The New Company Drill
Organisation and Definitions
A battalion consists of headquarters, machine gun section, and 4
For purposes of administration the details of
battalion headquarters (other than the battalion commander, senior major,
adjutant, and quarter-master) and the machine gun section are posted to
companies as supernumerary to the establishment of platoons. Their
distribution among the companies is at the discretion of the battalion
commander but should be so arranged that the number of supernumeraries in
each company is approximately equal.
A company consists of 4 platoons, and is
commanded by a major or mounted captain, with a captain as second in
A platoon consists of 4 sections, and is
commanded by a subaltern, with a sergeant as second in command (platoon
sergeant). Platoons are numbered consecutively throughout the battalion from
1 to 16.
When a subaltern is not available to command, the
platoon sergeant will take his place, but in this case a section commander
will not be taken from his command to act as platoon sergeant. The transfer
of a platoon sergeant to another platoon should be as infrequent as
So far as the exigencies of peace conditions will
admit, this organization will be maintained both in barracks and in the
field for all duties, including the detailing of fatigues. The men will thus
acquire the spirit of comradeship, and learn to repose confidence in each
other, while the section commanders will be accustomed to command, and to
act when necessary on their own judgment.
. A section is commanded by a
non-commissioned officer, and is the normal fire-unit. Sections are numbered
consecutively throughout the company from 1 to 16, and the men of each
section should be kept together in barracks as well as in the field. The
post of section commander is a definite appointment, and transfers should be
as infrequent as possible
Alignment. --Any straight line on which a
body of troops is formed, or is to form.
Column. --Bodies of troops on parallel and
successive alignments, at a distance front one another equal to their own
frontage, e.g., column of companies or column of platoons.
Column of masses. --See under masses.
Column of route. --A column of fours with
not more than four men abreast in any part of the column, including officers
and supernumeraries. The normal formation for troops marching on a road.
Close column. --A column with distances
reduced to suit requirements. If no specific orders art Oven, the distance
between units will be seven paces.
Double column. --Two parallel columns, with
any named interval between them.
Deploy, to. --To change formation from
column or close column into line on the same alignment.
Depth. --The space occupied by a body of
troops from front to rear.
Direction (battalion, company, platoon,
section, or file of).-- The battalion, company, platoon. section, or file
responsible for keeping the direction in a drill movement.
Distance. --The space between units in
column or close column, measured from the heels of the front rank of one
unit to the heels of the front rank of the next.
Dress, to. --To take up the alignment
Drill. --The training of a soldier to
execute certain movements as a second nature.
Echelon. --A formation of successive and
parallel units facing in the same direction, each on a flank and to the rear
of the unit in front of it.
File. --A front rank man and his rear rank
Fire unit. --Any number of men firing by
the executive command of one. The section is the normal fire unit.
Flank, directing. --The flank by which
units march or dress.
Flank, inner. --That nearer to the
Flank, outer. --That opposite to the inner
or directing flank.
Formation (battalion, company, platoon,
section, or file of).--The battalion, company, platoon, section, or file on
which a change of formation is based.
Frontage. --The extent of ground covered
laterally by troops.
In action (of a machine gun).--A machine
gun is said to be in action when it is mounted, loaded, and laid, but not
Incline. --The movement by which ground is
gained to the front and flank simultaneously.
Interval. --The lateral space between units
on the same alignment.
Interval, deploying. --The lateral space
between units in close column or in column, on the same alignment, the space
being equal to the frontage of a unit in line.
Line. --Troops formed on the same
Mass. --A battalion with its companies in
line of close columns of platoons, with five paces interval between
companies and seven paces distance between platoons.
Mass, open. --A battalion with its
companies in line of columns of Platoons, with five paces interval between
Masses, column of. --Battalions in mass, on
parallel and successive alignments, with any named distance between
Masses, line of. --A line of battalions in
mass, with 10 paces interval between the battalions.
Patrol. --A body of men sent out to
reconnoitre or to guard against surprise.
Pivot flank. --The flank on which a unit
pivots when changing front.
Pivot guide. --A guide on the pivot flank
of a unit.
Position, change of. --A movement by which
a body of troops takes up a new alignment.
Ranges, terms applied to. --
Table 1-1. RANGES AND TERMS
||2,800 to 2,000
||6,500 to 5,000
||10,000 to 6,500
||2,000 to 1,400
||5,000 to 4,000
||6,500 to 5,000
||1,400 to 600
||4,000 to 2,500
||5,000 to 2,500
||600 and under
||2,500 and under
||2,500 and under
Rank. --A line of men, side by side.
Squad. --A small body of men formed for
Supernumeraries. --The non-commissioned
officers, &c., forming the third rank.
Wheeling. --A movement by which a body of
troops brings forward a flank on a fixed or moving pivot.
Changes of Formation
The principles are the same in all cases, but the
words of command differ slightly.
- Changes of formation can usually be carried out:
- From the halt, halting on completion of the
movement. --The company or platoon is halted before a movement is
commenced, and is halted on completion of it.
- On the move, halting on completion of the
movement. --The company or platoon is moving before a movement is
commenced, and halts on completion of it.
- From the halt, moving forward on completion
of the movement. --The company or platoon is halted before a
movement is commenced, and moves forward on completion of it.
- On the move, moving forward on completion
of the movement. --A company or platoon is moving before a movement
is commenced, and continues to move after completing it.
When the movements are to be performed as in
subpara a and subpara b, the command should be preceded by the caution At
As soon as movements as in subpara c and subpara d
are completed the command Forward should be given.
In the following pages the cautions and commands
are given, as a rule, only in the form in which they are generally used.
This does not, however, preclude the use of the other forms detailed in
subpara a,b,c and d when applicable.
Movements can be made in quick or double time; if
they are to be made at the double, the command Double March will be
used instead of Quick March.