To Deploy As Skirmishers
Categories: SCHOOL OF THE SQUAD
Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual
Being in any formation, assembled: 1. As skirmishers, 2. MARCH.
The corporal places himself in front of the squad, if not already there.
Moving at a run, the men place themselves abreast of the corporal at
half-pace intervals. Nos. 1 and 2 on his right, Nos. 3 and 4 on his
left, rear-rank men on the right of their file leaders, extra men on the
left of No. 4; all then conform to the corporal's gait.
There is a rule of thumb that must be remembered. The rear-rank man is
always on the right of his file leader.
A common error is for beginners to execute the movement at a slow trot
which a run is required.
When the squad is acting alone, skirmish line is similarly formed on No.
2 of the front rank, who stands fast or continues the march, as the case
may be; the corporal places himself in front of the squad when advancing
and in rear when halted.
When deployed as skirmishers, the men march at ease, pieces at the trail
unless otherwise ordered.
The corporal is the guide when in the line; otherwise No. 2 front rank
is the guide. The guide is center.
The normal interval between skirmishers is one-half pace, resulting
practically in one man per yard of front. The front of a squad thus
deployed as skirmishers is about 10 paces.
The common error is to keep an interval of a very few inches when 15
inches are required.