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Drill Bits: Pictorial Description of the Gilhams Manual of Arms

By Brad Ireland, 4th VA, Co. A

Gilham’s manual is designed so that each command for the manual of arms is broken down into two part; a prepatory command and an execution command. The prepatory command lets the soldier know what he is to do. The execution command tells him to when to do it. Once the prepatory command is given, do not make any movements until the execution command is given. Do not anticipate the officers! For example, the officer will command “Shoulder – Arms”. Shoulder is the prepatory command that lets you know what to do. When the officer says “Arms”, then you smartly go to that position. There is one exception to this in the case of going to shoulder arms from the trail arms position which is discussed below. My notes in red below will hopefully add clarity to the “Gilhamese”.

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