to platoons, detachments, details, etc., substituting their designation for squad in the commands. In the same manner these execute the movements prescribed for the company, whenever possible, substituting their designation for company in the commands. (165)

209. Depleted company led as platoon. A company so depleted as to make division into platoons impracticable is led by the captain as a single platoon, but retains the designation of company. The lieutenants and first sergeant assist in fire control; the other sergeants place themselves in the firing line as skirmishers. (166)


210. Platoon guides. The guides of the right and left, or leading and rear, platoons, are the right and left, or leading and rear, guides, respectively, of the company when it is in line or in column of squads. Other guides are in the line of file closers.

In platoon movements the post of the platoon guide is at the head of the platoon, if the platoon is in column, and on the guiding flank if in line. When a platoon has two guides their original assignment to flanks of the platoon does not change. (167)

211. Guides of a column of squads; changing guides and file closers to opposite flank. The guides of a column of squads place themselves on the flank opposite the file closers. To change the guides and[Pg 71] file closers to the other flank, the captain commands: 1. File closers on left (right) flank; 2. MARCH. The file closers dart through the column; the captain and guides change.

In the column of squads, each rank preserves the alignment toward the side of the guide. (168)

212. File closers do not execute loadings or firings; execution of manual of arms and other movements. Men in the line of file closers do not execute the loadings or firings.

Guides and enlisted men in the line of file closers execute the manual of arms during the drill unless specially excused, when they remain at the order. During ceremonies they execute all movements. (169)

213. Action of guides in taking intervals and distances. In taking intervals and distances, unless otherwise directed, the right and left guides, at the first command, place themselves in the line of file closers, and, with them, take a distance of 4 paces from the rear rank. In taking intervals, at the command march, the file closers face to the flank and each steps off with the file nearest him. In assembling the guides and file closers resume their position in line. (170)

214. Repetition of commands by platoon leaders in platoon drill. In movements executed simultaneously by platoons (as platoons right or platoons, column right), platoon leaders repeat the preparatory command (platoon right, etc.), applicable to their respective platoons. The command of execution is given by the captain only. (171)

To Form the Company

215. At the sounding of the assembly the first sergeant takes position 6 paces in front of where the center of the company is to be, faces it, draws saber, and commands: FALL IN.

The right guide of the company places himself, facing to the front, where the right of the company is to rest, and at such point that the center of the company will be 6 paces from and opposite the first sergeant; the squads form in their proper places on the left of the right guide, superintended by the other sergeants, who then take their posts.

The first sergeant commands: REPORT. Remaining in position at the order, the squad leaders, in succession from right, salute and report: All present; or, Private(s) —— absent. The first sergeant does not return the salutes of the squad leaders; he then commands: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS, 3. Order, 4. ARMS, faces about, salutes the captain, reports: Sir, all present or accounted for, or the names of the unauthorized absentees, and, without command, takes his post.

If the company can not be formed by squads, the first sergeant commands: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS, 3. Right shoulder, 4. ARMS, and calls the roll. Each man, as his name is called, answers here and executes order arms. The sergeant then effects the division into squads and reports the company as prescribed above.

The captain places himself 12 paces in front of the center of, and facing, the company in time to receive the report of the first sergeant, whose salute he returns, and then draws saber.

[Pg 72]The lieutenants take their posts when the first sergeant has reported and draw saber with the captain. The company, if not under arms, is formed in like manner omitting reference to arms. (172)

216. For the instruction of platoon leaders and guides, the company, when small, may be formed in single rank. In this formation close order movements only are executed. The single rank executes all movements as explained for the front rank of a company. (173)

To Dismiss the Company

217. Being in line at a halt, the captain directs the first sergeant: Dismiss the company. The officers fall out; the first sergeant places himself faced to the front, 3 paces to the front and 2 paces from the nearest flank of the company, salutes, faces toward opposite flank of the company and commands: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS, 3. Port, 4. ARMS, 5. DISMISSED. (174)


218. The alignments are executed as prescribed in the School of the Squad, the guide being established instead of the flank file. The rear-rank man of the flank file keeps his head and eyes to the front and covers his file leader.

At each alignment the captain places himself in prolongation of the line, 2 paces from and facing the flank toward which the dress is made, verifies the alignment, and commands: FRONT.

Platoon leaders take a like position when required to verify alignments. (175)

Movements on the Fixed Pivot

219. Being in line, to turn the company: 1. Company right (left), 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT; or, 3. Forward, 4. MARCH.

(After) 1. Company right (left), 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT; (Before)

(For detail see diagram on page 56)

At the second command the right-flank man[1] in the front rank faces to the right in marching and marks time; the other front-rank men oblique to the right, place themselves abreast of the pivot, and mark time; in the rear rank the third man from the right, followed in column by the second and first, moves straight to the front until in rear of his front-rank man, when all face to the right in marching and mark time; the remaining men of the rear rank move straight to the front 4 paces, oblique to the right, place themselves abreast of the third man, cover their file leaders, and mark time, the right guide steps back, takes post on the flank, and marks time.

The fourth command is given when the last man is 1 pace in rear of the new line.

The command halt may be given at any time after the movement begins; only those halt who are in the new position. Each of the others halts upon arriving on the line, aligns himself to the right, and executes front without command. (176)


From Line To Column Of Platoons. From Line To Column Of Platoons.

[Pg 73]220. Being in line, to form column of platoons, or the reverse: 1. Platoons right (left), 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT; or, 3. Forward, 4. MARCH.

Executed by each platoon as described for the company.

Before forming line the captain sees that the guides on the flank toward which the movement is to be executed are covering. This is effected by previously announcing the guide to that flank. (177)


From Line To Column Of Squads. From Line To Column Of Squads.
From Line Of Platoons To Column Of Platoons. From Line Of Platoons To Column Of Platoons.

221. Being in line, to form column of squads, or the reverse; or, being in line of platoons, to form column of platoons, or the reverse: 1. Squads right (left), 2. MARCH; or, 1. Squads right (left), 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT.

Executed by each squad as described in the School of the Squad.

If the company or platoons be formed in line toward the side of the file closers, they dart through the column and take posts in rear of the company at the second command. If the column of squads be formed from line, the file closers take posts on the pivot flank, abreast of and 4 inches from the nearest rank. (178)

Movements on the Moving Pivot
(After) Outline (Before)


222. Being in line, to change direction: 1. Right (Left) turn, 2. MARCH, 3. Forward, 4. MARCH.

Executed as described in the School of the Squad, except that the men do not glance toward the marching flank and that all take the full step at the fourth command. The right guide is the pivot of the front rank. Each rear-rank man obliques on the same ground as his file leader. (179)


(After) 1. Column right, 2. MARCH. (Before)

223. Being in column of platoons, to change direction: 1. Column right (left), 2. MARCH.

At the first command the leader of the leading platoon commands: Right turn. At the command march the leading platoon turns to the right on moving pivot; its leader commands: 1. Forward, 2. MARCH, on completion of the turn. Rear platoons march squarely up to the turning point of the leading platoons and turn at command of their leaders. (180)


1. Column right, 2. MARCH.

[Pg 74]224. Being in column of squads, to change direction: 1. Column right (left), 2. MARCH.

At the second command the front rank of the leading squad turns to the right on moving pivot as in the School of the Squad; the other ranks, without command turn successively on the same ground and in a similar manner. (181)


From Column Of Squads To Line Of Platoons. From Column Of Squads To Line Of Platoons.

225. Being in column of squads, to form line of platoons or the reverse: 1. Platoons, column right (left), 2. MARCH.

Executed by each platoon as described for the company. (182)

226. Being in line, to form column of squads and change direction: 1. Squads right (left), column right (left), 2. MARCH; or, 1. Right (Left) by squads, 2. MARCH.


Squads Right Column Right. Squads Right Column Right.

In the first case the right squad initiates the column right as soon as it has completed the squad right.


Right By Squads. Right By Squads.

In the second case, at the command march, the right squad marches forward; the remainder of the company executes squads right, column left, and follows the right squad. The right guide, when he has posted himself in front of the squad, takes four short steps, then resumes the full step; the right quad conforms. (183)


From Line To Line Of Platoons. From Line To Line Of Platoons.

227. Being in line, to form line of platoons: 1. Squads right (left), platoons, column right (left), 2. MARCH; or, 1. Platoons, right (left) by squads, 2. MARCH.

Executed by each platoon as described for the company in the preceding paragraph. (184)

Facing or Marching to the Rear

228. Being in line, line of platoons, or in column of platoons or squads, to face or march to the rear: 1. Squads right (left) about, 2. MARCH; or, 1. Squad right (left) about, 2. MARCH; 3. Company, 4. HALT.

Executed by each squad as described in the School of the Squad.

If the company or platoons be in column of squads, the file closers turn about toward the column, and take their posts; if in line, each darts through the nearest interval between squads. (185).

229. To march to the rear for a few paces: 1. About, 2. FACE, 3. Forward, 4. MARCH.

If in line, the guides place themselves in the rear rank, now the front rank; the file closers, on facing about, maintain their relative positions. No other movement is executed until the line is faced to the original front. (186)

[Pg 75]

On Right (Left) Into Line

230. Being in column of platoons or squads, to form line on right or left: 1. On right (left) into line, 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT, 5. FRONT.

From Column Of Platoons To Line On Right. From Column Of Platoons To Line On Right.

At the first command the leader of the leading unit commands: Right turn. The leaders of the other units command: Forward, if at a halt. At the second command the leading unit turns to the right on moving pivot. The command halt is given when the leading unit has advanced the desired distance in the new direction; it halts; its leader then commands: Right dress.


From Column Of Squads To Line On Right. From Column Of Squads To Line On Right.

The units in rear continue to march straight to the front; each, when opposite the right of its place in line, executes right turn at the command of its leader; each is halted on the line at the command of its leader, who then commands: Right dress. All dress on the first unit in line.

If executed in double time, the leading squad marches in double time until halted. (187)

Front Into Line

231. Being in column of platoons or squads, to form line to the front: 1. Right (Left) front into line, 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT, 5. FRONT.

At the first command the leaders of the units in rear of the leading one command: Right oblique. If at a halt, the leader of the leading unit commands: Forward. At the second command the leading unit moves straight forward; the rear units oblique as indicated. The command halt is given when the leading unit has advanced the desired distance; it halts; its leader then commands: Left dress. Each of the rear units, when opposite its place in line, resumes the original direction at the command of its leader; each is halted on the line at the command of its leader, who then commands: Left dress. All dress on the first unit in line. (188)

[Pg 76]232. Being in column of squads to form column of platoons, or being line of platoons, to form the company in line: 1. Platoons, right (left) front into line, 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT, 5. FRONT.

From Column Of Squads To Line To The Front. From Column Of Squads To Line To The Front.
From Column Of Platoons To Line To The Front. From Column Of Platoons To Line To The Front.

Executed by each platoon as described for the company. In forming the company in line, the dress is on the left squad of the left platoon. If forming column of platoons, platoon leaders verify the alignment before taking their posts; the captain commands front when the alignments have been verified.

When front into line is executed in double time the commands for halting and aligning are omitted and the guide is toward the side of the first unit in line. (189)

At Ease and Route Step

233. The column of squads is the habitual column of route, but route step and at ease are applicable to any marching formation. (190)

To march at route step: 1. Route step, 2. MARCH.

Sabers are carried at will or in the scabbard; the men carry their pieces at will, keeping the muzzles elevated; they are not required to preserve silence, nor to keep the step. The ranks cover and preserve their distance. If halted from route step, the men stand at rest. (191)

To march at ease: 1. At ease, 2. MARCH.

The company marches as in route step, except that silence is preserved; when halted, the men remain at ease. (192)

Marching at route step or at ease: 1. Company, 2. ATTENTION.

At the command attention the pieces are brought to the right shoulder and the cadenced step in quick time is resumed. (193)

To Diminish The Front of A Column of Squads

234. Being in column of squads: 1. Right (left) by twos, 2. MARCH.

1. Right by twos, 2. MARCH.

At the command march all files except the two right files of the leading squad execute in place halt; the two left files of the leading squad oblique to the right when disengaged and follow the right files at the shortest practicable distance. The remaining squads follow successively in like manner. (194)


1. Right by file, 2. MARCH.

[Pg 77]235. Being in column of squads or twos: 1. Right (Left) by file, 2. MARCH.

At the command march, all files execute in place halt except the right file of the leading two or squad. The left file or files of the leading two or squad oblique successively to the right when disengaged and each follows the file on its right at the shortest practicable distance. The remaining twos or squads follow successively in like manner. (195)

Being in column of files or twos, to form column of squads; or, being in column of files, to form column of twos: 1. Squads (Twos), right (left) front into line, 2. MARCH.


LEFT front into line.

At the command march, the leading file or files halt. The remainder of the squad, or two, obliques to the right and halts on line with the leading file or files. The remaining squads or twos close up and successively form in rear of the first in like manner.

This diagram illustrates a squad executing LEFT front into line.

The movement described in this paragraph will be ordered right or left, so as to restore the files to their normal relative positions in the two or squad. (196)

The movements prescribed in the three preceding paragraphs are difficult of execution at attention and have no value as disciplinary exercises. (197)

Rules for Deployment

236. Designation of base squads. The command guide right (left or center) indicates the base squad for the deployment; if in line it designates the actual right (left or center) squad; if in column the command guide right (left) designates the leading squad, and the command guide center designates the center squad, as laid down in par. 205. After the deployment is completed, the guide is center without command, unless otherwise ordered. (199)

237. Action of squad leaders at preparatory command for forming skirmish line. At the preparatory command for forming skirmish line, from either column of squads or line, each squad leader (except the leader of the base squad, when his squad does not advance) cautions his squad, follow me or by the right (left) flank, as the case may be; at the command march, he steps in front of his squad and leads it to its place in line, as explained in par. 169. (200)

[Pg 78]238. Point on which base squad marches. Having given the command for forming skirmish line, the captain, if necessary, indicates to the corporal of the base squad the point on which the squad is to march; the corporal habitually looks to the captain for such directions. (201)

239. Deployment of the squads. The base squad (par. 199) is deployed as soon as it has sufficient interval. The other squads are deployed as they arrive on the general line; each corporal halts in his place in line and commands or signals, as skirmishers (executed as prescribed in par. 170); the squad deploys and halts abreast of him.

If tactical considerations demand it, the squad is deployed before arriving on the line. (202)

240. Alignment of deployed lines; deployed line faces to front on halting. Deployed lines preserve a general alignment toward the guide, as prescribed in par. 65. Within their respective fronts, individuals or units march so as best to secure cover or to facilitate the advance, but the general and orderly progress of the whole is paramount.

On halting, a deployed line faces to the front (direction of the enemy) in all cases and takes advantage of cover, the men lying down if necessary. (203)

241. Certain movements in extended order executed by same commands as in close order. The company in skirmish line advances, halts, moves by the flank, or to the rear, obliques, resumes the direct march, passes from quick to double time and the reverse by the same commands and in a similar manner as in close order; if at a halt, the movement by the flank or to the rear is executed by the same commands as when marching. Company right (left, half right, half left) is executed as explained for the front rank (in par. 165) skirmish intervals being maintained. (See par. 171.) (204)

242. Deployment of platoons and detachments. A platoon or other part of the company is deployed and marched in the same manner as the company, substituting in the commands, platoon (detachments, etc.), for company. (205)

Deployments (See pars. 170–172.)

243. Being in line, to form skirmish line to the front: 1. As skirmishers, guide right (left or center), 2. MARCH.

1. As skirmishers, guide right, 2. MARCH.

If marching, the corporal of the base squad moves straight to the front; when that squad has advanced the desired distance, the captain commands: 1. Company, 2. HALT. If the guide be right (left), the other corporals move to the left (right) front, and, in succession from the base, place their squads on the line; if the guide be center, the other corporals move to the right or left front, according as they are on the right or left of the center squad, and in succession from the center squad place their squads on the line.

[Pg 79]If at a halt, the base squad is deployed without advancing; the other squads may be conducted to their proper places by the flank; interior squads may be moved when squads more distant from the base have gained comfortable marching distance. (206)

244. Being in column of squads, to form skirmish line to the front: 1. As skirmishers, guide right (left or center), 2. MARCH.

Guide Right. Guide Right.
Guide Center (Marching). Guide Center (Marching).
Guide Center (At A Halt). Guide Center (At A Halt).

If marching, the corporal of the base squad deploys it and moves straight to the front; if at a halt, he deploys his squad without advancing. If the guide be right (left), the other corporals move to the left (right) front, and, in succession from the base, place their squads on the line; if the guide be center, the corporals in front of the center squad move to the right (if at a halt, to the right rear), the corporals in rear of the center squad move to the left front, and each, in succession from the base, places his squad on the line.

The column of twos or files is deployed by the same commands and in like manner. (207)

245. Deployment in an oblique direction. The company in line or in column of squads may be deployed in an oblique direction by the same commands. The captain points out the desire direction; the corporal of the base squad moves in the direction indicated; the other corporals conform. (208)

246. Deployment to flank or rear. To form skirmish line to the flank or rear the line or the column of squads is turned by squads to the flank or rear and then deployed as described. (209)

247. Increasing or decreasing intervals. The intervals between men are increased or decreased as described in the School of the Squad, as explained in par. 172, adding to the preparatory command, guide right (left or center) if necessary, as explained in par. 236. (210)

[Pg 80]

The Assembly

248. The captain takes his post in front of, or designates, the element on which the company is to assemble and commands: 1. Assemble, 2. MARCH.

If in skirmish line the men move promptly toward the designated point and the company is reformed in line. If assembled by platoons, these are conducted to the designated point by platoon leaders, and the company is reformed in line.

Platoons may be assembled by the command: 1. Platoons, assemble, 2. MARCH.

Executed by each platoon as described for the company.

One or more platoons may be assembled by the command: 1. Such platoon (s), assemble, 2. MARCH.

Executed by the designated platoon or platoons as described for the company. (211)

The Advance

249. Methods of advancing. The advance of a company into an engagement (whether for attack or defense) is conducted in close order, preferably column of squads, until the probability of encountering hostile fire makes it advisable to deploy. After deployment, and before opening fire, the advance of the company may be continued in skirmish line or other suitable formation, depending upon circumstances. The advance may often be facilitated, or better advantage taken of cover, or losses reduced by the employment of the platoon or squad columns, as laid down in pars. 250–251, or by the use of a succession of thin lines, as explained in par. 255. The selection of the method to be used is made by the captain or major, the choice depending upon conditions arising during the progress of the advance. If the deployment is found to be premature, it will generally be best to assemble the company and proceed in close order.

Patrols are used to provide the necessary security against surprise. (212)

250. Being in skirmish line: 1. Platoon columns, 2 MARCH.

1. Platoon columns, 2 MARCH.

The platoon leaders move forward through the center of their respective platoons; men to the right of the platoon leader march to the left and follow him in file; those to the left march in like manner to the right; each platoon leader thus conducts the march of his platoon in double col[Pg 81]umn of files; platoon guides follow in rear of their respective platoons to insure prompt and orderly execution of the advance. (213)

1. Squad columns, 2. MARCH.

251. Being in skirmish line: 1. Squad columns, 2. MARCH.

Each squad leader moves to the front; the members of each squad oblique toward and follow their squad leader in single file at easy marching distances. (214)

252. Platoon columns are profitably used where the ground is so difficult or cover so limited as to make it desirable to take advantage of the few favorable routes; no two platoons should march within the area of burst of a single shrapnel[2]. Squad columns are of value principally in facilitating the advance over rough or brush-grown ground; they afford no material advantage in securing cover. (215)

253. To deploy platoon or squad columns: 1. As skirmishers, 2. MARCH.

Skirmishers move to the right or left front and successively place themselves in their original positions on the line. (216)

1. As skirmishers, 2. MARCH.

254. Being in platoon or squad columns: 1. Assemble, 2. MARCH.

Assembly Made On Right Platoon. Assembly Made On Right Platoon.
Assembly Made On Right Squad. Assembly Made On Right Squad.

[Pg 82]The platoon or squad leaders signal assemble. The men of each platoon or squad, as the case may be, advance and, moving to the right and left, take their proper places in line, each unit assembling on the leading element of the column and re-forming in line. The platoon or squad leaders conduct their units toward the element or point indicated by the captain, and to their places in line; the company is reformed in line. (217)

255. Being in skirmish line, to advance by a succession of thin lines: 1. (Such numbers), forward, 2. MARCH.

The captain points out in advance the selected position in front of the line occupied. The designated number of each squad moves to the front; the line thus formed preserves the original intervals as nearly as practicable; when this line has advanced a suitable distance (generally from 100 to 250 yards, depending upon the terrain and the character of the hostile fire), a second is sent forward by similar commands, and so on at irregular distances until the whole line has advanced. Upon arriving at the indicated position, the first line is halted. Successive lines, upon arriving, halt on line with the first and the men take their proper places in the skirmish line.

Ordinarily each line is made up of one man per squad and the men of a squad are sent forward in order from right to left as deployed. The first line is led by the platoon leader of the right platoon, the second by the guide of the right platoon, and so on in order from right to left.

The advance is conducted in quick time unless conditions demand a faster gait.

The company having arrived at the indicated position, a further advance by the same means may be advisable. (218)

256. Use and purpose of advance in succession of thin lines. The advance in a succession of thin lines is used to cross a wide stretch swept, or likely to be swept, by artillery fire or heavy, long-range rifle fire which cannot profitably be returned. Its purpose is the building up of a strong skirmish line preparatory to engaging in a fire fight. This method of advancing results in serious (though temporary) loss of control over the company. Its advantage lies in the fact that it offers a less definite target, hence is less likely to draw fire. (219)

257. Improvised formations. The above are suggestions. Other and better formations may be devised to fit particular cases. The best forma[Pg 83]tion is the one which advances the line farthest with the least loss of men, time, and control. (220)

The Fire Attack

258. Advance of firing line; advance by rushes. The principles governing the advance of the firing line in attack are considered in the School of the Battalion. (See par. 342–356.)

When it becomes impracticable for the company to advance as whole by ordinary means, it advances by rushes. (221)

259. Advancing by rushes. Being in skirmish line: 1. By platoon (two platoons, squad, four men, etc.), from the right (left), 2. RUSH.

The platoon leader on the indicated flank carefully arranges the details for a prompt and vigorous execution of the rush and puts it into effect as soon as practicable. If necessary, he designates the leader for the indicated fraction. When about to rush, he causes the men of the fraction to cease firing and to hold themselves flat, but in readiness to spring forward instantly. The leader of the rush (at the signal of the platoon leader, if the latter be not the leader of the rush) commands: Follow me, and running at top speed, leads the fraction to the new line, where he halts it and causes it to open fire. The leader of the rush selects the new line if it has not been previously designated.

The first fraction having established itself on the new line, the next like fraction is sent forward by its platoon leader, without further command of the captain, and so on successively, until the entire company is on the line established by the first rush.

If more than one platoon is to join in one rush, the junior platoon leader conforms to the action of the senior.

A part of the line having advanced, the captain may increase or decrease the size of the fractions to complete the movement. (222)

260. Rush of company as whole led by captain. When the company forms a part of the firing line, the rush of the company as a whole is conducted by the captain, as described for a platoon in the preceding paragraph. The captain leads the rush; platoon leaders lead their respective platoons; platoon guides follow the line to insure prompt and orderly execution of the advance. (223)

261. Advance by crawling or otherwise. When the foregoing method of rushing, by running, becomes impracticable, any method of advance that brings the attack closer to the enemy, such as crawling, should be employed.

For regulations governing the charge, see paragraphs 355 and 356. (224)

(All rushes should be made with life and ginger, and all the men should start together. All rushes should be made under covering fire, and when a unit rushes forward the adjoining unit or units make up for the loss of fire thus caused by increasing the rate of their fire.

A unit commander about to rush forward, will not do so until he sees that the adjoining unit or units have started to give him the protection of their covering fire and, if necessary, he will call to them to do so. Each unit must be careful not to advance until the last unit that rushed forward has had time to take up an effective fire. When sights have to be adjusted at the conclusion of a rush, the men should do so in the prone position even though it be necessary for the men to kneel for firing. The same as the men who rush should start simultaneously from the prone position,[Pg 84] so should they stop simultaneously, all men dropping down to the ground together, wherever they may be, at the command "Down," given by the unit commander when the leading men have reached the new position. The slower members who drop down in rear will crawl up to the line after the halt. So that the slower members may not be crowded out of the line, and also to prevent bunching, the faster men should leave room for them on the line.—Author.)

The Company in Support

(Being part of a battalion)

262. Formations adopted by support. To enable it to follow or reach the firing line, the support adopts suitable formations, following the principles explained in paragraphs 249–255.

The support should be kept assembled as long as practicable. If after deploying a favorable opportunity arises to hold it for some time in close formation, it should be reassembled. It is redeployed when necessary. (225)

263. Support controlled by major: size of reënforcement; captain on look out for major's signals. The movements of the support as a whole and the dispatch of reënforcements from it to the firing line are controlled by the major.

A reënforcement of less than one platoon has little influence and will be avoided whenever practicable. (See par. 353.)

The captain of a company in support is constantly on the alert for the major's signals or commands. (226)

264. Reënforcement to join firing line deployed as skirmishers and occupy existing intervals. A reënforcement sent to the firing line joins it deployed as skirmishers. The leader of the reënforcement places it in an interval in the line, if one exists, and commands it thereafter as a unit. If no such suitable interval exists, the reënforcement is advanced with increased intervals between skirmishers; each man occupies the nearest interval in the firing line, and each then obeys the orders of the nearest squad leader and platoon leader. (227)

265. Promptness in reënforcing firing line. A reënforcement joins the firing line as quickly as possible without exhausting the men. (228)

266. Original platoon divisions to be maintained; duties of officers and sergeants upon joining firing line. The original platoon division of the companies in the firing line should be maintained and should not be broken up by the mingling of reënforcements.

Upon joining the firing line, officers and sergeants accompanying a reënforcement take over the duties of others of like grade who have been disabled, or distribute themselves so as best to exercise their normal functions. Conditions will vary and no rules can be prescribed. It is essential that all assist in mastering the increasing difficulties of control. (229)

The Company Acting Alone

267. Employed according to principles of battalion acting alone. In general, the company, when acting alone, is employed according to the principles applicable to the battalion acting alone as laid down in pars. 327–363; the captain employs platoons as the major employs companies, making due allowance for the difference in strength.

[Pg 85]The support may be smaller in proportion or may be dispensed with. (230)

268. Protection against surprise. The company must be well protected against surprise. Combat patrols on the flanks are especially important as explained in par. 410. Each leader of a flank platoon details a man to watch for the signals of the patrol or patrols on his flank. (231)


269. Issuing of ammunition and loading of pieces before deployment; firings in close order. Ordinarily pieces are loaded and extra ammunition is issued before the company deploys for combat.

In close order the company executes the firings, as prescribed in pars. 179–194, at the command of the captain, who posts himself in rear of the center of the company.

Usually the firings in close order consist of saluting volleys only. (See par. 189 for volley firing.) (232)

270. Firing controlled by platoon leaders. When the company is deployed, the men execute the firings at the command of their platoon leaders; the latter give such commands as are necessary to carry out the captain's directions, and, from time to time, add such further commands as are necessary to continue, correct, and control, the fire ordered. (233)

271. Use of signals during firing. The voice is generally inadequate for giving commands during fire and must be replaced by signals of such character that proper fire direction and control is assured. (See par. 92 for signals; pars. 285–286 for fire direction and pars. 287–290 for fire control.) To attract attention, signals must usually be preceded by the whistle signal (short blast). A fraction of the firing line about to rush should, if practicable, avoid using the long blast signal as an aid to cease firing. (See par. 91.) Officers and men behind the firing line can not ordinarily move freely along the line, but must depend on mutual watchfulness and the proper use of the prescribed signals. All should post themselves so as to see their immediate superiors and subordinates. (234)

272. Duties of musicians. The musicians assist the captain by observing the enemy, the target, and the fire-effect, by transmitting commands or signals, and by watching for signals. (For posts of musicians see par. 207.) (235)

273. Blank Cartridges. Firing with blank cartridges at an outlined or represented enemy (par. 7) at distances less than 100 yards is prohibited. (236)

274. Effect of fire and influence of ground. The effect of fire and the influence of the ground in relation thereto, and the individual and collective instruction in marksmanship, are treated in the Small-Arms Firing Manual. (237)


275. Classification. For convenience of reference, ranges are classified as follows:

276. Determination of distance to target. The distance to the target must be determined as accurately as possible and the sights set accordingly. Aside from training and morale, this is the most important single factor in securing effective fire at the longer ranges. (239)

277. Method of determining the range; estimators.

Except in a deliberately prepared defensive position, the most accurate and only practicable method of determining the range will generally be to take the mean of several estimates.

Five or six officers or men, selected from the most accurate estimators in the company, are designated as range estimators and are specially trained in estimating distances.

Whenever necessary and practicable, the captain assembles the range estimators, points out the target to them, and adopts the mean of their estimates. The range estimators then take their customary posts. (240)

Classes of Firing

278. Volley firing, as explained in par. 189, has limited application. In defense it may be used in the early stages of the action if the enemy presents a large compact target. It may be used by troops executing fire of position, as set forth in par. 438. When the ground near the target is such that the strike of bullets can be seen from the firing line, ranging volleys may be used to correct the sight setting.

In combat, volley firing is executed habitually by platoon. (241)

279. Fire at will, as explained in par. 190, is the class of fire normally employed in attack or defense. (242)

280. Clip fire (see par. 192.) has limited application. It is principally used: 1. In the early stages of combat, to steady the men by habituating them to brief pauses in firing. 2. To produce a short burst of fire. (243)

The Target

281. Assignment of target by major; change of target to be avoided; hostile firing line usual target. Ordinarily the major will assign to the company an objective in attack or sector in defense; the company's target will lie within the limits so assigned. In the choice of target, tactical considerations are paramount; the nearest hostile troops within the objective or sector will thus be the usual target. This will ordinarily be the hostile firing line; troops in rear are ordinarily proper targets for artillery, machine guns, or, at times, infantry employing fire of position, as set forth in par. 438.

Change of target should not be made without excellent reasons therefor, such as the sudden appearance of hostile troops under conditions which make them more to be feared than the troops comprising the former target. (244)

282. Distribution of fire; allotment of target to platoon leaders. The distribution of fire over the entire target is of special importance.

The captain allots a part of the target to each platoon, or each platoon leader takes as his target that part which corresponds to his posi[Pg 87]tion in the company. Men are so instructed that each fires on that part of the target which is directly opposite him. (245)

283. All Parts of target equally important. All parts of the target are equally important. Care must be exercised that the men do not slight its less visible parts. A section of the target not covered by fire represents a number of the enemy permitted to fire coolly and effectively. (246)

284. Use of aiming points in case of invisible targets.

If the target can not be seen with the naked eye, platoon leaders select an object in front of or behind it, designate this as the aiming target, and direct a sight setting which will carry the cone of fire into the target. (247)

Fire Direction[3]

285. Impracticability in combat of commanding company directly. When the company is large enough to be divided into platoons, it is impracticable for the captain to command it directly in combat. His efficiency in managing the firing line is measured by his ability to enforce his will through the platoon leaders. Having indicated clearly what he desires them to do, he avoids interfering except to correct serious errors or omissions. (248)

286. Captain directs the fire. The captain directs the fire of the company or of designated platoons. He designates the target, and, when practicable, allots a part of the target to each platoon, as prescribed in par. 340. Before beginning the fire action he determines the range, as explained in par. 277, announces the sight setting, as prescribed in par. 188, and indicates the class of fire to be employed (See par. 278) and the time to open fire. Thereafter, he observes the fire effect (See pars. 428–429), corrects material errors in sight setting, prevents exhaustion of the ammunition supply, as explained in par. 432–433, and causes the distribution of such extra ammunition as may be received from the rear. (249)

Fire Control

287. Platoon the fire unit. In combat, the platoon is the fire unit. From 20 to 35 rifles are as many as one leader can control effectively. (250)

288. Special duties of platoon leaders. Each platoon leader puts into execution the commands or directions of the captain, having first taken such precautions to insure correct sight setting and clear description of the target or aiming target as the situation permits or requires; thereafter, he gives such additional commands or directions as are necessary to exact compliance with the captain's will. He corrects the sight setting when necessary. He designates an aiming target when the target can not be seen with the naked eye. (251)

289. General duties of platoon leaders; duties of platoon guides and squad leaders. In general, platoon leaders observe the target and the effect of their fire and are on the alert for the captain's commands or signals; they observe and regulate the rate of fire, as laid down in par. 191. The platoon guides watch the firing line and check every breach of fire dis[Pg 88]cipline. (See pars. 291–294.) Squad leaders transmit commands and signals when necessary, observe the conduct of their squads and abate excitement, assist in enforcing fire discipline and participate in the firing. (252)

290. Importance of fire control. The best troops are those that submit longest to fire control. Loss of control is an evil which robs success of its greatest results. To avoid or delay such loss should be the constant aim of all.

Fire control implies the ability to stop firing, change the sight setting and target, and resume a well directed fire. (253)

Fire Discipline

291. What fire discipline implies. "Fire discipline implies, besides a habit of obedience, a control of the rifle by the soldier, the result of training, which will enable him in action to make hits instead of misses. It embraces taking advantage of the ground; care in setting the sight and delivery of fire; constant attention to the orders of the leaders, and careful observation of the enemy; an increase of fire when the target is favorable, and a cessation of fire when the enemy disappears; economy of ammunition." (See pars. 432–433.) (Small-Arms Firing Manual.)

In combat, shots which graze the enemy's trench or position and thus reduce the effectiveness of his fire have the approximate value of hits; such shots only, or actual hits, contribute toward fire superiority.

Fire discipline implies that, in a firing line without leaders, each man retains his presence of mind and directs effective fire upon the proper target. (254)

292. Rate of fire. To create a correct appreciation of the requirements of fire discipline, men are taught that the rate of fire, as prescribed in par. 191, should be as rapid as is consistent with accurate aiming; that the rate will depend upon the visibility, proximity, and size of the target; and that the proper rate will ordinarily suggest itself to each trained man, usually rendering cautions or commands unnecessary.

In attack the highest rate of fire is employed at the halt preceding the assault, and in pursuing fire. (See pars. 490–494.) (255)

293. Position fire in advance by rushes. In an advance by rushes, as explained in par. 259, leaders of troops in firing positions are responsible for the delivery of heavy fire to cover the advance of each rushing fraction. Troops are trained to change slightly the direction of fire so as not to endanger the flanks of advanced portions of the firing line. (256)

294. Action in defense, when target disappears. In defense, when the target disappears behind cover, platoon leaders suspend fire, as prescribed in par. 193, prepare their platoons to fire upon the point where it is expected to reappear, and greet its reappearance instantly with vigorous fire. (257)


295. Battalion a tactical unit; duties and responsibilities of major. The battalion being purely a tactical unit, the major's duties are primarily those of an instructor in drill and tactics and of a tactical commander. He is responsible for the theoretical and practical training of[Pg 89] the battalion. He supervises the training of the companies of the battalion with a view to insuring the thoroughness and uniformity of their instruction.

In the instruction of the battalion as a whole, his efforts will be directed chiefly to the development of tactical efficiency, devoting only such time to the mechanism of drill and to the ceremonies as may be necessary in order to insure precision, smartness, and proper control. (258)

296. Movements explained for battalion of four companies. The movements explained herein are on the basis of a battalion of four companies; they may be executed by a battalion of two or more companies, not exceeding six. (259)

297. Arrangement of companies in formations. The companies are generally arranged from right to left according to the rank of the captains present at the formation. The arrangement of the companies may be varied by the major or higher commander.

After the battalion is formed, no cognizance is taken of the relative order of the companies. (260)

298. Designation of companies. In whatever direction the battalion faces, the companies are designated numerically from right to left in line, and from head to rear in column, first company, second company, etc.

The terms right and left apply to actual right and left as the line faces; if the about by squads be executed when in line, the right company becomes the left company and the right center becomes the left center company.

The designation center company indicates the right center or the actual center company according as the number of companies is even or odd. (261)

299. Post of special units. The band and other special units, when attached to the battalion, take the same post with respect to it as if it were the nearest battalion. (262)


300. Repetition of commands by captains. Captains repeat such preparatory commands as are to be immediately executed by their companies, as forward, squads right, etc.; the men execute the commands march, halt, etc., if applying to their companies, when given by the major. In movements executed in route step or at ease the captains repeat the command of execution, if necessary. Captains do not repeat the major's commands in executing the manual of arms, nor those commands which are not essential to the execution of a movement by their companies, as column of squads, first company, squads right, etc.

In giving commands or cautions captains may prefix the proper letter designations of their companies, as A Company, HALT; B Company, squads right, etc. (263)

301. Captains repeating command for guide. At the command guide center (right or left), captains command: Guide right or left, according[Pg 90] to the positions of their companies. Guide center designates the left guide of the center company, as explained in 3d Sec. par. 298. (264)

Plate III. Plate III.

302. Position of captains in dressing companies; action of guides in dressing. When the companies are to be dressed, captains place themselves on that flank toward which the dress is to be made, as follows:

The battalion in line: Besides the guide (or the flank file of the front rank, if the guide is not in line) and facing to the front.

The battalion in column of companies: Two paces from the guide, in prolongation of and facing down the line.

Each captain, after dressing his company, commands: FRONT, and takes his post.

The battalion being in line and unless otherwise prescribed, at the captain's command dress or at the command halt, when it is prescribed that the company shall dress, the guide on the flank away from the point of rest with his piece at right shoulder, dresses promptly on the captain and the companies beyond. During the dress he moves, if necessary, to the right and left only; the captain dresses the company on the line thus established. The guide takes the position of order arms at the command front. (265)

303. Certain movements executed as in Schools of the Soldier, Squad and Company. The battalion executes the halt (See par. 116), rests (See pars. 100–101), facings (See par. 104), steps and marchings (See pars. 107–109), manual of arms (See pars. 120–147), resumes attention (See par. 102[Pg 91]), kneels (See pars. 174–177), lies down (See par. 175), rises (See par. 176), stacks and takes arms (See pars. 160–161), as explained in the Schools of the Soldier and Squad, substituting in the commands battalion for squad.

The battalion executes squads right (left) (See par. 221), squads right (left) about (See par. 228), route step and at ease (See par. 233), and obliques and resumes the direct march (See pars. 162–163), as explained in the School of the Company. (266)

304. Certain movements executed as in School of the Company. The battalion in column of platoons, squads, twos, or files changes direction. (See pars. 223–224); in column of squads, forms column of twos or files and re-forms columns of twos or squads, as explained in the School of the Company. (See pars. 234–235.) (267)

305. Simultaneous execution by companies or platoons of movements in School of the Company. When the formation admits of the simultaneous execution by companies or platoons of movements in the School of the Company the major may cause such movement to be executed by prefixing, when necessary, companies (platoons) to the commands prescribed therein: As 1. Companies, right front into line, 2. MARCH. To complete such simultaneous movements, the commands halt or march, if prescribed, are given by the major. The command front, when prescribed, is given by the captains. (See par. 302.) (268)

306. Execution of loadings and firings by battalion. The battalion as a unit executes the loadings and firings only in firing saluting volleys. The commands are as for the company, substituting battalion for company. At the first command for loading, captains take post in rear of the center of their respective companies. At the conclusion of the firing, the captains resume their posts in line.

On other occasions, when firing in close order is necessary, it is executed by company or other subdivision, under instructions from the major, as prescribed in pars. 179–194. (269)

To Form the Battalion

307. For purposes other than ceremonies: The battalion is formed in column of squads. The companies having been formed, the adjutant posts himself so as to be facing the column, when formed, and 6 paces in front of the place to be occupied by the leading guide of the battalion; he draws saber; adjutant's call is sounded or the adjutant signals assemble.

The companies are formed, at attention, in column of squads in their proper order. Each captain, after halting his company, salutes the adjutant; the adjutant returns the salute and, when the last captain has saluted, faces the major and reports: Sir, the battalion is formed. He then joins the major. (270)

308. For ceremonies or when directed: The battalion is formed in line.

The companies having been formed, the adjutant posts himself so as to be 6 paces to the right of the right company when line is formed, and faces in the direction in which the line is to extend. He draws saber; adjutant's call is sounded; the band plays if present.

[Pg 92]The right company is conducted by its captain so as to arrive from the rear, parallel to the line; its right and left guides precede it on the line by about 20 paces, taking post facing to the right at order arms, so that their elbows will be against the breasts of the right and left files of their company when it is dressed. The guides of the other companies successively prolong the line to the left in like manner and the companies approach their respective places in line as explained for the right company. The adjutant, from his post, causes the guides to cover.

When about 1 pace in rear of the line, each company is halted and dressed to the right against the arms of the guides. (See par. 302.)

The band, arriving from the rear, takes its place in line when the right company is halted; it ceases playing when the left company has halted.

When the guides of the left company have been posted, the adjutant, moving by the shortest route, takes post facing the battalion midway between the post of the major and the center of the battalion.

The major, staff, noncommissioned staff, and orderlies take their posts, as prescribed in pars. 73; 76–78.

When all parts of the line have been dressed, and officers and others have reached their posts, the adjutant commands: 1. Guides, 2. POSTS, 3. Present, 4. ARMS. At the second command guides take their places in the line. (Plate II, page 69.) The adjutant then turns about as explained in par. 74, and reports to the major: Sir, the battalion is formed, as prescribed in par. 75; the major directs the adjutant: Take your post, Sir; draws saber and brings the battalion to the order. The adjutant takes his post, passing to the right of the major. (271)

To Dismiss the Battalion

309. Dismiss your companies.

Staff and noncommissioned staff officers fall out; each captain marches his company off and dismisses it, as laid down in par. 217. (272)

To Rectify the Alignment

310. Being in line at a halt, to align the battalion: 1. Center (right or left), 2. DRESS.

The captains dress their companies successively toward the center (right or left) guide of the battalion, each as soon as the captain next toward the indicated guide commands: FRONT. The captains of the center companies (if the dress is center) dress them without waiting for each other. (273)

311. To give the battalion a new alignment: 1. Guides center (right or left) company on the line, 2. Guides on the line, 3. Center (right or left), 4. DRESS, 5. Guides, 6. POSTS.

At the first command, the designated guides place themselves on the line, as prescribed in par. 308, facing the center (right or left). The major establishes them in the direction he wishes to give the battalion.

At the second command, the guides of the other companies take posts, facing the center (right or left), so as to prolong the line.

[Pg 93]At the command dress, each captain dresses his company to the flank toward which the guides of his company face, taking the positions prescribed in par. 302.

At the command posts, given when all companies have completed the dress, the guides return to their posts. (Plate II, page 69.) (274)

To Rectify the Column

312. Being in column of companies, or in close column, at a halt, if the guides do not cover or have not their proper distances, and it is desired to correct them, the major commands: 1. Right (left), 2. DRESS.

Captains of companies in rear of the first place their right guides so as to cover at the proper distance; each captain aligns his company to the right and commands: FRONT. (See par. 302.) (275)

On Right (Left) Into Line

313. Being in column of squads or companies: 1. On right (left) into line, 2. MARCH, 3. Battalion, 4. HALT.

Being in column of squads: At the first command, the captain of the leading company commands; Squads right. If at a halt each captain in rear commands: Forward. At the second command, the leading company marches in line to the right; the companies in rear continue to march to the front and form successively on the left, each, when opposite its place, being marched in line to the right.

From Column Of Squads To Line On Right. From Column Of Squads To Line On Right. From Column Of Companies To Line On Right. From Column Of Companies To Line On Right.

The fourth command is given when the first company has advanced the desired distance in the new direction; it halts and is[Pg 94] dressed to the right by its captain (par. 265); the others complete the movement, each being halted 1 pace in rear of the line established by the first company, and then dressed to the right.

Being in column of companies: At the first command, the captain of the first company commands: Right turn. If at a halt, each captain in rear commands: Forward. Each of the captains in rear of the leading company gives the command: 1. Right turn, in time to add, 2. MARCH, when his company arrives opposite the right of its place in line.

The fourth command is given and the movement completed as explained above.

Whether executed from column of squads or column of companies, each captain places himself so as to march beside the right guide after his company forms line or changes direction to the right.

If executed in double time, the leading company marches in double time until halted. (276)

Front into Line

314. Being in column of squads or companies: 1. Right (left) front into line, 2. MARCH.

From Column Of Squads To Line To The Front. From Column Of Squads To Line To The Front.

Being in column of squads: At the first command, the captain of the leading company commands: Column right; the captain of the companies in rear: column half right. At the second command the leading company executes column right, and, as the last squad completes the change of direction, is formed in line to the left, as prescribed in par. 221, halted and dressed to the left. (See par. 302.) Each of the companies in rear is conducted by the most convenient route to the rear of the right of the preceding company, thence to the right, parallel to and 1 pace in rear of the new line; when opposite its place, it is formed in line to the left, halted, and dressed to the left.


From Column Of Companies To Line To The Front. From Column Of Companies To Line To The Front.

Being in column of companies: If marching, the captain of the leading company gives the necessary commands to halt his company at the second command; if at a halt the leading company stands fast. At the first command, the captain of each company in rear commands: Squads right, or Right by squads, and after the second command conducts his company by the most convenient route to its place in line, as described above.

[Pg 95]Whether executed from column of squads or column of companies, each captain halts when opposite, or at the point, where the left of his company is to rest. (277)

To Form Column of Companies Successively to the Right or Left
1. Column of companies, first company, squads right, 2. MARCH.

315. Being in column of squads: 1. Column of companies, first company, squads right (left), 2. MARCH.

The leading company executes squads right and moves forward. The other companies move forward in column of squads and successively march in line the right on the same ground as the leading company and in such manner that the guide covers the guide of the preceding company. (278)

To Form Column of Squads Successively to the Right or Left
1. Column of squads, first company, squads right, 2. MARCH.

316. Being in column of companies (Plate III, page 90): 1. Column of squads, first company, squads right (left), 2. MARCH.

The leading company executes squads right and moves forward. The other companies move forward in column of companies and successively march in column of squads to the right on the same ground as the leading company. (279)

To Change Direction

317. Being in column of companies or close column. (Plate III, page 90); 1. Column right (left), 2. MARCH.

1. Column right, 2. MARCH.

The captain of the first company commands: Right turn.

The leading company turns to the right on moving pivot, the captain adding: 1. Forward, 2. MARCH, upon its completion.

The other companies march squarely up to the turning point; each changes direction by the same commands and means as the first and in such manner that the guide covers the guide of the preceding company. (280)

[Pg 96]318. Being in line of companies or close line. (Plate III, page 90): 1. Battalion right (left), 2. MARCH, 3. Battalion, 4. HALT.

1. Battalion right, 2. MARCH, 3. Battalion, 4. HALT.

The right company changes direction to the right, as prescribed in par. 224; the other companies are conducted by the shortest line to their places abreast of the first.

The fourth command is given when the right company has advanced the desired distance in the new direction; that company halts; the others halt successively upon arriving on the line. (281)

319. Being in column of squads, the battalion changes direction by the same commands and in the manner prescribed for the company, as explained in par. 224. (282)

Mass Formations
From Line. From Line. From Line Of Companies. From Line Of Companies.
(1, 2, 3, 4—Old Line)
(1, 2', 3', 4'—New Line)
From Column Of Squads. From Column Of Squads. From Column Of Companies. From Column Of Companies.
(1, 2, 3, 4—Old Column)
(1, 2', 3', 4'—New Column)

319a. Being in column of squads, to form a line of columns of companies or company subdivisions, facing in any desired direction, at any desired interval, on the right or left of the leading element of the battalion: 1. Line of companies (half companies, platoons), at (so many) paces, guide right (left), 2. MARCH, 3. Battalion, 4. HALT.

The leading company (or subdivision) marches in the direction previously indicated by the major until the command halt is given and then halts. Each succeeding company (or subdivision) marches by the most direct route to its place at the prescribed intervals on the left (right) of the next preceding company (or subdivision), halting when it is abreast of the leading element of the battalion.

If the battalion be in any formation other than column of squads, the major indicates the desired direction to the leading element. The entire command forms column of squads and executes a movement in conformity with the principles indicated above. (2821/2)

320. Being in line, line of companies, or column of companies. (Plate III, page 90): 1. Close on first (fourth) company, 2. MARCH.

[Pg 97]If at a halt, the indicated company stands fast; if marching, it is halted; each of the other companies is conducted toward it and is halted in proper order in close column.

If the battalion is in line, companies form successively in rear of the indicated company; if in column of squads, companies in rear of the leading company form on the left of it.

In close column formed line on the first company, the left guides cover; formed on the fourth company, right guides cover. If formed on the leading company, the guide remains as before the formation. In close line, the guides are halted abreast of the guide of the leading company.

The battalion in column closes on the leading company only. (283)

(In closing from line of companies and in extending from close line, the companies other than the base one, may be moved either by the commands, (a) 1. Squads, right (left), 2. MARCH; (b) 1. Right (left) oblique, 2. MARCH; (c) 1. Forward, 2. MARCH; (d) 1. Squads left (right) 2. MARCH; (e) 1. Company, 2. HALT; or, (a) 1. By the right (left) flank, 2. MARCH; (b) 1. Company, 2. HALT; (c) 1. Left (right), 2. FACE; or if at a halt by the commands, (a) 1. Right (left), 2. FACE; (b) 1. At Trail, 2. Forward, 3. MARCH; (c) 1. Company, 2. HALT; (d) 1. Left (right), 2. FACE. In some commands it is customary to use one method while in other commands another is used. For the sake of uniformity all companies of a given command should use the same method.—Author.)

To Extend the Mass

321. Being in close column or in close line; 1. Extend on first (fourth) company, 2. MARCH.

From Close Column. From Close Column..
(1, 2, 3, 4—Old Column)
(1', 2', 3', 4—New Column)
From Close Line. From Close Line.

Being in close line: if at a halt, the indicated company stands fast; if marching, it halts; each of the other companies is conducted away from the indicated company and is halted in its proper order in line of companies.

Being in close column, the extension is made on the fourth company only. If marching, the leading company continues to march; companies in rear are halted and successively resume the march in time to follow at full distance. If at halt, the leading company marches; companies in rear successively march in time to follow at full distance.

Close column is not extended in double time. (See author's note, par. 320.) (284)

322. Being in close column: 1. Right (left) front into line, 2. MARCH. Executed as from column of companies, as explained in par. 314. (285)

323. Being in close column: 1. Column of squads, first (fourth) company, squads right (left), 2. MARCH.

The designated company marches in column of squads to the right. Each of the other companies executes the same movement in time to follow the preceding company in column. (286)

324. Being in close line: 1. Column of squads, first (fourth) company, forward, 2. MARCH.

The designated company moves forward. The other companies (halting if in march) successively take up the march and follow in column. (287)

[Pg 98]

Route Step and at Ease

325. The battalion marches in route step and at ease as prescribed in the School of the Company. (See par. 233.) When marching in column of companies or platoons, the guides maintain the trace and distance.

In route marches the major marches at the head of the column; when necessary, the file closers may be directed to march at the head and rear of their companies. (288)


326. The battalion being wholly or partially deployed, or the companies being separated: 1. Assemble, 2. MARCH.

The major places himself opposite to or designates the element or point on which the battalion is to assemble. Companies are assembled, as explained in par. 248, and marched to the indicated point. As the companies arrive the major or adjutant indicates the formation to be taken. (289)


327. The following references to orders are applicable to attack or defense: (290)

328. Use of prescribed commands; "tactical orders," "orders" and "commands." In extended order, the company is the largest unit to execute movements by prescribed commands or means. The major, assembling his captains if practicable, directs the disposition of the battalion by means of tactical orders. He controls its subsequent movements by such orders or commands as are suitable to the occasion. (291)

329. Major's order making disposition of battalion for combat; base company in attack. In every disposition of the battalion for combat the major's order should give subordinates sufficient information of the enemy, of the position of supporting and neighboring troops, and of the object sought to enable them to conform intelligently to the general plan.

The order should then designate the companies which are to constitute the firing line and those which are to constitute the support. In attack, it should designate the direction or the objective, the order and front of the companies on the firing line, and should designate the right or left company as base company. In defense, it should describe the front of each company and, if necessary, the sector to be observed by each, as prescribed in 281–284. (292)

330. Reconnaissance and protection of flanks. When the battalion is operating alone, the major provides for the reconnaissance and protection of his flanks; if part of a larger force, the major makes similar provisions, when necessary, without orders from higher authority, unless such authority has specifically directed other suitable reconnaissance and protection. (293)

[Pg 99]331. Issue of extra ammunition when battalion is deployed. When the battalion is deployed upon the initiative of the major, he will indicate whether extra ammunition shall be issued; if deployed in pursuance of orders of higher authority, the major will cause the issue of extra ammunition, unless such authority has given directions to the contrary. (For ammunition supply see pars. 569–575.) (294)


(See pars. 456–462; 463–466.)

332. The following principles of deployment are applicable to attack or defense. (295)

333. Avoiding premature deployment. A premature deployment involves a long, disorganizing and fatiguing advance of the skirmish line, and should be avoided. A greater evil is to be caught by heavy fire when in dense column or other close order formation; hence advantage should be taken of cover in order to retain the battalion in close order formation until exposure to heavy hostile fire may reasonably be anticipated. (296)

334. Depth of deployment and density of firing line; companies and detachments conducted to their places by their commanders. The major regulates the depth of the deployment and the extent and density of the firing line, subject to such restrictions as a senior may have imposed.

Companies or designated subdivisions and detachments are conducted by their commanders in such manner as best to accomplish the mission assigned to them under the major's orders. Companies designated for the firing line march independently to the place of deployment, form skirmish line, and take up the advance. They conform, in general, to the base company, as prescribed in Par. 329. (297)

335. Division of battalion into firing line and support. The commander of a battalion, whether it is operating alone or as part of a larger force, should hold a part of his command out of the firing line. By the judicious use of this force, the major can exert an influence not otherwise possible over his firing line and can control, within reasonable limits, an action once begun. So, if his battalion be assigned to the firing line, the major will cause one, two, or three companies to be deployed on the firing line, retaining the remaining companies or company as a support for that firing line. The division of the battalion into firing line and support will depend upon the front to be covered and the nature and anticipated severity of the action. (298)

336. Size of support. If the battalion be part of a larger command, the number of companies in the firing line will generally be determinable from the regimental commander's order; the remainder constitutes the support, as prescribed in par. 335. If the battalion is acting alone, the support must be strong enough to maintain the original fire power of the firing line, to protect the flanks, and to perform the functions of a reserve, whatever be the issue of the action, as explained in par. 445. (299)

[Pg 100]337. Position of support. If the battalion is operating alone, the support may, according to circumstances, be held in one or two bodies and placed behind the center, or one or both flanks of the firing line, or echeloned beyond a flank. If the battalion is part of a larger force, the support is generally held in one body. (300)

338. Distance between firing line and support. The distance between the firing line and the supporting group or groups will vary between wide limits; it should be as short as the necessity for protection from heavy losses will permit. When cover is available, the support should be as close as 50 to 100 yards; when such cover is not available, it should not be closer than 300 yards. It may be as far as 500 yards in rear if good cover is there obtainable and is not obtainable at a lesser distance. (301)

339. Placing entire battalion or regiment in firing line at beginning. In exceptional cases, as in a meeting engagement, it may be necessary to place an entire battalion or regiment in the firing line at the initial deployment, the support being furnished by other troops. Such deployment causes the early mingling of the larger units, thus rendering leadership and control extremely difficult. The necessity for such deployment will increase with the inefficiency of the commander and of the service of information. (302)


340. Major apportions target. Fire direction and fire control are functions of company and platoon commanders, as laid down in pars. 285–290. The major makes the primary apportionment of the target—in defense, by assigning sectors of fire, in attack, by assigning the objective. In the latter case each company in the firing line takes as its target that part of the general objective which lies in its front. (303)

341. Major indicates where or when fire fight begins. The major should indicate the point or time at which the fire fight is to open. He may do this in his order for deployment or he may follow the firing line close enough to do so at the proper time. If it be impracticable for him to do either, the senior officer with the firing line, in each battalion, selects the time for opening fire. (304)


(See pars. 456–502.)

342. Battalion the attack unit. The battalion is the attack unit, whether operating alone or as part of a larger unit. (305)

343. Advance of battalion acting as one of several in firing line. If his battalion be one of several in the firing line, the major, in executing his part of the attack, pushes his battalion forward as vigorously as possible within the front, or section, assigned to it. The great degree of independence allowed to him as to details demands, in turn, the exercise of good judgment on his part. Better leadership, better troops, and more favorable terrain enable one battalion to advance more rapidly in attack than another less fortunate, and such a battalion will insure the further[Pg 101] advance of the others. The leading battalion should not, however, become isolated; isolation may lead to its destruction. (306)

344. Close in on enemy as much as possible before opening fire. The deployment having been made, the firing line advances without firing. The predominant idea must be to close with the enemy as soon as possible without ruinous losses. The limited supply of ammunition and the uncertainty of resupply, the necessity for securing fire superiority in order to advance within the shorter ranges, and the impossibility of accomplishing this at ineffective ranges, make it imperative that fire be not opened as long as the advance can be continued without demoralizing losses. The attack which halts to open fire at extreme range (over 1,200 yards) is not likely ever to reach its destination. Every effort should be made, by using cover or inconspicuous formations, or by advancing the firing line as a whole, to arrive within 800 yards of the enemy before opening fire. (For expenditure of ammunition see pars. 432–433; for advancing the attack see par. 467.) (307)

345. Fire to be directed against the hostile infantry. Except when the enemy's artillery is able to effect an unusual concentration of fire, its fire upon deployed infantry causes losses which are unimportant when compared with those inflicted by his infantry; hence the attacking infantry should proceed to a position as described above, and from which an effective fire can be directed against the hostile infantry with a view to obtaining fire superiority. The effectiveness of the enemy's fire must be reduced so as to permit further advance. The more effective the fire to which the enemy is subjected the less effective will be his fire. (308)

346. The further advance of the firing line; size of rushing units. Occasionally the fire of adjacent battalions, or of infantry employing fire of position, as explained in par. 438, or of supporting artillery, as explained in pars. 434–438, will permit the further advance of the entire firing line from this point, but it will generally be necessary to advance by rushes, as laid down in par. 259, of fractions of the line.

The fraction making the rush should be as large as the hostile fire and the necessity for maintaining fire superiority will permit. Depending upon circumstances, the strength of the fraction may vary from a company to a few men.

The advance is made as rapidly as possible without losing fire superiority. The smaller the fraction which rushes, the greater the number of rifles which continue to fire upon the enemy. On the other hand, the smaller the fraction which rushes the slower will be the progress of the attack. (309)

347. Size of rushing units. Enough rifles must continue in action to insure the success of each rush. Frequently the successive advances of the firing line must be effected by rushes of fractions of decreased size; that is, advances by rushes may first be made by company, later by half company or platoon, and finally by squads or files; but no subsequent opportunity to increase the rate of advance, such as better cover or a decrease of the hostile fire, should be overlooked. (310)

348. The rush begun by a flank unit. Whenever possible, the rush is begun by a flank fraction of the firing line. In the absence of express directions from the major, each captain of a flank company determines[Pg 102] when an advance by rushes (par. 222) shall be attempted. A flank company which inaugurates an advance by rushes becomes the base company, if not already the base. An advance by rushes having been inaugurated on one flank, the remainder of the firing line conforms; fractions rush successively from that flank and halt on the line established by the initial rush.

The fractions need not be uniform in size; each captain indicates how his company shall rush, having due regard to the ground and the state of the fire fight. (311)

349. Fractions to advance under covering fire. A fraction about to rush is sent forward when the remainder of the line is firing vigorously; otherwise the chief advantage of this method of advancing is lost.

The length of the rush will vary from 30 to 80 yards, depending upon the existence of cover, positions for firing, and the hostile fire. (312)

350. Subsequent advances. When the entire firing line of the battalion has advanced to the new line, fresh opportunities to advance are sought as before. (313)

351. Prearranged methods of advancing by rushes prohibited. Two identical situations will never confront the battalion; hence at drill it is prohibited to arrange the details of an advance before the preceding one has been concluded, or to employ a fixed or prearranged method of advancing by rushes. (314)

352. Post of the major. The major posts himself so as best to direct the reënforcing of the firing line from the support. When all or nearly all of the support has been absorbed by the firing line, he joins, and takes full charge of, the latter. (315)

353. Size of reënforcements. The reënforcing of the firing line by driblets of a squad or a few men has no appreciable effect. The firing line requires either reënforcement or a strong one. Generally one or two platoons will be sent forward under cover of a heavy fire of the firing line. (316)

354. Two methods of reënforcing the firing line. To facilitate control and to provide intervals in which reënforcements may be placed, the companies in the firing line should be kept closed in on their centers as they become depleted by casualties during the advance.

