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The New Company Drill Simplified

Squad Drill with Intervals


1. A few men will be placed in single rank at arm's length apart; while so formed, they will be termed a squad with intervals.

2.Instruction can best be imparted to a squad in single rank, but, if want of space makes it necessary, the squad may consist of two ranks, in which case the men of the rear rank will cover the intervals between the men in the front rank, so that in marching they may take their own points, as directed in Section 21,4.

3.When recruits have learnt to dress as described in Section 16, they will be taught to fall in as above described, and then to dress and correct their intervals. After they have been instructed as far as Section 26, they may fall in as directed in Section 27

4.Recruits formed into a squad will be directed to observe the relative places they hold with each other; while resting between the exercises they may be permitted to fall out and move about; they will be instructed on the command Fall in, to fall in as they stood at first.




Spring up to the following position:-- Heels together and in line. Feet turned out at an angle of about 45 degrees. Knees straight. Body erect and carried evenly over the thighs, with the shoulders (which should be level and square to the front) down and moderately back--this should bring the chest into its natural forward position without any straining or stiffening. Arms hanging easily from the shoulders as straight as the natural bend of the arm, when the muscles are relaxed, will allow, but with the thumbs immediately behind the seams of the trousers. Wrists straight. Palms of the hands turned towards the thighs, hands partially closed, backs of fingers touching the thigh lightly, thumb close to forefinger. Neck erect. Head balanced evenly on the neck, and not poked forward, eyes looking their own height and straight to the front. The weight of the body should be balanced on both feet; and evenly distributed between the fore part of the feet and the heels. The breathing must not in any way be restricted, and no part of the body should be either drawn in or pushed out. The position is one of readiness, but there should be no stiffness or unnatural straining to maintain it. Particular attention should be paid to the heels being in line, as otherwise the man cannot stand square in the ranks.


Stand at--Ease

Keeping the legs straight, carry the left foot about twelve inches to the left so that the weight of the body rests equally on both feet; at the same time carry the hands behind the back and place the back of one hand in the palm of the other, grasping it lightly with the fingers and thumb, and allowing the arms to hang easily at their full extent. (It is immaterial which hand grasps the other.)

Notes. --i. In marching order without the rifle the arms will be retained as in the position of attention.

ii. When a recruit falls in for instruction be will stand at ease after lie has got his dressing.



The limbs, head, and body may be moved, but the man will not move from the ground on which he is standing, so that on coming to attention there will be no loss of dressing. Slouching attitudes are not permitted.



Each recruit, except the right-hand man, will turn his head and eyes to the right and will then extend his right arm, back of the hand upwards, finger tips touching the shoulder of the man on his right. At the same time he will take up his dressing in line by moving, with short quick steps, till he is just able to distinguish the lower part of the face of the second man beyond him. Care must be taken to carry the body backward or forward with the feet, the shoulders being kept perfectly square in their original position.


The head and eyes will be turned smartly to the front, the arm dropped, and the position of attention resumed.


1. Turning to the Right--One. Keeping both knees straight and the body erect, turn to the right on the right heel and left toe, raising the left heel and right toe in doing so. On the completion of this preliminary movement. the right foot must be flat on the ground and the left heel raised both knees straight, and the weight of the body, which must be erect, on the right foot.

Two. Bring the left heel smartly up to the right without stamping the foot on the ground.

2.Turning to the Left--One. Turn to the left, as described above, on the left heel and right toe, the weight of the body being on the left foot on the completion of the, movement.

Two. Bring the right heel smartly tip to the left without stamping the foot on the ground.

3. Turning About--One. Keeping both knees straight and the body erect, turn to the right-about on the right heel and left toe, raising the left heel and right toe in doing so.
On the completion of this preliminary movement, the right foot must be flat on the ground and the left heel raised; both knees straight, and the weight of the body, which must be erect, on the right foot. Two.
Bring the left heel smartly tip to the right without stamping the foot on the ground.


Inclining to the Right--One. As described for turning to the right, but turning only half right.

Two. As described for turning to the right.

5. Inclining to the Left--One. As described for turning to the left, but turning only half left.

 Two. As described for turning to the left.

Note. --In turning "judging the time" commands are Right (or left or about) Turn, Right (or left) Incline; the movements described above will be carried out on the word Turn or Incline, observing the two distinct motions.


1. By Numbers

 Salute by Numbers--One. Bring the right hand smartly, with a circling motion, to the head, palm to the front, fingers extended and close together, point of the forefinger 1 inch above the right eye, or touching edge of peak of cap just above right eyebrow as in illustration, thumb close to the forefinger; elbow in line, and nearly square, with the shoulder.

