14-17. RULES FOR CEREMONIAL FIRING
For ceremonial firing, the firing party consists of not more than eight riflemen and not less than five with one noncommissioned officer in charge (Figure 14-7, page 14-16). The firing party is normally pre-positioned at the gravesite and facing in the direction that allows it to fire directly over the grave. However, care should be taken to ensure that rifles are fired at a 45-degree angle from the horizontal.
a. To load:
(1) Magazines or clips are loaded with three rounds and blank adapters are attached before forming the firing party.
(2) At the conclusion of the religious services or on the escort commander’s command, the noncommissioned officer in charge commands With blank ammunition, LOAD. At the command LOAD, each rifleman executes Port Arms, faces to the half right, and moves his right foot 10 inches to the right to a position that gives him a firm, steady stance. He then chambers a round, places the weapon in the safe position, and resumes Port Arms.
b. To fire by volley:
(1) When the riflemen have completed the movements and the weapons are locked, the commands are Ready, Aim, FIRE. At the command Ready, each rifleman moves the safety to the fire position. On the command Aim, the rifle is shouldered with both hands with the muzzle to the front at an angle of 45 degrees from the horizontal. On the command of execution FIRE, the trigger is squeezed quickly, and the weapon is immediately returned to Port Arms.
(2) To continue the firing with weapons that function automatically (blank adapter), the commands Aim and FIRE are given and executed as previously prescribed. To continue the firing with weapons that must be manually operated to chamber another round (without blank adapters), the commands Ready, Aim, FIRE are again given. On, the command Ready, each rifleman manually chambers the next round. The commands Aim and FIRE are then given and executed as previously prescribed.
* (3) When the third round has been fired and the riflemen have resumed Port Arms, the noncommissioned officer in charge commands CEASE FIRING. The riflemen immediately place the weapon on safe, assume the Position of Attention (at Port Arms), and face to half left. From this position, the firing party is commanded to Present Arms before the playing of “Taps.” After “Taps,” they are commanded to Order Arms. The noncommissioned officer in charge executes a Right (Left) Face and remains at Attention until the flag has been folded and saluted by the officer in charge or noncommissioned officer in charge of the funeral detail. At this time, the firing party noncommissioned officer in charge executes a Right (Left) Face and commands Right (Left), FACE; Port, ARMS; and Forward, MARCH. At the first halt, the rifles of the firing party are cleared and inspected.
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