When this is impracticable reënforcements must mingle with and thicken the firing line. In battle the latter method will be the rule rather than the exception, and to familiarize the men with such conditions the combat exercises of the battalion should include both methods of reënforcing. Occasionally, to provide the necessary intervals for reënforcing by either of these methods, the firing line should be thinned by causing men to drop out and simulate losses during the various advances. Under ordinary conditions the depletion of the firing line for this purpose will be from one-fifth to one-half of its strength. (317)

355. Fixing bayonets. The major or senior officer in the firing line determines when bayonets shall be fixed and gives the proper command or signal. It is repeated by all parts of the firing line. Each man who was in the front rank prior to deployment, as soon as he recognizes the command or signal, suspends firing, quickly fixes his bayonet, and immediately resumes firing; after which the other men suspend firing, fix[Pg 103] bayonets, and immediately resume firing. The support also fixes bayonets. The concerted fixing of the bayonet by the firing line at drill does not simulate battle conditions and should not be required. It is essential that there be no marked pause in the firing. Bayonets will be fixed generally before or during the last, or second last, advance preceding the charge. (318)

356. The charge. Subject to orders from higher authority, the major determines the point from which the charge is to be made. (See Pars. 478–489 regarding the charge.) The firing line having arrived at that point and being in readiness, the major causes the charge to be sounded. The signal is repeated by the musicians of all parts of the line. The company officers lead the charge. The skirmishers spring forward shouting, run with bayonets at charge, and close with the enemy.

The further conduct of the charging troops will depend upon circumstances; they may halt and engage in bayonet combat or in pursuing fire, as explained in par. 486; they may advance a short distance to obtain a field of fire or to drive the enemy from the vicinity; they may assemble or reorganize, etc. If the enemy vacates his position every effort should be made to open fire at once on the retreating mass, reorganization of the attacking troops being of secondary importance to the infliction of further losses upon the enemy and to the increase of his confusion, as set forth in pars. 490–494. In combat exercises the major will assume a situation and terminate the assault accordingly. (319)


357. Tactical unit best suited to defensive action. In defense, as in attack, the battalion is the tactical unit best suited to independent assignment. Defensive positions are usually divided into sections and a battalion assigned to each. (320)

358. Trenches. The major locates such fire, communicating, and cover trenches and obstacles as are to be constructed. He assigns companies to construct them and details the troops to occupy them. (See "Field Fortifications," Chapter XVI, Part III.) (321)

359. Reënforcement of firing line. The major reënforces the firing line in accordance with the principles applicable to and explained in connection with, the attack, in pars. 352–354, maintaining no more rifles in the firing line than are necessary to prevent the enemy's advance. (322)

360. Opening fire. The supply of ammunition being usually ample, fire is opened as soon as it is possible to break up the enemy's formation, stop his advance or inflict material loss, but this rule must be modified to suit the ammunition supply. (323)

361. Fixing bayonets. The major causes the firing line and support to fix bayonets when an assault by the enemy is imminent. Captains direct this to be done if they are not in communication with the major and the measure is deemed advisable.

Fire alone will not stop a determined, skillfully conducted attack. The defender must have equal tenacity; if he can stay in his trench or position and cross bayonets, he will at least have neutralized the hostile first line, and the combat will be decided by reserves. (324)

[Pg 104]362. Support to cover withdrawal. If ordered or compelled to withdraw under hostile infantry fire or in the presence of hostile infantry, the support will be posted so as to cover the retirement of the firing line (325)

363. Support in case of battalion acting alone. When the battalion is operating alone, the support must be strong and must be fed sparingly into the firing line, especially if a counter-attack is planned. Opportunities for counter-attack should be sought at all times, as explained in pars. 525–530. (326)



364. Scope of subject of combat tactics in this book. Part II of these regulations treats only of the basic principles of combat tactics as applied to infantry and to the special units, such as machine guns and mounted scouts, which form a part of infantry regiments and battalions.

The combat tactics of the arms combined are considered in Field Service Regulations. (350)

365. Demands of modern combat upon infantry; complicated maneuvers impracticable; success dependent upon leadership, etc. Modern combat demands the highest order of training, discipline, leadership, and morale on the part of the infantry. Complicated maneuvers are impracticable; efficient leadership and a determination to win by simple and direct methods must be depended upon for success. (351)

366. Duties and quality of infantry. The duties of infantry are many and difficult. All infantry must be fit to cope with all conditions that may arise. Modern war requires but one kind of infantry—good infantry. (352)

367. Offensive necessary for decisive results; use of ground, fire efficiency, etc.; local success. The infantry must take the offensive to gain decisive results. Both sides are therefore likely to attempt it, though not necessary at the same time or in the same part of a long battle line.

In the local combats which make up the general battle the better endurance, use of ground, fire efficiency, discipline, and training will win. It is the duty of the infantry to win the local successes which enable the commanding general to win the battle. (356)

368. Requisites of infantry; trained to bear heaviest burdens; good infantry can defeat vastly superior infantry of poor quality. The infantry must have the tenacity to hold every advantage gained, the individual and collective discipline and skill needed to master the enemy's fire, the determination to close with the enemy in attack, and to meet him with the bayonet in defense. Infantry must be trained to bear the heaviest burdens and losses, both of combat and march.

Good infantry can defeat an enemy greatly superior in numbers, but lacking in training, discipline, leadership, and morale. (354)

369. Fixed forms and instructions covering all cases impossible; study and practice necessary; purposes of practical and theoretical instruction. It is impossible to establish fixed forms or to give general instructions that will cover all cases. Officers and noncommissioned officers must be[Pg 105] so trained that they can apply suitable means and methods to each case as it arises. Study and practice are necessary to acquire proper facility in this respect. Theoretical instruction can not replace practical instruction; the former supplies correct ideas and gives to practical work an interest, purpose, and definiteness not otherwise obtainable. (355)

370. Exercises in extended order to be in nature of combat exercises; all combat exercises to be conducted under assumed tactical situations. After the mechanism of extended order drill has been learned with precision in the company, every exercise should be, as far as practicable, in the nature of a maneuver (combat exercise) against an imaginary, outlined, or represented enemy.

Company extended order drill may be conducted without reference to a tactical situation, but a combat exercise, whatever may be the size of the unit employed, should be conducted under an assumed tactical situation. (356)

371. Effective method of conducting combat exercises. An effective method of conducting a combat exercise is to outline the enemy with a few men equipped with flags. The umpire or inspector states the situation, and the commander leads his troops with due regard to the assumptions made.

Changes in situation, the results of reconnaissance, the character of artillery fire, etc., are made known to the commander when necessary by the umpire or inspector, who, in order to observe and influence the conduct of the exercise, remains in rear of the firing line. From this position he indicates, with the aid of prearranged signals, the character of the fire and movements of the hostile infantry. These signals are intended for the men outlining the enemy. These men repeat the signals; all officers and men engaged in the exercise and in sight of the outlined enemy are thus informed of the enemy's action, and the exercise is conducted accordingly.

Assistant umpires, about one for each company in the firing line, may assist in indicating hostile fire and movements and in observing the conduct of the exercise.

An outlined enemy may be made to attack or defend.

Situations should be simple and natural. During or after the exercise the umpire or inspector should call attention to any improper movements or incorrect methods of execution. He will prohibit all movements of troops or individuals that would be impossible if the enemy were real. The slow progress of events to be expected on the battlefield can hardly be simulated, but the umpire or inspector will prevent undue haste and will attempt to enforce a reasonably slow rate of progress.

The same exercise should not be repeated over the same ground and under the same situation. Such repetitions lead to the adoption of a fixed mode of attack or defense and develop mere drill masters. Fixed or prearranged systems are prohibited. (357)

[Pg 106]

General Considerations

372. What constitutes art of leadership. The art of leadership consists of applying sound tactical principles to concrete cases on the battlefield.

Self-reliance, initiative, aggressiveness, and a conception of team-work are the fundamental characteristics of successful leadership. (358)

373. Basis of success; adherence to original plan. A correct grasp of the situation and a definite plan of action form the soundest basis for a successful combat.

A good plan once adopted and put into execution should not be abandoned unless it becomes clear that it can not succeed. Afterthoughts are dangerous, except as they aid in the execution of details in the original plans. (359)

374. Avoid combats offering no chance of valuable results. Combats that do not promise success or some real advantage to the general issue should be avoided; they cause unnecessary losses, impair the morale of one's own troops, and raise that of the enemy. (360)

375. Avoid complicated maneuvers. Complicated maneuvers are not likely to succeed in war. All plans and the methods adopted for carrying them into effect must be simple and direct. (361)

376. Order and cohesion necessary. Order and cohesion must be maintained within the units if success is to be expected. (362)

377. Officers to be true leaders. Officers must show themselves to be true leaders. They must act in accordance with the spirit of their orders and must require of their troops the strictest discipline on the field of battle. (363)

378. Units not to be broken up. The best results are obtained when leaders know the capacity and traits of those whom they command; hence in making detachments units should not be broken up, and a deployment that would cause an intermingling of the larger units in the firing line should be avoided. (364)

379. Leading deployed troops difficult; necessity for training, discipline and close order. Leading is difficult when troops are deployed. A high degree of training and discipline and the use of close order formations to the fullest extent possible are therefore required. (365)

380. Avoidance of unnecessary hardship; limit of endurance exacted when necessary. In order to lighten the severe physical strain inseparable from infantry service in campaign, constant efforts must be made to spare the troops unnecessary hardship and fatigue; but when necessity arises, the limit of endurance must be exacted. (366)

381. Fighting troops not to carry back wounded. When officers or men belonging to fighting troops leave their proper places to carry back, or to care for, wounded during the progress of the action, they are guilty of skulking. This offense must be repressed with the utmost vigor. (367)

382. Complete equipment usually carried into action. The complete equipment of the soldier is carried into action unless the weather or the physical condition of the men renders such measure a severe hardship. In any event, only the pack[4] will be laid aside. The determination of[Pg 107] this question rests with the regimental commander. The complete equipment affords to men lying prone considerable protection against shrapnel. (368)

383. Post of commander; use of reserve in case of victory; when firing line is controlled by commander. The post of the commander must be such as will enable him to observe the progress of events and to communicate his orders. Subordinate commanders, in addition, must be in position to transmit the orders of superiors.

Before entering an action, the commander should be as far to the front as possible in order that he personally may see the situation, order the deployment, and begin the action strictly in accordance with his own wishes.

During the action, he must, as a rule, leave to the local leaders the detailed conduct of the firing line, posting himself either with his own reserve or in such a position that he is in constant, direct, and easy communication with it.

A commander takes full and direct charge of his firing line only when the line has absorbed his whole command.

When their troops are victorious, all commanders should press forward in order to clinch the advantage gained and to use their reserves to the best advantage. (369)

384. Latitude allowed subordinates. The latitude allowed to officers is in direct proportion to the size of their commands. Each should see to the general execution of his task, leaving to the proper subordinates the supervision of details, and interfering only when mistakes are made that threaten to seriously prejudice the general plan. (370)


385. Latitude allowed subordinates; success depends on coördination of subordinates. The comparatively wide fronts of deployed units increase the difficulties of control. Subordinates must therefore be given great latitude in the execution of their tasks. The success of the whole depends largely upon how well each subordinate coördinates his work with the general plan.

A great responsibility is necessarily thrown upon subordinates, but responsibility stimulates the right kind of an officer. (371)

386. Initiative of subordinates; general plan to be furthered. In a given situation it is far better to do any intelligent thing consistent with the aggressive execution of the general plan, than to search hesitatingly for the ideal. This is the true rule of conduct for subordinates who are required to act upon their own initiative.

A subordinate who is reasonably sure that his intended action is such as would be ordered by the commander, were the latter present and in possession of the facts, has enough encouragement to go ahead confidently. He must possess the loyalty to carry out the plans of his superior and the keenness to recognize and to seize opportunities to further the general plan. (372)

[Pg 108]387. But one supreme will in a battle; subordinates to coöperate. Independence must not become license. Regardless of the number of subordinates who are apparently supreme in their own restricted spheres, there is but one battle and but one supreme will to which all must conform.

Every subordinate must therefore work for the general result. He does all in his power to insure coöperation between the subdivisions under his command. He transmits important information to adjoining units or to superiors in rear and, with the assistance of information received, keeps himself and his subordinates duly posted as to the situation. (373)

388. Deviation from orders. When circumstances render it impracticable to consult the authority issuing an order, officers should not hesitate to vary from such order when it is clearly based upon an incorrect view of the situation, is impossible of execution, or has been rendered impracticable on account of changes which have occurred since its promulgation. In the application of this rule the responsibility for mistakes rests upon the subordinate, but unwillingness to assume responsibility on proper occasions is indicative of weakness.

Superiors should be careful not to censure an apparent disobedience where the act was done in the proper spirit and to advance the general plan. (374)

389. Intermingling of units; duties of officers and guides. When the men of two or more units intermingle in the firing line, all officers and men submit at once to the senior. Officers and platoon guides seek to fill vacancies caused by casualties. Each seizes any opportunity to exercise the functions consistent with his grade, and all assist in the maintenance of order and control.

Every lull in the action should be utilized for as complete restoration of order in the firing line as the ground or other conditions permit. (375)

390. Separated officers and noncommissioned officers placing themselves under nearest higher commander. Any officer or noncommissioned officer who becomes separated from his proper unit and can not rejoin must at once place himself and his command at the disposal of the nearest higher commander. (376)

Anyone having completed an assigned task must seek to rejoin his proper command. Failing in this, he should join the nearest troops engaged with the enemy.

391. Duty of separated soldiers. Soldiers are taught the necessity of remaining with their companies, but those who become detached must join the nearest company and serve with it until the battle is over or reorganization is ordered. (377)


392. Orders for deployment; combat orders of divisions and brigades usually written. Commands are deployed and enter the combat by the orders of the commander to the subordinate commanders.

[Pg 109]The initial combat orders of the division are almost invariably written; those of the brigade are generally so. The written order is preferable and is used whenever time permits.

If time permits, subsequent orders are likewise written, either as field orders or messages. (378)

393. Combat orders of regiments and smaller units; verbal messages. The initial combat orders of regiments and smaller units are given verbally. For this purpose the subordinates for whom the orders are intended are assembled, if practicable, at a place from which the situation and plan can be explained.

Subsequent orders are verbal or in the form of verbal or written messages. Verbal messages should not be used unless they are short and unmistakable. (379)

394. Initial combat orders; personal reconnaissance. The initial combat order of any commander or subordinate is based upon his definite plan for executing the task confronting him.

Whenever possible the formation of the plan is preceded by a personal reconnaissance of the terrain and a careful consideration of all information of the enemy. (380)

395. Composition of combat orders. The combat order gives such information of the enemy and of neighboring or supporting friendly troops as will enable subordinates to understand the situation.

The general plan of action is stated in brief terms, but enough of the commander's intentions is divulged to guide the subsequent actions of the subordinates.

Clear and concise instructions are given as to the action to be taken in the combat by each part of the command. In this way the commander assigns tasks, fronts, objectives, sectors or areas, etc., in accordance with his plan. If the terms employed convey definite ideas and leave no loopholes, the conduct of subordinates will generally be correspondingly satisfactory.

Such miscellaneous matter relating to special troops, trains, ammunition, and future movements of the commander is added as concerns the combat itself.

Combat orders should prescribe communication, reconnaissance, flank protection, etc., when some special disposition is desired or when an omission on the part of a subordinate may reasonably be feared. (381)

396. Encroaching upon functions of subordinates prohibited; orders to be definite. When issuing orders, a commander should indicate clearly what is to be done by each subordinate, but not how it is to be done. He should not encroach upon the functions of a subordinate by prescribing details of execution unless he has good reason to doubt the ability or judgment of the subordinate, and cannot substitute another.

Although general in its terms, an order must be definite and must be the expression of a fixed decision. Ambiguity or vagueness indicates either a vacillation or the inability to formulate orders. (382)

397. Orders generally given subordinates through their immediate superiors. Usually the orders of a commander are intended for, and are given to, the commanders of the next lower units, but in an emergency[Pg 110] commander should not hesitate to give orders directly to any subordinate. In such case he should promptly inform the intermediate commander concerned. (383)


398. Communication, how maintained. Communication is maintained by means of staff officers, messengers, relay systems, connecting files, visual signals, telegraph, or telephone. (384)

399. Lines of communication established by signal corps. The signal corps troops of the division establish lines of information from division to brigade headquarters. The further extension of lines of information in combat by signal troops is exceptional. (385)

400. Lines of communication established by regiment; orderlies carry signal flags. Each regiment, employing its own personnel, is responsible for the maintenance of communication from the colonel back to the brigade and forward to the battalions. For this purpose the regiment uses the various means which may be furnished it. The staff and orderlies, regimental and battalion, are practiced in the use of these means and in messenger service. Orderlies carry signal flags. (386)

401. Communication between firing line and major or colonel; company musicians carry signal flags. Connection between the firing line and the major or colonel is practically limited to the prescribed flag, arm, and bugle signals. Other means can only be supplemental. Company musicians carry company flags and are practiced in signaling. (387)

402. Communication by artillery with firing line by means of staff officers or through agents. The artillery generally communicates with the firing line by means of its own staff officers or through an agent who accompanies some unit in or near the front. The infantry keeps him informed as to the situation and affords any reasonable assistance. When the infantry is dependent upon the artillery for fire support, perfect coördination through this representative is of great importance. (388)


403. Importance of combat reconnaissance; avoidance of deployment on wrong lines. Combat reconnaissance is of vital importance and must not be neglected. By proper preliminary reconnaissance, deployments on wrong lines, or in a wrong direction, and surprises may generally be prevented. (389)

404. Protection of troops by proper reconnaissance. Troops deployed and under fire can not change front, and thus they suffer greatly when enfiladed. Troops in close order formation may suffer heavy losses in a short time if subjected to hostile fire. In both formations troops must be protected by proper reconnaissance and warning. (390)

405. Difficulty of reconnaissance depends on extent of enemy's screen; strength of reconnoitering parties. The difficulty of reconnaissance increases in proportion to the measures adopted by the enemy to screen himself.

The strength of the reconnoitering party is determined by the character of the information desired and the nature of the hostile screen. In exceptional cases as much as a battalion may be necessary in order to[Pg 111] break through the hostile screen and enable the commander or officer in charge to reconnoiter in person.

A large reconnoitering party is conducted so as to open the way for small patrols, to serve as a supporting force or rallying point for them, and to receive and transmit information. Such parties maintain signal communication with the main body if practicable. (391)

406. Each separate column to protect itself by reconnaissance. Each separate column moving forward to deploy must reconnoiter to its front and flank and keep in touch with adjoining columns. The extent of the reconnaissance to the flank depends upon the isolation of the columns. (392)

407. Reconnaissance before attacking. Before an attack a reconnaissance must be made to determine the enemy's position, the location of his flanks, the character of the terrain, the nature of the hostile field works, etc., in order to prevent premature deployment and the resulting fatigue and loss of time.

It will frequently be necessary to send forward a thin skirmish line in order to induce the enemy to open fire and reveal his position. (393)

408. Extent of reconnaissance. It will frequently be impossible to obtain satisfactory information until after the action has begun. The delay that may be warranted for the purpose of reconnaissance depends upon the nature of the attack and the necessity for promptness. For example, in a meeting engagement, and sometimes in a holding attack, the reconnaissance may have to be hasty and superficial, whereas in an attack against an enemy carefully prepared for defense there will generally be both time and necessity for thorough reconnaissance. (394)

409. Reconnaissance in defense. In defense, reconnaissance must be kept up to determine the enemy's line of advance, to ascertain his dispositions, to prevent his reconnaissance, etc.

Patrols or parties posted to prevent hostile reconnaissance should relieve the main body of the necessity of betraying its position by firing on small bodies of the enemy. (395)

410. Duration of reconnaissance; protection of flanks. Reconnaissance continues throughout the action.

A firing or skirmish line can take care of its front, but its flanks are especially vulnerable to modern firearms. The moral effect of flanking fire is as great as the physical effect. Hence, combat patrols to give warning or covering detachments to give security are indispensable on exposed flanks. This is equally true in attack or defense. (396)

411. Responsibility of infantry commanders for reconnaissance; surprise unpardonable. The fact that cavalry patrols are known to be posted in a certain direction does not relieve infantry commanders of the responsibility for reconnaissance and security.

To be surprised by an enemy at short range is an unpardonable offense. (397)

412. Commander of flank battalion responsible for security of his flank. The commander of a battalion on a flank of a general line invariably provides for the necessary reconnaissance and security on that[Pg 112] flank unless higher authority has specifically ordered it. In any event, he sends out combat patrols as needed.

Where his battalion is on a flank of one section of the line and a considerable interval lies between his battalion and the next section, he makes similar provision. (398)

413. Patrols established by battalion commanders. Battalion commanders in the first line establish patrols to observe and report the progress or conduct of adjoining troops when these can not be seen. (399)



(See par. 427)

414. Success in battle dependent upon fire superiority. In a decisive battle success depends on gaining and maintaining fire superiority. Every effort must be made to gain it early and then to keep it.

Attacking troops must first gain fire superiority in order to reach the hostile position. Over open ground attack is possible only when the attacking force has a decided fire superiority. With such superiority the attack is not only possible, but success is probable and without ruinous losses.

Defending troops can prevent a charge only when they can master the enemy's fire and inflict heavy losses upon him. (400)

415. Volume and accuracy necessary to obtain fire superiority. To obtain fire superiority it is necessary to produce a heavy volume of accurate fire. Every increase in the effectiveness of the fire means a corresponding decrease in the effectiveness of the enemy's fire.

The volume and accuracy of fire will depend upon several considerations:

(a) The number of rifles employed. On a given front the greatest volume of fire is produced by a firing line having only sufficient intervals between men to permit the free use of their rifles. The maximum density of a firing line is therefore about one man per yard of front.

(b) The rate of fire affects its volume; an excessive rate reduces its accuracy.

(c) The character of the target influences both volume and accuracy. Larger dimensions, greater visibility, and shorter range increase the rate of fire; greater density increases the effect.

(d) Training and discipline have an important bearing on the rate or volume of fire, but their greatest influence is upon accuracy.

The firing efficiency of troops is reduced by fatigue and adverse psychological influences.

(e) Fire direction and control improve collective accuracy. The importance of fire direction increases rapidly with the range. Control exerts a powerful influence at all ranges. (401)

[Pg 113]

Opening Fire

416. Long range fire, when effective. Beyond effective ranges important results can be expected only when the target is large and distinct and much ammunition is used.

Long range fire is permissible in pursuit on account of the moral effect of any fire under the circumstances. At other times such fire is of doubtful value. (402)

417. Opening fire in attack. In attack, the desire to open fire when losses are first felt must be repressed. Considerations of time, target, ammunition, and morale make it imperative that the attack withhold its fire and press forward to a first firing position close to the enemy. The attacker's target will be smaller and fainter than the one he presents to the enemy. (403)

418. Opening fire in defense. In defense, more ammunition is available, ranges are more easily determined, and the enemy usually presents a larger target. The defender may therefore open fire and expect results at longer ranges than the attacker, and particularly if the defenders intend a delaying action only.

If the enemy has a powerful artillery, it will often be best for the defending infantry to withhold its fire until the enemy offers a specially favorable target. Vigorous and well-directed bursts of fire are then employed. The troops should therefore be given as much artificial protection as time and means permit, and at an agreed signal expose themselves as much as necessary and open fire. (404)

419. Opening fire in unexpected, close encounters. In unexpected, close encounters a great advantage accrues to the side which first opens rapid and accurate fire with battle sight. (405)

Use of Ground

420. Requisites of ground for cover. The position of the firers must afford a suitable field of fire.

The ground should permit constant observation of the enemy, and yet enable the men to secure some cover when not actually firing.

Troops whose target is for the moment hidden by unfavorable ground, either move forward to better ground or seek to execute cross fire on another target. (406)

421. Skillful use of ground reduces visibility. The likelihood of a target being hit depends to a great extent upon its visibility. By skillful use of ground, a firing line may reduce its visibility without loss of fire power. Sky lines are particularly to be avoided. (407)

Choice of Target

422. Target to be chosen. The target chosen should be the hostile troops most dangerous to the firers. These will usually be the nearest hostile infantry. When no target is specially dangerous, that one should be chosen which promises the most hits. (408)

423. Target not to be changed except for good reason. Frequent changes of target impair the fire effect. Random changes to small, un[Pg 114]important targets impair fire discipline and accomplish nothing. Attention should be confined to the main target until substantial reason for change is apparent. (409)

424. Flanking fire to be delivered when opportunity offers. An opportunity to deliver flanking fire, especially against artillery protected in front by shields, is an example warranting change of target and should never be overlooked. Such fire demoralizes the troops subjected to it, even if the losses inflicted are small. In this manner a relatively small number of rifles can produce important results. (410)

The Range

425. Importance of correct sight setting. Beyond close range, the correct setting of the rear sight is of primary importance, provided the troops are trained and well in hand. The necessity for correct sight setting increases rapidly with the range. Its importance decreases as the quality of the troops decrease, for the error in sight setting, except possibly at very long ranges, becomes unimportant when compared with the error in holding and aiming. (411)

426. Determination of ranges. In attack, distances must usually be estimated and corrections made as errors are observed. Mechanical range finders and ranging volleys are practicable at times.

In defense, it is generally practicable to measure more accurately the distances to visible objects and to keep a record of them for future use. (412)

Distribution of Fire and Target

427. Purpose of fire superiority; distribution of fire and target. The purpose of fire superiority is to get hits whenever possible, but at all events to keep down the enemy's fire and render it harmless. To accomplish this the target must be covered with fire throughout its whole extent. Troops who are not fired upon will fire with nearly peacetime accuracy.

The target is roughly divided and a part is assigned to each unit. No part of the target is neglected. In attack, by a system of overlapping in assigning targets to platoons, the entire hostile line can be kept under fire even during a rush. (Pars. 400–401.) (413)


428. Observation of target. The correctness of the sight setting and the distribution of fire over the target can be verified only by careful observation of the target, the adjacent ground, and the effect upon the enemy. (414)

429. Observation determines whether fire fight is being properly conducted. Observation only can determine whether the fire fight is being properly conducted. If the enemy's fire is losing in accuracy and effect, the observer realizes that his side is gaining superiority. If the enemy's fire remains or becomes effective and persistent, he realizes that corrective measures are necessary to increase either volume or accuracy, or both. (415)

[Pg 115]


430. What discipline accomplishes. Discipline makes good direction and control possible and is the distinguishing mark of trained troops. (416)

431. Communication on firing line by means of signals. The discipline necessary in the firing line will be absent unless officers and noncommissioned officers can make their will known to the men. In the company, therefore, communication must be by simple signals which, in the roar of musketry, will attract the attention and convey the correct meaning. (417)

Expenditure of Ammunition

432. Use of ammunition in attack. In attack the supply is more limited than in defense. Better judgment must be exercised in expenditure. Ordinarily, troops in the firing line of an attack can not expect to have that day more ammunition than they carry into the combat, except such additions as come from the distribution of ammunition of dead and wounded and the surplus brought by reënforcements. (418)

433. True economy in expenditure of ammunition. When a certain fire effect is required, the necessary ammunition must be expended without hesitation. Several hours of firing may be necessary to gain fire superiority. True economy can be practiced only by closing on the enemy, as explained in par. 344, before first opening fire, and thereafter suspending fire when there is nothing to shoot at. (419)

Supporting Artillery

434. Artillery fire principal aid of infantry. Artillery fire is the principal aid to the infantry in gaining and keeping fire superiority, not only by its hits, but by the moral effect it produces on the enemy. (420)

435. Functions of artillery fire in attack and defense. In attack, artillery assists the forward movement of the infantry. It keeps down the fire of the hostile artillery and seeks to neutralize the hostile infantry by inflicting losses upon it, destroying its morale, driving it to cover, and preventing it from using its weapons effectively.

In defense, it ignores the hostile artillery when the enemy's attack reaches a decisive stage and assists in checking the attack, joining its fire power to that of the defending infantry. (421)

436. Fire of artillery over friendly troops. Troops should be accustomed to being fired over by friendly artillery and impressed with the fact that the artillery should continue firing upon the enemy until the last possible moment. The few casualties resulting from shrapnel bursting short are trifling compared with those that would result from the increased effectiveness of the enemy's infantry fire were the friendly artillery to cease firing.

Casualties inflicted by supporting artillery are not probable until the opposing infantry lines are less than 200 yards apart. (422)

437. When no longer safe for artillery to fire over friendly troops. When the distance between the hostile infantry lines becomes so short as to render further use of friendly artillery inadvisable, the commander[Pg 116] of the infantry firing line, using a preconcerted signal,[5] informs the artillery commander. The latter usually increases the range in order to impede the strengthening of the enemy's foremost line, as explained in pars. 345–346. (423)

Fire of Position

438. Fire of position, when used. Infantry is said to execute fire of position when it is posted so as to assist an attack by firing over the heads, or off the flank, of the attacking troops and is not itself to engage in the advance; or when, in defense, it is similarly posted to augment the fire of the main firing line.

Machine guns serve a like purpose, as set forth in par. 555.

In a decisive action, fire of position should be employed whenever the terrain permits and reserve infantry is available. (424)


439. Formation of troops before and during deployment. Troops are massed preparatory to deployment when the nature of their deployment can not be foreseen or it is desirable to shorten the column or to clear the road. Otherwise, in the deployment of large commands, whether in march column, in bivouac, or massed, and whether forming, for attack or for defense, they are ordinarily first formed into a line of columns to facilitate the extension of the front prior to deploying.

The rough line or lines of columns thus formed enable troops to take advantage of the terrain in advancing and shorten the time occupied in forming the firing line. (425)

440. Action of brigade and regimental commanders in deployment of division. In deploying the division, each brigade is assigned a definite task or objective. On receipt of his orders, the brigade commander conducts his brigade in column or in line of regiments, until it is advisable that it be broken into smaller columns. He then issues his order, assigning to each regiment its task, if practicable. In a similar manner the regimental commanders lead their regiments forward in column, or in line of columns, until the time arrives for issuing the regimental order. It is seldom advisable to break up the battalion before issuing orders for its deployment. (426)

441. Personal reconnaissance before deployment. Each subordinate commander, after receiving his order for the action, should precede his command as far as possible, in order to reconnoiter the ground personally, and should prepare to issue his orders promptly. (427)

442. Each commander to guard his command against surprise. Each commander of a column directs the necessary reconnaissance to front and flanks; by this means and by a judicious choice of ground he guards against surprise. (428)

443. Premature formation of firing line to be avoided. The premature formation of the firing line causes unnecessary fatigue and loss of time, and may result in a faulty direction being taken. Troops once deployed make even minor changes of direction with difficulty, and this difficulty increases with the length of the firing line. (429)

[Pg 117]444. Rectification of deployment in wrong direction. In the larger units, when the original deployment is found to be in the wrong direction, it will usually be necessary to deploy the reserve on the correct front and withdraw and assemble the first line. (430)

445. Number of troops to be deployed in beginning. To gain decisive results, it will generally be necessary to use all the troops at some stage of the combat. But in the beginning, while the situation is uncertain, care should be taken not to engage too large a proportion of the command. On the other hand, there is no greater error than to employ too few and to sacrifice them by driblets. (For division of the battalion in attack see 335–339.) (431)

446. Dense, well-directed, and controlled line of heavy fire gives fire superiority. When it is intended to fight to a decision, fire superiority is essential. To gain this, two things are necessary: A heavy fire and a fire well-directed and controlled. Both of these are best obtained when the firing line is as dense as practicable, while leaving the men room for the free use of their rifles.

If the men are too widely separated, direction and control are very difficult, often impossible, and the intensity of fire is slight in proportion to the front occupied. (432)

447. Density of 1 man per yard; occupation of only sections of long lines. In an attack or stubborn defense the firing line should have a density of one man per yard of front occupied.

Where the tactical situation demands the holding of a line too long to be occupied throughout at this density, it is generally better to deploy companies or platoons at one man per yard, leaving gaps in the line between them, than to distribute the men uniformly at increased intervals. (433)

448. Use of thin firing line. A relatively thin firing line may be employed when merely covering the movements of other forces; when on the defensive against poor troops; when the final action to be taken has not yet been determined; and, in general, when fire superiority is not necessary. (434)

449. Length of firing line employed by whole force; strength of supports and reserves; density of charging line. The length of the firing line that the whole force may employ depends upon the density of the line and the strength in rear required by the situation.

Supports and reserves constitute the strength in rear.

In a decisive attack they should be at least strong enough to replace a heavy loss in the original firing line and to increase the charging line to a density of at least one and one-half men per yard and still have troops in rear for protection and for the other purposes mentioned above. (435)

450. Strength of reserve; troops deployed varying from 1 to 10 men per yard. In the original deployment the strength of the reserve held out by each commander comprises from one-sixth to two-thirds of his unit, depending upon the nature of the service expected of the reserve.

A small force in a covering or delaying action requires very little strength in rear, while a large force fighting a decisive battle[Pg 118] requires much. Therefore, depending upon circumstances, the original deployment, including the strength in rear, may vary from 1 to 10 men per yard. Against an enemy poorly disciplined and trained, or lacking in morale, a thinner deployment is permissible. (436)

451. Density of whole deployment varies with size of command. The density of the whole deployment increases with the size of the command, because the larger the command the greater the necessity for reserves. Thus, battalion acting alone may attack two men per yard of front, but a regiment, with three battalions, may only double the front of the one battalion. (437)

452. Division of battle line into battle districts and density of deployment therein. By the assignment of divisions or larger units to parts of a line of battle several miles long, a series of semi-independent battle, or local combat, districts are created.

The general deployment for a long line of battle comprising several battle districts is not directly considered in these regulations. The deployments treated of herein are those of the infantry within such districts.

The density of deployment in these districts may vary greatly, depending upon the activity expected in each. Within these battle districts, as well as in smaller forces acting alone, parts of the line temporarily of less importance may be held weakly, in order to economize troops and to have more at the decisive point. (438)

453. Extent of front occupied by a unit depends upon security of flanks. The front that a unit may occupy when deployed depends also upon whether its flanks are secured. If both flanks are secured by other troops, the unit may increase its front materially by reducing its reserve or supports. If only one flank is so secured, the front may still be somewhat increased, but the exposed flank must be guarded by posting the supports or reserve toward that flank.

Natural obstacles that secure the flanks have practically the same effect upon deployment. (439)

454. Regiments, battalions, and companies deployed side by side. Except when assigned as supports or reserve, regiments in the brigade, battalions in the regiment, and companies in the battalion are, when practicable, deployed side by side. (440)

455. Battalions furnish firing line and supports; larger units furnish reserves; employment of reserve. In the deployment, battalions establish the firing line, each furnishing its own support.

In each unit larger than the battalion a reserve is held out, its strength depending upon circumstances. In general, the reserve is employed by the commander to meet or improve conditions brought about by the action of the firing line. It must not be too weak or too split up. It must be posted where the commander believes it will be needed for decisive action, or where he desires to bring about such action. When necessary, parts of it reënforce or prolong the firing line. (441)

[Pg 119]


(For the battalion in Attack, see pars. 342–346)

456. Fire superiority means success; how to obtain fire superiority. An attack is bound to succeed if fire superiority is gained and properly used.

To gain this superiority generally requires that the attack employ more rifles than the defense; this in turn means a longer line, as both sides will probably hold a strong firing line. (442)

457. When frontal attack may be successful. With large forces, a direct frontal attack gives the attacker little opportunity to bring more rifles to bear. However, if the enemy is unduly extended, a frontal attack may give very decisive results. (443)

458. When turning movements are allowable. Owing to the difficulty of control and the danger of the parts being defeated in detail, wide turning movements are seldom allowable except in large forces. (444)

459. Advantages of enveloping attack. If the attack can be so directed that, while the front is covered, another fraction of the command strikes a flank more or less obliquely (an enveloping attack), the advantages gained are a longer line and more rifles in action; also a converging fire opposed to the enemy's diverging fire. (445)

460. Envelopment of both flanks. An envelopment of both flanks should never be attempted without a very decided superiority in numbers. (446)

461. Enveloping attacks result in local frontal attacks; advantage of envelopment. The enveloping attack will nearly always result locally in a frontal attack, for it will be met by the enemy's reserve. The advantage of envelopment lies in the longer concentric line, with its preponderance of rifles and its converging fire. (447)

462. Coöperation between frontal and enveloping attacks; the two attacks to be deployed considerable distance from hostile positions. Coöperation between the frontal and enveloping attacks is essential to success. Both should be pushed vigorously and simultaneously, and ordinarily both should move simultaneously to the charge; but at the final stage of the attack conditions may sometimes warrant one in charging while the other supports it with fire.

The envelopment of a flank is brought about with difficulty when made by troops already deployed in another direction or by their reserves. The two attacks should be deployed at a suitable distance apart, with the lines of attack converging in rear of the hostile position. The troops that are to make the enveloping attack should deploy in the proper direction at the start and should be given orders which enable them to gain their point of deployment in the most direct and practical manner.

The enveloping attack is generally made the stronger, especially in small forces. (448)

[Pg 120]


463. Distance from hostile position at which deployment is made; foreground to be cleared of hostile detachments before deployment. Where open terrain exposes troops to hostile artillery fire it may be necessary to make the deployment 2 miles or more from the hostile position.

The foreground should be temporarily occupied by covering troops. If the enemy occupies the foreground with detachments, the covering troops must drive them back. (449)

464. Moving well forward and deploying at night. To enable large forces to gain ground toward the enemy, it may sometimes be cheaper and quicker in the end to move well forward and to deploy at night. In such case the area in which the deployment is to be made should, if practicable, be occupied by covering troops before dark.

The deployment will be made with great difficulty unless the ground has been studied by daylight. The deployment gains little unless it establishes the firing line well within effective range of the enemy's main position. (See Night Operations, par. 580–590.) (450)

465. Each unit deploys on its direction line; intervals between battalions on firing line. Each unit assigned a task deploys when on its direction line, or opposite its objective, and when it has no longer sufficient cover for advancing in close order. In the firing line, intervals of 25 to 50 yards should be maintained as long as possible between battalions. In the larger units it may be necessary to indicate on the map the direction or objective, but to battalion commanders it should be pointed out on the ground. (451)

466. Post of reserve; reserve charged with flank protection. The reserve is kept near enough to the firing line to be on hand at the decisive stage. It is posted with reference to the attack, or to that part of the attacking line, from which the greater results are expected; it is also charged with flank protection, but should be kept intact.

Supports are considered in paragraphs 262 to 265, inclusive, and 335 to 339, inclusive. (452)


467. Firing line to advance as far as possible before opening fire. The firing line must ordinarily advance a long distance before it is justified in opening fire. It can not combat the enemy's artillery, and it is at a disadvantage if it combats the defender's long-range rifle fire. Hence it ignores both and, by taking full advantage of cover and of the discipline of the troops, advances to a first firing position at the shortest range possible, as explained in par. 344.

Formations for crossing this zone with the minimum loss are considered in paragraphs 249 to 257, inclusive. These and other methods of crossing such zones should be studied and practiced. (453)

468. Invisibility best protection while advancing. The best protection against loss while advancing is to escape the enemy's view. (454)

469. Advance of battalions. Each battalion finds its own firing position, conforming to the general advance as long as practicable and[Pg 121] taking advantage of the more advanced position of an adjacent battalion in order to gain ground.

The position from which the attack opens fire is further considered in paragraphs 343–345, inclusive. (455)

470. Infantry moving to the attack passing through deployed artillery. It will frequently become necessary for infantry moving to the attack to pass through deployed artillery. This should be done so as to interfere as little as possible with the latter's fire, and never so as to cause that fire to cease entirely. As far as practicable, advantage should be taken of intervals in the line, if any. An understanding between artillery and infantry commanders should be had, so as to effect the movement to the best advantage. (456)

471. Advanced elements of firing line not to open fire on main hostile position. In advancing the attack, advanced elements of the firing line or detachments in front of it should not open fire except in defense or to clear the foreground of the enemy. Fire on the hostile main position should not be opened until all or nearly all of the firing line can join in the fire. (457)


(See pars. 414–438.)

472. Fire superiority sought at first firing position, and to be maintained until charging point is reached; size of rushing units. At the first firing position the attack seeks to gain fire superiority. This may necessitate a steady, accurate fire a long time. The object is to subdue the enemy's fire and keep it subdued so that the attacking troops may advance from this point to a favorable place near the enemy from which the charge may be made. Hence, in the advance by rushes, sufficient rifles must be kept constantly in action to keep down the enemy's fire; this determines the size of the fraction rushing. (458)

473. Futility of advancing without fire superiority. To advance without fire superiority against a determined defense would result in such losses as to bring the attack to a standstill or to make the apparent success barren of results. (459)

474. Signs that fire superiority has been gained. Diminution of the enemy's fire and a pronounced loss in effectiveness are the surest signs that fire superiority has been gained and that a part of the firing line can advance. (460)

475. Retiring under fire in daylight suicidal; intrenching. The men must be impressed with the fact that, having made a considerable advance under fire and having been checked, it is suicidal to turn back in daylight.

If they can advance no farther, they must intrench and hold on until the fall of darkness or a favorable turn in the situation develops.

Intrenching is resorted to only when necessary. Troops who have intrenched themselves under fire are moved forward again with difficulty. (461)

476. Supports and reserves occupying trenches vacated by firing line, to improve same. Supports and reserves occupying intrenchments vacated[Pg 122] by the firing line should improve them, but they must not be held back or diverted from their true missions on this account. (462)

477. Greater detail of conduct of fire attack. Paragraphs 346 to 354, inclusive, deal more in detail with the conduct of the fire attack. (463)


(See pars. 355–356)

478. What fire superiority accomplishes; psychological moment for charge determined by tactical instinct. Fire superiority beats down the enemy's fire, destroys his resistance and morale, and enables the attacking troops to close on him, but an actual or threatened occupation of his position is needed to drive him out and defeat him.

The psychological moment for the charge can not be determined far in advance. The tactical instinct of the responsible officer must decide. (464)

479. When, and distance over which charge should be made.

The defenders, if subjugated by the fire attack, will frequently leave before the charge begins. On the other hand, it may be necessary to carry the fire attack close to the position and follow it up with a short dash and a bayonet combat. Hence the distance over which the charge may be made will vary between wide limits. It may be from 25 to 400 yards.

The charge should be made at the earliest moment that promises success; otherwise the full advance of victory will be lost. (465)

480. Charge to be made with approval of commander of attacking line; battalion commanders signal commander of line when ready to charge; charge to be made simultaneously. The commander of the attacking line should indicate his approval, or give the order, before the charge is made. Subordinate commanders, usually battalion commanders, whose troops are ready to charge, signal that fact to the commander. It may be necessary for them to wait until other battalions or other parts of the line are ready or until the necessary reserves arrive.

At the signal for the charge the firing line and nearby supports and reserves rush forward. (See pars. 355 and 356.)

The charge is made simultaneously, if possible, by all the units participating therein, but once committed to the assault, battalions should be pushed with the utmost vigor and no restraint placed on the ardor of charging troops by an attempt to maintain alignment. (466)

481. Charge not to be made without sufficient troops; reserves give impetus; avoiding too dense a mass. Before ordering the charge the commander should see that enough troops are on hand to make it a success. Local reserves joining the firing line in time to participate in the charge give it a strong impetus. Too dense a mass should be avoided. (467)

482. Line to be strengthened by prolongation. The line should be strengthened by prolongation, if practicable, and remaining troops kept in formation for future use; but rather than that the attack should fail, the last formed body will be sent in, unless it is very apparent that it can do no good. (468)

[Pg 123]483. Additional force for pursuit. To arrive in the hostile position with a very compact firing line and a few formed supports is sufficient for a victory, but an additional force kept well in hand for pursuit is of inestimable value. (469)

484. Premature charge to be avoided; charging without authority from the rear. A premature charge by a part of the line should be avoided, but if begun, the other parts of the line should join at once if there is any prospect of success. Under exceptional conditions a part of the line may be compelled to charge without authority from the rear. The intention to do so should be signaled to the rear. (470)

485. Confidence in ability to use bayonet. Confidence in their ability to use the bayonet gives the assaulting troops the promise of success. (471)

486. Pursuing fire; disordered units not to pursue. If the enemy has left the position when the charging troops reach it, the latter should open a rapid fire upon the retreating enemy, if he is in sight. It is not advisable for the mixed and disordered units to follow him, except to advance to a favorable firing position or to cover the reorganization of others. (472)

487. Pursuing troops; reorganization of charging line; preparations to meet counter-attack. The nearest formed bodies accompanying or following the charge are sent instantly in pursuit. Under cover of these troops order is restored in the charging line. If the captured position is a part of a general line or is an advanced post, it should be intrenched and occupied at once.

The exhaustion of officers and men must not cause the neglect of measures to meet a counter-attack. (473)

488. Steps to be taken when attack receives temporary setback. If the attack receives a temporary setback and it is intended to strengthen and continue it, officers will make every effort to stop the rearward movement and will reëstablish the firing line in a covered position as close as possible to the enemy. (474)

489. Steps to be taken if attack is abandoned. If the attack must be abandoned, the rearward movement should continue with promptness until the troops reach a feature of the terrain that facilitates the task of checking and reorganizing them. The point selected should be so far to the rear as to prevent interference by the enemy before the troops are ready to resist. The withdrawal of the attacking troops should be covered by the artillery and by reserves, if any are available.

(See Night Operations, pars. 580–590.) (475)


490. Full fruits of victory reaped by pursuit. To reap the full fruits of victory a vigorous pursuit must be made. The natural inclination to be satisfied with a successful charge must be overcome. The enemy must be allowed no more time to reorganize than is positively unavoidable. (476)

491. Parts played in pursuit by reserve, artillery, and charging troops. The part of the reserve that is still formed or is best under control is[Pg 124] sent forward in pursuit and vigorously attacks the enemy's main body or covering detachments wherever found.

The artillery delivers a heavy fire upon the retreating enemy; the disordered attacking troops secure the position, promptly reform and become a new reserve. (477)

492. Strengthening of position captured, if section of general line. If the captured position is a section of the general line, the breach should be heavily occupied, made wider, and strongly secured by drawing on all reserves in the vicinity. (478)

493. Pursuit by parallel roads. After the pursuit from the immediate battlefield, pursuit by parallel roads is especially effective where large commands are concerned. (479)

494. Artillery and cavalry in pursuit. Artillery and cavalry are very effective in pursuit. (480)


495. Modifications of attack in case of fortifications. Few modifications enter into the problem of attacking fortifications. Such as are to be considered relate chiefly to the greater time and labor of advancing, the more frequent use of darkness and the use of hand grenades to augment the fire. (481)

496. Approaching charging point under cover of darkness. If the enemy is strongly fortified and time permits, it may be advisable to wait and approach the charging point under cover of darkness. The necessary reconnaissance and arrangements should be made before dark. If the charge is not to be made at once, the troops intrench the advanced position, using sand bags if necessary. Before daylight the foreground should be cleared of obstacles. (482)

497. Charging without fire preparation. If the distance is short and other conditions are favorable, the charge may be made without fire preparation. If made, it should be launched with spirit and suddenness at the break of day. (See Night Operations pars. 580–590.) (483)

498. Advancing to charging point by sapping. In siege operations troops are usually advanced to the charging point by sapping. This method, however, presupposes that an early victory is not necessary, or that it is clearly inadvisable to attempt more direct methods. (484)


499. Requisites of the holding attack. The holding attack must be vigorous enough to hold the enemy in position and must present a front strong enough to conceal the secondary nature of the attack.

The holding attack need have comparatively little strength in rear, but conceals the fact by a firing line not distinguishable from that of a decisive attack. (485)

500. Post and strength of supports and reserves. Supports and reserves are kept at short distances. Their strength is less if the object is merely to hold the enemy fast than if the object is, in addition, to compel him to use up reserves. (486)

[Pg 125]501. Holding attacks developing into decisive attacks. Holding attacks which may later develop into decisive attacks should be correspondingly strong in rear. (487)

502. Feint attacks. All feint attacks should employ dense firing lines. Their weakness is in rear and is concealed. (488)


503. Requirements of a good defensive position. The first requirement of a good position is a clear field of fire and view to the front and exposed flanks to a distance of 600 to 800 yards or more. The length of front should be suitable to the size of the command and the flanks should be secure. The position should have lateral communication and cover for supports and reserves. It should be one which the enemy can not avoid, but must attack or give up his mission.

A position having all these advantages will rarely, if ever, be found. The one should be taken which conforms closest to the description. (489)

504. Utilization of natural cover; construction of fieldworks and obstacles. The natural cover of the position should be fully utilized. In addition, it should be strengthened by fieldworks and obstacles.

The best protection is afforded by deep, narrow, inconspicuous trenches. If little time is available, as much as practicable must be done. That the fieldworks may not be needed should not cause their construction to be omitted, and the fact that they have been constructed should not influence the action of a commander, if conditions are found to be other than expected. (490)

505. Construction of communicating and cover trenches, head cover, etc. When time and troops are available the preparations include the necessary communicating and cover trenches, head cover, bombproofs, etc. The fire trenches should be well supplied with ammunition.

The supports are placed close at hand in cover trenches when natural cover is not available. (491)

506. Dummy trenches. Dummy trenches frequently cause the hostile artillery to waste time and ammunition and to divert its fire. (492)

507. Location, extent, garrison, etc., of fieldworks. The location, extent, profile, garrison, etc., of fieldworks are matters to be decided by the infantry commanders. Officers must be able to choose ground and properly intrench it. (See "Field Fortifications," Chapter XVI, Part III.) (493)

508. Outlining trace of trenches in combat exercises. In combat exercises, when it is impracticable to construct the trenches appropriate to the exercise, their trace may be outlined by bayonets, sticks, or other markers, and the responsible officers required to indicate the profile selected, method and time of construction, garrisons, etc. (494)


509. Density of whole deployment. The density of the whole deployment depends upon the expected severity of the action, the character[Pg 126] of the enemy, the condition of the flanks, the field of fire, the terrain, and the available artificial or natural protection for the troops. (495)

510. Density of firing line. If exposed, the firing line should be as dense in defense as in attack. If the firing line is well intrenched and has a good field of fire, it may be made thinner.

Weaker supports are permissible. For the same number of troops the front occupied on the defensive may therefore be longer than on the offensive, the battalions placing more companies in the firing line. (496)

511. Strength in rear to be increased when change from defensive to offensive is contemplated. If it is intended only to delay the enemy, a fairly strong deployment is sufficient, but if decisive results are desired, a change to the offensive must be contemplated and the corresponding strength in rear provided. This strength is in the reserve, which should be as large as the demands of the firing line and supports permit. Even in a passive defense the reserve should be as strong as in the attack; unless the flanks are protected by other means. (497)

512. Post of supports; cover for supports. Supports are posted as close to the firing line as practicable and reinforce the latter according to the principles explained in the attack. When natural cover is not sufficient for the purpose, communicating and cover trenches are constructed. If time does not permit their construction, it is better to begin the action with a very dense firing line and no immediate supports than to have supports greatly exposed in rear. (498)

513. Post of reserve. The reserve should be posted so as to be entirely free to act as a whole, according to the developments. The distance from firing line to reserve is generally greater than in the attack. By reason of such a location the reserve is best able to meet a hostile enveloping attack; it has a better position from which to make a counter attack; it is in a better position to cover a withdrawal and permit an orderly retreat.

The distance from firing line to reserve increases with the size of the reserve. (499)

514. Post of reserve when situation is no longer in doubt. When the situation is no longer in doubt, the reserve should be held in rear of the flank which is most in danger or offers the best opportunity for counter attack. Usually the same flank best suits both purposes. (500)

515. Detaching part of reserve to protect opposite flank. In exceptional cases, on broad fronts, it may be necessary to detach a part of the reserve to protect the opposite flank. This detachment should be the smallest consistent with its purely protective mission. (501)

516. Assignment of front to units. The commander assigns to subordinates the front to be occupied by them. These, in turn, subdivide the front among their next lower units in the firing line. (502)

517. Division of extended position into sections. An extended position is so divided into sections that each has, if practicable, a field of fire naturally made distinct by the terrain.

Unfavorable and unimportant ground will ordinarily cause gaps to exist in the line. (503)

[Pg 127]518. Size of units occupying sections; battalions to be kept intact. The size of the unit occupying each section depends upon the latter's natural strength, front, and importance. If practicable, battalions should be kept intact and assigned as units to sections or parts of sections. (504)

519. Adjoining sections or machine guns to cover dead space. Where important dead space lies in front of one section, an adjoining section should be instructed to cover it with fire when necessary, or machine guns should be concealed for the like purpose. (505)

520. Advanced posts and other dispersion to be avoided. Advanced posts, or any other form of unnecessary dispersion, should be avoided. (506)

521. Position itself not fully occupied until infantry attack begins. Unless the difficulty of moving the troops into the position be great, most of the troops of the firing line are held in rear of it until the infantry attack begins. The position itself is occupied by a small garrison only, with the necessary outguards or patrols in front. (507)

522. Fire alone unable to stop attack. Fire alone can not be depended upon to stop the attack. The troops must be determined to resort to the bayonet, if necessary. (508)

523. Steps to be taken if night attack is expected. If a night attack or close approach by the enemy is expected, troops in a prepared position should strengthen the outguards and firing line and construct as numerous and effective obstacles as possible. Supports and local reserves should move close to the firing line and should, with the firing line, keep bayonets fixed. If practicable, the front should be illuminated, preferably from the flanks of the section. (509)

524. Short range fire and bayonet in night attack. Only short range fire is of any value in resisting night attacks. The bayonet is the chief reliance. (See Night Operations pars. 580–590.) (510)


525. Passive defense; only offensive wins. The passive defense should be assumed only when circumstances force it. Only the offensive wins. (511)

526. Active defense seeks favorable decision; counter attack necessary. An active defense seeks a favorable decision. A favorable decision can not be expected without counter attack. (512)

527. Protection of flanks by natural obstacles necessary in passive defense position. A passive defense in a position whose flanks are not protected by natural obstacles is generally out of the question. (513)

528. Post of troops for counter attack. Where the defense is assumed with a view to making a counter attack, the troops for the counter attack should be held in reserve until the time arrives for such attack. The defensive line should be held by as few troops as possible in order that the force for the offensive may be as large as possible.

The force for the counter attack should be held echeloned in rear of the flank which offers it the greatest advantage for the proposed attack. (514)

[Pg 128]529. Manner of making counter attack. The counter attack should be made vigorously and at the proper time. It will usually be made:

By launching the reserve against the enemy's flank when his attack is in full progress. This is the most effective form of counter attack.

Straight to the front by the firing line and supports after repulsing the enemy's attack and demoralizing him with pursuing fire.

Or, by the troops in rear of the firing line when the enemy has reached the defensive position and is in disorder. (515)

530. Minor counter attacks. Minor counter attacks are sometimes necessary in order to drive the enemy from important positions gained by him. (516)


531. The important considerations in a delaying action. When a position is taken merely to delay the enemy and to withdraw before becoming closely engaged, the important considerations are:

The enemy should be forced to deploy early. The field of fire should therefore be good at distances from 500 to 1,200 yards or more; a good field of fire at close range is not necessary.

The ground in rear of the position should favor the withdrawal of the firing line by screening the troops from the enemy's view and fire as soon as the position is vacated. (517)

532. Thin firing line answers purpose; purposes of supports and reserve. A thin firing line using much ammunition will generally answer the purpose. Supports are needed chiefly to protect the flanks.

The reserve should be posted well in rear to assist in the withdrawal of the firing line. (518)

533. Value of artillery. Artillery is especially valuable to a delaying force. (519)


534. Characteristics of meeting engagements. Meeting engagements are characterized by the necessity for hasty reconnaissance, or the almost total absence of reconnaissance; by the necessity for rapid deployment, frequently under fire; and usually by the absence of trenches or other artificial cover. These conditions give further advantages to the offensive. (520)

535. General action on meeting enemy. The whole situation will usually indicate beforehand the proper general action to be taken on meeting the enemy. (521)

536. Meagerness of information; qualities of commander to be relied upon. Little fresh information can be expected. The boldness, initiative, and determination of the commander must be relied upon. (522)

537. Meeting engagement affords ideal opportunity to certain commanders. A meeting engagement affords an ideal opportunity to the commander who has intuition and quick decision and who is willing to take long chances. His opponent is likely to be overcautious. (523)

538. The mission determines method of attack. The amount of information that the commander is warranted in awaiting before taking[Pg 129] final action depends entirely upon his mission. One situation may demand a blind attack; another may demand rapid, partial deployment for attack, but careful and time-consuming reconnaissance before the attack is launched. (524)

539. Advantage accrues to side deploying the faster. A great advantage accrues to the side which can deploy the faster. The advantage of a close-order formation, favoring rapid deployment, becomes more pronounced with the size of the force. (525)

540. Advantages of first troops to deploy. The first troops to deploy will be able to attack with longer firing lines and weaker supports than are required in the ordinary case. But if the enemy succeeds in deploying a strong defensive line, the attack must be strengthened accordingly before it is wasted. (526)

541. Things to be done by the leading troops. If the situation warrants the advance, the leading troops seek to deploy faster than the enemy, to reach his flanks, check his deployment, and get information. In any event, they seek to cover the deployment of their own troops in rear—especially the artillery—and to seize important ground. (527)

542. Post of commander of long column meeting enemy; function of advance guard; action of column. The commander of a long column which meets the enemy should be with the advance guard to receive information promptly and to reconnoiter. If he decides to fight, the advance guard must hold the enemy while the commander formulates a plan of action, issues the necessary orders, and deploys the main body. Meantime, the column should be closing up, either in mass or to form line of columns, so that the deployment, when determined upon, may be made more promptly. (528)

543. Action of advance guard prior to receipt of orders. The action of the advance guard, prior to the receipt of orders, depends upon the situation. Whether to attack determinedly or only as a feint, or to assume the defensive, depends upon the strength of the advance guard, the terrain, the character of the hostile force encountered, and the mission and intentions of the commander of the whole. (529)

544. Main body should be used as a whole and not put into action piecemeal. If the enemy is beforehand or more aggressive, or if the advance guard is too weak, it may be necessary to put elements of the main body into action as fast as they arrive, in order to check him. This method should be avoided; it prevents the formation and execution of a definite plan and compels piecemeal action. The best results are obtained when the main body is used as a whole. (530)


545. Withdrawal generally effected at heavy cost; rear guard and distance to be placed between enemy and defeated troops. The withdrawal of a defeated force can generally be effected only at a heavy cost. When it is no longer possible to give the action a favorable turn and the necessity for withdrawal arises, every effort must be made to place distance and a rear guard between the enemy and the defeated troops. (531)

[Pg 130]546. Use of artillery, machine guns, and cavalry. Artillery gives especially valuable assistance in the withdrawal. The long-range fire of machine guns should also be employed. Cavalry assists the withdrawal by charging the pursuing troops or by taking flank positions and using fire action. (532)

547. Use of reserve to check the pursuit. If an intact reserve remains, it should be placed in a covering position, preferably on a flank, to check the pursuit and thus enable the defeated troops to withdraw beyond reach of hostile fire.

The covering position of the reserve should be at some distance from the main action, but close enough to bring the withdrawing troops quickly under the protection of its fire. It should have a good field of fire at effective and long ranges and should facilitate its own safe and timely withdrawal. (533)

548. Part of line to be withdrawn first; retreating troops to be gotten under control as soon as possible. If the general line is divided, by terrain or by organization, into two or more parts, the firing line of the part in the least danger from pursuit should be withdrawn first. A continuous firing line, whose parts are dependent upon one another for fire support, should be withdrawn as a whole, retiring by echelon at the beginning of the withdrawal. Every effort must be made to restore the organizations, regain control, and form column of march as soon as the troops are beyond the reach of hostile fire.

As fast as possible without delaying the march, companies, and the larger units should be reformed, so that the command will again be well in hand. (534)

549. Action taken by commander; selection of rendezvous point. The commander of the whole, having given orders for withdrawal, should go to the rear, select a rendezvous point, and devote himself to the reorganization of his command.

The rendezvous point is selected with regard to the natural channels of movement approximately straight to the rear. It should be distant from the battlefield and should facilitate the gathering and protection of the command. (535)


550. 1. Avoid combats that offer no chance of victory or other valuable results.

2. Make every effort for the success of the general plan and avoid spectacular plays that have no bearing on the general result.

3. Have a definite plan and carry it out vigorously. Do not vacillate.

4. Do not attempt complicated maneuvers.

5. Keep the command in hand; avoid undue extension and dispersion.

6. Study the ground and direct the advance in such a way as to take advantage of all available cover and thereby diminish losses.

7. Never deploy until the purpose and the proper direction are known.

[Pg 131]8. Deploy enough men for the immediate task in hand; hold out the rest and avoid undue haste in committing them to the action.

9. Flanks must be protected either by reserves, fortifications, or the terrain.

10. In a decisive action, gain and keep fire superiority.

11. Keep up reconnaissance.

12. Use the reserve, but not until needed or a very favorable opportunity for its use presents itself. Keep some reserve as long as practicable.

