Position of Parade Rest

The position of parade rest is used in some form in nearly every country with its own armed forces. This writeup details the position of parade rest as it relates specifically to the United States Army.

Parade Rest is one of four positions referred to as Rest Positions at the Halt. The other three are Stand At Ease, At Ease, and Rest. A fifth position at the halt (though not a rest position) is the position of attention.

Parade Rest is a two-part command that can only be given to someone who is currently in the position of attention. The person giving the command will sound off with "Parade" have a short pause, then loudly emphasis the word "REST". On this emphasized command of execution, all soldiers to whom the command was directed at will assume the position of parade rest as described below:

  • From the position of attention, move the left foot 10 inches to the left of the right foot
  • Keep the legs straight without locking the knees resting the weight of the body equally on the heels and balls of the feet {1}
  • Simultaneously, place the hands at the small of the back and centered on the belt
  • Keep the fingers of both hands together and extended, interlocking the thumbs with the palms of both hands facing away from the body
  • keep the head erect and face straight to the front with the chin slightly drawn in so that the alignment of the head and neck is vertical {2}
  • remain silent and do not move unless otherwise directed {3}

Notes

  1. It is very important not to lock the knees while standing in this position. Doing so can constrict proper blood flow. During long ceremonies, it is not uncommon for soldiers to pass out because they do not heed this warning.
  2. While it is not specifically mentioned, the eyes should typically be either looking straight ahead or looking (without turning the head) at the person leading the formation.
  3. It is quite common during inspections for a soldier to be asked questions or told to display something (such as dog tags or ID card). In these cases, it is okay for the soldier to move or speak as required.

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See also: Attention, Stand At Ease, At Ease, Rest


References

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