Take pride in what you are doing. You are representing a soldier. Do it. Listen to your officer.
He is responsible for the well being of his men. He will take care of you.
1. Never, NEVER,
NEVER, move your head. From a distance, it is impossible to see fingers moving, it is difficult to see feet move slightly,
but you might as well send up a flare when you move your head. Everyone's hat reflects the light, and as soon as you move
your head, the light reflection off of the top of your hat is different. You might just as well hold up a big sign that says,
2. Read rule
3. Look with
your eyes, not your head. God gave you the ability to turn your eyes to see to the side. Use this ability. If you want to
check your alignment, turn your eyes, not your head. The worst offenders are those who lean out and look to check their alignment.
What are these people thinking about?
4. You are responsible
for maintaining a certain distance between yourself and the man in front of you. Never change that distance. When 20 men are
marching in column, if each man is three inches farther from the man in front than he is supposed to be, then the last man
is FIVE FEET out of position.
5. When your
officer says, "March", go. If you step on the heel of the man in front of you, it is HIS fault for not moving.
6. When your
officer says, "Halt", stop. If you have followed rule 4, you will be in the right place. If you have to close up, it's YOUR
fault because you didn't maintain your distance.
7. When marching
in line, stay even with the man next to you. That's all. Not the colours, not the sergeant, not anybody but the man next to
you. Never mind what the officer says. If everybody does this, then everybody's in line. Besides, your peripheral vision doesn't
allow you to see more than one or two men down the line anyway. And, rule one is NEVER move your head. If your judgment or
alignment is off, the sergeant or corporal will tell you to move up or back. If the dressing needs correcting you will be
told when to dress, so until you are told to just stay put.
8. Work on every
motion in the manual of arms. Not command, motion. Make them separate motions, with a slight pause between each. You really
do have the time to do this.
9. When placing
the musket on or off your shoulder, NEVER MOVE YOUR HEAD (Rule 1 again). What's the matter? Don't you trust yourself to move
your own musket around without hitting yourself in the head with it?
When you are performing the manual of arms and have finished the last motion of a command, FREEZE. If the musket is in the
wrong place, or if your hand is not quite in the right place, or your foot is slightly out of line, DON'T MOVE. The next command
will be coming along shortly. If you don't move, people have to look very carefully at all of the men to find your error.
If you move after everyone else has stopped, you just pointed out your mistake to anyone who is watching. Again, you might
just as well hold up that big sign that says "I'm moving!"