If the bayonet scabbard is carried on the haversack: Take the bayonet from the rifle with the left hand and return it to the scabbard in the most convenient manner.
If marching or lying down, the bayonet is fixed and unfixed in the most expeditious and convenient manner and the piece returned to the original position.
Fix and unfix bayonet are executed with promptness and regularity but not in cadence. (For unfixing bayonet with Krag rifle, see Par. 697.) (96)
144. CHARGE BAYONET. Whether executed at halt or in motion, the bayonet is held toward the opponent as in the position of guard in the Manual for Bayonet Exercise.
Exercises for instruction in bayonet combat are prescribed in the Manual for Bayonet Exercise. (97)
145. Being at order arms: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS.
At the second command take the position of port arms. (TWO) Seize the bolt handle with the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, turn the handle up, draw the bolt back, and glance at the chamber. Having found the chamber empty, or having emptied it, raise the head and eyes to the front. (For inspection of arms with Krag rifle see par. 698.) (98)
146. Being at inspection arms: 1. Order (Right shoulder, port), 2. ARMS.
At the preparatory command push the bolt forward, turn the handle down, pull the trigger, and resume port arms. At the command arms, complete the movement ordered. (To execute with Krag rifle see par. 699.) (99)
To Dismiss the Squad
147. Being at halt: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS, 3. Port, 4. ARMS, 5. DISMISSED. (100)
SCHOOL OF THE SQUAD
148. Grouping into Squads. Soldiers are grouped into squads for purposes of instruction, discipline, control, and order. (101)
149. Composition of squad; object of squad movements. The squad proper consists of a corporal and seven privates.
The movements in the School of the Squad are designed to make the squad a fixed unit and to facilitate the control and movement of the company. If the number of men grouped is more than 3 and less than 12, they are formed as a squad of 4 files, the excess above 8 being posted as file closers. If the number grouped is greater than 11, 2 or more squads are formed and the group is termed a platoon.
For the instruction of recruits, these rules may be modified. (102)
150. Squad leader; his post. The corporal is the squad leader, and when absent is replaced by a designated private. If no private is designated, the senior in length of service acts as leader.
The corporal, when in ranks, is posted as the left man in the front rank of the squad.
When the corporal leaves the ranks to lead his squad, his rear rank man steps into the front rank, and the file remains blank until the corporal returns to his place in ranks, when his rear rank man steps back into the rear rank. (103)
151. Preservation of integrity of squads in battle. In battle officers and sergeants endeavor to preserve the integrity of squads; they designate new leaders to replace those disabled, organize new squads when necessary, and see that every man is placed in a squad.
Men are taught the necessity of remaining with the squad to which they belong and, in case it be broken up or they become separated therefrom, to attach themselves to the nearest squad and platoon leaders, whether these be of their own or of another organization. (104)
152. Certain movements executed by squad as in School of the Soldier. The squad executes the halt (See par. 116), rests (See par. 100-101), facings (See pars. 104-105), steps and marchings (See pars. 107-119), and the manual of arms (See pars. 120-147), as explained in the School of the Soldier. (105)
To Form the Squad
153. To form the squad the instructor places himself 3 paces in front of where the center is to be and commands: FALL IN.
The men assemble at attention, pieces at the order, and are arranged by the corporal in double rank, as nearly as practicable in order of height from right to left, each man dropping his left hand as soon as the man in his left has his interval. The rear rank forms with distance of 40 inches.
The instructor then commands: COUNT OFF.
At this command all except the right file execute eyes right, and beginning on the right, the men in each rank count one, two, three, four; each man turns his head and eyes to the front as he counts.
Pieces are then inspected. (106)
154. To align the squad, the base file or files having been established: 1. Right (Left), 2. DRESS, 3. FRONT.
At the command front, given when the ranks are aligned, each hip (whether dressing to the right or left); each man, except the base file, when on or near the new line executes eyes right, and taking steps of 2 or 3 inches, places himself so that his right arm rests lightly against the arm of the man on his right, and so that his eyes and shoulders are in line with those of the men on his right; the rear rank men cover in file.
The instructor verifies the alignment of both ranks from the right flank and orders up or back such men as may be in rear, or in advance, of the line; only the men designated move.
At the command dress all men place the left hand upon the man turns his head and eyes to the front and drops his left hand by his side.
In the first drills the basis of the alignment is established on, or parallel to, the front of the squad; afterwards, in oblique directions.
Whenever the position of the base file or files necessitates a considerable movement by the squad, such movement will be executed by marching to the front or oblique, to the flank or backward, as the case may be, without other command, and at the trail. (107)
155. To preserve the alignment when marching: GUIDE RIGHT (LEFT).
The men preserve their intervals from the side of the guide, yielding to pressure from that side and resisting pressure from the opposite direction; they recover intervals, if lost, by gradually opening out or closing in; they recover alignment by slightly lengthening or shortening the step; the rear-rank men cover their file leaders at 40 inches.
In double rank, the front-rank man on the right, or designated flank, conducts the march; when marching faced to the flank, the leading man of the front rank is the guide. (108)
To Take Intervals and Distances
156. Being in line at a halt: 1. Take interval, 2. To the right (left), 3. MARCH, 4. Squad, 5. HALT.
Being in line at a halt.
1. Take interval, 2. To the right (left)
At the second command the rear-rank men march backward 4 steps and halt;
At the command march all face to the right and the leading man of each rank steps off; the other men step off in succession, each following the preceding man at 4 paces, rear-rank men marching abreast of their file leaders.
4. Squad, 5. HALT
At the command halt, given when all have their intervals, all halt and face to the front. (109)
157. Being at intervals, to assemble the squad:
1. Assemble, to the right (left), 2. MARCH.
The front-rank man on the right stands fast, the rear rank man on the right closes to 40 inches. The other men face to the right, close by the shortest line, and face to the front. (110)
158. Being in line at a halt and having counted off: 1. Take distance, 2. MARCH, 3. Squad, 4. HALT.
At the command March No. 1 of the front rank moves straight to the front; Nos. 2, 3, and 4 of the front rank and Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the rear rank, in the order named, move straight to the front, each stepping off so as to follow the preceding man at 4 paces. The command halt is given when all have their distances.
In case more than one squad is in line, each squad executes the movement as above. The guide of each rank of numbers is right. (111)
159. Being at distances, to assemble the squad: 1. Assemble, 2. MARCH.
No. 1 of the front rank stands fast; the other numbers move forward to their proper places in line. (112)
To Stack and Take Arms
160. Being in line at a halt: STACK ARMS. Each even number of the front rank grasps his piece with the left hand at the upper band
and rests the butt between his feet, barrel to the front, muzzle inclined slightly to the front and opposite the center of the interval on his right, the thumb and forefinger raising the stacking swivel; each even number of the rear rank then passes his piece, barrel to the rear, to his file leader, who grasps it between the bands with his right hand
and throws the butt about 2 feet in advance of that of his own piece and opposite the right of the interval, the right hand slipping to the upper band, the thumb and forefinger raising the stacking swivel, which he engages with that of his own piece;
each odd number of the front rank raises his piece with the right hand, carries it well forward, barrel to the front; the left hand, guiding the stacking swivel,
engages the lower hook of the swivel of his own piece with the free hook of that of the even number of the rear rank; he then turns the barrel outward into the angle formed by the other two pieces and lowers the butt to the ground, to the right and against the toe of his right shoe.
The stacks made, the loose pieces are laid on them by the even numbers of the front rank. When each man has finished handling pieces, he takes the position of the soldier. (113)
161. Being in line behind the stacks: TAKE ARMS.
(See preceding illustration.)
The loose pieces are returned by the even numbers of the front rank; each even number of the front rank grasps his own piece with the left hand, the piece of his rear rank man with his right hand, grasping both between the bands; each odd number of the front rank grasps his piece in the same way with the right hand; disengages it by raising the butt from the ground and then turning the piece to the right, detaches it from the stack; each even number of the front rank disengages and detaches his piece by turning it to the left,
and, then passes the piece of his rear-rank man to him, and all resume the order. (114)
Should any squad have Nos. 2 and 3 blank files, No. 1 rear rank takes the place of No. 2 rear rank in making and breaking the stack; the stacks made or broken, he resumes his post.
