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Print | Basic Movements for Total Control
Muster Right Here - Aug 09 2009
with Sergeant Mack : sgt.mack@portervillepost.com

Muster RIGHT Here - with Sgt Mack G'Day, Troops -- Back from my drill weekend.

Something happened that might give you a chuckle. It did more than that, for those present. At the request of my SGT Major, I was conducting a class on "Manual of Arms". For the uninitiated, the "16-count Manual of Arms" contains all of the basic movements a soldier needs to master, to stand guard, participate in a parade and (basically) carry a rifle, in a military environment, giving the appearance of some degree of competence.

The main problem, for those who no longer do it every day, (if you are executing the 16-count series) is remembering the exact sequence of movements to total exactly 16 counts. Each part of a movement is a separate count. For instance, the "Port Arms" is a 2-count movement, in which the rifle is raised from the position of "Order Arms", which is beside the right side of the right foot, with the "Butt" (the rear-most part of the rifle) grounded with the barrel in a "V" formed by the thumb, on the side by the leg, and the fingers, on the other side of the rifle. The right arm raises the rifle diagonally, across the chest, so that the fore-arm stock rests ia a "V" formed by the left-hand thumb and fingers, which grasps the rifle close to the "magazine well".

That is count "One". The right hand then releases the barrel and grasps the stock at the junction of the stock and the action, or receiver, which is count "Two". All of these movements are conducted with precision and "snap".

I was teaching the movements, separately, and wanted to impress on the class the necessity of having total control over the rifle, so I told them,"Remember, class, you control the rifle. It does not control you." So saying, I held the "Rubber Ducky", (a simulated rifle, made of hard rubber and steel), balanced, vertically, with the "Butt" (the rearmost part of the rifle) resting in my right hand, reversed the position, so that the barrel was hanging down and swung the rifle back to the original position, one-handed. I explained that (in shouldering the rifle, as in "Right [or Left] Shoulder Arms"), the rifle must be moved around the head, rather than the head moving to dodge the rifle.

The best way to achieve this being to practice watching one's self in the mirror. I told them that, until they became proficient, they could expect to bounce the rifle off their heads, now & then, but don't give up. So saying, I placed the rifle on my right shoulder, with a brief detourto the side of my head. SMACK!!!

At least I could identify the exact moment when I lost control of the class. Having a pretty good sense of humor (especially about myself), I allowed a couple of minutes of unrestrained belly-laughs, Guffaws and donkey brays, tapering off to chuckles, snickers and snorts, b-4 I called the class back to order, Unfortunately I was born a wise-acre & never grew out of it, so, having resiored order, I couldn't resist deadpanning, "So you can see the extent to which your NCO/Instructors will go to show you what NOT to do, I did that on purpose." That cost me another minute of class time.

Anyway (pretty much) all training is good training. We had a variety of classes & got a lot done. GOOD TRAINING SGT!!! HOOAH!!! Non-PC, as always, God bless y'all & God bless America!!!

Sgt Mack out, leaving the air & securing station.

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