From the very first day of training to the final march on the graduation parade deck, every recruit practices Close Order Drill, the precise method of marching in formation. Though no longer used to align combat formations on the battlefield, Close Order Drill still has several practical purposes today. In addition to providing a standard, orderly manner for unit movements, it also teaches discipline, instills habits of precision and automatic response to orders, and ensures new team and squad leaders become accustomed to issuing proper commands assertively.
Platoon 1038, Alpha Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, perform a close-order drill movement during an initial drill evaluation. This is their first evaluation of recruit training.
Drill Instructor Sgt Adahel Arias calls his next command during an initial drill evaluation March 9, 2015, on Parris Island, S.C. The initial drill was a test for the drill instructors as well. Drillmasters, experts on the Marine Corps Drill and Ceremonies Manual, graded Arias, 23, from Miami, on his military appearance and ability to command his platoon.
Drill Instructor Sgt Raymond S. Adams reads a drill card for his next command during an initial drill evaluation. The cards are considered part of the uniform and part of a drill movement when being read.
SSgt Mayra Moreno, a Parris Island drillmaster, evaluates Platoon 1034.
SSgt Mayra Moreno, a Parris Island drillmaster, evaluates Platoon 4015.
Close-order drill is a crucial part of the transformation recruits undergo to become United States Marines. The strict particular nature of close-order drill teaches habits of discipline and reinforces teamwork.