Keep this image in mind as you read below.
Span of Control
I would like to know if after giving left flank can the commander march backward while the platoon marches forward towards the commander during Regulation Drill. I have looked everywhere and nowhere can I find it.
It’s good to hear from you; thanks for the question. The answer is: no, it’s not necessary and here is why:
(For the MC, Navy & CG) For the Left Flank (before a Right Flank), the commander obtains a 15-step interval and then calls the command. While the commander catches up to the team as it executes the command, the next command then is Right Flank, so would the commander then would keep marching forward enabling him/her to be centered on the team.
(For the Army & AF) The commander flanks with the team calling the next command over the right shoulder.
The Column Left
(For the MC, Navy & CG) The commander halts at the command, March, and then executes a Face-in-March to the left to continue with the team and pick up half step.
(For the Army & AF) The commander executes Mark Time at the command, March, and then flanks to the left to continue with the team and pick up half step.
The Column Right
(This is an option for each service) I thought I needed to add something about this as well. In the image above, The Span of Control, you can see that the commander should not move toward the front of the formation since he would ‘lose control.’ To deal with this situation during a column right the commander would execute a right flank immediately after the command of execution, “MARCH.” This movement places the commander to the right of the formation (having begun from the left). To move back to the left, execute a left flank for the column left.
(All Services) The commander makes his/her way around the team keeping to the left of the formation. It just takes a little while.