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Pathfindersonline • View topic - AT EASE - Drill manual versus tradition?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:28 pm 
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In reviewing the Pathfinder Club Drill Manual (1982 edition), a question has arisen regarding the command AT EASE. The way I was taught, and many Pathfinders who have transferred into our club were taught, is that the hands may be lowered below the waist behind the back while AT EASE, whereas for PARADE REST, PRAYER ATTENTION, and STAND AT EASE the hands stay in the small of the back. The Drill Manual, however, does not seem to clarify hand position in AT EASE, noting only that the Pathfinder may move but stay standing in place and not talking. Is there a specific hand position for AT EASE - the same as PARADE REST? the lowered but still held together version of tradition, or no required position, as implied by "may move"?

Thanks for any clarification on this.

(oh, and another tradition versus manual is in Fall Out and Dismissed - having been taught two steps after the about face, whereas the manual says one step).

-Rodger

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:07 pm 
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I believe you have it right on your interpretations. It is true that the phrase 'may move' does imply that the Pathfinder may move their hand from the position in the small of the back. To answer your question directly: There is no prescribed position for the hands while At Ease.
Many pathfinders adopt the habit of simply lowering the hands because it is a more relaxed way to hold your hands if you do not have something to do. Additionally, it is easier to return to the position of Parade Rest when the preparatory command for Attention is given.

In regards to Dismissal, the manual does say that one step is to be taken. However; once you have completed that step, you are no longer part of the formation and to take another step before stepping off in a new direction is not 'incorrect'. I might do a little checking and see if I can come up with a better explanation.

I hope this helped.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:47 pm 
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I think that traditions vary widely from area to area. For example, the At Ease that you are describing sound like the Stand At Ease that I was taught. For At Ease we didn't have our hands behind our back at all, just kept our right foot in place. And for Rest we stayed in formation, but didn't have to keep our right foot in place. Just an example of how varied the non-manual traditions can be. Your best bet is to follow the manual, and then if someone questions you, you can politely show your reasoning from the manual.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:16 pm 
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The command at ease dictates only a handful of things. A) Right foot must stay in place B) No talking C) No disruptive movement D) Complete attention to whoever is up front. It is not wrong to have the hands behind the back as this fits all criteria but it is not required.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:31 pm 
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Brad has it right, your hands are not required to be behind your back in At Ease just like your feet are not required to be shoulder width apart. At Ease only has 3 requirements per the drill manual - keep the right foot in place, remain standing, and remain silent. You are not incorrect to use At Ease as a relaxed version of Parade Rest but it is not a requirement. When At Ease is called from the position of Attention, you basically just relax and maintain respect for those around you and the instructor. Stand At Ease is just like Parade Rest except your head and eyes follow the instructor. Rest is just like At Ease except you are allowed to talk.

Only one step required on dismissed.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:15 am 
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The command where they're allowed to move one foot is "At Rest". You're right as far as where the hands are supposed to be for At Rest, Parade Rest, and Prayer Attention. That's the way I learned it too same for all the Pathfinders in Michigan conference.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:56 am 
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You are allowed to move your left foot in At Ease and Rest, the only difference between the two is pathfinders are allowed to talk when in Rest.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:00 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:07 pm 
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Thank you all. Basically our "traditional" method is not incorrect, as it is still within the Drill Manual requirements. In teaching, we have decided to explain both the manual version, and our club version, which is not in contradiction to the official manual.

-Rodger

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:19 am 
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You're welcome! :D

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