13. Do not hesitate to sacrifice the command if the result is worth the cost.

14. Spare the command all unnecessary hardship and exertion. (536)


551. Machine guns are weapons of emergency. Machine guns must be considered as weapons of emergency. Their effectiveness combined with their mobility renders them of great value at critical, though infrequent, periods of an engagement. (537)

552. Machine guns to be used for short periods, when opportunities present themselves. When operating against infantry only, they can be used to a great extent throughout the combat as circumstances may indicate, but they are quickly rendered powerless by efficient field artillery and will promptly draw artillery fire whenever they open. Hence their use in engagements between large commands must be for short periods and at times when their great effectiveness will be most valuable. (538)

553. Machine guns attached to advance guard; use in meeting engagements. Machine guns should be attached to the advance guard. In meeting engagements they will be of great value in assisting their own advance, or in checking the advance of the enemy, and will have considerable time to operate before hostile artillery fire can silence them.

Care must be taken not to leave them too long in action. (539)

554. Use of machine guns with rear guard. They are valuable to a rear guard which seeks to check a vigorous pursuit or to gain time. (540)

555. Machine guns in attack; fire of position. In attack, if fire of position is practicable, they are of great value. In this case fire should not be opened by the machine guns until the attack is well advanced. At a critical period in the attack, such fire, if suddenly and unexpectedly opened, will greatly assist the advancing line. The fire must be as heavy as possible and must be continued until masked by friendly troops or until the hostile artillery finds the machine guns. (541)

556. Machine guns in defense. In the defense, machine guns should be used in the same general manner as described above for the attack. Concealment and patient waiting for critical moments and exceptional opportunities are the special characteristics of the machine-gun service in decisive actions. (542)

557. Machine guns as part of reserve; use in covering withdrawal. As part of the reserve, machine guns have special importance. If they are with the troops told off to protect the flanks, and if they are well[Pg 132] placed, they will often produce decisive results against a hostile turning movement. They are especially qualified to cover a withdrawal or make a captured position secure. (543)

558. Machine guns not to form part of firing line of attack. Machine guns should not be assigned to the firing line of an attack. They should be so placed that fire directed upon them is not likely to fall upon the firing line. (544)

559. Effectiveness of machine guns against skirmish line, except when lying down or crawling. A skirmish line can not advance by walking or running when hostile machine guns have the correct range and are ready to fire. Machine-gun fire is not specially effective against troops lying on the ground or crawling. (545)

560. Silencing of machine guns by infantry. When opposed by machine guns without artillery to destroy them, infantry itself must silence them before it can advance.

An infantry command that must depend upon itself for protection against machine guns should concentrate a large number of rifles on each gun in turn and until it has silenced it. (546)

In addition to the above, which the Infantry Drill Regulations gives on the subject of machine guns, the following, based on the use of machine guns in the European War, is given:

561. Machine guns essentially automatic rifles. They are essentially automatic rifles, designed to fire the ordinary rifle cartridge and capable of delivering a stream of small bullets at a rate of as high as 600 per minute. Experience in the European war has determined that the rate of 400 shots per minute is the desirable maximum. Their ranges are the same as for the rifle. The fire of a machine gun has been estimated as equal to that of 30 men.

562. Mounts. Machine guns are usually mounted on tripods or wheels. The weight of certain types is such that they can readily be carried by the soldier from one point to another.

563. Methods of transportation. While machine guns are usually designed to be carried or packed, they are easily adapted to various methods of transportation. In the European war we find them mounted on sleds during the winter campaign; on specially designed motor cycles with side cars and accompanied by other motor cycles carrying ammunition; on wheels; on wagons; on armored automobiles; aeroplanes; and finally in the powerful "tanks" of the English.

564. Concealment. Machine guns while usually considered as weapons of emergency have been used in attack and defense in the European war in all stages. Their mobility and deadly effect have made them of great value. Once their position is discovered they are quickly put out of action by artillery. Owing to this fact the armies in Europe have used alternative positions and have used every means to conceal the guns. Hedges, walls, and pits are used and every effort is used to conceal the flame of discharge. This is usually accomplished by keeping the muzzle well in rear of its cover or loop hole. Machine guns almost invariably betray their positions as soon as they enter into action. The present tendency seems to be to hold them concealed and place them into position in the trenches or emplacements at the moment of combat.

[Pg 133]Extraordinary means have been resorted to in hiding the guns until they are needed. In the German line, dugouts underground were constructed to conceal the machine guns and crews. Often they permitted the first line of the attack to pass over them and then appeared in rear and opened a deadly fire on the backs of the troops.

565. Use in villages. In villages, machine guns were used with terrible effect, firing from cellars or windows. The only successful method of destroying them was with hand grenades and even this was costly.

566. Location on the defense. On the defense machine guns should be mounted in salients and at points where cross fire can be obtained. This makes it more difficult for the enemy to locate the guns. Frontal fire is not so often successful.

567. Location in attack. In the attack it is accepted that machine guns must cover the Infantry at short and long ranges while other machine guns must accompany the attacking troops to hold the positions or trenches gained.

The second or third line would seem to be the best position for machine guns when accompanying troops.

Machine Gun Emplacement: Section aa Machine Gun Emplacement: Section aa


Machine Gun Emplacement: Plan with Cover Removed Machine Gun Emplacement: Plan with Cover Removed

[Pg 134]568. Economy of men. Owing to its rapid and effective fire, and the comparative ease with which it can be concealed, the machine gun permits a great economy of men on a front and the concentrating of the forces thus freed for use in other parts of the field. This was done on a large scale on the Russian front by the Germans in 1915. They constructed miles of wire entanglements in front of positions occupied with an enormous number of machine guns and comparatively few men. The main forces were thus free to be transported wherever danger threatened. In this manner the Germans replaced men by machine guns and wire and were able to cope successfully with the immense Russian Armies. The above plate shows a typical machine gun emplacement, constructed in the field. Many elaborate emplacements have been constructed in the European war, using steel and concrete, but for a hasty cover in the field the simple emplacement shown in the figure is recommended.

(Note.—For a more detailed study of machine guns, see Subject XI, Machine Guns in Action, School of Musketry, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and Combined Cavalry and Infantry Drill Regulations for Automatic Machine Rifle, cal. 30, 1909, War Department, 1915.)


569. Method of supplying ammunition to combat train. The method of supply of ammunition to the combat trains is explained in Field Service Regulations. (547)

570. Combat train and the major's responsibility for its proper use; a rendezvous for each brigade. The combat train is the immediate reserve supply of the battalion, and the major is responsible for its proper use. He will take measures to insure the maintenance of the prescribed allowance at all times.

In the absence of instructions, he will cause the train to march immediately in rear of his battalion, and, upon separating from it to enter an engagement, will cause the ammunition therein to be issued. When emptied, he will direct that the wagons proceed to the proper rendezvous to be refilled. Ordinarily a rendezvous is appointed for each brigade and the necessary number of wagons sent forward to it from the ammunition column. (548)

571. Destination of combat wagons when refilled. When refilled, the combat wagons will rejoin their battalions, or, if the latter be engaged, will join or establish communication with the regimental reserve. (549)

572. Company commanders' responsibility for ammunition in belts; ammunition of dead and wounded. Company commanders are responsible that the belts of the men in their companies are kept filled at all times, except when the ammunition is being expended in action. In the firing line the ammunition of the dead and wounded should be secured whenever practicable. (550)

573. Ammunition in bandoleers and 30 rounds in right pocket section. Ammunition in the bandoleers will ordinarily be expended first. Thirty rounds in the right pocket section of the belt will be held as a reserve, to be expended only when ordered by an officer. (551)

[Pg 135]574. Ammunition sent forward with reënforcements; men not to be sent back from firing line for ammunition. When necessary to resupply the firing line, ammunition will be sent forward with reënforcements, generally from the regimental reserve. (552)

Men will never be sent back from the firing line for ammunition. Men sent forward with ammunition remain with the firing line.

575. Replenishment of ammunition after engagement. As soon as possible after an engagement the belts of the men and the combat wagons are resupplied to their normal capacities. Ammunition which can not be reloaded on combat wagons will be piled up in a convenient place and left under guard. (553)


576. Scouts to be trained in patrolling and reconnaissance; their use. The mounted scouts should be thoroughly trained in patrolling and reconnaissance. They are used for communication with neighboring troops, for patrolling off the route of march, for march outposts, outpost patrols, combat patrols, reconnaissance ahead of columns, etc. Their further use is, in general, confined to escort and messenger duty. They should be freely used for all these purposes, but for these purposes only. (554)

577. Use of mounted scouts for reconnoitering. When infantry is acting alone, or when the cavalry of a mixed command has been sent to a distance, the mounted scouts are of special importance to covering detachments and should be used to make the reconnaissance which would otherwise fall to cavalry. (555)

578. Scouts to be used in reconnaissance in preference to other troops; use for dismounted patrolling. In reconnaissance, scouts should be used in preference to other troops as much as possible. When not needed for mounted duty, they should be employed for necessary dismounted patrolling. (556)

579. Training of battalion staff officers in patrolling. Battalion staff officers should be specially trained in patrolling and reconnaissance work in order that they may be available when a mounted officer's patrol is required. (557)


580. Purposes of night operations. By employing night operations troops make use of the cover of darkness to minimize losses from hostile fire or to escape observation. Night operations may also be necessary for the purpose of gaining time. Control is difficult and confusion is frequently unavoidable.

It may be necessary to take advantage of darkness in order to assault from a point gained during the day, or to approach a point from which a daylight assault is to be made, or to effect both the approach and the assault. (558)

581. Practice in offensive and defensive operations; simple formations. Offensive and defensive night operations should be practiced frequently in order that troops may learn to cover ground in the dark and[Pg 136] arrive at a destination quietly and in good order, and in order to train officers in the necessary preparation and reconnaissance.

Only simple and well-appointed formations should be employed.

Troops should be thoroughly trained in the necessary details—e. g., night patrolling, night marching, and communication at night. (559)

582. Ground to be studied by day and night, cleared of hostile detachments, etc.; preparation of orders; distinctive badges. The ground to be traversed should be studied by daylight and, if practicable, at night. It should be cleared of hostile detachments before dark, and, if practicable, should be occupied by covering troops.

Orders must be formulated with great care and clearness. Each unit must be given a definite objective and direction, and care must be exercised to avoid collision between units.

Whenever contact with the enemy is anticipated, a distinctive badge should be worn by all. (560)

583. Secrecy of preparations; unfriendly guides; fire action to be avoided, relying upon bayonet. Preparations must be made with secrecy. When the movement is started, and not until then, the officers and men should be acquainted with the general design, the composition of the whole force, and should be given such additional information as will insure coöperation and eliminate mistakes.

During the movement every precaution must be taken to keep secret the fact that troops are abroad.

Unfriendly guides must frequently be impressed. These should be secured against escape, outcry, or deception.

Fire action should be avoided in offensive operations. In general, pieces should not be loaded. Men must be trained to rely upon the bayonet and to use it aggressively. (561)

584. Night marches; advance and rear guards. Long night marches should be made only over well-defined routes. March discipline must be rigidly enforced. The troops should be marched in as compact a formation as practicable, with the usual covering detachments. Advance and rear guard distances should be greatly reduced. They are shortest when the mission is an offensive one. The connecting files are numerous. (562)

585. Night advance followed by attack by day. A night advance made with a view to making an attack by day usually terminates with the hasty construction of intrenchments in the dark. Such an advance should be timed so as to allow an hour or more of darkness for intrenching.

An advance that is to terminate in an assault at the break of day should be timed so that the troops will not arrive long before the assault is to be made; otherwise, the advantage of partial surprise will be lost, and the enemy will be allowed to reënforce the threatened point. (563)

586. Night attacks, when employed; they require trained troops; compact formations; value of bayonet. The night attack is ordinarily confined to small forces, or to minor engagements in a general battle, or to seizure of positions occupied by covering or advanced detachments. Decisive results are not often obtained.

[Pg 137]Poorly disciplined and untrained troops are unfit for night attacks or for night operations demanding the exercise of skill and care.

Troops attacking at night can advance close to the enemy in compact formations and without suffering loss from hostile artillery or infantry fire. The defender is ignorant of the strength or direction of the attack.

A force which makes a vigorous bayonet charge in the dark will often throw a much larger force into disorder. (564)

587. Reconnaissance; attack to be a surprise. Reconnaissance should be made to ascertain the position and strength of the enemy and to study the terrain to be traversed. Officers who are to participate in the attack should conduct this reconnaissance. Reconnaissance at night is especially valuable. Features that are distinguishable at night should be carefully noted, and their distances from the enemy, from the starting point of the troops, and from other important points should be made known.

Preparations should have in view as complete a surprise as possible. An attack once begun must be carried to its conclusion, even if the surprise is not as complete as was planned or anticipated. (565)

588. Time of making attack depends upon object sought. The time of night at which the attack should be made depends upon the object sought. If a decisive attack is intended, it will generally yield the best results if made just before daylight. If the object is merely to gain an intrenched position for further operations, an earlier hour is necessary in order that the position gained may be intrenched under cover of darkness. (566)

589. Formation; use of bayonet; preparations to repel counter attack. The formation for attack must be simple. It should be carefully effected and the troops verified at a safe distance from the enemy. The attacking troops should be formed in compact lines and with strong supports at short distances. The reserve should be far enough in rear to avoid being drawn into the action until the commander so desires. Bayonets are fixed, pieces are not loaded.

Darkness causes fire to be wild and ineffective. The attacking troops should march steadily on the enemy without firing, but should be prepared and determined to fight vigorously with the bayonet.

In advancing to the attack the aim should be to get as close as possible to the enemy before being discovered, then trust to the bayonet.

If the assault is successful, preparations must be made at once to repel a counter attack. (567)

590. Measures taken by defense to resist night attacks. On the defense, preparations to resist night attacks should be made by daylight whenever such attacks are to be feared.

Obstacles placed in front of a defensive position are especially valuable to the defense at night. Many forms of obstacles which would give an attacker little concern in the daytime become serious hindrances at night.

After dark the foreground should be illuminated whenever practicable and strong patrols should be pushed to the front.

When it is learned that the enemy is approaching, the trenches are filled and the supports moved close to the firing line.

[Pg 138]Supports fix bayonets, but do not load. Whenever practicable and necessary, they should be used for counter attacks, preferably against a hostile flank.

The defender should open fire as soon as results may be expected. This fire may avert or postpone the bayonet combat, and it warns all supporting troops. It is not likely that fire alone can stop the attack. The defender must be resolved to fight with the bayonet.

Ordinarily fire will not be effective at ranges exceeding 50 yards.

A white rag around the muzzle of the rifle will assist in sighting the piece when the front sight is not visible.

See pars. 464, 496, 497, 523, 524. (568)


591. Cavalry charge against infantry usually futile. A cavalry charge can accomplish little against infantry, even in inferior numbers, unless the latter are surprised, become panic-stricken, run away, or can not use their rifles. (569)

592. Measures to check charges from front and flank. A charge from the front is easily checked by a well directed and sustained fire.

If the charge is directed against the flank of the firing line, the supports, reserves, or machine guns should stop it. If this disposition is impracticable, part of the line must meet the charge by a timely change of front. If the flank company, or companies, in the firing line execute platoons right, the successive firing lines can ordinarily break a charge against the flank. If the cavalry line passes through the firing line, the latter will be little damaged if the men retain their presence of mind. They should be on the watch for succeeding cavalry lines and leave those that have passed through to friendly troops in rear. (570)

593. Standing position best to meet charge. Men standing are in the best position to meet a charge, but other considerations may compel them to meet it lying prone. (571)

594. Rifle fire main dependence of infantry. In a mêlée, the infantryman with his bayonet has at least an even chance with the cavalryman, but the main dependence of infantry is rifle fire. Any formation is suitable that permits the free use of the necessary number of rifles.

Ordinarily there will be no time to change or set sights. Fire at will at battle sight should be used, whatever the range may be. It will usually be unwise to open fire at long ranges. (572)

595. Meeting of cavalry charge by infantry in column. An infantry column that encounters cavalry should deploy at once. If attacked from the head or rear of the column, and if time is pressing, it may form a succession of skirmish lines. Infantry, by deploying 50 or 100 yards in rear of an obstacle, may check cavalry and hold it under fire beyond effective pistol range.

In any situation, to try to escape the issue by running is the worst and most dangerous course the infantry can adopt. (573)

596. Infantry attacking dismounted cavalry. In attacking dismounted cavalry, infantry should close rapidly and endeavor to prevent remounting. Infantry which adopts this course will not be seriously checked by delaying cavalry.

[Pg 139]Every effort should be made to locate and open fire on the led horses. (574)


597. Frontal attack against artillery usually futile; use of machine guns. A frontal attack against artillery has little chance of succeeding unless it can be started from cover at comparatively short range. Beyond short range, the frontal fire of infantry has little effect against the artillery personnel because of their protective shields.

Machine guns, because their cone of fire is more compact, will have greater effect, but on the other hand they will have fewer opportunities, and they are limited to fire attack only.

As a rule, one's own artillery is the best weapon against hostile artillery. (575)

598. Flank attack against artillery effective. Artillery attacked in flank by infantry can be severely damaged. Oblique or flank fire will begin to have decisive effect when delivered at effective range from a point to one side of the artillery's line of fire and distant from it by about half the range. Artillery is better protected on the side of the caisson. (576)

599. Action against guns out of ammunition. Guns out of ammunition, but otherwise secure against infantry attack, may be immobilized by fire which will prevent their withdrawal, or by locating and driving off their limbers. Or they may be kept out of action by fire which will prevent the receipt of ammunition. (577)

600. Action against artillery limbering or coming into action; wheel horses best targets. Artillery when limbered is helpless against infantry fire. If caught at effective range while coming into action or while limbering, artillery can be severely punished by infantry fire.

In attacking artillery that is trying to escape, the wheel horses are the best targets. (578)


601. Purpose of artillery support, usually consisting of infantry. The purpose of the artillery support is to guard the artillery against surprise or attack.

Artillery on the march or in action is ordinarily so placed as to be amply protected by the infantry. Infantry always protects artillery in its neighborhood. (579)

602. Detailing of supports. The detail of a support is not necessary except when the artillery is separated from the main body or occupies a position in which its flanks are not protected.

The detail of a special support will be avoided whenever possible. (580.)

603. Formation of support on march. The formation of an artillery support depends upon circumstances. On the march it may often be necessary to provide advance, flank, and rear protection. The country must be thoroughly reconnoitered by patrols within long rifle range. (581)

604. Formation and location of support in action. In action, the[Pg 140] formation and location of the support must be such as to gain and give timely information of the enemy's approach and to offer actual resistance to the enemy beyond effective rifle range of the artillery's flanks. It should not be close enough to the artillery to suffer from fire directed at the artillery. In most cases a position somewhat to the flank and rear best fulfills these conditions. (582)

605. Support charged only with protection of artillery. The support commander is charged only with the protection of the artillery. The tactical employment of each arm rests with its commander. The two should coöperate. (583)


606. What minor warfare embraces; regular operations. Minor warfare embraces both regular and irregular operations.

Regular operations consist of minor actions involving small bodies of trained and organized troops on both sides.

The tactics employed are in general those prescribed for the smaller units. (596)

607. Irregular operations. Irregular operations consist of actions against unorganized or partially organized forces, acting independent or semi independent bodies. Such bodies have little or only crude training and are under nominal and loose leadership and control. They assemble, roam about, and disperse at will. They endeavor to win by stealth or by force of superior numbers, employing ambuscades, sudden dashes or rushes, and hand-to-hand fighting. (597)

Troops operating against such an enemy usually do so in small units, such as platoons, detachments, or companies, and the tactics employed must be adapted to meet the requirements of the situation. Frequently the enemy's own methods may be employed to advantage.

In general, such operations should not be undertaken hastily; every preparation should be made to strike suddenly and to inflict the maximum punishment.

608. March and bivouac formations to admit of rapid action in any direction. In general, the service of information will be insufficient; adequate reconnaissance will rarely be practicable. March and bivouac formations must be such as to admit of rapid deployment and fire action in any direction. (598)

609. Formation in open country. In the open country, where surprise is not probable, troops may be marched in column of squads preceded, within sight, by a squad as an advance party. (599)

610. Formation in close country. In close country, where surprise is possible, the troops must be held in a close formation. The use of flank patrols becomes difficult. Occasionally, an advance party—never less than a squad—may be sent out. In general, however, such a party accomplishes little, since an enemy intent on surprise will permit it to pass unmolested and will fall upon the main body.

Under such conditions, especially when the road or trail is narrow, the column of twos or files is a convenient formation, the officers placing themselves in the column so as to divide it into nearly equal[Pg 141] parts. If rushed from a flank, such a column will be in readiness to face and fire toward either or both flanks, the ranks being back to back; if rushed from the front, the head of the column may be deployed, the rest of the column closing up to support it and to protect its flanks and rear. In any event, the men should be taught to take some form of a closed back to back formation. (600)

611. Dividing column on march into two or more separate detachments. The column may often be broken into two or more approximately equal detachments separated on the march by distances of 50 to 100 yards. As a rule the detachments should not consist of less than 25 men each. With this arrangement of the column, it will rarely be possible for an enemy to close simultaneously with all of the detachments, one or more being left unengaged and under control to support those engaged or to inflict severe punishment upon the enemy when he is repulsed. (601)

612. Selection of site for camp or bivouac; protection. The site for camp or bivouac should be selected with special reference to economical and effective protection against surprise. Double sentinels are posted on the avenues of approach, and the troops sleep in readiness for instant action. When practicable, troops should be instructed in advance as to what they are to do in case of attack at night. (602)

613. Night operations frequently advisable. Night operations are frequently advisable. With the small forces employed, control is not difficult. Irregular troops rarely provide proper camp protection, and they may frequently be surprised and severely punished by a properly conducted night march and attack. (603)


General Rules for Ceremonies

614. Order in which troops are arranged for ceremonies; commander faces command; subordinates face to front. The order in which the troops of the various arms are arranged for ceremonies is prescribed by Army Regulations.

When forming for ceremonies the companies of the battalion and the battalions of the regiment are posted from right to left in line and from head to rear in column, in the order of rank of their respective commanders present in the formation, the senior on the right or at the head.

The commander faces the command; subordinate commanders face to the front. (708)

615. Saluting by lieutenant colonel and staffs. At the command present arms, given by the colonel, the lieutenant colonel, and the colonel's staff salute; the major's staff salute at the major's command. Each staff returns to the carry or order when the command order arms is given by its chief. (709)

616. Formation of companies, battalion and regiment. At the assembly for a ceremony companies are formed on their own parades and informally inspected, as prescribed in par. 646.

At adjutant's call, except for ceremonies involving a single battalion, each battalion is formed on its own parade, reports are[Pg 142] received, and the battalion presented to the major, as laid down in par. 308. At the second sounding of adjutant's call the regiment is formed. (710)

General Rules

617. Indication of points where column changes direction; flank to pass 12 paces from reviewing officer; post of reviewing officer and others. The adjutant posts men or otherwise marks the points where the column changes direction in such manner that its flank in passing will be about 12 paces from the reviewing officer.

The post of the reviewing officer, usually opposite the center of the line, is indicated by a marker.

Officers of the same or higher grade, and distinguished personages invited to accompany the reviewing officer, place themselves on his left; their staffs and orderlies place themselves respectively on the left of the staff and orderlies of the reviewing officer; all others who accompany the reviewing officer place themselves on the left of his staff, their orderlies in rear. A staff officer is designated to escort distinguished personages and to indicate to them their proper positions, as prescribed in par. 73. (711)

618. Riding around the troops; saluting the color; reviewing officer returns only salute of commanding officer of troops. While riding around the troops, the reviewing officer may direct his staff, flag and orderlies to remain at the post of the reviewing officer, or that only his personal staff and flag shall accompany him; in either case the commanding officer alone accompanies the reviewing officer. If the reviewing officer is accompanied by his entire staff, the staff officers of the commander place themselves on the right of the staff of the reviewing officer.

The reviewing officer and others at the reviewing stand salute the color as it passes; when passing around the troops, the reviewing officer and those accompanying him salute the color when passing in front of it.

The reviewing officer returns the salute of the commanding officer of the troops only. Those who accompany the reviewing officer do not salute. (712)

619. Saluting by staffs. In passing in review, each staff salutes with its commander. (713)

620. Turning out of column by commanding officer of troops and staff. After saluting the reviewing officer, the commanding officer of the troops turns out of the column, takes post on the right of the reviewing officer, and returns saber; the members of his staff accompanying him take post on the right of the reviewing officer's staff and return saber. When the rear element of his command has passed, without changing his position, the commanding officer of the troops salutes the reviewing officer; he and the members of his staff accompanying him then draw saber and rejoin his command. The commanding officer of the troops and the members of his staff are the only ones who turn out of the column. (714)

621. Turning out of column by commanding officer of troops and staff. If the person reviewing the command is not mounted, the commanding[Pg 143] officer and his staff on turning out of the column after passing the reviewing officer dismount preparatory to taking post. In such case, the salute of the commanding officer, prior to rejoining his command, is made with the hand before remounting. (715)

622. Salute by regimental color. When the rank of the reviewing officer entitles him to the honor, each regimental color salutes at the command present arms, given or repeated by the major of the battalion with which it is posted; and again in passing in review. (716)

623. The band. The band of an organization plays while the reviewing officer is passing in front of and in rear of the organization.

Each band, immediately after passing the reviewing officer, turns out of the column, takes post in front of and facing him, continues to play until its regiment has passed, then ceases playing and follows in rear of its regiment; the band of the following regiment commences to play as soon as the preceding band has ceased.

While marching in review but one band in each brigade plays at a time, and but one band at a time when within 100 paces of the reviewing officer. (717)

624. The national air, to the color, march, flourishes or ruffles,—when played. If the rank of the reviewing officer entitles him to the honor, the band plays the prescribed national air, or the field music sounds to the color, march, flourishes or ruffles when arms are presented. When passing in review at the moment the regimental color salutes, the musicians halted in front of the reviewing officer, sound to the color, march, flourishes or ruffles. (718)

625. Modifications of the review. The formation for review may be modified to suit the ground, and the present arms and the ride around the line by the reviewing officer may be dispensed with. (719)

626. When post of reviewing officer is on left of column. If the post of the reviewing officer is on the left of the column, the troops march in review with the guide left; the commanding officer and his staff turn out of the column to the left, taking post as prescribed above, but to the left of the reviewing officer; in saluting, the captains give the command: 1. Eyes, 2. LEFT. (720)

627. Cadence at which troops pass in review. Except in the review of a single battalion, the troops pass in review in quick time only. (721)

628. Reviews of brigades or larger commands; action of battalions after passing reviewing officer. In reviews of brigades or larger commands, each battalion, after the rear has passed the reviewing officer 50 paces, takes the double time for 100 yards in order not to interfere with the march of the column in rear; if necessary, it then turns out of the column and returns to camp by the most practicable route; the leading battalion of each regiment is followed by the other units of the regiment. (722)

629. Standing "at ease," "rest," etc., in review of brigade or larger command. In a brigade or larger review a regimental commander may cause his regiment to stand at ease, rest, or stack arms and fall out and resume attention, so as not to interfere with the ceremony. (723)

630. Review by inspector junior to commanding officer. When an organization is to be reviewed before an inspector junior in rank to the[Pg 144] commanding officer, the commanding officer receives the review and is accompanied by the inspector, who takes post on his left. (724)

Battalion Review

631. Presenting battalion to reviewing officer; passing around battalion; battalion passing in review at quick time. The battalion having been formed in line, the major faces to the front; the reviewing officer moves a few paces toward the major and halts; the major turns about and commands: 1. Present, 2. ARMS, and again turns about and salutes.

The reviewing officer returns the salute; the major turns about, brings the battalion to order arms, and again turns to the front.

The reviewing officer approaches to about 6 paces from the major, the latter salutes, takes post on his right, and accompanies him around, the battalion. The band plays. The reviewing officer proceeds to the right of the band, passes in front of the captain to the left of the line and returns to the right, passing in rear of the file closers and the band. (See par. 625.)

On arriving again at the right of the line, the major salutes, halts, and when the reviewing officer and staff have passed, moves directly to his post in front of the battalion, faces it, and commands: 1. Pass in review, 2. Squads right, 3. MARCH.

At the first command the band changes direction if necessary, and halts.

At the third command, given when the band has changed direction, the battalion moves off, the band playing; without command from the major the column changes direction at the points indicated, and column of companies at full distance is formed successively to the left at the second change of direction; the major takes his post 20 paces in front of the band immediately after the second change; the band having passed the reviewing officer, turns to the left of the column, takes post in front of and facing the reviewing officer, and remains there until the review terminates.

The major and staff salute, turn the head as in eyes right, and look toward the reviewing officer when the major is 6 paces from him; they return to the carry and turn the head and eyes to the front when the major has passed 6 paces beyond him.

Without facing about, each captain or special unit commander, except the drum major, commands: 1. Eyes, in time to add, 2. RIGHT, when at 6 paces from the reviewing officer, and commands front when at 6 paces beyond him. At the command eyes the company officers armed with the saber execute the first motion of present saber; at the command right all turn head and eyes to the right, the company officers complete present saber, and the noncommissioned officers armed with the saber execute the first motion of present saber; at the command front all turn head and eyes to the front, and officers and noncommissioned officers armed with the saber resume the carry saber; without arms in hand, the first motion of the hand salute is made at the command right, and the second motion not made until the command front.

[Pg 145]Noncommissioned staff officers, noncommissioned officers in command of subdivisions, and the drum major salute, turn the head and eyes, return to the front, resume the carry or drop the hand, at the points prescribed for the major. Officers and dismounted noncommissioned officers in command of subdivisions, with arms in hand, render the rifle or saber salute. Guides charged with the step, trace, and direction do not execute eyes right.

If the reviewing officer is entitled to a salute from the color the regimental color salutes when at 6 paces from him, and is raised when at 6 paces beyond him.

The major, having saluted, takes post on the right of the reviewing officer, returns saber and remains there until the rear of the battalion has passed, then salutes and rejoins his battalion. The band ceases to play when the column has completed its second change of direction after passing the reviewing officer. (725)

632. Passing in review at double time. When the battalion arrives at its original position in column, the major commands: 1. Double time, 2. MARCH.

The band plays in double time.

The battalion passes in review as before, except that in double time the command eyes right is omitted and there is no saluting except by the major when he leaves the reviewing officer.

The review terminates when the rear company has passed the reviewing officer: the band then ceases to play, and, unless otherwise directed by the major, returns to the position it occupied before marching in review, or is dismissed; the major rejoins the battalion and brings it to quick time. The battalion then executes such movements as the reviewing officer may have directed, or is marched to its parade ground and dismissed.

Marching past in double time may, in the discretion of the reviewing officer, be omitted; the review terminates when the major rejoins his battalion. (726)

633. Major and staff may be dismounted. At battalion review the major and his staff may be dismounted in the discretion of the commanding officer. (727)

General Rules

634. Position assumed by reviewing officer and staff while band is sounding off. If dismounted, the officer reviewing the parade, and his staff, stand at parade rest, with arms folded, while the band is sounding off; they resume attention with the adjutant. If mounted, they remain at attention. (732)

635. Reports by captains and majors. At the command report, given by a battalion adjutant, the captains in succession from the right salute and report: A (or other) company, present or accounted for; or A (or other) company, (so many) officers or enlisted men absent, and resume the order saber; at the same command given by the regimental adjutant, the majors similarly report their battalions. (733)

[Pg 146]

Battalion Parade

636. At adjutant's call the battalion is formed in line, as explained in par. 308, but not presented. Lieutenants take their posts in front of the center of their respective platoons at the captain's command for dressing his company on the line, as explained in par. 302. The major takes post at a convenient distance in front of the center and facing the battalion.

The adjutant from his post in front of the center of the battalion, after commanding: 1. Guides, 2. POSTS, adds: 1. Parade, 2. REST; the battalion executes parade rest. The adjutant directs the band: SOUND OFF.

The band, playing in quick time, passes in front of the line of officers to the left of the line and back to its post on the right, when it ceases playing. At evening parade, when the band ceases playing, retreat is sounded by the field music and, following the last note and while the flag is being lowered, the band plays the Star Spangled Banner.

Just before the last note of retreat, the adjutant comes to attention and, as the last note ends commands: 1. Battalion, 2. Attention, 3. Present, 4. Arms, and salutes retaining that position until the last note of the National Anthem. He then turns about and reports: Sir, the parade is formed. The major directs the adjutant: Take your post, Sir. The adjutant moves at a trot (if dismounted, in quick time), passes by the major's right, and takes his post.

The major draws saber and commands: 1. Order, 2. ARMS, and adds such exercises in the manual of arms as he may desire. Officers, noncommissioned officers commanding companies or armed with the saber, and the color guard, having once executed order arms, remain in that position during the exercises in the manual.

The major then directs the adjutant: Receive the reports, Sir. The adjutant, passing by the major's right, advances at a trot (if dismounted, in quick time) toward the center of the line, halts midway between it and the major, and commands: REPORT. (See par. 635.)

The reports received, the adjutant turns about, and reports: Sir, all are present or accounted for; or Sir, (so many) officers or enlisted men are absent, including in the list of absentees those from the band and field music reported to him by the drum major prior to the parade.

The major directs: Publish the orders, Sir.

The adjutant turns about and commands: Attention to orders; he then reads the orders, and commands: 1. Officers, 2. CENTER, 3. MARCH.

At the command center, the company officers carry saber and face to the center. At the command march, they close to the center and face to the front; the adjutant turns about and takes his post.

The officers having closed and faced to the front, the senior commands: 1. Forward, 2. MARCH. The officers advance, the band playing; the left officer of the center or right center company is the guide, and marches on the major; the officers are halted at 6 paces from the major by the senior, who commands: 1. Officers, 2. HALT. They halt and salute, returning to the carry saber with the major. The major then gives such instructions as he deems necessary, and commands: 1. Officers, 2. POSTS, 3. MARCH.

[Pg 147]At the command posts, company officers face about.

At the command march, they step off with guide as before, and the senior commands: 1. Officers, 2. HALT, so as to halt 3 paces from the line; he then adds: 1. POSTS, 2. MARCH.

At the command posts, officers face outward and, at the command march, step off in succession at 4 paces distance, resume their posts and order saber; the lieutenants march directly to their posts in rear of their companies.

The music ceases when all officers have resumed their posts.

The major then commands: 1. Pass in review, 2. Squads right, 3. MARCH, and returns saber.

The battalion marches according to the principles of review; when the last company has passed, the ceremony is concluded, as explained in pars. 617; 631.

The band continues to play while the companies are in march upon the parade ground. Companies are formed in column of squads, without halting, and are marched to their respective parades by their captains.

When the company officers have saluted the major, he may direct them to form line with the staff, in which case they individually move to the front, passing to the right and left of the major and staff, halt on the line established by the staff, face about, and stand at attention. The music ceases when the officers join the staff. The major causes the companies to pass in review under the command of their first sergeants by the same commands as before. The company officers return saber with the major and remain at attention. (734)

Escort of the Color

637. By a company. The regiment being in line or line of masses, the colonel details a company, other than the color company, to receive and escort the national color to its place. During the ceremony the regimental color remains with the color guard at its post with the regiment.

The band moves straight to its front until clear of the line of field officers, changes direction to the right, and is halted; the designated company forms column of platoons in rear of the band, the color bearer or bearers between the platoons.

The escort then marches without music to the colonel's office or quarters and is formed in line facing the entrance, the band on the right, the color bearer in the line of file closers.

The color bearer, preceded by the first lieutenant and followed by a sergeant of the escort, then goes to obtain the color.

When the color bearer comes out, followed by the lieutenant and sergeant, he halts before the entrance, facing the escort; the lieutenant places himself on the right, the sergeant on the left of the color bearer; the escort presents arms, and the field music sounds to the color; the first lieutenant and sergeant salute.

Arms are brought to the order; the lieutenant and sergeant return to their posts; the company is formed in column of platoons, the[Pg 148] band taking post in front of the column; the color bearer places himself between the platoons; the escort marches in quick time, with guide left, back to the regiment, the band playing; the march is so conducted that when the escort arrives at 50 paces in front of the right of the regiment, the direction of the march shall be parallel to its front; when the color arrives opposite its place in line, the escort is formed in line to the left; the color bearer, passing between the platoons, advances and halts 12 paces in front of the colonel.

The color bearer having halted, the colonel, who has taken post 30 paces in front of the center of the regiment, faces about, commands: 1. Present, 2. ARMS, resumes his front, and salutes; the field music sounds to the color; and the regimental color bearer executes the color salute at the command present arms.

The colonel then faces about, brings the regiment to the order, at which the color bearer resumes the carry and takes his post with the color company.

The escort presents arms and comes to the order with the regiment, at the command of the colonel, after which the captain forms it again in column of platoons, and, preceded by the band, marches it to its place, passing around the left flank of the regiment.

The band plays until the escort passes the left of the line, when it ceases playing and returns to its post on the right, passing in rear of the regiment.

The regiment may be brought to a rest when the escort passes the left of the line. (736)

638. By a battalion. Escort of the color is executed by a battalion according to the same principles. (737)

Escorts of Honor

639. Escorts of honor are detailed for the purpose of receiving and escorting personages of high rank, civil or military. The troops for this purpose are selected for their soldierly appearance and superior discipline.

The escort forms in line, opposite the place where the personage presents himself, the band on the flank of the escort toward which it will march. On the appearance of the personage, he is received with the honors due to his rank. The escort is formed into column of companies, platoons or squads, and takes up the march, the personage and his staff or retinue taking positions in rear of the column; when he leaves the escort, line is formed and the same honors are paid as before.

When the position of the escort is at a considerable distance from the point where the personage is to be received, as for instance, where a courtyard or wharf intervenes, a double line of sentinels is posted from that point to the escort, facing inward; the sentinels successively salute as he passes and are then relieved and join the escort.

An officer is appointed to attend him and bear such communication as he may have to make to the commander of the escort. (738)

[Pg 149]

Funeral Escort

640. Composition and strength, formation, presenting arms, marching, etc. The composition and strength of the escort are prescribed in Army Regulations.

The escort is formed opposite the quarters of the deceased; the band on that flank of the escort toward which it is to march.

Upon the appearance of the coffin, the commander commands: 1. Present, 2. ARMS, and the band plays an appropriate air; arms are then brought to the order.

The escort is next formed into column of companies, platoons, or squads. If the escort be small, it may be marched in line. The procession is formed in the following order: 1. Music, 2. Escort, 3. Clergy, 4. Coffin and pallbearers, 5. Mourners, 6. Members of the former command of the deceased, 7. Other officers and enlisted men, 8. Distinguished persons, 9. Delegations, 10. Societies, 11. Civilians. Officers and enlisted men (Nos. 6 and 7), with side arms, are in the order of rank, seniors in front.

The procession being formed, the commander of the escort puts it in march.

The escort marches slowly to solemn music; the column having arrived opposite the grave, line is formed facing it.

The coffin is then carried along the front of the escort to the grave; arms are presented, the music plays an appropriate air; the coffin having been placed over the grave, the music ceases and arms are brought to the order.

The commander next commands: 1. Parade, 2. REST. The escort executes parade rest, officers and men inclining the head.

When the funeral services are completed and the coffin lowered into the grave, the commander causes the escort to resume attention and fire three rounds of blank cartridges, the muzzles of the pieces being elevated. When the escort is greater than a battalion, one battalion is designated to fire the volley.

A musician then sounds taps.

The escort is then formed into column, marched in quick time to the point where it was assembled, and dismissed.

The band does not play until it has left the inclosure.

When the distance to the place of interment is considerable, the escort, after having left the camp or garrison, may march at ease in quick time until it approaches the burial ground, when it is brought to attention. The music does not play while marching at ease.

In marching at attention, the field music may alternate with the band in playing. (739)

641. Funeral of general officer; playing national air, sounding ruffles, etc., as honor. When arms are presented at the funeral of a person entitled to any of the following honors, the band plays the prescribed national air, or the field music sounds to the color, march, flourishes, or ruffles, according to the rank of the deceased, after which the band plays an appropriate air. The commander of the escort, in forming column, gives the appropriate commands for the different arms. (740)

[Pg 150]642. Funeral of mounted officer or soldier. At the funeral of a mounted officer or enlisted man, his horse, in mourning caparison, follows the hearse. (741)

643. When hearse, cavalry, and artillery are unable to enter cemetery. Should the entrance of the cemetery prevent the hearse accompanying the escort till the latter halts at the grave, the column is halted at the entrance long enough to take the coffin from the hearse, when the column is again put in march. The Cavalry and Artillery, when unable to enter the inclosure, turn out of the column, face the column, and salute the remains as they pass. (742)

644. Escorting remains from quarters to church before funeral services. When necessary to escort the remains from the quarters of the deceased to the church before the funeral service, arms are presented upon receiving the remains at the quarters and also as they are borne into the church. (743)

645. Instructions to clergyman and pallbearers. The commander of the escort, previous to the funeral, gives the clergyman and pallbearers all needful directions. (744)

Company Inspection

646. Being in line at a halt: 1. Open ranks, 2. MARCH.

At the command march the front rank executes right dress; the rear rank and the file closers march backward 4 steps, halt, and execute right dress; the lieutenants pass around their respective flanks and take post, facing to the front, 3 paces in front of the center of their respective platoons. The captain aligns the front rank, rear rank, and file closers, takes post 3 paces in front of the right guide, facing to the left, and commands: 1. FRONT, 2. PREPARE FOR INSPECTION.

At the second command the lieutenants carry saber; the captain returns saber and inspects them, after which they face about, order saber, and stand at ease; upon the completion of the inspection they carry saber, face about, and order saber. The captain may direct the lieutenants to accompany or assist him, in which case they return saber and, at the close of the inspection, resume their posts in front of the company, draw and carry saber.

Having inspected the lieutenants, the captain proceeds to the right of the company. Each man, as the captain approaches him, executes inspection arms.

The captain takes the piece, grasping it with his right hand just above the rear sight, the man dropping his hands. The captain inspects the piece, and, with the hand and piece in the same position as in receiving it, hands it back to the man, who takes it with the left hand at the balance and executes order arms.

As the captain returns the piece, the next man executes inspection arms, and so on through the company.

Should the piece be inspected without handling, each man executes order arms as soon as the captain passes to the next man.

[Pg 151]

Plate VI. Plate VI.

The inspection is from right to left in front, and from left to right in the rear, of each rank and of the line of file closers.

When approached by the captain, the first sergeant executes inspection saber. Enlisted men armed with the pistol execute inspection pistol by drawing the pistol from the holster and holding it diagonally across the body, barrel up, and 6 inches in front of the neck, muzzle pointing up and to the left. The pistol is returned to the holster as soon as the captain passes.

Upon completion of the inspection, the captain takes post facing to the left in front of the right guide and on line with the lieutenants and commands: 1. Close ranks, 2. MARCH.

At the command march the lieutenants resume their posts in line; the rear rank closes to 40 inches, each man covering his file leader; the file closers close to 2 paces from the rear rank. (745)

647. Inspection of quarters or camp. If the company is dismissed, rifles are put away. In quarters, headdress and accouterments are[Pg 152] removed, and the men stand near their respective bunks; in camp, they stand covered, but without accouterments, in front of their tents.

If the personal field equipment has not been inspected in ranks and its inspection in quarters or camp is ordered, each man will arrange the prescribed articles on his bunk, if in quarters or permanent camp, or in front of his half of the tent, if in shelter tent camp, in the same relative order as directed in paragraph 648.

The captain, accompanied by the lieutenants, then inspects the quarters or camp. The first sergeant precedes the captain and calls the men to attention on entering each squad room or on approaching the tents; the men stand at attention, but do not salute. (746)

648. When inspection includes examination of equipment. If the inspection is to include an examination of the equipment while in ranks, the captain, after closing ranks, causes the company to stack arms, to march backward until 4 paces in rear of the stacks and to take intervals. He then commands:


At the first command each man unslings his equipment and places it on the ground at his feet, haversack to the front, end of the pack 1 foot in front of toes.

At the second command, pack carriers are unstrapped, packs removed and unrolled, the longer edge of the pack along the lower edge of the cartridge belt. Each man exposes shelter-tent pins; removes meat can, knife, fork, and spoon from the meat-can pouch, and places them on the right of the haversack, knife, fork, and spoon in the open meat can; removes the canteen and cup from the cover and places them on the left side of the haversack; unstraps and spreads out haversack so as to expose its contents; folds up the carrier to uncover the cartridge pockets; opens same; unrolls toilet articles and places them on the outer flap of the haversack; places underwear carried in pack on the left half of the open pack, with round fold parallel with front edge of pack; opens first-aid pouch and exposes contents to view. Special articles carried by individual men, such as flag kit, field glasses, compass, steel tape, notebook, etc., will be arranged on the right half of the open pack. Each man then resumes the attention. Plate VI (Page 151) shows the relative position of all articles except underwear and special articles.

The captain then passes along the ranks and file closers, as before, inspects the equipment, returns to the right, and commands: CLOSE PACKS.

Each man rolls up his toilet articles and underwear, straps up his haversack and its contents, replaces the meat can, knife, fork, and spoon, and the canteen and cup; closes cartridge pockets and first-aid pouch; restores special articles to their proper receptacles; rolls up and replaces pack in carrier, and, leaving the equipment in its position on the ground, resumes the attention.

All equipments being packed, the captain commands: SLING EQUIPMENT.

The equipments are slung and belts fastened.

The captain then causes the company to assemble and take arms. The inspection is completed as already explained. (747)

[Pg 153]649. When the inspector is other than the captain. Should the inspector be other than the captain, the latter, after commanding front, adds REST, and faces to the front. When the inspector approaches, the captain faces to the left, brings the company to attention, faces to the front, and salutes. The salute acknowledged, the captain carries saber, faces to the left, commands: PREPARE FOR INSPECTION, and again faces to the front.

The inspection proceeds as before; the captain returns saber and accompanies the inspector as soon as the latter passes him. (748)

Battalion Inspection

650. Inspection may precede or follow review; the inspection up to time the companies are inspected. If there be both inspection and review, the inspection may either precede or follow the review.

The battalion being in column of companies at full distance, all officers dismounted, the major commands: 1. Prepare for inspection, 2. MARCH.

At the first command each captain commands: Open ranks.

At the command march the ranks are opened in each company, as in the inspection of the company, as prescribed in par. 646.

The field musicians join their companies.

The drum major conducts the band to a position 30 paces in rear of the column, if not already there, and opens ranks.

The major takes post facing to the front and 20 paces in front of the center of the leading company. The staff takes post as if mounted. The color takes post 5 paces in rear of the staff.

Field and staff officers senior in rank to the inspector do not take post in front of the column, but accompany him.

The inspector inspects the major, and, accompanied by the latter, inspects the staff officers.

The major then commands: REST, returns saber, and, with his staff, accompanies the inspector.

If the major is the inspector he commands: REST, returns saber, and inspects his staff, which then accompanies him.

The inspector, commencing at the head of the column, then makes a minute inspection of the color guard, the noncommissioned staff, and the arms, accouterments, dress and ammunition of each soldier of the several companies in succession, and inspects the band.

The adjutant gives the necessary commands for the inspection of the color guard, noncommissioned staff, and band.

The color guard and noncommissioned staff may be dismissed as soon as inspected. (749)

651. Inspection of the companies. As the inspector approaches each company, its captain commands: 1. Company, 2. ATTENTION, 3. PREPARE FOR INSPECTION, and faces to the front; as soon as inspected he returns saber and accompanies the inspector. The inspection proceeds as in company inspection, as explained in pars. 646–649. At its completion the captain closes ranks and commands: REST. Unless otherwise directed by the inspector, the major directs that the company be marched to its parade and dismissed. (750)

[Pg 154]652. When inspection lasts long time. If the inspection will probably last a long time the rear companies may be permitted to stack arms and fall out; before the inspector approaches, they fall in and take arms. (751)

653. The band. The band plays during the inspection of the companies.

When the inspector approaches the band the adjutant commands: PREPARE FOR INSPECTION.

As the inspector approaches him each man raises his instrument in front of the body, reverses it so as to show both sides, and then returns it.

Company musicians execute inspection similarly. (752)

654. Inspection of quarters or camp. At the inspection of quarters or camp the inspector is accompanied by the captain, followed by the other officers or by such of them as he may designate. The inspection is conducted as described in the company inspection, as laid down in pars. 646–649.

Regimental, Battalion, or Company Muster

655. Inspection and review; muster rolls; lists of absentees. Muster is preceded by an inspection, and, when practicable, by a review.

The adjutant is provided with the muster roll of the field, staff, and band, the surgeon with the hospital roll; each captain with the roll of his company. A list of absentees, alphabetically arranged, showing cause and place of absence, accompanies each roll. (755)

656. Calling the names; verifying presence of absentees. Being in column of companies at open ranks, each captain, as the mustering officer approaches, brings his company to right shoulder arms, and commands: ATTENTION TO MUSTER.

The mustering officer or captain then calls the names on the roll; each man, as his name is called, answers Here and brings his piece to order arms.

After muster, the mustering officer, accompanied by the company commanders and such other officers as he may designate, verifies the presence of the men reported in hospital, on guard, etc. (756)

657. Muster of company on company parade. A company may be mustered in the same manner on its own parade ground, the muster to follow the company inspection. (757)


658. Meaning of "Color;" Army Regulations. The word "color" implies the national color; it includes the regimental color when both are present.

The rules prescribing the colors to be carried by regiments and battalions on all occasions are contained in Army Regulations. (766)

659. Where the colors are kept; "cased" defined. In garrison the colors, when not in use, are kept in the office or quarters of the colonel, and are escorted thereto and therefrom by the color guard. In camp[Pg 155] the colors, when not in use, are in front of the colonel's tent. From reveille to retreat, when the weather permits, they are displayed uncased; from retreat to reveille and during inclement weather they are cased.

Colors are said to be cased when furled and protected by the oil cloth covering. (767)

660. Regimental and national colors—salutes by. The regimental color salutes in the ceremony of escort of the color, and when saluting an officer entitled to the honor, but in no other case.

If marching, the salute is executed when at 6 paces from the officer entitled to the salute; the carry is resumed when 6 paces beyond him.

The national color renders no salute. (768)

The Color Guard

661. Composition of color guard; carrying of regimental and national colors. The color guard consists of two color sergeants, who are the color bearers, and two experienced privates selected by the colonel. The senior color sergeant carries the national color; the junior color sergeant carries the regimental color. The regimental color, when carried, is always on the left of the national color, in whatever direction they may face. (769)

662. Formation and marching of color guard. The color guard is formed and marched in one rank, the color bearers in the center. It is marched in the same manner and by the same commands as a squad, substituting, when necessary, guard for squad. (770)

663. Color company defined; color guard remains with it. The color company is the center or right center company of the center or right center battalion. The color guard remains with that company unless otherwise directed. (771)

664. Post of color guard in various formations. In line, the color guard is in the interval between the inner guides of the right and left center companies.

In line of columns or in close line, the color guard is midway between the right and left center companies and on line with the captains.

In column of companies or platoons, the color guard is midway between the color company and the company in rear of the color company and equidistant from the flanks of the column.

In close column, the color guard is on the flank of the color company.

In column of squads, the color guard is in the column between the color company and the company originally on its left.

When the regiment is formed in line of masses for ceremonies, the color guard forms on the left of the leading company of the center (right center) battalion. It rejoins the color company when the regiment changes from line of masses. (772)

665. In battle color guard joins reserve. The color guard, when with a battalion that takes the battle formation, joins the regimental reserve, whose commander directs the color guard to join a certain company of the reserve. (773)

[Pg 156]666. Loadings, firings, manual of arms, and movements by color guard. The color guard executes neither loadings nor firings; in rendering honors, it executes all movements in the manual; in drill, all movements unless specially excused. (774)

To Receive the Color

667. Receiving the color by color guard. The color guard, by command of the senior color sergeant, presents arms on receiving and parting with the color. After parting with the color, the color guard is brought to order arms by command of the senior member, who is placed as the right man of the guard. (775)

668. Receiving the color by color company. At drills and ceremonies, excepting escort of the color, the color, if present, is received by the color company after its formation.

The formation of the color company completed, the captain faces to the front; the color guard, conducted by the senior sergeant, approaches from the front and halts at a distance of 10 paces from the captain, who then faces about, brings the company to the present, faces to the front, salutes, again faces about and brings the company to the order. The color guard comes to the present and order at the command of the captain, and is then marched by the color sergeant directly to its post on the left of the color company. (776)

669. Escorting color to office or quarters of colonel. When the battalion is dismissed the color guard escorts the color to the office or quarters of the colonel. (777)

Manual of the Color

670. At the carry, the heel of the pike rests in the socket of the sling; the right hand grasps the pike at the height of the shoulder.

At the order, the heel of the pike rests on the ground near the right toe, the right hand holding the pike in a vertical position.

At parade rest, the heel of the pike is on the ground, as at the order; the pike is held with both hands in front of the center of the body, left hand uppermost.

The order is resumed at the command attention.

The left hand assists the right when necessary.

The carry is the habitual position when the troops are at a shoulder, port, or trail.

The order and parade rest are executed with the troops.

The color salute: Being at a carry, slip the right hand up the pike to the height of the eye, then lower the pike by straightening the arm to the front. (778)

Manual of the Saber

671. Drawing saber; position of carry saber dismounted; unhooking scabbard before mounting; on foot carrying scabbard hooked up.

1. Draw, 2. SABER.

At the command draw, unhook the saber with the thumb and first two fingers of the left hand, thumb on the end of the hook, fingers[Pg 157] lifting the upper ring; grasp the scabbard with the left hand at the upper band, bring the hilt a little forward, seize the grip with the right hand, and draw the blade 6 inches out of the scabbard, pressing the scabbard against the thigh with the left hand.

At the command saber, draw the saber quickly, raising the arm to its full extent, to the right front, at an angle of about 45° with the horizontal, the saber, edge down, in a straight line with the arm; make a slight pause and bring the back of the blade against the shoulder, edge to the front, arm nearly extended, hand by the side, elbow back, third and fourth fingers back of the grip; at the same time hook up the scabbard with the thumb and first two fingers of the left hand, thumb through the upper ring, fingers supporting it; drop the left hand by the side.

This is the position of carry saber dismounted.

Officers and noncommissioned officers armed with the saber unhook the scabbard before mounting; when mounted, in the first motion of draw saber they reach with the right hand over the bridle hand and without the aid of the bridle hand draw the saber as before; the right hand at the carry rests on the right thigh.

On foot the scabbard is carried hooked up. (782)

672. Holding of saber in publishing orders, etc.; use of saber knot. When publishing orders, calling the roll, etc., the saber is held suspended from the right wrist by the saber knot; when the saber knot is used it is placed on the wrist before drawing saber and taken off after returning saber. (783)

673. Presenting saber from carry or order; execution of the salute in rendering honors.

Being at the order or carry: 1. Present, 2. SABER (or ARMS).

At the command present, raise and carry the saber to the front, base of the hilt as high as the chin and 6 inches in front of the neck, edge to the left, point 6 inches farther to the front than the hilt, thumb extended on the left of the grip, all fingers grasping the grip.

At the command saber, or arms, lower the saber, point in prolongation of the right foot and near the ground, edge to the left, hand by the side, thumb on left of grip, arm extended. If mounted, the hand is held behind the thigh, point a little to the right and front of the stirrup.

In rendering honors with troops, officers execute the first motion of the salute at the command present, the second motion at the command arms; enlisted men with the saber execute the first motion at the command arms and omit the second motion. (784)

674. Coming to order from carry; executing order or carry from present, depending upon command; coming to order saber when arms are brought to order.

Being at a carry: 1. Order, 2. SABER (or ARMS).

Drop the point of the saber directly to the front, point on or near the ground, edge down, thumb on back of grip.

Being at the present saber, should the next command be order arms, officers and noncommissioned officers armed with the saber order saber; if the command be other than order arms, they execute carry saber.

[Pg 158]When arms are brought to the order, the officers or enlisted men with saber drawn order saber. (785)

675. Position of saber in giving commands, etc.; bringing saber to carry from order. The saber is held at the carry while giving commands, marching at attention, or changing position in quick time.

When at the order, sabers are brought to the carry when arms are brought to any position except the present or parade rest. (786)

676. Parade rest from order. Being at the order: 1. Parade, 2. REST.

Take the position of parade rest except that the left hand is uppermost and rests on the right hand, point of saber on or near the ground in front of the center of the body, edge to the right.

At the command attention, resume the order saber and the position of the soldier. (787)

677. Position of saber at double time. In marching in double time the saber is carried diagonally across the breast, edge to the front; the left hand steadies the scabbard. (788)

678. On duty under arms sabers to be drawn and returned without command; commands given with saber drawn. Officers and noncommissioned officers armed with the saber, on all duties under arms draw and return saber without waiting for command. All commands to soldiers under arms are given with the saber drawn. (789)

679. Returning saber from carry. Being at a carry: 1. Return, 2. SABER.

At the command return, carry the right hand opposite to and 6 inches from the left shoulder, saber vertical, edge to the left; at the same time unhook and lower the scabbard with the left hand and grasp it at the upper band.

At the command saber drop the point to the rear and pass the blade across and along the left arm; turn the head slightly to the left, fixing the eyes on the opening of the scabbard, raise the right hand, insert and return the blade; free the wrist from the saber knot (if inserted in it), turn the head to the front, drop the right hand by the side; hook up the scabbard with the left hand, drop the left hand by the side.

Officers and noncommissioned officers armed with the saber, when mounted, return saber without using the left hand; the scabbard is hooked up on dismounting. (790)

680. Enlisted men with saber drawn at inspection. At inspection enlisted men with the saber drawn execute the first motion of present saber and turn the wrist to show both sides of the blade, resuming the carry when the inspector has passed. (791)

[Pg 159]

Par. 671 Par. 671 Par. 671 Par. 671 Par. 671 Par. 671 Par. 673 Par. 673
Par. 674 Par. 674 Par. 676 Par. 676 Par. 677 Par. 677 Par. 679 Par. 679

[Pg 160]

Shelter Tents

681. Being in line or in column of platoons, the captain commands: FORM FOR SHELTER TENTS.

The officers, first sergeant, and guides fall out; the cooks form a file on the flank of the company nearest the kitchen, the first sergeant and right guide fall in, forming the right file of the company; blank files are filled by the file closers, or by men taken from the front rank; the remaining guide, or guides, and file closers form on a convenient flank.

Before forming column or platoons, preparatory to pitching tents, the company may be redivided into two or more platoons, regardless of the size of each. (792)

682. The captain then causes the company to take intervals as described in the School of the Squad (See par. 156.), and commands: PITCH TENTS.

At the command pitch tents, each man steps off obliquely to the right with the right foot and lays his rifle on the ground, the butt of the rifle near the toe of the right foot, muzzle to the front, barrel to the left, and steps back into his place; each front-rank man then draws his bayonet and sticks it in the ground by the outside of the right heel.

Equipments are unslung, packs opened, shelter half and pins removed; each man then spreads his shelter half, small triangle to the rear, flat upon the ground the tent is to occupy, the rear-rank man's half on the right. The halves are then buttoned together; the guy loops at both ends of the lower half are passed through the buttonholes provided in the lower and upper halves; the whipped end of the guy rope is then passed through both guy loops and secured, this at both ends of the tent. Each front-rank man inserts the muzzle of his rifle under the front end of the ridge and holds the rifle upright, sling to the front, heel of butt on the ground, beside the bayonet. His rear-rank man pins down the front corners of the tent on the line of bayonets, stretching the tent taut; he then inserts a pin in the eye of the front guy rope and drives the pin at such a distance in front of the rifle as to held the rope taut; both men go to the rear of the tent, each pins down a corner, stretching the sides and rear of the tent before securing; the rear-rank man then inserts an intrenching tool, or a bayonet in its scabbard, under the rear end of the ridge inside the tent, the front-rank man pegging down the end of the rear guy ropes; the rest of the pins are then driven by both men, the rear-rank man working on the right.

The front flaps of the tent are not fastened down, but thrown back on the tent.

As soon as the tent is pitched each man arranges his equipment and the contents of his pack in the tent and stands at attention in front of his own half on line with the front guy-rope pin.

To have a uniform slope when the tents are pitched, the guy ropes should all be of the same length.

