* AFROTC: The 54 Commands

A marching drill used for training Air Force cadets in the 1980s.

When I was in AFROTC at MIT (1984-1988), we used “The 54 Commands” as a marching-training drill. I believe the drill was timed and you had to start and end in the same position (typically on a football field or the like). The drill appears to no longer be in use (retired circa 1993). But it popped into my mind the other day so I’m including it here for posterity.

01. Present, Arms
02. Order, Arms
03. Parade, Rest
04. Flight, Attention
05. Right, Face
06. Close, March
07. Extend, March
08. Left, Face
09. Dress Right, Dress
10. Ready, Front
11. Left Step, March
12. Flight, Halt
13. Open Ranks, March
14. Ready, Front
15. Close Ranks, March
16. Right Step, March
17. Flight, Halt
18. Right, Face
19. Eyes, Right
20. Ready, Front
21. Left, Face
22. Dress Right, Dress
23. Ready, Front
24. Right, Face
25. Forward, March
26. Change Step, March
27. Count Cadence, Count
28. Column Right, March
29. Forward, March
30. To the Rear, March
31. To the Rear, March
32. Close, March
33. Forward, March
34. Extend, March
35. Forward, March
36. Column Right, March
37. Forward, March
38. Right Flank, March
39. Flight, Halt
40. Forward March
41. Left Flank, March
42. Column Right, March
43. Forward, March
44. Right Flank, March
45. Left Flank, March
46. To the Rear, March
47. To the Rear, March
48. Eyes, Right (marching)
49. Ready, Front
50. Column Right, March
51. Forward, March
52. Flight, Halt
53. Left, Face
54. Present, Arms (Flight Commander salutes Chief Judge)

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Erik J. Heels is an MIT engineer; trademark, domain name, and patent lawyer; Red Sox fan; and music lover. He blogs about technology, law, baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll at erikjheels.com.

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15 Replies to “* AFROTC: The 54 Commands”

  1. AFROTC at NYIT, 1988-90. Had to do in an area the size of a basketball court. Came really close to finishing where I started. I loved this part of training.

  2. Am sitting in a Veterans Day celebration and this came to mind! I also spent a lot of time in AFROTC at MIT 79-83 perfecting this, and also at advance camp in Elgin in the summer of 1982! Thanks for the memories!

  3. Boy, do I remember it well. Summer of 1975 in Wichita, KS. Sweltering heat and humidity. But, I did it correctly…as I recall, I might have been the only one who did.

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