Arm Signals





The following arm signals are prescribed. In making signals either arm

may be used. Officers who receive signals on the firing line repeat

back at once to prevent misunderstanding.





Forward, MARCH. Carry the hand to the shoulder; straighten and hold the

arm horizontally, thrusting it in the direction of march.



This signal is also used to execute quick time from double time.





HALT. Carry the hand to the shoulder. Thrust the hand upward and hold

the arm vertically.



Double time, MARCH. Carry the hand to the shoulder; rapidly thrust the

hand upward the full extent of the arm several times.





Squads right, MARCH. Raise the arm laterally until horizontal; carry it

to a vertical position above the head and swing it several times between

the vertical and horizontal positions.





Squads left, MARCH. Raise the arm laterally until horizontal; carry it

downward to the side and swing it several times between the downward and

horizontal positions.





Squads right about, MARCH (if in close order) or, To the rear, MARCH (if

in skirmish line). Extend the arm vertically above the head; carry it

laterally downward to the side, and swing it several times between the

vertical and downward positions.





Change direction or Column right (left), MARCH. The hand on the side

toward which the change of direction is to be made is carried across the

body to the opposite shoulder, forearm horizontal; then swing in a

horizontal plane, arm extended, pointing in the new direction.



As skirmishers, MARCH. Raise both arms laterally until horizontal.





As skirmishers, guide center, MARCH. Raise both arms laterally until

horizontal; swing both simultaneously upward until vertical, and return

to the horizontal; repeat several times.





As skirmishers, guide right (left), MARCH. Raise both arms laterally

until horizontal; hold the arm on the side of the guide steadily in the

horizontal position; swing the other upward until vertical, and return

it to the horizontal; repeat several times.





Assemble, MARCH. Raise the arm vertically to its full extent and

describe horizontal circles.



Range or Change Elevation. To announce range, extend the arm toward the

leaders or men for whom the signal is intended, fist closed; by keeping

the fist closed battle sight is indicated;



by opening and closing the fist, expose thumb and fingers to a number

equal to the hundreds of yards;



to add 50 yards describe a short horizontal line with forefinger.



To change elevation, indicate the amount of increase or decrease by

fingers as above; point upward to indicate increase and downward to

indicate decrease.



What range are you using? or What is the range? Extend the arms toward

the person addressed, one hand open, palm to the front, resting on the

other hand, fist closed.



Are you ready? or I am ready. Raise the hand, fingers extended and

joined, palm toward the person addressed.



Commence firing. Move the arm extended in full length, hand palm down,

several times through a horizontal arc in front of the body.



Fire faster. Execute rapidly the signal Commence firing.



Fire slower. Execute slowly the signal Commence firing.



Swing the cone of fire to the right, or left. Extend the arm in full

length to the front, palm to the right (left); swing the arm to right

(left), and point in the direction of the new target.



Fix bayonet. Simulate the movement of the right hand in Fix bayonet.



Suspend firing. Raise and hold the forearm steadily in a horizontal

position in front of the forehead, palm of the hand to the front.



Cease firing. Raise the forearm as in suspend firing and swing it up and

down several times in front of the face.



Platoon. Extend the arm horizontally toward the platoon leader; describe

small circles with the hand.



Squad. Extend the arm horizontally toward the platoon leader; swing the

hand up and down from the wrist.



Rush. Same as double time.



Use of the platoon and squad signals. The signals platoon and squad are

intended primarily for communication between the captain and his platoon

leaders. The signal platoon or squad indicates that the platoon

commander is to cause the signal which follows to be executed by platoon

or squad.



You will observe that in no case is the right hand or the left hand

specified. The officer may either face the company or have his back

toward it.





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