Drill commands

From Academic Kids

Drill commands are commands that are generally utilized in regard to a group that is marching; most often military or marching band. All branches of the military utilizes drill commands. Drill commands are best given when the person has an excellent command voice. A command voice is characterized by DLIPS or Distinctness, Loudness, Inflection, Projection, and Snap.

Distinctness - This depends on the correct use of the tongue, lips, and teeth to form the separate sounds of a word and to group those sounds to force words. Distinct commands are effective; indistinct commands cause confusion. Emphasize clear enunciation.

Loudness - This is the volume used in giving a command. It should be adjusted to the distance and number of individuals in the formation. The commander takes a position in front of, and centered on, the unit and facing the unit so his or her voice reaches all individuals. Speak loudly enough for all to hear, but do not strain the vocal cords.

Inflection - This is the change in pitch of the voice. Pronounce the preparatory command--the command that announces the movement--with a rising inflection near or at the end of its completion, usually the last syllable. When beginning a preparatory command, the most desirable pitch of voice is near the level of the natural speaking voice. A common fault is to start the preparatory command so high that, after employing a rising inflection, the passage to a higher pitch for the command of execution is impossible without undue strain. A properly delivered command of execution has no inflection. However, it should be given at a higher pitch than the preparatory command.

Projection - This is the ability of your voice to reach whatever distance is desired without undue strain. To project the command, focus your voice on the person farthest away. Counting in a full, firm voice and giving commands at a uniform cadence while prolonging the syllables are good exercises. Erect posture, proper breathing, a relaxed throat, and an open mouth help project the voice.

Snap - This is the conciseness of the command.

Some common drill commands are listed below with general explanations. More in depth explanations may be found by reading something similar to the Air Force Manual (AFMAN) or a Drill and Ceremonies Manual. [www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/3-21.5/toc.htm]

Fall in - Individuals form a formation at the position of attention.

Attention - Individuals snap to the position of attention.

Present arms - Individuals execute a hand or rifle salute and hold it until given the command "order arms"

Order arms - Individuals bring their hand or rifle back down to their side.

Open ranks - Movement in which each row (rank) spreads out from another row.

Close ranks - Movement in which the formation is restored to its normal interval.

Dress right dress - Movement in which individuals except those on the extreme left side raise their left arms parallel to the ground in order to get the proper distance from each other.

Parade rest - Individuals spread their feet about 12 inches while bringing both of their arms behind their back interlocking their hands. If armed, individuals put their left hand behind their back, extending their rifle while the butt remains on the ground by their right foot.

At ease - Individuals are permitted light movement, however, are not allowed to talk.

Rest - Individuals are permitted light movement and may also engage in quiet conversation.

Forward march - Individuals begin marching, from the left foot and a 30 inch step.

Halt - Individuals stop marching.

Right (left) face - A turn 90 degrees to the right (left).

About face - A turn 180 degrees facing the opposite direction.

Right (left) step - Individuals take side steps to the right (left).

Right (left) flank - A 90 degree pivot to the right (left) while marching. Can also be called at halt.

Column right (left) - A movement in which the entire formation executes a series of turns depending on their position. The goal of this movement is to get the entire formation to turn to the right (left) while keeping the same people in the same positions.

Change step - Individuals execute a movement in order to get on step with the formation.

Route step - Individuals walk normally without being in step. Often used on long marches or when crossing a bridge to avoid creating harmonic rhythms.

Close - A movement in which the formation narrows in width.

Extend - A movement in which the formation widens.

Mark time - Marching in place.

Half step - Marching at half the distance, often bringing the upper leg parallel to the ground.

Right shoulder arms - The rifle is placed on the right shoulder. The right hand holds the butt of the rifle and the forearm is parallel to the ground.

Left shoulder arms - Same as right shoulder arms except on the left side.

Port arms - The rifle is carried diagonally in front of the body by both hands.

See also: Drill team


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