The Colors Reverse and Counter March How-to

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We can read in the Army Training Circular (and the Marine Corps Order) how to execute the move and even see the provided diagram, but it sometimes really helps to see exactly what the feet do. The Colors Reverse, called Counter March in the Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard, turns the team around 180 degrees without executing a wheel movement.

 

Remember: Service color guards, by regulation, must carry, at a minimum, the American flag and the service flag. Teams are not authorized to replace the service flag.

 

Colors Reverse

(9 Feb 18) The following diagram shows the Training Circular states for the commander. Facing as in Marching is only for the commander when the move is called at the halt.

The OFFICIAL WORD from HQ Army JROTC is (not a quote):

The only position to execute a Facing as in Marching (Face-in-March) is the colors commander and that is only from the halt. Everyone else executes a flank. The whole team executes flanks when the command is called while marching. Flanks, not Facing as in Marching.

SEE THE DIAGRAMS BELOW

Counter March

The command is given from the halt, while marching or marking time. If given while marching, the command is on two consecutive left steps.

During the movement, the team’s steps will not be exactly half or whole, they will be just a little less to make proper distance and alignment.

ALL STEPS ARE AT THE SAME PACE FOR YOUR SERVICE! Whether you are marching forward at a full step, half step or marching in place, DO NOT SPEED UP, maintain the same tempo all of the time. Use a metronome app on your phone.

NOTE: If you have to take extra steps, that is acceptable!

TECHNIQUE FROM THE HALT

  • RRG- Right Rifle Guard
  • US- US Color Bearer
  • SVS- Service Color Bearer
  • LRG- Left Rifle Guard

For the Right Rifle Guard

The RRG takes steps on the outside of the team, LRG moves inside these footprints. The steps that lead from the team, should be just large enough to bring the guard on the outside of the AZ and LRG and no farther or you will take forever to make it back to the team. Make your steps as equally spaced as possible for all three sets of steps (from, across, and to the team), but do not make all of your steps equal- only within each set. Begin Mark Time when you get in place.

For the US Bearer

The US Color Bearer, in place(!), executes a Left Face-in-March (not facing movements!), take two steps to move into the place where the SVS Bearer stood, executes a Right Flank-in-Place*, and begins marking time.

*There really isn’t a term such as that, I just made it up to illustrate that you do not move forward on this flank.

For the SVS Bearer

The SVS Color Bearer takes a half step forward, flanks, takes two almost half steps, flanks, takes a step forward and then takes up Mark Time.

For the Left Rifle Guard

LRG does the same thing as the SVS Color Bearer following right behind and then taking two more steps, a flank and a step forward, and then begin Mark Time.

TECHNIQUE WHILE MARCHING

Take the above information and put it into this setting: Colors Reverse, MARCH, is called on two consecutive left steps (Counter March, MARCH ends on the left foot in the Marine Corps style).

The First Right Step: US Bearer executes an immediate Right Flank, takes one step forward into the AZ bearer’s position and begins marking time while turning 90-degrees in place to the left.

The Next Left Step: SVS Bearer and LRG execute a Left Flank, march across, and flank into their positions, just like the technique outlined above in the From the Halt section.

The Next Right Step: RRG executes a Right Flank, takes one step forward, marches across, and and flanks into position, just like the technique outlined above in the From the Halt section.

And finally, the image from the Army Training Circular for the four-man color guard.

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