Night Movements

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The Requirements of Dress[edit]

Dress must conform to the following requirements:

1. Speed.

2. Propriety.

3. Reliability.

To carry out these requirements, training is necessary. It is a bad thing to attach too great weight to speed at first, and make light of propriety and reliability. Therefore, at first, the following requirements must be observed:

1. Do not demand useless rapidity, but rather coolness.

2. Proper arrangement.

3. As far as possible, quietness should be preserved. The necessary things should be taken from their fixed places only when about to be put on, so as to avoid confusion.

Coolness - More haste, less speed. If one be confused, he will mistake the proper order or forget important things, and sometimes it will be necessary to change what has already been put on.

Order - Order is the shortest road, and if followed, there will be nothing forgotten. However hurried one may be, it is important not to curtail or change the order; therefore, it is necessary to plan carefully, the most suitable order of procedure-a practical impossibility for one without experience. For these reasons, it is a good thing to fix a suitable order of procedure, and carry it out strictly.

Quietness - At night, quietness is very necessary, especially in the proximity of the enemy. Therefore, it is important, in time of peace, to demand quietness, and to carry out such a training that there will be no talking or noise. If the soldier has had this training, it is an easy thing to remain quiet. If he has not, it is a very difficult matter. While a sudden demand for quiet is no hardship upon persons accustomed to it, it is most irksome to those who are not so accustomed to it.

Order of Dressing - In order that dressing may progress smoothly, a proper order is necessary. In this order, it is important that mind and hand follow natural movements. The following example of correct procedure is from my own experience:

1. Clothing, shoes and leggings will be worn and put on in the following order: socks, trousers, leggings, blouse, cap.

2. Hang haversack and water bottle over the shoulder.

3. Place the required articles in the knapsack, roll the overcoat; attach tools, spare shoes, and mess tin to the knapsack, and put it on.

4. Take the rifle in the hand (at this time, take off the muzzle cover and place it in its prescribed place).

Although there are times when this order will not be adhered to, and it will be necessary to arrange the clothing so as to take rifle and ammunition first, the habit of handling these articles in their proper order in time of peace is most necessary.

Peace Time Preparations-Preparedness - During peace time, weapons, clothing and equipment are naturally arranged in a prescribed place in barracks. Each article should be so arranged that the soldier will put his hand on it naturally, even in the darkness, or in emergencies. On account of the articles being in a fixed place, the soldier often does not realize the advantage of being able to grasp them readily. If the difficulty of searching for obscure articles in the dark be considered, one must realize the great advantage of being able to reach them naturally and easily. Accordingly, while resting on the march, in camp, billet, or bivouac, articles will always be arranged in an orderly manner, so that they may be seized quickly and certainly.