Pieces not used in making the stacks are termed loose pieces.
Pieces are never stacked with the bayonet fixed. (115)
The Oblique March
162. For the instruction of recruits, the squad being in column or correctly aligned, the instructor causes the squad to face half right or half left, points out to the men their relative positions, and explains that these are to be maintained in the oblique march. (116)
163. Right (Left) oblique, 2. MARCH.
Each man steps off in a direction 45 deg. to the right of his original front. He preserves his relative position, keeping his shoulders parallel to those of the guide (the man on the right front of the line or column), and so regulates his steps that the ranks remain parallel to their original front.
At the command halt the men halt faced to front.
To resume the original direction: 1. Forward 2. MARCH.
The men half face to the left in marching and then move straight to the front.
If at halfstep or mark time while obliquing, the oblique march is resumed by the commands: 1. Oblique, 2. MARCH. (117)
To Turn on Moving Pivot
164. Being in line: 1. Right (Left) turn, 2. MARCH.
The movement is executed by each rank successively and on the same ground. At the second command, the pivot man of the front rank faces to the right in marching and takes the half step; the other men of the rank oblique to the right until opposite their places in line, then execute a second right oblique and take the half step on arriving abreast of the pivot man. All glance toward the marching flank while at half step and take the full step without command as the last man arrives on the line.
Right (Left) half turn is executed in a similar manner. The pivot man makes a half change of direction to the right and the other men make quarter changes in obliquing. (118)
To Turn on Fixed Pivot
165. Being in line, to turn and march: 1. Squad right (left), 2. MARCH.
At the second command, the right flank man in the front rank faces to the right in marching and marks time; the other front rank men oblique to the right, place themselves abreast of the pivot, and mark time. In the rear rank the third man from the right, followed in column by the second and first, move straight to the front
until in rear of his front-rank man,
when all face to the right in marching and mark time; the other number of the rear rank moves straight to the front four paces and places himself abreast of the man on his right. Men on the new line glance toward the marching flank while marking time and, as the last man arrives on the line, both ranks execute forward, MARCH, without command. (119)
166. Being in line, to turn and halt: 1. Squad right (left), 2. MARCH, 3. Squad, 4. HALT.
The third command is given immediately after the second. The turn is executed as prescribed in the preceding paragraph except that all men, on arriving on the new line, mark time until the fourth command is given, when all halt. The fourth command should be given as the last man arrives on the line. (120)
167. Being in line, to turn about and march: 1. Squad right (left) about, 2. MARCH.
At the second command, the front rank twice executes squad right initiating the second squad right when the man on the marching flank has arrived abreast of the rank. In the rear rank the third man from the right, followed by the second and first in column, moves straight to the front until on the prolongation of the line to be occupied by the rear rank; changes direction to the right; moves in the new direction until in rear of his front-rank man, when all face to the right in marching, mark time, and glance toward the marching flank. The fourth man marches on the left of the third to his new position; as he arrives on the line, both ranks execute forward, MARCH, without command. (121)
168. Being in line, to turn about and halt: 1. Squad right (left) about, 2. MARCH, 3. Squad, 4. HALT.
The third command is given immediately after the second. The turn is executed as prescribed in the preceding paragraph except that all men, on arriving on the new line, mark time until the fourth command is given, when all halt. The fourth command should be given as the last man arrives on the line. (122)
To Follow the Corporal
169. Being assembled or deployed, to march the squad without unnecessary commands, the corporal places himself in front of it and commands: FOLLOW ME.
If in line or skirmish line, No. 2 of the front rank follows in the trace of the corporal at about 3 paces; the other men conform to the movements of No. 2, guiding on him and maintaining their relative positions.
If in column, the head of the column follows the corporal. (123)
To Deploy as Skirmishers
170. Being in any formation, assembled: 1. As skirmishers, 2. MARCH.
The corporal places himself in front of the squad, if not already there. Moving at a run, the men place themselves abreast of the corporal at half-pace intervals, Nos. 1 and 2 on his right, Nos. 3 and 4 on his left, rear rank men on the right of their file leaders, extra men on the left of No. 4; all then conform to the corporal's gait.
When the squad is acting alone, skirmish line is similarly formed on No. 2 of the front rank, who stands fast or continues the march, as the case may be; the corporal places himself in front of the squad when advancing and in rear when halted.
When deployed as skirmishers, the men march at ease, pieces at the trail unless otherwise ordered.
The corporal is the guide when in the line; otherwise No. 2 front rank is the guide. (124)
171. The normal interval between skirmishers is one-half pace, resulting practically in one man per yard of front. The front of a squad thus deployed as skirmishers is about 10 paces. (125)
To Increase or Diminish Intervals
172. If assembled, and it is desired to deploy at greater than the normal interval; or if deployed, and it is desired to increase or decrease the internal: 1. As skirmishers, (so many) paces, 2. MARCH.
Intervals are taken at the indicated number of paces. If already deployed, the men move by the flank toward or away from the guide. (126)
173. Being deployed: 1. Assemble. 2. MARCH.
The men move toward the corporal and form in their proper places.
If the corporal continues to advance, the men move in double time, form, and follow him.
The assembly while marching to the rear is not executed. (127)
Kneeling and Lying Down
174. If standing: KNEEL.
Half face to the right; carry the right toe about 1 foot to the left rear of the left heel; kneel on right knee, sitting as nearly as possible on the right heel; left forearm across left thigh; piece remains in position of order arms, right hand grasping it above lower band. (128)
175. If standing or kneeling: LIE DOWN.
Kneel, but with right knee against left heel:
carry back the left foot and lie flat on the belly, inclining body about 35 deg. to the right
piece horizontal, barrel up, muzzle off the ground and pointed to the front; elbows on the ground; left hand at the balance, right hand grasping the small of the stock opposite the neck. This is the position of order arms, lying down. (129)
176. If kneeling or lying down: RISE.
If kneeling, stand up, faced to the front, on the ground marked by the left heel.
If lying down, raise body on both knees; stand up, faced to the front, on the ground marked by the knees. (130)
177. If lying down: KNEEL.
Raise the body on both knees; take the position of kneel. (131)
178. In double rank, the positions of kneeling and lying down are ordinarily used only for the better utilization of cover.
When deployed as skirmishers, a sitting position may be taken in lieu of the position kneeling. (132)
Loadings and Firings
179. The commands for loading and firing are the same whether standing, kneeling, or lying down. The firings are always executed at a halt.
When kneeling or lying down in double rank, the rear rank does not load, aim, or fire.
The instruction in firing will be preceded by a command for loading.
Loadings are executed in line and skirmish line only. (133)
180. Pieces having been ordered loaded are kept loaded without command until the command unload, or inspection arms, fresh clips being inserted when the magazine is exhausted. (To execute with Krag rifle see par. 700.) (134)
181. The aiming point or target is carefully pointed out. This may be done before or after announcing the sight setting. Both are indicated before giving the command for firing, but may be omitted when the target appears suddenly and is unmistakable; in such case battle sight is used if no sight setting is announced. (135)
182. The target or aiming point having been designated and the sight setting announced, such designation or announcement need not be repeated until a change of either or both is necessary.
Troops are trained to continue their fire upon the aiming point or target designated, and at the sight setting announced, until a change is ordered. (136)
183. If the men are not already in the position of load, that position is taken at the announcement of the sight setting; if the announcement is omitted, the position is taken at the first command for firing. (137)
184. When deployed, the use of the sling as an aid to accurate firing is discretionary with each man. (138)
185. Being in line or skirmish line at halt:
1. With dummy (blank or ball) cartridges, 2. LOAD.
At the command load each front-rank man or skirmisher faces half right and carries the right foot to the right, about 1 foot, to such position as will insure the greatest firmness and steadiness of the body; raises, or lowers, the piece and drops it into the left hand at the balance, the left thumb extended along the stock, muzzle at the height of the breast, and turns the cut-off up.
