There are many marching and facing movements in the military. Here I am going to show you three movements that will help you be prepared for basic training. The first and most important is the position of attention.
- To come to attention, bring the heels together and ensure the feet are at a 45-degree angle.
- Keep the legs straight without locking the knees. The body is erect with the chest lifted, back arched, and shoulders square and even.
- Arms hang straight down alongside the body without stiffness, and the wrists are straight with the forearms.
- Place thumbs, which are resting along the first joint of the forefinger, along the seams of the trousers.
- Hands are cupped (but not clenched as a fist) with palms facing the leg.
- The weight of the body rests equally on the heels and balls of both feet, and silence and immobility are required.
Left Face, Right Face
Let’s move on to two common facing movements, left face and right face.
Most drill commands have two parts: the preparatory command and the command of execution. The preparatory command states the movement to be carried out and mentally prepares the recruit for its execution.
In the command Left, Face, the preparatory command is Left. The command of execution tells when the movement is to be carried out. In Left, Face, the command of execution is Face. The facing movement Left face is always given from the position of attention and directs the recruit towards the left 90 degrees.
The facing movement Right Face is always given from the position of attention and directs the recruit towards the right 90 degrees as shown here.
A more complicated, but common, facing movement is the movement About Face. The command is About, Face. Where About is the preparatory command and Face is the command of execution.
- On the command of execution FACE, move the toe of the right foot to a point touching the marching surface about half the length of the foot to the rear and slightly to the left of the left heel. Rest most of the weight of the body on the heel of the left foot and allow the right knee to bend naturally.
- Next, turn to the right 180 degrees on the left heel and ball of the right foot, resuming the Position of Attention. The arms should remain at your sides, as in the Position of Attention, throughout this movement.
This movement is difficult to do at first, so practice a couple dozen times before leaving for basic training.