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Challenging while on Guard Duty

Challenging one person or a group and challenging two or more persons or groups.

Challenging one person or a group

If a guard sees any person on or near his post during the time for challenging, he positions himself so that he can control the situation. If possible, he should be out of sight when challenging. When the person is approximately 30 steps, or at sufficient distance to allow the guard time to react, the guard will assume the correct challenge position and command “HALT!” When the person has halted, the guard asks, “WHO IS THERE?” The guard may advance toward the person while challenging to put himself in a better position. When the guard is in the best position to pass or apprehend the person, he requires the person to advance towards him, remain in position, or advance to a particular place, face toward the light, or to take any position necessary to determine whether the person should be passed, denied, or turned over to the commander of the relief.

The guard permits only one member of a group to approach him for identification.

If persons are in a vehicle, the guard proceeds as if they were on foot. If necessary to carry out his duties, he may have one or all of the passengers dismount.

After halting a group and receiving an answer indicating that it is authorized to pros, the guard says, “Advance one to be recognized.” After he has recognized the one advanced, the guard says, “Advance, Sergeant Smith,” naming the person (or group) allowed to advance. If the answer is “Friends,” the guard says, “Advance one to be recognized.” After recognition he says, “Advance, friends.”

The guard satisfies himself beyond a reasonable doubt that those challenged are what they represent themselves to be and that they have a right to pass. If he is not satisfied, he detains the person and calls the commander of tile relief. Normally, the guard will accept a reasonable answer for identification if the post is not a vital area and the persons are not suspicious looking.

Note. A visual check of an individual’s ID card is considered the best means of identification when doubt exists.


Challenging two or more persons or groups

If two or more persons or groups approach the guard’s post from different directions at the same time, they are halted in turn and remain halted until advanced by the guard.

When two or more groups are halted at the same time, the senior is advanced first.

A guard advances different persons or groups with the following priority: commanding officer, field officer of the day, officer of the day, officers of the guard, officers, patrols, reliefs, noncommissioned officers of the guard in order of rank, and friends.

If a person or group has been advanced and is talking with the guard, the guard halts any other person or group that may approach, but advances no one until the person or group with whom he is talking leaves. He then advances the senior of the remaining group.

A guard must always be alert and never be surprised. He never permits two persons or groups to advance to his post at the same time.

Confusing or misleading answers to a guard’s challenge are not acceptable. However, the answer “Friend” is not considered misleading and is the usual answer of an inspecting officer or patrol when they do not wish to reveal their official capacity.

Reference: FM 22-6, Guard Duty

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