In a sharp military formation, each member must correctly respond to commands as a team. Always listen carefully to the person in charge since formation movements are usually made up of both preparatory and execution commands. In the following movements, you must pay special attention to the duties of the left and right flank members since their response to a command is slightly different from the other members in formation.

Fall In

On the command FALL IN, the squad forms in line on the left of the right flank member (squad leader). Each member of the squad, except the left flank member, raises the left arm shoulder high in line with the body. Fingers are straight and touching each other palm down. Each member (except the right flank member) turns their head and looks to the right. To obtain anormal interval,move in line so that your right shoulder touches the fingertips of the person to the right. As soon as you are in line with the person to your right and the person on your left has obtained normal interval, return smartly and quickly to the position of attention.

Close interval is the horizontal distance between the shoulder and elbow when the left hand is placed on the left hip. The command At Close Interval requires the same movements as for normal interval. The only exception is that each member places the left hand on the beltline above the left hip with the elbow in line with the body. The heel of the hand rests on the hip with fingers straight, touching each other, and pointing down. The left flank member makes the adjustment without moving the arms.

Align the Squad

On the commands Dress Right, DRESS (normal interval) or At Close Interval Dress Right, DRESS (close interval), members of the squad align themselves with each other. On the command DRESS, all members, except the right flank member, smartly turn their heads, look, and align themselves to the right. At the same time, all members, except the left flank member, smartly raise their left arm shoulder high (normal interval) or place their left hand on their hip (close interval). The right flank member stands fast and looks to the front. Using the right flank member as a guide and taking short steps, the other members align themselves and obtain the proper interval. Whether commanded to dress to the right or to the left, use only the left arm to obtain the interval, and hold that position until the next command is given.


A space of 40 inches between the chest of one person and the back of the person ahead within either a single rank or column.