Light Drill

#1
A favour if you please.
As a former Devon and Dorset, and now a Rifleman, I have to learn this new drill thing, which from what I can tell involves very few words of command and lots of shuffling around! :wink:
My Bn (6 Rifles) are obviously being taught Light drill as appropriate. However, as I've said elsewhere, I am currently at the RTC, and miss out on this. The only Inf we train is Rifles, and I can see that in the not to distant future they will be asking us to pick up light drill during this phase of training, a fair point.
However, yours truly doesn't have a bamboo where to start.
Any light out there, this ex-heavy would greatly appreciate hints, tips and links.
Thanks in advance. :D
 
#2
140 paces to the minute, not 116/120
21" pace, not 33"
arms waist height, not shoulder
feet ankle height, not knee
short and sharp, not long and deliberate

70 drill movements to the minute (as in on the left pace), not the regulation "ONE........TWO THREE" pause.

From the "at ease" position through the attention, turning right/left and into the quick march with one set of commands ie "Turning left, by the right, quick march..."

And the opposite ie "....will halt facing right..... Halt" finishing "at ease".

Don't watch Sharpe for this, their drill is crap.

AAR
 
#3
You'll soon get the hang of it. I was posted into the LI LAD from an Aircraft Workshop.Sporting my Powder puff air corps beret, I formed up on parade with the complete battalion the first morning I was there. When the battalion was fell out and quickmarching off the square, I was still standing there standing at ease waiting for our usual word of command. All eyes were on the new boy, they all know would fcuk up.
Funny enough those LI drivers with unit under repairs in the LAD who had to form up with us after lunch, found our drill just as confusing.
 
#4
OTB your not the only one...I know the basics but still cannot master the halt. We were told the regimental pauses of 1,2,3,1 were still in place. Looks like someone was wrong..we're all on a steep learning curve.
 
#5
By end 2008 all Infantry units will be drilling a la Light Div.
 
#6
Its not too difficult, my first weekend as LI was rememberence parade, its easy to pick it up.

It the same drill movements just quicker and strung together
 
#7
However, yours truly doesn't have a bamboo where to start.
OnTheBus, you have my empathy mate. After 30 years as a rifleman I had to learn heavy when I became a cadet instructor and it did my head in, fortunately I am with a Rifles Det now. It is hard to unlearn old habits.

For the most part the drill movements are the same as heavy. The main thing is that we use fewer words of command and the "heavy" movements are stung together to become a single movement.

For example. If you want someone to march off to the left instead of calling them to attention, turning them left and then ordering them to march you would just give the command move to the left quick march.

Ditto if you want to halt them facing right you just tell them to and they will halt, turn and stand at ease.

I have a light div drill manual, which I don't mind copying but I am not paying to post. However, I will be in Okehampton later this year and if you can get there I'll be happy to let you have a copy. Mind you I would not recommend trying to teach yourself from the manual without someone who knows the drill to put you right. I'll have some spare time whilst I am in Devon and would be happy to spare some for a fellow rifleman. PM me if I can help.

yater_spoon,
The light div manual I have uses 1, 2, 3, 1 type timings. However, that is not how it was actually taught (at least not in my time). As Always_a_Rifleman said the movements are done at 70 paces to the minute and occur on the left foot, so the timings we called out (from memory) to say march to the left were;
In stop, left, right, left, right, forward with all the movements occuring on the "in, left, forward. Nonetheless numbered timings can work so long as you remember that the regulation pause is one pace no matter which drill you are doing and our paces are faster.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#8
Gwailo, I know what you mean about unlearning Rifle drill. I went to Warminster on a course, and for the first day the DS tried to get us light types to march with the rest. They admitted defeat after a Keystone cops drill sequence, and formed a seperate squad with 4 Greebjackets, 2 LI and 3Gurkhas. Then we were left to our own devices.
Incidentally, as one of the Gurkhas was a VC holder, we always put him in front as right marker. Interesting to see a cpl being saluted.
 
#11
I concur....


Swagger!


