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46408Re: Pike Drill for Serjeants, Revisited...

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  • John
    Dec 30, 2012
      Hi Tom,

      Speaking culturally for a moment from one within a Commonwealth military I can say that there are two salutes for both officers and men and perhaps this is where some of the confusion comes from. There is a (if you like) long salute which is the full present arms and sword salute where the sword is first raised hilt to the lips and then dropped to the full extent of the right arm. This is used when conducting Royal or General Salutes on the parade ground or to salute dignatories etc..

      The short salute or report is when for the troops, the left arm (with the current weapons) is brought sharply across the body, forearm parallel to the deck, fingers extended etc.. The equivalent for officer's is to raise the sword hilt to the lips but then to return to the carry. In both cases this is used when reporting to a superior officer prior to an inspection or a similar 'short report'..

      It's difficult to explain, but in the case of the full present arms it is conducted by the troops in order to salute, whilst officers simultaneously perform a sword salute (which is in effect the same thing as a present arms) but it's not described in those terms... You won't I believe see a drill manual for sword drill for example describing the sword salute as a "present arms", but it may say that an officer will conduct the sword salute at the same time as the men present arms, his movements conforming with theirs... Semantics I know but perhaps a subtle distinction from the days when social class was more of a factor in the military than it is today.. A bit like the old saying that the men sweat but officers perspire, or that officers 'make love' and the men/NCO's fornicate...!

      Not sure if that helped or not, but it is very difficult describing cultural nuances to those outside the culture...

      Cheers,

      John


      --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Colonel" <lehrerprofessoren@...> wrote:
      >
      > I would like to ask if you are refering to an officer being saluted by a soldier presenting arms to him when you say, "...officers do not present arms." I know from manuals of the 18th century and following that officers are instructed in presenting arms when in line and in formation with the battalion or when marching with eyes left or right. Please clarify for me if officers are not to present arms at all according to some research as I would like to have this straight for future mention. Thank you.
      >
      > Tom
      >
      > --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "shayna121" <PrivateCannon@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Very interesting.
      > >
      > > Iain and I have been carrying on this converstaion offline, but here are some of the things we've discussed:
      > >
      > > 1) Officers do not 'present arms.' When their men do so, they salute.
      > >
      > > 2) To reiterate, no period drill manual yet found has a 'present arms' for Serjeants armed with a pike.
      > >
      > >
      > > 3) This drill manual says Serjeants are to remain at the shoulder during all other movements, but that would still allow them to salute in the manner described in previous converstaions (arm across the body to set the musket or pike firmly into the shoulder). They wouldn't be removing their pike from their shoulder.
      > >
      > > Do these things suggest that while the rank and file present arms, the Serjeants salute as they would when approaching an officer? The other alternative is that they do nothing, which doesn't quite feel right to me.
      > >
      > > Also, as this is a drill manual for the pike, can we assume that Serjeants armed with muskets continue to present arms?
      > >
      > > I'd love to hear others' thoughts.
      > >
      > > Merry Christmas and Happy Hogmanay,
      > >
      > > Chris McKay
      > >
      > > --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Iain Burns" <iain51hdbw@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > All,
      > > that, "Serjeants remain at the shoulder during the performance of the other parts of the exercise...'
      > >
      > > > Mr. McKay's addition to the conversation re: saluting, taken from the 85th Light Infantry Standing orders book, would therefore only be employed when a Serjeant was rendering proper reverence to an Officer, and not something used when the rest of his group was called to Present. Indeed, the manuals I have seen have a "Salute" for Officers, but again nothing about a special move for Present; to my mind, at least, there is a subtle difference between being called to Present and rendering a Salute, even though one might Salute while others are given the order to Present.
      > >
      > > >
      > > > Aye,
      > > > Iain
      > > > 1st Royal Scots, No. 3 (Centre) Coy
      > >
      >
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