The Corner

Stack Arms

OK, OK, it’s “stack arms” over here. And the drill is just as impossible to

master. Pay attention, now: there’sll be a quiz period afterwards.

(The following is for the M-1; From Appendix A of the Marine Corps Drill and

Ceremonies Manual, available here. Thanks to a

helpful reader for this.)


1. Members of the squad stack arms from their positions in line at normal or

close interval. Squad members numbered 3, 7, and 11 make the stacks except

when there is no one to their left. In squads larger than 14 men, additional

stackmen are designated. In squads so armed that it is not feasible for

numbers 3, 7, and 11 to make the stacks, other squad members may be

designated as stackmen. The command is “Stack, ARMS.”

2. At the command “ARMS,” the man on the left of the stackman grips his/her

rifle by the upper hand guard, raises it, with the muzzle straight up, until

his/her right arm is level with the deck. The Marine passes it to the

stackman, who grips it with the left hand at the upper hand guard just below

the stacking swivel. (See figure A-18a.)

3. The stackman places the butt of the left rifle between his/her feet, with

the barrel to the front, muzzle tilted forward. The Marine raises the

stacking swivel of the left rifle with his/her left thumb and forefinger.

Then the Marine swings the butt of his/her own rifle 2 feet in front and 6

inches to the right of his/her right toe. The Marine then shifts his/her

right hand to the stacking swivel, which the Marine engages with that of the

left rifle. (See figure A-18b.)

4. The member on the right of the stackman grips his rifle with his/her

right hand at the small of the stock, his/her left hand near the stacking

swivel. Without moving his right foot, the Marine steps to the left front

and carries his/her rifle well forward, barrel up. With the forefinger of

his/her left hand, the Marine hooks his stacking swivel to the free hook of

the center rifle’s stacking swivel. Then the Marine rotates his/her rifle

so the barrel rests in the angle formed by the other two rifles. (See figure

A-18c.) The Marine pulls the butt toward him/her until the stack is tight

and then lowers the butt to the deck. The Marine then resumes the position

of attention. (See figure A-18d.) Figure A-18e shows details of the stacking

swivels at stack arms.

5. Other rifles are passed to the nearest stack on the right. When passing

extra weapons to the stack, the right hand grips the upper hand guard and

the left hand grips the balance. The muzzles of these weapons point straight

up while they are being passed to the stack. They are laid on the stack by

the stackman, sights inboard, and tilted so they remain in place.


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