Drilling and Training

Manual of Arms for World War One Soldier

School of the Soldier

From the Infantry Drill Regulations, 1911, Corrected to December 1917

48.  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.

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

INSTRUCTION WITHOUT ARMS.

50.  For the preliminary instruction a number of recruits, usually not exceeding three or four, are formed as a squad in single ranks.

Position of the Soldier, or Attention

51.  Heels on the same line and as hear 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.

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

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

Head erect and squarely to the front, chin drawn in sop 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.

The Rests.

52.  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.

53.  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.

 

54.  To resume the attention: 1. Squad, 2. ATTENTION.

The men take the position of the soldier.

Eyes Right or Left.

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

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.

Facings.

56.  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 degrees.

“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.

57.  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.

58.  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 45 degrees, hand and wrist straight; at the same time look toward the person saluted.  (TWO) Drop the arm smartly by the side.

For rules governing saluting, see “Honors and Saluted,” paragraphs 758-765.

STEPS AND MARCHING

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

60.  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 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.

61.  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).

Quick Time.

62.  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.

63.  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.

64.  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 side.

To Mark Time.

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.

Being at halt, at the command march, raise and plant the feet as described above.

The Half Step.

66.  1. Half step, 2. MARCH.

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

67.  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.

Side Step.

68.  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.

Back Step.

69.  Being at 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 side step is executed at trail without command.

To Halt.

70.  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.

To March by the Flank.

71.  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.

To March to the Rear.

72.   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 cadence and then step off with the left foot.

Change Step.

73.  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.

 

MANUAL OF ARMS

74.  As soon as practicable the recruit is taught the use, nomenclature, and care of his rifle; 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.

75.  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 with specially 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.  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, or 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.

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.

76.  The following rules govern the execution of the manual of arms:

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

SECOND.  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.

THIRD.  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, and the left hand about 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.  The cadence of the motions is that of quick time; the recruits are first required to five their whole attention to the detailed of the motions, the cadence being gradually acquired as them become accustomed t handling their pieces.  The instructor may require them to count aloud in cadence with the motions.

FIFTH.  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.  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.

Under exceptional conditions of weather or fatigue the rifle may be carried in any manner directed.

77.  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.

78.  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.

79.  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 hand 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.

80.  Being at present arms: 1. Port, 2. ARMS.

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

81.  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.

82.  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 last position in coming to the order.  (Two) Complete the order.

83.  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 degrees 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.

84.  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.

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

Change the right hand to the butt.  (Two) (Three) execute order arms as described from order arms.

86.  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 the grasp of the butt.  (Two) Change the right hand to the small of the stock.

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

Execute port arms.  (Three) Execute present arms.

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

Execute port arms.  (Two), (Three), (Four) execute right shoulder arms as from port arms.

89.  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 the first and second fingers, thumb and fingers closed on the stock.  (Two) Drop the right hand by the side.

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 arms, or the reverse.  At the command arms execute port arms and continue in cadence to the position ordered.

90.  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.

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

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

91.  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 degrees 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.

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

Lower the piece with the right hand and resume the order.

Rifle Salute.

93.  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 forefingers extended and joined, forefingers touching the end of the cocking piece; look toward the person saluted.  (Two) Drop the left hand by the side, turn head and eyes to the front.

94.  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 head and eyes to the front.

The Bayonet.

95.  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 the hand toward the body; draw the bayonet from the scabbard and fix it to 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.

96.  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 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.

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

The Inspection.

98.  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.

99.  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 Dismiss the Squad.

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

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