A close order drill is a military drill that involves marching, maneuvering, and executing various other movements as a unit. It is an essential aspect of military training, as it helps soldiers develop discipline, coordination, and a sense of teamwork. The history of close-order drills can be traced back to the early days of organized military forces.
The origins of close-order drills can be traced back to the Roman Empire, where soldiers were trained in tight formations to increase their effectiveness in battle. This practice was continued in Europe during the Middle Ages, with armies of knights and foot soldiers marching in appearance to the beat of drums. Close-order drills became even more widespread during the Renaissance as troops became more extensive and complex.
Close-order drills also played a significant role in the American Revolutionary War. European drill instructors trained American soldiers in close-order drills, which helped them become more effective in battle. The Continental Army, under the leadership of George Washington, used a close-order drill to significant effect against the British army, which was trained in more traditional methods.
The invention of the rifle in the 19th century changed how soldiers were trained in close-order drills. Rifles required soldiers to stand in a more open formation, which allowed them to fire their weapons more effectively. This change in tactics led to the development of more complex and sophisticated forms of the close-order drill, which were used to train soldiers in the various movements required to operate a rifle.
During the 20th century, close-order drills continued to evolve. Introducing new weapons, such as machine guns and tanks, further changed how soldiers were trained in close-order drills. Today, close-order drill is still an essential aspect of military training, and soldiers continue to be trained in the latest techniques and tactics to ensure they are prepared for battle.