In shelter-tent camps, in localities where suitable material is procurable, tent poles may be improvised and used in lieu of the rifle and bayonet or intrenching tool as supports for the shelter tent. (793)

[Pg 161]683. When the pack is not carried, the company is formed for shelter tents, as prescribed in par. 681, intervals are taken, arms are laid aside or on the ground, the men are dismissed and proceed to the wagon, secure their packs, return to their places, and pitch tents as heretofore described, in par. 682. (794)

684. Double shelter tents may be pitched by first pitching one tent as heretofore described, then pitching a second tent against the opening of the first, using one rifle to support both tents, and passing the front guy ropes over and down the sides of the opposite tents. The front corner of one tent is not pegged down, but is thrown back to permit an opening into the tent. (795)

Single Sleeping Bag

685. Spread the poncho on the ground, buttoned end at the feet, buttoned side to the left; fold the blanket once across its short dimension and lay it on the poncho, folded side along the right side of the poncho; tie the blanket together along the left side by means of the tapes provided; fold the left half of the poncho over the blanket and button it together along the side and bottom. (For the position, number, and length of tapes with which blankets should be provided, see Par. II, G. O. 11; W. D. '12—Author.) (796)

Double Sleeping Bag

686. Spread one poncho on the ground, buttoned end at the feet, buttoned side to the left; spread the blankets on top of the poncho; tie the edges of the blankets together with the tapes provided; spread a second poncho on top of the blankets, buttoned end at the feet, buttoned side to the right; button the two ponchos together along both sides and across the end. (797)

To Strike Shelter Tents

687. The men standing in front of their tents: STRIKE TENTS.

Equipments and rifles are removed from the tent; the tents are lowered, packs made up, and equipments slung, and the men stand at attention in the places originally occupied after taking intervals. (798)

To Pitch All Types of Tents, Except Shelter and Conical Wall

688. To pitch all types of Army tents, except shelter and conical wall tents: Mark line of tents by driving a wall pin on the spot to be occupied by the right (or left) corner of each tent. For pyramidal tents the interval between adjacent pins should be about 30 feet, which will give a passage of two feet between tents. Spread tripod on the ground where the center of tent is to be, if tripod is used. Spread the tent on the ground to be occupied, door to the front, and place the right (or left) front wall loop over the pin. The door (or doors, if more than one) being fastened and held together at the bottom, the left (or right) corner wall loop is carried to the left (or right) as far as it will go and a wall pin driven through it, the pin being placed in line with the right (or left) corner pins already driven. At the same time the rear corner[Pg 162] wall loops are pulled to the rear and outward so that the rear wall of the tent is stretched to complete the rectangle. Wall pins are then driven through these loops. Each corner pin should be directly in rear of the corresponding front corner pin, making a rectangle. Unless the canvas be wet, a small amount of slack should be allowed before the corner pins are driven. According to the size of the tent one or two men, crawling under the tent if necessary, fit each pole or ridge or upright into the ring or ridge pole holes, and such accessories as hood, fly, and brace ropes are adjusted. If a tripod be used an additional man will go under the tent to adjust it. The tent steadied by the remaining men, one at each corner guy rope, will then be raised. If the tent is a ward or storage type, corner poles will now be placed at the four corners. The four corner guy ropes are then placed over the lower notches of the large pins driven in prolongation of the diagonals at such distance as to hold the walls and ends of the tent vertical and smooth when the guy ropes are drawn taut. A wall pin is then driven through each remaining wall loop and a large pin for each guy rope is driven in line with the corner guy pins already driven. The guy ropes of the tent are placed over the lower notches, while the guy ropes of the fly are placed over the upper notches, and are then drawn taut. Brace ropes when used, are then secured to stakes or pins suitably placed. (709)

Conical Wall Tent

689. Drive the door pin and center pin 8 feet 3 inches apart. Using the hood lines, with center pin as center, describe two concentric circles with radii 8 feet 3 inches and 11 feet 3 inches. In the outer circle drive two door guy pins 3 feet apart. At intervals of about 3 feet drive the other guy pins.

In other respects conical tents are erected practically as in the case of pyramidal tents, as explained in par. 688. (801)

To Strike Common, Wall, Pyramidal, and Conical Wall Tents


The men first remove all pins except those of the four corner guy ropes, or the four quadrant guy ropes in the case of the conical wall tent. The pins are neatly piled or placed in their receptacle.

One man holds each guy, and when the ground is clear the tent is lowered, folded, or rolled and tied, the poles or tripod and pole fastened together, and the remaining pins collected. (802)

To Fold Tents

691. For folding common, wall, hospital, and storage tents: Spread the tent flat on the ground, folded at the ridge so that bottoms of side walls are even, ends of tents forming triangles to the right and left; fold the triangular ends of the tent in toward the middle, making it rectangular in shape; fold the top over about 9 inches; fold the tent in two by carrying the top fold over clear to the foot; fold again in two from the top to the foot; throw all guys on tent except the second from each end; fold the ends in so as to cover about two-thirds of the second[Pg 163] cloths; fold the left end over to meet the turned-in edge of the right end, then fold the right end over the top, completing the bundle; tie with two exposed guys.

For folding pyramidal tents: The tent is thrown toward the rear and the back wall and roof canvas pulled out smooth. This may be most easily accomplished by leaving the rear corner wall pins in the ground with the wall loops attached, one man at each rear-corner guy, and one holding the square iron in a perpendicular position and pulling the canvas to its limit away from the former front of the tent. This leaves the three remaining sides of the tent on top of the rear side, with the door side in the middle.

Now carry the right-front corner over and lay it on the left-rear corner. Pull all canvas smooth, throw guys toward square iron, and pull bottom edges even. Then take the right-front corner and return to the right, covering the right-rear corner. This folds the right side of the tent on itself, with the crease in the middle and under the front side of the tent.

Next carry the left-front corner to the right and back as described above; this, when completed, will leave the front and rear sides of the tent lying smooth and flat and the two side walls folded inward, each on itself.

Place the hood in the square iron which has been folded downward toward the bottom of tent, and continue to fold around the square iron as a core, pressing all folds down flat and smooth, and parallel with the bottom of the tent. If each fold is compactly made and the canvas kept smooth, the last fold will exactly cover the lower edge of the canvas. Lay all exposed guys along the folded canvas except the two on the center-width, which should be pulled out and away from bottom edge to their extreme length for tying. Now, beginning at one end, fold toward the center on the first seam (that joining the first and second widths) and fold again toward the center so that the already folded canvas will come to within about three inches of the middle width. Then fold over to the opposite edge of middle width of canvas. Then begin folding from opposite end, folding the first width in half, then making a second fold to come within about 4 or 5 inches of that already folded, turn this fold entirely over that already folded. Take the exposed guys and draw them taut across each other, turn bundle over on the under guy, cross guys on top of bundle drawing tight. Turn bundle over on the crossed guys and tie lengthwise.

When properly tied and pressed together this will make a package 11 by 23 by 34 inches, requiring about 8,855 cubic inches to store or pack.

Stencil the organization designation on the lower half of the middle width of canvas in the back wall. (803)

Warning Calls

692. First call, guard mounting, full dress, overcoats, drill, stable, water, and boots and saddles precede the assembly by such interval as may be prescribed by the commanding officer.

[Pg 164]Mess, church, and fatigue, classed as service calls, may also be used as warning calls.

First call is the first signal for formation for roll call and for all ceremonies except guard mounting.

Guard mounting is the first signal for guard mounting.

The field music assembles at first call and guard mounting.

In a mixed command, boots and saddles is the signal to mounted troops that their formation is to be mounted; for mounted guard mounting or mounted drill, it immediately follows the signal guard mounting or drill.

When full dress or overcoats are to be worn, the full dress or overcoat call immediately follows first call, guard mounting, or boots and saddles. (804)

Formation Calls

693. Assembly: The signal for companies or details to fall in.

Adjutant's call: The signal for companies to form battalion; also for the guard details to form for guard mounting on the camp or garrison parade ground; it follows the assembly at such interval as may be prescribed by the commanding officer.

It is also used as a signal for the battalions to form regiment, following the first adjutant's call at such interval as the commanding officer may prescribe.

To the color: Is sounded when the color salutes. (805)

Alarm Calls

694. Fire call: The signal for the men to fall in, without arms, to extinguish fire.

To arms: The signal for the men to fall in, under arms, on their company's parade grounds as quickly as possible.

To horse: The signal for mounted men to proceed under arms to their horses, saddle, mount and assemble at a designated place as quickly as possible. In extended order this signal is used to remount troops. (806)

Service Calls

695. Tattoo, taps, mess, sick, church, recall, issue, officers', captains', first sergeants', fatigue, school, and the general.

The general is the signal for striking tents and loading wagons preparatory to marching.

Reveille precedes the assembly for roll call; retreat follows the assembly, the interval between being only that required for formation and roll call, except when there is parade.

Taps is the signal for extinguishing lights; it is usually preceded by call to quarters by such interval as prescribed by Army Regulations.

Assembly, reveille, retreat, adjutant's call, to the color, the flourishes, ruffles, and the marches are sounded by all the field music united; the other calls, as a rule, are sounded by the musician of the guard or orderly musician; he may also sound the assembly when the musicians are not united.

[Pg 165]The morning gun is fired at the first note of reveille, or, if marches be played before reveille, it is fired at the commencement of the first march.

The evening gun is fired at the last note of retreat. (807)


War Department,
Office of the Chief of Staff,
Washington, December 2, 1911.

The Infantry Drill Regulations, 1911, have been prepared for the use of troops armed with the United States magazine rifle, model 1903. For the guidance of organizations armed with the United States magazine rifle, model 1898, the following alternative paragraphs are published and will be considered as substitute paragraphs for the corresponding paragraphs in the text: 75 (in part), 96, 98, 99, 134, 139, 141, 142, 148 and 150.

By order of the Secretary of War:

Major General, Chief of Staff.

Note. The paragraph numbers 75, 96, 98, etc., given above, follow the paragraphs below.

696. * * * Third.

The cut-off is kept turned down, except when using the magazine. (75)

* * * * *

697. Being at order arms: 1. Unfix, BAYONET.

If the bayonet scabbard is carried on the belt: Take the position of parade rest, grasp the handle on the bayonet firmly with the right hand, press the spring with the forefinger of the left hand, raise the bayonet until the handle is about 6 inches above the muzzle of the piece, drop the point to the left, back of hand toward the body, and glancing at the scabbard, return the bayonet, the blade passing between the left arm and body; regrasp the piece with the right hand and resume the order.

If the bayonet scabbard is carried on the haversack: Take the bayonet from the rifle with the left hand and return it to the scabbard in the most convenient manner.

If marching or lying down, the bayonet is fixed and unfixed in the most expeditious and convenient manner and the piece returned to the original position.

Fix and unfix bayonet are executed with promptness and regularity, but not in cadence. (96)

698. Being at order arms: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS.

At the second command, take the position of port arms. (TWO.) With the right hand open the magazine gate, turn the bolt handle up, draw the bolt back and glance at the magazine and chamber. Having found them empty, or having emptied them, raise the head and eyes to the front. (98)

[Pg 166]699. Being at inspection arms: 1. Order (Right shoulder, port), 2. ARMS.

At the preparatory command, push the bolt forward, turn the handle down, close the magazine gate, pull the trigger, and resume port arms. At the command arms, complete the movement ordered. (99)

700. Pieces being loaded and in the position of load, to execute other movements with the pieces loaded: 1. Lock, 2. PIECES.

At the command pieces turn the safety lock fully to the right.

The safety lock is said to be at the "ready" when turned to the left, and at the "safe" when turned to the right.

The cut-off is said to be "on" when turned up and "off" when turned down. (134)

701. Being in line or skirmish line at halt: 1. With dummy (blank or ball) cartridges, 2. LOAD.

At the command load each front-rank man or skirmisher faces half right and carries the right foot to the right, about one foot, to such position as will insure the greatest firmness and steadiness of the body; raises or lowers the piece and drops it into the left hand at the balance, left thumb extended along the stock, muzzle at the height of the breast. With the right hand he turns and draws the bolt back, takes a cartridge between the thumb and first two fingers and places it in the receiver; places palm of the hand against the back of the bolt handle; thrusts the bolt home with a quick motion, turning down the handle, and carries the hand to the small of the stock. Each rear-rank man moves to the right front, takes a similar position opposite the interval to the right of his front-rank man, muzzle of the piece extending beyond the front rank, and loads.

A skirmish line may load while moving, the pieces being held as nearly as practicable in the position of load.

If kneeling or sitting, the position of the piece is similar; if kneeling, the left forearm rests on the left thigh; if sitting, the elbows are supported by the knees. If lying down, the left hand steadies and supports the piece at the balance, the toe of the butt resting on the ground, the muzzle off the ground.

For reference, these positions (standing, kneeling, and lying down) are designated as that of load. (139)


Take the position of load, if not already there, open the gate of the magazine with the right thumb, take five cartridges from the box or belt, and place them, with the bullets to the front, in the magazine, turning the barrel slightly to the left to facilitate the insertion of the cartridges; close the gate and carry the right hand to the small of the stock.

To load from the magazine the command from magazine will be given preceding that of load; the cut-off will be turned up on coming to the position of load.

To resume loading from the belt the command from belt will be given preceding the command load; the cut-off will be turned down on coming to the position of load.

[Pg 167]The commands from magazine and from belt, indicating the change in the manner of loading, will not be repeated in subsequent commands.

The words from belt apply to cartridge box as well as belt.

In loading from the magazine care should be taken to push the bolt fully forward and turn the handle down before drawing the bolt back, as otherwise the extractor will not catch the cartridge in the chamber, and jamming will occur with the cartridge following.

To fire from the magazine, the command magazine fire may be given at any time. The cut-off is turned up and an increased rate of fire is executed. After the magazine is exhausted the cut-off is turned down and the firing continued, loading from the belt.

Magazine fire is employed only when, in the opinion of the platoon leader or company commander, the maximum rate of fire becomes necessary. (141)

703. UNLOAD.

All take the position of load, turn the cut-off up, if not already there, turn the safety lock to the left, and alternately open and close the chamber until all the cartridges are ejected. After the last cartridge is ejected the chamber is closed and the trigger pulled. The cartridges are then picked up, cleaned, and returned to the box or belt, and the piece brought to the order. (142)


Turn the cut-off up; fire at will (reloading from the magazine) until the cartridges in the piece are exhausted; turn the cut-off down; fill magazine; reload and take the position of suspend firing. (148)


Firing stops; pieces not already there are brought to the position of load, the cut-off turned down if firing from magazine, the cartridge is drawn or the empty shell is ejected, the trigger is pulled, sights are laid down, and the piece is brought to the order.

Cease firing is used for long pauses to prepare for changes of position or to steady the men. (150)


War Department,
Office of the Chief of Staff,
Washington, December 2, 1911.

Paragraphs 747, 792, 793, 794, 795, 796, 797, and 798, Infantry Drill Regulations, 1911, apply only to troops equipped with the Infantry Equipment, model 1910. For troops equipped under General Orders, No. 23, War Department, 1906, and orders amendatory thereof, the alternative paragraphs published herewith will govern.

By order of the Secretary of War:

Major General, Chief of Staff.

Note. The paragraph numbers 747, 792, etc., given above, follow the paragraphs below.

706. If the inspection is to include an examination of the blanket rolls, the captain, before dismissing the company and after inspecting[Pg 168] the file closers, directs the lieutenants to remain in place, closes ranks, stacks arms, dresses the company back to four paces from the stacks, takes intervals, and commands: 1. Unsling, 2. PACKS, 3. Open, 4. PACKS.

At the second command, each man unslings his roll and places it on the ground at his feet, rounded end to the front, square end of shelter half to the right.

At the fourth command, the rolls are untied, laid perpendicular to the front with the triangular end of the shelter half to the front, opened, and unrolled to the left; each man prepares the contents of his roll for inspection and resumes the attention.

The captain then returns saber, passes along the ranks and file closers as before, inspects the rolls, returns to the right, draws saber and commands: 1. Close, 2. PACKS.

At the second command each man, with his shelter half smoothly spread on the ground with buttons up and triangular end to the front, folds his blanket once across its length and places it upon the shelter half, fold toward the bottom edge one-half inch from the square end, the same amount of canvas uncovered at the top and bottom. He then places the parts of the pole on the side of the blanket next the square end of shelter half, near and parallel to the fold, end of pole about 6 inches from the edge of the blanket; nests the pins similarly near the opposite edge of the blanket and distributes the other articles carried in the roll; folds the triangular end and then the exposed portion of the bottom of the shelter half over the blanket.

The two men in each file roll and fasten first the roll of the front and then of the rear rank man. The file closers work similarly two and two, or with the front rank man of a blank file. Each pair stands on the folded side, rolls the blanket roll closely and buckles the straps, passing the end of the strap through both keeper and buckle, back over the buckle and under the keeper. With the roll so lying on the ground that the edge of the shelter half can just be seen when looking vertically downward, one end is bent upward and over to meet the other, a clove hitch is taken with the guy rope first around the end to which it is attached and then around the other end, adjusting the length of rope between hitches to suit the wearer.

As soon as a file completes its two rolls each man places his roll in the position it was in after being unslung and stands at attention.

All the rolls being completed, the captain commands: 1. Sling, 2. PACKS.

At the second command the rolls are slung, the end containing the pole to the rear.

The company is assembled, takes arms, and the captain completes the inspection as before. (747)

707. Being in line or in column of platoons, the captain commands: FORM FOR SHELTER TENTS.

The officers, first sergeant, and guides fall out; the cooks form a file on the flank of the company nearest the kitchen, the first sergeant and right guide fall in, forming the right file of the company; blank files[Pg 169] are filled by the file closers or by men taken from the front rank; the remaining guide or guides, and file closers form on a convenient flank.

Before forming column of platoons, preparatory to pitching tents, the company may be redivided into two or more platoons, regardless of the size of each. (792)

708. The captain then causes the company to take intervals as described in the School of the Squad, and commands: PITCH TENTS.

At the command pitch tents, each man steps off obliquely to the right with the right foot and lays his rifle on the ground, the butt of the rifle near the toe of the right foot, muzzle to the front, barrel to the left, and steps back into his place; each front-rank man then draws his bayonet and sticks it in the ground by the outside of the right heel. All unsling and open the blanket rolls and take out the shelter half, poles, and pins. Each then spreads his shelter half, triangle to the rear, flat upon the ground the tent is to occupy, rear-rank man's half on the right. The halves are then buttoned together. Each front-rank man joins his pole, inserts the top in the eyes of the halves, and holds the pole upright beside the bayonet placed in the ground; his rear-rank man, using the pins in front, pins down the front corners of the tent on the line of bayonets, stretching the canvas taut; he then inserts a pin in the eye of the rope and drives the pin at such distance in front of the pole as to hold the rope taut. Both then go to the rear of the tent; the rear-rank man adjusts the pole and the front-rank man drives the pins. The rest of the pins are then driven by both men, the rear-rank man working on the right.

As soon as the tent is pitched each man arranges the contents of the blanket roll in the tent and stands at attention in front of his own half on line with the front guy rope pin.

The guy ropes, to have a uniform slope when the shelter tents are pitched, should all be of the same length. (793)

709. When the blanket roll is not carried, intervals are taken as described above; the position of the front pole is marked with a bayonet and equipments are laid aside. The men then proceed to the wagon, secure their rolls, return to their places, and pitch tents as heretofore described. (794)

710. To pitch double shelter tent, the captain gives the same commands as before, except Take half interval is given instead of Take interval. In taking interval, each man follows the preceding man at 2 paces. The captain then commands: PITCH DOUBLE TENTS.

The first sergeant places himself on the right of the right guide and with him pitches a single shelter tent.

Only the odd numbers of the front rank mark the line with the bayonet.

The tent is formed by buttoning together the square ends of two single tents. Two complete tents, except one pole, are used. Two guy ropes are used at each end, the guy pins being placed in front of the corner pins.

The tents are pitched by numbers 1 and 2, front and rear rank; and by numbers 3 and 4, front and rear rank; the men falling in on the left are numbered, counting off if necessary.

[Pg 170]All the men spread their shelter halves on the ground the tent is to occupy. Those of the front rank are placed with the triangular ends to the front. All four halves are then buttoned together, first the ridges and then the square ends. The front corners of the tent are pinned by the front-rank men, the odd number holding the poles, the even number driving the pins. The rear-rank men similarly pin the rear corners.

While the odd numbers steady the poles, each even number of the front rank takes his pole and enters the tent, where, assisted by the even number of the rear rank, he adjusts the pole to the center eyes of the shelter halves in the following order: (1) The lower half of the front tent; (2) the lower half of the rear tent; (3) the upper half of the front tent; (4) the upper half of the rear tent. The guy ropes are then adjusted.

The tents having been pitched, the triangular ends are turned back, contents of the rolls arranged, and the men stand at attention, each opposite his own shelter half and facing out from the tent. (795)

[Pg 171]


[1] No. 1 of the first squad.

[2] Ordinarily about 20 yards wide.

[3] By Fire Direction is meant prescribing and generally directing the firing.—Author.

[4] The "pack" includes blanket, poncho, and shelter tent.

[5] With a 4-foot white and red regimental signal flag.



(The numbers following the paragraphs are those of the Manual of the Bayonet, U. S. Army.)

711. The infantry soldier relies mainly on fire action to disable the enemy, but he should know that personal combat is often necessary to obtain success. Therefore, he must be instructed in the use of the rifle and bayonet in hand-to-hand encounters. (1)

712. The object of this instruction is to teach the soldier how to make effective use of the rifle and bayonet in personal combat; to make him quick and proficient in handling his rifle; to give him an accurate eye and a steady hand; and to give him confidence in the bayonet in offense and defense. When skill in these exercises has been acquired, the rifle will still remain a most formidable weapon at close quarters should the bayonet be lost or disabled. (2)

713. Efficiency of organizations in bayonet fighting will be judged by the skill shown by individuals in personal combat. For this purpose pairs or groups of opponents, selected at random from among recruits and trained soldiers, should engage in assaults, using the fencing equipment provided for the purpose. (3)

714. Officers and specially selected and thoroughly instructed noncommissioned officers will act as instructors. (4)

715. Instruction in bayonet combat should begin as soon as the soldier is familiar with the handling of his rifle and will progress, as far as practicable, in the order followed in the text. (5)

716. Instruction is ordinarily given on even ground, but practice should also be had on uneven ground, especially in the attack and defense of intrenchments. (6)

717. These exercises will not be used as a calisthenic drill. (7)

718. The principles of the commands are the same as those given in paragraphs 58, 64, and 87. Intervals and distances will be taken as in paragraphs 156 and 158, except that, in formations for bayonet exercises, the men should be at least four paces apart in every direction. (8)

719. Before requiring soldiers to take a position or execute a movement for the first time, the instructor executes the same for the purpose of illustration, after which he requires the soldiers to execute the movement individually. Movements prescribed in this manual will not be executed in cadence as the attempt to do so results in incomplete execution and lack of vigor. Each movement will be executed correctly as quickly as possible by every man. As soon as the movements are executed accurately, the commands are given rapidly, as expertness with the bayonet depends chiefly upon quickness of motion. (9)

720. The exercises will be interrupted at first by short and frequent rests. The rests will be less frequent as proficiency is attained. Fa[Pg 172]tigue and exhaustion will be specially guarded against as they prevent proper interest being taken in the exercises and delay the progress of the instruction. Rests will be given from the position of order arms in the manner prescribed in Infantry Drill Regulations. (10)



721. The bayonet is a cutting and thrusting weapon consisting of three principal parts, viz, the blade, guard, and grip. (11)

Fig. 1 Fig. 1

722. The blade has the following parts: Edge, false edge, back, grooves, point, and tang. The length of the blade from guard to point is 16 inches, the edge 14.5 inches, and the false edge 5.6 inches. Length of the rifle, bayonet fixed, is 59.4 inches. The weight of the bayonet is 1 pound; weight of rifle without bayonet is 8.69 pounds. The center of gravity of the rifle, with bayonet fixed, is just in front of the rear sight. (12)


723. The instructor explains the importance of good footwork and impresses on the men the fact that quickness of foot and suppleness of body are as important for attack and defense as is the ability to parry and deliver a strong point or cut. (13)

724. All foot movements should be made from the position of guard. As far as practicable, they will be made on the balls of the feet to insure quickness and agility. No hard and fast rule can be laid down as to the length of the various foot movements; this depends entirely on the situations occurring in combat. (14)

725. The men having taken intervals or distances, the instructor commands:

1. Bayonet exercise, 2. GUARD.

At the command guard, half face to the right, carry back and place the right foot about once and a half its length to the rear and about 3 inches to the right, the feet forming with each other an angle of about 60°, weight of the body balanced equally on the balls of the feet, knees slightly bent, palms of hands on hips, fingers to the front, thumbs to the rear, head erect, head and eyes straight to the front. (15)

[Pg 173]726. To resume the attention, 1. Squad, 2. ATTENTION. The men take the position of the soldier and fix their attention. (16)

727. ADVANCE. Advance the left foot quickly about once its length follow immediately with the right foot the same distance. (17)

728. RETIRE. Move the right foot quickly to the rear about once its length, follow immediately with the left foot the same distance. (18)

729. 1. Front, 2. PASS. Place the right foot quickly about once its length in front of the left, advance the left foot to its proper position in front of the right. (19)

730. 1. Rear, 2. PASS. Place the left foot quickly about once its length in rear of the right, retire the right foot to its proper position in rear of the left.

The passes are used to get quickly within striking distance or to withdraw quickly therefrom. (20)

731. 1. Right, 2. STEP. Step to the right with the right foot about once its length and place the left foot in its proper relative position. (21)

732. 1. Left, 2. STEP. Step to the left with the left foot about once its length and place the right foot in its proper relative position.

These steps are used to circle around an enemy, to secure a more favorable line of attack, or to avoid the opponent's attack. Better ground or more favorable light may be gained in this way. In bayonet fencing and in actual combat the foot first moved in stepping to the right or left is the one which at the moment bears the least weight. (22)


733. The commands for and the execution of the foot movements are the same as already given for movements without the rifle. (23)

734. The men having taken intervals or distances, the instructor commands:

1. Bayonet exercise, 2. GUARD.

At the second command take the position of guard (see par. 15); at the same time throw the rifle smartly to the front, grasp the rifle with the left hand just below the lower band, fingers between the stock and gun sling, barrel turned slightly to the left, the right hand grasping the small of the stock about 6 inches in front of the right hip, elbows free from the body, bayonet point at the height of the chin. (24) (See Fig. 2)

735. 1. Order, 2. ARMS.

Bring the right foot up to the left and the rifle to the position of order arms, at the same time resuming the position of attention. (25)

736. During the preliminary instruction, attacks and defenses will be executed from guard until proficiency is attained, after which they may be executed from any position in which the rifle is held. (26)


737. 1. THRUST.

Thrust the rifle quickly forward to the full length of the left arm, turning the barrel to the left, and direct the point of the bayonet[Pg 174] at the point to be attacked, butt covering the right forearm. At the same time straighten the right leg vigorously and throw the weight of the body forward and on the left leg, the ball of the right foot always on the ground. Guard is resumed immediately without command.

Fig. 2 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 3

The force of the thrust is delivered principally with the right arm, the left being used to direct the bayonet. The points at which the attack should be directed are, in order of their importance, stomach, chest, head, neck, and limbs. (27)

738. 1. LUNGE.

Executed in the same manner as the thrust, except that the left foot is carried forward about twice its length. The left heel must always be in rear of the left knee. Guard is resumed immediately without command. Guard may also be resumed by advancing the right foot if, for any reason, it is desired to hold the ground gained in lunging. In the latter case, the preparatory command forward will be given. Each method should be practiced. (28)

[Pg 175]739. 1. Butt, 2. STRIKE.

Straighten right arm and right leg vigorously and swing butt of rifle against point of attack, pivoting the rifle in the left hand at about the height of the left shoulder, allowing the bayonet to pass to the rear on the left side of the head. Guard is resumed without command.

The points of attack in their order of importance are, head, neck, stomach, and crotch. (29)

Fig. 4 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 5

[Pg 176]740. 1. Cut, 2. DOWN.

Execute a quick downward stroke, edge of bayonet directed at point of attack. Guard is resumed without command. (30)

741. 1. Cut, 2. RIGHT (LEFT).

With a quick extension of the arms execute a cut to the right (left), directing the edge toward the point attacked. Guard is resumed without command.

The cuts are especially useful against the head, neck, and hands of an enemy. In executing left cut it should be remembered that the false, or back edge, is only 5.6 inches long. The cuts can be executed in continuation of strokes, thrusts, lunges, and parries. (31)

742. To direct an attack to the right, left, or rear the soldier will change front as quickly as possible in the most convenient manner, for example: 1. To the right rear, 2. Cut, 3. DOWN; 1. To the right, 2. LUNGE; 1. To the left, 2. THRUST, etc.

Whenever possible the impetus gained by the turning movement of the body should be thrown into the attack. In general this will be best accomplished by turning on the ball of the right foot.

These movements constitute a change of front in which the position of guard is resumed at the completion of the movement. (32)

Fig. 6. Fig. 6.

743. Good judgment of distance is essential. Accuracy in thrusting and lunging is best attained by practicing these attacks against rings or other convenient openings, about 3 inches in diameter, suitably suspended at desired heights. (33)

[Pg 177]744. The thrust and lunges at rings should first be practiced by endeavoring to hit the opening looked at. This should be followed by directing the attack against one opening while looking at another. (34)

745. The soldier should also experience the effect of actual resistance offered to the bayonet and the butt of the rifle in attacks. This will be taught by practicing attacks against a dummy. (35)

Fig. 7. Fig. 7.

746. Dummies should be constructed in such a manner as to permit the execution of attacks without injury to the point or edge of the bayonet or to the barrel or stock of the rifle. A suitable dummy can be made from pieces of rope about 5 feet in length plaited closely together into a cable between 6 and 12 inches in diameter. Old rope is preferable. Bags weighted and stuffed with hay, straw, shavings, etc., are also suitable. (36)


747. In the preliminary drills in the defenses the position of guard is resumed, by command, after each parry. When the men have become proficient, the instructor will cause them to resume the position of guard instantly without command after the execution of each parry. (37)

748. 1. Parry, 2. RIGHT.

Keeping the right hand in the guard position, move the rifle sharply to the right with the left arm, so that the bayonet point is about 6 inches to the right. (38)

749. 1. Parry, 2. LEFT.

Move the rifle sharply to the left front with both hands so as to cover the point attacked. (39)

750. 1. Parry, 2. HIGH.

Raise the rifle with both hands high enough to clear the line of vision, barrel downward, point of the bayonet to the left front.

When necessary to raise the rifle well above the head, it may be supported between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand. This position will be necessary against attacks from higher elevations, such, as men mounted or on top of parapets. (40)

[Pg 178]

Fig. 8 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 9

751. 1. Low parry, 2. RIGHT (LEFT).

Carry the point of the bayonet down until it is at the height of the knee, moving the point of the bayonet sufficiently to the right (left) to keep the opponent's attacks clear of the point threatened.

752. These parries are rarely used, as an attack below the waist leaves the head and body exposed. (41)

[Pg 179]

Fig. 10 Fig. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. 11

753. Parries must not be too wide or sweeping, but sharp, short motions, finished with a jerk or quick catch. The hands should, as far as possible, be kept in the line of attack. Parries against butt strike are made by quickly moving the guard so as to cover the point attacked. (42)

754. To provide against attack from the right, left, or rear the soldier will change front as quickly as possible in the most convenient manner, for example, 1. To the left rear, 2. Parry, 3. HIGH; 1. To the right, 2. Parry, 3. RIGHT, etc.

These movements constitute a change of front in which the position of guard is resumed at the completion of the movement.

In changing front for the purpose of attack or defense, if there is danger of wounding a comrade, the rifle should first be brought to a vertical position. (43)


755. 1. Club rifle, 2 SWING.

Being at order arms at the preparatory command quickly raise and turn the rifle, regrasping it with both hands between the rear sight[Pg 180] and muzzle, barrel down, thumbs around the stock and toward the butt; at the sane time raise the rifle above shoulder farthest from the opponent, butt elevated and to the rear, elbows slightly bent and knees straight. Each individual takes such position of the feet, shoulders, and hands as best accords with his natural dexterity. SWING. Tighten the grasp of the hands and swing the rifle to the front and downward, directing it at the head of the opponent and immediately return to the position of club rifle by completing the swing of the rifle downward and to the rear. Repeat by the command. SWING.

The rifle should be swung with sufficient force to break through any guard or parry that may be interposed.

Being at club rifle, order arms is resumed by command.

The use of this attack against dummies or in fencing is prohibited. (44)

Fig. 12 Fig. 12

756. The position of club rifle may be taken from any position of the rifle prescribed in the Manual of Arms. It will not be taken in personal combat unless the emergency is such as to preclude the use of the bayonet. (45)

[Pg 181]


757. The purpose of combined movements is to develop more vigorous attacks and more effective defenses than are obtained by the single movements; to develop skill in passing from attack to defense and the reverse. Every movement to the front should be accompanied by an attack, which is increased in effectiveness by the forward movement of the body. Every movement to the rear should ordinarily be accompanied by a parry and should always be followed by an attack. Movements to the right or left may be accompanied by attacks or defenses. (46)

758. Not more than three movements will be used in any combination. The instructor should first indicate the number of movements that are to be combined as two movements or three movements. The execution is determined by one command of execution, and the position of guard is taken upon the completion of the last movement only.


759. Attacks against dummies will be practiced. The approach will be made against the dummies both in quick time and double time. (48)


760. The principles of practical bayonet combat should be taught as far as possible during the progress of instruction in bayonet exercises. (49)

761. The soldier must be continually impressed with the extreme importance of the offensive due to its moral effect. Should an attack fail, it should be followed immediately by another attack before the opponent has an opportunity to assume the offensive. Keep the opponent on the defensive. If, due to circumstances, it is necessary to take the defensive, constantly watch for an opportunity to assume the offensive and take immediate advantage of it. (50)

762. Observe the ground with a view to obtaining the best footing. Time for this will generally be too limited to permit more than a single hasty glance. (51)

763. In personal combat watch the opponent's eyes if they can be plainly seen, and do not fix the eyes on his weapon nor upon the point[Pg 182] of your attack. If his eyes can not be plainly seen, as in night attacks, watch the movements of his weapon and of his body. (52)

764. Keep the body well covered and deliver attacks vigorously. The point of the bayonet should always be kept as nearly as possible in the line of attack. The less the rifle is moved upward, downward, to the right, or to the left, the better prepared the soldier is for attack or defense. (53)

765. Constantly watch for a chance to attack the opponent's left hand. His position of guard will not differ materially from that described in paragraph 24. If his bayonet is without a cutting edge, he will be at a great disadvantage. (34)

766. The butt is used for close and sudden attacks. It is particularly useful in riot duty. From the position of port arms a sentry can strike a severe blow with the butt of the rifle. (55)

767. Against a man on foot, armed with a sword, be careful that the muzzle of the rifle is not grasped. All the swordsman's energies will be directed toward getting past the bayonet. Attack him with short stabbing thrusts, and keep him beyond striking distance of his weapon. (56)

768. The adversary may attempt a greater extension in the thrust and lunge by quitting the grasp of his piece with the left hand and advancing the right as far as possible. When this is done, a sharp parry may cause him to lose control of his rifle, leaving him exposed to a counter-attack, which should follow promptly. (57)

769. Against odds a small number of men can fight to best advantage by grouping themselves so as to prevent their being attacked from behind. (58)

770. In fighting a mounted man armed with a saber every effort must be made to get on his near or left side, because here his reach is much shorter and his parries much weaker. If not possible to disable such an enemy, attack his horse and then renew the attack on the horseman. (59)

771. In receiving night attacks the assailant's movements can be best observed from the kneeling or prone position, as his approach generally brings him against the sky line. When he arrives within attacking distance rise quickly and lunge well forward at the middle of his body. (60)


772. Fencing exercises in two lines consist of combinations of thrusts, parries, and foot movements executed at command or at will, the opponent replying with suitable parries and returns. (61)

773. The instructor will inspect the entire fencing equipment before the exercise begins and assure himself that everything is in such condition as will prevent accidents. (62)

774. The men equip themselves and form in two lines at the order, facing each other, with intervals of about 4 paces between files and a distance of about 2 paces between lines. One line is designated as number 1; the other, number 2. Also as attack and defense. (63)

775. The opponents being at the order facing each other, the instructor commands: SALUTE.

[Pg 183]Each man, with eyes on his opponent, carries the left hand smartly to the right side, palm of the hand down, thumb and fingers extended and joined, forearm horizontal, forefinger touching the bayonet. (Two) Drop the arm smartly by the side.

This salute is the fencing salute.

All fencing exercises and all fencing at will between individuals will begin and terminate with the formal courtesy of the fencing salute. (64)

776. After the fencing salute has been rendered the instructor commands: 1. Fencing exercise, 2. GUARD.

At the command guard each man comes to the position of guard, heretofore defined, bayonets crossed, each man's bayonet bearing lightly to the right against the corresponding portion of the opponent's bayonet. The position is known as the engage or engage right. (65)

777. Being at the engage right: ENGAGE LEFT.

The attack drops the point of his bayonet quickly until clear of his opponent's rifle and describes a semicircle with it upward and to the right; bayonets are crossed similarly as in the engaged position, each man's bayonet bearing lightly to the left against the corresponding portion of the opponent's bayonet. (66)

778. Being at engage left: ENGAGE RIGHT.

The attack quickly drops the point of his bayonet until clear of his opponent's rifle and describes a semicircle with it upward and to the left and engages. (67)

779. Being engaged: ENGAGE LEFT AND RIGHT.

The attack engages left and then immediately engages right. (68)

780. Being engaged left: ENGAGE RIGHT AND LEFT.

The attack engages right and then immediately engages left. (69)

781. 1. Number one, ENGAGE RIGHT (LEFT); 2. Number two, COUNTER.

Number one executes the movement ordered, as above; number two quickly drops the point of his bayonet and circles it upward to the original position. (70)

782. In all fencing while maintaining the pressure in the engage, a certain freedom of motion of the rifle is allowable, consisting of the play, or up-and-down motion, of one bayonet against the other. This is necessary to prevent the opponent from divining the intended attack. It also prevents his using the point of contact as a pivot for his assaults. In changing from one engage to the other the movement is controlled by the left hand, the right remaining stationary. (71)

783. After some exercise in engage, engage left, and counter, exercises will be given in the assaults. (72)


784. The part of the body to be attacked will be designated by name as head, neck, chest, stomach, legs. No attacks will be made below the knees. The commands are given and the movements for each line are first explained thoroughly by the instructor; the execution begins at the command assault. Number one executes the attack, and number two[Pg 184] parries; conversely, at command, number two attacks and number one parries. (73)

785. For convenience in instruction assaults are divided into simple attacks, counter-attacks, attack on the rifle, and feints. (74)

Simple Attacks

786. Success in these attacks depends on quickness of movement. There are three simple attacks—the straight, the disengagement, and the counter disengagement. They are not preceded by a feint. (75)

787. In the straight the bayonet is directed straight at an opening from the engaged position. Contact with the opponent's rifle may, or may not, be abandoned while making it. If the opening be high or low, contact with the rifle will usually be abandoned on commencing the attack. If the opening be near his guard, the light pressure used in the engage may be continued in the attack.

Example: Being at the engage right, 1. Number one, at neck (head, chest, right leg, etc.), thrust; 2. Number two, parry right; 3. ASSAULT. (76)

788. In the disengagement contact with the opponent's rifle is abandoned and the point of the bayonet is circled under or over his bayonet or rifle and directed into the opening attacked. This attack is delivered by one continuous spiral movement of the bayonet from the moment contact is abandoned.

Example: Being at the engage right, 1. Number one, at stomach (left chest, left leg, etc.), thrust, 2. Number two, parry left (etc.); 3. ASSAULT. (77)

789. In the counter disengagement a swift attack is made into the opening disclosed while the opponent is attempting to change the engagement of his rifle. It is delivered by one continuous spiral movement of the bayonet into the opening.

Example: Being at the engage right, 1. Number two, engage left; 2. Number one, at chest, thrust; 3. Number two, parry left; 4. ASSAULT.

Number two initiates the movement, number one thrusts as soon as the opening is made, and number two then attempts to parry. (78)

790. A counter-attack or return is one made instantly after or in continuation of a parry. The parry should be as narrow as possible. This makes it more difficult for the opponent to recover and counter parry. The counter-attack should also be made at, or just before, the full extension of the opponent's attack, as when it is so made, a simple extension of the arms will generally be sufficient to reach the opponent's body.

Example: Being at engage, 1. Number two, at chest, lunge; 2. Number one, parry right, and at stomach (chest, head, etc.), thrust; 3. ASSAULT. (79)

Attacks on the Rifle

791. These movements are made for the purpose of forcing or disclosing an opening into which an attack can be made. They are the press, the beat, and the twist. (80)

[Pg 185]792. In the press the attack quickly presses against the opponent's bayonet or rifle with his own and continues the pressure as the attack is delivered.

Example: Being at the engage, 1. Number one, press, and at chest, thrust; 2. Number two, parry right; 3. ASSAULT. (81)

793. The attack by disengagement is particularly effective following the press.

Example: Being at the engage, 1. Number one, press, and at stomach, thrust; 2. Number two, low parry left; 3. ASSAULT. (82)

794. The beat is an attack in which a sharp blow struck against the opponent's rifle for the purpose of forcing him to expose an opening into which an attack immediately follows. It is used when there is but slight opposition or no contact of rifles.

Example: Being at the engage, 1. Number one, beat and at stomach (chest, etc.), thrust; 2. Number two, parry left; 3. ASSAULT. (83)

795. In the twist the rifle is crossed over the opponent's rifle or bayonet and his bayonet forced downward with a circular motion and a straight attack made into the opening. It requires superior strength on the part of the attack.

Example: Being at the engage, 1. Number one, twist, and at stomach, thrust; 2. Number two, low parry, left; 3. ASSAULT. (84)


796. Feints are movements which threaten or simulate attacks and are made with a view to inducing an opening or parry that exposes the desired point of attack. They are either single or double, according to the number of such movements made by the attack. (85)

797. In order that the attack may be changed quickly, as little force as possible is put into a feint.

Example: Being at the engage, 1. Number one, feint head thrust at stomach, lunge; 2. Number two, parry right and low parry right; 3. ASSAULT.

Number one executes the feint and then the attack. Number two executes both parries. (86)

798. In double feints first one part of the body and then another is threatened and a third attacked.

Example: Being at the engage, 1. Number one, feint straight thrust at chest; disengagement at chest; at stomach, lunge; 2. Number two, parry right, parry left, and low parry left; 3. ASSAULT. (87)

799. An opening may be offered or procured by opposition, as in the press or beat. (88)

800. In fencing exercises every feint should at first be parried. When the defense is able to judge or divine the character of the attack the feint is not necessarily parried, but may be nullified by a counter feint. (89)

801. A counter feint is a feint following the opponent's feint or following a parry of his attack and generally occurs in combined movements. (90)

[Pg 186]

Combined Movements

802. When the men have become thoroughly familiar with the various foot movements, parries, guards, attacks, feints, etc., the instructor combines several of them and gives the commands in quick succession, increasing the rapidity and number of movements as the men become more skillful. Opponents will be changed frequently.

1. Example: Being at the engage, 1. Number one, by disengagement at chest, thrust; 2. Number two, parry left, right step (left foot first), and lunge; 3. ASSAULT.

2. Example: Being at engage left, 1. Number one, press and lunge; 2. Number two, parry right, left step, and thrust; 3. ASSAULT.

3. Example: Being at the engage, 1. Number one, by disengagement at chest, thrust; 2. Number two, parry left, front pass, and at head butt strike; 3. Number one, right step; 4. ASSAULT. (91)

803. Examples 1 and 2 are typical of movements known as cross counters, and example No. 3 of movements known as close counters. (92)

804. A chancery is an attack by means of which the opponent is disarmed, which causes him to lose control of his rifle, or which disables his weapon. (93)

805. When the different combinations are executed with sufficient skill the instructor will devise series of movements to be memorized and executed at the command assault. The accuracy and celerity of the movements will be carefully watched by the instructor, with a view to the correction of faulty execution. (94)

806. It is not intended to restrict the number of movements, but to leave to the discretion of company commanders and the ingenuity of instructors the selection of such other exercises as accord with the object of the drill. (95)


807. As satisfactory progress is made the instructor will proceed to the exercises at will, by which is meant assaults between two men, each endeavoring to hit the other and to avoid being hit himself. Fencing at will should not be allowed to degenerate into random attacks and defenses. (96)

808. The instructor can supervise but one pair of combatants at a time. Frequent changes should be made so that the men may learn different methods of attack and defense from each other. (97)

809. The contest should begin with simple, careful movements, with a view to forming a correct opinion of the adversary; afterwards everything will depend on coolness, rapid and correct execution of the movements and quick perception of the adversary's intentions. (98)

810. Continual retreat from the adversary's attack and frequent dodging to escape attacks should be avoided. The offensive should be continually encouraged. (99)

811. In fencing at will, when no commands are given, opponents facing each other at the position of order arms, salute. They then immediately and simultaneously assume the position of guard, rifles engaged. Neither man may take the position of guard before his opponent has com[Pg 187]pleted his salute. The choice of position is decided before the salute. (100)

812. The opponents being about two paces apart and the fencing salute having been rendered, the instructor commands, 1. At will, 2. ASSAULT, after which either party has the right to attack. To interrupt the contest the instructor will command HALT, at which the combatants will immediately come to the order. To terminate the contest the instructor will command, 1. Halt, 2. SALUTE, at which the combatants will immediately come to the order, salute, and remove their masks. (101)

813. When men have acquired confidence in fencing at will, one opponent should be required to advance upon the other in quick time at charge bayonet, from a distance not to exceed 10 yards, and deliver an attack. As soon as a hit is made by either opponent the instructor commands, HALT, and the assault terminates. Opponents alternate in assaulting. The assailant is likewise required to advance at double time from a distance not exceeding 20 yards and at a run from a distance not exceeding 30 yards. (102)

814. The instructor will closely observe the contest and decide doubtful points. He will at once stop the contest upon the slightest indication of temper. After conclusion of the combat he will comment on the action of both parties, point out errors and deficiencies and explain how they may be avoided in the future. (103)

815. As additional instruction, the men may be permitted to wield the rifle left handed, that is on the left side of the body, left hand at the[Pg 188] small of the stock. Many men will be able to use this method to advantage. It is also of value in case the left hand is wounded. (104)

Fig. 13 Fig. 13

816. After men have fenced in pairs, practice should be given in fencing between groups, equally and unequally divided. When practicable, intrenchments will be used in fencing of this character.

In group fencing it will be necessary to have a sufficient number of umpires to decide hits. An individual receiving a hit is withdrawn at once from the bout, which is decided in favor of the group having the numerical superiority at the end. The fencing salute is not required in group fencing. (105)

Rules for Fencing at Will

817. 1. Hits on the legs below the knees will not be counted. No hit counts unless, in the opinion of the instructor, it has sufficient force to disable.

2. Upon receiving a hit, call out "hit."

3. After receiving a fair hit a counter-attack is not permitted. A position of engage is taken.

4. A second or third hit in a combined attack will be counted only when the first hit was not called.

5. When it is necessary to stop the contest—for example, because of breaking of weapons or displacement of means of protection—take the position of the order.

6. When it is necessary to suspend the assault for any cause, it will not be resumed until the adversary is ready and in condition to defend himself.

7. Attacks directed at the crotch are prohibited in fencing.

8. Stepping out of bounds, when established, counts as a hit. (106)

Suggestions for Fencing at Will

818. When engaging in an assault, first study the adversary's position and proceed by false attacks, executed with speed, to discover, if possible, his instinctive parries. In order to draw the adversary out and induce him to expose that part of the body at which the attack is to be made, it is advisable to simulate an attack by a feint and then make the real attack. (107)

819. Return attacks should be frequently practiced, as they are difficult to parry, and the opponent is within easier reach and more exposed. The return can be made a continuation of the parry, as there is no previous warning of its delivery, although it should always be expected. Returns are made without lunging if the adversary can be reached by thrusts or cuts. (108)

820. Endeavor to overcome the tendency to make a return without knowing where it will hit. Making returns blindly is a bad habit and leads to instinctive returns—that is, habitual returns with certain attacks from certain parries—a fault which the skilled opponent will soon discover. (109)

821. Do not draw the rifle back preparatory to thrusting and lunging (110)

[Pg 189]822. The purpose of fencing at will is to teach the soldier as many forms of simple, effective attacks and defenses as possible. Complicated and intricate movements should not be attempted. (111)

Hints for Instructors

823. The influence of the instructor is great. He must be master of his weapon, not only to show the various movements, but also to lead in the exercises at will. He should stimulate the zeal of the men and arouse pleasure in the work. Officers should qualify themselves as instructors by fencing with each other. (112)


824. Modification of our system of bayonet combat suggested. The above gives, in toto, the system of bayonet exercises and combat at present prescribed by the War Department in the Manual of the Bayonet. However, the use of the bayonet in the present European war, which has given that weapon an importance and prominence heretofore unheard of, suggests, as indicated below, certain modifications of our system.

(a) Attack not to be directed against chest. The attack should be directed at the adversary's neck or stomach, and not against his chest; for, if the bayonet is driven into the chest, there will probably be difficulty in withdrawing it, and while your bayonet is being so held, imbedded in your adversary's chest, you are at the mercy of any other enemy soldier free to strike you.

(b) Mêlée on parapet. When the first wave of an attacking line reaches the enemy's trench, it is usually met outside the trench, the mêlée taking place on the parapet, and fortunate is the man who is skilled in handling his bayonet. Such a man has a much greater chance to live through the mêlée than the one who is not skillful in using his bayonet. In the excitement and confusion of this mêlée the greatest possible care must be taken not to stab some of your own men in the back.

(c) Position of feet. The British have been teaching their men to keep both feet pointing toward the enemy instead of having the right foot turned to the right, as in our system. Note the position of the feet in Figs. 15–18.

(d) The "Short point" (or "Short thrust") and the "Jab." There are two attacks used by European troops which we might learn with profit. They are the "Short point" (or "Short thrust") and the "Jab."

[Pg 190]

Position of Guard
Fig. 14 Fig. 14

(e) The short point (or short thrust). The short point (or short thrust) is taken from the position of guard (Fig. 14), by slipping the left hand up to the grip of the bayonet, grasping it and the barrel, as shown in this figure:

Fig. 15 Fig. 15

The rifle is then drawn back to the fullest extent of the right arm, thus:

Fig. 16 Fig. 16

and a vigorous thrust is made at the objective (Fig. 15), immediately after which the bayonet is withdrawn vigorously, the left hand relaxed and the position of guard (Fig. 14) is resumed by pushing the rifle smartly forward until the left hand is in its proper place.

It should be practiced on sand bags or other targets in positions at the height of the rifle, above it and below it.

[Pg 191](f) The jab. The jab is taken from the first position of the "Short point" (Fig. 15), by slipping the right hand up to the left as the rifle is drawn back to make the "Short thrust" (Fig. 17).

Fig. 17 Fig. 17

Then make a vigorous upward thrust (Fig. 18) which should be aimed at the adversary's throat.

Fig. 18 Fig. 18

This may be practiced combined with the short thrust or the ordinary thrust. It may also be practiced with a run toward the target. It is a useful attack at close quarters.

(g) The butt. The rifle butt is used with great effect at close quarters, the blows being directed against an adversary's jaw or in the region of the heart.

[Pg 192](h) Tripping adversary. The men are taught how to trip up an enemy and how to use their knees in throwing their opponents off their balance.

(i) Withdrawing the bayonet. After driving the bayonet into an opponent, then the first consideration is to get it out of his body. This may be done by slipping the left hand up to the bayonet grip and exerting a vigorous pull, which is immediately followed by a return to the position of guard.

(j) Points in training. In the first stages of training, special attention is paid to a firm grip and proper handling of arms; then the greatest attention is given to "direction" when thrusting, lunging, and parrying.

Until these essentials have been thoroughly mastered, quickness should not be insisted upon.

Confidence comes after continued practice, and quickness and vigor will come with confidence.

After the men are taught to make all the attacks as individuals they should be given practice in them as groups.

Sandbags with discs marked on them to provide targets are used in instructing the British armies.

These bags are suspended from trees or trestles, or are put into trenches or pits, and are also placed on the ground.

An excellent scheme is used in teaching the men what the shock of a charge is like. The men are divided into two or more groups and are equipped with fencing outfits. One group is designated as the defense and is placed in trenches. The other groups are the attackers. They may be sent forward in waves or in one line. To make their advance more realistic they have to get over or around obstacles. To take in all phases the attackers are made stronger than the defense and the defense retires—whereupon the attackers endeavor to disable them by thrusting at the kidneys. Likewise the defense is made strong enough to drive off the offense.

In the charge the men are taught to run at the "High Port" (the rifle is held as in "Port arms," but is carried well above the head). The rifle is brought down to guard just before the enemy is met.

[Pg 192a]


September 15, 1917


Paragraphs 120, 143, 146, 185, 187, 189, 194, 646, Infantry Drill Regulations, 1911, apply only to troops armed with the United States rifle, Model 1903. For troops armed with the United States rifle, Model 1917 (Enfield), the alternative paragraphs published herewith will govern.

By order of the Secretary of War:

120. The following rules govern the carrying of the piece:

First. The piece is not carried with cartridges in either the chamber or the magazine except when especially ordered. When so loaded, or supposed to be loaded, it is habitually carried locked; that is, with safety lock turned to the "Safe." At all other times it is carried unlocked, with the trigger pulled.

Second. Whenever troops are formed under arms, pieces are immediately inspected at the commands: 1. INSPECTION, 2. ARMS, 3. ORDER (Right shoulder port), 4. ARMS.

A similar inspection is made immediately before dismissal.

If cartridges are found in the chamber or magazine they are removed and placed in the belt.

Third. The bayonet is not fixed except in bayonet exercise, on guard, or for combat.

Fourth. Fall in is executed with the piece at the order arms. Fall out, rest, and at ease are executed as without arms. On resuming attention the position of order arms is taken.

Fifth. If at the order, unless otherwise prescribed, the piece is brought to the right shoulder, at the command MARCH, the three motions corresponding with the first three steps. Movements may be executed at the trail by prefacing the preparatory command with the words at trail; as 1. AT TRAIL, FORWARD, 2. MARCH. The trail is taken at the command MARCH.

When the facings, alignments, open and close ranks, taking interval or distance, and assemblings are executed from the order, raise the piece to the trail while in motion and resume the order on halting.

Sixth. The piece is brought to the order on halting. The execution of the order begins when the halt is completed.

Seventh. A disengaged hand in double time is held as when without arms.

143. Being at order arms: 1. UNFIX, 2. BAYONET.

If the bayonet scabbard is carried on the belt: Execute parade rest; grasp the handle of the bayonet firmly with the right hand, pressing the spring with the forefinger of the left hand; raise the bayonet[Pg 192b] until the handle is about 12 inches above the muzzle of the piece; the point to the left, back of the hand toward the body, and glancing at the scabbard, return the bayonet, the blade passing between the left arm and the body; regrasp the piece with the right hand and resume the order.

If the bayonet scabbard is carried on the haversack: Take the bayonet from the rifle with the left hand and return it to the scabbard in the most convenient manner.

If marching or lying down, the bayonet is fixed and unfixed in the most expeditious and convenient manner and the piece returned to the original position.

Fix and unfix bayonet are executed with promptness and regularity, but not in cadence.

146. Being at inspection arms: 1. ORDER (Right shoulder, port), 2. ARMS.

At the preparatory command press the follower down with the fingers of the left hand, then push the bolt forward just enough to engage the follower, raise the fingers of the left hand, push the bolt forward, turn the handle down, pull the trigger, and resume port arms. At the command ARMS, complete the movement ordered.

To Load

185. Being in line or skirmish line at halt: 1. WITH DUMMY (Blank or ball) CARTRIDGES, 2. LOAD.

At the command load each front rank man or skirmisher faces half right and carries the right foot to the right, about 1 foot, to such a position as will insure the greatest firmness and steadiness of the body; raises or lowers the piece and drops it into the left hand at the balance, left thumb extended along the stock and muzzle at the height of the breast. With the right hand he turns and draws the bolt back, takes a loaded clip and inserts the end in the clip slots, places the thumb on the powder space at the top cartridge, the fingers extending around the piece and tips resting on the magazine floor plate; forces the cartridges into the magazine by pressing down with the thumb; without removing the clip, thrusts the bolt home, turning down the handle; turns the safety lock to the "Safe" and carries the hand to the small of the stock. Each rear rank man moves to the right front, takes a similar position opposite the interval to the right of his front rank man, muzzle of the piece extending beyond the front rank, and loads.

A skirmish line may load while moving, the pieces being held as nearly as practicable in the position of load.

If kneeling or sitting, the position of the piece is similar; if kneeling, the left forearm rests on the left thigh; if sitting, the elbows are supported by the knees. If lying down, the left hand steadies and supports the piece at the balance, the toe of the butt resting on the ground, the muzzle off the ground.

For reference, these positions (standing, kneeling, and lying down) are designated as that of load.

186. For purposes of simulating firing, 1. SIMULATE, 2. LOAD, raise the bolt handle as in the preceding paragraph, draw the bolt back until the cocking piece engages, then close the bolt, and turn the bolt handle down.

[Pg 192c]The recruits are first taught to simulate loading and firing; after a few lessons dummy cartridges are used. Later, blank cartridges may be used.

Omit last paragraph.

187. Unload: Take the position of load, turn the safety lock up and move the bolt alternately backward and forward until all the cartridges are ejected. After the last cartridge is ejected the chamber is closed by pressing the follower down with the fingers of the left hand, to engage it under the bolt, and then thrusting the bolt home. The trigger is pulled. The cartridges are then picked up, cleaned, and returned to the belt and the piece is brought to the order.

189. [Last paragraph]. To continue the firing: 1. AIM, 2. SQUAD, 3. FIRE.

Each command is executed as previously explained. Load is executed by drawing back and thrusting home the bolt with the right hand, leaving the safety lock at the "Ready."

194. Cease firing: Firing stops; pieces are loaded and locked; the sights are laid down and the piece is brought to the order. Cease firing is used for long pauses to prepare for changes of position or to steady the men.

Company Inspection

646. Being in line at halt: 1. OPEN RANKS, 2. MARCH.

At the command march the front rank executes right dress; the rear rank and the file closers march backward 4 steps, halt, and execute right dress; the lieutenants pass around their respective flanks and take post, facing to the front, 3 paces in front of the center of their respective platoons. The captain aligns the front rank, rear rank, and file closers, takes post 3 paces in front of the right guide, facing to the left and commands: 1. FRONT, 2. PREPARE FOR INSPECTION.

At the second command the lieutenants carry saber; the captain returns saber and inspects them, after which they face about, order saber, and stand at ease; upon the completion of the inspection they carry saber, face about, and order saber. The captain may direct the lieutenants to accompany or assist him, in which case they return saber and, at the close of the inspection, resume their posts in front of the company, draw and carry saber.

Having inspected the lieutenants, the captain proceeds to the right of the company. Each man, as the captain approaches him executes inspection arms.

The captain takes the piece, grasping it with his right hand just below the lower band, the man dropping his hands; the captain inspects the piece, and, with the hand and piece in the same position as in receiving it, hands it back to the man, who takes it with the left hand at the balance and executes order arms.

As the captain returns the piece the next man executes inspection arms, and so on through the company.

Should the piece be inspected without handling, each man executes order arms as soon as the captain passes to the next man.

The inspection is from right to left in front, and from left to right in rear of each rank and of the line of file closers.

[Pg 192d]When approached by the captain the first sergeant executes inspection saber. Enlisted men armed with the pistol execute inspection pistol by drawing the pistol from the holster and holding it diagonally across the body, barrel up, and 6 inches in front of the neck, muzzle pointing up and to the left. The pistol is returned to the holster as soon as the captain passes.

Upon completion of the inspection the captain takes post facing to the left in front of the right guide and on line with the lieutenants and commands: 1. CLOSE RANKS, 2. MARCH.

At the command march the lieutenants resume their posts in line; the rear rank closes to 40 inches, each man covering his file leader; the file closers close to 2 paces from the rear rank.

[Pg 193]





825. In the employment of the various forms of physical training it is necessary that well-defined methods should be introduced in order that the object of this training may be attained in the most thorough and systematic manner. Whenever it is possible this work should be conducted out of doors. In planning these methods the following factors must be considered:

The question of the physical aptitude and general condition, etc., of the men is a very important one, and it should always determine the nature and extent of the task expected of them; never should the work be made the determining factor. In general, it is advisable to divide the men into three classes, viz., the recruit class, the intermediate class, and the advanced class. The work for each class should fit the capabilities of the members of that class and in every class it should be arranged progressively.

Facilities are necessarily to be considered in any plan of instruction, but as most posts are now equipped with better than average facilities the plan laid down in this Manual will answer all purposes.

Time is a decidedly important factor, and no plan can be made unless those in charge of this work know exactly how much time they have at their disposal. During the suspension of drills five periods a week, each of 45 minutes duration, should be devoted to physical training; during the drill period a 15-minute drill in setting-up exercises should be ordered on drill days. The time of day, too, is important. When possible, these drills should be held in the morning about two hours after breakfast, and at no time should they be held immediately before or after a meal.

Insist upon accurate and precise execution of every movement. By doing so those other essential qualities, besides strength and endurance—activity, agility, gracefulness, and accuracy—will also be developed.

Exercises which require activity and agility, rather than those that require strength only, should be selected.

It should be constantly borne in mind that these exercises are the means and not the end; and if there be a doubt in the mind of the instructor as to the effect of an exercise, it is always well to err upon the side of safety. Underdoing is rectifiable; overdoing is often not. The object of this work is not the development of expert gymnasts,[Pg 194] but the development of physically sound men by means of a system in which the chances of bodily injury are reduced to a minimum. When individuals show a special aptitude for gymnastics they may be encouraged, within limits, to improve this ability, but never at the expense of their fellows.

