Drill and Ceremony Terminology
Element- This is an individual, squad, section, platoon, company, or larger unit formed as part of the next higher unit.
Formation- This is an arrangement of the unit's elements in a prescribed manner such as a line formation, in which the elements are side-by-side, and column formation, in which the elements are one behind the other. In a platoon column, the members of each squad are one behind the other with the squads abreast.
Front- This is a space from one side to the other side of a formation, and includes the right and left elements.
Depth- This is a space from the front to the rear of a formation, including the front and rear elements.
Distance- This is the space between elements that are one behind the other. The distance between individuals is an arm's length plus 6 inches, or approximately 36 inches, measured from the chest of one soldier to the back of the soldier immediately to his front.
Interval- This is the space between side-by-side elements.
Rank- This is a line that is only one element in depth.
File- This is a column that has a front of one element.
Guide- This is the person responsible for maintaining the prescribed direction and rate of march.
Post- This is the correct place for an officer or noncommissioned officer to stand in a prescribed formation.
Head- This is a column's leading element.
Base- This is the element around which a movement is planned or regulated.
Cadence- This is a uniform rhythm or number of steps or counts per minute.
Quick Time- This is a cadence of 120 counts (steps per minute).
Double Time- This is a cadence of 180 counts (steps per minute).