Two. Cut away the arm smartly to the side.

2. Judging the Time

Salute, Judging the Time--Salute. Go through the motions as in para 1, and, after a pause equal to two paces in quick time, cut away the arm.

Notes. --i. Saluting to the side is carried out as in Section 18, on the command right (or left) hand salute, except that, as the hand is brought to the salute, the head will be turned towards the person saluted. The salute will be made with the hand furthest from the person saluted.

ii. Recruits will be practised in marching two or three to- ether, saluting points being placed on either side. When several men are together, the man nearest to the point will give the time.

iii. When a soldier passes an officer he will salute on the third pace before reaching him, and lower the hand on the third pace after passing him; if carrying a cane he will place it smartly under the disengaged arm, cutting away the hand before saluting.

iv. A soldier, if sitting when an officer approaches, will stand at attention, facing the officer, and salute with the right hand; if two or more men are sitting or standing about, the senior non-commissioned officer or oldest soldier will face the officer, call the whole to attention, and alone will salute (as above).

v. When a soldier addresses an officer he will halt two paces from him, and salute with the right hand. He will also salute before withdrawing.

vi. When appearing before an officer in a room, he will salute without removing his cap.

vii. A soldier without his cap, or when carrying anything other than his arms, will, if standing still, come to attention as an officer passes; if walking, he will turn his head smartly towards the officer in passing him.

viii. A soldier, when riding a bicycle or driving a motor vehicle, will turn his head smartly towards an officer in passing him, and will not move his hands from the handle bar or steering wheel.

ix. A soldier driving a horsed vehicle will bring his whip to a perpendicular position, with the right hand resting on the thigh, and turn his head smartly towards an officer when passing him.

x. A soldier riding on a vehicle will turn his head smartly towards an officer when passing him.

xi. Warrant and non-commissioned officers when wearing a sword will salute with the right hand.

xii. The term "officer" includes naval officers, certain naval warrant officers1  and military and naval officers of foreign powers (see Commonwealth Military Regulations).

xiii. Officers2 or soldiers passing troops with uncased standards or colours will salute the standard or colours and the commanding officer (if senior).

xiv. Officers and soldiers passing a military funeral will salute the body.

xv. When in command of unarmed parties, officers, and warrant and non-commissioned officers wearing a sword, will, in paying or returning a compliment, give the command Eyes right (or left) and at the same time salute with the right hand. Ranks other than officers, when not wearing a sword, will similarly give the command Eyes right (or left), but will salute with the hand farthest away from the person saluted.


Length of pace. --In slow and in quick time the length of a pace is 30 inches. In stepping out, it is 33 inches, in double time, 40, in stepping short, 21, and in the side pace, 14 inches.

When a soldier takes a side pace to clear or cover another, as in forcing fours, Section 5-8, the pace will be 27 inches. Time --In slow time, 75 paces are taken in a minute. In quick time, 120 paces, equal to 100 yards in a minute, or 3 miles 720 yards in an hour, are taken. Except during the first weeks of recruit training, recruits, when not in marching order, will take 140 paces per minute in quick time at drill. In double time, 180 paces, equal to 200 yards a minute, are taken. The time of the side pace is the same as for the quick step.
Marching in slow time will be practised only in the early stages of recruit training, and when required for ceremonial purposes, see "Ceremonial." Distances of 100 and 200 yards will be marked on the drill ground, and non-commissioned officers and men practised in keeping correct time and length of pace.


1.Recruits are not to be taught to march without the constant use of the drum and pace stick.

2.Before the squad is put in motion a drummer will beat the time in which the men are to march, the men paying careful attention. The squad will then be marched off, and the drummer will beat the time occasionally while the men are on the move.

3. In order to ascertain whether the time is beaten correctly a pendulum should be used. The length of the pace in marching will be corrected with the pace stick, the accuracy of which should occasionally be tested by measurement.


1.In marching, the soldier will maintain the position of the head and body as directed in Section 13. He must be well balanced on his limbs. In slow time his arms and hands must be kept steady by his sides. In quick time the arms should swing naturally from the shoulder, the right arm swinging forward with the left leg and the left arm with the right leg. The movement of the leg must spring from the haunch and be free and natural.

2.The legs should be swung forward freely and naturally from the hip joints, each leg as it swings forward being bent sufficiently at the knee to enable the foot to clear the ground. The foot should be carried straight to the front, and, without being drawn back, placed firmly upon the ground with the knee straight, but so as not to jerk the body.

3. Although several recruits may be drilled together in a squad with intervals, they must act independently, precisely as if they were being instructed singly. They will thus learn to march in a straight line, and to take a correct pace, both as regards length and time, without reference to the other men of the squad.