The drill should be made as attractive as possible, and this can best be accomplished by employing the mind as well as the body. The movements should be as varied as possible, thus constantly offering the men something new to make them keep their minds on their work. A movement many times repeated presents no attraction and is executed in a purely mechanical manner, which should always be discountenanced.

Short and frequent drills should be given in preference to long ones, which are liable to exhaust all concerned, and exhaustion means lack of interest and benefit. All movements should be carefully explained, and, if necessary, illustrated by the instructor.

The lesson should begin with the less violent exercises, gradually working up to those that are more so, then gradually working back to the simpler ones, so that the men at the close of the drill will be in as nearly a normal condition as possible.

When one portion of the body is being exercised, care should be taken that the other parts remain quiet as far as the conformation of the body will allow. The men must learn to exercise any one part of the body independent of the other part.

Everything in connection with physical training should be such that the men look forward to it with pleasure, not with dread, for the mind exerts more influence over the human body than all the gymnastic paraphernalia that was ever invented.

Exercise should be carried on as much as possible in the open air; at all times in pure, dry air.

Never exercise the men to the point of exhaustion. If there is evidence of panting, faintness, fatigue, or pain, the exercise should be stopped at once, for it is nature's way of saying "too much."

By constant practice the men should learn to breathe slowly through the nostrils during all exercises, especially running.

A fundamental condition of exercise is unimpeded respiration. Proper breathing should always be insisted upon; "holding the breath" and breathing only when it can no longer be held is injurious. Every exercise should be accompanied by an unimpeded and, if possible, by an uninterrupted act of respiration, the inspiration and respiration of which depends to a great extent upon the nature of the exercise. Inhalation should always accompany that part of an exercise which tends to elevate and distend the thorax—as raising arms over head laterally, for instance; while that part of an exercise which exerts a pressure against the walls of the chest should be accompanied by exhalation, as for example, lowering arms laterally from shoulders or overhead.

If after exercising, the breathing becomes labored and distressed, it is an unmistakable sign that the work has been excessive. Such excessiveness is not infrequently the cause of serious injury to the heart and lungs or to both. In cases where exercise produces palpitation, labored respiration, etc., it is advisable to recommend absolute rest, or to order the[Pg 195] execution of such exercises as will relieve the oppressed and overtaxed organ. Leg exercises slowly executed will afford great relief. By drawing the blood from the upper to the lower extremities they equalize the circulation, thereby lessening the heart's action and quieting the respiration.

Never exercise immediately after a meal; digestion is more important at this time than extraneous exercise.

Never eat or drink immediately after exercise; allow the body to recover its normal condition first, and the most beneficial results will follow. If necessary, pure water, not too cold, may be taken in small quantities, but the exercise should be continued, especially if in a state of perspiration.

Never, if at all possible, allow the underclothing to dry on the body. Muscular action produces an unusual amount of bodily heat; this should be lost gradually, otherwise the body will be chilled; hence, after exercise, never remove clothing to cool off, but, on the contrary, wear some wrap in addition. In like manner, be well wrapped on leaving the gymnasium.

Cold baths, especially when the body is heated, as in the case after exercising violently, should be discouraged. In individual instances such baths may appear apparently beneficial, or at least not injurious; in a majority of cases, however, they can not be used with impunity. Tepid baths are recommended. When impossible to bathe, the flannels worn while exercising should be stripped off; the body sponged with tepid water, and then rubbed thoroughly with coarse towels. After such a sponge the body should be clothed in clean, warm clothing.

Flannel is the best material to wear next to the body during physical drill, as it absorbs the perspiration, protects the body against drafts and, in a mild manner, excites the skin. When the conditions permit it the men may be exercised in the ordinary athletic costume, sleeveless shirt, flappers, socks, and gymnasium shoes.



826. There are two kinds of commands:

The preparatory indicates the movement to be executed.

The command of execution causes the execution.

In the command: 1. Arms forward, 2. RAISE, the words Arms forward constitute the preparatory command, and RAISE the command of execution. Preparatory commands are printed in bold face, and those of execution in CAPITALS.

The tone of command is animated, distinct, and of a loudness proportioned to the number of men for whom it is intended.

The various movements comprising an exercise are executed by commands and, unless otherwise indicated, the continuation of an exercise is carried out by repeating the command, which usually takes the form of numerals the numbers depending upon the number of movements, that an exercise comprises. Thus, if an exercise consists of two movements, the counts will be one, two; or if it consists of eight movements, the counts will be correspondingly increased; thus every movement is designated by a separate command.

[Pg 196]Occasionally, especially in exercises that are to be executed slowly, words rather than numerals are used, and these must be indicative of the nature of the various movements.

In the continuation of an exercise the preparatory command is explanatory, the command of execution causes the execution and the continuation is caused by a repetition of numerals denoting the number of movements required, or of words describing the movements if words are used. The numerals or words preceding the command halt should always be given with a rising inflection on the first numeral or word of command of the last repetition of the exercise in order to prepare the men for the command halt.

For example:

1. Arms to thrust, 2. RAISE, 3. Thrust arms upward, 4. EXERCISE, ONE, TWO, ONE, TWO, ONE, HALT; the rising inflection preparatory to the command halt being placed on the "one" preceding the "halt."

Each command must indicate, by its tone, how that particular movement is to be executed; thus, if an exercise consists of two movements, one of which is to be energized, the command corresponding to that movement must be emphasized.

Judgment must be used in giving commands, for rarely is the cadence of two movements alike; and a command should not only indicate the cadence of an exercise, but also the nature of its execution.

Thus, many of the arm exercises are short and snappy; hence the command should be given in a smart tone of voice, and the interval between the commands should be short.

The leg exercises can not be executed as quickly as those of the arms; therefore, the commands should be slightly drawn out and follow one another in slow succession.

The trunk exercises, owing to the deliberateness of execution, should be considerably drawn out and follow one another in slow succession.

The antagonistic exercises, where one group of muscles is made to antagonize another, tensing exercises, the commands are drawn still more. In these exercises words are preferable to numerals. In fact it should be the object of the instructor to convey to the men, by the manner of his command, exactly the nature of the exercise.

All commands should be given in a clear and distinct tone of voice, articulation should be distinct, and an effort should be made to cultivate a voice which will inspire the men with enthusiasm and tend to make them execute the exercises with willingness, snap, and precision. It is not the volume, but the quality, of the voice which is necessary to successful instruction.

The Position of Attention

827. This is the position an unarmed dismounted soldier assumes when in ranks. During the setting-up exercises, it is assumed whenever the command attention is given by the instructor.

Having allowed his men to rest, the instructor commands: 1. Squad, 2. ATTENTION. Figs. A and B.

[Pg 197]

Fig. A Fig. A Fig. B Fig. B

The words class, section, or company may be substituted for the word "squad."

At the command attention, the men will quickly assume and retain the following position:

Heels on same line and as near each other as the conformation of the man permits.

Feet turned out equally and forming an angle of about 45 degrees.

Knees straight without stiffness.

The body erect on the hips, the spine extended throughout its entire length.

The shoulders falling naturally, are forced back until they are square.

Chest arched and slightly raised.

The arms hang naturally; thumbs along seams of trousers; back of hands out and elbows turned back.

Head erect, chin drawn in so that the axis of the head and neck is vertical; eyes straight to the front and, when the nature of the terrain permits it, fixed on an object at their own height.

Too much attention can not be given to this position, and instructors are cautioned to insist that the men accustom themselves to it. As a rule, it is so exaggerated that it not only becomes ridiculous, but positively harmful. The men must be taught to assume a natural and graceful position, one from which all rigidity is eliminated and from which action is possible without first relaxing muscles that have been constrained in an effort to maintain the position of attention. In other words, coördination rather than strength should be depended upon.

In the position described the weight rests principally upon the balls of the feet, the heels resting lightly upon the ground.

The knees are extended easily, but never locked.

The body is now inclined forward until the front of the thighs is directly over the point of the toes; the hips are square and the waist is extended by the erection of the entire spine, but never to such a degree that mobility of the waist is lost.

In extending the spine, the chest is naturally arched and the abdomen is drawn in, but never to the extent where it interferes with respiration.

In extending the spinal column, the shoulders must not be raised, but held loosely in normal position and forced back until the points of the shoulders are at right angles with an anterior-posterior plane running through the shoulders.

The chin should be square; i. e., horizontal and forced back enough to bring the neck in a vertical plane; the eyes fixed to the front and the object on which they are fixed must be at their own height whenever the nature of the terrain permits it.

[Pg 198]When properly assumed, a vertical line drawn from the top of the head should pass in front of the ear, just in front of the shoulder and of the thigh, and find its base at the balls of the feet.

All muscles should be contracted only enough to maintain this position, which at all times should be a lithesome one, that can be maintained for a long period without fatigue—one that makes for activity and that is based upon a correct anatomical and physiological basis.

Instructors will correct the position of attention of every man individually and they will ascertain, when the position has been properly assumed, whether the men are "on their toes," i. e., carrying the weight on the balls of the feet, whether they are able to respire properly, and whether they find a strain across the small of the back, which should be as flat as possible. This should be repeated until the men are able to assume the position correctly without restraint or rigidity.

At the command rest or at ease the men, while carrying out the provisions of the drill regulations, should be cautioned to avoid assuming any position that has a tendency to nullify the object of the position of attention; standing on leg for instance; allowing the shoulders to slope forward; drooping the head; folding arms across chest, etc. The weight should always be distributed equally upon both legs; the head, trunk, and shoulders remain erect and the arms held in a position that does not restrict the chest or derange the shoulders. The positions illustrated here have been found most efficacious. Figs. C. and D.

Fig. C Fig. C Fig. D Fig. D

828. The men form in a single or double rank, the tallest men on the right.

The instructor commands: 1. Count off.

At this command, all except the right file execute "eyes right" and, beginning on the right, the men in each rank count 1, 2, 3, 4; each man turns his head and eyes to the front as he counts.

The instructor then commands: 1. Take distance, 2. MARCH, 3. Squad, 4. HALT.

At the command march, No. 1 of the front rank moves straight to the front; Nos. 2, 3, and 4 of the front and Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the rear rank in the order named move straight to the front, each stepping off, so as to follow the preceding man at four paces; the command halt is given when all have their distances.

[Pg 199]If it is desired that a less distance than four paces be taken, the distance desired should be indicated in the preparatory command. The men of the squad may be caused to cover No. 1 front rank by command cover.

The instructor then commands: 1. Right (left), 2. FACE, 3. COVER.

At these commands the men face in the direction indicated and cover in file.

To assemble the squad the instructor commands: 1. Right (left), 2. FACE, 3. Assemble, 4. MARCH.

After facing and at command march, No. 1 of the front rank stands fast, the other members of both ranks resuming their original positions, or for convenience in the gymnasium they may be assembled to the rear, in which case the assemblage is made on No. 4 of the rear rank.

Unless otherwise indicated, the guide is always right.

Special Training

829. In addition to the regular squad or class work instructors should, when they notice a physical defect in any man, recommend some exercise which will tend to correct it.

The most common physical defects and corresponding corrective exercises are noted here.

Drooping Head

830. Exercise the muscles of the neck by bending, turning, and circling the head, muscles tense.

Round and Stooped Shoulders

831. Stretch arms sideward from front horizontal, turning palms upward, muscles tense.

Swing arms forward and backward, muscles relaxed.

Circle arms forward and backward slowly, energize backward motion, muscles tense; forward motion with muscles relaxed.

Circle shoulders backward, move them forward first, then raise them, then move them backward as far as possible in the raised position, muscles tense, and then lower to normal position, muscles relaxed.

Weak Back

832. Bend trunk forward as far as possible and erect it slowly.

Bend trunk forward, back arched and head thrown back.

Bend trunk sideward, without moving hips out of normal position, right and left.

Lie on floor, face down, and raise head and shoulders.

Weak Abdomen

833. Circle trunk right or left.

Bend trunk backward or obliquely backward.

Bend head and trunk backward without moving hips out of normal plane.

Lie on floor, face up, and raise head and shoulders slightly; or to sitting position or raise legs slightly; or to a vertical position.

[Pg 200]

To increase depth and width of chest

Arm stretchings, sideward and upward, muscles tense.

Same, with deep inhalations.

Arm swings and arm circles outward, away from the body.

Raise extended arms over head laterally and cross them behind the head.

Breathing exercises in connection with arm and shoulder exercises.

Starting Positions

834. In nearly all the arm exercises it is necessary to hold the arms in some fixed position from which the exercises can be most advantageously executed, and to which position the arms are again returned upon completing the exercise. These positions are termed starting positions; and though it may not be absolutely necessary to assume one of them before or during the employment of any other portion of the body, it is advisable to do so, since they give to the exercise a finished, uniform, and graceful appearance.

In the following positions, at the command down, resume the attention. Practice in assuming the starting position may be had by repeating the commands of execution, such as raise, down.

835. While the exercises given below have been grouped for convenient reference, into arm exercises, trunk exercises, leg exercises, etc., one entire group must not be given and then the next and so on.

Always bear in mind that the best results are obtained when those exercises which affect the extensor muscles chiefly are followed by those affecting the flexors; i. e., flexion should always be followed by extension, or vice versa. It is also advisable that a movement requiring a considerable amount of muscular exertion should be followed by one in which this exertion is reduced to a minimum. As a rule, especially in the setting-up exercises, one portion of the body should not be exercised successively; thus, arm exercises should be followed by a trunk exercise, and that in turn by a leg, shoulder, and neck exercise.


836. Intervals having been taken and attention assumed, the instructor commands:

1. Arms forward, 2. RAISE, 3. Arms, 4. DOWN. Fig. 1.

Fig. 1 Fig. 1

At the command raise, raise the arms to the front smartly, extended to their full length, till the hands are in front of and at the height of the shoulders, palms down, fingers extended and joined, thumbs under forefingers. At Arms, DOWN, resume position of attention.

[Pg 201]1. Arms upward 2. RAISE, 3. Arms, 4. DOWN. Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 Fig. 2

At the command raise, raise the arms from the sides, extended to their full length, with the forward movement, until they are vertically overhead, backs of hands turned outward, fingers as in 1.

This position may also be assumed by raising the arms laterally until vertical. The instructor cautions which way he desires it done.

1. Arms backward, 2. CROSS, 3. Arms, 4. DOWN. Fig. 3.

Fig. 3 Fig. 3

At the command cross, the arms are folded across the back; hands grasping forearms.

1. Arms to thrust, 2. RAISE, 3. Arms, 4. DOWN. Fig. 4.

Fig. 4 Fig. 4

At the command raise, raise the forearms to the front until horizontal, elbow forced back, upper arms against the chest, hands tightly closed, knuckles down.

1. Hands on hips, 2. PLACE, 3. Arms, 4. DOWN. Fig. 5.

Fig. 5 Fig. 5

At the command place, place the hands on the hips, the finger tips in line with trouser seams; fingers extended and joined, thumbs to the rear, elbows pressed back.

Combination of arm exercises


Four counts; repeat 8 to 10 times.

The arms are thrust forward, then relaxed and swung sideward, then forward and finally brought back to position, pressing elbows well to the rear; execute moderately fast; exhale on the first and third and inhale on the second and fourth counts.

[Pg 202]


837. As has been stated previously, the setting-up exercises form the basis upon which the entire system of physical training in the service is founded. Therefore too much importance can not be attached to them. Through the number and variety of movements they offer it is possible to develop the body harmoniously with little if any danger of injurious results. They develop the muscles and impart vigor and tone to the vital organs and assist them in their functions; they develop endurance and are important factors in the development of smartness, grace, and precision. They should be assiduously practiced. The fact that they require no apparatus of any description makes it possible to do this out of doors or even in the most restricted room, proper sanitary conditions being the only adjunct upon which their success is dependent. No physical training drill is complete without them. They should always precede the more strenuous forms of training, as they prepare the body for the greater exertion these forms demand.

At the discretion of instructors these exercises may be substituted by others of a similar character. Instructors are cautioned, however, to employ all the parts of the body in every lesson and to suit the exercise as far as practicable to the natural function of the particular part of the body which they employ.

In these lessons only the preparatory command is given here; the command of execution, which is invariably Exercise, and the commands of continuance, as well as the command to discontinue, having been explained are omitted.

Every preparatory command should convey a definite description of the exercise required; by doing so long explanations are avoided and the men will not be compelled to memorize the various movements.

Recruit Instruction

First Series

Position of attention, from at ease and rest.

Starting position, Figs. 1 to 5.


838. 1. Hands on hips, 2. PLACE, 3. QUARTER BEND TRUNK FORWARD.

Two counts; repeat 8 to 10 times, Fig. 6.

Fig. 6 Fig. 6

The trunk is inclined forward at the waist about 45° and then extended again; the hips are as perpendicular as possible; execute slowly; exhale on first and inhale and raise chest on second count.

By substituting the[Pg 203] words half or full for the word quarter in the command, the half bend, Fig. 7, and full bend exercise can be given.

Fig. 7 Fig. 7

1. Hands on hips, 2. PLACE, 3. BEND TRUNK BACKWARD.

Two counts; repeat 6 to 8 times, Fig. 8.

Fig. 8 Fig. 8

The trunk is bent backward as far as possible; head and shoulders fixed; knees extended; feet firmly on the ground; hips as nearly perpendicular as possible; in recovering care should be taken not to sway forward; execute slowly; inhale on first and exhale on second count.


Two counts; repeat 6 to 8 times, Fig. 9.

Fig. 9 Fig. 9

The trunk, stretched at the waist, is inclined sideward as far as possible; head and shoulders fixed; knees extended and feet firmly on the ground; execute slowly; inhale on first and exhale on second count.

If an additional exercise is desired, by commanding: CIRCLE TRUNK RIGHT or LEFT a combination of the above trunk exercises is obtained.


839. 1. Hands on hips, 2. PLACE, 3. QUARTER BEND KNEES.

Two counts; repeat 8 to 10 times, Fig. 10.

Fig. 10 Fig. 10

The knees are flexed until the point of the knee is directly over the toes; whole foot remains on ground; heels closed; head and body erect; execute moderately fast, emphasizing the extension; breathe naturally.

By substituting the words half or full for the word quarter in the command the half bend and full bend, Fig. 11, exercises can be given.

Fig. 11 Fig. 11

[Pg 204]1. Hands on hips, 2. PLACE, 3. RAISE KNEE.

Two counts; repeat 10 to 12 times. Fig. 12.

Fig. 12 Fig. 12

The thigh and knee are flexed until they are at right angles, thigh horizontal: toes depressed; the right knee is raised at one and the left at two; trunk and head erect; execute in cadence of quick time; breathe naturally.


840. 1. Arms to thrust, 2. RAISE, 3. MOVE SHOULDERS FORWARD, UP, BACK, AND DOWN.

Four counts; repeat 8 to 10 times.

The shoulders are relaxed and brought forward; in that position they are raised: then they are forced back without lowering them; and then they are dropped back to position; execute slowly; exhale on the first; inhale on the second and third and exhale on the last count.


841. 1. Arms to thrust, 2. RAISE, 3. TURN HEAD RIGHT, OR LEFT.

Two counts; repeat 6 to 10 times, Fig. 13.

Fig. 13 Fig. 13

The head, chin square, is turned to the right, or left as far as possible, muscles of the neck being stretched; shoulders remain square; execute slowly: breathe naturally.

To vary this exercise the head may be bent forward and to the rear by substituting the proper commands.

[Pg 205]


842. 1. Breathing exercise, 2. INHALE, 3. EXHALE.

At inhale the arms are stretched forward overhead and the lungs are inflated; at exhale the arms are lowered laterally and the lungs deflated; execute slowly; repeat four times.


843. 1. Arms backward, 2. CROSS, 3. RISE ON TOES.

Two counts; repeat 8 to 10 times, Fig. 14.

Fig. 14 Fig. 14

The body is raised smartly until the toes and ankles are extended as much as possible; heels closed; head and trunk erect; in recovering position heels are lowered gently; breathe naturally.


844. This exercise brings into play practically all of the muscles that have been used in the preceding exercises.


Repeat 6 to 8 times, Figs. 15, 16.

Fig. 15 Fig. 15 Fig. 16 Fig. 16

At one knees are bent to squatting position, hands on the ground between knees; at two the legs are extended backward to the leaning rest; at three the first position is resumed, and at four the position of attention; hands should be directly under shoulders; back arched; knees straight; head fixed; execute moderately fast; breathe naturally.

[Pg 206]

Walking and Marching

845. The length of the full step in quick time is 30 inches, measured from heel to heel, and the cadence is at the rate of 120 steps per minute.

Proper posture and carriage have ever been considered very important in the training of soldiers. In marching, the head and trunk should remain immobile, but without stiffness; as the left foot is carried forward the right forearm is swung forward and inward obliquely across the body until the thumb, knuckles being turned out, reaches a point about the height of the belt plate. The upper arm does not move beyond the perpendicular plane while the forearm is swung forward, though the arm hangs loosely from the shoulder joint. The forearm swing ends precisely at the moment the left heel strikes the ground; the arm is then relaxed and allowed to swing down and backward by its own weight until it reaches a point where the thumb is about the breadth of a hand to the rear of the buttocks. As the right arm swings back, the left arm is swung forward with the right leg. The forward motion of the arm assists the body in marching by throwing the weight forward and inward upon the opposite foot as it is planted. The head is held erect; body well stretched from the waist; chest arched; and there should be no rotary motion of the body about the spine.

As the leg is thrown forward the knee is smartly extended, the heel striking the ground first.

The instructor having explained the principles and illustrated the step and arm swing, commands: 1. Forward, 2. MARCH—and to halt the squad he commands: 1. Squad, 2. HALT.

In executing the setting-up exercises on the march the cadence should at first be given slowly and gradually increased as the men become more expert; some exercises require a slow and others a faster pace; it is best in these cases to allow the cadence of the exercise to determine the cadence of the step.

The men should march in a single file at proved intervals. The command that causes and discontinues the execution should be given as the left foot strikes the ground.

On the march, to discontinue the exercise, command: 1. Quick time, 2. MARCH, instead of HALT, as when at rest.

All of the arm, wrist, finger, and shoulder exercises, and some of the trunk and neck, may be executed on the march by the same commands and means as when at rest.

The following leg and foot exercises are executed at the command march; the execution always beginning with the left leg or foot.

  1. 1. On toes, 2. MARCH.
  2. 1. On heels, 2. MARCH.
  3. 1. On right heel and left toe, 2. MARCH.
  4. 1. On left heel and right toe, 2. MARCH.
  5. 1. On toes with knees stiff, 2. MARCH.
  6. 1. Swing extended leg forward, ankle high, 2. MARCH.
  7. 1. Swing extended leg forward, knee high, 2. MARCH.
  8. 1. Swing extended leg forward, waist high, 2. MARCH.
  9. 1. Swing extended leg forward, shoulder high, 2. MARCH.[Pg 207]
  10. 1. Raise heels, 2. MARCH.
  11. 1. Raise knees, thigh horizontal, 2. MARCH.
  12. 1. Raise knees, chest high, 2. MARCH.
  13. 1. Circle extended leg forward, ankle high, 2. MARCH.
  14. 1. Circle extended leg forward, knee high, 2. MARCH.
  15. 1. Circle extended leg forward, waist high, 2. MARCH.
  16. 1. Swing extended leg backward, 2. MARCH.
  17. 1. Swing extended leg sideward, 2. MARCH.
  18. 1. Raise knee and extend leg forward, 2. MARCH.
  19. 1. Raise heels and extend leg forward, 2. MARCH.

Double Timing

846. The length of the step in double time is 36 inches; the cadence is at the rate of 180 steps per minute. To march in double time the instructor commands: 1. Double time, 2. MARCH.

If at a halt, at the first command shift the weight of the body to the right leg. At the command march raise the forearms, fingers closed; to a horizontal position along the waist line; take up an easy run with the step and cadence of double time, allowing a natural swinging motion to the arms inward and upward in the direction of the opposite shoulder.

In marching in quick time, at the command march, given as either foot strikes the ground, take one step in quick time, and then step off in double time.

When marching in double time and in running the men breathe as much as possible through the nose, keeping the mouth closed.

A few minutes at the beginning of the setting-up exercises should be devoted to double timing. From lasting only a few minutes at the start it may be gradually increased, so that daily drills should enable the men at the end of five or six months to double time 15 or 20 minutes without becoming fatigued or distressed.

After the double time the men should be marched for several minutes at quick time; after this the instructor should command:

1. Route step, 2. MARCH.

In marching at route step, the men are not required to preserve silence nor keep the step; if marching at proved intervals, the latter is preserved.

To resume the cadence step in quick time, the instructor commands: 1. Squad, 2. ATTENTION.

Great care must be exercised concerning the duration of the double time and the speed and duration of the run. The demands made Upon the men should be increased gradually.

When exercise rather than distance is desired, the running should be done on the balls of the feet, heels raised from the ground.

[Pg 208]

Double Timing Exercises

While the men are double timing the instructor may vary the position of the arms by commanding:

  1. 1. Arms forward, 2. RAISE.
  2. 1. Arms sideward, 2. RAISE.
  3. 1. Arms upward, 2. RAISE.
  4. 1. Hands on hips, 2. PLACE.
  5. 1. Hands on shoulders, 2. PLACE.
  6. 1. Arms forward, 2. CROSS.
  7. 1. Arms backward, 2. CROSS.

At the command down, the double-time position for the arms and hands is resumed.


847. The object of these exercises, which may also be performed with wands or bar bells, is to develop the muscles of the arms, shoulders, and back so that the men will become accustomed to the weight of the piece and learn to wield it with that "handiness" so essential to its successful use. When these exercises are combined with movements of the various other parts of the body, they serve as a splendid, though rather strenuous, method for the all-round development of the men. As the weight of the piece is considerable, instructors are cautioned to be reasonable in their demands. Far better results are obtained if these exercises are performed at commands than when they are grouped and performed for spectacular purposes.

All the exercises start from the starting position, which is the low extended arm horizontal position in front of the body, arms straight; the right hand grasping the small of the stock and the left hand the barrel; the knuckles turned to the front and the distance between the hands slightly greater than the width of the shoulders. Fig. 17.

Fig. 17 Fig. 17

This position is assumed at the command: 1. Starting, 2. POSITION; at the command position the piece is brought to the port and lowered to the front horizontal snappily.

To recover the position of order, command: 1. Order, 2. Arms; the piece is first brought to the port and then to the order.

Rifle Drill Combination

The following exercises consist of four movements, the third position always corresponding to the first position and the fourth to the starting position. When performed as a musical drill, the instructions laid down in that lesson are applicable here.

[Pg 209]All exercises begin and end with the first or starting position. Fig. 17.

The form of command is, for example:

(Being at the starting position)

1. First group, 2. FIRST, EXERCISE;

1. Second group, 2. THIRD, EXERCISE;

             Etc.,                             Etc.

First Group

848. First Exercise

Fig. 18 Fig. 18 Fig. 19 Fig. 19
1–2. Raise piece to bent arm front horizontal, shoulder high, and stride forward right, Fig. 18;
3–4. Face to the left on both heels and extend piece upward, Fig. 19;
5–6. Resume first position;
7–8. Resume starting position.
  Repeat left, right, left.

849. Second Exercise

Fig. 20 Fig. 20 Fig. 21 Fig. 21
1–2. Raise piece to extended high horizontal, and stride sideward right, Fig. 20;
3–4. Bend right knee and lower piece to left horizontal, Fig. 21;
5–6. Resume first position;
7–8. Resume starting position.
  Repeat left, right, left.

[Pg 210]850. Third Exercise

Fig. 22 Fig. 22 Fig. 23 Fig. 23
1–2. Raise piece to high side perpendicular on the left, left hand up, and stride backward right, Fig. 22;
3–4. Face about on heels and swing piece down and up to high side perpendicular on the right, Fig. 23;
5–6. Resume first position;
7–8. Resume starting position.
  Repeat left, right, left.

851. Fourth Exercise

Fig. 24 Fig. 24 Fig. 25 Fig. 25
1–2. Raise piece to extended high horizontal, and stride obliquely forward right, Fig. 24;
3–4. Face about on heels and lower piece to horizontal on shoulders; Fig. 25;
5–6. Resume first position;
7–8. Resume starting position.
  Repeat left, right, left.

[Pg 211]

Second Group

852. First Exercise

Fig. 26 Fig. 26 Fig. 27 Fig. 27
1–2. Lower piece to front extended horizontal and bend trunk forward, Fig. 26;
3–4. Lunge obliquely forward right and raise piece to right oblique, left hand at shoulder, Fig. 27;
5–6. Resume first position;
7–8. Resume starting position.
  Repeat left, right, left.

853. Second Exercise

Fig. 28 Fig. 28 Fig. 29 Fig. 29
1–2. Raise piece to high perpendicular on the left, left hand up, and bend trunk sideward right, Fig. 28;
3–4. Lunge sideward right and swing piece down and up to right high perpendicular, right hand up, Fig. 29;
5–6. Resume first position;
7–8. Resume starting position.
  Repeat left, right, left.

[Pg 212]854. Third Exercise

Fig. 30 Fig. 30 Fig. 31 Fig. 31
1–2. Raise piece to high extended arm horizontal and bend trunk backward, Fig. 30;
3–4. Lunge forward right, and swing piece to side horizontal, left hand to the rear, Fig. 31;
5–6. Resume first position;
7–8. Resume starting position.
  Repeat left, right, left.

855. Fourth Exercise

Fig. 32 Fig. 32 Fig. 33 Fig. 33
1–2. Raise piece to right high perpendicular and side step position left, Fig. 32;
3–4. Lunge sideward left and swing piece to left high perpendicular, Fig. 33;
5–6. Resume first position;
7–8. Resume starting position.
  Repeat left, right, left.

Third Group

856. First Exercise

Fig. 34 Fig. 34 Fig. 35 Fig. 35
1–2. Raise piece to front bent horizontal, arms crossed, left over right; lunge sideward right and bend trunk sideward right, Fig. 34;
3–4. Extend right knee and bend trunk to the left, bending left knee and recrossing arms, left over right, Fig. 35;
[Pg 213]5–6. Resume first position;
7–8. Resume starting position.
  Repeat left, right, left.

857. Second Exercise

Fig. 36 Fig. 36 Fig. 37 Fig. 37
1–2. Raise piece to bent arm horizontal; face right and lunge forward right and bend trunk forward, Fig. 36;
3–4. Raise trunk and turn to the left on both heels and extend piece overhead, Fig. 37;
5–6. Resume first position;
7–8. Resume starting position.
  Repeat left, right, left.

[Pg 214]858. Third Exercise

Fig. 38 Fig. 38 Fig. 39 Fig. 39
1–2. Raise piece to left high horizontal; lunge forward right, Fig. 38;
3–4. Bend trunk forward and swing piece to extended low horizontal, Fig. 39;
5–6. Resume first position;
7–8. Resume starting position.
  Repeat left, right, left.

859. Fourth Exercise

Fig. 40 Fig. 40 Fig. 41 Fig. 41
1–2. Raise piece to high extended horizontal and hop to side straddle position, Fig. 40;
3–4. Bend trunk forward and swing piece to extended low horizontal, left hand between legs, right hand forward, Fig. 41;
5–6. Resume first position;
7–8. Resume starting position.
  Repeat left, right, left.

[Pg 215]


860. These exercises are those in which the benefits are lost sight of in the pleasure their attainment provides, which in the case of these contests is the vanquishing of an opponent. The men are pitted against each other in pairs; age, height, weight, and general physical aptitude being the determining factors in the selection.

In the contests in which superiority is dependent upon skill and agility no restrictions need be placed upon the efforts of the contestants; but in those that are a test of strength and endurance it is well to call a contest a "draw," when the men are equally matched and the contest is likely to be drawn out to the point of exhaustion of one or both contestants.

It is recommended that these contests be indulged in once or twice a month and then at the conclusion of the regular drill.

Contests that require skill and agility should alternate with those that depend upon force and endurance. In order to facilitate the instruction a number of pairs should be engaged at the same time.

1. Cane wrestling: The cane to be about an inch in diameter and a yard long, ends rounded. It is grasped with the right hand at the end, knuckles down, and with the left hand, knuckles up, inside of and close to the opponent's right hand. Endeavor is then made to wrest the cane from the opponent. Loss of grip with either hand loses the bout.

2. Cane twisting. Same cane as in 1. Contestants grasp it as in 1, only the knuckles of both hands are up, and the arms are extended overhead. Object: The contestants endeavor to make the cane revolve in their opponent's hand without allowing it to do so in their own. The cane must be forced down.

3. Cane pulling: Contestants sit on the ground, facing each other, legs straight and the soles of the feet in contact. The cane is grasped as in 2 but close to the feet. Object: To pull the opponent to his feet. The legs throughout the contest must be kept rigid.

4. "Bucked" contest: Contestants sit on the ground "bucked"; i. e., the cane is passed under the knees, which are drawn up, and the arms passed under the cane with the fingers laced in front of the ankles. Object: To get the toes under those of the opponent and roll him over.

5. Single pole pushing: Contestants grasp end of pole, 6 feet long and 2 inches thick, and brace themselves. Object: To push the opponent out of position.

6. Double pole pushing: The poles are placed under the arms close to the arm pits, ends projecting. Object: Same as in 5.

7. Double pole pulling: Position as in 6 but standing back to back. Object: To pull the opponent out of position.

8. "Cock fight": Contestants hop on one leg with the arms folded closely over the chest. Object: by butting with the fleshy part of the shoulder without raising the arms, or by dodging to make the opponent change his feet or touch the floor with his hand or other part of his body.

9. One-legged tug of war: Contestants hop on one leg and grasp hands firmly. Object: To pull the opponent forward or make him place the raised foot on the floor.

[Pg 216]10. The "siege": One contestant stands with one foot in a circle 14 inches in diameter, the other foot outside, and the arms folded as in 8. Two other contestants, each hopping on one leg, endeavor to dislodge the one in the circle by butting him with the shoulder. The besieged one is defeated in case he raises the foot in the circle, or removes it entirely from the circle. The besiegers are defeated in case they change feet or touch the floor as in 8. As soon as either of the latter is defeated his place is immediately filled, so that there are always two of them. The besieged should resort to volting, ducking, etc., rather than to depend upon his strength.

11. One-armed tug: Contestants stand facing each other; right hands grasped, feet apart. Object: Without moving feet, to pull the opponent forward. Shifting the feet loses the bout.

12. "Tug royal": Three contestants stand facing inward and grasp each other's wrists securely with their feet outside a circle about three feet in diameter. Object: by pulling or pushing to make one of the contestants step inside of the circle.

13. Indian wrestling: Contestants lie upon the ground face up, right shoulders in close contact, right elbows locked; at one the right leg is raised overhead and lowered, this is repeated at two, and at three the leg is raised quickly and locked with the opponent's right leg. Object: to roll him over by forcing his leg down.

14. Medicine ball race. Teams of five or six men are organized and a track for each team is marked out. This track consists of marks on the floor or ground at distances of 4 yards. On each of these marks stands a man with legs apart, the team forming a column of files. At "ready," "get set," the contestants prepare for the race, and at "go," the first man in the column rolls a medicine ball, which he has on the floor in front of him, through his legs to No. 2, he in turn rolls it to 3, etc., when it reaches the last man he picks it up and runs to the starting place with it and, the others all having shifted back one mark, the rolling is repeated. This continues until the first man brings the ball back to the starting place and every man is in his original position. The ball should be kept rolling: each man, as it comes to him, pushing it on quickly. Any ball about 9 inches in diameter will answer; it may be made of strong cloth and stuffed with cotton waste.

[Pg 217]



Signals and Codes

General Service Code. (International Morse Code.)

861. Used for all visual and sound signaling, radiotelegraphy, and on cables using siphon recorders, used in communicating with Navy.

A ·          
B · · ·      
C · ·      
D · ·        
E ·            
F · · ·      
G ·        
H · · · ·      
I · ·          
J ·      
K ·        
L · · ·      
N ·          
P · ·      
Q ·      
R · ·        
S · · ·        
U · ·        
V · · ·      
W ·        
X · ·      
Y ·      
Z · ·      
1 ·    
2 · ·    
3 · · ·    
4 · · · ·    
5 · · · · ·    
6 · · · ·    
7 · · ·    
8 · ·    
9 ·    
Period · · · · · ·  
Comma · · · ·
Interrogation · · · ·  



For communication between the firing line and the reserve or commander in rear. In transmission, their concealment from the enemy's view should be insured. In the absence of signal flags the headdress or other substitute may be used.

(See par. 96 for the signals.)


Signaling by flag, torch, hand lantern, or beam of searchlight (without shutter)[6]

862. 1. There is one position and there are three motions. The position is with flag or other appliance held vertically, the signalman facing directly toward the station with which it is desired to communicate. The first motion (the dot) is to the right of the sender, and will embrace an arc of 90°, starting with the vertical and returning to it, and will be made in a[Pg 218] plane at right angles to the line connecting the two stations. The second motion (the dash) is a similar motion to the left of the sender. The third motion (front) is downward directly in front of the sender and instantly returned upward to the first position. This is used to indicate a pause or conclusion.

2. The beam of the searchlight, though ordinarily used with the shutter like the heliograph, may be used for long-distance signaling, when no shutter is suitable or available, in a similar manner to the flag or torch, the first position being a vertical one. A movement of the beam 90° to the right of the sender indicates a dot, a similar movement to the left indicates a dash; the beam is lowered vertically for front.

3. To use the torch or hand lantern, a footlight must be employed as a point of reference to the motion. The lantern is more conveniently swung out upward to the right of the footlight for a dot, to the left for a dash, and raised vertically for front.

4. To call a station, make the call letter until acknowledged, at intervals giving the call or signal of the calling station. If the call letter of a station is unknown, wave flag until acknowledged. In using the searchlight without shutter throw the beam in a vertical position and move it through an arc of 180° in a plane at right angles to the line connecting the two stations until acknowledged. To acknowledge a call, signal "Acknowledgment (or) I understand (——front)" followed by the call letter of the acknowledging station.

Notes on Wig-wagging

5. In order to avoid the flag wrapping itself about the staff, stand facing the receiving station, with feet apart. Hold the staff with the left hand at butt and right hand 24 inches from end. In moving flag to the right, bring it down with an outward and inward sweep, and then return it to the vertical. When the tip is farthest down the staff inclines to the right front and as the flag is brought upward it is swept inward and upwards and as it approaches the vertical position it sweeps forward slightly. In moving to the left the motion is similar,—at the lowest point the staff inclines to the left front. A combination of right and left is made with a figure-of-eight motion.

In making "front" the flag is lowered and moved very slightly to the left front and then swept slightly to the right front, making a figure-of-eight.

The body should be twisted and bent at the waist in making the light and left motions.

Care should be exercised in keeping the flag in front of the body in making "front," the figure-of-eight is necessarily very flat.

Do not make letters in a careless slipshod manner.

The Two-arm Semaphore Code

(See Plates I and II)

863. Semaphore signaling may be done with or without flags. Without flags it is rarely dependable beyond 600 yards.

In sending stand with feet apart, squarely facing the receiver.

In making letters which require the use of both arms on the same side of body, twist the body to that side and bend at waist, so as to throw[Pg 219] both arms well away from body. But be careful to keep arms in plane of original position of body.

When a letter repeats—bring both hands (if a two-armed letter) to chest after first, then make second.

Do not try to send rapidly so as to exhibit your ability. Remember that the receiver's ability determines the speed to be used. Anyone can send faster than he himself can receive. If you want to display your skill have some one send rapidly to you.

In receiving, if you miss a letter—let it go and get the others. If you miss a word signal—"O" (waving flags or arms) and signal the last word you have received.

Rapidity is secondary to accuracy.

Take the positions for the various letters accurately. The horizontal position should not incline upward nor downward. In making an "L," for example, if the left arm is midway between its proper position and the horizontal it is difficult to tell whether it is L or M.

In making D, J, K, P, T, and V, the arm in the vertical position should be brought exactly in front of the body by carrying the shoulder in almost under the chin, twisting the elbow in until it is directly before the eyes, and the forearm held in the vertical position with the palm to the rear. When so done there is no possibility of this position being mistaken for any other.

"Manila Milkman" may be sent without changing the position of the right hand. In making I, be sure to twist body well to the right in order that the left arm may be seen in the upper slanting position to the right. City and similar words may be so made.

D may be made with either hand.

Be sure how next letter is made before moving hands. Make no false motions.

Acquire accuracy; then try for speed.

"CHOP-CHOP." The "chop-chop" signal is made by placing both arms at the right horizontal (that is, by bringing the left arm up to the position of the right arm as in the figure for letter "B"), and then moving each up and down, several times, in opposite direction, making a cutting motion.

END OF WORD. After each word the "Interval" signal is made.

END OF SENTENCE. After each sentence the chop signal is made twice.

END OF MESSAGE. At the end of a message the chop signal is made three times.

ERROR. Signal "A" several times quickly, followed by interval; then repeat the word.

TO BREAK IN. Signal "Attention."

NUMERALS. Numbers are always preceded by the signal, "Numerals." After "Numerals" has been signaled, everything that follows will be numbers until "Interval" is signaled, after which what follows will be letters.

[Pg 220]

The Two-arm Semaphore Code The Two-arm Semaphore Code Plate I

[Pg 221]

The Two-arm Semaphore Code The Two-arm Semaphore Code Plate II

[Pg 222]

Signaling with heliograph, flash lantern, and searchlight (with shutter)[7]

864. 1. The first position is to turn a steady flash on the receiving station. The signals are made by short and long flashes. Use a short flash for dot and a long steady flash for dash. The elements of a letter should be slightly longer than in sound signals.

2. To call a station, make the call letter until acknowledged, at intervals the call or signal of the calling station.

3. If the call letter of a station be unknown, signal a series of dots rapidly made until acknowledged. Each station will then turn on a steady flash and adjust. When the adjustment is satisfactory to the called station, it will cut off its flash, and the calling station will proceed with its message.

4. If the receiver sees that the sender's mirror needs adjustment, he will turn on a steady flash until answered by a steady flash. When the adjustment is satisfactory, the receiver will cut off his flash and the sender will resume his message.

5. To break the sending station for other purposes, turn on a steady flash.

Sound Signals[7]

865. 1. Sound signals made by the whistle, foghorn, bugle, trumpet, and drum may be used in a fog, mist, falling snow, or at night. They may be used with the dot and dash code.

2. In applying the code to whistle, foghorn, bugle, or trumpet, one short blast indicates a dot and one long blast a dash. With the drum, one tap indicates a dot and two taps in rapid succession a dash. Although these signals can be used with a dot and dash code, they should be so used in connection with a preconcerted or conventional code.

Morse Code. (American Morse Code)[7]

866. Used only by the army on telegraph lines, on short cables, and on field lines, and on all commercial lines in the United States.

A ·        
B · · ·    
C · ·   ·    
D · ·      
E ·          
F · ·      
G ·      
H · · · ·    
I · ·        
J · ·    
K ·      
N ·        
O ·   ·      
P · · · · ·  
Q · · ·    
R ·   · ·    
S · · ·      
U · ·      
V · · ·    
W ·      
X · · ·    
Y · ·   · ·  
Z · · ·   ·  
& ·   · · ·  
1 · ·    
2 · · · ·  
3 · · · ·  
4 · · · ·  
6 · · · · · ·
7 · ·    
8 · · · ·  
9 · ·    
0 ——          
Period · · · ·
Comma · ·    
Interrogation · · ·  



[6] Extracts from Signal Book, United States Army.

[7] Extracts from Signal Book, United States Army.

[Pg 223]



[Pg 224]



867. The proper performance of the duty of COMPANY COMMANDER, like the proper performance of any other duty, requires work and attention to business.

The command of a company divides itself into two kinds of duty: government and administration.

The government includes the instruction, discipline, contentment, and harmony of the organization, involving, as it does, esprit de corps, rewards, privileges, and punishments.

The administration includes the providing of clothing, arms, ammunition, equipage, and subsistence; the keeping of records, including the rendition of reports and returns; and the care and accountability of Government and company property, and the disbursement of the company fund.

System and care are prerequisites of good administration.

The efficient administration of a company greatly facilitates its government.


868. With regard to his company the captain stands in the same light as a father to a large family of children. It is his duty to provide for their comfort, sustenance, and pleasure; enforce strict rules of obedience, punish the refractory and reward the deserving.

He should be considerate and just to his officers and men and should know every soldier personally and make him feel that he so knows him.

He should by word and act make every man in the company feel that the captain is his protector.

The captain should not be indifferent to the personal welfare of his men, and when solicited, being a man of greater experience, education, and information, he should aid and counsel them in such a way as to show he takes an interest in their joys and sorrows.

When any men are sick he should do everything possible for them until they can be taken care of by the surgeon. He can add much to the comfort and pleasure of men in the hospital by visiting them from time to time and otherwise showing an interest in their condition.

In fact, one of the officer's most important duties is to look after the welfare of his men—to see that they are well fed, well clothed and properly cared for in every other way—to see that they are happy and contented. The officer who does not look after the welfare of his men to the best of his ability, giving the matter his earnest personal atten[Pg 225]tion, neglects one of the principal things that the Government pays him to do.

The soldier usually has a decided feeling for his captain, even though it be one of hatred. With regard to the higher grade of officers, he has respect for them according to regulations; otherwise, for the most part, he is indifferent. At the very most, he knows whether his post or regimental commander keeps him long at drill, and particularly whether he has any peculiar habits. The average soldier looks upon his captain as by far the most important personage in the command.

There is no other position in the Army that will give as much satisfaction in return for an honest, capable and conscientious discharge of duty, as that of captain. There is a reward in having done his full duty to his company that no disappointment of distinction, no failure, can deprive him of; his seniors may overlook him in giving credits, unfortunate circumstances may defeat his fondest hopes, and the crown of laurel may never rest upon his brow, but the reward that follows upon the faithful discharge of his duty to his company he can not be deprived of by any disaster, neglect or injustice.

He is a small sovereign, powerful and great, within his little domain.

869. Devolution of Work and Responsibility. The company commander should not attempt to do all the work—to look after all the details in person—he should not try to command directly every squad and every platoon. The successful company commander is the one who distributes work among his subordinates and organizes the help they are supposed to give him. By War Department orders, Army Regulations and customs of the service, the lieutenants and noncommissioned officers are charged with certain duties and responsibilities. Let every one of them carry the full load of their responsibility. The company commander should not usurp the functions of his subordinates—he should not relieve them of any of their prescribed or logical work and responsibility. On the contrary, he should give them more, and he should see that they "deliver the goods." Skill in distributing work among subordinates is one of the first essentials of leadership, as is the ability to get work out of them so that they will fill their functions to the full within the limits of their responsibility. Not only does devolution of work and responsibility cause subordinates to take more interest in their work (it makes them feel less like mere figure-heads), but it also teaches them initiative and gives them valuable experience in the art of training and handling men. Furthermore, it enables the company commander to devote more time to the larger and more important matters connected with the discipline, welfare, training, instruction and administration of the company.

The captain who allows his lieutenants to do practically nothing makes a mistake—he is doing something that will rob his lieutenants of all initiative, cause them to lose interest in the company, and make them feel like nonentities—like a kind of "fifth wheel"—it will make them feel they are not, in reality, a part of the company—it will prevent them from getting a practical, working knowledge of the government and administration of a company.

[Pg 226]By allowing his lieutenants to participate to the greatest extent possible in the government and administration of the company, and by not hampering and pestering them with unnecessary instructions about details, the captain will get out of his lieutenants the very best that there is in them.

The captain should require RESULTS from his lieutenants, and the mere fact that a lieutenant is considered inefficient and unable to do things properly, is no reason why he should not be required to do them. The captain is by Army Regulations responsible for the efficiency and instruction of his lieutenants regarding all matters pertaining to the company, and he should require them to perform all their duties properly, resorting to such disciplinary measures as may be considered necessary. The lieutenant who can not, or who will not, perform his duties properly is a drag on the company, and such a man has no business in the Army, or in the Organized Militia.


870. To be able to perform well the duties of captain when the responsibility falls upon him, should be the constant study and ambition of the lieutenant.

He is the assistant of the captain and should be required by the captain to assist in the performance of all company duties, including the keeping of records and the preparation of the necessary reports, returns, estimates and requisitions. The captain should give him lots to do, and should throw him on his own responsibility just as much as possible. He should be required to drill the company, attend the daily inspection of the company quarters, instruct the noncommissioned officers, brief communications, enter letters in the Correspondence Book, make out ration returns, reports, muster and pay rolls, etc., until he shows perfect familiarity therewith.

Whenever told to do a thing by your captain, do it yourself or see personally that it is done. Do not turn it over to some noncommissioned officer and let it go at that. If your captain wants some noncommissioned officer to do the thing, he himself will tell him to do it—he will not ask you to do it.

It is customary in the Army to regard the company as the property of the captain. Should the lieutenant, therefore, be in temporary command of the company he should not make any changes, especially in the reduction or promotion of noncommissioned officers without first having consulted the captain's wishes in the matter.

It is somewhat difficult to explain definitely the authority a lieutenant exercises over the men in the company when the captain is present. In general terms, however, it may be stated the lieutenant can not make any changes around the barracks, inflict any punishment or put men on, or relieve them from, any duty without the consent of the captain. It is always better if there be a definite understanding between the captain and his lieutenants as to what he expects of them, how he wishes to have certain things done and to what extent he will sustain them.

[Pg 227]If the lieutenant wants anything from the company in the way of working parties, the services of the company artificer or company clerk, the use of ordnance stores or quartermaster articles, he should always speak to the captain about the matter.


871. The company officers should set an example to their men in dress, military bearing, system, punctuality and other soldierly qualities. It should be remembered that the negligence of superiors is the cue for juniors to be negligent.

If the men of a company are careless and indifferent about saluting and if they are shabby and lax in their dress, the company commander is to blame for it—company officers can always correct defects of this kind, if they will only try.

The character and efficiency of officers and the manner in which they perform their duties are reflected in the conduct and deportment of their men.

Of course, courage is a prerequisite quality for a good officer, and every officer should seek to impress his men that he would direct them to do nothing involving danger that he would not himself be willing to do under similar circumstances.

If a company officer be ignorant of his duties, his men will soon find it out, and when they do they will have neither respect for, nor confidence in, him.

Company officers should take an active interest in everything that affects the amusement, recreation, happiness and welfare of their men.

An officer just joining a company should learn without delay the names of all the men. A roll of the organization should be gotten and studied.

While an officer can gruffly order a soldier to do a thing and have his orders obeyed, it should be remembered that, as a rule, human nature, especially American human nature, responds best to an appeal to pride, fairness, justice, reason, and the other nobler instincts of man. It is only in rare instances that the average man will give the best there is in him under coercion or pressure of authority.

There are but few men who have not some good in them, and this good can generally be gotten at, if one only goes about it in the right way. Study your men and try to arouse in them pride and interest in their work.

The soldier first learns to respect, then to honor and finally to love the officer who is strict but just; firm but kind—and this is the officer who will draw out of his men the very best there is in them.

872. Treat your men like men, and remember there is nothing that will so completely take the spirit out of a man as to find fault with him when he is doing his best.

Young officers sometimes run to one of two extremes in the treatment of their men—they either, by undue familiarity, or otherwise, cultivate popularity with the men; or they do not treat them with sufficient consideration—the former course will forfeit their esteem; the[Pg 228] latter, ensure their dislike, neither of which result is conducive to commanding their respect.

Treat your soldiers with proper consideration, dignity, and justice—remember they are members of your profession, the difference being one of education, rank, command, and pay—but they are men, like yourself, and should be treated as such.

Under no circumstances should you ever swear at a soldier—not only is this taking a mean, unfair advantage of your position, but it is also undignified, ungentlemanly, and unmilitary. It is even more improper for you to swear at a soldier than it is for a superior to swear at you—in the latter case the insult can be properly resented; in the former, it must be borne in humiliating silence.

Remember, that if by harsh or unfair treatment you destroy a man's self-respect, you at the same time destroy his usefulness.

Familiarity is, of course, most subversive of discipline, but you can treat your men with sympathetic consideration without being familiar with them.

In dealing with enlisted men, do not use the same standard of intellect and morals that apply in the case of officers. And remember, too, that a thing that may appear small and trivial to an officer may mean a great deal to an enlisted man—study your men, learn their desires, their habits, their way of thinking, and then in your dealings with them try to look at things from their standpoint also. In other words in your treatment of your men be just as human as possible.

The treatment of soldiers should be uniform and just, and under no circumstances should a man be humiliated unnecessarily or abused. Reproof and punishment must be administered with discretion and judgment, and without passion; for the officer who loses his temper and flies into a tantrum has failed to obtain his first triumph in discipline. He who can not control himself can not control others.

Every officer should study himself carefully, he should analyze himself, he should place himself under a microscopic glass, so as to discover his weak points—and he should then try with his whole might and soul to make these weak points strong points. If, for instance, you realize that you are weak in applied minor tactics, or that you have no "bump of locality," or that you have a poor memory, or that you have a weak will, do what you can to correct these defects in your make-up. Remember "Stonewall" Jackson's motto: "A man can do anything he makes up his mind to do."

The Progress Company, Chicago, Ill., publishes "Mind Power," "Memory," "The Will," "The Art of Logical Thinking" (all by W. W. Atkinson), and several other books of a similar nature, that are both interesting and instructive. "The Power of the Will," by Haddock, for sale by Albert Lewis Pelton, Meriden, Conn., is an excellent book of its kind.


873. It has been said the captain is the proprietor of the company and the first sergeant is the foreman.

Under supervision of the captain, he has immediate charge of all routine matters pertaining to the company.

[Pg 229]In some companies in the Regular Army, it is customary for soldiers, except in cases of emergency, to get permission from the first sergeant to speak to the company commander at any time. In other organizations soldiers who wish to speak to the company commander away from the company quarters must first obtain the first sergeant's permission, but it is not necessary to get this permission to speak to the company commander when he is at the barracks.

The first sergeant is sometimes authorized to place noncommissioned officers in arrest in quarters and privates in confinement in the guardhouse, assuming such action to be by order of the captain, to whom he at once reports the facts. However, with regard to the confinement of soldiers by noncommissioned officers, attention is invited to the Army Regulations on the subject.


(The status, duties, etc., of noncommissioned officers are covered in greater detail in Noncommissioned Officers' Manual, by the author. General agents: George Banta Publishing Co., Menasha, Wis.)

874. The efficiency and discipline of a company depend to such an extent on the noncommissioned officers that the greatest care and judgment should be exercised in their selection. They should be men possessing such soldierly qualities as a high sense of duty, cheerful obedience to orders, force of character, honesty, sobriety and steadiness, together with an intelligent knowledge of drills, regulations, and orders.

They should exact prompt obedience from those to whom they give orders, and should see that all soldiers under them perform their military duties properly. They must not hesitate to reprove them when necessary, but such reproof must not be any more severe than the occasion demands.

The company officers must sustain the noncommissioned officers in the exercise of their authority, except, of course, when such authority is improperly or unjustly exercised. If they do wrong, they should be punished the same as the privates, but if it be simply an error of judgment they should merely be admonished. A noncommissioned officer should never be admonished in the presence of privates.

Judicious praising of noncommissioned officers in the presence of privates is not only gratifying to the noncommissioned officer, but it also tends to enhance the respect and esteem of the privates for him.

In addition to dividing the company into squads, each squad being under a noncommissioned officer as required by the Army Regulations, the company should also be divided into sections, each section being in charge of a sergeant. The squads and sections should, as far as possible, be quartered together in barracks, and the chiefs of squads and the chiefs of sections should be held strictly responsible for the conduct, dress, cleanliness, and the care of arms of the members of their respective squads and sections. Not only does this throw the corporals and the sergeants upon their own responsibility to a certain extent, but it also impresses upon them the importance of their position, and gets the privates in the habit of realizing and appreciating the authority exercised by noncommissioned officers.

[Pg 230]When practicable, the noncommissioned officers should have separate rooms or tents, and should mess together at tables separate from the privates; for, everything that conduces to familiarity with inferiors tends to lower the dignity of the noncommissioned officers' position.

Throw your noncommissioned officers upon their own responsibility—throw them into deep water, so to speak, where they will either have to swim or sink. You can never tell what a man can really do until you have given him a chance to show you—until you have put him on his mettle—until you have tried him out. And very often men who seem to have nothing in them, men who have never before been thrown upon their own responsibility, will surprise you.

Do all you can to make your noncommissioned officers realize and appreciate the importance of their position. Consult them about different matters—get their opinions about various things. When going through the barracks at Saturday morning inspection, for instance, as you come to the different squads, have the squad leaders step to the front and follow you while you are inspecting their respective squads. If you find anything wrong with a man's bunk, speak to the squad leader about it. Also ask the squad leaders various questions about their squads.

Not only does such treatment of noncommissioned officers make them appreciate the importance, responsibility and dignity of their position, but it also gives them more confidence in themselves and raises them in the eyes of the privates.

Noncommissioned officers should always be addressed by their titles, by both officers and soldiers.

Noncommissioned officers are forbidden by regulations to act as barbers, or as agents for laundries, or in any other position of a similar character.

Everything possible should be done by the company officers to instruct the noncommissioned officers properly in their duties.[8]

So far as the company is concerned, the noncommissioned officers are expected to assist the company commander in carrying out his own orders and those of his superiors—they should see that all company orders are obeyed and that the known wishes of the captain are carried out. If, for instance, the captain should tell the first sergeant that the men in the company may play cards among themselves, but that noncommissioned officers are not to play with privates and that men from other companies are not allowed to take part in, or to be present at the games, then it is the duty of the first sergeant to see that these instructions are carried out—it is his duty to make frequent inspections of the tables at which the men may be playing to see that no noncommissioned officers are playing and that no outsiders are present. The first sergeant who confined himself to publishing the order to the company and then doing nothing more, would be neglectful of his proper duty.

Noncommissioned officers clothed in the proper uniform of their grade are on duty at all times and places for the suppression of dis[Pg 231]orderly conduct on the part of members of the company in public places. Men creating disorder will be sent to their quarters in arrest and the facts reported to the company commander without delay.

Noncommissioned officers can do much to prevent the commission of offenses by members of their commands, both when on and when off duty, and such prevention is as much their duty as reporting offenses after they are committed; in fact, it is much better to prevent the offense than to bring the offender to trial.

Company commanders should drill their noncommissioned officers thoroughly in the principles of discipline.

875. Noncommissioned Officers Authorized to Confine Enlisted Men. A company or detachment commander may delegate to his noncommissioned officers the authority to confine enlisted men in the guardhouse and to place them in arrest in quarters, provided the case is immediately reported to the company or detachment commander, who confirms the act of the noncommissioned officer and adopts it as his own.—W. D. decision, December, 1905.

876. Reduction and Resignation. A noncommissioned officer should never be reduced to ranks, except for grave and sufficient reasons. Nothing demoralizes the noncommissioned officers of a company so much and upsets discipline to such an extent as the feeling that upon the slightest pretext or fancy one is to be sent back to the ranks, to associate with the privates he has been required to discipline.

In some regiments noncommissioned officers are permitted to send in formal resignations, while in other regiments they are not, but, with the approval of the company commander, they may ask for reduction, giving proper, satisfactory and specific reasons. Of course, resignations submitted in a spirit of accepted insubordination or pique should not be considered, nor should they ever be in substitution for deserved disciplinary punishment. If a noncommissioned officer has good reasons for requesting reduction and the granting of the request would not result in detriment to the company, there is no reason why his application should not be favorably considered. However, in such a case, the noncommissioned officer should consult his company commander before submitting his request in writing. It is thought the preponderance of custom is against considering formal resignations.

Contentment and Harmony

877. The officers of the company should do everything possible to make the organization contented and harmonious. Contentment and harmony are not only conducive to good discipline and efficiency, but they also make the government of the company easy and reduce desertions to a minimum.

The showing of favoritism on the part of the captain is always a cause of great dissatisfaction amongst the soldiers in the company. Soldiers do not care how strict the captain is, just so he is fair and impartial, treating all men alike.

878. The Mess. The captain should give the mess his constant personal attention, making frequent visits to the kitchen and dining-room[Pg 232] while the soldiers are at meals so as to see for himself what they are getting, how it is served, etc.

It is not saying too much to state that, in time of peace, a good mess is the real basis of the contentment of a company.

Ascertain what the soldiers like to eat and then gratify their appetites as far as practicable.

Be careful that the cook or the mess sergeant doesn't fall into a rut and satiate the soldiers day after day with the same dishes.

Give the ration your personal attention—know yourself what the company is entitled to, how much it is actually getting, what the savings amount to, etc.

879. Library and Amusement Room. A library and an amusement room, supplied with good books, magazines, papers, a billiard or pool table, and a phonograph, are a source of much pleasure and contentment.

880. Athletic Apparatus. A judicious investment of the company fund in baseballs, bats, dumb bells, Indian clubs, boxing gloves and other athletic goods, and the encouragement of baseball, basketball, quoits, etc., are in the interest of harmony and happiness.

Rewards and Privileges

881. 1. Deny all passes and requests for privileges of men whose conduct is not good, and on the other hand grant to men whose conduct is good, as many indulgences as is consistent with discipline.

