is not merely compliance with a set of rules and regulations drawn up for the
purpose of preserving order in an organization. This is only one phase of
discipline. In its deeper and more important sense discipline may be defined as
the habit of instantaneous and instinctive obedience under any and all
circumstances ‑ it is the habit whereby the very muscles of the soldier
instinctively obey the word of command, so that under whatever circumstances of
danger or death the soldier may hear the word of command, even though his mind
be too confused to work, his muscles will obey. It is toward this ultimate
object that all rules of discipline tend. In war, the value of this habit of
instantaneous and instinctive obedience is invaluable.
shows that drill, routine, military courtesy, attention to details, proper
rewards for good conduct, and invariable punishment of all derelictions of duty,
are the best methods of attaining good discipline and the most effective means
to that end.
shows that the chief factor of success in war is discipline, and that without
discipline no body of troops can hold their own against a well‑directed,
discipline disappears morale becomes low – and without morale success in
battle is practically impossible.
stress and excitement of battle the habits of obedience created on the drill
ground save an organization from becoming a mob.
Military authority is to be exercised with firmness, but
with kindness and justice to inferiors. Punishments
shall be strictly conformable to military law.
is the duty of an officer or non-commissioned officer who gives an order to see
that it is obeyed; carrying out orders received by him does not end with their
perfunctory transmission to subordinates - this is only a small part of his
duty. He must personally see that the orders so transmitted are made effective.
Superiors of every grade are forbidden to injure those under them by tyrannical
or capricious conduct, or by abusive language.
It is enjoined upon all officers to be cautious in reproving non-commissioned
officers in the presence or hearing of privates, lest their authority be
treatment of soldiers should be uniform and just, and under no circumstances
should a man be humiliated unnecessarily or abused. Reproof and punishment must
be administered with discretion and judgement, and without passion; for an
officer or non-commissioned officer who loses his temper and flies into a
tantrum has failed to obtain his first triumph in discipline.
He who can not control himself can not control others.
the orders and directions that they give, company non-commissioned officers
represent the company commander and they must be obeyed and respected at all
times and under all circumstances.
soldier should obey first and if aggrieved complain afterward.
is not for a private to question in any way the fairness, justice, propriety or
wisdom of an order received from a non-commissioned officer. When ordered by a
non-commissioned officer to do a thing, whatever it may be, do it promptly and
thoroughly, and then if you feel that you have been injured in any way, report
the matter to your company commander, who will see that you receive
justice. if a non-commissioned officer made a mistake, exceeded his authority,
or treated you unfairly, he will be punished by the company commander. The
company commander and not the privates of the company, is to judge the conduct
of his non-commissioned officers, who are directly responsible to him for
every act of theirs. If every subordinate were to question the fairness,
justice, propriety or wisdom of orders received from non-commissioned officers
or other superiors, there would be no discipline, and the Army would soon
degenerate into a mob.
A soldier should be soldierly in dress, soldierly in carriage, soldierly in courtesies.
The soldier should take pride in his uniform. A civilian owes it to himself to be neat in dress. A soldier owes it to more than himself - he owes it to his comrades, to his company - he owes it to his country, for just so far as a soldier is slack, so far does his company suffer; his shabbiness reflects first upon himself, then upon his company and finally upon the entire army.
is a well known fact that laxity in dress and negligence in military courtesy
run hand in hand with laxity and negligence in almost everything else.
The utmost attention will be paid by commanders of companies to the cleanliness
of their men, as to their persons, clothing, arms, accoutrements, and
equipments, and also as to their quarters or tents.
Where conveniences for bathing are to be had, the men should bathe once or twice
a week. The feet to be washed at least twice a week. The hair kept short, and
beard neatly trimmed.
101. Non-commissioned officers, in command of squads, will be held more immediately responsible that their men observe what is prescribed above; that they wash their hands and faces daily; that they brush or comb their heads; that those who are on duty put their arms, accoutrements, dress, etc, in the best order.
1459. On all occasions of duty, except fatigue, and when out of quarters, the coat or jacket shall be buttoned.
Officers at their stations, in camp or in garrison, will always wear their
courtesy is simply an application of common, everyday courtesy and common sense.