With the right hand he turns and draws the bolt back,
takes a loaded clip and inserts the end in the clip slots, places the thumb on the powder space of the top cartridge, the fingers extending around the piece and tips resting on the magazine floor plate; forces the cartridges into the magazine by pressing down with the thumb; without removing the clip, thrusts the bolt home, turning down the handle; turns the safety lock to the "safe,"
and carries the hand to the small of the stock.
Each rear rank man moves to the right front, takes a similar position opposite the interval to the right of his front rank man, muzzle of the piece extending beyond the front rank and loads.
A skirmish line may load while moving, the pieces being held as nearly as practicable in the position of load.
If kneeling or sitting, the position of the piece is similar; if kneeling, the left forearm rests on the left thigh;
if sitting the elbows are supported by the knees.
If lying down, the left hand steadies and supports the piece at the balance, the toe of the butt resting on the ground, the muzzle off the ground.
For reference, these positions (standing, kneeling, and lying down) are designated as that of load. (For Krag rifle as prescribed in 701.) (139)
186. For instruction in loading: 1. Simulate, 2. LOAD.
Executed as above described except that the cut-off remains "off" and the handling of cartridges is simulated.
The recruits are first taught to simulate loading and firing; after a few lessons dummy cartridges may be used. Later, blank cartridges may be used. (140)
The rifle may be used as a single loader by turning the magazine "off." The magazine may be filled in whole or in part while "off" or "on" by pressing cartridges singly down and back until they are in the proper place. The use of the rifle as a single loader is, however, to be regarded as exceptional. (Explained for Krag rifle in par. 702.) (141)
Take the position of load, turn the safety lock up and move bolt alternately back and forward until all the cartridges are ejected. After the last cartridge is ejected the chamber is closed by first thrusting the bolt slightly forward to free it from the stud holding it in place when the chamber is open, pressing the follower down and back to engage it under the bolt and then thrusting the bolt home; the trigger is pulled. The cartridges are then picked up, cleaned, and returned to the belt and the piece is brought to the order. (Explained in par. 703 for Krag rifle.) (142)
To Set the Sight
188. RANGE, ELEVEN HUNDRED (EIGHT-FIFTY, etc.), or BATTLE SIGHT.
The sight is set at the elevation indicated. The instructor explains and verifies sight settings. (143)
To Fire by Volley
189. 1. Ready, 2. AIM, 3. Squad, 4. FIRE.
At the command ready turn the safety lock to the "ready";
at the command aim raise the piece with both hands and support the butt firmly against the hollow of the right shoulder, right thumb clasping the stock, barrel horizontal, left elbow well under the piece, right elbow as high as the shoulder; incline the head slightly forward and a little to the right, cheek against the stock,
left eye closed, right eye looking through the notch of the rear sight so as to perceive the object aimed at, second joint of the forefinger resting lightly against the front of the trigger and taking up the slack; top of front sight is carefully raised into, and held in, the line of sight.
Each rear-rank man aims through the interval to the right of his file leader and leans slightly forward to advance the muzzle of his piece beyond the front rank.
In aiming kneeling, the left elbow rests on the left knee, point of elbow in front of kneecap.
In aiming sitting, the elbows are supported by the knees.
In aiming, lying down, raise the piece with both hands; rest on both elbows and press the butt firmly against the right shoulder.
At the command fire press the finger against the trigger; fire without deranging the aim and without lowering or turning the piece; lower the piece in the position of load and load. (144)
To continue the firing: 1. AIM, 2. Squad, 3. FIRE.
Each command is executed as previously explained. Load (from magazine) is executed by drawing back and thrusting home the bolt with the right hand, leaving the safety lock at the "ready." (145)
To Fire at Will
190. FIRE AT WILL.
Each man, independently of the others, comes to the ready, aims carefully and deliberately at the aiming point or target, fires, loads, and continues the firing until ordered to suspend or cease firing. (146)
191. To increase (decrease) the rate of fire in progress the instructor shouts: FASTER (SLOWER).
Men are trained to fire at the rate of about three shots per minute at effective ranges and five or six at close ranges, devoting the minimum of time to loading and the maximum to deliberate aiming. To illustrate the necessity for deliberation, and to habituate men to combat conditions, small and comparatively indistinct targets are designated. (147)
To Fire by Clip
192. CLIP FIRE.
Executed in the same manner as fire at will, except that each man, after having exhausted the cartridges then in the piece, suspends firing. (For Krag rifle see par. 704.) (148)
To Suspend Firing
193. The instructor blows a long blast of the whistle and repeats same, if necessary, or commands: SUSPEND FIRING.
Firing stops; pieces are held, loaded and locked, in a position of readiness for instant resumption of firing, rear sights unchanged. The men continue to observe the target or aiming point, or the place at which the target disappeared, or at which it is expected to reappear.
This whistle signal may be used as a preliminary to cease firing. (149)
To Cease Firing
194. CEASE FIRING.
Firing stops; pieces not already there are brought to the position of load; those not loaded, are loaded; sights are laid, pieces are locked and brought to the order.
Cease firing is used for long pauses, to prepare for changes of position, or to steady the men. (For Krag rifle see par. 705.) (150)
Commands for suspending or ceasing fire may be given at any time after the preparatory command for firing whether the firing has actually commenced or not. (151)
The Use of Cover
195. Individual instruction; things to be impressed upon the recruit. The recruit should be given careful instruction in the individual use of cover. (152)
It should be impressed upon him that, in taking advantage of natural cover, he must be able to fire easily and effectively upon the enemy; if advancing on an enemy, he must do so steadily and as rapidly as possible; he must conceal himself as much as possible while firing and while advancing. While setting his sight he should be under cover or lying prone.
196. Practice in simulated firing from behind hillocks, trees, etc.; firing around right side of concealment. To teach him to fire easily and effectively, at the same time concealing himself from the view of the enemy, he is practiced in simulated firing in the prone, sitting, kneeling, and crouching positions, from behind hillocks, trees, heaps of earth or rocks, from depressions, gullies, ditches, doorways, or windows. He is taught to fire around the right side of his concealment whenever possible, or, when this is not possible, to rise enough to fire over the top of his concealment.
When these details are understood, he is required to select cover with reference to an assumed enemy and to place himself behind it in proper position for firing. (153)
197. Evil of remaining too long in one place; advancing from cover to cover by running, crawling, etc. The evil of remaining too long in one place, however good the concealment, should be explained. He should be taught to advance from cover to cover, selecting cover in advance before leaving his concealment.
It should be impressed upon him that a man running rapidly toward an enemy furnishes a poor target. He should be trained in springing from a prone position behind concealment, running at top speed to cover and throwing himself behind it. He should also be practiced in advancing from cover to cover by crawling, or by lying on the left side, rifle grasped in the right hand, and pushing himself forward with the right leg. (154)
198. Action when fired on while acting independently. He should be taught that, when fired on while acting independently, he should drop to the ground, seek cover, and then endeavor to locate his enemy. (155)
199. Proper advance and effectiveness of fire of greater importance than cover. The instruction of the recruit in the use of cover is continued in the combat exercises of the company, but he must then be taught that the proper advance of the platoon or company and the effectiveness of its fire is of greater importance than the question of cover for individuals. He should also be taught that he may not move about or shift his position in the firing line except the better to see the target. (156)
200. Importance of observation; training of recruit. The ability to use his eyes accurately is of great importance to the soldier. The recruit should be trained in observing his surroundings from positions and when on the march.