2. Judicious praise in the presence of the first sergeant, a few noncommissioned officers, or the entire company, depending upon circumstances, very often accomplishes a great deal. After the according of such praise, let your action toward the man show that his good conduct is appreciated and that it has raised him in your estimation, and make him feel you are keeping your eye on him to see whether he will continue in his well doing.

3. Publication of commendatory orders, desirable special duty details, etc.

4. Promotion, and extra duty details which carry extra pay.

5. Meritorious conduct of importance should be noted in the soldier's military record and also on his discharge.

6. At the weekly company inspection, each chief of squad picks out the neatest and cleanest man in his squad—the captain then inspects the men so selected, the neatest and cleanest one being excused from one or two tours of kitchen police, or some other disagreeable duty; or given a two days' pass.

Note: Some officers do not think that good conduct should be especially rewarded, but that if all soldiers be held strictly accountable for their actions by a system of strict discipline, good conduct attains its own reward in the immunities it enjoys.

882. Company punishment. It is neither necessary nor desirable to bring every dereliction of duty before a court-martial for trial. In fact, the invariable preferring of charges for minor[9] offenses will, as a rule, injure rather than help the discipline of a command. The 104th Article[Pg 233] of War states, "The commanding officer of any detachment, company, or higher command may, for minor offenses not denied by the accused, impose disciplinary punishments upon persons of his command without the intervention of a court-martial, unless the accused demands trial by court-martial." The disciplinary punishments authorized may include admonition, reprimand, withholding of privileges, extra fatigue, and restriction to certain specified limits, but shall not include forfeiture of pay or confinement under guard. (Par. 333, Manual for Courts-Martial.)

Some Efficacious Forms of Company Punishment

883. 1. Extra fatigue under the Company Supply Sergeant or the noncommissioned officer in charge of quarters, cleaning up around and in the company quarters, scrubbing pots, scouring tin pans, polishing stoves, cutting wood, policing the rears, cutting grass, pulling weeds, polishing the brass and nickel parts in the water closets and bath rooms, washing and greasing leather, cleaning guns, boiling greasy haversacks, and in camp, digging drains and working around slop holes.

If the work be done well the offender may be let off sooner—if the work be not done well, he may be tried for it.

2. Men may not be allowed to leave the immediate vicinity of the barracks for periods ranging from one to ten days, during which time they are subject to all kinds of disagreeable fatigue, and required to report to the N. C. O. in charge of quarters at stated hours.

3. Breaking rocks for a given number of days. For every man so punished, a private of the same company is detailed as a sentinel and for every four men a corporal is detailed in addition—the idea being to cause every man in each organization to take an interest in preventing his own comrades from violating rules and regulations.

4. When two soldiers get into a row that is not of a serious nature, a good plan is to set them at work scrubbing the barrack windows—one on the outside and one on the inside, making them clean the same pane at the same time. They are thus constantly looking in each other's faces and before the second window is cleaned they will probably be laughing at each other and part friends rather than nursing their wrath.

5. Confinement to barracks, reporting to the noncommissioned officer in charge of quarters once every hour, from reveille to, say, 9 P. M.

NOTE: Some company commanders follow, for moral effect, the practice of publishing to their companies all summary court convictions of soldiers belonging to the organization.

Withholding of Privileges

1. Withholding of passes and of credit at the post exchange.

2. Withholding of furloughs.

884. Control of Drunken and Obscene Men. In order to control drunken and obscene men, they have been bucked and gagged until sufficiently sober to regain self-control and quiet down. The use of a cold water hose in such cases has been known to accomplish good results. Great care and judgment, however, should be exercised and no more force used than is absolutely necessary.

It may also be said that persistently filthy men have been washed and scrubbed.

885. Saturday morning and other company inspections are intended to show the condition of the organization regarding its equipment, military[Pg 234] appearance and general fitness for service, and the condition of the quarters as regards cleanliness, order, etc. Usually everyone except the guard, one cook, and others whose presence elsewhere can not be spared, are required to attend inspections, appearing in their best clothes, their arms and accouterments being shipshape and spick and span in every respect.

A man appearing at inspection with arms and equipments not in proper shape, especially if he be a recruit or if it be his first offense, may be turned out again several hours later, fully armed and equipped, for another inspection, instead of being tried by summary court.

Property Responsibility

886. Special attention should be given to the care and accountability of all company property.

1. All property (tents, axes, spades, chairs, hatchets, etc.) should be plainly marked with the letter of the company.

2. Keep a duplicate copy of every memorandum receipt given for property, and when such property is turned in or another officer's memorandum receipt is given covering the property, don't fail to get your original memorandum from the quartermaster.

3. See that the quartermaster gives you credit for all articles turned in, or property accounted for on statement of charges, proceedings of a surveying officer or otherwise.

4. Have a settlement with the quartermaster at the end of every quarter as required by Army Regulations, taking an inventory of all property held on memorandum receipt and submitting to the quartermaster a statement of charges and a certified list of the china and glassware unavoidably broken during the quarter.

5. Keep an account of all articles issued to the men, turned in to the quartermaster, condemned, expended, lost, stolen or destroyed.

6. Worn out and unserviceable, property that is beyond repair in the company should be submitted to the action of a surveying officer, the Survey Reports (Form No. 196, A. G. O.) being prepared in triplicate, and submitted to the commanding officer, who will appoint a surveying officer. No property that can be repaired in the company should ever be submitted to the action of a surveying officer or inspector. In this connection company commanders and supply sergeants should be thoroughly familiar with Ordnance Department pamphlet No. 1965 and G. O. 26, 1917, the two covering the care, repair and disposition of unserviceable Ordnance equipment.

7. Property that is to be submitted to the action of a surveying officer or an inspector should always first be carefully examined by the responsible officer in person, who should be prepared to give all necessary information in regard to it.

The property should be arranged in the order of enumeration in the survey or the inventory report, and should be arranged in rows of five, ten, or some other number, so that the numbers of the various articles can be counted at a glance.

The Army Regulations require that the responsible officer shall be present at the inspection of property by a regular inspector. He should also be present when property is acted on by a surveying officer.

[Pg 235]8. All company property (Ordnance, Quartermaster, Signal and Engineer) except the litter (Medical Department) is gotten from the unit supply officer on memorandum receipt. The litter is gotten from the surgeon on memorandum receipt. Settlements are required to be made quarterly with the officers concerned, and also when relinquishing command.

Company Paperwork

887. Scope of subject. To cover in full the subject of company paperwork would require more space than it is practicable to spare in a manual of this nature, and consequently only brief reference is made herein to the principal books, records and papers connected with the administration of a company.

The subject of company paperwork, as well as Army administration in general, is covered in full in Army Paperwork, published by Geo. Banta Publishing Co., Menasha, Wis. Price $2.00, postpaid.

In connection with company paperwork, it may be remarked that now-a-days no company office is complete without a typewriter. For all-around field and garrison work the CORONA, which is used throughout the Army, is recommended. Not only is it less bulky and lighter than other machines, but it is simpler of construction and will stand harder usage. The Corona Folding Stand adds very much to the convenience of the machine for field use.

888. Morning Report. Which shows, at the hour the report is submitted, the exact condition of the company as to the number of officers and men present for duty, sick, absent, etc. All changes since the last report (the day before) are shown by name, under "Remarks," on the right-hand page, and by number on the left-hand page. In case of no change since last report, note, "No change," under, "Remarks," and also on the left-hand page. (See model given below.)

(Left-hand page) Fig. 1 Fig. 1 (click to enlarge)

[Pg 236]

(Corresponding right-hand page) Fig. 2 Fig. 2 (click to enlarge)

Note. The numbers 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, etc., entered by hand on the left in model, and which show the number of days from each printed number (date) to the end of the month, are entered the beginning of each month, and are a convenience in showing at once the number of rations to be added or deducted in the case of men joining or leaving the company.

889. Daily Sick Report. On which are entered the names of all enlisted men requiring medical attention and such of the company officers as may be excused from duty because of illness. The report is signed each day by the surgeon and the company commander, and shows whether or not the sickness was incurred in line of duty.

Fig. 3 Fig. 3 (click to enlarge)

[Pg 237]890. Duty Roster. On which is kept a record of all details for guard duty, kitchen police, and other details for service in garrison and in the field, except the authorized special and extra duty details. For instructions regarding the keeping of roster, see, "Details and Rosters," Manual of Interior Guard Duty and the Model and instructions on the form itself.

891. Files of Orders. A file will be kept of all orders issued by the company commander. Files will also be kept of all orders and instructions received from higher authority.

892. Company Fund Book. In which are entered all receipts to, and expenditures from, the company fund, together with the monthly proceeding of the Company Council of Administration, and a list of property, with cost thereof, purchased from the company fund. The model in the front of the book shows how the account is to be kept.

893. Correspondence Book, with index. In which is entered a brief of each item of correspondence in respect to which a record is necessary, and a notation of the action taken thereon.

894. Document File, being the original documents or communications when these are retained, and carbon, letter press, or other copies of letters, indorsements, or telegrams sent in regard to the same, all of which are filed according to serial numbers.

895. Delinquency Record, in which are noted the disciplinary punishments awarded by the company commander in compliance with the provisions of Army Regulations.

896. Property Responsibility. Two loose-leaf books in which are listed, in one all articles of quartermaster property, and in the other, all articles of ordnance property, issued each soldier for his personal use.

897. Service Record. (Formerly known as "Descriptive List.") One for each member of the company, in which is kept a full description of him, including date of enlistment, personnel description, record of deposits, trial by court-martial, record of vaccination, clothing account, etc.

898. Descriptive Card of Public Animals. To be kept in organizations supplied with public animals.

899. Retained Copies of Rolls, Returns, etc. Retained copies of the various rolls, reports, and returns (property and other) that are required by orders and regulations.

900. Memorandum Receipts, showing all articles of ordnance quartermaster, and other property that may be held on memorandum receipt, with date of receipt, from whom received, etc. The company commander has a quarterly settlement with the staff officers concerned.

901. Abstract Record of Memorandum Receipts. For keeping a record of property issued on memorandum receipt, in connection with the unit accountability equipment.

902. Record of Rifles, showing the number of the rifle, the Arsenal where made, date of receipt, to whom issued, and number of shots fired each target season. (Note. Geo. Banta Publishing Co., Menasha, Wis., print an excellent card for this purpose.)

903. Summary Court Records. Commanding officers are required to furnish organization commanders with true copies of all summary court records relating to men of their organizations, which papers form a part of the records of the organization.

[Pg 238]904. Statement of Clothing Charged to Enlisted Men. When clothing is drawn individually from the quartermaster, the Individual Clothing Slips are entered on the Statement of Clothing Charged to Enlisted Men, which is filed with the requisition to which it pertains.

905. Abstract of Clothing. All individual clothing slips are entered on this abstract as the issues are made, the total quantities and money values being determined and the abstract completed at the end of month or when the organization leaves the vicinity of the issuing quartermaster for an extended period. At the close of period covered, the organization commander compares his copy of the abstract with the quartermaster's copy, and it is then filed with the Individual Clothing Slips and Statement of Clothing Charged to Enlisted men.

906. Record of Size of Clothing. A record of the sizes of clothing of every man in the company as ascertained by measurement.

907. Company Target Records. An individual record is kept for each man of the company and for every officer firing, on which are entered the record rifle practice and the qualification for each target season. A similar record is kept in the case of those required to fire with the pistol. Records are also kept of the company combat firing and the proficiency test, and of the combat practice. The combat practice records are kept until the close of the following target season, when they may be destroyed.

908. Company Return. On the first day of each month a Company Return for the preceding month is submitted to regimental headquarters. The return gives by name all changes since rendition of last return in the case of officers, and by number all changes in the case of enlisted men, and shows the condition of the company at midnight of the last day of the month for which rendered. All officers, present and absent, are accounted for by name, and under "Record of Events," is given a brief statement of the duties performed by the company during the month, including marches made, actions in which engaged, etc. See next page for a "Model" Company Return.

[Pg 239]

Fig. 4 Fig. 4 (click to enlarge)

[Pg 240]

Fig. 5 Fig. 5 (click to enlarge)

909. Ration return. In addition to rations, on this form are obtained soap, candles, matches, toilet paper, rock salt, vinegar for animals, flour for paste in target practice, towels, and ice, the allowances of which are prescribed in the Army Regulations.

The best way to show how a ration return is prepared is to give a "model" and then explain how the figures thereon were obtained.

The figures in the above "model" were obtained as follows:

(a) The enlisted strength of Co. "H," 50th Inf., present and absent according to the morning report of Feb. 29/16, was   97
(b) Deduct from the above the number of men absent according to the morning report of Feb. 29/16, and for whom rations will not, therefore, be drawn for any part or for the whole of the month of March, the number of men absent being (assumed) as follows:    
  [Pg 241]On furlough 3  
  On detached service 2  
  Absent sick 2  
  Absent in confinement 1  
  Present sick in hospital 4  
  Attached to and rationed with the band 2 14
    Balance   83
(c) Add the number of men attached to the company for rations, which (it is assumed) consists of two general prisoners   2
    Total   85
That is to say, we have 85 men for whom one ration per day must be drawn for the month of March, that is to say, 31 days.    
Hence, the total number of rations will be, 85 × 31 = 2635 rations.    
(d) Additions and deductions must be made as follows:    
For the men who were attached to the company for rations and who joined during the month of February, from absent sick, furlough, detached service, etc., and which (let us assume) the "Plus" column of "Rations" on the company morning report for February shows to be 150  
For the men who left the company during the month of February, on account of being sent to the hospital sick, going on furlough, etc., and which (let us assume) the "Minus" column of "Rations" on the company morning report for February shows to be 200  
Leaving us (a "Net correction") to be added of   50
And making the total number due the company for the month of March   2585

[Pg 242]


The Army Regulations fixes the maximum allowance of soap, toilet paper, matches, etc., the commanding officer being authorized, if he so desires, to determine the allowances, with the prescribed maximum. The allowances are based either on so much per ration, per so many rations, or per organization. In the case of candles and matches the allowance is left entirely to the commanding officer.

"Model" Ration Return Fig. 6: "Model" Ration Return Fig. 6 (click to enlarge)


(See "model" ration return above)

Soap. Allowance is 0.64 for each ration or 4 lbs. to 100 rations. 25.85 × 4 = 103.40, i. e., the company is entitled to 103 lbs. of soap for the month of March.

Toilet paper. Allowance is 1000 sheets for every 60 rations, 2585 ÷ 60 = 43+, that is, the company is entitled to 43 packages of toilet paper.

Matches. Allowance of matches for lighting fires and lights, for which fuel and the illumination supplies are issued, is such as the commanding officer may order as necessary.

Flour. Allowance of flour for paste used in target practice is 50 lbs. for each troop or company for the practice season.


[8] Silicate Roll Blackboards, which are perfectly flexible and can be rolled tightly, like a map, without injury, may be obtained from the New York Silicate Book Slate Co., 20 Vesey St., New York. They are made in various sizes, about the most convenient for use in noncommissioned officers' schools is No. 3, three by four feet—price $2.

[9] For example, noisy or disorderly conduct in quarters, failure to salute officers, slovenly dressed at formations, rifle equipments not properly cleaned at inspection or other formations, overstaying pass, short absences without leave and absences from formations (especially for first offense).

[Pg 243]



910. Definition. Discipline is not merely preservation of order, faithful performance of duty, and prevention of offenses—in other words, discipline is not merely compliance with a set of rules and regulations drawn up for the purpose of preserving order in an organization. This is only one phase of discipline. In its deeper and more important sense discipline may be defined as the habit of instantaneous and instinctive obedience under any and all circumstances—it is the habit whereby the very muscles of the soldier instinctively obey the word of command, so that under whatever circumstances of danger or death the soldier may hear that word of command, even though his mind be too confused to work, his muscles will obey. It is toward this ultimate object that all rules of discipline tend. In war, the value of this habit of instantaneous and instinctive obedience is invaluable, and during the time of peace everything possible should be done to ingrain into the very blood of the soldier this spirit, this habit, of instantaneous, instinctive obedience to the word of command.

911. Methods of Attaining Good Discipline. Experience shows that drill, routine, military courtesy, attention to details, proper rewards for good conduct, and invariable admonition or punishment of all derelictions of duty, are the best methods of attaining good discipline—that they are the most effective means to that end.

912. Importance. History shows that the chief factor of success in war is discipline, and that without discipline no body of troops can hold their own against a well-directed, well-disciplined force.

913. Sound System. We must bear in mind that what may be considered a sound system of discipline at one epoch or for one nation, may be inapplicable at another epoch or for another nation. In other words, sound discipline depends upon the existing state of civilization and education, the political institutions of the country, the national trait and the national military system. For example, the system of discipline that existed in the days of Frederick the Great, and which, in modified form, exists today in certain European armies, whereby the soldier was so inured to a habit of subjection that he became a sort of machine—a kind of automaton. Such a system of discipline, while answering admirably well its purpose at that time and for those nations, would not do at all in this day and generation, and with a people like ours, in whom the spirit of personal freedom and individual initiative are born. Of course, the discipline that will insure obedience under any and all conditions—the discipline that will insure prompt and unhesitating obedience to march, to attack, to charge—is just as important today as it was a thousand years ago, but we can not attain it by the machine-making methods of former times. The system we use must be in keep[Pg 244]ing with the national characteristics of our people and the tactical necessities of the day, the latter requiring individual initiative. According to the old system, the company commander imposed his will upon a body of submissive units; under the new system the company commander, backed by authority and greater knowledge, leads obedient, willing units, exacting ready obedience and loyal coöperation. The company commander used to drive; now he leads.

914. Means of attaining and maintaining such discipline.

1. Explain to the men the importance of discipline and its value on the field of battle, and give the reasons that makes it necessary to subject soldiers to restrictions that they were not subjected to in civil life.

2. Do not impose unnecessary restrictions or hardships on your men, nor issue orders that have no bearing on their efficiency, health, cleanliness, orderliness, etc.

3. Demand a high standard of excellence in the performance of all duties whatsoever, and exact the utmost display of energy.

A system of discipline based on the above principles develops habits of self-control, self-reliance, neatness, order, and punctuality, and creates respect for authority and confidence in superiors.

915. Punishment. In maintaining discipline, it must be remembered the object of punishment should be two-fold: (a) To prevent the commission of offenses, and (b) to reform the offender. Punishment should, therefore, in degree and character depend upon the nature of the offense. Punishment should not be debasing or illegal, and the penalty should be proportionate to the nature of the offense. If too great, it tends to arouse sympathy, and foster friends for the offender, thus encouraging a repetition of the offense. A distinction, therefore, should be made between the deliberate disregard of orders and regulations, and offenses which are the result of ignorance or thoughtlessness. In the latter case the punishment should be for the purpose of instruction and should not go to the extent of inflicting unnecessary humiliation and discouragement upon the offender.

General Principles

916. In the administration of discipline the following principles should be observed.

1. Everyone, officers and soldiers, should be required and made to perform their full duty. If the post commander, for instance, requires the company commanders to do their full duty, they will require their noncommissioned officers to do their full duty, and the noncommissioned officers will in turn require the men to do the same.

2. Subordinates should be held strictly responsible for the proper government and administration of their respective commands, and all changes or corrections should be made through them.

3. Subordinates should have exclusive control of their respective commands, and all orders, instructions and directions affecting their commands should be given through them.

4. If, in case of emergency, it be not practicable to make certain changes or corrections, or to give certain orders, instructions or directions, through the subordinates, they should be notified at once of what has been done.

[Pg 245]5. After a subordinate has been placed in charge of a certain duty, all instructions pertaining thereto should be given through him, and all meddling and interfering should be avoided. Interference by superiors relieves the subordinate of responsibility, and causes him to lose interest, become indifferent, and do no more than he is obliged to do.

6. The certainty of reward for, and appreciation of, meritorious conduct, should equal the certainty of punishment for dereliction of duty.

7. It is the duty of an officer or noncommissioned officer who gives an order to see that it is obeyed; carrying out orders received by him does not end with their perfunctory transmission to subordinates—this is only a small part of his duty. He must personally see that the orders so transmitted are made effective.

8. The treatment of soldiers should be uniform and just, and under no circumstances should a man be humiliated unnecessarily or abused. Reproof and punishment must be administered with discretion and judgment, and without passion; for an officer or noncommissioned officer who loses his temper and flies into a tantrum has failed to obtain his first triumph in discipline. He who can not control himself can not control others.

9. Punishment should invariably follow dereliction of duty, for the frequency of offenses depends, as a general rule, on the degree of certainty with which their commission is attended with punishment. When men know that their derelictions and neglects will be observed and reproved, they will be much more careful than they would be otherwise—that's human nature.

A strict adherence to the above general principles will instill into the minds of those concerned, respect for authority and a spirit of obedience.

[Pg 246]



[Pg 247]



917. Object of Training and Instruction. The object of training and instructing a company is to thoroughly knit together its different parts, its various elements (individuals, squads and platoons), into a complete, homogeneous mass, a cohesive unit, that will under any and all conditions and circumstances respond to the will of the captain—a cohesive unit that knows how to march, that knows how to live properly in camp, that knows how to fight and that can be readily handled tactically on the field of battle. In short, the object of training and instruction is to make out of the company an efficient, wieldy fighting weapon, to be manipulated by the captain. There is but one way this object can be obtained, and that is by work, work, work—and then more work—by constant care, attention and pains—by coöperation, by team work, among the officers, the noncommissioned officers and the privates.

918. Method and Progression. Arrangement is an essential of sound teaching. Training and instruction in order to be easily understood and readily assimilated—in order to give the greatest results in the shortest time—must be carried on according to a methodical and progressive plan. Each subject or subjects upon a knowledge of which depend the proper understanding and mastering of another, should be studied and mastered before taking up the other subject, and the elementary and simpler aspects of a given subject must be mastered before taking up the higher and more difficult phases of the subject, which means that individual training and instruction must precede, and provide a sound foundation for, collective training and instruction—that is to say, for the higher tactical training and instruction of the company as a unit. These basic, fundamental principles of successful training and instruction apply to practical as well as theoretical training. For instance, in the subject of entrenchments we would first instruct the men individually in the use of the tools and in the construction and use of the trenches, after which we would pass on to the tactical use of entrenchments by the company. Also, in training and instructing the company in fire discipline, we would first explain to the men the power and tactical value of the rifle, and instruct them in their duties on the firing line as regards adjustment of sights, attention to commands, economy of ammunition, etc.; we would explain to the platoon commanders and guides their duties as regards control of fire, enforcement of fire discipline, etc., after which we would practice the company as a unit in fire[Pg 248] action, and fire control, ending up with an exercise showing the tactical application of the rules and principles explained. And again, in the training and instruction of the company in the attack, we would first train and instruct the company in all the formations and operations that naturally precede an attack (patrolling, outposts, advance guard, rear guard), and also in those that form an inherent part of an attack (extended order, field firing, use of cover, etc.).

919. Program. The training and instruction of a company, whether practical or theoretical, should be carried on in accordance with a fixed, definite program, in which the subjects are arranged in a natural, progressive order.

920. Simultaneous Instruction and Training. The next question that presents itself is: Should instruction and training in each branch be completed before proceeding to the next, or should instruction and training be carried on simultaneously in two or more different subjects, as one, for example, are taught mathematics, French and history at the same time, a different hour of the day being devoted to each subject? In other words, should we, for instance, devote one hour of the day to attack, one hour to defense, and one hour to the service of security, thus preventing the soldier from getting weary of doing the same thing that whole day? Our answer is:

1st. If the instruction and training is being given on the ground where the application of the principles of any given subject is varied so much by the type of the ground and the nature of the situation, each type of ground affording a different solution of the problem, it is thought the best results can be obtained by finishing each subject before proceeding to the next, thus not losing the "atmosphere" of one subject by switching to the next, and also confusing the minds of the men with different principles.

2nd. However, if the instruction and training be theoretical and the time available each day be several hours, better results can be obtained by studying two or more subjects simultaneously. This would also be the case if the work be practical, but if it be such that the type of the ground and the nature of the situation will not of themselves afford variety in the application of the same principles.

921. Responsibility. The Army Regulations and War Department orders hold the company commander responsible for the training and instruction of the company. The subject is a most important one and should receive serious thought and study. Before admonishing one of your men for not knowing a subject, always ask yourself, "Have I made an effort to teach it to him?"

922. Interest. Special effort should be made to make the training and instruction of the company interesting, so that the work will not become monotonous and irksome, and thus cause the men to lose interest and get stale. To accomplish this, these points should be borne in mind:

Variety. Inject variety into the work. Do not keep the men too long at one thing.

Clearness. Every exercise, lesson or lecture should have in view a well-defined object, the meaning and importance of which must be explained to, and understood by, the men at the beginning of the exercise, lesson or lecture. In other words, at the beginning, explain the main,[Pg 249] governing idea of the subject, and then take pains to explain in a simple, conversational way each phase as you come to it. Give the reasons for everything. You can not expect men to take an interest in things the meaning of which they do not understand and the reason for which they do not see. Make sure by asking questions of different ones as you go along that your explanations are understood.

Thoroughness. Every lecture, talk, drill or exercise should be carefully planned and arranged beforehand. Remember, that the men who are going to listen to your talk—the men who are going to go through the exercise—have the right to expect this of you, and you have no right to compel them to listen to lots of disconnected, half-baked statements, or make them go through a disjointed exercise or drill. In the case of tactical exercises always, if practicable, visit and examine the terrain beforehand. Of course, all this will mean work—additional work—but remember the government pays you to work.

Reality. Make all practical work as real as possible—do not permit the commission of absurdities—do not let men do things which manifestly they would not be able to do in actual practice—and you yourself be sure to make your exercises and tactical scheme as like real conditions of warfare as possible.

923. Individual Initiative. The effective range and great power of modern firearms cause troops in battle to be spread out over large areas, thus decentralizing control over men and operations, and consequently increasing the value and importance of individual initiative. The company commander should, therefore, practice, accustom and encourage the privates, noncommissioned officers and lieutenants in the development and exercise of individual initiative and responsibility. This should be borne in mind in all training and instruction.

Officers, noncommissioned officers and privates must not "lay down" just because they have no specific orders. Remember, the one thing above all others that counts in war, is action, initiative. Indeed, 'tis better to have acted and lost than never to have acted at all. Listen to what the Chief of Staff of the Army has to say about this in the preface to the Field Service Regulations: "Officers and men of all ranks and grades are given a certain independence in the execution of the tasks to which they are assigned and are expected to show initiative in meeting the different situations as they arise. Every individual, from the highest commander to the lowest private, must always remember that inaction and neglect of opportunities will warrant more severe censure than an error in the choice of means."

924. Determination and Individual Intelligence. While the value of discipline can hardly be overestimated, there are two other factors in battle that are fully as important, if not more so, and they are, determination to win, and individual intelligence, which, in war, as in all other human undertakings, almost invariably spell success. Therefore, make these two factors one of the basic principles of the instruction and training of the company, and do all you can to instill into your men a spirit of determination, and to develop in them individual intelligence. Every human being has in his soul a certain amount of determination, even though it be only enough to determine upon the small things of[Pg 250] life. Some people are born with more determination than others, but it is a mistake to suppose that a man must remain through life with the same amount of determination that he brought into it. The attributes of the human mind, such as determination, bravery, ambition, energy, etc., are all capable of improvement and also of deterioration. It is essential therefore, for us to endeavor by all means in our power to improve our strength of character—our determination. It is, of course, useless for us to learn the art of war if we have not sufficient determination, when we meet the enemy, to apply the principles we have studied. There is no reason, however, why every officer, noncommissioned officer and private should not improve his determination of character by careful training in peace. It can only be done by facing the difficulties, thoroughly understanding the dangers, and asking ourselves repeatedly whether we are prepared to face the ordeal in war. Let us not think, in a vague sort of a way, that in war we shall be all right and do as well as most people. We know that we are not gifted with tremendous personal courage, and we know that, whatever happens, we shall not run away. But that is not enough. We must train ourselves to understand that in the hour of trial we can harden our hearts, that we can assume the initiative, and retain it by constant advance and constant attack; unless we can fill our hearts with the determination to win, we can not hope to do our full duty on the field of battle and acquit ourselves with credit.

925. The Human Element. No system of training and instruction that does not take into account human nature, can be thoroughly effective. The human element probably enters into war more than it does into any other pursuit. The old idea of turning a human being into a machine, by means of discipline, and making him dread his captain more than the enemy, died long ago, especially with the American people. In modern war success depends to a great extent upon the initiative, the individual action of the soldier and this action is greatly influenced by the soldier's state of mind at the moment, by the power that can be exercised over his mind by his comrades and those leading him. The company commander should, therefore, study the characteristics of the human mind with the object of ascertaining how he can influence the men under his command, so that in battle those human attributes which are favorable to success, may be strengthened and those which are favorable to defeat may be weakened. Of the former, courage, determination, initiative, respect, cheerfulness, comradeship, emulation and esprit de corps, are the principal ones; of the latter, fear, surprise, disrespect, and dejection, are the leading ones. By means of good, sound discipline, we can create, improve and foster the qualities mentioned that are favorable to success, and we can eliminate to a considerable extent, if not entirely, those that are detrimental to success.

926. Fear. The emotion of fear acts more powerfully upon the feelings of the individual soldier than any other emotion, and it is also probably the most infectious. Fear in a mild form is present in every human being. Nature wisely put it there, and society could not very well get along without it. For example, we stop and look up and down a crowded street before starting to cross, for fear of being run over; in going out in the cold we put on our overcoats, for fear of catching cold.[Pg 251] In fact, we hardly do anything in life without taking a precaution of some kind. These are all examples of reasonable fear, which, within bounds is a perfectly legitimate attribute of a soldier in common with other human beings. For example, we teach the men to take advantage of cover when attacking, and we dig trenches when on the defense, in both cases for fear of being shot by the enemy. It is the unreasoning type of fear that plays havoc in war, and the most deadly and common form of it is a vague, indefinite, nameless dread of the enemy. If the average man was to analyze his feelings in war and was to ask himself if he were actually afraid of being killed, he would probably find that he was not. The ordinary soldier is prepared to take his chance, with a comfortable feeling inside him, that, although no doubt a number of people will be killed and wounded, he will escape. If, then, a man is not unreasonably afraid of being killed or wounded, is it not possible by proper training and instruction to overcome this vague fear of the enemy? Experience shows that it is. If a soldier is suffering from this vague fear of the enemy, it will at least be a consolation to him to know that a great many other soldiers, including those belonging to the enemy, are suffering in a similar manner, and that they are simply experiencing one of the ordinary characteristics of the human mind. If the soldier in battle will only realize that the enemy is just as much afraid of him as he is of the enemy, reason is likely to assert itself and to a great extent overcome the unpleasant feelings inside him. General Grant, in his Memoirs, relates a story to the effect that in one of his early campaigns he was seized with an unreasonable fear of his enemy, and was very much worried as to what the enemy was doing, when, all at once, it dawned upon him that his enemy was probably worrying equally as much about what he, Grant, was doing, and was probably as afraid as he was, if not even more so, and the realization of this promptly dispelled all of his, Grant's, fear. Confidence in one's ability to fight well will also do much to neutralize fear, and if a soldier knows that he can shoot better, march better, and attack better, than his opponent, the confidence of success that he will, as a result, feel will do much to dispel physical fear. By sound and careful training and instruction make your men efficient and this efficiency will give them confidence in themselves, confidence in their rifles, confidence in their bayonets, confidence in their comrades and confidence in their officers.

The physical methods of overcoming fear in battle are simply to direct the men's minds to other thoughts by giving them something for their bodies and limbs to do. It is a well-known saying that a man in battle frequently regains his lost courage by repeatedly firing off his rifle, which simply means that his thoughts are diverted by physical movements. This is no doubt one of the reasons why the attack is so much more successful in war than the defense, because in the attack the men are generally moving forward and having their minds diverted by physical motion from this vague dread of the enemy.

927. Courage. Courage, like all other human characteristics, is very infectious, and a brave leader who has no fear of the enemy will always get more out of his men than one who is not so well equipped in that respect. However, it is a well-known fact that a man may be brave[Pg 252] far above his fellows in one calling or occupation, and extremely nervous in another. For example, a man may have greatly distinguished himself in the capture of a fort, who would not get on a horse for fear of being kicked off. Courage of this kind is induced chiefly by habit or experience—the man knows the dangers and how to overcome them, he has been through similar experiences before and he has come out of them with a whole skin. This type of courage can be developed by careful training during peace, and it can be increased by self-confidence—by so training the soldier that he knows and feels he will know what to do in any emergency which may arise, and how to do it; he will not be surprised by the unexpected event, which invariably occurs, and he will understand others besides himself are being troubled by unpleasant feelings, which it is his duty as a man and a soldier to overcome.

928. Surprise. Surprise may be said to be the mother of a panic, which is the worst form of fear. In such a case unreasoning fear sometimes turns into temporary insanity. Panic is most infectious, but, on the other hand, a panic can often be averted or stayed by the courageous action of one or more individuals, who can thus impose their will on the mass and bring the people to a reasonable state of mind. Teach every man in the company that when surprised the only hope of success is to obey at once and implicitly the orders of his immediate commander.

Surprises in war are not limited to the ordinary acceptance of the term, such as a sudden attack from an unexpected direction. The soldier who goes into battle, for instance, and hears the whiz of a bullet, or sees a shell burst in front of him, is surprised if he has not been taught in peace that these things have to be faced, and that for one bullet that hurts anyone thousands have to be fired. Similarly, a man sees a comrade knocked over; the horrors of war are immediately brought to him, and his courage begins to ebb—he has been surprised, because he has not realized in peace that men are bound to be killed in war. The whole atmosphere of the battlefield is a surprise to the average soldier with no previous experience—the enemy is everywhere, behind every bush, and lurking in every bit of cover, the air is full of bullets, and any advance towards the formidable-looking position held by the enemy is suicidal. However, if the soldier is properly trained and instructed in peace, he will not be greatly surprised at his novel surroundings; he will know that the enemy is not everywhere, and that one bullet sounds much more dangerous than it really is. A bullet sounds quite close when it is fifty yards away, and there is a popular saying that a man's weight in lead is fired for every man that is killed in war.

929. Respect. It is a mistake to imagine that all that is required from a soldier is respect to his officers and noncommissioned officers. Self-respect is fully as important. A soldier is a human being; if he possesses self-respect he will respect all that is good in his comrades, and they will respect all that is good in him. A man who respects himself knows how to respect other people. These are the men that form the backbone of the company, and are the best material on which to work in order to raise the general standard of courage in Battle. From a purely military point of view, it is absolutely necessary for an[Pg 253] officer, noncommissioned officer, or private to possess some marked military qualifications in order to gain respect from others.

This respect engenders confidence in others. Self-respect in the individual can be encouraged, not by fulsome praise, but by a quiet appreciation of the good military qualities displayed by him, and by making use of those qualities whenever an opportunity occurs. For example, if a soldier is seen to do a good piece of scouting or patrolling, the first opportunity should be taken to give him a similar task, if possible in a more responsible position or on a more important occasion. Knowledge is a powerful factor in creating respect, and is probably second only to determination of character. It is essential, therefore, that all officers and noncommissioned officers should have a thorough knowledge of their duties—that they should be "on to their jobs."

930. Cheerfulness. Cheerfulness is a valuable military asset in war, and like all other characteristics of the human being, is very infectious, and in times of depression, such as during a long siege, or after the failure of an attack, it does more than anything else to restore the fighting power of the men.

931. Contentment. Contentment amongst troops in war is dependent upon these main factors: good leading, good food, and sufficient shelter and sleep. Of these, good leading is by far the most important, because it has been proved time and again that badly fed and badly quartered troops, who have suffered great hardships, will still be content and will fight in the most gallant and vigorous manner, provided they are well led. Although good leading emanates in the first instance from the highest military authorities, a great deal depends upon the company officers and noncommissioned officers. A good leader as a rule is careful of the comforts of his men; he obtains the best food and best shelter available, he does not wear out the men by unnecessary movements or unnecessary work, either in the field or in camp, and consequently when he does order them to do anything they know at once that it is necessary and they do it cheerfully.

932. Comradeship. Comradeship is a very valuable military characteristic. What a world of meaning there is in the words, "Me and my bunkie." A soldier may have many acquaintances and a number of friends, but he has but one "bunkie." In times of great danger two men who are "bunkies" will not shirk so easily as two independent men. The best in one man comes out to the surface and dominates any bad military points in the other. They can help each other in countless ways in war, and if one is unfortunately killed or wounded, the other will probably do his best to get even with the enemy at the earliest possible opportunity. This spirit may not be very Christianlike, but it is very human and practical, and helps to win battles, and to win battles is the only reason why soldiers go to war.


933. Advantages. Whenever practicable, training and instruction should, in whole or in part, be imparted on the ground, as this gives the instruction a practical aspect that is most valuable, and enables the soldier[Pg 254] to grasp and apply principles that he would not otherwise understand. Knowledge that a man can not apply has no value.

934. Different Methods. Instruction on the ground may be given according to one of these three methods:

1st Method. By means of a talk or lecture prepare the minds of the men for the reception and retention of the subject to be explained later on the ground. In other words, first explain the principles of the subject and then put a "clincher" on the information thus imparted by taking the men to some suitable ground, assuming certain situations and then by quizzing different men see how they would apply the principles just explained in the talk or lecture. For example, after a lecture on the selection of fire-positions take the men to some suitable nearby place and explain to them that the company is attacking toward that house and is being fired upon from that direction. Then continue:

Captain: Remember what I told you about the selection of good fire-positions during the advance. We want to use our rifles with effect, so we must be able to see the position of the enemy. On the other hand, we want to avoid being hit ourselves, if possible; so, we would like to get as much cover as possible. Now, Smith, do you think where we are at present standing is a good place for a fire-position?

Smith: No, sir.

Captain: Why not?

Smith: We can see the enemy from here, but he can see us better than we can see him, and can hit us easier than we can hit him.

Captain: Jones, can you choose a better place, either to the front or rear of where we are now standing?

Jones: I would choose a position along that row of bushes, about fifty yards to the front.

Captain: Why?

Jones: Because, etc., etc.

Twenty minutes' instruction in this manner, after a lecture, will firmly fix in the brains of the men the principles explained in the lecture.

It is a good plan to repeat the salient points of the lecture in the questions, as was done in the first question asked above, or to do so in some other way.

If a man can not give an answer, or choose a suitable place, explain the requirements again and help him to use his common sense.

2d Method. By practicing the men on the ground in the subject about which the talk or lecture was delivered.

3d Method. This may be called the ocular demonstration method, which consists in having a part of the company go through the exercise or drill, while the rest of the company observes what is being done. This method is illustrated by the following example:

935. Attack. The company commander has just delivered a talk to the company on the second stage of the attack, and has marched the company to a piece of ground suitable for practicing this particular operation, and which the company commander has himself visited beforehand (The ground should always be visited beforehand by the company commander, who should be thoroughly familiar with it. If possible, ground suitable for practicing the operation in question should always be selected.)[Pg 255] The operation should begin about 1200 yards from the enemy's position. After pointing out the enemy's position to the company, the particular part of his line it is intended to assault and the direction the company is to advance, the company commander would then proceed something like this: "We are part of a battalion taking part in a battle, and there are companies to our right and left, with a support and reserve in our rear. So far we have been advancing over ground that is exposed to hostile artillery fire (or not exposed to hostile artillery fire, according to the actual country). We have just come under the enemy's infantry fire also, and consequently we must change our method of advancing. Our immediate object is to get forward, without expending more ammunition than is absolutely necessary, to a position close enough to the enemy to enable us to use our rifles with such deadly effect that we will be able to gain a superiority of fire. Now, is this place sufficiently close for the purpose? No, it is not—it's entirely too far away. Is that next ridge just in front of us close enough? No, it is not; it is at least 1,000 yards from the enemy's position. As a rule, we must get from eight to six hundred yards from the enemy's position before the real struggle for superiority of fire begins.

"The following are the main points to which attention must be paid during this part of the advance:

"1. We must halt in good fire position from which we can see and fire at the enemy, and from which we can not be seen very clearly.

"2. We must advance very rapidly over any open ground that is exposed to the enemy's artillery or rifle fire.

"3. We must find halting places, if possible under cover, or under the best cover available, so as to avoid making our forward rushes so long that the men will get worn out, and begin to straggle long before they get close enough to the enemy to use their rifles with deadly effect.

"4. Whenever possible, company scouts should be sent on ahead to select fire-positions."

Of course, the above points will have been explained already in the lecture, but this short summary is given in order to focus the minds of the men upon the action that must be taken by the privates, and squad leaders and the platoon commanders.

We now take one platoon and the remainder of the company looks on. The platoon commander is reminded that he is under artillery and infantry fire, and is then directed to advance, in proper formation, to the first fire-position available.

We will suppose there is a gentle slope up to the next ridge or undulation of the ground, and that there are no obstructions to the view except those afforded by the ground itself. The platoon now advances, the captain remaining with the rest of the company, pointing out mistakes as well as good points, and asking the men questions, such as:

Captain: Corporal Smith, should the whole platoon have gone forward together, or would it have been better to advance by squads?

Corporal Smith: I think it should have advanced by squads.

Captain: No, it was all right to advance as they did. At this distance the enemy's infantry fire would not be very deadly, the platoon is well extended as skirmishers, it would take considerably longer to go[Pg 256] forward to the next position by successive squads and we want to advance at this stage as rapidly as possible; for, the longer we took, the longer would the men be exposed to fire, and consequently the greater would be the number of casualties.

Captain: Sergeant Jones, why did the platoon advance at a run when moving down the slope, and begin to walk just before reaching the foot of the slope?

Sergeant Jones: Because the slope is exposed and it was necessary to get over it as quickly as possible. They began to walk just before reaching the foot of the slope, because they struck dead ground and were covered from the enemy's fire by the ridge in front.

Captain: Corporal Adams, shouldn't the platoon have halted when it reached cover, so as to give the men a rest?

Corporal Adams: No, sir; the men had not run very far and walking gave them sufficient rest. It would have been an unnecessary loss of time to halt.

Captain: Harris, why did that man run on ahead as soon as the platoon halted?

Pvt. Harris: So he could creep up the crest of the ridge and lie down in exactly the spot that is the best fire-position—that is, where he can just see to fire over the crest and where the enemy can not see him.

Captain: Yes, that's right. All the men in the platoon might not stop at the best fire-position and in the hurry and excitement of the moment the platoon commander might also fail to do so, but if a man goes forward and lies down, the whole platoon knows that they must not go beyond him. Individual men who, owing to slight undulations of ground, may not be able to fire when they halt in line with this man, can creep up until they can see. Others who, for the same reason as regards the ground, find that if they get up on a line with the man they will be unduly exposed, will halt before that time.

Captain: Sergeant Roberts, is it necessary for another platoon to provide covering fire during the advance of the platoon?

Sergeant Roberts: No sir. At this range the enemy's infantry fire would not be very effective, and it is important to husband our ammunition for the later stages of the attack.

Having asked any other questions suggested by the situation or the ground, the captain will then take the rest of the company forward over the ground covered by the platoon, halting at the place where the platoon changed its pace from a rush to a walk, so that the men can see for themselves that cover from fire has been reached. He will then move the rest of the company forward and tell them to halt and lie down in what each man considers to be the best fire-position, not necessarily adopting the same position as that chosen by the leading platoon. The platoon commanders will then go along their platoons and point out any mistakes.

The leading platoon will now join the company and another platoon will be deployed in the fire position, the platoon commander being directed to advance to the next fire-position.

As we are now about 1,000 yards from the enemy's position the question will again arise as to whether covering fire is necessary.

[Pg 257]If the enemy's rifle fire were heavy and accurate it might be necessary, but it should be avoided if possible, on account of the expenditure of ammunition.

We will suppose that the ground falls gently towards the enemy and is very exposed to view for about 300 yards, and half this distance away there is a low bank running parallel to the front of the attack and with a small clump of three or four trees on the bank directly in front of the platoon. Four hundred yards away is the bottom of the valley covered with bushes and shrubs. On the far side the ground rises with small undulations and low foot hills to the high ground occupied by the enemy.

There appears to be no marked fire-position which will afford any cover except the bank 150 yards away. The second platoon advances in the same manner as did the first and the captain with the commanders of the remaining platoons will continue to ask questions and point out what has been done right or wrong by the leading platoon. The first question which will arise is whether the platoon can reach the fire position offered by the bank in one rush, and secondly, whether the bank is a good fire-position. A former question will again crop up as to whether the whole platoon should go forward at once or whether the advance should be made by squads.

A hundred and fifty yards is a long way to advance without a halt, and if a halt is made on such exposed ground fire must be opened. Probably three advances, each of about fifty yards, would be made, covering fire being provided by the other platoons, which will be occupying the fire-position which the leading platoon has just left. This covering fire would not endanger the leading platoon as it would be delivered from just behind the crest and the leading platoon would be over the crest and out of sight and therefore out of fire from the platoon in rear.

The selection of a fire-position during this advance would depend upon very minute folds of the ground, or very low bushes, grass, etc., which might give a certain amount of cover from view, and therefore make it difficult for the enemy to aim or range accurately. We will suppose that the leading platoon has halted to fire about fifty yards in front, the remaining platoons, in turn, should then be taken forward, examining the ground very carefully as they go, and each platoon commander asked to halt his platoon in what he considers to be the best place.

The possibility of using a scout to select a fire-position would be considered, and a fire-position selected by one platoon would be compared with that selected by another.

The third platoon would then lead during the advance to the next fire-position, and so on with the fourth platoon, if necessary, until the bank was reached. The bank will afford a good deal of material for discussion. Is it a good fire-position or is it not, should it be occupied as such or should it be avoided altogether?

If we ask an artillery officer his opinion about the matter, he will tell us that by means of the clump of trees the defenders' artillery will be able to range with absolute accuracy on that bank. The direction of the bank is parallel to their front, and therefore they can fire at any part of it for some distance right and left of the clump without materially[Pg 258] altering their range, and if any infantry occupy the bank they can bring a very deadly fire to bear against them.

There appears to be no doubt, from an artillery point of view, that our platoon should avoid occupying it and get out of its neighborhood as rapidly as possible.

There is another drawback as regards the bank: it is some 850 yards from the enemy's position and may be expected to be under an effective rifle fire. It is no doubt a good mark for the enemy, and, now we come to the crux of the whole matter; his artillery and infantry fire might not do us much damage so long as we remain behind the bank, but they might make it very unpleasant for us directly we try to leave this cover and advance further.

Before finally deciding what to do we must consider human nature, which is entirely in favor of halting behind the bank, and if allowed to remain there long, will be opposed to leaving it. We cannot hope to gain superiority of fire over the enemy at a range of 850 yards, so that a long halt at the bank is out of the question. But it appears to be an extraordinary thing, when we are searching everywhere for cover, that we should be doubtful about occupying such good cover when we find it.

If we decide not to occupy it, the logical conclusion is that, when preparing a position for defense, we should construct a good fire-position for the attack some 850 yards away, which is the last thing we should think of doing.

There is no doubt about it, that with badly-trained troops such a fire-position would be liable to become a snare, and that if they once occupied it, there would be great difficulty in getting them forward again, and probably the attack would be brought to a standstill at a critical time.

The answer appears to be found in the simple solution of good training. We must teach our men that when they get into such positions they must use the cover afforded, but for no longer than any other fire-position, and that they must get into the habit in peace of looking upon such localities with suspicion, and with the knowledge that they are not suitable for lengthy occupation in war, if the battle is to be won.

We now come to a still more difficult question of training, namely, how far can the company get forward from the bank without being compelled to stop in order to gain superiority of fire over the defense? In war we want to get as close as possible; the moral effect on the defense is greater, our fire is more effective, and we are likely to gain our object more rapidly. In peace there is no fire to stop us, and we move forward to ridiculous positions which we could not possibly reach in war without first gaining superiority of fire. The result of this is that we try to do the same thing when first we go to war, and we are stopped, probably much further back than we should have been if we had studied the question in peace.

Even on the most open ground we must get to within 600 yards of the enemy, and if the ground affords any cover in front, the exposed space must be rushed and the more forward position gained. Having pointed out this difficulty to the company during the previous lecture, and reminded them of it on the ground, we can now extend the whole company and move forward from the bank, using covering fire and letting[Pg 259] each platoon commander decide how far he can get to the front after a series of rushes, the company acting as a whole.

The captain can then go down the line and discuss with each platoon the position it has reached. Whilst he is doing this, the remaining platoons can be trained in fire direction and control, which should be carefully watched and criticized by the platoon commanders. One platoon, owing to the nature of the ground in front of it, can get forward further than other platoons, and this should be brought home to each platoon, so as to avoid the possibility of playing the game of follow your leader, and one platoon halting merely because another has halted.

If there is still time available, and the ground is suitable, the company can be moved to a flank to choose a similar fire-position where the ground is more favorable to an advance, and where the company could get within 300 yards of the enemy, or even less, before it would be absolutely necessary to stop in order to gain superiority of fire.

If there is still time available, and the ground is suitable, the whole operation can be carried out in the opposite direction or in some other direction, and the platoons can thus be trained to appreciate that fire-positions which are good in one place are bad in another.

936. Defense. Demonstrations in defense can be carried out in a similar manner, the captain explaining to the company the general line of defense to be taken up, the portion allotted to the company, and the probable direction of the enemy's attack.

The coöperation of the artillery and infantry will have been pointed out in the previous lecture: how some part of the enemy's advance will be dealt with by artillery alone, some part by both artillery and infantry, and some part by infantry alone.

This can now be pointed out to the men on the ground. Having considered the assistance provided by the artillery, the next point to decide upon is the exact position of the fire trench. The best way to proceed is to allot a certain portion of the front occupied by the company to each platoon and to let the platoon commanders take charge of the operations. The platoon commander can direct one of his squads to select a position for the trench, and that squad can lie down there. The remaining squads will then select a position in turn. If two squads select the same they can lie down together. The platoon commander will then fall in his platoon, and make them lie down in the most retired position chosen; he will ask the squad leader why the squad chose that locality in preference to any other, why they did not go ten yards further forward or ten yards further back; and he will explain to the whole platoon the advantages and disadvantages of selecting this locality. He will then move the whole platoon forward to the next position chosen by another squad and deal with that locality. Finally, he will select the position he thinks the best, giving his reasons why he has decided upon it, and place the whole platoon on it. When all the platoons have decided upon their line of defense, the captain will move the whole company in turn from the ground occupied by one platoon to that occupied by another, asking the platoon commander in each case to explain why the position was chosen in preference to any other.

[Pg 260]He will give his decision as regards each platoon, and he will finally arrange for the position to be occupied by the whole company. One platoon, for some good reason, may have chosen a place which it would not be safe to occupy, owing to the fire of another platoon on the flank. Another platoon may have chosen a place which was very good as regards the field of fire in a direction which was already adequately defended by another platoon, but which had a bad field of fire over ground which no other platoon could fire upon. The company commander would adjust all these matters, and in the end one or more platoons might not be placed in the best position as regards their own particular front, but in the best as regards the whole company.

Having decided upon the exact site of the trenches and the general distribution of fire, the next matter to consider is the amount of clearing that is necessary, and the position and nature of any obstacles which may be required. Each platoon commander having been allotted a definite fire zone, can point out to his platoon what clearance is necessary; he can then ask each squad, as before, to choose the position for the obstacle. The company commander can then take the whole company to the position occupied by each platoon and tell the platoon commander to explain what ground they propose to clear, where they propose to place their obstacle, the material available for its construction, and in every case the reason why the decision has been arrived at. If digging is permitted, the trenches will now be constructed, and care will be taken that they are actually finished. It is far better to work overtime than to construct trenches which would be of little use in war and could not be properly defended. It is the exception rather than the rule to see trenches properly finished, fit for occupation, and capable of resisting a heavy attack. If the trenches cannot be dug the company can be taken to another part of the same position, where the ground in front is totally different, and the exercise can be repeated, the platoon and company commanders pointing out why a fire trench which was well sited in the first case would be badly sited if a similar position was selected in the second case.

937. Outpost. We can now turn to the method of training the company in outpost duty, making use of the same system of demonstration. Having pointed out to the company the locality where the main body is bivouacked, the fighting position which the main body will occupy in case a heavy attack is made against the outposts, and the general line of the outposts, the company commander will indicate on the ground the extent of front which is to be guarded by his company, stating whether imaginary companies continue the position on one or both flanks. He will point out the possible avenues of approach from the direction of the enemy to that portion of the position to be occupied by the company, and state from which direction the enemy is most likely to advance and why.

The first point to decide is the number of outguards and their exact position. In war this would always be done by the company commander, but if it is desired to give the junior officers of the company some instruction in this important detail, they should be sent out before the company arrives on the ground to reconnoiter the position and make their decisions. The exact siting of the trenches for the out[Pg 261]guards, the construction of obstacles, and the clearance of the foreground having been decided upon and the positions selected for each outguard discussed, and a definite site selected, the next question to decide is the number and position of the sentries.

The platoon commander would then take each scheme in turn, visit with the whole platoon each position selected for the sentry, and decide finally what it would be best to do, giving, as usual, his reasons.

Having decided upon the positions of the sentries, and their line of retreat, so as not to mask the fire of the outguard, the next matter to consider would be the number of patrols that are required, and the particular areas of ground that must be examined by them periodically. The necessary trenches, obstacles, etc., would then be constructed.

Finally, the whole company should be assembled, marched to the position chosen for each outguard and the reasons for selecting the position explained by the company commander. The company should then be told off as an outpost company, and divided into outguards, supports, if any, and the necessary sentries over arms, patrols, etc., and marched to their respective posts.

If there is still time available each platoon commander can reconnoiter the ground for suitable positions for his outguards by night, take the outguards there, explain why the change of position is desirable, and direct the outguard commanders with their outguards to select positions for the sentries, following the same procedure as by day.

Although it is quite correct to select positions for night outposts during daylight, when possible, they should never be definitely occupied by the company before dark, when the forward movement could not be observed by the enemy. To practice night outposts by day is bad instruction, outguards and sentries are placed in positions which appear ridiculous to the ordinary mind, and the men get confused ideas on the subject. When it is desired to practice day and night outposts as an advanced exercise it is advisable to commence work in the afternoon, establish the day outposts, reconnoiter for the night outposts, make the change after dark and construct the necessary trenches, obstacles, etc., after dark.

It is, however, extremely important that the patrols should get to know their way about the country in front during the daylight, when possible, so that they will have some practice in recognizing land marks by night.

It frequently occurs, when training the company in outpost duties, that periods elapse during which the outguards are doing nothing. These opportunities should be taken to instruct the men in their duties when ordered to patrol to the front, the same system of demonstration being employed. For instance, the officer or noncommissioned officer commanding a piquet can select three men, point out certain ground in front which the sentries cannot see and which must be examined by a patrol, and proceed to instruct the whole picket in the best manner of carrying out this work. We will suppose that the patrol is working by day and that the ground to be visited is behind a small hill some 500 yards in front of the sentry. The commander of the picket will then explain to the men that the first object of the patrol is to reach the ground to[Pg 262] be examined without being seen by any hostile patrols which may be moving about in front. Before proceeding further it is necessary for the patrol to decide upon the best line of advance. The various lines of advance will be discussed and the patrol asked to decide which they would select. Three other men can then be asked to give their opinion, and so on until all the men of the picket have expressed their views. The commander of the picket will then state which he considers the best line and give his reasons.

The next matter to decide is the method of advance to be adopted by the patrol. Are the three men to march past the sentry in one body and walk straight over the hill in front? If they do this there may be a hostile patrol hiding just behind the crest, watching the movements of our patrol, and directly the latter reach the hill they will be covered by the rifles of the hostile patrol at a few yards' range and will be captured or shot.

If the patrol is not to advance in one body how is it to act? There is plenty of time available, so that there are no objections to deliberate methods. The patrol should advance from cover to cover with one man always going forward protected by the rifles of the remaining two men who have halted in a good position to fire on any enemy that can fire on the leading man. The leading man having readied the cover in front will signal back all clear, and the two men in the rear will join him. They will then make their next advance in a similar manner.

By looking at the hill the patrol can make a good guess at the locality which a hostile patrol would select if it was on the hill. It would be a place where it could get a good view towards our outpost line, and where the patrol could not be seen itself from the outpost line. If the hill was quite bare with nothing but grass on it and flat round top, the best place for the enemy's patrol would be exactly on the top just behind the crest. In such a position he could not be seen by any sentry to the right or left of our picket. For example, if the hostile patrol chose a place on the side of the bare slope of the hill and looked over the crest line it would not be seen by our sentry, but it might be seen by another one on the flank.

The object of our patrol would be to approach the hill, not direct from the outguard, but either from the left or right of the hill and thus come on the flank of the enemy's patrol if he was there.

The whole picket can then be taken out to the front and follow the movements of the patrol from cover to cover until the hill is reached.

The next step will be to ascertain if there is any one on the top of the hill. If the hill is perfectly bare with a somewhat convex slope, it would be best for the three men to extend to about twenty yards interval and move forward together, prepared to drop on the first sign of the enemy, so that they can creep up and open fire on him without exposing themselves. Three men with magazine rifles extended in this manner, opposed to a hostile patrol collected in one party, should be able to deal with the latter without much difficulty. Their fire would be converging, and coming from different directions would confuse the hostile patrol, especially if the advance was made from a flank. The men of the patrol when creeping up the hill should avoid[Pg 263] exposing themselves in the direction of the ground behind the hill, if possible, because they want to examine that ground later on, and if seen by the enemy they might fall into an ambuscade. If it is impossible to avoid being seen from the ground beyond, it would be best for the patrol to retire as though they were going back to the outposts, and then move round the flank of the hill and advance to the ground beyond from an unexpected direction. All this would be considered by the officer or noncommissioned officer commanding the picket, together with many other points.

Sufficient has been said to explain how this system of demonstration can be worked in connection with any class of operation in the field. It is certainly slow, and takes a long time, but no one is ever idle and every one is constantly learning something fresh, for the simple reason that, although one may know every detail of the subject, the ground constantly differs and requires to be dealt with in a common sense and skillful manner. The men are interested throughout, and one morning spent on this kind of work is worth several days of practice in the ordinary manner.

It should be remembered that this system of demonstration is only required to teach the men their work; when they have once learned it and thoroughly understand the necessary details they must be practiced in it, the company or platoon commander indicating what has been well done, what has been badly done, and what requires improvement. (See "Outposts," Par. 1051.)


938. The following illustrations will suggest other examples of the employment of the ocular demonstration method of instruction:

The advantages and disadvantages of close and extended order. Send a lieutenant or a noncommissioned officer with two or three squads of the older soldiers some distance to the front of the company, and have them advance toward the company, first in close order and then in extended order.

By ocular demonstration show the men who are watching the approach of the company how easy it would be even for the poorest shots to land bullets in the thick of a closed body, but how much of a less distinct target the extended order offers and how many spaces there are in the skirmish line for the bullets to pass through; also, how much more easily cover can be employed and the rifle used in the extended order. Let them see also how much more difficult it is for the officers and noncommissioned officers to maintain control over the movements of troops in extended order, and the consequent necessity and duty of every soldier, when in extended order, doing all he can, by attention and exertion, to keep order and help his officers and noncommissioned officers to gain success.

939. The Use of Cover. Send a lieutenant or noncommissioned officer with a couple of squads of old soldiers a few hundred yards to the front and have them advance on the company as if attacking, first without taking advantage of cover and then taking advantage of all available cover, the part of the company that is supposed to be attacked lying down and aiming and snapping at the approaching soldiers. Then[Pg 264] reverse the operation—send the defenders out and have them advance on the former attackers. Explain that the requisites of good cover are: Ability to see the enemy; concealment of your own body; ability to use the rifle readily. Then have a number of men take cover and snap at an enemy in position, represented by a few old soldiers. Point out the defects and the good points in each case.

940. Practice in Commanding Mixed Squads. In order to practice noncommissioned officers in commanding mixed firing squads, and in order to drill the privates in banding themselves together and obeying the orders of anyone who may assume command, it is good training for two or more companies to practice reënforcing each other by one company assuming a given fire-position and the other sending up reënforcements by squads, the men being instructed to take positions anywhere on the firing line where they may find an opening. However, explain to the men that whenever possible units should take their positions on the firing line as a whole, but that in practice it is very often impossible to do this, and that the drill is being given so as to practice the noncommissioned officers in commanding mixed units on the firing line and also to give the privates practice in banding themselves into groups and obeying the command of any noncommissioned officer who may be over them.

941. Operating Against Other Troops. There is no better way of arousing interest, enthusiasm, and pride in training troops than by creating a feeling of friendly rivalry and competition amongst the men, and the best way to do this is to have one part of the company operate against the other in all such practical work as scouting, patrolling, attacking, etc. Whenever practicable, blank ammunition should be used. One of the sides should wear a white handkerchief around the hat or some other distinguishing mark. The troops that are sent out must be given full and explicit instructions as to just exactly what they are to do, so that the principles it is intended to illustrate may be properly brought out.


[10] This chapter is based on "Company Training," by General Haking, British Army, which is the best book the author has ever seen on the subject of company training. "Field Training of a Company of Infantry," by Major Craufurd, British Army, an excellent little book, was also consulted.

