Army Myths: Road guards are the second person(s) in the far left and right rank

Ask anyone who the default road guard is during a movement formation where no road guards have been designated and they are likely to say that it is the second guy in the far left and right rank.

I’ve seen it at every unit I’ve been in. We’re marching somewhere, the cadence caller shouts “Road Guards, Post!” and there is a short delay until some salty Team Leader yells at the soldiers in that second spot, telling them that they are the default road guards. Then those two soldiers will run to the intersection, getting there moments before the main body gets there and while nearly getting themselves killed in the process.

Well, this isn’t doctrine.

It’s not a regulation. It’s just a standard operation procedure that appears to have been pretty much adopted Army-wide.

Reference to the practice cannot be found in TC 3-21.5 (Drill and Ceremony) or FM 7-22 (Army Physical Readiness Training). The best I’ve been able to find are some Air Force ROTC videos that reference the practice of assigning dedicated road guard prior to the movement (you know, the ones that get to wear the reflective vest or carry the flashlight).

True, this really isn’t a myth, but I’ve watched NCOs lose their minds when that second person didn’t react instantly to the command of execution of “POST!”

Best practice would be to assign road guard prior to any movement than relying on a shaky Army-wide standard operating procedure.

Also, related.

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Young LTs: Too cool to take drill and ceremony seriously

One of the things I’ve noticed about the young LTs I’ve been around at IBOLC is how lax their attitudes are towards “garrison” army stuff, like drill and ceremony. Like most leadership schools, IBOLC relies on a student chain of command to do most things, to include morning PT. Some young lieutenant will be charged with taking the formation and walking them through PRT. While this isn’t the case for everybody, most LTs get up there and act like it’s a rote chore. “Go ahead and stretch out on your own” is probably the most frequent command given behind “en route fall out” which isn’t a real command at all.

It strikes me as strange that so many young LTs already have a jaded attitude towards proper drill and ceremony. There is little enthusiasm for it and a rabid desire to get to “route step, march!” as quickly as possible. I posit two theories: 1) this is normal LT fare and has been since the beginning of time, or 2) it is a reflection of the training they received at their commissioning source from a cadre who has largely dismissed “garrison-esque” stuff in favor of more pertinent combat-oriented material.

“Arms downward, move!”

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