Drill & Ceremonies - Commands
Types of Commands:
1. A drill command is an oral order. Most drill commands have two parts, the preparatory command and the command of execution. In this manual, the first letter of preparatory command is capitalized and printed in boldface (Squadron), and the command of execution is printed in all caps and boldface (ATTENTION).
2. The preparatory command explains what the movement will be. When calling a unit to attention or halting a unit’s march, the preparatory command includes the unit’s designation. In the command Flight, HALT, the word Flight is the preparatory command. At the same time, it designates the unit.
3. The command of execution follows the preparatory command. The command of execution explains when the movement will be carried out. In Forward, MARCH, the command of execution is MARCH.
4. In certain commands, the preparatory command and the command of execution are combined, for example: FALL IN, AT EASE, and REST. These commands are given at a uniformly high pitch and a louder volume than that of a normal command of execution.
5. Supplementary commands are given when one unit of the element must execute a movement different from the other units or must execute the same movement at a different time. Two examples are CONTINUE THE MARCH and STAND FAST.
6. Informational commands have no preparatory command or command of execution, and they are not supplementary. Two examples are PREPARE FOR INSPECTION and DISMISS THE SQUADRON.
General Rules for Commands:
1. When giving commands, the leader is at the position of attention. Good military bearing is necessary for good leadership. While marching, the leader must be in step with the formation at all times.
2. The commander faces the troops when giving commands except when the element is part of a larger drill element or when the commander is relaying commands in a ceremony.
3. When a command requires a unit to execute a movement different from other units (or the same movement at a different time), the subordinate commander gives a supplementary command over the right shoulder. Supplementary commands are given between the element commander’s preparatory command and command of execution. When the squadron commander’s preparatory command is Squadron, the flight commander’s preparatory command is Flight.
4. When flights of a squadron are to execute a movement in order, such as a column movement, the flight commander of A Flight repeats the squadron commander’s preparatory command. The commanders of the other flights give a supplementary command, such as CONTINUE THE MARCH. When the squadron commander gives the command of execution, A Flight executes the movement; and, at the command of the appropriate flight commander, each of the following flights executes the movement at approximately the same location and in the same manner as A Flight.
5. Use the command AS YOU WERE to revoke a preparatory command. After the command of execution has been given and the movement has begun, give other appropriate commands to bring the element to the desired position. If a command is improperly given, the individuals execute the movement to the best of their ability.
6. When giving commands, flight commanders may add the letter of their flight to the command, such as A Flight, HALT or B Flight, Forward, MARCH. When commands are given to a squadron in which one flight stands fast or continues to march, the flight commander commands STAND FAST or CONTINUE THE MARCH, as appropriate.
7. The preparatory command and the command of execution are given as the heel of the foot corresponding to the direction of the movement strikes the ground.