He should be practiced in pointing out and naming military features of the ground; in distinguishing between living beings; in counting distant groups of objects or beings; in recognizing colors and forms. (157)
201. Training in mechanism of firing line and estimating distance. In the training of men in the mechanism of the firing line, they should be practiced in repeating to one another target and aiming point designations and in quickly locating and pointing out a designated target. They should be taught to distinguish, from a prone position, distant objects, particularly troops, both with the naked eye and with field glasses. Similarly, they should be trained in estimating distances. (158)
SCHOOL OF THE COMPANY
202. Captain responsible for instruction of officers and noncommissioned officers. The captain is responsible for the theoretical and practical instruction of his officers and noncommissioned officers, not only in the duties of their respective grades, but in those of the next higher grades. (159)
203. Formation of company in double rank, according to height; division into squads. The company in line is formed in double rank with the men arranged, as far as practicable, according to height from right to left, the tallest on the right.
The original division into squads is effected by the command: COUNT OFF. The squads, successively, from the right, count off as in the School of the Squad, as explained in par. 153, corporals placing themselves as Nos. 4 of the front rank. If the left squad contains less than six men, it is either increased to that number by transfers from other squads or is broken up and its members assigned to other squads and posted in the line of file closers. These squad organizations are maintained, by transfers if necessary, until the company becomes so reduced in numbers as to necessitate a new division into squads. No squad will contain less than six men. (160)
204. Division of company into platoons. The company is further divided into two, three or four platoons, each consisting of not less than two, nor more than four squads. In garrison or ceremonies the strength of platoons may exceed four squads. (161)
205. Designation of squads and platoons. At the formation of the company the platoons or squads are numbered consecutively from right to left and these designations do not change.
For convenience in giving commands and for reference, the designations, right, center, left, when in line, and leading, center, rear, when in column, are applied to platoons or squads. These designations apply to the actual right, left, center, head, or rear, in whatever direction the company may be facing. The center squad is the middle or right middle squad of the company.
The designation "So-and-so's" squad or platoon may also be used. (162)
206. Assignment of platoons; assignment of guides. Platoons are assigned to the lieutenants and noncommissioned officers, in order of rank, as follows: 1, right; 2, left; 3, center (right center); 4, left center.
The noncommissioned officers next in rank are assigned as guides, one to each platoon. If sergeants still remain, they are assigned to platoons as additional guides. When the platoon is deployed, its guide, or guides, accompany the platoon leader.
During battle, these assignments are not changed; vacancies are filled by noncommissioned officers of the platoon, or by the nearest available officers or noncommissioned officers arriving with reenforcing troops. (163)
207. Post of first sergeant, quartermaster sergeant and musicians. The first sergeant is never assigned as a guide. When not commanding a platoon, he is posted as a file closer opposite the third file from the outer flank of the first platoon; and when the company is deployed he accompanies the captain.
The quartermaster sergeant, when present, is assigned according to his rank as a sergeant.
Enlisted men below the grade of sergeant, armed with the rifle are in ranks unless serving as guides; when not so armed they are posted in the line of file closers.
Musicians, when required to play, are at the head of the column. When the company is deployed, they accompany the captain, and perform the duties laid down in par. 272. (164)
208. Certain movements executed by company and by platoon as prescribed in Schools of the Soldier and the Squad. The company executes the halt, rests, facings, steps, and marchings, manual of arms, loadings, and firings, takes intervals and distances and assembles, increases and diminishes intervals, resumes attention, obliques, resumes the direct march, preserves alignments, kneels, lies down, rises, stacks, and takes arms, as explained in the Schools of the Soldier and the Squad, substituting in the commands company for squad.
The same rule applies to platoons, detachments, details, etc., substituting their designation for squad in the commands. In the same manner these execute the movements prescribed for the company, whenever possible, substituting their designation for company in the commands. (165)
209. Depleted company led as platoon. A company so depleted as to make division into platoons impracticable is led by the captain as a single platoon, but retains the designation of company. The lieutenants and first sergeant assist in fire control; the other sergeants place themselves in the firing line as skirmishers. (166)
210. Platoon guides. The guides of the right and left, or leading and rear, platoons, are the right and left, or leading and rear, guides, respectively, of the company when it is in line or in column of squads. Other guides are in the line of file closers.
In platoon movements the post of the platoon guide is at the head of the platoon, if the platoon is in column, and on the guiding flank if in line. When a platoon has two guides their original assignment to flanks of the platoon does not change. (167)
211. Guides of a column of squads; changing guides and file closers to opposite flank. The guides of a column of squads place themselves on the flank opposite the file closers. To change the guides and file closers to the other flank, the captain commands: 1. File closers on left (right) flank; 2. MARCH. The file closers dart through the column; the captain and guides change.
In the column of squads, each rank preserves the alignment toward the side of the guide. (168)
212. File closers do not execute loadings or firings; execution of manual of arms and other movements. Men in the line of file closers do not execute the loadings or firings.
Guides and enlisted men in the line of file closers execute the manual of arms during the drill unless specially excused, when they remain at the order. During ceremonies they execute all movements. (169)
213. Action of guides in taking intervals and distances. In taking intervals and distances, unless otherwise directed, the right and left guides, at the first command, place themselves in the line of file closers, and, with them, take a distance of 4 paces from the rear rank. In taking intervals, at the command march, the file closers face to the flank and each steps off with the file nearest him. In assembling the guides and file closers resume their position in line. (170)
214. Repetition of commands by platoon leaders in platoon drill. In movements executed simultaneously by platoons (as platoons right or platoons, column right), platoon leaders repeat the preparatory command (platoon right, etc.), applicable to their respective platoons. The command of execution is given by the captain only. (171)
To Form the Company
215. At the sounding of the assembly the first sergeant takes position 6 paces in front of where the center of the company is to be, faces it, draws saber, and commands: FALL IN.
The right guide of the company places himself, facing to the front, where the right of the company is to rest, and at such point that the center of the company will be 6 paces from and opposite the first sergeant; the squads form in their proper places on the left of the right guide, superintended by the other sergeants, who then take their posts.
The first sergeant commands: REPORT. Remaining in position at the order, the squad leaders, in succession from right, salute and report: All present; or, Private(s) —— absent. The first sergeant does not return the salutes of the squad leaders; he then commands: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS, 3. Order, 4. ARMS, faces about, salutes the captain, reports: Sir, all present or accounted for, or the names of the unauthorized absentees, and, without command, takes his post.
If the company can not be formed by squads, the first sergeant commands: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS, 3. Right shoulder, 4. ARMS, and calls the roll. Each man, as his name is called, answers here and executes order arms. The sergeant then effects the division into squads and reports the company as prescribed above.
The captain places himself 12 paces in front of the center of, and facing, the company in time to receive the report of the first sergeant, whose salute he returns, and then draws saber.
The lieutenants take their posts when the first sergeant has reported and draw saber with the captain. The company, if not under arms, is formed in like manner omitting reference to arms. (172)
216. For the instruction of platoon leaders and guides, the company, when small, may be formed in single rank. In this formation close order movements only are executed. The single rank executes all movements as explained for the front rank of a company. (173)
To Dismiss the Company
217. Being in line at a halt, the captain directs the first sergeant: Dismiss the company. The officers fall out; the first sergeant places himself faced to the front, 3 paces to the front and 2 paces from the nearest flank of the company, salutes, faces toward opposite flank of the company and commands: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS, 3. Port, 4. ARMS, 5. DISMISSED. (174)
218. The alignments are executed as prescribed in the School of the Squad, the guide being established instead of the flank file. The rear-rank man of the flank file keeps his head and eyes to the front and covers his file leader.
At each alignment the captain places himself in prolongation of the line, 2 paces from and facing the flank toward which the dress is made, verifies the alignment, and commands: FRONT.
Platoon leaders take a like position when required to verify alignments. (175)
Movements on the Fixed Pivot
219. Being in line, to turn the company: 1. Company right (left), 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT; or, 3. Forward, 4. MARCH.
At the second command the right-flank man in the front rank faces to the right in marching and marks time; the other front-rank men oblique to the right, place themselves abreast of the pivot, and mark time; in the rear rank the third man from the right, followed in column by the second and first, moves straight to the front until in rear of his front-rank man, when all face to the right in marching and mark time; the remaining men of the rear rank move straight to the front 4 paces, oblique to the right, place themselves abreast of the third man, cover their file leaders, and mark time, the right guide steps back, takes post on the flank, and marks time.
