Notes on Drill, Use of Arms and Equipment.

Object and use of Drill.

1.     Drill is necessary in every branch of the service. Teaches convenient formations for movement of troops and for fighting. Instils the habit of obedience and command. Teaches alertness and modicum of physical fitness.

2.     Good drill undoubtedly raises the morale of all ranks; the pride in doing something well; precision and smartness still appeals to most.

I.T. Vol I Sec. 11.

Drill Instruction.

3.     Drill books worded in great detail so as to explain precisely all movements to guide those without benefit of personal instruction: it also assures uniformity.

4.     ON NO ACCOUNT SHOULD ANY INSTRUCTOR USE THE EXACT WORDS OF THE BOOK. Any instructor who does so ceases to be a teacher he merely transforms himself into an unbeauteous and inefficient gramophone.

Points and common faults in drill.

5.     Inspection.

(a)     Don't get too close to a man; stand off about 3 paces so you can really see him.

(b)     Don’t handle the man; make him correct minor faults himself or you check serious faults for disciplinary action.

(c)     Don’t hurry inspection; if the time presses, inspect a few men, or half the sections or platoons.

6.     Commands.

(a)     Never hurry a word of command. Hurried drill is bad drill; everyone becomes flustered and unsteady. If troops on move you can always give mark time or halt. Exaggerate the pause between the cautionary word and executive command.

(b)     In a series of movements commence cautionary word of command well ahead of time so troops know your intention and merely await the executive order.

(c)     Open your mouth and threat in giving commands; remember you are emulating a loud speaker; sound won't carry through a throttled throat or clenched teeth. SING out your cautionary work and BARK your commands.

(d)     Study Sec. 13 (8) and (9) of Infantry Training Vol. 1, and read Secs. 12 and 13 (1) to (7) and 14 (2) and (3).

7.     Common mistakes.

(a)     Right or Left Wheel instead of Right or Left W-H-E-E-L.

(b)     "Mark Time in front" instead of "Mark Time"; and whenever necessary; "Rear Files or Fours Cover".

(c)     "Right Incline" instead of "Right In --- cline".

(d)     Changing cadence in Marking Time and not lifting feet up high enough.

(e)     Turning the head duril1g wheeling instead of glancing inwards.

(f)     Turning the head in fixing and unfixing bayonets instead of looking to the right or left hand man.

(g)     Arm drill too hurried. Best way to correct this is to do arm drill on the move.

(h)     Column swinging out when wheeling - not pivoting on same ground.

(i)     Hurried orders. Giving a series of orders one after the other without completing any (e.g.) Halt left turn dismiss, instead of Halt. Left turn. Dismiss.

(j)     "From the right number" instead of "Number".

(k)     When a man steps out of the ranks for any purpose (e.g.) adjusting equipment, dress, etc., he merely withdraws left foot to the rear. The right foot is not moved. This applies to front ranks as well as the rear ranks.

(l)     When moving on to a marker come up behind him never in front of him.

(m)     Getting into the habit of saying "take up your dressing by the right" until the men begin to wait for such an order.

(n)     Looking down at the rifle in any arm or Weapon training movement.

8.     Arms and Equipment.

    Arms and Equipment should not be issued to recruits until they have passed in squad drill.

    Immediately a weapon is issued to a soldier he should have its care explained to him.

S.A.T. Vol.I. Secs. 38-44

9.     Remember equipment with its load, to be comfortable must be fitted on the man in the first case. Equipment put together on the floor feels and looks as comfortable as "reach me down" clothing.

BOOKS. Infantry Training Vol. I; S.A.T.Vol.I.; T .& M. Regns


Halifax, N.S.
May, 1931.

H.T.C. - Major H.T. Cock, M.C.; Joined The RCR in 1912, served in the Great War, was Mentioned in Despatches and won the Military Cross, wounded on 16 September, 1916, following 6 months service in the Field. Instructed at R.M.C. following the War and posted to the staff of Military District 13 before being transferred from St. Jean 1 May 1931 to command “A” Coy in Halifax. Maj Cook was O.C. during the move of “A” Coy from the Halifax Citadel to Wellington Barracks, Dec 1931.