“Education is key!” That is something I repeat constantly, because it’s true. Part of that knowledge is knowing the basic elements of what we do in the military drill world and much of what we do is based off of commands given by one or two individuals. When we know the part of a command, we can then better teach what commands are for cues or for movements.
Most commands come in two parts
- The Preparatory Command– this is the first part of the command, the cue that prepares the Driller to get ready to move.
- The Command of Execution– this is the second part of the command, the word that tells what the Driller is to actually do (usually written in all caps since this part of the command is called a little louder).
Examples of 2-part commands would be: Right, FACE; Present, ARMS; Forward, MARCH. “Right,” “Present” and “Forward” are the preparatory commands.
Some commands don’t have two parts
Combined Commands have just one part, “Fall In,” “At Ease” and “Rest.”
Informational Commands* have no preparatory command or command of execution, and they are not supplementary. Two examples are PREPARE FOR INSPECTION and DISMISS THE SQUADRON.
Supplementary Commands* are given when one unit of the element must execute a movement different from the other units or must execute the same movement at a different time. Two examples are CONTINUE THE MARCH and STAND FAST. These are mainly used during military parades.
*Information from AFMAN 36-2203 (3 Jun 96)