3. Simple movements and elastic formations are essential to correct
training for battle
4. The Drill Regulations are furnished as a guide. They provide the
principles for training and for increasing the probability of success
In the interpretation of the regulations, the spirit must be sought.
Quibbling over the minutiae of form is indicative of the failure to
grasp the spirit.
School of the Squad
101. Soldiers are grouped into squads for the purpose
of instruction, discipline, control and order.
102. 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 that 11, 2 or more squads
are formed and the group is termed a platoon.
For the instruction of recruits, these rules may be modified.
103. 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.
104. 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.
105. The squad executes the halt, rests,
and marchings, and the manual
of arms as explained in the School of the Soldier.
To Form the Squad
106. 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 (order arms), 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 had
as soon as the man on his left has his interval. The rear ranks forms
at a distance of 40 inches.
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 ranks
count one, two, three, four; each man turns
his head and eyes to the front as he counts Pieces are then inspected
107. To align the squad, the base file or files having been established:
1. RIGHT (LEFT), 2. DRESS, 3. FRONT.
At the command dress all men place the left
hand upon the hip; each man, except the base file (i.e., the file to
which the squad is dressing), 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 to his right, and so that his eyes 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 front, given when the ranks
are aligned, each 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.
108. To preserve the alignment when marching: GUIDE RIGHT
The men preserve their intervals from the side of the guide, yielding
to pressure from that side and resisting pressure from the opposite
direction; the 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.
To Take Intervals and Distance
109. Being in line at a halt: 1. TAKE INTERVALS, 2.
TO THE RIGHT (left), 3. MARCH, 4. Squad,
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.
At the command halt, given when all have
their intervals, all halt and face to the front.
110. Being at intervals, to assemble the squad: 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.
111. 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 tot 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, moves 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.
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.
112. Being at distance, to assemble the squad: 1. ASSEMBLE,
No. 1 of the front ranks stands fast; the other numbers move forward
to their proper places in line.
To Stack and Take Arms
113. 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, 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 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; 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 with the free
hook of that of the even number of the rear rank; he then turns the
barrel outward to the angle formed by the other two pieces and lowers
the butt to the ground, to the right of and against the toe of his right
The stack 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
114. Being in line behind the stacks: TAKE ARMS.
The loose pieces are returned by the even number of the front rank;
each even number of the front ranks 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
it from the stack; each even number of the front rank disengages and
detached his piece by turning it to the left, and then passes the piece
of his rear-rank man to him and all resume the order.
115. Should any squad have Nos. 2 and 3 blank files, No. 1 rear rank
takes the place of the 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 stack are termed loose pieces.
Pieces are never fixed with the bayonet fixed.
The Oblique March
116. 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.
117. 1. RIGHT (LEFT) OBLIQUE, 2.
Each man steps off in a direction 45 degrees 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 left front of the line or column),
and so regulates his steps that the ranks remain parallel to their original
At the command halt the men halt and face to the front
To resume the original direction: 1. FORWARD,2. MARCH
The men half face to the left in marching and then move straight to
If at half step or marking time
while obliquing, the oblique march is resumed by the commands: 1.
OBLIQUE, 2. MARCH
To Turn on Moving Pivot.
118. Being in line: 1. RIGHT (LEFT) TURN,
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 half step on arriving abreast
of the pivot man. All glance toward the marching flank while at half
step and take full step without command as the last man arrives on the
Right (Left) half turn is executed in similar
manner. The pivot man makes a half change of direction to the right
and the other men make quarter changes in obliquing.
To Turn on Fixed Pivot
119. Being in line, to turn and march: 1. Squad RIGHT
(LEFT), 2. MARCH.
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, 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
other number of the rear rank moves straight 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
120. 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
as the last man arrives on the line.
121. 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 ranks. 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 the rear of his front rank man, when all face to 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,
122. 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 the
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.
To Follow the Corporal
123. Being assembled or deployed, to march the squad without
necessary commands, the corporal places himself of it and commands:
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 the No. 2, guiding on him and maintaining their relative
If in column, the head of the column follows the corporal.
To Deploy as Skirmishers
124. Being in any formation, assembled: 1. AS SKIRMISHERS,
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
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 corporals gait.
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.
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.
125. 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.
To Increase or Diminish Intervals
126. If assembled, and it is desired to deploy to greater than the
normal interval; or if deployed, and it is desired to increase or decrease
the interval: 1. AS SKIRMISHERS, (so many)
PACES, 2. MARCH.
Intervals are taken at the indicated numbers of paces. If already deployed,
the men move by the flank toward or away from the guide.
127. 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.
Kneeling and Lying Down
128. If standing: KNEEL.
Half face to the right; carry the right toe about 1 foot to the left
rear of the left heel; kneel on the right knee, sitting as nearly as
possible on the right heel; left forearm across left thigh; the piece
remains in position of order arms, right hand grasping it above the
129. 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 position of order
arms, lying down.
130. 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.
131. If lying down: KNEEL.
Raise the body on both knees; take the position of kneel.
132. 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 of kneeling.
Loadings and Firings
133. The commands for loading and firing are the same whether standing,
kneeling, or laying down. The firings are always executed at a halt.
When kneeling or lying down on 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.
134. 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
135. 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 the battle sight
is used if no sight setting is announced.
136. 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
137. If the men are not already in position of load, that position
is take at the announcement of the sight setting; if the announcement
is omitted, the position is taken at the first command for firing.
138. When deployed, the use of the sling as an aid to accurate firing
is discretionary with each man.
139. 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 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, and turns the cut-off up [the cut
off is found on the M1903 rifle, but not on the M1917 rifle]. 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
of the top cartridge, the finger extending around the piece and the
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, takes a similar position opposite the interval tot
he 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 piece 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 above positions (standing, kneeling, and lying
down) are designated as that of load.
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 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.
To Set the Sight
143. RANGE, ELEVEN HUNDRED (EIGHT-FIFTY, etc.), or BATLE
The sight is set at the elevation indicated. The instructor explains
and verifies sight settings.
To Fire by Volley
144. 1. READY, 2. AIM, 3. SQUAD,
At the command ready turn the safety lock
to the “ready;” 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 stick, 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 so as to perceive the object aimed at, second
joint of 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.
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.
In aiming kneeling, the left elbow rests on the left knee, point of
elbow in front of kneecap. In aiming sitting, the elbows are supported
by the knees.
In aiming lying down, raise the piece with both hands; rest on both
elbows and press the butt firmly against the right shoulder.
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
145. To continue the firing: 1. AIM, 2. SQUAD,
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.”
To Fire at Will
146. 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.
147. 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.
148. CLIP FIRE.
Executed in the same manner, as fire at will,
except that each man, after having exhausted the cartridges then in
the piece, suspends firing.
To Suspend Firing
149. 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 is expected to reappear.
This whistle signal may be used as a preliminary to cease
To Cease Firing
150. 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.
151. 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.
The Use of Cover
152. The recruit should be given careful instruction in the individual
use of cover.
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.
153. 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, 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.
154. 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
155. He should be taught that, when fired on while acting independently,
he should drop to the ground, seek cover, and then endeavor to locate
156. The instruction of the recruit in the use of cover is continued
in the combat exercise of the company, but he must 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.
157. The ability to use his eyes accurately is of great importance
to the soldier. The 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.
158. 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.