The Drill Pad

Marine/Navy Drill Commands

There are two types of commands. The first, the preparatory command--such as FORWARD--indicates a movement is to be made. The second, the command of execution--such as MARCH!--causes the desired movement to be made.

In some commands, such as FALL IN, AT EASE, and REST, the preparatory command and the command of execution are

When giving commands, the commander faces the troops. For company formations or larger, when commanding marching troops from the head of a column or massedformations, the commander marches backward while giving commands.

When commanding a unit which is part of a larger unit, the leader turns his head to give commands, but does not face about except when the unit is halted and the smaller units are in line. In this case, the leader faces about to give all commands except to repeat
preparatory commands, for which he only turns his head.

Commanders of platoons and larger units, when drilling as a part of a still larger unit, repeat all preparatory commands or give the proper new command or warning. There are two exceptions to this.

  • The first is that no repetition is necessary for such commands as FALL IN or FALL OUT, REST, AT EASE, or any other
    command in which preparation and execution are combined.
  • The second is that no repetition of command is necessary when a unit is in mass formation, except commands which cause the component units to act individually. An example of such a command is Column of Threes From the Right, MARCH. Squad leaders repeat preparatory commands or give the proper new command or warning only when squads act individually. When allsquads in a platoon are to act together, such as in Right, FACE, squad leaders do not repeat preparatory commands.

If at a halt, the commands for movements which involve marching at quick time in a direction other than to the direct front, such as Column Right, MARCH, are not prefaced by the preparatory command, FORWARD.

The only commands which use unit designations, such as company, as
preparatory commands are ATTENTION and HALT. Such commands shall have no further designation added (e.g., FIRST BATTALION, ATTENTION). Commands shall be given only
as stated herein. Troops should know their leaders' voices; therefore, additional designation is unnecessary.

A command must be given loud enough to be heard by all Marines in the unit.
Individual Drill