site logo

Second Case

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

Now suppose the company is in column of squads at a halt. It is desired

to form a skirmish line to the front: 1. As skirmishers, guide right

(left), 2. MARCH.

At the command march, the corporal of the first, or leading squad,

deploys his squad without advancing. All of the other corporals move to

the left front and deploy their squads on the line formed by the first

squad. At the preparatory command the c
rporals command, follow me, and

at the command MARCH, they step in front of their squads and conduct

them to their places.

Had the command been as skirmishers, guide left, of course all except

the leading squad would have moved to the right. For when the company is

in column of squads, as skirmishers, guide right means that the first or

leading squad is to be the right of the skirmish line. If left, instead

of right is given that simply means that the leading or base squad is to

be the left of the skirmish line.

Now we come to the last variation. It is difficult for the new man. The

command as skirmishers, guide center, the company being in column of

squads, simply means that the center squad is to be the base squad. All

other squads are to regulate their movements on the base squad as in all

other cases.

This is a peculiar case and for it the authorities have adopted a rule

of thumb. All squads in front of the base squad go to the right, those

in rear to the left. That's all there is to it. But that must be

remembered. Corporals will conduct their squads to their proper places

by the shortest and easiest routes.

We will use a platoon of four squads to illustrate the idea.

Note that the leading corporal turns his squad well to the right rear

and then to the left.

We have assumed the company to be at a halt; suppose it is moving

forward. In that case the base squad simply continues moving forward

after it has deployed until the captain gives the command halt. The

other corporals conduct their squads by the shortest routes to their

proper places and deploy them on the general line.

When the company, while moving, is deployed, it is a common error for

squads in rear of the base squad to take long and fast steps and come up

on the line of the base squad. This should not be done unless the

command double time is given. In which case all the squads take up the

double time, except the base squad.

Extended Order