The fourth command is given when the last man is 1 pace in rear of the new line.
The command halt may be given at any time after the movement begins; only those halt who are in the new position. Each of the others halts upon arriving on the line, aligns himself to the right, and executes front without command. (176)
220. Being in line, to form column of platoons, or the reverse: 1. Platoons right (left), 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT; or, 3. Forward, 4. MARCH.
Executed by each platoon as described for the company.
Before forming line the captain sees that the guides on the flank toward which the movement is to be executed are covering. This is effected by previously announcing the guide to that flank. (177)
221. Being in line, to form column of squads, or the reverse; or, being in line of platoons, to form column of platoons, or the reverse: 1. Squads right (left), 2. MARCH; or, 1. Squads right (left), 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT.
Executed by each squad as described in the School of the Squad.
If the company or platoons be formed in line toward the side of the file closers, they dart through the column and take posts in rear of the company at the second command. If the column of squads be formed from line, the file closers take posts on the pivot flank, abreast of and 4 inches from the nearest rank. (178)
Movements on the Moving Pivot
222. Being in line, to change direction: 1. Right (Left) turn, 2. MARCH, 3. Forward, 4. MARCH.
Executed as described in the School of the Squad, except that the men do not glance toward the marching flank and that all take the full step at the fourth command. The right guide is the pivot of the front rank. Each rear-rank man obliques on the same ground as his file leader. (179)
223. Being in column of platoons, to change direction: 1. Column right (left), 2. MARCH.
At the first command the leader of the leading platoon commands: Right turn. At the command march the leading platoon turns to the right on moving pivot; its leader commands: 1. Forward, 2. MARCH, on completion of the turn. Rear platoons march squarely up to the turning point of the leading platoons and turn at command of their leaders. (180)
224. Being in column of squads, to change direction: 1. Column right (left), 2. MARCH.
At the second command the front rank of the leading squad turns to the right on moving pivot as in the School of the Squad; the other ranks, without command turn successively on the same ground and in a similar manner. (181)
225. Being in column of squads, to form line of platoons or the reverse: 1. Platoons, column right (left), 2. MARCH.
Executed by each platoon as described for the company. (182)
226. Being in line, to form column of squads and change direction: 1. Squads right (left), column right (left), 2. MARCH; or, 1. Right (Left) by squads, 2. MARCH.
In the first case the right squad initiates the column right as soon as it has completed the squad right.
In the second case, at the command march, the right squad marches forward; the remainder of the company executes squads right, column left, and follows the right squad. The right guide, when he has posted himself in front of the squad, takes four short steps, then resumes the full step; the right quad conforms. (183)
227. Being in line, to form line of platoons: 1. Squads right (left), platoons, column right (left), 2. MARCH; or, 1. Platoons, right (left) by squads, 2. MARCH.
Executed by each platoon as described for the company in the preceding paragraph. (184)
Facing or Marching to the Rear
228. Being in line, line of platoons, or in column of platoons or squads, to face or march to the rear: 1. Squads right (left) about, 2. MARCH; or, 1. Squad right (left) about, 2. MARCH; 3. Company, 4. HALT.
Executed by each squad as described in the School of the Squad.
If the company or platoons be in column of squads, the file closers turn about toward the column, and take their posts; if in line, each darts through the nearest interval between squads. (185).
229. To march to the rear for a few paces: 1. About, 2. FACE, 3. Forward, 4. MARCH.
If in line, the guides place themselves in the rear rank, now the front rank; the file closers, on facing about, maintain their relative positions. No other movement is executed until the line is faced to the original front. (186)
On Right (Left) Into Line
230. Being in column of platoons or squads, to form line on right or left: 1. On right (left) into line, 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT, 5. FRONT.
At the first command the leader of the leading unit commands: Right turn. The leaders of the other units command: Forward, if at a halt. At the second command the leading unit turns to the right on moving pivot. The command halt is given when the leading unit has advanced the desired distance in the new direction; it halts; its leader then commands: Right dress.
The units in rear continue to march straight to the front; each, when opposite the right of its place in line, executes right turn at the command of its leader; each is halted on the line at the command of its leader, who then commands: Right dress. All dress on the first unit in line.
If executed in double time, the leading squad marches in double time until halted. (187)
Front Into Line
231. Being in column of platoons or squads, to form line to the front: 1. Right (Left) front into line, 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT, 5. FRONT.
At the first command the leaders of the units in rear of the leading one command: Right oblique. If at a halt, the leader of the leading unit commands: Forward. At the second command the leading unit moves straight forward; the rear units oblique as indicated. The command halt is given when the leading unit has advanced the desired distance; it halts; its leader then commands: Left dress. Each of the rear units, when opposite its place in line, resumes the original direction at the command of its leader; each is halted on the line at the command of its leader, who then commands: Left dress. All dress on the first unit in line. (188)
232. Being in column of squads to form column of platoons, or being line of platoons, to form the company in line: 1. Platoons, right (left) front into line, 2. MARCH, 3. Company, 4. HALT, 5. FRONT.
Executed by each platoon as described for the company. In forming the company in line, the dress is on the left squad of the left platoon. If forming column of platoons, platoon leaders verify the alignment before taking their posts; the captain commands front when the alignments have been verified.
When front into line is executed in double time the commands for halting and aligning are omitted and the guide is toward the side of the first unit in line. (189)
At Ease and Route Step
233. The column of squads is the habitual column of route, but route step and at ease are applicable to any marching formation. (190)
To march at route step: 1. Route step, 2. MARCH.
Sabers are carried at will or in the scabbard; the men carry their pieces at will, keeping the muzzles elevated; they are not required to preserve silence, nor to keep the step. The ranks cover and preserve their distance. If halted from route step, the men stand at rest. (191)
To march at ease: 1. At ease, 2. MARCH.
The company marches as in route step, except that silence is preserved; when halted, the men remain at ease. (192)
Marching at route step or at ease: 1. Company, 2. ATTENTION.
At the command attention the pieces are brought to the right shoulder and the cadenced step in quick time is resumed. (193)
To Diminish The Front of A Column of Squads
234. Being in column of squads: 1. Right (left) by twos, 2. MARCH.
At the command march all files except the two right files of the leading squad execute in place halt; the two left files of the leading squad oblique to the right when disengaged and follow the right files at the shortest practicable distance. The remaining squads follow successively in like manner. (194)
235. Being in column of squads or twos: 1. Right (Left) by file, 2. MARCH.
At the command march, all files execute in place halt except the right file of the leading two or squad. The left file or files of the leading two or squad oblique successively to the right when disengaged and each follows the file on its right at the shortest practicable distance. The remaining twos or squads follow successively in like manner. (195)
Being in column of files or twos, to form column of squads; or, being in column of files, to form column of twos: 1. Squads (Twos), right (left) front into line, 2. MARCH.
At the command march, the leading file or files halt. The remainder of the squad, or two, obliques to the right and halts on line with the leading file or files. The remaining squads or twos close up and successively form in rear of the first in like manner.
This diagram illustrates a squad executing LEFT front into line.
The movement described in this paragraph will be ordered right or left, so as to restore the files to their normal relative positions in the two or squad. (196)
The movements prescribed in the three preceding paragraphs are difficult of execution at attention and have no value as disciplinary exercises. (197)
Rules for Deployment
236. Designation of base squads. The command guide right (left or center) indicates the base squad for the deployment; if in line it designates the actual right (left or center) squad; if in column the command guide right (left) designates the leading squad, and the command guide center designates the center squad, as laid down in par. 205. After the deployment is completed, the guide is center without command, unless otherwise ordered. (199)
237. Action of squad leaders at preparatory command for forming skirmish line. At the preparatory command for forming skirmish line, from either column of squads or line, each squad leader (except the leader of the base squad, when his squad does not advance) cautions his squad, follow me or by the right (left) flank, as the case may be; at the command march, he steps in front of his squad and leads it to its place in line, as explained in par. 169. (200)
238. Point on which base squad marches. Having given the command for forming skirmish line, the captain, if necessary, indicates to the corporal of the base squad the point on which the squad is to march; the corporal habitually looks to the captain for such directions. (201)
239. Deployment of the squads. The base squad (par. 199) is deployed as soon as it has sufficient interval. The other squads are deployed as they arrive on the general line; each corporal halts in his place in line and commands or signals, as skirmishers (executed as prescribed in par. 170); the squad deploys and halts abreast of him.
