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Drill and Ceremony Instructional Methods

General

a. The progress made by individuals and units in precise and unified action in drill is determined by the following:

(1) The methods of instruction and the thoroughness of the instructor.

(2) The organization of soldiers into units of the most effective instructional size.

b. There are three methods of instruction used to teach drill to soldiers: step-by-step, talk-through, and by-the-numbers. The character of the particular movement being taught will indicate the most effective method to use. As a rule, marching movements are taught by using the step-by-step method. Movements that require numerous or simultaneous actions by an individual or unit are best taught by the talk-through method. Movements that have two or more counts are taught by using the by-the-numbers method.

c. To ensure that a soldier develops satisfactory proficiency during the time allotted, and to ensure a complete and consistent presentation by the drill instructor, each movement (regardless of the method used) should be presented using three teaching stages: explanation, demonstration, and practice. Explanation

a. In the explanation stage, the instructor must:

(1) Give the name of the movement.

(2) Give the practical use for the movement.

(3) Give the command(s) for the movement and explain its elements: the preparatory command and the command of execution. He must also discuss the command(s) necessary to terminate the movement. (Supplementary commands are discussed where appropriate in the explanations.)

b. This is how an instructor teaches a marching movement using the first teaching stage.

"Platoon, ATTENTION. AT EASE. The next movement (position), which I will name, explain, and have demonstrated, and which you will conduct practical work on, is the 30-inch step from the halt. This movement is used to march an element from point A to point B in a uniform manner. The command to execute this movement is Forward, MARCH. This is a two-part command, Forward being the preparatory command, and MARCH the command of execution. The command to terminate this movement is HALT. HALT is also a two-part command when preceded by a preparatory command such as Squad, or Platoon. I will use Demonstrator as the preparatory command and HALT as the command of execution. When given, these commands are as follows: Forward, MARCH; Demonstrator, HALT." Demonstration



NOTE: The instructor may demonstrate the movement himself, modifying his position when necessary to maintain eye-to-eye contact with personnel being instructed.

a. Step-by-Step Method of Instruction. The explanation and demonstration are combined. The movements are taught one step at a time using the step-by-step method of instruction.

(1) The instructor explains that on the command of execution, the demonstrator takes only one step and then stops in position until the command Ready, STEP (for the next step) is given. While the demonstrator is stopped in position, the instructor makes on-the-spot corrections and explains the actions to be taken on the next step. The instructor then has the demonstrator execute the movement at normal cadence.

(2) This is how an instructor teaches the demonstration stage when using the step-by-step method of instruction:

  • "Demonstrator, POST. I will use the step-by-step method of instruction. On the preparatory command Forward of Forward, MARCH, without noticeable movement, shift the weight of the body onto the right foot. Forward."
  • "On the command of execution MARCH of Forward, MARCH, step forward 30 inches with the left foot. The head, eyes, and body remain as in the position of attention. The arms swing in natural motion, without exaggeration and without bending the elbows, about 9 inches straight to the front and 6 inches straight to the rear of the trouser seams. The fingers and thumbs are curled as in the position of attention, just barely clearing the trousers. MARCH."
  • "On the command of execution STEP of Ready, STEP, execute a 30-inch step with the trail foot. Once again, ensure that the head, eyes, and body remain as in the position of attention, and that the arms swing naturally, without exaggeration and without bending the elbows, about 9 inches straight to the front and 6 inches straight to the rear of the trouser seams. The fingers and thumbs are curled, as in the position of attention, barely clearing the trousers. Ready, STEP. Notice that there are two steps explained: one from the halt and one while marching."
  • "The command to terminate this movement is HALT. The preparatory command Demonstrator of Demonstrator, HALT, may be given as either foot strikes the marching surface. However, the command of execution HALT of Demonstrator, HALT, must be given the next time that same foot strikes the marching surface. The halt is executed in two counts."
  • "On the command of execution STEP of Ready, STEP, execute a 30-inch step with the trail foot. When that foot strikes the marching surface, the demonstrator will receive the preparatory command Demonstrator of Demonstrator, HALT. Ready,STEP. Demonstrator."
  • "On the command of execution STEP of Ready, STEP, execute a 30-inch step with the trail foot. This is the intermediate (or thinking) step required between the preparatory command and the command of execution. Ready, STEP."
  • "On the command of execution STEP of Ready, STEP, execute a 30-inch step with the trail foot. When the foot strikes the marching surface, the demonstrator will receive the command of execution HALT of Demonstrator, HALT. Ready, STEP. HALT. The halt is executed in two counts."
  • "On the command of execution STEP of Ready, STEP, execute a 30-inch step with the trail foot, this being the additional step required after the command of execution. Ready, STEP."
  • "On the command of execution STEP of Ready, STEP, bring the trail foot alongside the lead foot, reassuming the position of attention, thus terminating this movement. (Ready, STEP. RE-FORM.) At normal cadence, this movement would look as follows: Forward, MARCH. Demonstrator, HALT. AT EASE."
  • "Platoon, what are your questions pertaining to this movement when executed at normal cadence or when using the step-by-step method of instruction? (Clarify all questions.)"
  • "Demonstrator, ATTENTION. You will now become my assistant instructor. FALL OUT."


