65th (2nd Yorkshire North Riding) Regiment of Foot
RECRUIT OR SQUAD DRILL.
1. The instructors to whom this duty is intrusted, must be clear, firm, and concise in their mode of conveying instruction, in order to command attention to their directions. They must allow for the weak capacity of the recruit, and be patient, where endeavour and good-will are apparent, for quickness is the result of practice, and ought not at first to be expected
2. Recruits must be carried on progressively; they should comprehend one thing before they proceed to another. When first taught their positions, their fingers, elbows, &c., and the rifle, should be properly placed by the instructor; when more advanced, recruits should not be touched, but taught to correct themselves when admonished. They should not be kept too long at any particular part of their evercise. Marching without arms should be intermixed with the rifle instruction.
Short and frequent drills are always to be preferred to long lessons, which exhaust the attention both of the instructor and recruit, and too much pains cannot be taken by those intrusted with the instruction of recruits to move them on progressively from squad to squad according to their merit, so that the quick, intelligent soldier may not be kept back by those of inferior capacity. To arrive at the first squad should be made an object of ambition to the young soldier.
A system of mutual instruction will be practised amongst recruits; it gives the young soldier additional interest in his drill, and prepares him for the duties of non-commissioned officer. Each recruit in succession will occasionally be called out to put his squad through one or two exercises, and encouraged while so doing to correct any error he may observe in the movements of his comrades. If lists of those who show talent for imparting instruction were kept by the captains, and in the orderly room of a regiment, it would be found to create much emulation, and be useful to point out those who were, in this respect, fit for promotion.
A battalion should be divided into three classes.
The first, to consist of soldiers who are perfect in every part of their drill
The second, of those who are found to be awkward or deficient in any way; men of this class will continue to parade and drill with the first class, but will have extra drill until they are considered fit for the first class.
The third, in addition to recruits, will include any men who have become very deficient in their drill from having been in hospital, in prison, or absent from their duty for a length of time; men of this class will not be drilled with the battalion till they are fit to join the second class.
1. Every command must be loud, and distinctly pronounced as it is written.
2. Every command that consists of one one word must be preceded by a caution; the caution or cautionary part of a command must be articulated slowly and distinctly, the last or executive part, which, in general, should consist of only one word or syllable, must be given sharply and quickly, as Company - Halt: Right Half - Face.
3. The foregoing rule does not apply to words and numbers given in the Extension Motions and Balance Step, where words must be given sharply when the motion required is of that nature.
4. When the last word of a caution is the signal for any preparatory movement, it will be given as an executive word, and separated from the rest of the command by a pause as, On the Right Backwards - Wheel. Quick - March, as though there were two separate commands, each with its caution and executive word.
5. Officers and non-commissioned officers should frequently be practised in giving words of command. It will be found a good plan to practise several officers or non-commisioned officers together in giving words of command simultaneously, the time and pitch being first given by the instructor.
Updated 8 September 2004