Close-Order Drill

Also see Cadences or the main NROTC page

What is Close-Order Drill?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines close-order drill as "A military drill in marching, maneuvering, and formal handling of arms in which the participants perform at close intervals." In the early days of musketry, such training and synchronization was essential to formations and tactics in battle. Today, it holds a more ceremonial role, leading one to ask...

Why Drill?

  1. Bearing and Leadership/Followership. Navy and Marine Corps leaders must be able to give and receive orders clearly and professionally; whether as OOD of a ship or commander of a platoon, one's orders must be given with a good "command voice." Close-order drill is a great way to practice this.
  2. Knowledge. In the Navy or Marine Corps, you must know the basics of close-order drill: military personnel (especially in the Marine Corps) are expected to be able to lead and perform basic drill movements as part of their profession. (Even parts of the Navy which don't typically do drill occasionally have ceremonies requiring it, like Changes of Command.)
  3. Fun. Is "fun drill" an oxymoron? Well, it can be fun when you get it just right, a cool feeling when the musical rhythm jibes exactly with everyone's precision movements. It's even more fun when you call cadences. Think of it as a game.

Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

Useful Resources

NROTC UC Berkeley Platoon Commanders should check out the drill cards.

© 2001-10 by Luke Swartz