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Drill and Ceremony Instructional Techniques



Basic drill instruction includes line and U-formations, stationary and moving cadence counts, and dedicated instruction to units and individuals. Formations

a. Instruction and practical work, in all phases of drill, can best be presented by using the U-formation or line formation. As a rule, stationary movements are taught using the U-formation; marching movements, to include squad, platoon, and company drills, are best taught from the line formation. Soldiers should be taught in the smallest formation possible to ensure individual attention; however, squad drill, whenever possible, should be taught to squad-size units, platoon drill to platoon-size units, and company drill to company-size units.

b. The U-formation is formed by the instructor commanding First and second squads, FALL OUT (pause); U-formation, FALL IN. On these commands, the third squad stands fast, and the first and second squads fall out and fall in facing each other so that the last man in the first squad and the squad leader of the second squad are one step in front of and one step outside the flanks of the third squad. Simultaneously, the fourth squad executes one step to the left. To re-form the platoon in a line formation, the commands are: FALL OUT (pause); FALL IN.

c. When instructing, using the line formation, at normal interval, it is recommended that the first rank kneel (right knee), second rank stand fast, third rank take one step to the right, and fourth rank take one step to the left. The instructor adjusts the fourth rank as necessary to ensure they are uncovered. This formation can quickly be formed by commanding Instructional formation, MARCH. To re-form the unit into a line formation, the command is FALL IN.

NOTE: When conditions do not warrant this formation, soldiers may be directed to remain standing and to uncover. To assemble the unit, the command FALL IN is given.


When acting as instructors or assistant instructors, officers and noncommissioned officers go wherever they are needed. They correct mistakes and ensure steadiness and proper performance in ranks. When an individual shows that he is unable to execute the proper movements or assume the proper position, the instructor may physically assist the soldier.

Cadence counting

a. To enable the soldier to learn or maintain cadence and develop rhythm, the instructor should have the soldier count cadence while marching. To count cadence while marching at quick time, the instructor gives the preparatory command, Count cadence, as the left foot strikes the marching surface, and the command of execution, COUNT, the next time the left foot strikes the marching surface. The soldier begins to count the next time the left foot strikes the marching surface and counts as each foot strikes the marching surface; ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR; ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR. To count cadence while double timing, the procedures are basically the same, except the soldier only counts each time the left foot strikes the marching surface. To maintain cadence when marching, soldiers will be allowed to sing, or a drummer’s beat may provide cadence.

b. For stationary movements of two or more counts, the instructor commands In cadence, right, FACE. The soldier simultaneously executes the first count of the movement on the command of execution and sounds off, ONE; as he executes the second count he sounds off, TWO.

NOTE: To halt execution of movements in cadence, command Without cadence, and resume normal drill methods.

c. As soldiers begin to master the art of drill, instructors try to create a spirit of competition among individuals and between units. Although repetition is necessary when teaching drill, instructors use competitive drill exercises to ensure that drill does not become boring or monotonous.

d. Mass commands are used to develop confidence and promote enthusiasm. They are effective in developing a command voice when instructing a leadership course.

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