[Pg 265]



942. To begin with, you want to bear in mind that there is nothing difficult, complicated or mysterious about applied minor tactics—it is just simply the application of plain, every-day, common horse sense—the whole thing consists in familiarizing yourself with certain general principles based on common sense and then applying them with common sense. Whatever you do, don't make the mistake of following blindly rules that you have read in books.

943. One of the ablest officers in the Army has recently given this definition of the Art of War:

The man who would be successful in business must understand men and apply certain general business principles with common sense; the man who would be a successful hunter must understand game and apply certain general hunting principles with common sense, and even the man who would be a successful fisherman must understand fish and apply certain general fishing principles with common sense. And so likewise the man who would lead other men successfully in battle must understand men and apply certain general tactical principles with common sense.

Of course, the only reason for the existence of an army is the possibility of war some day, and everything the soldier does—his drills, parades, target practice, guard duty, schools of instruction, etc.—has in view only one end: The preparation of the soldier for the field of battle.

944. While the responsibilities of officers and noncommissioned officers in time of peace are important, in time of battle they are much more so: for then their mistakes are paid for in human blood.

What would you think of a pilot who was not capable of piloting a boat trying to pilot a boat loaded with passengers; or, of an engineer who was not capable of running a locomotive trying to run a passenger train? You would, of course, think him a criminal—but do you think he would be more criminal than the noncommissioned officer who is not capable of leading a squad in battle but who tries to do so, thereby sacrificing the lives of those under him?

[Pg 266]You can, therefore, appreciate the importance, the necessity, of every officer and noncommissioned officer doing everything that he possibly can during times of peace to qualify himself for his duties and responsibilities during times of war.

If we are going to have a good army we must have good regiments; to have good regiments we must have good battalions; to have good battalions we must have good companies—but to have good companies we must have efficient company officers and noncommissioned officers.

As stated before, everything in the life of the soldier leads to the field of battle. And so it is that in the subject of minor tactics all instruction leads to the battle. First we have map problems; then terrain exercises; next the war game; after that maneuvers, and finally the battle.

945. Map Problems and Terrain Exercises. In the case of map problems you are given tactical problems to solve on a map; in the case of terrain exercises you are given problems to solve on the ground. (The word "Terrain," means earth, ground.) These are the simplest forms of tactical problems, as you have only one phase of the action, your information is always reliable and your imaginary soldiers always do just exactly what you want them to do.

946. War Game. Next comes the war game, which consists of problems solved on maps, but you have an opponent who commands the enemy—the phases follow one another rapidly and the conditions change—your information is not so complete and reliable. However, your men being slips of cardboard or beads, they will, as in the case of your imaginary soldiers in the map problems and terrain exercises, go where you wish them to and do what you tell them to do—they can't misunderstand your instructions and go wrong—they don't straggle and get careless as real soldiers sometimes do.

Map problems, terrain exercises and war games are but aids to maneuvers—their practice makes the maneuvers better; for you thus learn the principles of tactics and in the simplest and quickest way.

947. Maneuvers. In the case of the maneuver the problem is the same as in the war game, except that you are dealing with real, live men whom you can not control perfectly, and there is, therefore, much greater chance for mistakes.

948. The battle. A battle is only a maneuver to which is added great physical danger and excitement.

General rules and principles that must be applied in map problems, terrain exercises, the war game and maneuvers

949. Everything that is done must conform in principle to what should be done in battle—otherwise your work is wasted—your time is thrown away.

In solving map problems and in the war game, always form in your mind a picture of the ground where the action is supposed to be taking place—imagine that you see the enemy, the various hills, streams, roads, etc., that he is firing at you, etc.—and don't do anything that you[Pg 267] would not be able to do if you were really on the ground and really in a fight.

Whether it be a corporal in command of a squad or a general in command of an army, in the solution of a tactical problem, whether it be a map problem, a terrain exercise, a war game, maneuver or battle, he will have to go through the same operation:

At first these three steps of the operation may appear difficult and laborious, but after a little practice the mind, which always works with rapidity in accustomed channels, performs them with astonishing quickness.

The child beginning the study of arithmetic, for example, is very slow in determining the sum of 7 and 8, but later the answer is announced almost at sight. The same is true in tactical problems—the process may be slow at first, but with a little practice it becomes quick and easy.

950. Estimating the Situation. This is simply "sizing up the situation," finding out what you're "up against," and is always the first thing to be done. It is most important, and in doing it the first step is to determine your MISSION—what you are to do, what you are to accomplish—the most important consideration in any military situation.

Consider next your own forces and that of the enemy—that is, his probable strength and how it compares with yours.

Consider the enemy's probable MISSION[12] and what he will probably do to accomplish it.

Consider the geography of the country so far as it affects the problem—the valleys to cross, defiles to pass through, shortest road to follow, etc.

Now, consider the different courses open to you with the advantages and disadvantages of each.

You must, of course, in every case know what you're up against before you can decide intelligently what you're going to do.

In making your plan always bear in mind not only your own MISSION, but also the general mission of the command of which you form a part, and this is what nine men out of ten forget to do.

951. The Decision. It is important that you should come to a clear and correct decision—that you do so promptly and then execute it vigorously.

The new Japanese Field Service Regulations tell us that there are two things above all that should be avoided—inaction and hesitation. "To act resolutely even in an erroneous manner is better than to remain inactive and irresolute"—that is to say do something.

You are now ready to come to a decision, which is nothing more or less than a clear, concise determination of what you're going to do and how you're going to do it.[Pg 268] Frederick the Great, expressed the same idea in fewer words: "Don't haggle."

Having settled on a plan, push it through—don't vacillate, don't waver. Make your plan simple. No other has much show. Complicated plans look well on paper, but in war they seldom work out. They require several people to do the right thing at the right time and this under conditions of excitement, danger and confusion, and, as a result, they generally fail.

952. The Order. Having completed your estimate of the situation and formed your plan, you are now ready to give the orders necessary to carry it out.

You must first give your subordinates sufficient information of the situation and your plan, so that they may clearly understand their mission.

The better everyone understands the whole situation the better he can play his part. Unexpected things are always happening in war—a subordinate can act intelligently only if he knows and understands what his superior wants to do.

Always make your instructions definite and positive—vague instructions are sometimes worse than none.

Your order, your instructions, must be clear, concise and definite—everyone should know just exactly what he is to do.

A Few General Principles

953. The man who hunts deer, moose, tigers and lions, is hunting big game, but the soldier operating in the enemy's territory is hunting bigger game—he's hunting for human beings—but you want to remember that the other fellow is out hunting for you, too; he's out "gunning" for you. So, don't fail to be on the alert, on the lookout, all the time, if you do he'll "get the drop" on you. Remember what Frederick the Great said: "It is pardonable to be defeated, but never to be taken by surprise."

Do not separate your force too much; if you do, you weaken yourself—you take the chance of being "defeated in detail"—that is, of one part being defeated after another. Remember the old saying: "In union there is strength." Undue extension of your line (a mistake, by the way, very often made) is only a form of separation and is equally as bad.

While too much importance can not be attached to the proper use of cover, you must not forget that sometimes there are other considerations that outweigh the advantages of cover. Good sense alone can determine. A certain direction of attack, for instance, may afford excellent cover but it may be so situated as to mean ruin if defeated, as where it puts an impassable obstacle directly in your rear. And don't forget that you should always think in advance of what you would do in case of defeat.

What is it, after all, that gives victory, whether it be armies or only squads engaged? It's just simply inflicting on the enemy a loss which he will not stand before he can do the same to you. Now, what is this loss that he will not stand? What is the loss that will cause him to break? Well, it varies; it is subject to many conditions—dif[Pg 269]ferent bodies of troops, like different timbers, have different breaking points. However, whatever it may be in any particular case it would soon come if we could shoot on the battlefield as we do on the target range, but we can not approximate it.

There are many causes tending to drag down our score on the battlefield, one of the most potent being the effect of the enemy's fire. It is cited as a physiological fact that fear and great excitement cause the pupil of the eye to dilate and impair accuracy in vision and hence of shooting. It is well established that the effectiveness of the fire of one side reduced proportionately to the effectiveness of that of the other.

Bear in mind then these two points—we must get the enemy's breaking point before he gets ours, and the more effective we make our fire the less effective will be his.

Expressed in another way—to win you must gain and keep a fire superiority.

This generally means more rifles in action, yet a fire badly controlled and directed, though great in volume, may be less effective than a smaller volume better handled.

The firing line barring a few exceptional cases, then, should be as heavy as practicable consistent with the men's free use of their rifles.

This has been found to be about one man to the yard. In this way you get volume of fire and the companies do not cover so much ground that their commanders lose their power to direct and control.

If it becomes necessary to hold a line too long for the force available, it is then better to keep the men close together and leave gaps in the line. The men are so much better controlled, the fire better directed, the volume the same, and the gaps are closed by the cross fire of parties adjacent.


[11] In the preparation of the first part of this chapter, extracts of words and of ideas, were made from a paper on Applied Minor Tactics read before the St. Louis convention of the National Guard of the United States in 1910, by Major J. F. Morrison, General Staff, U. S. Army.

[12] The word "mission" is used a great deal in this text. By your "mission" is meant your business, what you have been told to do, what you are trying to accomplish.

[Pg 270]



(The large wall map to be used for this instruction can be obtained from the George Banta Publishing Co., Menasha, Wis., at a cost of $1.50.)

Elementary Map Elementary Map (click to enlarge)

954. The noncommissioned officers and the privates of the squad, section, platoon or company are seated in front of the instructor, who, with pointer in hand, is standing near the map on the wall.

The instructor assumes certain situations and designates various noncommissioned officers to take charge of squads for the purpose of accomplishing certain missions; he places them in different situations, and then asks them what they would do. He, or the noncommissioned officer designated to perform certain missions, designates certain privates to carry messages, watch for signals, take the place of wounded noncommissioned officers, etc. For example, the instructor says: "The battalion is marching to Watertown (see Elementary Map in pocket at back of book) along this road (indicating road): our company forms the advance guard; we are now at this point (indicating point). Corporal Smith, take your squad and reconnoiter the woods on the right to see if you can find any trace of the enemy there, and rejoin the company as soon as you can. Corporal Jones, be on the lookout for any signals that Corporal Smith may make."

Corporal Smith then gives the command, "1. Forward, 2. March," and such other commands as may be necessary.

Instructor: Now, when you reach this point (indicating point), what do you see?

(Corporal Smith holds his rifle horizontally above his head.)

Corporal Jones: Captain, Corporal Smith signals that he sees a small body of the enemy.

Corporal Smith: Lie down. Range, 700. 1. Ready; 2. AIM; 3. Squad; 4. FIRE. 1. Forward; Double time; 2. MARCH, etc.

The noncommissioned officers and the privates who are thus designated to do certain things must use their imagination as much as possible. They must look at the map and imagine that they are right on the ground, in the hostile territory; they must imagine that they see the streams, hills, woods, roads, etc., represented on the map, and they must not do anything that they could not do if in the hostile territory, with the assumed conditions actually existing.

[Pg 271]955. The general idea of this system of instruction is to make the noncommissioned officers and the privates think, to make them use common sense and initiative in handling men in various situations, in getting out of difficulties. By thus putting men on their mettle in the presence of their comrades and making them bring into play their common sense and their powers of resourcefulness, it is comparatively easy to hold the attention of a whole squad, section, platoon or company, for those who are not actually taking part in the solution of a particular problem are curious to see how those who are taking part will answer different questions and do different things—how they will "pan out."

956. Everything that is said, everything that is done, should, as far as practicable, be said and done just as it would be said and done in the field. The commands should be actually given, the messages actually delivered, the reports actually made, the orders and instructions actually given, the signals actually made, etc., just the same as they would be if the operations were real. Of course, sometimes it is not practicable to do this, and again at other times it would be advisable not to do so. If, for instance, in the solution of a problem there were a great many opportunities to give commands to fire, to make signals, to deliver messages, etc., and if these things were actually done every time, it would not only become tiresome but it would also delay the real work and instruction. Common sense must be used. Just bear this in mind: In the solution of map problems the noncommissioned officers and the privates are to be given proper and sufficient instruction in giving commands, making signals, sending and delivering messages, making reports, etc., the instructor using his common sense in deciding what is proper and sufficient instruction. In carrying out this feature of the instruction it would be done thus, for instance:

Instead of a platoon leader saying, "I would give the order for the platoon (two, three or four squads) to fire on them," he would say, for instance, "I would then give the command, 'AT LINE OF MEN. RANGE, 600. FIRE AT WILL,' and would continue the firing as long as necessary." Should the instructor then say, for instance, "Very well; the enemy's fire has slackened; what will you do now?" The platoon leader would answer, for instance, "I would signal: 1. By squads from the right; 2. RUSH."

Instead of saying, for instance, "I would advance my squad to the top of this hill at double time," the squad leader should say, "I would give the command: '1. Forward, double time; 2. MARCH,' and upon reaching the top of this hill, I would command, '1. Squad; 2. HALT,' cautioning the men to take advantage of cover."

Instead of saying, "I would signal back that we see the enemy in force," the squad leader should take a rifle and make the signal, and if a man has been designated to watch for signals, the man would say to the captain (or other person for whom he was watching for signals): "Captain, Corporal Smith has signaled that he sees the enemy in force."

Instead of saying, "I would send a message back that there are about twenty mounted men just in rear of the Jones' house; they are dismounted and their horses are being held by horseholders," say, "Smith,[Pg 272] go back and tell the captain (or other person) there are about twenty mounted men just in rear of the Jones' house. They are dismounted and their horses are being held by horseholders." Private Smith would then say to the captain (or other person), "Captain, Corporal Harris sends word there are about twenty men just in the rear of the Jones' house. They are dismounted and their horses are being held by horse holders."

957. For problems exemplifying this system of instruction, see Par. 1017.

The instruction may be varied a little by testing the squad leaders in their knowledge of map reading by asking, from time to time during the solution of the problem, such questions as these:

Captain: Corporal Smith, you are standing on Lone Hill (See Elementary Map), facing north. Tell me what you see?

Corporal: The hill slopes off steeply in front of me, about eighty feet down to the bottom land. A spur of the hill runs off on my right three-fourths of a mile to the north. Another runs off on my left the same distance to the west. Between these two spurs, down in front of me, is an almost level valley, extending about a mile to my right front, where a hill cuts off my view. To my left front it is level as far as I can see. A quarter of a mile in front of me is a big pond, down in the valley, and I can trace the course of a stream that drains the pond off to the northwest, by the trees along its bank. Just beyond the stream a railroad runs northwest along a fill and crosses the stream a mile and a half to the northwest, where I can see the roofs of a group of houses. A wagon road runs north across the valley, crossing the western spur of this hill 600 yards from Lone Hill. It is bordered by trees as far as the creek. Another road parallels the railroad, the two roads crossing near a large orchard a mile straight to my front.

Captain: Can you see the Chester Pike where the railroad crosses it?

Corporal: No, sir.

Captain: Why?

Corporal: Because the hill "62," about 800 yards from Lone Hill, is so high that it cuts off my view in that direction of everything closer to the spur "62" than the point in the Salem-Boling road, where the private lane runs off east to the Gray house.

Captain: Sergeant Jones, in which direction does the stream run that you see just south of the Twin Hills?

Sergeant: It runs south through York, because I can see that the northern end starts near the head of a valley and goes down into the open plain. Also it is indicated by a very narrow line near the Twin Hills which becomes gradually wider or heavier the further south it goes. Furthermore, the fact that three short branch streams are shown joining together and forming one, must naturally mean that the direction of flow is towards the one formed by the three.

Captain: Sergeant Harris, does the road from the Mason farm to the Welsh farm run up or down hill?

Sergeant: It does both, sir. It is almost level for the first half mile west of the Mason farm; then, as it crosses the contour marked 20[Pg 273] and a second marked 40, it runs up hill, rising to forty feet above the valley, 900 yards east of the Mason farm. Then, as it again crosses a contour marked 40 and a second marked 20, it goes down hill to the Welsh farm. That portion of the road between the points where it crosses the two contours marked 40, is the highest part of the road. It crosses this hill in a "saddle," for both north and south of this summit on the road are contours marked 60 and even higher.

Captain: Corporal Wallace, you are in Salem with a patrol with orders to go to Oxford. There is no one to tell you anything about this section of the country and you have never been there before. You have this map and a compass. What would you do?

Corporal: I would see from my map and by looking around me that Salem is situated at the crossing of two main roads. From the map I would see that one leads to Boling and the other was the one to take for Oxford. Also, I would see that the one to Boling started due north out of Salem and the other, the one I must follow, started due west out of Salem. Taking out my compass, I would see in what direction the north end of the needle pointed; the road running off in that direction would be the one to Boling, so I would start off west on the other.

Captain: Suppose you had no compass?

Corporal: I would look and see on which side of the base of the trees the moss grew. That side would be north. Or, in this case, I would probably not use a compass even if I had it; for, from the map, I know that the road I wish to start off on crosses a railroad track within sight of the crossroads and on the opposite side of the crossroads from the church shown on the map; also, that the Boling road is level as far as I could see on the ground, while the Chester Pike crosses the spur of Sandy Ridge, about a half mile out of the village.

Captain: Go ahead, corporal, and explain how you would follow the proper route to Oxford.

Corporal: I would proceed west on the Chester Pike, knowing I would cross a good sized stream, on a stone bridge, about a mile and a half out of Salem; then I would pass a crossroad and find a swamp on my right, between the road and the stream. About a mile and a half from the crossroad I just mentioned, I would cross a railroad track and then I would know that at the fork of the roads one-quarter of a mile further on I must take the left fork. This road would take me straight into Oxford, about a mile and three-quarters beyond the fork.

Captain: Sergeant Washington, do the contours about a half mile north of the Maxey farm, on the Salem-Boling road, represent a hill or a depression?

Sergeant: They represent a hill, because the inner contour has a higher number 42, than the outer, marked 20. They represent sort of a leg-of-mutton shaped hill about 42 feet higher than the surrounding low ground.

Variety and interest may be added to the instruction by assuming that the squad leader has been killed or wounded and then designate some private to command the squad; or that a man has been wounded in a certain part of the body and have a soldier actually apply his first[Pg 274] aid packet; or that a soldier has fainted or been bitten by a rattlesnake and have a man actually render him first aid.

958. The privates may be given practical instruction in delivering messages by giving them messages in one room and having them deliver them to someone else in another room. It is a good plan to write out a number of messages in advance on slips of paper or on cards, placing them in unsealed envelopes. An officer or a noncommissioned officer in one room reads one of the messages to a soldier, then seals it in an envelope and gives it to the soldier to hand to the person in another room to whom he is to deliver the message. The latter checks the accuracy of the message by means of the written message. Of course, this form of instruction should not be given during the solution of map problems by the men. (For model messages, see par. 980.)

The same slips or cards may be used any number of times with different soldiers. A soldier should never start on his way to deliver a message unless he understands thoroughly the message he is to deliver.

[Pg 275]



(Based on the Field Service Regulations.)


959. Patrols are small bodies of infantry or cavalry, from two men up to a company or troop, sent out from a command at any time to gain information of the enemy and of the country, to drive off small hostile bodies, to prevent them from observing the command or for other stated objects, such as to blow up a bridge, destroy a railroad track, communicate or keep in touch with friendly troops, etc. Patrols are named according to their objects, reconnoitering, visiting, connecting, exploring, flanking patrols, etc. These names are of no importance, however, because the patrol's orders in each case determine its duties.

960. The size of a patrol depends upon the mission it is to accomplish; if it is to gain information only, it should be as small as possible, allowing two men for each probable message to be sent (this permits you to send messages and still have a working patrol remaining); if it is to fight, it should be strong enough to defeat the probable enemy against it. For instance, a patrol of two men might be ordered to examine some high ground a few hundred yards off the road. On the other hand, during the recent war in Manchuria a Japanese patrol of 50 mounted men, to accomplish its mission marched 1,160 miles in the enemy's country and was out for 62 days.

961. Patrol Leaders. (a) Patrol leaders, usually noncommissioned officers, are selected for their endurance, keen eyesight, ability to think quickly and good military judgment. They should be able to read a map, make a sketch and send messages that are easily understood. Very important patrols are sometimes lead by officers. The leader should have a map, watch, field glass, compass, message blank and pencils.

(b) The ability to lead a patrol correctly without a number of detailed orders or instructions, is one of the highest and most valuable qualifications of a noncommissioned officer. Since a commander ordering out a patrol can only give general instructions as to what he desires, because he cannot possibly forsee just what situations may arise, the patrol leader will be forced to use his own judgment to decide on the proper course to pursue when something of importance suddenly occurs. He is in sole command on the spot and must make his decisions entirely on his own judgment and make them instantly. He has to bear in mind first of all his mission—what his commander wants him to do.

Possibly something may occur that should cause the patrol leader to undertake an entirely new mission and he must view the new situation from the standpoint of a higher commander.

[Pg 276](c) More battles are lost through lack of information about the enemy than from any other cause, and it is the patrols led by noncommissioned officers who must gather almost all of this information. A battalion or squadron stands a very good chance for defeating a regiment if the battalion commander knows all about the size, position and movements of the regiment and the regimental commander knows but a little about the battalion; and this will all depend on how efficiently the patrols of the two forces are led by the noncommissioned officers.

962. Patrols are usually sent out from the advance party of an advance guard, the rear party of a rear guard, the outguards of an outpost, and the flank (extreme right or left) sections, companies or troops of a force in a fight, but they may be sent out from any part of a command.

The commander usually states how strong a patrol shall be.

963. Orders or Instructions—(a) The orders or instructions for a patrol must state clearly whenever possible:

1. Where the enemy is or is supposed to be.

2. Where friendly patrols or detachments are apt to be seen or encountered and what the plans are for the body from which the patrol is sent out.

3. What object the patrol is sent out to accomplish; what information is desired; what features are of special importance; the general direction to be followed and how long to stay out in case the enemy is not met.

4. Where reports are to be sent.

(b) It often happens that, in the hurry and excitement of a sudden encounter or other situation, there is no time or opportunity to give a patrol leader anything but the briefest instructions, such as "Take three men, corporal, and locate their (the enemy's) right flank." In such a case the patrol leader through his knowledge of the general principles of patrolling, combined with the exercise of his common sense, must determine for himself just what his commander wishes him to do.

964. Inspection of a Patrol Before Departure. Whenever there is time and conditions permit, which most frequently is not the case, a patrol leader carefully inspects his men to see that they are in good physical condition; that they have the proper equipment, ammunition and ration; that their canteens are full, their horses (if mounted) are in good condition, not of a conspicuous color and not given to neighing, and that there is nothing about the equipment to rattle or glisten. The patrol leader should also see that the men have nothing with them (maps, orders, letters, newspapers, etc.) that, if captured, would give the enemy valuable information. This is a more important inspection than that regarding the condition of the equipment.

Whenever possible the men for a patrol should be selected for their trustworthiness, experience and knack of finding their way in a strange country.

965. Preparing a Patrol for the Start. The patrol leader having received his orders and having asked questions about anything he does not fully understand, makes his estimate of the situation (See Par. 950.)[Pg 277] He then selects the number of men he needs, if this has been left to him, inspects them and carefully explains to them the orders he has received and how he intends to carry out these orders, making sure the men understand the mission of the patrol. He names some prominent place along the route they are going to follow where every one will hasten if the patrol should become scattered.

For example: An infantry company has arrived at the town of York (See Elementary Map). Captain A, at 2 P. M., calls up Corporal B and three men of his squad.

Captain A: Corporal, hostile infantry is reported to be at Oxford. Nothing else has been heard of the enemy. The company remains here tonight. You will take these three men and reconnoiter about two miles north along this road (indicates the Valley Pike) for signs of a hostile advance in this direction.

Stay out until dusk.

Corporal C has been sent out that road (points east along the county road).

Send messages here. Do you understand?

Corporal B: Yes, sir; I am to—(here he practically repeats Captain A's orders, the three men listening). Is Corporal C to cover that hill (points toward Twin Hills)?

Captain A: No; you must cover that ground. Move out at once, corporal. (Corporal B quickly glances at the men and sees that they have their proper equipment.)

Corporal B (to his men): You heard the captain's orders. We will make for that hill (points to Twin Hills). Jones, I want you to go 150 yards in advance of me; Williams, follow me at 100 yards; Smith, you'll stay with me. Jones, you'll leave this road after crossing the creek and march on that clump of trees. I want both you and Williams to be on the alert and watch me every minute for signals. In case we become scattered, make for that hill (points to Twin Hills).

Private Jones: Corporal, shall I keep 150 yards from you or will you keep the correct distance?

Corporal B: You keep the correct distance from me. Forward, Jones.

Of course, the patrol leader makes all these preparations if he has time; but, as we have said before, there will be a great many occasions when he is required to start out so promptly that he will not have any time for the inspection described and he will have to make an estimate of the situation and give his detailed orders to the members of his patrol as they start off.

966. Co-ordination Before Departure. Every member of a patrol should notice for himself the direction taken and all landmarks that are passed, and every man should keep his eyes and ears open all the time. Before leaving an outpost position or other place to which it is to return, the patrol commander should "co-ordinate" himself—he should see where he is with respect to certain mountains, high buildings and other prominent objects, and after the patrol has left, he should frequently turn his head around and see what the starting point looks[Pg 278] like from where he is. This will help him to find his way back without difficulty.


967. Paragraphs 967 to 1015 describe the methods of leading a patrol—the points a patrol leader should fully understand. In other words, they state the principles of patrolling. When you first study this chapter, simply read over these principles without trying to memorize any of them. Whenever one of the principles is applied in the solution of any of the problems on patrolling given in this book you will generally find the number of the paragraph which states that principle enclosed in brackets. Turn back and study the paragraph referred to until you thoroughly understand its meaning and you feel sure that you know how to apply that principle whenever the occasion might arise in actual patrolling. Try to impress its common sense meaning (never the mere words) on your mind, so that when a situation arises requiring the sort of action indicated in the principle, YOU WILL NOT FAIL TO RECOGNIZE IT.

968. Formation of Patrols.

Figure 1 Figure 1

(a) Figure 1 gives some examples of various ways of forming patrols. These are merely examples for the purpose of giving a general idea of the arrangement of the men. In practice common sense must dictate to the patrol leader the best formation in each case.

[Pg 279](b) In very small patrols the leader is usually in advance where he can easily lead the patrol, though not always (See E, Figure 1.) The distance between men depends upon the character of the country and the situation. In L, Figure 1, it might be anywhere from 150 to 400 yards from the leading man to the last, the distance being greater in level or open country. Some such formation as G, Figure 1, could be used in going through high brush, woods, or over very open country.

(c) The men must be so arranged that each man will be within signaling distance of some member of the patrol and the escape of at least one man, in case of surprise, is certain.

It must be remembered that the patrol may have to march a long distance before it is expected that the enemy will be encountered, or it may have a mission that requires it to hurry to some distant point through very dangerous country. In such cases the patrol will probably have to follow the road in order to make the necessary speed, and it will not be possible for flankers to keep up this rate marching off the road. The formation in such cases would be something like those shown in F, II and O.

Marching off the road is always slow work, so when rapidity is essential, some safe formation for road travel is necessary, as in F, L and O.

If, from the road the country for, say one-half mile on each side, can be seen, there is absolutely no use in sending out flankers a few hundred yards from the road. Use common sense.

969. Rate of March. (a) Patrols should advance quickly and quietly; be vigilant and make all practicable use of cover. If rapid marching is necessary to accomplish the mission, then little attention can be paid to cover.

(b) Returning patrols, near their own lines, march at a walk, unless pressed by the enemy. A patrol should not, if possible, return over its outgoing route, as the enemy may have observed it and be watching for its return.

970. Halts. A patrol should be halted once every hour for about ten minutes, to allow the men to rest and relieve themselves. Whenever a halt is made one or two members of the patrol must advance a short distance ahead and keep a sharp lookout to the front and flanks.

971. Action Upon Meeting Hostile Patrol. If a patrol should see a hostile patrol, it is generally best to hide and let it go by, and afterwards look out for and capture any messenger that may be sent back from it with messages for the main body. And when sent back yourself with a message, be careful that the enemy does not play this trick on you—always keep your ears and eyes open.

972. Scattered Patrols. A scattered patrol reassembles at some point previously selected; if checked in one direction, it takes another; if cut off, it returns by a detour or forces its way through. As a last resort it scatters, so that at least one man may return with information.

Occasionally it is advisable for the leader to conceal his patrol and continue the reconnaissance with one or two men; in case of cavalry[Pg 280] the leader and men thus detached should be well mounted. If no point of assembly was previously agreed upon, it is a good general rule to reassemble, if possible, at the last resting place.

973. Return by Different Route. A patrol should always make it a rule to return by a different route, as this may avoid its being captured by some of the enemy who saw it going out and are lying in wait for it.

974. Guard Against Being Cut off. When out patrolling always guard against being cut off. Always assume that any place that affords good cover is held by the enemy until you know that it is not, and be careful not to advance beyond it without first reconnoitering it; for, if you do, you may find yourself cut off when you try to return.

975. Night Work. Patrols far from their commands or in contact with the enemy, often remain out over night. In such cases they seek a place of concealment unknown to the inhabitants, proceeding thereto after nightfall or under cover. Opportunities for watering, feeding and rest must not be neglected, for there is no assurance that further opportunities will present themselves. When necessary the leader provides for subsistence by demand or purchase.

976. Civilians: In questioning civilians care must be taken not to disclose information that may be of value to the enemy. Strangers must not be allowed to go ahead of the patrol, as they might give the enemy notice of its approach. Patrol leaders are authorized to seize telegrams and mail matter, and to arrest individuals, reporting the facts as soon as possible.

977. Patrol Fighting. (a) A patrol sent out for information never fights unless it can only get its information by fighting or is forced to fight in order to escape. This principle is the one most frequently violated by patrol leaders, particularly in peace maneuvers. They forget their mission—the thing their commander sent them out to do—and begin fighting, thus doing harm and accomplishing no important results.

(b) A patrol sent out to drive off hostile detachments has to fight to accomplish its mission. Sometimes a patrol has orders both to gain information and to drive back hostile patrols. In this case it may be proper to avoid a fight at one moment and to seek a fight at another. The patrol leader must always think of his mission when deciding on the proper course to follow, and then use common sense.

978. Signals. The following should be clearly understood by members of a patrol:

Enemy in sight in small numbers: Hold the rifle above the head horizontally.

Enemy in force: Same as preceding, raising and lowering the rifle several times.

Take cover: A downward motion of the hand.

Other signals may be agreed upon before starting, but they must be simple and familiar to the men; complicated signals must be avoided. Signals must be used cautiously, so as not to convey information to the enemy.

[Pg 281]The patrol leader should see that all his men thoroughly understand that whenever they are away from the center of the patrol they must look to the nearest man for signals at least once every minute. It should never be necessary for the patrol leader to call to a man in order to get his attention. All movements of men at a distance should be regulated by signals and the men should constantly be on the lookout for these signals.

979. Messages. (a) The most skillful patrol leading is useless unless the leader fully understands when to send a message and how to write it.

(b) A message, whether written or verbal, should be short and clear, resembling a telegram. If it is a long account it will take too much time to write, be easily misunderstood, and if verbal, the messenger will usually forget parts of it and confuse the remainder.

(c) Always state when and where things are seen or reported. If haste is required, do not use up valuable moments writing down the day of the month, etc. These data are essential as a matter of future record for formal telegrams and should be put in patrol messages only when time is abundant, but never slight the essential points of information that will give valuable help to your chief. Always try to put yourself in his place—not seeing what you see and read your message—and then ask yourself, What will he want to know?

(d) The exact location of the enemy should be stated; whether deployed, marching or in camp, his strength, arm of the service (cavalry, infantry or artillery), and any other detail that you think would be valuable information for your chief. In giving your location do not refer to houses, streets, etc., that your chief in the rear has no knowledge of. Give your direction and distance from some point he knows of or, if you have a map like his, you can give your map location.

(e) Be sure your message is accurate. This does not mean that something told you should not be reported, but it should be reported, not as a fact, but as it is—a statement by somebody else. It is well to add any information about your informant, such as his apparent honesty, the probability of his having correct information, etc.—this may help your chief.

(f) A message should always end with a short statement of what you are going to do next. For example: "Will remain in observation," "Will continue north," "Will work around to their rear," etc. Time permitting, the bearer of a verbal message should always be required to repeat it before leaving.

(g) The following is a reproduction of a message blank used in field service. The instructions on the envelope are also given. A patrol leader will usually be furnished with a pad of these blanks:

[Pg 282]

Message Blank

The heading "From" is filled in with the name of the detachment sending the information, as "Officer's Patrol, 7th Cav". Messages sent on the same day from the same source to the same person are numbered consecutively. The address is written briefly, thus, "Commanding Officer, Outpost, 1st Brigade". In the signature the writer's surname only and rank are given.

This blank is four and a half by eight inches, including the margin on the left for binding. The back is ruled in squares and provided with scales for use in making simple sketches explanatory of the message. It is issued by the Signal Corps in blocks of forty with duplicating sheets. The regulation envelope is three by five and one fourth inches and is printed as follows:

Message Envelope


980. 1. Verbal. "Four hostile infantrymen one mile north of our camp, moving south. I will continue north."

[Pg 283]2. Verbal. "About one hundred hostile infantrymen two miles north of our camp at two o'clock, marching south. Will observe them."

3. Verbal. "Long column of troops marching west in Sandy Creek Valley at two o'clock. Will report details later."

4. Verbal. "Just fired on by cavalry patrol near Baker's Pond. Will work to their rear."

5. Written.

Patrol from Support No 2.
Lone Hill,
26 Mch. 11, 8–15 A. M., No. 1.

C. O.,
Support No. 2.

See hostile troop of cavalry halted at x-roads, one mile S. of our outguards. Nothing else in sight. Will remain here in observation.


6. Written (very hurriedly).

Lone Hill, 8–30, No 2.

C. O.,
Support No. 2.

Column of about 300 hostile cavalry trotting north towards hostile troop of cavalry now halted at x-roads one mile south of our outguards. Will remain here.


7. Written.

Patrol from 5th Inf.,
S. E. corner Boling Woods,
3 Apl. 11, 2–10 P. M., No. 2.

5th Inf., near Baker House.

Extreme right of hostile line ends at R. R. cut N. E. of BAKER'S POND. Entrenchments run S. from cut along crest of ridge. Line appears to be strongly held. Can see no troops in rear of line. Will reconnoiter their rear.


8. Written (from cavalry patrol far to front).

Patrol from Tr. B, 7th Cav.,
14 June, 12, 10 A. M., No. 3.

To C. O.,
Tr. B, 7th Cav.,
S. on Chester Pike.

No traces of enemy up to this point. Telegraph operator here reports wires running north from Boling were cut somewhere at 8–30 A. M. Inhabitants appear friendly. Will proceed north.


9. Written (from cavalry patrol far to front).

Patrol from Tr B, 7th Cav.,
8 July, 12, 10–15 A. M., No. 2.

[Pg 284] To C. O.,
1st Sq. 7th Cav.,
On Valley Pike, S. of York.

Bearer has canteen found in road here, marked "85 CAV.—III CORPS." Inhabitants say no enemy seen here. They appear hostile and unreliable. No telegraph operator or records remain here. Roads good macadam. Water and haystacks plentiful. Will move rapidly on towards CHESTER.


Patrol from Support No. 3,
On Ry. 3/4 mi. N. of County Road,
2 Aug. 12, 9–15 P. M., No. 1.

C. O.,
Support No. 2,
Near Maxey House.

R. R. crosses creek here on 80-foot steel trestle. Hostile detachment is posted at N. end. Strength unknown. Creek 5 ft. deep by 60 ft. wide, with steep banks, 5 ft. high. Flows through meadow land. Scattered trees along banks. R. R. approaches each end of trestle on 10-foot fill. R. R. switch to N. E. 700 yds. S. of bridge. (See sketch on back.) I will cross creek to N. of bridge.


981. A message should be sent as soon as the enemy is first seen or reported. Of course, if the enemy is actually known to be in the vicinity and his patrols have been seen, etc., you must by all means avoid wasting your men by sending them back with information about small hostile patrols or other things you know your chief is already aware of and did not specifically tell you to hunt for.

If you have properly determined in your own mind what your mission is then you will have no trouble in deciding when to send messages. For example, suppose your orders are "To reconnoiter along that ridge and determine if the enemy is present in strength," and you sight a patrol of eight men. You would waste no time or men sending back any message about the patrol, for your mission is to find out if strong bodies of the enemy are about. But suppose that while working under the above orders you located a hostile battalion of infantry—a large body of troops. In this case you would surely send a detailed message, as your mission is to determine if the enemy was present in strength.

Again, suppose that while moving towards the ridge indicated by your chief in his orders, you saw his force suddenly and heavily fired on from a new and apparently unexpected quarter, not a great distance from you, but not on the ridge referred to. You know or believe none of your patrols are out in that neighborhood. In this case you should realize instantly, without any order, that your mission had changed and you should hasten to discover the size and position of this new enemy and send the information back to your chief, first notifying him of your intended change of direction.

[Pg 285]Never forget your mission in the excitement of leading your own little force.

982. Absence of the Enemy. It is frequently just as important to send a message to your chief that the enemy is not in a certain locality as it is to report his actual whereabouts. You must determine from your mission when this is the case. For example, if you were ordered "To patrol beyond that woods and see if any hostile columns are moving in that direction," and on reaching the far side of the woods you had a good view of the country for some distance beyond, it would be very important to send a message back telling your chief that you could see, say, one-half mile beyond the woods and there was no enemy in sight. This information would be of the greatest importance to him. He might feel free to move troops immediately from that vicinity to some more dangerous place. You would then continue your reconnaissance further to the front.

Suggestions for Gaining Information About the Enemy

983. Enemy on the March. (a) The patrol should observe the march of the column from a concealed position that hostile patrols or flankers are not apt to search (avoid conspicuous places). Always try to discover if one hostile detachment is followed by another—if what can be seen appears to be an advance guard of a larger body not yet in view. The distance between the detachments, their relative size, etc., is always important.

(b) Estimating Strength of Column. The strength of a column may be estimated from the length of time it takes to pass a selected point. As infantry in column of squads occupies half a yard per man, cavalry one yard per horse and artillery in single file twenty yards per gun or caisson (ammunition wagon), a selected point would be passed in one minute by 175 infantry; 110 cavalry (at a walk); 200 cavalry at a trot and 5 guns or caissons. If marching in columns of twos, take one-half of the above figures.

(c) Dust. The direction of march, strength and composition (infantry, cavalry or artillery) of a column can be closely estimated from the length and character of the cloud of dust that it makes. Dust from infantry hangs low; from cavalry it is higher, disperses more quickly, and, if the cavalry moves rapidly, the upper part of the cloud is thinner; from artillery and wagons, it is of unequal height and disconnected. The effect of the wind blowing the dust must be considered.

(d) Trail of Column. Evenly trodden ground indicates infantry; prints of horseshoes mean cavalry and deep and wide wheel tracks indicate artillery. If the trail is fresh, the column passed recently; if narrow, the troops felt secure and were marching in column of route; if broad they expected an action and were prepared to deploy. A retreating army makes a broad trail across fields, especially at the start.

Always remember that the smallest or most insignificant things, such as the number of a regiment or a discarded canteen or collar ornament, may give the most valuable information to a higher commander. For example, the markings on a discarded canteen or knapsack might prove to a general commanding an army that a certain hostile division,[Pg 286] corps, or other force was in front of him when he thought it had not been sent into the field. The markings on the canteen would convey little or no meaning to the patrol leader, but if he realized his duty he would take care to report the facts. Cavalry patrols working far ahead of the foot troops should be most careful to observe and report on such details.

(e) Reflection of Weapons. If brilliant, the troops are marching toward you, otherwise they are probably marching away from you.

Enemy in Position. (a) If an outpost line, the patrol locates the line of sentinels, their positions, the location and strength of the outguards and, as far as possible, all troops in rear. The location of the flanks of the line, whether in a strong or weak position, is of the utmost importance. Places where the line may be most easily penetrated should be searched for and the strength and routes of the hostile patrols observed.

As outposts are usually changed at dawn this is the best time to reconnoiter their positions.

(b) A hostile line of battle is usually hard to approach, but its extent, where the flanks rest and whether or not other troops are in rear of these flanks, should be most carefully determined.

Information as to the flanks of any force, the character of the country on each flank, etc., is always of the greatest importance, because the flanks are the weakest portions of a line. In attacking an enemy an effort is almost always made to bring the heaviest fire or blow to bear on one of his flanks. Naturally all information about this most vulnerable part of an enemy is of great importance.

984. Prisoners. When a patrol is ordered to secure prisoners they should be questioned as soon as captured, while still excited and their replies can in a way be verified. Their answers should be written down (unknown to them) and sent back with them as a check on what they may say on second thought.

Prisoners should always be questioned as to the following points: What regiment, brigade, division, etc., they belong to; how long they have been in position, on the march, etc.; how much sickness in their organization; whether their rations are satisfactory; who commands their troops, etc. Always try to make the prisoners think the questions are asked out of mere curiosity.

985. Camp Noises. The rumble of vehicles, cracking of whips, neighing of horses, braying of mules and barking of dogs often indicate the arrival or departure of troops. If the noise remains in the same place and new fires are lighted, it is probable that reënforcements have arrived. If the noise grows more indistinct, the troops are probably withdrawing. If, added to this, the fires appear to be dying out, and the enemy seems to redouble the vigilance of the outposts, the indications of retreat are strong.

986. Abandoned Camps. (a) Indications are found in the remains of camp fires. They will show, by their degree of freshness, whether much or little time elapsed since the enemy left the place, and the quantity of cinders will give an indication of the length of time he occupied it. They[Pg 287] will also furnish a means of estimating his force approximately, ten men being allowed to each fire.

(b) Other valuable indications in regard to the length of time the position was occupied and the time when it was abandoned may be found in the evidence of care or haste in the construction of huts or shelters, and in the freshness of straw, grain, dung or the entrails of slaughtered animals. Abandoned clothing, equipments or harness will give a clue to the arms and regiments composing a retreating force. Dead horses lying about, broken weapons, discarded knapsacks, abandoned and broken-down wagons, etc., are indications of the fatigue and demoralization of the command. Bloody bandages lying about, and many fresh graves, are evidences that the enemy is heavily burdened with wounded or sick.

987. Flames or Smoke. If at night the flames of an enemy's camp fires disappear and reappear, something is moving between the observer and the fires. If smoke as well as flame is visible, the fires are very near. If the fires are very numerous and lighted successively, and if soon after being lighted they go out it is probable the enemy is preparing a retreat and trying to deceive us. If the fires burn brightly and clearly at a late hour, the enemy has probably gone, and has left a detachment to keep the fires burning. If, at an unusual time, much smoke is seen ascending from an enemy's camp, it is probable that he is engaged in cooking preparatory to moving off.

If lines of smoke are seen rising at several points along a railway line in the enemy's rear, it may be surmised that the railroad is being destroyed by burning the crossties, and that a retreat is planned.

988. Limits of vision. (a) On a clear day a man with good vision can see:

(b) Troops are visible at 2,000 yards, at which distance a mounted man looks like a mere speck; at 1,200 yards infantry can be distinguished from cavalry; at 1,000 yards a line of men looks like a broad belt; at 600 yards the files of a squad can be counted, and at 400 yards the movements of the arms and legs can be plainly seen.

(c) The larger, brighter or better lighted an object is, the nearer it seems. An object seems nearer when it has a dark background than when it has a light one, and closer to the observer when the air is clear than when it is raining, snowing, foggy or the atmosphere is filled with smoke. An object looks farther off when the observer is facing the sun than when he has his back to it. A smooth expanse of snow, grain fields or water makes distances seem shorter than they really are.

[Pg 288]

Suggestions for the Reconnaissance of Various Positions and Localities

989. Cross roads should be reconnoitered in each direction for a distance depending on how rapidly the patrol must continue on, how far from the main road the first turn or high point is, etc. The main body of the patrol usually remains halted near the crossroads, while flankers do the reconnoitering.

990. Heights. In reconnoitering a height, if the patrol is large enough to admit of detaching them, one or two men climb the slope on either flank, keeping in sight of the patrol, if possible. In any case, one man moves cautiously up the hill, followed by the others in the file at such distance that each keeps his predecessor in view.

991. Defiles. On approaching a defile, if time permits, the heights on either side are reconnoitered by flankers before the patrol enters. If the heights are inaccessible or time is urgent, the patrol passes through, in single file at double time. The same method is adopted in reconnoitering a railroad cut or sunken road.

992. Bridges and Fords. At a bridge or ford, the front of the patrol is contracted so as to bring all the men to the passage. The leading patrolers cross first and reconnoiter the far side to prevent the possibility of the enemy surprising the main body of the patrol as it is crossing the bridge. The patrol then crosses rapidly, and takes up a proper formation. A bridge is first examined to see that it is safe and has not been tampered with by the enemy.

993. Woods. The patrol enters a wood in skirmishing order, the intervals being as great as may be consistent with mutual observation and support on the part of the members of the patrol. On arriving at the farther edge of the wood, the patrol remains concealed and carefully looks about before passing out to open ground. When there is such a growth of underbrush as to make this method impracticable, and it is necessary to enter a wood by a road, the road is reconnoitered as in case of defile, though not usually at double time.

994. Enclosures. In reconnoitering an enclosure, such as a garden, park or cemetery, the leading patrolers first examine the exterior, to make sure that the enemy is not concealed behind one of the faces of the enclosure. They then proceed to examine the interior. Great care is taken in reconnoitering and entering an enclosure to avoid being caught in a confined or restricted space by the enemy.

995. Positions. In approaching a position, but one man advances (one is less liable to be detected than two or more), and he crawls cautiously toward the crest of the hill or edge of the wood or opening of the defile, while the others remain concealed in the rear until he signals them to advance.

996. Houses. When a house is approached by a patrol, it is first reconnoitered from a distance, and if nothing suspicious is seen, it is then approached by one or two men, the rest of the party remaining concealed in observation. If the patrol is large enough to admit of it, four men approach the house, so as to examine the front and back entrances at the same time. Only one man enters the door, the others remaining outside to give the alarm, should a party of the enemy be[Pg 289] concealed in the house. The patrol does not remain in the vicinity of the house any longer than necessary, as information relative to its numbers and movements might be given to the enemy, if a hostile party should subsequently visit the place. Farmhouses are searched for newspapers and the inhabitants questioned. If necessary to go up to a building, wood or hill, where an enemy is likely to be concealed, run for the last couple of hundred yards, having your rifle ready for instant use, and make for some point that will afford you cover when you get close up. In the case of a building, for instance, you would make for one of the corners. Such a maneuver would probably be disconcerting to anyone who might be lying in wait for you, and would be quite likely to cause them to show themselves sooner than they intended, and thus give you a chance to turn around and get away. If they fired on you while you were approaching at a run, they would not be very likely to hit you.

997. Villages. (a) In approaching a small village one or two men are sent in to reconnoiter and one around each flank, but the main body does not enter until the scouts have reported. In small patrols of three to six men so much dispersion is not safe and only one section of the village can be reconnoitered at a time.

(b) If the presence of the enemy is not apparent, the patrol enters the village. A suitable formation would be in single file at proper distance, each man being on the opposite side of the street from his predecessor, thus presenting a more difficult target for hostile fire and enabling the men to watch all windows.

(c) If the patrol is strong enough, it seizes the postoffice, telegraph office and railroad stations, and secures all important papers, such as files of telegrams sent and received, instructions to postmasters, orders of town mayor, etc., that may be there. If the patrol is part of the advance guard, it seizes the mayor and postmaster of the place and turns them over to the commander of the vanguard with the papers seized.

(d) While searching a village sentinels are placed at points of departure to prevent any of the inhabitants from leaving. Tall buildings and steeples are ascended and an extensive view of the surrounding country obtained.

(e) At night a village is more cautiously approached by a small party than by day. The patrol glides through back alleys, across gardens, etc., rather than along the main street. If there are no signs of the enemy, it makes inquiry. If no light is seen, and it seems imprudent to rouse any of the people, the patrol watches and captures one of the inhabitants, and gets from him such information as he may possess.

(f) The best time for the patrol to approach a village is at early dawn, when it is light enough to see, but before the inhabitants are up. It is dangerous in the extreme for a small patrol to enter a village unless it is certain that it is not occupied by the enemy, for the men could be shot down by fire from the windows, cellarways, etc., or entrapped and captured. As a rule large towns and cities are not entered by small patrols, but are watched from the outside, as a small force can not effectively reconnoiter and protect itself in such a place.

[Pg 290]

Facts Which Should Be Obtained by Patrols Regarding Certain Objects

998. Roads. Their direction, their nature (macadamized, corduroy plank, dirt, etc.), their condition of repair, their grade, the nature of crossroads, and the points where they leave the main roads; their borders (woods, hedges, fences or ditches), the places at which they pass through defiles, cross heights or rivers, and where they intersect railroads, their breadth (whether suitable for column of fours or platoons, etc.).

999. Railroads. Their direction, gauge, the number of tracks, stations and junctions, their grade, the length and height of the cuts, embankments and tunnels.

1000. Bridges. Their position, their width and length, their construction (trestle, girder, etc.), material (wood, brick, stone or iron), the roads and approaches on each bank.

1001. Rivers and Other Streams. Their direction, width and depth, the rapidity of the current, liability to sudden rises and the highest and lowest points reached by the water, as indicated by drift wood, etc., fords, the nature of the banks, kinds, position and number of islands at suitable points of passage, heights in the vicinity and their command over the banks.

1002. Woods. Their situation, extent and shape; whether clear or containing underbrush; the number and extent of "clearings" (open spaces); whether cut up by ravines or containing marshes, etc.; nature of roads passing through them.

1003. Canals. Their direction, width and depth; condition of tow-paths; locks and means of protecting or destroying them.

1004. Telegraphs. Whether they follow railroads or common roads; stations, number of wires.

1005. Villages. Their situation (on a height, in a valley or on a plain); nature of the surrounding country; construction of the houses, nature (straight or crooked) and width of streets; means of defense.

1006. Defiles. Their direction; whether straight or crooked; whether heights on either side are accessible or inaccessible; nature of ground at each extremity; width (frontage of column that can pass through).

1007. Ponds and Marshes. Means of crossing; defensive use that might be made of them as obstacles against enemy; whether the marshy grounds are practicable for any or all arms.

1008. Springs and Rivulets. Nature of approaches; whether water is drinkable and abundant.

1009. Valleys. Extent and nature; towns, villages, hamlets, streams, roads and paths therein; obstacles offered by or in the valley, to the movement of troops.

1010. Heights. Whether slopes are easy or steep; whether good defensive positions are offered; whether plateau is wide or narrow; whether passages are easy or difficult; whether the ground is broken or smooth, wooded or clear.

[Pg 291]

Suggestions for Patrols Employed in Executing Demolition

(Destruction or blocking of bridges, railroads, etc.)

1011. Patrols never execute any demolition unless specifically ordered to do so. Demolition may be of two different characters: Temporary demolition, such as cutting telegraph wires in but a few places or merely burning the flooring of bridges, removing a few rails from a track, etc., and permanent demolition, such as cutting down an entire telegraph line, completely destroying bridges, blowing in tunnels, etc. Only temporary demolition will be dealt with in this book.

1012. Telegraph Line. To temporarily disable telegraph lines, connect up different wires close to the glass insulators, wrap a wire around all the wires and bury its ends in the ground (this grounds or short circuits the wire), or cut all the wires in one or two places.

1013. Railroads. To temporarily disable railroads remove the fish plates (the plates that join the rails together at the ends) at each end of a short section of track, preferably upon an embankment, then have as many men as available raise the track on one side until the ties stand on end and turn the section of track so that it will fall down the embankment; or, cut out rails by a charge of dynamite or gun cotton placed against the web and covered up with mud or damp clay. Eight to twelve ounces of explosive is sufficient. Or blow in the sides of deep cuts or blow down embankments. Bridges, culverts, tunnels, etc., are never destroyed except on a written order of the commander-in-chief.

1014. Wagon Road. (a) Bridges can be rendered temporarily useless by removing the flooring, or, in the case of steel bridges, by burning the flooring (if obtainable, pour tar or kerosene on flooring), particularly if there is not time to remove it.

Short culverts may sometimes be blown in.

A hastily constructed barricade across a bridge or in a cut of trees, wagons, etc, may be sufficient in some cases where only the temporary check of hostile cavalry or artillery is desired.

(b) The road bed may be blocked by digging trenches not less than thirty feet wide and six feet deep, but as this would take a great deal of time patrols would rarely be charged with such work.

1015. Report on Return of Patrol. On returning the patrol leaders should make a short verbal or written report, almost always the former, briefly recounting the movements of the patrol, the information obtained of the enemy, a description of the country passed over and of friendly troops encountered. Of course, this is not practicable when the situation is changing rapidly and a returning patrol is immediately engaged in some new and pressing duty.

Model Reports of Patrol Leaders

1016. 1. Verbal.

Patrol Leader (Corporal B): Sir, Corporal B reports back with his patrol.

Captain A: I received two messages from you, corporal. What else did you discover?

[Pg 292]Corporal B: That was a regiment of infantry, sir, with one battalion thrown out as advance guard. The main body of two battalions went into bivouac at the crossroads and the advance guard formed an outpost line along the big creek two miles south of here.

Captain A: Give me an account of your movements.

Corporal B: We followed this main road south to the creek, where we avoided a mounted patrol moving north on the road at 1–45 P. M., and then reconnoitered the valley from a ridge west of the road. We followed the ridge south for half a mile to a point where we could see a road crossing the valley and the main road at right angles, three miles south of here. There we halted, and at 2:20 what seemed to be the point and advance party (about forty men) of an infantry advance guard appeared, marching north up this road, the head at the crossroad. I then sent you message No. 1 by Private Brown.

In fifteen minutes three companies had appeared 600 yards in rear of the advance party, and I could see a heavy, low column of dust about one-half mile further to the rear. Message No. 2 was then sent in by Privates Baker and Johnson, and to avoid several hostile patrols, I drew off further to the northwest.

The advance guard then halted and established an outpost line along the south of the creek, two miles from here. The cloud of dust proved to be two more battalions and a wagon train. These two battalions went into bivouac on opposite sides of this road at the crossroads and sent out strong patrols east and west on the crossroad. Five wagons went forward to the outpost battalion and the reserve built cook fires.

As Private Rush, here, was the only man I had left, we started back, sketching the valley, ridge and positions of the main body and outpost. Here is the sketch, sir. The fields are all cut crops or meadow.

We sighted two foot patrols from the outpost, moving north about a mile from here, one following the road and one further east.

I did not see any of our patrols.

That is all, sir.

2. Written.

Report of Sergeant Wm. James' Patrol of Five Men

Support No. 1,
Outpost of 6th Inf., Near Dixon,
22 Aug. 12, 2–30 to 5 P. M.

The patrol followed the timber along the creek for one mile S. from our outguards and leaving the creek bottom moved 1/2 mile S. E. to the wooded hill (about 800 ft. high), visible from our lines.

From this hill top the valley to the east (about one mile wide) could be fairly well observed. No signs of the enemy were seen and a message, No. 1, was sent back by Private Russel.

A wagon road runs N. and S. through the valley, bordered by four or five farms with numerous orchards and cleared fields. Both slopes of the valley are heavily wooded.

The patrol then moved S. W., until it struck the macadam pike which runs N. and S., through our lines. Proceeding S. 400 yds. on this[Pg 293] pike to a low hill a farmer, on foot, was met. Said he lived one mile further S.; was looking for some loose horses; that four hostile cavalrymen, from the east, stopped at his farm at noon, drank some milk, took oats for their horses, inquired the way to Dixon and rode off in that direction within fifteen minutes. He said they were the first hostiles he had seen; that they told nothing about themselves, and they and their horses looked in good condition. Farmer appeared friendly and honest.

The patrol then returned to our lines following the pike about two miles. Road is in good condition, low hedges and barbed wire fences, stone culverts and no bridges in the two miles. Bordering country is open and gently rolling farming country and all crops are in. A sketch is attached to this report. None of our patrols was seen.

Respectfully submitted,

Wm. James,
Sergeant, Co. A, 6th Infy.

Problem in Patrol Leading and Patrolling

1017. In studying or solving tactical problems on a map you must remember that unless you carefully work out your own solution to the problem before looking at the given solution, you will practically make no progress.

It is best, if your time permits, to write out your solutions, and when you read over the given solutions, compare the solution of each point with what you thought of that same point when you were solving the problem, and consider why you did just what you did. Without this comparison much of the lasting benefit of the work is lost.

In some of these problems both the problem and solutions are presented in dialogue form so as to give company officers examples of the best method of conducting the indoor instruction of their men in minor tactics. It also gives an example of how to conduct a tactical walk out in the country, simply looking at the ground itself, instead of a map hanging on the wall. The enlarged Elementary Map referred to in Par. 954, is supposed to be used in this instruction as well as in the war games.

Problem No. 1. (Infantry)

1018. The Elementary Map (scale 12 inches to the mile) being hung on the wall, about two sergeants and two squads of the company are seated in a semicircle facing it, and the captain is standing beside the map with a pointer (a barrack cleaning rod makes an excellent pointer).

Captain: We will suppose that our company has just reached the village of York. The enemy is reported to be in the vicinity of Boling and Oxford (he points out on the map all places as they are mentioned). We are in the enemy's country.

Corporal James, I call you up at 3 P. M. and give you these orders: "Nothing has been seen of the enemy yet. Our nearest troops are three miles south of here. Take four men from your squad and reconnoiter along this road (County Road) into the valley on the[Pg 294] other side of that ridge over there (points to the ridge just beyond the cemetery), and see if you can discover anything about the enemy. Report back here by 5 o'clock. I am sending a patrol out the Valley Pike." Now, Corporal, state just what you would do.

Corporal James: I would go to my squad, fall in Privates Amos, Barlow, Sharp and Brown; see that they had full canteens; that their arms were all right; that they were not lame or sick and I would have them leave their blanket rolls, haversacks and entrenching tools with the company. (Par. 964.)

I would then give these orders (Par. 963); "We are ordered out on patrol duty. Nothing has been seen of the enemy yet. Our nearest troops are three miles south of here. We are ordered to reconnoiter along this road into the valley on the other side of that ridge, and see if we can discover anything about the enemy. Another patrol is going up the Valley Pike. Reports are to be sent here. In case we are scattered we will meet at the woods on the hill over there (indicates the clump of trees just west of Mills' farm).

"I will go ahead. Amos, follow about fifty yards behind me. Barlow, you and Sharp keep about 100 yards behind Amos, and Brown will follow you at half that distance. All keep on the opposite side of the road from the man ahead of you." (Par. 968.)

Captain: All right, Corporal, now describe what route you will follow.

Corporal James: The patrol will keep to the County Road until the crest of the ridge near the stone wall is reached, when what I see in the valley beyond will decide my route for me.

Captain: How about the woods west of the stone walls?

Corporal James: If I did not see anyone from our patrol on the Valley Pike reconnoitering there, I would give Barlow these orders just after we have examined the cemetery, when the patrol would have temporarily closed up somewhat: "Barlow, take Sharp and examine that little woods over there. Join us at the top of this hill." I would then wave to Brown to close up and would proceed to the hill top.

Captain: Barlow what do you do?

Private Barlow: I would say, "Sharp, out straight across for that woods. I will follow you." I would follow about 100 yards behind him. When he reached the edge of the woods I would signal him to halt by holding up my left hand. After I had closed up to about fifty yards I would say to him, "Go into the woods and keep me in sight." I would walk along the edge of the woods where I could see Sharp and the corporal's patrol on the road at the same time.

Captain: That is all right, Barlow. Corporal, you should have instructed Amos or Brown to keep close watch on Barlow for signals.

Corporal James: I intended to watch him myself.

Captain: No, you would have enough to do keeping on the alert for what was ahead of you. Now describe how you lead the patrol to the top of the hill, by the stone wall.

Corporal James: When I reached the crest I would hold up my hand for the patrol to halt and would cautiously advance and look ahead into the valley. If I saw nothing suspicious I would wave to[Pg 295] the men to close up and say, "Amos, go to that high ground about 250 yards over there (indicates the end of the nose made by the 60-foot contour just north of the east end of the stone wall), and look around the country." I would keep Brown behind the crest, watching Barlow's movements.

Captain: Now, Corporal, Amos reaches the point you indicated and Barlow and Sharp join you. What do you do?

Corporal James: Can I see the Steel Bridge over Sandy Creek?

Captain: No, it is three-fourths of a mile away and the trees along the road by Smith's hide it. You can see the cut in the road east of the bridge and the Smith house, but the crossroads are hidden by the trees bordering the roads. You see nothing suspicious. It is a clear, sunny afternoon. The roads are dusty and the trees in full foliage. The valley is principally made up of fields of cut hay, corn stubble and meadow land.

Corporal James: Does Private Amos give me any information?

Captain: No, he makes you no signals. You see him sitting behind a bush looking northwest, down the valley.

