DI Question - Drill by Numbers

Can anyone confirm the correct way to deliver a ‘by numbers’ order? AP818 doesn’t actually state how to do it (despite being a thousand pages long, they somehow forgot that bit :roll_eyes:).

ACP19 stated that:

Whilst the ‘cadetism’ seems to be “executive command”, “by numbers” - “by numbers - ONE”
(or occasionally “cautionary”, “by numbers” - “by numbers - ONE”, which has to be wrong!).

I presume that the written one is correct, but just wanted to check from someone who knows this stuff (presumably handed down from master to apprentice in some sort of ancient DI ceremony).

Not sure why ACP19 would be the document of choice to refer to given that it is defunct!

Foot Drill by Numbers, by numbers, ONE - irrespective on the movement being taught in the instructional phase.

Then as you move into the collective practice that is when the full word of command is used - introductory, cautionary and executive. This is what is taught on the Cadet Drill Course and on SSDIC courses at ATF and is from AP818 lesson structure to my knowledge.

Because it’s the only reference with an actual instruction! AP818 states that it is to be done, but gives no idea how it is to be done.

Its not a relevant reference document though so its content isnt helpful!

If it was a case of “defunct document says (a)” and “current document says (b)” then I’d agree completely - but in the lack of any current instruction old documents are a starting point.


AP818 isn’t particularly clear to the layperson but it does support what bob2 said in the second comment.

The nearest thing you may find to a current lesson on how to do it as per the “preferred drill instructional method” would be the course notes for the Cadet Drill Course.

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Have a look on Sharepoint, there is a document under D&C - Useful resources that has a Teaching practice document. It has the words of command in there

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@MattB the right way to do is contained in the Drill Lesson Structure as part of the SSDIC course, Cadet Drill Course and SSDIC (Arms) Course.

Ultimately, to some extent I agree with Teflon - that as long as the correct structure is used to teach whether the person teaches uses “Executive word of command by numbers, by numbers ONE” or “Foot Drill by numbers, by numbers ONE” bears very little impact on the teaching outcome.

Anyone who goes through any CORPS course will be taught the latter of the two statements as the ‘correct’ way to instruct.

Bear in mind that AP818 is a document written for the RAF, and the only people who instruct drill in the RAF are drill instructors, that is probably why it is not in the publication anymore! Qualified RAF DIs wont need to read how to do the lesson structure and teach by numbers as they will know it inside and out!

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On-topic and helpful comments only please.

Current training method is each movement is broken down into parts with each being numbered 1. In reality i give each part a different number to atop the little brains from frying.

So ideally the command needs to be as the mutual…very long worded but for example

Arms/Foot* drill by numbers, turning at the halt, by numbers, One!

*delete as appropriate

Want me to email you a copy of the mutual? Also willing to spend time on our next wing course going through the generic teaching practice

When you refer to little brains I assume you mean the DI’s?

Everybody’s. If all you “need” is a sharp noise, why bother to try to remember where in a sequence you are?

Haha we are simple folk

People often ask "Why is each movement numbered ‘One’? Why not “one, two, three…?”

Answer - Because the timings are “ONE - Left - Right - ONE - Left - Right…” &c

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