The form of salutation and greeting for the civilian consists of raising the
hat. The form of salutation for the military man consists of rendering the
all armies of the world, all officers and soldiers are required to salute each
other whenever they meet or pass, the subordinate saluting first. The salute on
the part of the subordinate is not intended in any way as an act of degradation
or a mark of inferiority, but is simply a military courtesy that is as binding
on the officer as it is on the private, and just as the enlisted man is required
to salute the officer first, so is the officer required to salute his superiors
254. Courtesy among military men is indispensable to discipline. Respect to superiors will not be confined to obedience on duty, but will be extended to all occasions. It is always the duty of the inferior to accost or to offer first the customary salutation, and of the superiors to return such complimentary notice.
255. Sergeants, with muskets, will salute by bringing the left hand across the body, so as to strike the musket near the right shoulder. Corporals out of ranks, and privates not sentries, will carry their muskets at a shoulder as sergeants, and salute in like manner.
256. When a soldier without arms, or with side-arms only, meets an officer, he is to raise his hand to the right side of the visor of his cap, palm to the front, elbow raised as high as the shoulder, looking at the same time in a respectful and soldier-like manner at the officer, who will return the compliment thus offered.
In saluting, the hand or weapon is
held in position of salute until the salute has been acknowledged or until the
officer has passed or has been passed.
distance is that within which recognition is easy; usually about six paces. If
they do not approach each other that closely, as when they are not walking
directly towards each other, the salute is exchanged as the point of nearest
approach. If a soldier passes an officer from the rear, the hand is raised as he
reaches the officer; if an officer passes a soldier from the rear, the soldier
salutes just as the officer is about to pass him.
A noncommissioned officer or soldier being seated, and without particular
occupation, Will rise on the approach of an officer, and make the customary
salutation. If standing, he will turn toward the officer for the same purpose.
If the parties remain in the same place or on the same ground, such compliments
need not be repeated.
an officer approaches a number of enlisted men out of doors, the word
"attention" should be given by someone who perceives him, when all
stand at attention and ALL salute.
an officer passes a soldier engaged in carrying wood or water buckets, or other
duty where both hands are occupied, the soldier should acknowledge the presence
of the officer by a verbal greeting, such as "Good
morning, sir. "
actually at work do not cease work to salute an officer unless addressed by him.
A soldier riding in a government or private wagon should
salute officers whom he passes. He should salute without rising. Likewise, a
soldier driving a wagon should salute, unless both hands are occupied.
addressing an officer, or when addressed by an officer, an enlisted man makes
the prescribed salute with the weapon with which he is armed; or if unarmed,
with the hand. He also makes the same salute after receiving a reply.
officer armed with the sabre renders the sabre salute, if the sabre is drawn;
otherwise he salutes with the hand.
soldier salutes with the "present arms" only when actually on post as
a sentinel doing interior guard duty. At all other times when armed with the
rifle he salutes with the prescribed rifle salute.
several officers in company are saluted, all entitled to the salute return it.
man in formation does not salute when directly addressed, but comes to attention
if at rest.
are not rendered when marching in double quick time or at the trot or gallop.
The soldier must first come quick time or walk before saluting.
question of gait applies to the person saluting and not to the one saluted - so; a soldier would salute an officer passing in double quick time or at
a trot or gallop.
It is equally the duty of non-commissioned officers and soldiers, at all times
and in all situations, to pay the proper compliments to officers of the Navy and
Marines, and to officers of other regiments, when in uniform, as to officers of
their own particular regiments and corps.
soldier accompanying an officer walks on the officer's left and a pace or two to
do not salute officers. They merely stand at attention.
is very unmilitary to salute with the coat unbuttoned or with the hand in the
pocket, or a cigar or pipe in the mouth.
headdress may be raised to ladies, or they may be given the military salute.
a soldier is late for a formation, he should ask permission of the commanding
officer or non‑commissioned officer of that formation to join the ranks.
This keeps the commander aware of who is in ranks.
soldier is not to leave ranks without permission.
Whether sick, or whether to get water, or for any reason, he should
obtain permission of the company commander. During halts soldiers will not leave
the immediate vicinity of the company without permission.
OF THE SWORD OR SABRE,
OF THE SWORD OR SABRE,
gripe in the right hand, which will be supported against the right hip, the back
of the blade against the shoulder.
