Rules For Deployments
Categories: SCHOOL OF THE COMPANY
Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual
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. After the deployment is completed, the guide is always center
without command, unless otherwise ordered.
At the preparatory
ommand 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.
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.
The base squad 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 march; the squad deploys and halts abreast of him.
If tactical considerations demand it, the squad is deployed before
arriving on the line.
Deployed lines preserve a general alignment toward the guide. Within
their respective fronts, individuals or units march so as best to secure
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
The company in line or column of squads may be deployed in an oblique
direction by the same commands. The captain points out the desired
direction; the corporal of the base squad moves in the direction
indicated; the other corporals conform.
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
The intervals between men are increased or decreased as described in the
School of the Squad, adding to the preparatory command, guide right
(left or center), if necessary.