Corporal James: I would say, "Barlow, head straight across to where that line of trees meets the road (indicates the point where the lane from Mills' farm joins the Chester Pike). Sharp, keep about fifty yards to my right rear." I would follow Barlow at 150 yards and when I had reached the bottom land I would wave to Amos to follow us.

Captain: How about Brown?

Corporal James: I had already given him his orders to follow as rear guard and he should do so without my telling him.

Captain: Amos, what do you do when you see the corporal wave to you?

Private Amos: I would go down the hill and join him.

Captain: No, you could do better than that. You are too far from the corporal for him to signal you to do much of anything except stay there or join him. You should join him, but you should not go straight down to him. You should head so as to strike the Mills' Lane about 100 yards east of the house and then go down the lane, first looking along the stone wall. In this way you save time in reconnoitering the ground near the Mills' farm and protect the patrol against being surprised by an enemy hidden by the line of trees, or the wall along the lane. You are not disobeying your orders but just using common sense in following them out and thinking about what the corporal is trying to do.

Now, Corporal, why didn't you go to the Smith house and find out if the people there had seen anything of the enemy?

Corporal James: You said we were in the enemy's country, sir, so I thought it best to avoid the inhabitants until I found I could not get information in any other way. I intended first to see if I could locate any enemy around here, and if not, to stop at houses on my return. In this way I would be gone before the people could send any information to the enemy about my patrol.

[Pg 296]Captain: Barlow reaches the Chester Pike where the Mills' lane leaves it. You are about 150 yards in his rear. Sharp is 50 yards off to your right rear, Amos 100 yards to your left rear and Brown 50 yards behind you. Just as Barlow starts to climb over the barbed wire fence into the Chester Pike you see him drop down on the ground. He signals, "Enemy in sight." Tell me quickly what would you do?

Corporal James: I would wave my hand for all to lie down, and I would hasten forward, stooping over as I ran, until I was about twenty yards from him, when I would crawl forward to the fence, close by him. Just before I reached him I would ask him what he saw.

Captain: He replies, "There are some hostile foot soldiers coming up this road."

Corporal James: I would crawl forward and look.

Captain: You see three or four men, about 500 yards north of you, coming up the Chester Pike. They are scattered out.

Corporal James: I would say, "Crawl into the lane, keep behind the stone wall, watch those fellows, and work your way to that farm" (indicates the Mills' farm). I would start towards the Mills' farm myself, under cover of the trees along the lane and would wave to the other men to move rapidly west, towards the hills.

Captain: Why didn't you try to hide near where you were and allow the hostile men to pass?

Corporal James: There does not seem to be any place to hide near there that a patrol would not probably examine.

Captain: What is your plan now?

Corporal James: I want to get my patrol up to that small woods near the Mills' farm, but I hardly expect to be able to get them up to that point without their being seen. In any event, I want them well back from the road where they can lie down and not be seen by the enemy when he passes.

Captain: You succeed in collecting your patrol in the woods without their being seen, and you see four foot soldiers in the road at the entrance to the land. One man starts up the lane, the others remaining on the road.

Corporal James: I say, "Brown, go through these woods and hurry straight across to York. You should be able to see the village from the other side of the woods. Report to the captain that a hostile patrol of four foot men is working south up the valley, two miles northeast of York. We will go further north. Repeat what I have told you." (Par. 979.)

Captain: Why didn't you send this message before?

Corporal James: Because we were moving in the same direction that the messenger would have had to go, and, by waiting a very few minutes, I was able to tell whether it was a mere patrol or the point of an advance guard.

Captain: Do you think it correct to send a messenger back with news about a small patrol?

Corporal James: Ordinarily it would be wrong, but as nothing has been seen of the enemy until now, this first news is important because it proves to the Captain that the enemy really is in this neigh[Pg 297]borhood, which it seems to me is a very important thing for him to know and what my mission required me to do. (Par. 981.)

Captain: What are you going to do now, Corporal?

Corporal James: We have traveled about two miles and stopped frequently, so it must be about 4 o'clock. It is one and one-third miles back to York, where I should arrive about 5 o'clock. It would take me twenty-five minutes to go from here to York, so I have about thirty-five minutes left before 5 o'clock. This will permit me to go forward another mile and still be able to reach York on time. It is two-thirds of a mile to the Mason farm, and if the hostile patrol appears to be going on, I will start for that point. Did anyone at the Mills' farm see us?

Captain: No, but tell me first why you do not go along this high ground that overlooks the valley?

Corporal James: Because our patrol that started out the Valley Pike is probably near Twin Hills and I want to cover other country. The orchard at Mason's would obstruct my view from the hills.

Captain: The hostile patrol goes on south. Describe briefly your next movements.

Corporal James: I lead my patrol over to Mason's and, concealing two of the men so that both roads and the house can be watched, I take one man and reconnoiter around the farm yard and go up to the house to question the inhabitants. (Par. 996.)

Captain: You find one woman there who says some other soldiers, on foot, passed there a few minutes ago, marching south. She gives you no other information about the enemy or country.

Corporal James: I would send Amos over to see how deep and wide Sandy Creek is (Par. 1001.) When he returned I would take the patrol over to Twin Hills, follow the ridge south to the stone wall on the County Road, watching the valley for signs of the hostile patrol, and follow the road back to York; then make my report to the Captain, telling him where I had gone, all I had seen, including a description of the country. If I had not been hurried, I would have made a sketch of the valley. I can make a rough one after I get in. (Par. 1015.)

Captain: Suppose on your way back you saw hostile troops appearing on the County Road, marching west over Sandy Ridge. Would you stay out longer or would you consider that you should reach Oxford by 5 o'clock?

Corporal James: I would send a message back at once, and remain out long enough to find out the strength and probable intention of the new enemy.

Captain (to one platoon of his troop of cavalry): We will suppose that this troop has just (9 A. M.) arrived in Boling (Elementary Map) on a clear, dry, summer day. The enemy is supposed to be near Salem and we have seen several of his patrols this morning on our march south to Boling. Sergeant Allen, I call you up and give you these instructions: "Take Corporal Burt's squad (eight men) and reconnoiter south by this road (indicates the Boling-Morey house road) to Salem. I will take the troop straight south to Salem and you will[Pg 298] join it there about 10:15. It is four and one-half miles to Salem. Start at once." (You have no map.)

Sergeant Allen: I would like to know just what the Captain wishes my patrol to do. (Par. 965.)

Captain: We will suppose that this is one of the many occasions in actual campaign where things must be done quickly. Where there is no time for detailed orders. You know that the troop has been marching south towards Salem where the enemy is supposed to be. You also know we have seen several of his patrols. I have told you what the troop is going to do, and from all this you should be able to decide what your mission is in this case. We will, therefore, consider that there is no time to give you more detailed orders, and you have to decide for yourself. Of course, if you had failed to hear just what I said, then, in spite of the necessity for haste, I would repeat my instructions to you. (Par. 963.)

Sergeant Allen: I would ride over to Corporal Burt's squad and lead it out of the column to the road leading to the Morey house, and say, "The troop is going on straight south to Salem, four and one-half miles away. This squad will reconnoiter south to Salem by this road, joining the troop there about 10:15. In case we become separated, make for Salem. Corporal, take Brown and form the point. I will follow with the squad about 300 yards in rear. Regulate your gait on me after you get your distance. Move out now at a trot." (Par. 963.)

After Corporal Burt had gotten 150 yards out I would say, "Carter, move out as connecting file." I would then say, "Downs, you will follow about 150 yards behind us as rear guard." When Carter had gone 150 yards down the road I would order, "1. Forward; 2. Trot; 3. March," and ride off at the head of the four remaining men (in column of twos.) (Par. 968.)

Captain: Sergeant, tell me briefly what is your estimate of the situation—that is, what sort of a proposition you have before you and how you have decided to handle it.

Sergeant Allen: As the enemy is supposed to be near Salem and we have already seen his patrols, I expect to encounter more patrols and may meet a strong body of the enemy, on my way to Salem. As I have no map, I cannot tell anything about the road, except that it is about four and one-half miles by the direct road the troop will follow, therefore my route will be somewhat longer. I have been given an hour and fifteen minutes in which to make the trip, so, if I move at a trot along the safer portions of the road. I will have time to proceed very slowly and cautiously along the dangerous portions. My patrol will be stretched out about 500 yards on the road, which should make it difficult for the enemy to surprise us and yet should permit my controlling the movements of the men. (Par. 968.)

I consider that my mission is to start out on this road and find my way around to Salem in about an hour and, particularly, to get word across to the Captain on the other road of anything of importance about the enemy that I may learn.

[Pg 299]Captain: Very well. When you reach the cut in the road across the south nose of Hill 38, your point has almost reached the Morey house. Do you make any change in your patrol?

Sergeant Allen: I order, "1. Walk, 2. MARCH," and watch to see if the connecting file observes the change in gait and comes to a walk.

Captain: Suppose he does not come to a walk?

Sergeant Allen: I would say, "Smith, gallop ahead and tell Carter to walk and to keep more on the alert."

Captain: Corporal Burt, you reach the road fork at Morey's. What do you do?

Corporal Burt: I say, "Brown, wait here until Carter is close enough to see which way you go and then trot up to me." I would walk on down the road.

Captain: Wouldn't you make any inspection of the Morey house?

Corporal Burt: Not unless I saw something suspicious from the road. I would expect the main body of the patrol to do that.

Captain: Don't you make any change on account of the woods you are passing?

Corporal Burt: No, sir. It has very heavy underbrush and we would lose valuable time trying to search through it. A large force of the enemy would hardly hide in such a place.

Captain: Sergeant Allen, you reach the road fork. What do you do?

Sergeant Allen: I would have two men go into the Morey house to question anyone they found there. I would order one of the other two men to trot up (north) that road 200 yards and wait until I signaled to him to return. With the other man I would await the result of the inspection of the Morey house. Corporal Burt should have gone ahead without orders to the cut in the road across Long Ridge, leaving Brown half way between us. (Pars. 987 to 996.)

Captain: You find no one at the Morey house.

Sergeant Allen: I would signal the man to the north to come in. I would then order two men to "find a gate in the fence and trot up on that hill (indicating Long Ridge), and look around the country and join me down this road." (Par. 968.) I would then start south at a walk, halting at the cut to await the result of the inspection on the country from the hill.

Captain: Foster, you and Lacey are the two men sent up on Long Ridge. When you reach the hilltop you see four hostile cavalrymen trotting north on the Valley Pike, across the railroad track.

Private Foster: I signal like this (enemy in sight), and wait to see if they go on north. (Par. 978.) Do I see anything else behind or ahead of them?

Captain: You see no other signs of the enemy on any road. Everything looks quiet. The hostile cavalrymen pass the Baker house and continue north.

Private Foster: I would then take Lacey, trot down the ridge to Sergeant Allen, keeping below the crest and report, "Sergeant, We saw four hostile mounted men trotting north on the road about[Pg 300] three-quarters of a mile over there (pointing), and they kept on north, across that road (pointing to the Brown-Baker-Oxford road). There was nothing else in sight." I would then tell him what the country to the south looked like, if he wanted to know.

Captain: Sergeant Allen, what do you do now?

Sergeant Allen: I would continue toward the Brown house at a trot. I would send no message to you as you already know there are hostile patrols about and therefore this information would be of little or no importance to you. (Par. 981.)

Captain: You arrive at Brown's house.

Sergeant Allen: I would send two men in to question the people and I would continue on at a walk. I would not send any one up the road towards Oxford as Foster has already seen that road.

Captain: You should have sent a man several hundred yards out the Farm Lane. (Par. 989.) If he moved at a trot it would only have taken a very short time. Continue to describe your movements.

Sergeant Allen: I would halt at the railroad track until I saw my two men coming on from the Brown house. I would then direct the other two men who were with me to go through the first opening in the fence to the west and ride south along that ridge (62—Lone Hill—Twin Hills' ridge) until I signaled them to rejoin. I would tell them to look out for our troop over to the east. If there were a great many fences I would not send them out until we were opposite the southern edge of that woods ahead of us. There I would send them to the high ground to look over the country, and return at once.

Captain: There are a great many fences west of the road and practically none east of the road to Sandy Creek. Just as you arrive opposite the southern edge of those woods and are giving orders for the two men to ride up the hill, you hear firing in the direction of Bald Knob. In the road at the foot of the south slope of Bald Knob, where the trail to the quarry starts off, you can see quite a clump of horses. You see nothing to the west of your position or towards Mason's. What do you do?

Sergeant Allen: I signal "RALLY" to Carter and Downs. If there is a gate nearby I lead my men through it. If not, I have them cut or break an opening in the fence and ride towards the railroad fill at a fast trot, having one man gallop ahead as point.

When we reach the fill, the point having first looked beyond it, I order, "DISMOUNT. Lacey, hold the horses. 1. As skirmishers along that fill, 2. MARCH." When Corporal Burt, Brown, Carter and Downs come up Lacey takes their horses and they join the line of skirmishers. Captain, what do I see from the fill?

Captain: There appear to be about twenty or thirty horses in the group. The firing seems to come from the cut in the road just north of the horses and from the clump of trees by the Quarry. You can also hear firing from a point further north on the road, apparently your troop replying to the fire from Bald Knob. You see nothing in the road south of the horses as far as Hill 42, which obstructs your view. What action do you take?

[Pg 301]Sergeant Allen: I order, "AT THE FEET OF THOSE HORSES. RANGE, 850. CLIP FIRE."

Captain: What is your object in doing as you have done?

Sergeant Allen: I know the captain intended to go to Salem with the troop. From the fact that he is replying to the hostile fire I judge he still wishes to push south. I was ordered to reconnoiter along this road, but now a situation has arisen where the troop is being prevented or delayed in doing what was desired and I am in what appears to be a very favorable position from which to give assistance to the troop and enable them to push ahead. I am practically in rear of the enemy and within effective range of their lead horses. I therefore think my mission has at least temporarily changed and I should try and cause the twenty or thirty hostile troopers to draw off (Par. 1011). Besides, I think it is my business to find out what the strength of this enemy is and whether or not he has reinforcements coming up from Salem, and send this information to the captain. From my position I can still watch the Chester Pike.

Captain: After you have emptied your clips you see the enemy running down out of the cut and from among the trees mount their horses and gallop south. What do you do?

Sergeant Allen: I would send Foster across the creek above the trestle (south of trestle), to ride across to that road (pointing towards the cut on Bald Hill) and tell the captain, who is near there, that about thirty men were on the hill and they have galloped south, and that I am continuing towards Salem. I would have Foster repeat the message that I gave him. I would then trot back to the Chester Pike and south to Mason's, taking up our old formation.

Captain: You see nothing unusual at Mason's and continue south until you reach the cross roads by the Smith farm. Corporal Burt and Private Brown are near the stone bridge south of Smith's; Private Carter is half way between you and Corporal Burt; and Private Downs is 100 yards north of Smith's. You have three men with you. What do you do?

Sergeant Allen: What time is it now?

Captain: It is now 9:45 A. M.

Sergeant Allen: I would say, "Lacey, take Jackson and gallop as far as that cut in the road (points east) and see if you can locate the enemy or our troop in the valley beyond. I will wave my hat over my head when I want you to return." I would then say to Private Moore, "Gallop down to Corporal Burt and tell him to fall back in this direction 100 yards, and then you return here bringing the other two men with you." I would then await the result of Private Lacey's reconnaissance, sending Carter to the turn in the road 200 yards west of the cross roads.

Captain: Lacey, what do you do?

Private Lacey: I order Jackson, "Follow 75 yards behind me and watch for signals from Sergeant Allen," and I then gallop across the steel bridge and half way up the hill. I then move cautiously up to the cut and, if the fences permit, I ride up on the side of the cut, dis[Pg 302]mounting just before reaching the crest of the ridge, and walk forward until I can see into the valley beyond.

Captain: You see no signs of the enemy in the valley, but you see your own troop on the road by the Gibbs farm with a squad in advance in the road on Hill 42.

Private Lacey: I look towards Sergeant Allen to see if he is signaling. I make no signals.

Captain: What do you do, Sergeant?

Sergeant Allen: I wave my hat for Private Lacey to return. I wave to Private Downs to join me and when Private Lacey arrives I signal "ASSEMBLE" to Corporal Burt and then say, "Lacey, join Corporal Burt and tell him to follow me as rear guard. Martin, join Carter and tell him to trot west. We will follow. You stay with him." After he got started I would order, "Follow me. 1. Trot; 2. MARCH."

Captain: When Private Carter reaches the crest of the ridge about one-half mile west of Smith's he signals, "Enemy in sight in large numbers," and he remains in the road with Martin fifty yards in rear. (Par. 978.)

Sergeant Allen: I order, "1. Walk; 2. MARCH. 1. Squad; 2. HALT," and gallop up to Private Carter, dismount just before reaching the crest, give my horse up to Private Martin, and run forward.

Captain: Carter points out what appears to be a troop of cavalry standing in the road leading north out of York, just on the edge of the town. You see about four mounted men 200 yards out of York on your road, halted, and about the same number on the Valley Pike near where it crosses the first stream north of York. What do you do?

Sergeant Allen: I wait about three minutes to see if they are going to move.

Captain: They remain halted, the men at York appear to be dismounted.

Sergeant Allen: I write the following message:

Hill 1/2 mile N. E. of York,
10 A. M.

Captain X:

A hostile troop of cavalry is standing in road at YORK (west of SALEM) with squads halted on N. and N. E. roads from YORK. Nothing else seen. Will remain in observation for the present.


I would give the message to Martin, who had previously brought my horse up close in rear of the crest, and would say to him, "Take this message to the captain, straight across to the road the troop is on, and turn south towards Salem if you do not see them at first. Take Lacey with you. Tell him what you have seen. He knows where the troop is." I would have Carter hold my horse, and watch the remainder of the patrol for signals, while I observed the enemy.

Captain: At the end of five minutes the hostile troop trots north on the Valley Pike, the patrol on your road rides across to the Valley Pike and follows the troop.

[Pg 303]Sergeant Allen: I would wait until the troops had crossed the creek north of York and would then face my patrol east and trot to the cross roads at Smith's, turn south and continue to Salem, sending one man to ride up on Sandy Ridge, keeping the patrol in sight.

Captain: We have carried out the problem far enough. It furnishes a good example of the varying situations a patrol leader has to meet. Good judgment or common sense must be used in deciding on the proper course to follow. You must always think of what your chief is trying to do and then act in the way you think will best help him to accomplish his object. If you have carefully decided just what mission you have been given to accomplish, you cannot easily go wrong. In handling a mounted patrol you must remember that if the men become widely separated in strange country, or even in country they are fairly familiar with, they are most apt to lose all contact with each other or become lost themselves.

Problem No. 2. (Infantry)

1019. Captain (to one platoon of his company): We will suppose it is about half an hour before dawn. One platoon of the company is deployed as skirmishers, facing north, in the cut where the County Road crosses Sandy Ridge. It is the extreme right of a line of battle extending west along the line of the County Road. The fight was not commenced. This platoon is resting in a wheat field between the railroad and the foot of the slope of Sandy Ridge, 200 yards south of the County Road. Sergeant Allen, I call you up and give you these instructions: "The enemy's line is off in that direction (pointing northwest). Take six men and work north along the railroad until it is light enough to see; then locate the hostile line and keep me informed of their movements. I will be in this vicinity. You have a compass. Start at once." Describe briefly the formation of your patrol while it is moving in the dark.

Sergeant Allen: One man will lead. A second man will follow about fifteen yards in rear of him. I will follow the second man at the same distance with three more men, and the last man will be about twenty yards in rear of me. All will have bayonets fixed, loaded and pieces locked. One short, low whistle will mean, Halt, two short whistles will mean, Forward, and the word "Sandy" will be the countersign by which we can identify each other.

Captain: Very well. We will suppose that you reach the steel trestle over Sandy Creek just at dawn and have met no opposition and heard nothing of the enemy. On either side of Sandy Creek are fields of standing corn about six feet tall. In the present dim light you can only see a few hundred yards off.

Sergeant Allen: The patrol being halted I would walk forward to the leading man (Brown) and say, "Brown, take Carter and form the point for the patrol, continuing along this railroad. We will follow about 150 yards in rear." I would then rejoin the main body of the patrol and order the man in rear to follow about 75 yards in rear of us. When the point had gained its distance I would move forward with the main body, ordering one man to move along the creek bank (west bank), keeping abreast of us until I signaled to him to come in.

[Pg 304]Captain: Just as you reach the northern end of the railroad fill your point halts and you detect some movement in the road to the west of you. It is rapidly growing lighter.

Sergeant Allen: I would move the main body by the left flank into the corn, signaling to the man following the creek to rejoin, and for the rear guard to move off the track also. I would expect Brown to do the same, even before he saw what we had done. I would then close up on the point until I could see it and, halting all the patrol, I would order Foster to take Lacey and work over towards the road to see what is there and to report back to me immediately.

Captain: In a few minutes Foster returns and reports, "The enemy is moving south in the road and in the field beyond, in line of squads or sections. A hostile patrol is moving southeast across the field behind us. We were not seen."

(Note: This situation could well have been led up to by requiring Private Foster to explain how he conducted his reconnaissance and having him formulate his report on the situation as given.)

Sergeant Allen: I would then work my patrol closer to the road, keeping Foster out on that flank, and prepare to follow south in rear of the hostile movement.

Captain: The information you have gained is so important that you should have sent a man back to me with a verbal message, particularly as you are in a very dangerous position, and may not be able to send a message later. While you have not definitely located the left of the enemy's line, you have apparently discovered what appears to be a movement of troops forward to form the left of the attacking line. Your action in turning south to follow the troops just reported, is proper, as you now know you are partly in rear of the hostile movement and must go south to locate the hostile flank that your mission requires you to report on.

You men must picture in your minds the appearance of the country the sergeant is operating through. His patrol is now in a field of high standing corn. Unless you are looking down between the regular rows of corn you can only see a few yards ahead of you. The road has a wire fence and is bordered by a fairly heavy growth of high weeds and bushes. The ground is dry and dusty. Sergeant, how do you conduct your movement south?

Sergeant Allen: As my patrol is now in a very dangerous neighborhood and very liable to be caught between two hostile lines, with a deep creek between our present position and our platoon, I think it best to move cautiously southeast until I reach the creek bank (I cannot see it from where I now am), and then follow the creek south. I think I am very apt to find the enemy's left resting on this creek. Besides, if I do not soon locate the enemy, I can hold the main body of my patrol close to the creek and send scouts in towards the road to search for the enemy. It will also be much easier to send information back to the platoon from the creek bank, as a messenger can ford it and head southeast until he strikes the railroad and then follow that straight back to our starting point. It would thus be very difficult for him to get lost.

[Pg 305]Captain: You move southeast and strike the creek bank just south of the railroad trestle. You now hear artillery fire off to the west and a rifle fire to the southwest which gradually increases in volume. You see a high cloud of dust hanging over the road on the hill west of Mason's and south of this road on the north slope of the northern-most knoll of the Twin Hills, you can occasionally see the flash of a gun, artillery being discharged. There seems to be no rifle firing directly in your front.

Sergeant Allen: I hurriedly write the following message:

At Ry. trestle 1 mi. N. of Platoon,
5:15 A. M.

Captain X:

Can see arty. firing from position on N. slope of knoll on high ridge to W. of me, and 1/4 mi. S. of E. and W. road. Hostile line is S. of me. Have not located it. Will move S.

Sgt. (Par. 974.)

I hand this to Private Smith and say to him. "Carry this quickly to the captain. Follow the railroad back until you cross a wagon road. Our platoon should be to the west of the track just beyond the road." I also read the message to Smith and point out the hostile artillery. I have considered that I sent a message before telling about the hostile advance.

I then continue south, moving slowly and with great caution. I instruct the remaining four men that in case we are surprised to try to cross the creek and follow the railroad back to the platoon.

Captain: Your information about the hostile artillery position was important and should have been sent in, provided you think your description of the hostile position was sufficiently clear to be understood by an observer within your own lines.

There is some question as to the advisability of your remaining on the west bank of the creek. Still you would not be able to tell from where you were what direction the creek took, so you probably would remain on the west bank for the present.

You continue south for about 150 yards and your leading man halts, comes back to you, and reports that the corn ahead is broken and trampled, showing it has been passed over by foot troops. About the same time you hear rifle fire to your immediate front. It sounds very close.

Sergeant Allen: I say, "Cross this creek at once," and when we reach the other bank and the patrol forms again, we move slowly south, all the men keeping away from the creek bank, except myself, and I march opposite the two men constituting the main body.

Captain: About this time you detect a movement in the corn across the creek in rear of the place you have just left. You think it is a body of troops moving south. The firing in front seems to be delivered from a point about two or three hundred yards south of you and you can hear heavy firing from off in the direction of your company, a few bullets passing overhead. There are scattered trees along the creek and some bushes close to the edge.

[Pg 306]Sergeant Allen: I would conceal myself close to the bank, the patrol being back, out of sight from the opposite bank, and await developments.

Captain: Sergeant, your patrol is in a dangerous position. The enemy will very likely have a patrol or detachment in rear and beyond his flank. This patrol would probably cross the railroad trestle and take you in rear. You should have given the last men in your patrol particular instructions to watch the railroad to the north. It would have been better if you had sent one man over to the railroad, which is only a short distance away, and had him look up and down the track and also make a hurried survey of the country from an elevated position on the fill.

I also think it would be better not to await developments where you now are, but to push south and make sure of the position of the left of the enemy's firing line, later you can devote more time to the movements in rear of the first line. You are taking too many chances in remaining where you are. I do not mean that you should leave merely because you might have some of your men killed or captured, but because if this did occur you would probably not be able to accomplish your mission. Later you may have to run a big chance of sacrificing several of your men, in order to get the desired information, which would be entirely justifiable. Tell me how your men are arranged and what your next movement would be.

Sergeant Allen: I have four men left, I am close to the stream's bank, under cover; two men are about 25 yards further away from the stream; Private Brown is up stream as far off as he can get and still see the other two men, and Private Foster is down stream the same distance. Both Brown and Foster are well back from the stream. The two men in the middle, the main body of the patrol, make their movements conform to mine, and Brown and Foster regulate their movements on the main body. I will move south until I can locate the enemy's advance line.

Captain: When you are opposite the Mason house, Brown comes back to you, having signaled halt, and reports he can see the enemy's firing line about 100 yards ahead on the other side of the stream, and that a small detachment is crossing the stream just beyond where he was. What do you do?

Sergeant Allen: I creep forward with Brown to verify his report. The remainder of the patrol remains in place.

Captain: You find everything as Brown reported. You see that the firing line extends along the southern edge of the cornfield, facing an uncultivated field covered with grass and frequent patches of weeds two or three feet high. You cannot determine how strong the line is, but a heavy fire is being delivered. You cannot see the detachment that crossed the creek south of you because of the standing corn.

[Pg 307]Sergeant Allen: I crawl back to the main body, leaving Brown, and write the following message:

5/6 mi. N. of Platoon,
5:32 A. M.

Captain X:

Enemy's left rests on creek 3/4 mile to your front, along S. edge of cornfield. Creek is 5 ft. deep by 60 ft. wide. Hostile patrols have crossed the creek. Will watch their rear.


I give this to Private James and say, "Go over to the railroad (pointing), then turn to your right and follow the track until you cross a wagon road. Our platoon is just beyond that, on this side of the track. Give this message to the captain. Hurry."

Captain: You should have either read the message to James or had him read it. You should also have cautioned him to watch out for that hostile detachment. It might be better to send another man off with a duplicate of the message, as there is quite a chance that James may not get through and the message is all-important. James, you get back to the wagon road here (pointing) and find yourself in the right of your battle line, but cannot locate me or the company right away.

Private James: I would show the note to the first officer I saw in any event, and in this case, I would turn it over to the officer who appeared to be in command of the battalion or regiment on the right of the line, telling him what company the patrol belonged to, when we went out, etc.

Captain: What do you do, sergeant?

Sergeant Allen: I start to move north a short distance in order to find out what reënforcements are in rear of the hostile line.

Captain: After you have moved about 75 yards you are suddenly fired into from across the creek, and at the same time from the direction of the railroad trestle. Your men break and run east through the corn and you follow, but lose sight of them. When you cross the railroad fill you are fired on from the direction of the bridge. You finally stop behind the railroad fill on the quarry switch, where two of your men join you.

Sergeant Allen: I would start south to rejoin the company and report.

Captain: That would be a mistake. It would require a long time for a second patrol to make its way out over unknown ground, filled with hostile patrols, to a point where they could observe anything in rear of the hostile flank. You are now fairly familiar with the ground, you also know about where the hostile patrols are and you[Pg 308] have two men remaining. After a brief rest in some concealed place nearby, you should start out again to make an effort to determine the strength of the troops in rear of the hostile flank near you, or at least remain out where you could keep a sharp lookout for any attempted turning movement by the enemy. Should anything important be observed you can send back a message and two of you remain to observe the next developments before returning. The information you might send back and the additional information you might carry back, would possibly enable your own force to avoid a serious reverse or obtain a decided victory.

Your work would be very hazardous, but it is necessary, and while possibly resulting in loss of one or two of your men, it might prevent the loss of hundreds in your main force.

[Pg 309]



(Based on the Field Service Regulations.)

General Principles

1020. The Service of Security embraces all those measures taken by a military force to protect itself against surprise, annoyance or observation by the enemy. On the march, that portion of a command thrown out to provide this security is called an advance, flank or rear guard, depending on whether it is in front, to the flank or in rear of the main command; in camp or bivouac, it is called the outpost.

The principal duties of these bodies being much the same, their general formations are also very similar. There is (1) the cavalry covering the front; next (2) a group (4 men to a platoon) or line of groups in observation; then (3) the support, or line of supports, whose duty is to furnish the men for the observation groups and check an enemy's attempt to advance until reinforcements can arrive; still farther in rear is (4) the reserve.

In small commands of an infantry regiment or less there usually will not be any cavalry to cover the front, and the reserve is generally omitted. Even the support may be omitted and the observation group or line of groups be charged with checking the enemy, in addition to its regular duties of observation. But whatever the technical designation of these subdivisions, the rearmost one is always in fact a reserve. For example, if the command is so small that the subdivision formally designated as the reserve is omitted, the rear element (squad or platoon or company, etc.) is used as a reserve. As this text deals principally with small commands and only those larger than a regiment usually have the subdivision termed the reserve, this distinction between the element in the Field Service Regulations called the reserve and the actual reserve, must be thoroughly understood.

The arrangements or formations of all detachments thrown out from the main force to provide security against the enemy, are very flexible, varying with every military situation and every different kind of country. The commander of such a detachment must, therefore, avoid blindly arranging his men according to some fixed plan and at certain fixed distances. Acquire a general understanding of the principles of the service of security and then with these principles as a foundation use common sense in disposing troops for this duty.


1021. Definition and Duties. An advance guard is a detachment of a marching column thrown out in advance to protect the main column from being surprised and to prevent its march from being delayed or[Pg 310] interrupted. (The latter duty is generally forgotten and many irritating, short halts result, which wear out or greatly fatigue the main body, the strength of which the advance guard is supposed to conserve.)

In detail the duties of the advance guard are:

1. To guard against surprise and furnish information by reconnoitering to the front and flanks.

2. To push back small parties of the enemy and prevent their observing, firing upon or delaying the main body.

3. To check the enemy's advance in force long enough to permit the main body to prepare for action.

4. When the enemy is met on the defenses, seize a good position and locate his lines, care being taken not to bring on a general engagement unless the advance guard commander is authorized to do so.

5. To remove obstacles, repair the road, and favor in every way possible the steady march of the column.

1022. Strength: The strength of the advance guard varies from one-ninth to one-third of the total command. The larger the force the larger in proportion is the advance guard, for a larger command takes relatively longer to prepare for action than a small one. For example, a company of 100 men would ordinarily have an advance guard of from one to two squads, as the company could deploy as skirmishers in a few seconds. On the other hand, a division of 20,000 men would ordinarily have an advance guard of about 4,500 men, all told, as it would require several hours for a division to deploy and the advance guard must be strong enough to make a stubborn fight.

1023. Composition. The advance guard is principally composed of infantry, preceded if possible, by cavalry well to the front. When there is only infantry, much more patrolling is required of the front troops than when cavalry (called "Advance cavalry") is out in advance. This book does not deal with large advance guards containing artillery and engineers. Machine guns, however, will be frequently used in small advance guards to hold bridges, defiles, etc.

1024. Distance From Main Body. The distance at which the advance guard precedes the main body or the main body follows the advance guard depends on the military situation and the ground. It should always be great enough to allow the main body time to deploy before it can be seriously engaged. For instance the advance guard of a company, say 1 squad, should be 350 to 500 yards in advance of the company. The distance from the leading man back to the principal group of the squad should generally be at least 150 yards. This, added to the distance back to the main body or company, makes a distance of from 500 to 650 yards from the leading man to the head of the main body.


Command. Advance Guard. Distance (yds.).
Patrol of 1 squad 2 men 100 to 300
Section of 3 squads 4 men 200 to 400
Inf. platoon of 50 men 1 squad 300 to 450
Cav. platoon of 20 men 4 men 300 to 450
Inf. company of 108 men 1 to 2 squads 350 to 500
Cav. troop of 86 men[Pg 311] 1/2 platoon 450 to 600
Inf. battalion 1/2 to 1 company 500 to 700
Cav. squadron 1/2 to 1 troop 600 to 800

These are not furnished as fixed numbers and distances, but are merely to give the student an approximate, concrete idea.

1025. Connecting Files. It should be remembered that between the advance guard and the main body, and between the several groups into which the advance guard is subdivided, connecting files are placed so as to furnish a means of communicating, generally by signals, between the elements (groups) of the column. There should be a connecting file for at least ever, 300 yards. For example, suppose the advance guard of a platoon is 300 yards in front of the main body. In ordinary rolling country, not heavily wooded, a connecting file would be placed half way between the two elements—150 yards from each one.

It is generally wiser to use two men together instead of one, because this leaves one man free to watch for signals from the front while the other watches the main body. However, in very small commands like a company, this is not practicable, as the extra man could not be spared.


1026. Subdivisions. The advance guard of a large force like a brigade or division is subdivided into a number of groups or elements, gradually increasing in size from front to rear. The reason for this is that, as has already been explained, a larger group or force requires longer to deploy or prepare to fight than a smaller one, therefore the small subdivisions are placed in front where they can quickly deploy and hold the enemy temporarily in check while the larger elements in rear are deploying. The number of these subdivisions decreases as the strength of the advance guard decreases, until we find the advance guard of a company consists of one or two squads, which naturally cannot be subdivided into more than two groups; and the advance guard of a squad composed of two men, which admits of no subdivision.

  Distance to next element in rear.
Advance Cavalry 1 to 5 miles
Support     Advance party     Point 150 to 300 yds.
    (furnishes patrols)     Advance party proper 300 to 600 yds.
    Support proper 400 to 800 yds.
Reserve (usually omitted in small commands) 500 yds. to 1 mile

The distances vary principally with the size of the command—slightly with the character of the country.

The advance cavalry is that part of the advance guard going in front of all the foot troops. It is generally one to five miles in advance of the infantry of the advance guard, reconnoitering at least far enough to the front and flanks to guard the column against surprise by artillery fire—4,500 yards.

1027. Support. (a) The support constitutes the principal element or group of all advance guards. It follows the advance cavalry, when there[Pg 312] is any, and leads the advance guard when there is no cavalry. The support of a large command is subdivided within itself in much the same manner as the advance guard as a whole is subdivided. It varies in strength from one-fourth to one-half of the advance guard.

1028. (b) Advance Party. As the support moves out it sends forward an advance party several hundred yards, the distance varying with the nature of the country and size of the command. For example, the advance party of a support of one company of 108 men, would ordinarily be composed of one section of three squads, and would march about 300 yards in advance of the company in open country, and about 200 yards in wooded country.

The advance party sends out the patrols to the front and flanks to guard the main body of the support from surprise by effective rifle fire. Patrols are only sent out to the flanks to examine points that cannot be observed from the road. As a rule they will have to rejoin some portion of the column in rear of the advance party. As the advance party becomes depleted in strength in this manner, fresh men are sent forward from the main body of the support to replace those who have fallen behind while patrolling. When there is advance cavalry, much less patrolling is required of the infantry.

(c) The point is a patrol sent forward by the advance party 150 to 300 yards. When the advance party is large enough the point should ordinarily consist of a complete squad, commanded by an officer or experienced noncommissioned officer. It is merely a patrol in front of the column and takes the formation described for patrols.

(d) The commander of the support ordinarily marches with the advance party. He should have a map and control of the guide, if any is present. He sees that the proper road is followed; that guides are left in towns and at crossroads; that bridges, roads, etc., are repaired promptly so as not to delay the march of the column and that information of the enemy is promptly sent back to the advance guard commander; he verifies the correctness of this information, if possible.

1029. (a) A thorough understanding of the arrangement of the support and the duties of the leaders of its subdivisions—point, flank patrols, advance party and main body (of the support)—is of the greatest importance to a noncommissioned officer. For example, the ignorance of one noncommissioned officer leading the advance party of a column of troops six miles long can cause the entire column to be delayed. If he halts because a few shots are fired at his men, and conducts a careful reconnaissance before attacking (instead of pushing right in on the enemy, forcing him to fall back quickly, if a weak detachment; or, to disclose his strength, if strong), the entire column, six miles long, is halted, the march interrupted, valuable time lost, and what is more important, the men irritated and tired out.

(b) The leader of the point must understand that as the principal duty of an advance guard is to secure the safe and uninterrupted march of the main body, he is the first man to discharge this duty. If, for example, his squad receives a volley of shots from some point to the front, he cannot take the time and precautions the commander of a large body would take to reconnoiter the enemy's position, determine[Pg 313] something about his strength, etc., before risking an attack. If he did he would not be securing the uninterrupted march of the main body. He has to deploy instantly and press the enemy hard until the hostile opposition disappears or the advance party comes up and its commander takes charge. The point will lose men in this way, but it is necessary, for otherwise one small combat patrol could delay the march time after time.

(c) The same problem must be met in much the same manner by the leader of the advance party. In this case there is more time to think, as the point, being in advance, will have begun the fight before the advance party arrives; but the leader of the advance party must use his men freely and quickly to force the enemy to "show his hand," thus preventing small harassing or combat detachments from delaying the march.

(d) As the subdivisions of the advance guard become larger their leaders act with increasing caution, for as soon as it develops that the enemy in front is really present in some strength, then a halt becomes obligatory and a careful reconnaissance necessary.

(e) The leader of every subdivision must always start a reconnaissance the instant the enemy develops. He may, as in the case of the point, only send one man around to discover the enemy's strength; or, if the leader of the main body of the support, he may send an entire squad. In almost every case the instant he has given his orders for deploying and firing at or rushing the enemy, he sends out his man or men to work around to a position permitting a view of the hostile force. Every noncommissioned officer should impress this on his memory so that he will not forget it in the excitement of a sudden engagement.

(f) No attempt should be made to subdivide the advance guard of a small force into all the elements previously described. For example, the advance guard of a squad is simply a point of one or two men; the advance guard of a company is usually no more than a squad acting as a point, the squad actually having several men from 100 to 150 yards in advance, who really constitute a point for the squad; the advance guard of a battalion would usually consist of a company or less distributed as[Pg 314] an advance party proper and a point. The advance guard of a regiment would have no reserve—if, for example, a battalion were used as the advance guard of a regiment, there would be only a support, which would be distributed about as follows: A support proper of about three companies and an advance party (point included) of about one company.

Fig. 1 Fig. 1

1030. Reserve. An advance guard large enough to have a reserve would be distributed as follows:

Fig. 2 Fig. 2

The distance Z would be greater than Y and Y would be greater than X. For example, a regiment acting as the advance guard of a brigade would, under ordinary conditions, be distributed about as follows:

Fig. 3 Fig. 3

As only large commands have a reserve, which would always be commanded by an officer, noncommissioned officers need not give this much consideration, but it must be understood that while this fourth subdivision of the advance guard is the only one officially termed reserve, the last subdivision of any advance guard actually is a reserve, no matter what its official designation.

[Pg 315]The advance guard of a cavalry command adopts formations similar to those described above, except that the distances are increased because of the rapidity with which the command can close up or deploy. An advance party with a few patrols is usually enough for a squadron, and precedes it from 600 to 1,000 yards.

1031. Reconnaissance. In reconnaissance the patrols are, as a rule, small (from two to six men).

The flanking patrols, whether of the advance cavalry or of the advance party, are sent out to examine the country wherever the enemy might be concealed. If the nature of the ground permits, these patrols march across country or along roads and trails parallel to the march of the column. For cavalry patrols this is often possible; but with infantry patrols and even with those that are mounted, reconnaissance is best done by sending the patrols to high places along the line of march to overlook the country and examine the danger points. These patrols signal the results of their observations and, unless they have other instructions, join the columns by the nearest routes, other patrols being sent out as the march proceeds and as the nature of the country requires.

Deserters, suspicious characters and bearers of flags of truce (the latter blindfolded), are taken to the advance guard commander.

1032. Advance Guard Order. On receipt of the order for a march designating the troops for the advance guard, the commander of the latter makes his estimate of the situation; that is, he looks at the map or makes inquiries to determine what sort of a country he must march through and the nature of the roads; he considers what the chances are of encountering the enemy, etc., and then how he should best arrange his advance guard to meet these conditions, and what time the different elements of his advance guard must start in order to take their proper place in the column. He then issues his order at the proper time—the evening before if possible and he deems it best, or the morning of the march.

The order for a large advance guard would ordinarily be written; for a small command it would almost invariably be verbal, except that the commander or leader of each element should always make written notes of the principal points, such as the road to be followed, time to start, distances, etc.

Problem No. 1. (Infantry)

1033. Captain (to one platoon of his company): We will assume that our battalion camped last night at Oxford (Elementary Map) in the enemy's country. It is now sunrise, 5:30 A. M.; camp has been broken and we are ready to march. The officers have returned from reporting to the major for orders and I fall in the company and give the following orders:

"A regiment of the enemy's cavalry is thought to be marching towards Salem from the south. Our battalion will march at once towards Salem to guard the railroad trestle over Sandy Creek, following this road (pointing southeast along the road out of Oxford) and the Chester Pike Which is one and three-quarters miles from here.

[Pg 316]"This company will form the advance guard.

"Sergeant Adams, you will take Corporal Baker's squad and form the point, followed by the remainder of the company at about 400 yards. Patrols and connecting files will be furnished by the company.

"The company wagon will join the wagons of the battalion.

"I will be with the company.

"Move out at once."

The weather is fine and the roads are good and free from dust. It is August and nearly all the crops are harvested. Bushes and weeds form a considerable growth along the fences bordering the road.

Sergeant, give your orders.

Sergeant Adams: 1st squad, 1. Right, 2. FACE, 1. Forward, 2. MARCH. Corporal Baker, take Carter (Baker's rear rank man) and go ahead of the squad about 200 yards. Move out rapidly until you get your distance and then keep us in sight.

I would then have the two leading men of the rest of the squad follow on opposite sides of the road, as close to the fence as possible for good walking. This would put the squad in two columns of files of three men each, leaving the main roadway clear and making the squad as inconspicuous as possible, without interfering with ease of marching or separating the men. [Par. 1028 (c).] What sort of crops are in the fields on either side of the road?

Captain: The field on the right (south) is meadow land; that on the left, as far as the railroad, is cut hay; beyond the railroad there is more meadow land.

Sergeant Adams: I would have told Corporal Baker to wait at the cross roads by the Baker house for orders and—

Captain: If you were actually on the ground you probably could not see the cross roads from Oxford. In solving map problems like these do not take advantage of seeing on the map all the country that you are supposed to go over, and then give orders about doing things at places concerning which you would not probably have any knowledge if actually on the ground without the map.

Besides, in this particular case, it was a mistake to have your point wait at the cross roads. If there was any danger of their taking the wrong road it would be a different matter, but here your mission requires you to push ahead. (Par. 1029.) The major is trying to get south of the trestle towards Salem before the cavalry can arrive and destroy it.

Sergeant Adams: I would march steadily along the road, ordering the last man to keep a lookout to the rear for signals from the connecting file (Par. 511a), and I would direct one of the leading men to watch for signals from Corporal Baker.

Captain: You should have given the direction about watching for signals earlier, as this is very important. You also should have ordered two men to follow along the timber by the creek to your south until you signaled for them to come in. The trees along the creek would obstruct your view over the country beyond the creek.

Sergeant Adams: But I thought, Captain, that the patrolling was to be done by the company.

[Pg 317]Captain: Yes, the patrolling is to be done by the company, but the creek is only a quarter of a mile, about 400 yards, from the road you are following and the men sent there are merely flankers, not a patrol. You have eight men under your command and you are responsible for the ground within several hundred yards on either side of your route of march. Long Ridge is almost too far for you to send your men, because they would fall far behind in climbing and descending its slopes, but it would not be a great mistake if you sent two men there. As Long Ridge affords an extended view of the valley through which the Chester Pike runs, a patrol should go up on it and remain there until the battalion passes, and this would be more than the leading squad could be expected to attend to. The creek is almost too far from the road in places, but as it is open meadow land you can keep the men within easy touch of you and recall them by signal at any moment you desire. In this work you can see how much depends on good judgment and a proper understanding of one's mission.

Corporal Baker, explain how you would move out with Carter.

Corporal Baker: We would alternate the walk and double time until we had gotten about 200 yards ahead of the squad. I would then say, "Carter, walk along this side of the road (indicates side), keeping on the lookout for signals from the squad. I will go about fifty yards ahead of you." I would keep to the opposite side of the road from Carter, trying to march steadily at the regular marching gait, and keeping a keen watch on everything in front and to the flanks.

Captain: Very good. When you arrive at the cross roads you see a man standing in the yard of the Baker house.

Corporal Baker: I would not stop, but would continue on by the cross roads, as I have no time to question the man and the Sergeant will want to do that. I would call to him and ask him if he had seen any of the enemy about and how far it was to the Chester Pike. If anything looked suspicious around the house or barnyard, I would investigate.

Captain: Sergeant, you arrive at the cross roads, and see the Corporal and Carter going on ahead of you.

Sergeant Adams: I would have already signaled to the two men following the creek to come in and would send a man to meet them with the following order: "Tell Davis to move along the railroad fill with Evans, keeping abreast of us. Then you return to me." I would then say, "Fiske, look in that house and around the barn and orchard and then rejoin me down this road (pointing east)." I would have the civilian join me and walk down the road with me while I questioned him.

Captain: Do you think you have made careful arrangements for searching the house, etc., by leaving only one man to do the work?

Sergeant Adams: I have not sufficient men nor time enough to do much more. I simply want to make sure things are reasonably safe and I thought that a couple of men from the main body of the advance guard would do any careful searching, questioning, etc., that might be deemed necessary. I must not delay the march.

Captain: That is right. You learn nothing from the civilian and he does not arouse any suspicion on your part. You continue along the road. The fields to the north of the road are in wheat stubble; the[Pg 318] ground to the south, between your road and the railroad, is rough, rocky grass land with frequent clumps of bushes. Davis and Evans, your right flankers on the railroad fill, are just approaching the cut; Fiske has rejoined; Corporal Baker and his men are about 200 yards from the road forks at Brown's, and you and your four men are 200 yards in their rear, at the turn of the road. At this moment a half dozen shots are fired down the road in your direction from behind the wall along the edge of the orchard on the Brown farm. This firing continues and your two leading men are lying down at the roadside returning the fire. Tell me quickly just what you are going to do?

Sergeant Adams: I order my four men to deploy as skirmishers in that field (pointing to the rough ground south of the road); I go under the fence with the men and lead them forward at a fast run, unless the fire is very heavy.

Captain (interrupting the Sergeant): Davis, you had just reached the cut on the railroad when this happened. What do you do?

Private Davis: I take Evans forward with me at a run through the cut. What do I see along the Chester Pike or Sandy Creek?

Captain: You see no sign of the enemy any place, except the firing over the wall.

Private Davis: I run down the south side of the fill and along towards the road with Evans to open fire on the enemy from their flank, and also to see what is in the orchard. I will probably cross the road so that I can see behind the stone wall.

Captain: That's fine and shows how you should go ahead at such a time without any orders. There is usually no time or opportunity at such a moment for sending instructions and you must use common sense and do something. Generally it would have been better to have tried to signal or send word back that there was nothing in sight along the road or in the valley, but in this particular case you could probably do more good by going quickly around in rear as you did, to discover what was there and assist in quickly dislodging whatever it was. If there had been no nose of the ridge to hide you as you came up and a convenient railroad fill to hurry along behind as you made for the road, your solution might have been quite different.

Sergeant, continue with your movements.

Sergeant Adams: I would attempt to rush the wall. If the fire were too heavy, I would open fire (at will) with all my men, and, if I seemed to get a little heavier fire than the enemy's, I would start half of my men forward on a rush while the others fired. I would try to rush in on the enemy with as little delay as possible, until it developed that he had more than a small detachment there. I assumed it was a delaying patrol in front of me, and as my mission requires me to secure the uninterrupted march of the main body, I must not permit any small detachment to delay me. If, however, it proves to be a larger force, for instance, the head of an advance guard, I will lose some men by plunging in, but as I understand it, that is the duty of the point. Then again, if it be the head of a hostile advance guard, I will want to rush them out of their favorable position under cover of the stone wall, buildings and orchard, before any more of their force can come up. This would give[Pg 319] the favorable position to our force; by acting too cautiously we would lose the valuable moments in which the enemy's reënforcements (next elements of the advance guard) were coming up, with this desirable position being weakly held by a small part of the enemy.

Captain: That is all correct. What messages would you have sent?

Sergeant Adams: Up to the present time I would not have sent any. I could not have sent any. I could not afford to take the time to send a man back, nor could I spare the man. Besides, all I could say was that we were fired on, and you should be able to see and hear that from where the company is.

Captain: About the time you reached the position of Corporal Baker the firing ceases, and when you reach the wall you see five mounted men galloping northeast up Farm Lane. The Brown farm appears to be deserted.

Sergeant Adams: I would turn to one of the men and say, "Run back to the Captain and tell him we were fired on from this orchard by a mounted patrol of five men who are galloping off up a lane to the northeast. I am going south." When he had repeated the message I would start south down the Chester Pike, directing Corporal Baker to follow this road south and to tell Davis to follow the high ridge west of the road, going through the clump of woods just ahead. I would send one man as a left flanker to follow the west bank of Sandy Creek. This would leave me with two men, one watching for signals from the front and along Sandy Creek, the other from Davis and from the rear. I would expect to see a patrol from the company moving across towards Boling Woods. Had I not been mixed up in a fight as I approached the Brown farm I would have sent two men as left flankers across country to the cut on the Chester Pike on the western edge of the Boling Woods.

Captain: Very good. That is sufficient for this problem. All of you should have caught the idea of the principal duties of the point and flankers of an advance guard. You must watch the country to prevent being surprised and you must at the same time manage to push ahead with the least possible delay. The point cannot be very cautious so far as concerns its own safety, for this would mean frequent halts which would delay the troops in rear, but it must be cautious about reconnoitering all parts of the ground near the road which might conceal large bodies of the enemy.

The leader of the point must be careful in using his men or he will get them so scattered that they will become entirely separated and he will lose all control of them. As soon as the necessity for flankers on one side of the line of march no longer exists, signal for them to rejoin and do not send them out again so long as you can see from the road all the country you should cover.

Problem No. 2. (Infantry)

1034. Captain (to one platoon of his company): Let us assume that this platoon is the advance party of an advance guard, marching through Salem along the Chester Pike [Par. 1028 (b)]. One squad is 350 yards in front, acting as the point. The enemy is thought to be very near, but[Pg 320] only two mounted patrols have been seen during the day. The command is marching for Chester. The day is hot, the roads are good but dusty, and the crops are about to be harvested.

Sergeant Adams, explain how you would conduct the march of the advance party, beginning with your arrival at the cross roads in Salem.

Sergeant Adams: The platoon would be marching in column of squads and I would be at the head. Two pairs of connecting files would keep me in touch with the point. (Par. 1025.) I would now give this order: "Corporal Smith, take two men from your squad and patrol north along this road (pointing up the Tracy-Maxey road) for a mile and then rejoin the column on this road (Chester Pike), to the west of you." I would then say to Private Barker, "Take Carter and cut across to that railroad fill and go along the top of that (Sandy) ridge, rejoining the column beyond the ridge. Corporal Smith with a patrol is going up this road. Keep a lookout for him." When we reached the point where the road crosses the south nose of Sandy Ridge and I saw the valley in front of me with the long high ridge west of Sandy Creek, running parallel to the Chester Pike and about 800 yards west of it, I would give this order: "Corporal Davis, take the three remaining men in Corporal Smith's squad, cross the creek there (pointing in the direction of the Barton farm) go by that orchard, and move north along that high ridge, keeping the column in sight. Make an effort to keep abreast of the advance guard, which will continue along this road."

I gave Corporal Davis the remaining men out of Corporal Smith's squad because I did not want to break up another squad and as this is, in my opinion, a very important patrol, I wanted a noncommissioned officer in charge of it. Unless something else occurs this will be all the patrols I intend sending out until we pass the steel railroad trestle over Sandy Creek.

Captain: Your point about not breaking up a squad when you could avoid it by using the men remaining in an already broken squad, is a very important one. Take this particular case. You first sent out two pairs of connecting files between the advance party and your point—four men. This leaves a corporal and three men in that squad. If we assume that no patrols were out when we passed through Salem, this corporal and two of his men could have been sent up the Tracy-Maxey road, leaving one man to be temporarily attached to some squad. From the last mentioned squad you would pick your two men for the Sandy Ridge patrol and also the corporal and three men for the Barton farm, etc., patrol. This would leave three men in this squad and you would have under your immediate command two complete squads and three men. As the patrols return, organize new squads immediately and constantly endeavor to have every man attached to a squad. This is one of your most important duties, as it prevents disorder when some serious situation suddenly arises. Also it is one of the duties of the detachment commander that is generally overlooked until too late.

The direction you sent your three patrols was good and their orders clear, covering the essential points, but as you have in a very short space of time, detached nine men, almost a third of your advance party, don't you think you should have economized more on men?

[Pg 321]Sergeant Adams: The Sandy Ridge patrol is as small as you can make it—two men. I thought the other two patrols were going to be detached so far from the column that they should be large enough to send a message or two and still remain out. I suppose it would be better to send but two men with Corporal Davis, but I think Corporal Smith should have two with him.

Captain: Yes, I agree with you, for you are entering a valley which is, in effect, a defile, and the Tracy-Maxey road is a very dangerous avenue of approach to your main body. But you must always bear in mind that it is a mistake to use one more man than is needed to accomplish the object in view. The more you send away from your advance party, the more scattered and weaker your command becomes, and this is dispersion, which constitutes one of the gravest, and at the same time, most frequent tactical errors.

To continue the problem, we will suppose you have reached the stone bridge over Sandy Creek; the point is at the cross roads by the Smith house; you can see the two men moving along Sandy Ridge; and Corporal Davis' patrol is just entering the orchard by the Barton farm. Firing suddenly commences well to the front and you hear your point reply to it.

Sergeant Adams: I halt to await information from the point.

Captain: That is absolutely wrong. You command the advance party of an advance guard; your mission requires you to secure the uninterrupted march of the main body; and at the first contact you halt, thus interrupting the march (Par. 1021). The sooner you reach the point, the better are your chances for driving off the enemy if he is not too strong, or the quicker you find out his strength and give your commander in the rear the much desired information.

Sergeant Adams: Then I push ahead with the advance party, sending back the following message—

Captain (interrupting): It is not time to send a message. You know too little and in a few minutes you will be up with the point where you can hear what has happened and see the situation for yourself. Then you can send back a valuable message. When but a few moments delay will probably permit you to secure much more detailed information, it is generally best to wait for that short time and thus avoid using two messengers. When you reach the cross roads you find six men of the point deployed behind the fence, under cover of the trees along the County Road, just west of the Chester Pike, firing at the stone wall along the Mills' farm lane. The enemy appears to be deployed behind this stone wall, from the Chester Pike west for a distance of fifty yards, and his fire is much heavier than that of your point. You think he has at least twenty rifles there. You cannot see down the Chester Pike beyond the enemy's position. Your patrol on Sandy Ridge is midway between the 68 and 66 knolls, moving north. The ground in your front, west of the road, is a potato field; that east of the road as far as the swamp, is rough grass land.

Sergeant Adams: I give order, "Corporal Gibbs, deploy your squad to the right of the Pike and push forward between the Pike and the swamp. Corporal Hall (commands the point), continue a heavy fire.[Pg 322] Here are six more men for your squad." I give him the four connecting files and two of the three men in the advance party whose squad is on patrol duty. "Corporal Jackson, get your squad under cover here. Lacey, run back to the major and tell him the point has been stopped by what appears to be twenty of the enemy deployed behind a stone wall across the valley 500 yards in our front. I am attacking with advance party."

Captain: Corporal Davis (commands patrol near Barton farm), you can hear the firing and see that the advance is stopped. What do you do?

Corporal Davis: I would head straight across for the clump of woods on the ridge just above the Mills' farm, moving as rapidly as possible.

Captain: That is all right. Sergeant, Corporal Hall's squad keeps up a heavy fire; Corporal Gibb's squad deploys to the right of the pike, rushes forward about 75 yards, but is forced to lie down by the enemy's fire, and opens fire. Corporal Gibbs, what would your command for firing be?


Captain: Why at the bottom of the wall?

Corporal Gibbs: The men are winded and excited and will probably fire high, so I gave them the bottom of the wall as an objective.

Captain: The enemy's fire seems as heavy as yours. Sergeant, what do you do?

Sergeant Adams: I give this order. "Corporal Jackson, deploy your squad as skirmishers on the left of Corporal Hall's squad and open fire." What effect does this additional fire have on the enemy?

Captain: His bullets seem to go higher and wider. You appear to be getting fire superiority over him.

Sergeant Adams: If I do not see any signs of the enemy being reënforced, dust in the road behind his position, etc., I take immediate command of the squads of Corporals Hall and Jackson, and lead them forward on a rush across the potato field.

Captain: Corporal Gibbs, what do you do when you see the other two squads rush?

Corporal Gibbs: I order, FIRE AT WILL, and urge the men to shoot rapidly in order to cover the advance.

Captain: Sergeant Adams' squads are forced to halt after advancing about 150 yards.

Corporal Gibbs: I keep up a hot fire until they can resume their firing, when I lead my squad forward in a rush.

Captain: What do you do, Sergeant?

Sergeant Adams: I would have the Corporals keep up a heavy fire. By this time I should think the support would be up to the cross roads.

Captain: It is, but have you given up your attack?

Sergeant Adams: If it looks as if I could drive the enemy out on my next rush, I do so, but otherwise I remain where I am, as I have no reserve under my control and the action has gotten too serious for me[Pg 323] to risk anything more when my chief is practically on the ground to make the next decision. He should have heard something about what is on the Pike behind the enemy, from the patrol on Sandy Ridge.

Captain: Your solution seems correct to me. Why did you send Corporal Gibbs' squad up between the pike and the swamp?

Sergeant Adams: It looked as if he would strike the enemy from a better quarter; there appeared to be better cover that way, afforded by the turn in the road, which must have some weeds, etc., along it, and the swamp would prevent him from getting too far separated from the remainder of the advance party.

Captain: The Sergeant's orders for the attack were very good. He gave his squad leaders some authority and attached his extra men to a squad. He did not attempt to assume direct control of individual men, but managed the three squads and made the squad leaders manage the individual men. This is the secret of successful troop leading. His orders were short, plain and given in proper sequence.

Problem No. 3 (Infantry)

(See Fort Leavenworth map in pocket at back of book.)


1035. Situation.

A Blue battalion, in hostile country, is in camp for the night, August 5–6, at Sprong (ja'). At 9:00 P. M., August 5th, Lieutenant A, Adjutant gives a copy of the following order to Sergeant B:

1st Battalion, 1st Infantry,
Sprong, Kansas,
5 Aug., '09.

Field Orders No. 5.

1. The enemy's infantry is six miles east of FORT LEAVENWORTH. His cavalry patrols were seen at F (qg') today.

Our regiment will reach FRENCHMAN'S (oc') at noon tomorrow.

2. The battalion will march tomorrow to seize the ROCK ISLAND BRIDGE (q) at FORT LEAVENWORTH.

3. (a) The advance guard, consisting of 1st platoon Co. A and mounted orderlies B, C, and D, under Sergeant B, will precede the main body at 400 yards.

(b) The head of the main body will march at 6:30 A. M., from 19 via the 17 (jc')—15 (jg') 1—5 (lm')—FORT LEAVENWORTH (om') road.

4. The baggage will follow close behind the main body under escort of Corporal D and one squad, Co. B.

5. Send reports to head of main body.

Major, Comdg.

Copies to the company commanders, to Sergeant B and Corporal D.

A. Required, 1. Give Sergeant B's estimate of the situation. (The estimate of the military situation includes the following points:

  1. His orders or mission and how much discretion he is allowed.
  2. The ground as it influences his duty.
  3. The po