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Stack and Take Arms (M16 series rifle)

From chapter 6, FM 3-21.5 Drill and Ceremonies

The squad members execute Stack Arms from their positions in line formation (at Normal Interval) from Order Arms. When in line formation, the squad leader commands Count, OFF and then designates the stack men by numbers (2-5-8).

NOTES:

1. M4-series carbines are not compatible with the M16-series rifles when stacking arms. The two types of weapons must be stacked separately or grounded in a manner that will not damage the sights. (See Appendix D for a detailed explanation of stack arms and take arms for the M4-series carbine.)
2. When the squad is part of a larger unit, stack arms may be executed in a column formation (when the formation consists of three or more files and the squads are at normal interval). Second or third squad is designated as the stack squad.

PREPARE SLINGS

After the stack men are designated, the squad leader commands Prepare, SLINGS. On the command of execution SLINGS, each stack man (or stack squad) grasps the barrel of his rifle with the right hand and raises the rifle vertically. With his left hand, he places the rifle butt on his right hip and cradles the rifle in the crook of his right arm. Using both hands, he adjusts the sling keeper so that a 2-inch loop is formed from the sling keeper to the upper sling swivel. As soon as the loop is prepared, he returns to Order Arms.


STACK ARMS


When all stack men have returned to Order Arms, the squad leader commands Stack, ARMS.

a. On the command of execution ARMS, each stack man grasps the barrel of his rifle with his right hand and places the rifle directly in front of and centered on his body with the sights to the rear. The rifle butt is placed on the marching surface so that the heel of the rifle butt is on line with the toes of his footgear. The stack man bends slightly forward at the waist and grasps his rifle with his left hand at the upper portion of the handguard (keeping the rifle vertical at all times). The first two fingers of the left hand hold the inner part of the loop against the rifle. The stack man reaches across the front of the rifle with his right hand, grasps the outer part of the loop, and holds it open for insertion of other rifles.

b. On the command of execution ARMS, the men to the right and left of the stack man perform the following movements simultaneously:

(1) The man on the stack man's right grasps the barrel of his rifle with his right hand and raises and centers his rifle with the magazine well facing to the front, wrist held shoulder high, elbow locked. With his left hand, he then grasps the handguard (midway), releases his right hand, and regrasps the rifle at the small of the stock. He lowers both arms, with elbows locked (holding the rifle in a horizontal position with the muzzle to the left and the magazine well to the front).

(2) The man on the stack man's left grasps the barrel of the rifle with his right hand and raises and centers his rifle with magazine well facing to the front, wrist held shoulder high, elbow locked. Using his left hand, he then grasps the rifle at the small of the stock, releases the right hand, and regrasps the handguard midway. He then lowers both arms, with elbows locked holding the rifle in a horizontal position with the muzzle to the right and magazine well to the front.
c. As soon as the stack man has placed his rifle in position, both men move the foot nearest the stack man half way (Half Right or Half Left) toward the stack man. The man on the stack man's left inserts the muzzle of his rifle into the loop to a point about halfway between the flash suppressor and the front sight assembly. He holds his rifle in this position until the man on the stack man's right inserts the muzzle of his rifle in a similar manner and above the other rifle muzzle.

d. Without moving the feet, both riflemen swing the butt of their rifles out and then down to the marching surface, making the stack tight with the rifle butts on line and about 2 feet from the base line. When the stack has been completed, all three men resume the Position of Attention.

e. Additional rifles are passed to the nearest stack on the right (right or left if stacked in column). The men with additional rifles grasp the rifle barrel with the right hand and raise the rifle vertically with the magazine well to the front, wrist held shoulder high, elbow locked, and right arm extended to the right front. Throughout the pass, the rifle is held vertical with the magazine well to the front.

(1) The man to the left of the stack man then grasps the rifle midway at the handguard with his left hand. The man passing the additional rifle then releases the rifle and sharply returns to the Position of Attention. The man to the left of the stack man then moves the rifle to the right until it is centered on his body, and he grasps the rifle barrel with his right hand, wrist held shoulder high and elbow locked. He then releases the left hand and sharply returns his left hand to the left side as in the Position of Attention. He then moves the rifle to his right front.

(2) The stack man receives the rifle and centers it in the same manner as previously described. The man to the left of the stack man sharply returns to the Position of Attention after he releases the rifle. Once the stack man has centered the rifle and grasped the barrel with the right hand, he bends forward at the waist and places the rifle in the stack so that it is secure (without damaging the front sight assembly). If there are two additional rifles, the second rifle is passed in the same manner as the first.

NOTE: See Appendix B for a figure showing Stack Arms using the M4-series carbine.

TAKE ARMS

To Take Arms, the command is Take, ARMS. On the command of execution ARMS, the men return the additional rifles in the same manner as the rifles were received. The stack man secures the stack and holds the loop in the same manner as for stacking rifles. The men on the left and right step toward the stack man in the same manner as when stacking arms. Each man reaches down and regrasps his rifle (one hand at the small of the stock and one hand midway of the handguard) and brings it to the horizontal position. The man on the right frees his rifle first and resumes Order Arms. The man on the left frees his rifle and resumes Order Arms. The stack man cradles his rifle and adjusts the sling and sling keeper to its original position and then resumes Order Arms.