Eyes Right for a Color Guard

DrillMasterAsk DrillMaster, Honor Guard, Instructional 4 Comments


Click here for info on “Color Guard” vs. “Color Team.”

The Question:
Hello, I’m in an Army JROTC and I have a Federal Inspection coming up. I’m doing the color guard for the AFI and I wondering on what to do during eyes, right. Do I salute the rifle like this picture? Or do I just look to the right and keep marching and it’s just only the flag saluting? If you could reply back to me, I’d appreciate it.
Thank you very much

The Answer:
What a great picture you’ve found! Judging by the uniform, you’ve found a WWI-era Manual of Arms picture, possibly a Boy Scout maybe a Soldier. I really enjoy the history of how certain movements came about that we use today.

The position in the picture is an individual salute while at Right Shoulder. The Army, Marine Corps, and Navy all used to use this type of salute while at either shoulder or Order. Now, only the Marines, Navy and Coast Guard use these individual salutes. The Army ceased using them decades ago. The salutes are not used in formation or while marching, only as an individual while standing still (think of reporting to the formation commander while armed). As we all know, the right forearm should be horizontal and not at an angle like in the picture.

Eyes Right
The Command, Eyes, RIGHT is called at Right Shoulder as two consecutive right steps hit the marching surface. When the next left foot strikes the ground, the following happens all at the same time:

  1. (Army and AF) The Left Rifle Guard, all non-national Color Bearers and National Color Bearer all turn their heads 45-degrees to the right; the Right Rifle Guard looks straight ahead.

(MC, N, & CG) The Left Rifle Guard, all non-national Color Bearers turn their heads 45-degrees to the right; the National Color Bearer and Right Rifle Guard look straight ahead.

  1. (Regulation Drill- all services) The non-national Color Bearer brings his/her color to a 45-degree angle be fully extending the right arm in one count/step after the command.

(Ceremonial Drill- Honor Guard Units only) The non-national Color Bearer brings his/her color to a 45-degree angle be fully extending the right arm in the three counts/steps after the command. Whipping the color forward in one count does present a ceremonial image.

Ready Front
On the command, Ready, FRONT, the team snaps its heads back to looking straight forward and the non-national color bearer bring their color back to vertical in one (regulation drill) or three (ceremonial drill) counts/steps.

Comments 4

    1. Post

      Mr. Fitzsimmons,

      Eyes Right is the term you are looking for and the explanation begins at paragraph 7-36 on page 7-8 of TC 3-21.5, 3 May 2021. Please let me know if you have any further questions.


  1. 3 questions:

    Does the Air Force non-national flags bearer shift their hand up the staff for present arms like the army? Or do we simply push the flag out in one count always?

    Should the extension of the non-national flags be on the final count of present arms (obviously not for eyes right, which is just immediate), or immediately?

    Does the text in the TC: “ 15-36. This position is assumed from the carry by slipping the right hand upward about 4 inches and then thrusting the arm forward shoulder high and horizontal to the marching surface forming an approximate 45-degree angle” mean that the shift and the extension are two separate counts? If this is the case, how does this work during eyes right?

    Thanks so much for your work DM.

    1. Post

      Cadet Mell,

      Even when at a drill meet that forces every team to use Army methods, you still follow the techniques in the AFMAN and that includes not sliding the right hand up the staff for Present. The staff is thrust forward in one count for Present Arms and Eyes Right. For Present, the command is given and the thrust happens on the first count after the command of execution. For Eyes Right, the command and thrust come on “Right” as the right heel strikes the marching surface.


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