If tactical considerations demand it, the squad is deployed before arriving on the line. (202)
240. Alignment of deployed lines; deployed line faces to front on halting. Deployed lines preserve a general alignment toward the guide, as prescribed in par. 65. Within their respective fronts, individuals or units march so as best to secure cover or to facilitate the advance, but the general and orderly progress of the whole is paramount.
On halting, a deployed line faces to the front (direction of the enemy) in all cases and takes advantage of cover, the men lying down if necessary. (203)
241. Certain movements in extended order executed by same commands as in close order. The company in skirmish line advances, halts, moves by the flank, or to the rear, obliques, resumes the direct march, passes from quick to double time and the reverse by the same commands and in a similar manner as in close order; if at a halt, the movement by the flank or to the rear is executed by the same commands as when marching. Company right (left, half right, half left) is executed as explained for the front rank (in par. 165) skirmish intervals being maintained. (See par. 171.) (204)
242. Deployment of platoons and detachments. A platoon or other part of the company is deployed and marched in the same manner as the company, substituting in the commands, platoon (detachments, etc.), for company. (205)
Deployments (See pars. 170-172.)
243. Being in line, to form skirmish line to the front: 1. As skirmishers, guide right (left or center), 2. MARCH.
If marching, the corporal of the base squad moves straight to the front; when that squad has advanced the desired distance, the captain commands: 1. Company, 2. HALT. If the guide be right (left), the other corporals move to the left (right) front, and, in succession from the base, place their squads on the line; if the guide be center, the other corporals move to the right or left front, according as they are on the right or left of the center squad, and in succession from the center squad place their squads on the line.
If at a halt, the base squad is deployed without advancing; the other squads may be conducted to their proper places by the flank; interior squads may be moved when squads more distant from the base have gained comfortable marching distance. (206)
244. Being in column of squads, to form skirmish line to the front: 1. As skirmishers, guide right (left or center), 2. MARCH.
If marching, the corporal of the base squad deploys it and moves straight to the front; if at a halt, he deploys his squad without advancing. If the guide be right (left), the other corporals move to the left (right) front, and, in succession from the base, place their squads on the line; if the guide be center, the corporals in front of the center squad move to the right (if at a halt, to the right rear), the corporals in rear of the center squad move to the left front, and each, in succession from the base, places his squad on the line.
The column of twos or files is deployed by the same commands and in like manner. (207)
245. Deployment in an oblique direction. The company in line or in column of squads may be deployed in an oblique direction by the same commands. The captain points out the desire direction; the corporal of the base squad moves in the direction indicated; the other corporals conform. (208)
246. Deployment to flank or rear. To form skirmish line to the flank or rear the line or the column of squads is turned by squads to the flank or rear and then deployed as described. (209)
247. Increasing or decreasing intervals. The intervals between men are increased or decreased as described in the School of the Squad, as explained in par. 172, adding to the preparatory command, guide right (left or center) if necessary, as explained in par. 236. (210)
248. The captain takes his post in front of, or designates, the element on which the company is to assemble and commands: 1. Assemble, 2. MARCH.
If in skirmish line the men move promptly toward the designated point and the company is reformed in line. If assembled by platoons, these are conducted to the designated point by platoon leaders, and the company is reformed in line.
Platoons may be assembled by the command: 1. Platoons, assemble, 2. MARCH.
Executed by each platoon as described for the company.
One or more platoons may be assembled by the command: 1. Such platoon (s), assemble, 2. MARCH.
Executed by the designated platoon or platoons as described for the company. (211)
249. Methods of advancing. The advance of a company into an engagement (whether for attack or defense) is conducted in close order, preferably column of squads, until the probability of encountering hostile fire makes it advisable to deploy. After deployment, and before opening fire, the advance of the company may be continued in skirmish line or other suitable formation, depending upon circumstances. The advance may often be facilitated, or better advantage taken of cover, or losses reduced by the employment of the platoon or squad columns, as laid down in pars. 250-251, or by the use of a succession of thin lines, as explained in par. 255. The selection of the method to be used is made by the captain or major, the choice depending upon conditions arising during the progress of the advance. If the deployment is found to be premature, it will generally be best to assemble the company and proceed in close order.
Patrols are used to provide the necessary security against surprise. (212)
250. Being in skirmish line: 1. Platoon columns, 2 MARCH.
The platoon leaders move forward through the center of their respective platoons; men to the right of the platoon leader march to the left and follow him in file; those to the left march in like manner to the right; each platoon leader thus conducts the march of his platoon in double column of files; platoon guides follow in rear of their respective platoons to insure prompt and orderly execution of the advance. (213)
251. Being in skirmish line: 1. Squad columns, 2. MARCH.
Each squad leader moves to the front; the members of each squad oblique toward and follow their squad leader in single file at easy marching distances. (214)
252. Platoon columns are profitably used where the ground is so difficult or cover so limited as to make it desirable to take advantage of the few favorable routes; no two platoons should march within the area of burst of a single shrapnel. Squad columns are of value principally in facilitating the advance over rough or brush-grown ground; they afford no material advantage in securing cover. (215)
253. To deploy platoon or squad columns: 1. As skirmishers, 2. MARCH.
Skirmishers move to the right or left front and successively place themselves in their original positions on the line. (216)
254. Being in platoon or squad columns: 1. Assemble, 2. MARCH.
The platoon or squad leaders signal assemble. The men of each platoon or squad, as the case may be, advance and, moving to the right and left, take their proper places in line, each unit assembling on the leading element of the column and re-forming in line. The platoon or squad leaders conduct their units toward the element or point indicated by the captain, and to their places in line; the company is reformed in line. (217)
255. Being in skirmish line, to advance by a succession of thin lines: 1. (Such numbers), forward, 2. MARCH.
The captain points out in advance the selected position in front of the line occupied. The designated number of each squad moves to the front; the line thus formed preserves the original intervals as nearly as practicable; when this line has advanced a suitable distance (generally from 100 to 250 yards, depending upon the terrain and the character of the hostile fire), a second is sent forward by similar commands, and so on at irregular distances until the whole line has advanced. Upon arriving at the indicated position, the first line is halted. Successive lines, upon arriving, halt on line with the first and the men take their proper places in the skirmish line.
Ordinarily each line is made up of one man per squad and the men of a squad are sent forward in order from right to left as deployed. The first line is led by the platoon leader of the right platoon, the second by the guide of the right platoon, and so on in order from right to left.
The advance is conducted in quick time unless conditions demand a faster gait.
The company having arrived at the indicated position, a further advance by the same means may be advisable. (218)
256. Use and purpose of advance in succession of thin lines. The advance in a succession of thin lines is used to cross a wide stretch swept, or likely to be swept, by artillery fire or heavy, long-range rifle fire which cannot profitably be returned. Its purpose is the building up of a strong skirmish line preparatory to engaging in a fire fight. This method of advancing results in serious (though temporary) loss of control over the company. Its advantage lies in the fact that it offers a less definite target, hence is less likely to draw fire. (219)
257. Improvised formations. The above are suggestions. Other and better formations may be devised to fit particular cases. The best formation is the one which advances the line farthest with the least loss of men, time, and control. (220)
The Fire Attack
258. Advance of firing line; advance by rushes. The principles governing the advance of the firing line in attack are considered in the School of the Battalion. (See par. 342-356.)
When it becomes impracticable for the company to advance as whole by ordinary means, it advances by rushes. (221)
259. Advancing by rushes. Being in skirmish line: 1. By platoon (two platoons, squad, four men, etc.), from the right (left), 2. RUSH.