SALUTE WITH THE SWORD OR SABRE.
the distance of six paces from the person to be saluted, raise the sword or
sabre perpendicularly, the point up, the flat of the blade opposite to the right
eye, the guard at the height of the shoulder, the elbow supported on the body.
the point of the sword or sabre by extending the arm, so that the right hand may
be brought to the side of the right thigh, and remain in that position until the
person to whom the salute is rendered shall be passed, or shall have been
passed, six paces.
the sword or sabre smartly, and resume the position first prescribed.
FORMS OF SPEECH.
is customary for civilians to address all seniors, whether by age or station, by
"sir". The same courtesy is applied to the military.
speaking to an officer it is not proper for a soldier to say, "You"
but the third person should always be used. As for example, "Does
the captain want his horse this morning?" -
do not say, "Do you want
your horse this morning?"
In beginning a conversation with an officer, a soldier should use the third person in referring to himself instead of the pronouns “I” or “me”. However, after the conversation has commenced, it is perfectly proper for the soldier to use the pronouns "I" or "me" in speaking to an officer, an enlisted man should refer to another enlisted man by proper title, as "Sergeant Jones", "Corporal Smith”, “ Private Wilson".
Privates and others should always address non-commissioned officers by their titles. "Sergeant Smith", and not "Smith".
asked his name, a soldier should answer, for instance, "Private
given an order or instruction of any kind by an officer or
non‑commissioned officer, a soldier should always say "Yes, Sir," thus letting the officer or non‑
commissioned officer know that the soldier understands the order or
instruction. Do not say, "Very well,
Sir," or "All right,
not use slang in speaking, to an
interrupt an Officer while he is speaking.
Always wait until he is through talking before you begin to speak.
a soldier has finished a thing that he was ordered to do, he should always
report back to the officer who gave him the order, i.e.
“The captain's message to Lieutenant Smith has been delivered."
an officer calls a soldier who is some distance away, the soldier should
immediately salute, and say, "Yes, Sir"
and approach the officer with a quickened step.
Always salute an officer when he leaves you after a conversation or at any other time. And always salute just as soon as the officer makes the first move to leave.
entering an office or tent a
soldier should give two or three knocks at the door (whether it be open or
closed); when told to come in, enter, taking off the hat (if unarmed), close the
door (if it was closed before you entered) and remain just inside the door until
asked what is wanted; then go within a short distance of the officer, stand at
attention, salute, and make known your request in as few words as possible. On
completion, salute, face toward the door, and go out, being careful to close the
door if it was closed when you entered. If it was not closed, leave it open.
must never be made directly to the captain unless the soldier has the captain's
permission to do so, or the first sergeant refuses to have the matter reported.
If dissatisfied with his food, clothing, duties, or treatment, the facts
should be reported to the first sergeant, with the request, if necessary, to see
is also customary for soldiers who wish to speak to the captain about anything
to inform him that they have the first sergeant's permission to do so. Thus: "Private Smith has the first sergeant's permission to speak to the
an enlisted man receives a message, verbal or written, from an officer for
delivery, he will salute, and say: "Yes,
sir'', execute an about face, and proceed immediately to the officer for
whom the message is intended. He will halt three or four paces directly in front
of the officer, and will salute before he begins to address the officer and will
hold his hand in the position of salute while he says, "Sir, Captain Smith presents his compliments", etc. If the officer
sending the message be junior to the one receiving it, the soldier will not
present his compliments, but will say, for instance, "Sir, Lieutenant
Smith directed me to say to the captain," etc. As soon as the message
has been delivered, the soldier will salute, execute an about face, and proceed
at once to the officer who sent the message, and will similarly report to him,
"Sir, the Lieutenant's message to Captain Smith has been delivered", and
leaving an officer to whom you delivered a message always ascertain whether
there is a reply.
The compliments of a junior are never presented to a senior. For instance, never say to a captain that a lieutenant presents his compliments to him.
Cooper, Samuel. Tactics and Regulations for the Militia. Philadelphia: R.P. Desilver, Publisher, 1836.
Gilham, William. Manual of Instruction for the Volunteers of the United States. Philadelphia, Charles Desilver, 1861.
Hardee, William J. Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics. New York: J.O. Kane, Publisher, 1862.
Regulations for the Military Academy at West Point. New York: John T. Trow, Printer, 1857.
Revised Regulations for the Army of the United States, 1860. Philadelphia: J.G.L. Brown, Printer, 1860
Egbert L. Handbook for Active Service. New York: D. Van