pace stick

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by rikbrik, Aug 19, 2006.

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  1. can anybody out there tell me why a csm / ssm etc carry a stick / pace stick. :?
  2. A PACE stick? Is it for protection against being wah'd?

  3. A traditional accoutrement derived from the "pay stick", a tally on which the Serjeant Major recorded who had received the King's shilling.
  4. And where did you learn that? The pace stick is derived from the Artillery and the Guards. The Artillery from the need to accurately measure distance and gun positions, and from the Guards because of their need to ensure that everyone marched at the regulation step (this was in the days when warfare counted on men moving into the correct shapes without confusion or loss of time).
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  5. Bite!
  6. Hardly dear chap. A bite would have entailed getting the head of my IT department to find out where your IP address is located and then getting 4 trusty kosovars to pop round and break every bone in your legs :)
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  7. My previous post stands.
  8. Dread, you are a danger to yourself.

    In answer to the thread question. Dread is very wrong and seems to be purposefully misleading, 'Pace Stick' is actually derived from 'Race Stick'. In the good old days of yards, feet and inches there was a young RA officer seeking to represent GB at the 1948 London Olympic 880 yards (now 800 metres). Because of war damage, at that time there were no athletic tracks of note for the young officer/athlete to train so the 'Race Stick' was devised to mark out accurately on grass or gravel 220yd and 440yd oval spheres for the athlete to train. The stick was set at 1 yard width.
  9. To be serious for a moment: The pace stick obviously (and by definition) has a function when used by tarmac technicians. Other WOs sometimes adopt them by association, as a rank indicator. Why, though, do some NCOs carry sticks (not pace sticks) of various designs (apart from the pantomime of waving them, pointing them etc when instructing drill)? Did they ever have any practical use? The RTR ash plants originally served a need in assessing the "going" of terrain. What purpose do/did other officers' canes serve? Why does a FM carry a baton?

    I only ask because I want to know,
  10. Eff orf! While your account has some validity, the officer in question was on a secret assignment to 49 Para. In my earlier posts I was simply employing Opsec and delivering the officially sanctioned cover story.

    When the records are released from Kew in 900 years I will be proved right. Now where did I put Agim Ceku's phone number...?
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  11. Would you trust an officer with a real weapon? Much better to give him a bit of wood. :)

    As to your sensible questions, I do not know: maybe it is to remind a FM that he should be good enough to order his troops in such a way that he doesn't have to draw steel? Did the original batons hold something (apart from 1/2 pint of scotch!)?
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  12. A pace stick is a long stick usually carried by non-commissioned officer drill instructors in the British Armed Forces and Commonwealth armies as a symbol of authority and as an aid to military drill.

    A pace stick usually consists of two pieces of wood, hinged at the top, and tapering towards the bottom, very similar to large wooden drafting compasses used on school blackboards. They are usually shod and fitted with highly-polished brass. They can open so that the tips separate at fixed distances, corresponding to various lengths of marching pace, such as "double march", "quick march", "step short", etc. When opened to the correct pace length, the pace stick can be held alongside the holder's body by the hinge, with one leg of the stick vertical to the ground, and the other leg pointing forward. By twirling the stick while marching, the stick can be made to "walk" alongside its holder at the proper pace.

    Otherwise, while on parade or when marching, it is normally carried tucked tightly under the left arm and parallel to the ground, with the left hand grasping the stick near the top.

    The pace stick is usually permitted to be carried off the drill square by the Regimental Sergeant Major alone; however, at a particular regiment's discretion, other Sergeants-Majors may carry a pace stick.

    The origin of the pace stick is claimed by the Royal Regiment of Artillery, who used a gunner's stick to measure the distance between guns in the field. It appeared more like a walking stick, with an ivory or silver knob on the end, and, unlike the modern pace stick, could only be opened a fixed distance. It was quickly adopted and adapted by the Infantry as an aid to drill.

    A similar stick is the drill cane or regimental stick. This is a shorter cane, usually fitted on one end by a shell casing and on the other by the forward part of a shell, complete with the bullet; these are often chromed, or left in their natural brass, but highly polished. In the Canadian Forces, the round usually used is a .50 calibre round. They are carried on parade solely as an indicator of rank and authority by senior non-commissioned officers and warrant officers, and their use is generally governed (or restricted altogether) by the sergeant-major.

    Pace sticks can be opened to specific distances, which each measure specific things:

    12"=distance between heels when at ease, and regulation side pace
    21"=distance between ranks when stood in closed order
    24"=distance between files, also width of one 'man' when leaving a blank file.
    27"=stepping short, inside rank when wheeling
    30"=regulation pace for quick and slow march
    33"=stepping out, outside rank when wheeling
    40"=regulation pace for double time.

    Found this thought it might help!
  13. I don't think you're taking this thread seriously enough AMF. A very disappointing first post.
  14. SORRY I'm new, be gentle with me PLEASE!!!!!!
  15. amf, u sed that sticks may be carried at an RSMs discretion. thats not quite true. Sergeants and above who have completed a drill course may carry a pace stick =D and corporals who have completed a drill course may carry a drill cane. I saw a really interesting cane the other day in the 1RIR base, it was like a sergeants cane, but had chains and other bits on it. Could ne1 enlighten me on this?