NOTE: Notice that, when marching, there are five steps in the step-by-step method of instruction: 1--preparatory command step; 2--intermediate step; 3--command of execution step; 4--additional step; and 5--execute the movement."

b. Talk-Through Method of Instruction. The explanation and demonstration are combined. Each movement or action by the individual is executed as it is orally described.

(1) The instructor simply tells the demonstrator how and what he wants him to do. The demonstrator executes the movement as the instructor describes it. Then the instructor has the demonstrator execute the movement at normal cadence.

(2) This is how an instructor teaches the demonstration stage when using the talk-through method of instruction:

 

  • "Demonstrator, POST. I will use the talk-through method of instruction. On the command of execution ATTENTION or FALL IN, sharply bring the heels together and on line, with the toes forming a 45-degree angle. Rest the weight of the body equally on the heels and balls of both feet. The legs are straight without locking the knees; the body is erect; hips level; chest, lifted and arched; and shoulders, square and even. The head is square and erect, looking straight to the front. The chin is drawn in so that the axis of the neck and head is vertical. The arms hang straight without stiffness. The fingers are curled so that the tips of the thumbs are alongside and touching the first joint of the forefingers. Keep the thumbs straight along the seams of the trousers with the first joint of the fingers touching the trouser legs. Remain silent and do not move unless otherwise directed."
  • "AT EASE. This position, executed at normal cadence, is as follows: Demonstrator, ATTENTION. AT EASE. FALL IN. AT EASE."
  • "Platoon, what are your questions pertaining to the position of attention when executed at normal cadence or when executed using the talk-through method of instruction? (Clarify all questions.)"
  • "Demonstrator, ATTENTION. You will be my assistant instructor, FALL OUT."


NOTE: When teaching squad, platoon, or company drills, this method should be modified so that individuals are talked into position rather than through the position.

c. By-the-Numbers Method of Instruction. The explanation and demonstration are combined. Movements are explained and demonstrated one count at a time.

(1) The instructor has the demonstrator execute the movement by-the-numbers (one count at a time). The instructor then has the demonstrator execute the movement at normal cadence.

(2) This is how an instructor teaches the demonstration stage using the by-the-numbers method of instruction:

 

  • "Demonstrator, POST. I will use the by-the-numbers method of instruction. Port arms from order arms is a two-count movement. On the command of execution ARMS of Port, ARMS, this being count one, grasp the barrel of the rifle with the right hand and raise the rifle diagonally across the body, ensuring that the right elbow remains down without strain. Simultaneously, grasp the rifle with the left hand at the handguard just forward of the slipring, keeping the rifle about 4 inches from the belt. By-the-numbers, Port, ARMS."
  • "On count two, release the grasp of the rifle with the right hand and regrasp the rifle at the small of the stock. Keep the rifle held diagonally across the body, about 4 inches from the belt, elbows drawn in at the sides, and ensure the right forearm is horizontal, thus assuming the position of port arms. Ready, TWO."
  • "Order arms from port arms is a three-count movement. On the command of execution ARMS of Order, ARMS, this being count one, release the grasp of the rifle with the right hand and move the right hand up and across the body, approaching the front sight assembly from the right front, and firmly grasp the barrel without moving the rifle. Ensure the right elbow remains down without strain. Order, ARMS."
  • "On count two, release the grasp of the rifle with the left hand, and with the right hand lower the rifle to the right side until it is about 1 inch off the marching surface. At the same time, guide the rifle into place with the left hand at the flash suppressor, fingers and thumb extended and joined, palm facing the rear. Ready, TWO."
  • "On count three, sharply move the left hand to the left side as in the position of attention and, at the same time gently lower the rifle to the marching surface with the right hand, assuming the position of order arms. Ready, THREE."
  • "At normal cadence, these commands (movements) are as follows: Without-the-numbers, Port, ARMS. Order, ARMS. AT EASE"
  • "Platoon, what are your questions pertaining to port arms from order arms and order arms from port arms when executed at normal cadence or when executed by-the-numbers? (Clarify all questions.)"
  • "Demonstrator, ATTENTION. You will be my assistant instructor. FALL OUT. (Notice that there is no Ready, ONE command. Also notice that a double preparatory command is given to execute and terminate the by-the-numbers method of instruction.)"
Practice

The practice stage is executed in the same manner as the demonstration stage except that the instructor uses the proper designator for the size of his element. However, the instructor does not have his element execute the movement at normal cadence until his element has shown a satisfactory degree of proficiency executing the movement using the selected method of instruction.