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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces an article in
Naval Institute Proceedings
Vol. 61 No. 10 (Oct. 1935), pp1529‑1531

The text is in the public domain,
the 1935 copyright not having been renewed in 1962 or 1963.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

 p1529  Plebe Summer Infantry

The entering plebe is given four infantry drills of 1½ hours each per week. He usually spends twelve of these periods in preliminary phases before going to his company for infantry drill. He must satisfactorily complete each phase, progressively arranged, before going to the next. Those who have a special aptitude for drill may complete these phases in a shorter period.

These men have had 1 hour's drill. The first drill takes in "attention," the hand salute, and elementary details of a like nature.

These men have had two and a half periods. They have started to learn the simpler "under‑way" maneuvers. A few in each group have difficulty keeping in step.


This group is taking up the squad movements. "Now gentlemen you must learn the basic movements on which all close-order drill is founded, the turn on the fixed and the turn on the moving pivot, by the numbers, etc." These men have had six periods of infantry drill.

The more complicated squad movements are taken up in this final phase before the Plebe is assigned to drill with a rifle. In all phases the movements taught in the preceding phases are reviewed and practiced. These men have had eight infantry drill periods.


At last he has a rifle and is drilling with his own company. These companies, selected at random on the drill field, received their first group, about twelve men, from the preliminary phases three weeks before this picture was taken. The remainder have been received at the rate of about 20 per week.

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Page updated: 31 Aug 21