Also, the drill movements are so fast its hard to spot the small mistakes, and you know if you are trying too hard when your shins start to hurt. Relax, swagger, and enjoy.

And another thing, when you present yourself to a senior rank you stand to attention and once you have introduced yourself (salute for officers) you then stand at ease - this is the Riflemans attention position. The initial attention is a courtesy - the at ease goes back to the formation of the Peninsular Wars and has been a Rifle tradition since. Heavy Inf think its an insult, probably why the RGJ were called "Slack Jackets" but that's not the case. A commander of a parade never keeps his men at attention for long and gets them to stand easy as soon as possible. Don't worry, you will have great fun in the future on all arms courses - the DS always look out for anyone from the Light Div!
 
#12
GwaiLo said:
OnTheBus, you have my empathy mate. After 30 years as a rifleman I had to learn heavy when I became a cadet instructor and it did my head in, fortunately I am with a Rifles Det now. It is hard to unlearn old habits.
I had a similar problem when I joined the RAF having previous been Swift and Bold. The amount of times I had a smack around the back of the head from the DI's for moving straight to the at ease position I'm suprised I wasn't left with whiplash.

Still at least you joined a slightly more military unit than I did. :lol:
 
#13
old_fat_and_hairy,
Had a similar experience when I did one of my Assault Pioneer Courses at Gib Bks with the RE. It was a shambles and like you after a day or two they gave up on us and left us to our own devices.

And yes....Swagger...well in my case its more wobble these days! And at the Trail unless told otherwise.

Stacker
Still at least you joined a slightly more military unit than I did.
:lol:

My only dealings were when I spent a couple of weeks in hospital in Wroughton. Surgeon was a butcher, but the women were a vast improvement on anything WRAC I'd seen.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#14
Gwailo, I recall a parade we had to do in Germany, in Iserlohn, If memory is right. Was a Guards Div, and there were French-Canadians as well as WRAC and other assorted units.
Parade Marshal had coniptions trying to work out where to put us. At the front was reserved for Guards (naturally), middle was no use, and in the end we were put at the back, and gave everyone else a 10 mins start. Was still a major cluster, as WRAC marched at 110 paces per fortnight.

Oh how we all did larf!!!
 
#16
And another thing, when you present yourself to a senior rank you stand to attention and once you have introduced yourself (salute for officers) you then stand at ease
Unless, of course, the CSM is "introducing" you to the OC because you "got caught". :lol:
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#17
Oh yes! Then stay at attention and try to look innocent. It always works!
 
#18
I remember in days of yore, when Remembrance Parades used to have a massive military turn-out, heavy and light marching together. Heavy at the front. Light would leave a substantial gap before starting off, but would soon catch up and have to mark time to create another gap before continuing.

This in itself was quite amusing, but following the Light Infantry would be the British Legion, Scouts, Guides and so on. They'd be racing like hell to keep up, then suddenly concertina into one another as the light infantry marked time, then off again.... How there weren't any heart attacks, I'll never know.

It was very difficult to suppress a chuckle, even on such a sombre occasion.
 
#19
"do you accept my award Rfn Gwailo"....like I have any real choice thinks I.

I was once tempted to answer "I presume that was a rhetorical question Sir".

putteesinmyhands

RGJ Association has had increasing numbers at the Cenotaph in the last few years and I am told that they try to leave a gap in front so as to march at regimental pace, but they normally get nabbed by the stewards who have caught onto this trick.
 
#20
Excellent, thank you gentlemen.
A copy of the drill manual would be good Gwailo, if I can't get one off the Bn then I'll get in touch with you, cheers.
I was proud to be heavy, and enjoyed a good parade. The last great one for me was the last parade of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment (before they became DDLI) in Plymouth in 2005. Awesome, the entire regiment on show, Reg, TA, cadets and the associations all in one. The CO 1st Bn called the parade to attention, and there was a single crack as hundreds of feet slammed in at exactly the same time (yes, even the cadets!), sent a shiver down my spine.
But now a new challenge to get stuck into.
Swift & Bold!
 
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