4. Before the squad is put in motion, the instructor will take care that each man is square to the front and in correct line with the remainder. The recruit will be taught to take a point straight to his front, by fixing his eyes upon some distant object, and then observing some nearer point in the same straight line, such. as a stone, tuft of grass, or other object. The same procedure will be followed by the man on the named flank or by the named number, when marching in other formations (see Section 4-5 ).



1. The Quick March

Quick--March. The squad will step off together with the left foot, in quick time, observing the rules in Section 21

Note. --For the first week of recruit training it is recommended that all squad drill should be with intervals and in slow time only. The executive word of command will be Slow--March. The men will step off and march as described for Quick March, but in slow time, and keeping the arms and hands steady at the sides, pointing the toes downward and placing them on the ground before the heel, each leg being straightened smartly as it comes to the front before the foot is placed on the ground.

2.The Halt


The moving foot will complete its pace, and the other will be brought smartly up in line with it, without stamping.

3.Stepping Out


The moving foot will complete its pace, and the soldier will lengthen the pace by 3 inches, leaning forward a little, but without altering the time.

Note. --This step is used when a slight increase of speed, without an alteration of time is required; on the command Quick--March the usual pace will be resumed.

4.Stepping Short


The foot advancing will complete its pace, after which the pace will be shortened by 9 inches until the command Quick--March is given, when the quick step will be resumed.

5.Marking Time


The foot then advancing will complete its pace, after which the time will be continued, without advancing, by raising each foot alternately about 6 inches, keeping the feet almost parallel with the ground, the knees raised to the front, the arms steady at the sides, and the body steady. On the command Forward, the pace at which the men were moving will be resumed.

6. Stepping Back from the Halt

 -- Paces Step Back--March. Step back the named number of paces of 30 inches straight to the rear, commencing with the left foot, observing the rules in Section 21.

Note. --Stepping back should not exceed four paces.


1.When on the March

The advancing foot will complete its pace, and the ball of the rear foot will be brought up to the heel of the advanced one, which will make another step forward, so that the time will not be lost, two successive steps being taken with the same foot.

2. When Marking Time

Change--Step. Make two successive beats with the same foot.


1. The Double March

Double--March. Step off with the left foot and double on the toes with easy swinging strides, inclining the body slightly forward, but maintaining its correct carriage. The feet must be picked up cleanly from the ground at each pace, and the thigh, knee, and ankle joints must all work freely and without stiffness. The whole body should be carried forward by a thrust from the rear foot without unnecessary effort. The heels must not be raised towards the seat, but the foot carried straight to the front and the toes placed lightly on the ground. The arms should swing easily from the shoulders and should be bent at the elbow, the forearm forming an angle of about 135 degrees with the upper arm (i.e., midway between a straight arm and a right angle at the elbow), fists clenched, backs of the hands outward, and the arms swung sufficiently clear of the body to allow of full freedom for the chest. The shoulders should be kept steady and square to the front and the head erect.


Squad--Halt. As in The Halt, the same time dropping the hands to the position of attention.

3. Marking Time

Mark--Time. Act as in Marking Time, the arms and hands being carried as when marching in double time, but with the swing of the arms reduced.


1.Right (or Left) Close--March, or--Paces Right (or Left) Close--March

Each man will carry his right foot 14 inches direct to the right, and instantly close his left foot to it, thus completing the pace; he will proceed to take the next pace in the same manner. Shoulders to be kept square, knees straight, unless on rough or broken ground. The direction must be kept in a straight line to the flank.

2. The Halt


On the command Halt, which will be given when the number of paces has not been specified, the men will complete the pace they are taking, and remain steady.

Note. --Soldiers should not usually be moved to a flank by the side step more than 12 paces


1. Right--Turn.

 Each man will turn in the named direction, and move on at once without checking his pace.

Note. --A soldier will always turn to the right on the left foot; and to the left on the right foot. The word turn will be given as the foot on which the turn is to be made is coming to the ground; if it is not so given, the soldier will move on one pace and then turn.


The soldier will turn right-about on his own ground in three beats of the time in which he is marching. Having completed the turn about the soldier will at once move forward, the fourth pace being a full pace.


On the word Incline, make a half-turn in the required direction.


  1. Chief gunners, chief boatswains, chief carpenters, chief artificer engineers, and chief schoolmasters in the Royal Navy rank as  2nd lieutenants in the Army, and will be saluted by warrant officers, N.C.Os snd men

2. Instructions for saluting with the sword for officers are contained in "Ceremonial"


This page was last updated 12th Feb 2005

It is dedicated to the generation who fought, died and  survived the "War to end all Wars"

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