The platoon leader on the indicated flank carefully arranges the details for a prompt and vigorous execution of the rush and puts it into effect as soon as practicable. If necessary, he designates the leader for the indicated fraction. When about to rush, he causes the men of the fraction to cease firing and to hold themselves flat, but in readiness to spring forward instantly. The leader of the rush (at the signal of the platoon leader, if the latter be not the leader of the rush) commands: Follow me, and running at top speed, leads the fraction to the new line, where he halts it and causes it to open fire. The leader of the rush selects the new line if it has not been previously designated.
The first fraction having established itself on the new line, the next like fraction is sent forward by its platoon leader, without further command of the captain, and so on successively, until the entire company is on the line established by the first rush.
If more than one platoon is to join in one rush, the junior platoon leader conforms to the action of the senior.
A part of the line having advanced, the captain may increase or decrease the size of the fractions to complete the movement. (222)
260. Rush of company as whole led by captain. When the company forms a part of the firing line, the rush of the company as a whole is conducted by the captain, as described for a platoon in the preceding paragraph. The captain leads the rush; platoon leaders lead their respective platoons; platoon guides follow the line to insure prompt and orderly execution of the advance. (223)
261. Advance by crawling or otherwise. When the foregoing method of rushing, by running, becomes impracticable, any method of advance that brings the attack closer to the enemy, such as crawling, should be employed.
For regulations governing the charge, see paragraphs 355 and 356. (224)
(All rushes should be made with life and ginger, and all the men should start together. All rushes should be made under covering fire, and when a unit rushes forward the adjoining unit or units make up for the loss of fire thus caused by increasing the rate of their fire.
A unit commander about to rush forward, will not do so until he sees that the adjoining unit or units have started to give him the protection of their covering fire and, if necessary, he will call to them to do so. Each unit must be careful not to advance until the last unit that rushed forward has had time to take up an effective fire. When sights have to be adjusted at the conclusion of a rush, the men should do so in the prone position even though it be necessary for the men to kneel for firing. The same as the men who rush should start simultaneously from the prone position, so should they stop simultaneously, all men dropping down to the ground together, wherever they may be, at the command "Down," given by the unit commander when the leading men have reached the new position. The slower members who drop down in rear will crawl up to the line after the halt. So that the slower members may not be crowded out of the line, and also to prevent bunching, the faster men should leave room for them on the line.—Author.)
The Company in Support
(Being part of a battalion)
262. Formations adopted by support. To enable it to follow or reach the firing line, the support adopts suitable formations, following the principles explained in paragraphs 249-255.
The support should be kept assembled as long as practicable. If after deploying a favorable opportunity arises to hold it for some time in close formation, it should be reassembled. It is redeployed when necessary. (225)
263. Support controlled by major: size of reenforcement; captain on look out for major's signals. The movements of the support as a whole and the dispatch of reenforcements from it to the firing line are controlled by the major.
A reenforcement of less than one platoon has little influence and will be avoided whenever practicable. (See par. 353.)
The captain of a company in support is constantly on the alert for the major's signals or commands. (226)
264. Reenforcement to join firing line deployed as skirmishers and occupy existing intervals. A reenforcement sent to the firing line joins it deployed as skirmishers. The leader of the reenforcement places it in an interval in the line, if one exists, and commands it thereafter as a unit. If no such suitable interval exists, the reenforcement is advanced with increased intervals between skirmishers; each man occupies the nearest interval in the firing line, and each then obeys the orders of the nearest squad leader and platoon leader. (227)
265. Promptness in reenforcing firing line. A reenforcement joins the firing line as quickly as possible without exhausting the men. (228)
266. Original platoon divisions to be maintained; duties of officers and sergeants upon joining firing line. The original platoon division of the companies in the firing line should be maintained and should not be broken up by the mingling of reenforcements.
Upon joining the firing line, officers and sergeants accompanying a reenforcement take over the duties of others of like grade who have been disabled, or distribute themselves so as best to exercise their normal functions. Conditions will vary and no rules can be prescribed. It is essential that all assist in mastering the increasing difficulties of control. (229)
The Company Acting Alone
267. Employed according to principles of battalion acting alone. In general, the company, when acting alone, is employed according to the principles applicable to the battalion acting alone as laid down in pars. 327-363; the captain employs platoons as the major employs companies, making due allowance for the difference in strength.
The support may be smaller in proportion or may be dispensed with. (230)
268. Protection against surprise. The company must be well protected against surprise. Combat patrols on the flanks are especially important as explained in par. 410. Each leader of a flank platoon details a man to watch for the signals of the patrol or patrols on his flank. (231)
269. Issuing of ammunition and loading of pieces before deployment; firings in close order. Ordinarily pieces are loaded and extra ammunition is issued before the company deploys for combat.
In close order the company executes the firings, as prescribed in pars. 179-194, at the command of the captain, who posts himself in rear of the center of the company.
Usually the firings in close order consist of saluting volleys only. (See par. 189 for volley firing.) (232)
270. Firing controlled by platoon leaders. When the company is deployed, the men execute the firings at the command of their platoon leaders; the latter give such commands as are necessary to carry out the captain's directions, and, from time to time, add such further commands as are necessary to continue, correct, and control, the fire ordered. (233)
271. Use of signals during firing. The voice is generally inadequate for giving commands during fire and must be replaced by signals of such character that proper fire direction and control is assured. (See par. 92 for signals; pars. 285-286 for fire direction and pars. 287-290 for fire control.) To attract attention, signals must usually be preceded by the whistle signal (short blast). A fraction of the firing line about to rush should, if practicable, avoid using the long blast signal as an aid to cease firing. (See par. 91.) Officers and men behind the firing line can not ordinarily move freely along the line, but must depend on mutual watchfulness and the proper use of the prescribed signals. All should post themselves so as to see their immediate superiors and subordinates. (234)
272. Duties of musicians. The musicians assist the captain by observing the enemy, the target, and the fire-effect, by transmitting commands or signals, and by watching for signals. (For posts of musicians see par. 207.) (235)
273. Blank Cartridges. Firing with blank cartridges at an outlined or represented enemy (par. 7) at distances less than 100 yards is prohibited. (236)
274. Effect of fire and influence of ground. The effect of fire and the influence of the ground in relation thereto, and the individual and collective instruction in marksmanship, are treated in the Small-Arms Firing Manual. (237)
275. Classification. For convenience of reference, ranges are classified as follows:
0 to 600 yards, close range. 600 to 1,200 yards, effective range. 1,200 to 2,000 yards, long range. 2,000 yards and over, distant range. (238)
276. Determination of distance to target. The distance to the target must be determined as accurately as possible and the sights set accordingly. Aside from training and morale, this is the most important single factor in securing effective fire at the longer ranges. (239)
277. Method of determining the range; estimators.
Except in a deliberately prepared defensive position, the most accurate and only practicable method of determining the range will generally be to take the mean of several estimates.
Five or six officers or men, selected from the most accurate estimators in the company, are designated as range estimators and are specially trained in estimating distances.
Whenever necessary and practicable, the captain assembles the range estimators, points out the target to them, and adopts the mean of their estimates. The range estimators then take their customary posts. (240)
Classes of Firing
278. Volley firing, as explained in par. 189, has limited application. In defense it may be used in the early stages of the action if the enemy presents a large compact target. It may be used by troops executing fire of position, as set forth in par. 438. When the ground near the target is such that the strike of bullets can be seen from the firing line, ranging volleys may be used to correct the sight setting.
In combat, volley firing is executed habitually by platoon. (241)
279. Fire at will, as explained in par. 190, is the class of fire normally employed in attack or defense. (242)
280. Clip fire (see par. 192.) has limited application. It is principally used: 1. In the early stages of combat, to steady the men by habituating them to brief pauses in firing. 2. To produce a short burst of fire. (243)
281. Assignment of target by major; change of target to be avoided; hostile firing line usual target. Ordinarily the major will assign to the company an objective in attack or sector in defense; the company's target will lie within the limits so assigned. In the choice of target, tactical considerations are paramount; the nearest hostile troops within the objective or sector will thus be the usual target. This will ordinarily be the hostile firing line; troops in rear are ordinarily proper targets for artillery, machine guns, or, at times, infantry employing fire of position, as set forth in par. 438.
