facebook icon wordpress icon

General Orders

Orders of Sentries the official title of a set of rules governing sentry (guard to watch) duty in the United States Armed Forces. While any guard posting has rules that may go without saying, these orders are carefully detailed and particularly stressed in the United States Marine Corps. Also known as the 11 General Orders, the list is meant to cover any possible scenario a sentry might encounter on duty.

All recruits learn these orders verbatim while at recruit training and are often expected to retain the knowledge to use for the remainder of their military careers. It is very common for a drill instructor or (after boot camp) an inspecting officer to ask a question such as, "What is your sixth general order?" and expect an immediate (and correct) reply.

GENERAL ORDER #1: To take charge of this post and all government property in view.

GENERAL ORDER #2: To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.

GENERAL ORDER #3: To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.

GENERAL ORDER #4: To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guard house than my own.

GENERAL ORDER #5: To quit my post only when properly relieved.

GENERAL ORDER #6: To receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me all orders from the Commanding Officer, Officer of the Day, and Officers and Noncommissioned Officers of the Guard only.

GENERAL ORDER #7: To talk to no one except on the line of duty.

GENERAL ORDER #8: To give the alarm in the case of fire or disorder.

GENERAL ORDER #9: To call the Corporal of the Guard in any case not covered by instructions.

GENERAL ORDER #10: To salute all Officers and all Colors and Standards not cased.

GENERAL ORDER #11: To be especially watchful at night and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority