When a rifle is in front of your body at an angle with the muzzle dissecting the left shoulder and butt stock over the right hip, that is the Port Position. If both of your hands are in the proper place, that is called Port Arms. The picture at right shows Port Arms that is more of a Marine Corps style with the right forearm horizontal. There are several versions of Port Arms, depending on what you are doing and your branch of service.
Port Arms is used when marching at double time with a guidon. Please keep in mind though, that a guidon is not a color.
The Port Position, as described above, with a color is not an authorized position, it is not a very dignified position for carrying our nation’s flag, or other flags in a ceremonial-type situation. Marines running PT with the national flag at Port is another matter.
The Navy, Marines and Coast Guard do have a position for the color that is very similar to the honor guard Port Arms. Here is Trail Arms for a color, but only for the three aforementioned services. It is used when traveling in formation for short distances to and from a ceremony.
The honor guard Port Arms position would have both rifle guards at Port and the color bearers in the same position- bottom ferrule of the staff off of the ground 4″ to 6″ and the left forearm horizontal across the body with fingers extended and joined.
So then, what is one to do when moving in a color team (color guard) formation and there is a doorway or low ceiling? Go to what is called, “Angle Port.”
You have probably not heard of Angle Port because it is a position that military honor guards use (although, the MCOP does describe the position without naming it). Why this is not in service drill and ceremonies manuals, I don’t know- it would be very helpful for those out in the field, so to speak. Here is the Angle Port position:
The command to get here is Bearer’s, Ready Two. “Bearers” is to identify the color bearers. The command is called from the honor guard Port Arms position described in Trail Arms paragraph, above.
Now you know how to appropriately handle a low ceiling or doorway.