The Drill Pad
Judge's Corner

Drill Terminology Air Force Army Navy/Marines

Alignment

 

Dress or cover The arrangement of several elements on the same line.

The dressing of several elements on a straight line.

Base

The element on which a movement is planned, regulated, or aligned.

The element on which a movement is planned or regulated.

The element on which a movement is regulated.

Cadence The uniform step and rhythm in marching; that is, the number of steps marched per minute. The uniform rhythm in which a movement is executed, or the number of steps or counts per minute at which a movement is executed. Drill movements are normally executed at the cadence of quick time or double time. Quick time is the cadence of 120 counts or steps per minute. A rhythmic rate of march at a uniform step.

Center

The middle point of a formation. On an odd-numbered front, the center is the center person or element. On an even-numbered front, the center is the right center person or element.

NA

The middle element of a formation with an odd number of elements or left center element of a formation with an even number of elements.
Cover Individuals aligning themselves directly behind the person to their immediate front while maintaining proper distance.

Aligning oneself directly behind the man to one’s immediate front while maintaining correct distance.

NA

Depth The total space from front to rear of any formation. An individual's depth is considered to be 12 inches. The space from front to rear of a formation, including the front and rear element. The space from head to rear of an element or a formation. The depth of a person is considered to be 12 inches.
Distance The space from front to rear between units. The distance between individuals in formation is 40 inches as measured from their chests to the backs of individuals directly in front of them. Flight commanders, guides, and others whose positions in formation are 40 inches from a rank are themselves considered a rank. The space between elements when the elements are one behind the other. Between units, it varies with the size of the formation; between individuals, it is an arm’s length to the front plus 6 inches, or about 36 inches, measured from the chest of one man to the back of the man immediately to his front. Space between elements in the direction of depth. Between individuals, the space between your chest and the person
to the front. Between troops in a formation, the space from the
front of the rear unit to the rear of the unit in front. Platoon Commanders, Guides, and others whose positions in a formation are

40 inches from a rank are, themselves, considered a rank.
Otherwise, commanders and those with them are not considered in
measuring distance between units. The color guard is not
considered in measuring distance between subdivisions of the unit
with which it is posted. In troop formations the distance between
ranks is
40 inches.

Double Time

The rate of marching at 180 steps (30 inches in length) per minute. The cadence of 180 counts or steps per minute. 180 steps (36 inches in length)
per minute.

Dress

Alignment of elements side by side or in line maintaining proper interval.
Element The basic formation; that is, the smallest drill unit comprised of at least 3, but usually 8 to 12 individuals, one of whom is designated the element leader. An individual, squad, section, platoon, company, or larger unit forming as part of the next higher unit. An individual, squad, section, platoon, company, or other unit which is part of a larger unit.
File A single column of persons placed one behind the other. A column that has a front of one element. A single column of troops one behind the other.
Flank The extreme right or left (troops right or left) side of a formation in line or in column. The right or left side of any formation as observed by an element within that formation. The right or left extremity of a unit, either in line or in column. The element on the extreme right or left of the line. A direction at a right angle to the direction an element is facing.
Flight At least two, but not more than four, elements.
Formation An arrangement of units. The arrangement of elements of a unit in a prescribed manner. A formation in which the elements are abreast, except that a section or platoon is in line when its squads are in line and one behind the other.
Front The space occupied by a unit, measured from flank to flank. The front of an individual is considered to be 22 inches. The space from side to side of a formation, including the right and left elements. The space occupied by an element or a formation, measured from one flank to the other. The front of a person is
considered to be 22 inches.

Guide

The airman designated to regulate the direction and rate of march.

Head

The leading unit of a column.
In Column The arrangement of units side by side with guide and element leaders to the head.
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