The first thing to do in the organization is to enroll at least one physician, who becomes the surgeon of the company. His name, together with that of the secretary of the unit, should be filed with the Senior Service Corps, of New Haven, Connecticut, or with the National Security League, of New York City, in order that any additional information or directions may be forwarded promptly.
The division of labor in the work should be from ten to fifteen minutes of the setting-up exercises, and from forty-five to fifty minutes of the outdoor work. It has been found upon scientific test that this is the best division, and the outdoor work should follow the setting-up exercises immediately, since the men are then in condition to benefit from the fact that they have opened up their chest cavity and are taking in more fresh air and oxygen.
The best way to start a unit is to get ten or a dozen leaders together at dinner or luncheon and organize; then pick out other men who are of importance in the community and add them to the charter number.
The editors of the local papers are usually very glad to lend their powerful assistance toward the project.
It is not necessary to have the outdoor work partake of the nature of military drill, but a certain amount of this, added after the second or third week, lends interest and also produces excellent results in muscular control.
In order to understand the various prescribed movements and exercises the following explanations should be carefully studied, of course, in connection with the illustrative photographs.
It is particularly necessary that the leader should thoroughly familiarize himself with the movements and positions, for many of the men will not take the trouble to study the manual by themselves, or they may be unable to spare time for anything but the actual drill. It is the leader’s business to instruct, and the progress of his squad or company will be in direct proportion to his knowledge and capacity to inspire real interest in and enthusiasm for the work.
Each movement must be executed perfectly and exactly or the benefit therefrom will not be fully assured. Much depends upon the leader; a man should be selected who has the gift of leadership.
In giving the commands care should be taken to discriminate between the explanatory and executive parts of the order, making a decided pause between. For example, in “Forward March!” “Forward” is the explanatory or warning word; then, after a perceptible pause, the executive word “March!” should be given in a crisp, decisive tone of voice. The command “Attention!” is but one word, but it is the custom to divide it syllabically, thus, “Atten-shun!” All other commands taken from the military manuals have their proper warning and executive words; for example: “Count—Off!” “About—Face!” “Right—Face!” “Company—Halt!” “To the Rear—March!” “Double Time—March!” etc. The exceptions are the commands, “Rest!” “At Ease!” and “Fall Out!”