Change of target should not be made without excellent reasons therefor, such as the sudden appearance of hostile troops under conditions which make them more to be feared than the troops comprising the former target. (244)
282. Distribution of fire; allotment of target to platoon leaders. The distribution of fire over the entire target is of special importance.
The captain allots a part of the target to each platoon, or each platoon leader takes as his target that part which corresponds to his position in the company. Men are so instructed that each fires on that part of the target which is directly opposite him. (245)
283. All Parts of target equally important. All parts of the target are equally important. Care must be exercised that the men do not slight its less visible parts. A section of the target not covered by fire represents a number of the enemy permitted to fire coolly and effectively. (246)
284. Use of aiming points in case of invisible targets.
If the target can not be seen with the naked eye, platoon leaders select an object in front of or behind it, designate this as the aiming target, and direct a sight setting which will carry the cone of fire into the target. (247)
285. Impracticability in combat of commanding company directly. When the company is large enough to be divided into platoons, it is impracticable for the captain to command it directly in combat. His efficiency in managing the firing line is measured by his ability to enforce his will through the platoon leaders. Having indicated clearly what he desires them to do, he avoids interfering except to correct serious errors or omissions. (248)
286. Captain directs the fire. The captain directs the fire of the company or of designated platoons. He designates the target, and, when practicable, allots a part of the target to each platoon, as prescribed in par. 340. Before beginning the fire action he determines the range, as explained in par. 277, announces the sight setting, as prescribed in par. 188, and indicates the class of fire to be employed (See par. 278) and the time to open fire. Thereafter, he observes the fire effect (See pars. 428-429), corrects material errors in sight setting, prevents exhaustion of the ammunition supply, as explained in par. 432-433, and causes the distribution of such extra ammunition as may be received from the rear. (249)
287. Platoon the fire unit. In combat, the platoon is the fire unit. From 20 to 35 rifles are as many as one leader can control effectively. (250)
288. Special duties of platoon leaders. Each platoon leader puts into execution the commands or directions of the captain, having first taken such precautions to insure correct sight setting and clear description of the target or aiming target as the situation permits or requires; thereafter, he gives such additional commands or directions as are necessary to exact compliance with the captain's will. He corrects the sight setting when necessary. He designates an aiming target when the target can not be seen with the naked eye. (251)
289. General duties of platoon leaders; duties of platoon guides and squad leaders. In general, platoon leaders observe the target and the effect of their fire and are on the alert for the captain's commands or signals; they observe and regulate the rate of fire, as laid down in par. 191. The platoon guides watch the firing line and check every breach of fire discipline. (See pars. 291-294.) Squad leaders transmit commands and signals when necessary, observe the conduct of their squads and abate excitement, assist in enforcing fire discipline and participate in the firing. (252)
290. Importance of fire control. The best troops are those that submit longest to fire control. Loss of control is an evil which robs success of its greatest results. To avoid or delay such loss should be the constant aim of all.
Fire control implies the ability to stop firing, change the sight setting and target, and resume a well directed fire. (253)
291. What fire discipline implies. "Fire discipline implies, besides a habit of obedience, a control of the rifle by the soldier, the result of training, which will enable him in action to make hits instead of misses. It embraces taking advantage of the ground; care in setting the sight and delivery of fire; constant attention to the orders of the leaders, and careful observation of the enemy; an increase of fire when the target is favorable, and a cessation of fire when the enemy disappears; economy of ammunition." (See pars. 432-433.) (Small-Arms Firing Manual.)
In combat, shots which graze the enemy's trench or position and thus reduce the effectiveness of his fire have the approximate value of hits; such shots only, or actual hits, contribute toward fire superiority.
Fire discipline implies that, in a firing line without leaders, each man retains his presence of mind and directs effective fire upon the proper target. (254)
292. Rate of fire. To create a correct appreciation of the requirements of fire discipline, men are taught that the rate of fire, as prescribed in par. 191, should be as rapid as is consistent with accurate aiming; that the rate will depend upon the visibility, proximity, and size of the target; and that the proper rate will ordinarily suggest itself to each trained man, usually rendering cautions or commands unnecessary.
In attack the highest rate of fire is employed at the halt preceding the assault, and in pursuing fire. (See pars. 490-494.) (255)
293. Position fire in advance by rushes. In an advance by rushes, as explained in par. 259, leaders of troops in firing positions are responsible for the delivery of heavy fire to cover the advance of each rushing fraction. Troops are trained to change slightly the direction of fire so as not to endanger the flanks of advanced portions of the firing line. (256)
294. Action in defense, when target disappears. In defense, when the target disappears behind cover, platoon leaders suspend fire, as prescribed in par. 193, prepare their platoons to fire upon the point where it is expected to reappear, and greet its reappearance instantly with vigorous fire. (257)
SCHOOL OF THE BATTALION
295. Battalion a tactical unit; duties and responsibilities of major. The battalion being purely a tactical unit, the major's duties are primarily those of an instructor in drill and tactics and of a tactical commander. He is responsible for the theoretical and practical training of the battalion. He supervises the training of the companies of the battalion with a view to insuring the thoroughness and uniformity of their instruction.
In the instruction of the battalion as a whole, his efforts will be directed chiefly to the development of tactical efficiency, devoting only such time to the mechanism of drill and to the ceremonies as may be necessary in order to insure precision, smartness, and proper control. (258)
296. Movements explained for battalion of four companies. The movements explained herein are on the basis of a battalion of four companies; they may be executed by a battalion of two or more companies, not exceeding six. (259)
297. Arrangement of companies in formations. The companies are generally arranged from right to left according to the rank of the captains present at the formation. The arrangement of the companies may be varied by the major or higher commander.
After the battalion is formed, no cognizance is taken of the relative order of the companies. (260)
298. Designation of companies. In whatever direction the battalion faces, the companies are designated numerically from right to left in line, and from head to rear in column, first company, second company, etc.
The terms right and left apply to actual right and left as the line faces; if the about by squads be executed when in line, the right company becomes the left company and the right center becomes the left center company.
The designation center company indicates the right center or the actual center company according as the number of companies is even or odd. (261)
299. Post of special units. The band and other special units, when attached to the battalion, take the same post with respect to it as if it were the nearest battalion. (262)
300. Repetition of commands by captains. Captains repeat such preparatory commands as are to be immediately executed by their companies, as forward, squads right, etc.; the men execute the commands march, halt, etc., if applying to their companies, when given by the major. In movements executed in route step or at ease the captains repeat the command of execution, if necessary. Captains do not repeat the major's commands in executing the manual of arms, nor those commands which are not essential to the execution of a movement by their companies, as column of squads, first company, squads right, etc.
In giving commands or cautions captains may prefix the proper letter designations of their companies, as A Company, HALT; B Company, squads right, etc. (263)
301. Captains repeating command for guide. At the command guide center (right or left), captains command: Guide right or left, according to the positions of their companies. Guide center designates the left guide of the center company, as explained in 3d Sec. par. 298. (264)
302. Position of captains in dressing companies; action of guides in dressing. When the companies are to be dressed, captains place themselves on that flank toward which the dress is to be made, as follows:
The battalion in line: Besides the guide (or the flank file of the front rank, if the guide is not in line) and facing to the front.
The battalion in column of companies: Two paces from the guide, in prolongation of and facing down the line.
Each captain, after dressing his company, commands: FRONT, and takes his post.
The battalion being in line and unless otherwise prescribed, at the captain's command dress or at the command halt, when it is prescribed that the company shall dress, the guide on the flank away from the point of rest with his piece at right shoulder, dresses promptly on the captain and the companies beyond. During the dress he moves, if necessary, to the right and left only; the captain dresses the company on the line thus established. The guide takes the position of order arms at the command front. (265)