This restricted “official training film” was produced in 1941 by the United States Army Signal Corps in collaboration with the chief of infantry and is titled “Instruction of the Soldier, Dismounted, without Arms” and specifically focuses on “Positions and Facings.” As troops march through the Presidio of San Francisco, a narrator informs the viewer that these “seasoned soldiers” have already received the training needed to efficiently work together. The necessary training to reach that point, it is said at mark 01:05, begins at induction. “We do not see alertness of mind and body …,” the viewer is told as young men are shown reporting for their first day of army life at mark 01:14. “They are untrained and unfamiliar with habits of precision and response to a leader’s order.”
At mark 02:00, the men start their “job as a soldier,” including how to look like a soldier. “There’s a name for it. It is called a position of attention,” a sergeant explains, who then demonstrates the proper way to stand at attention and reviews the troops as they follow his example. After mastering standing at attention, the sergeant instructs the men on how to fall out (and enjoy a smoke break), stand at command rest, stand at ease, and stand at parade rest, with the men following along and the camera capturing the proper movements.
The film continues with further detailed instructions, and at mark 09:50, the sergeant directs his squad on two-part commands: the preparatory command (which fixes their attention) and the command of execution (upon which the actual movement starts). These include “right face” and “left face.” The proper method for falling in is addressed beginning at mark 11:48, with detailed instructions delivered by the sergeant. Commands for “eyes right” and “eyes left” come next, starting at mark 14:00, followed by the familiar commands of “right face” and “left face” as well as “about face.” Mark 19:09 begins one of the most important commands for a soldier: the hand salute. “Remember: a well-rendered salute always indicates a well-trained soldier,” the men are told at mark 21:00.
As the film nears its end, footage of proper techniques are shown again as the narrator reminds the viewer: “Careful study and constant practice of these positions and facings is essential for mastery of drill and intelligent execution of orders.”
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com