What Are General Orders in the USMC?


Quick Answer

General orders in the U.S. Marine Corps are 11 rules a sentry must follow while on duty. Recruits are expected to memorize them and be able to recite them word for word individually or all together when questioned by a drill instructor or superior officer.

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Full Answer

The general orders detail a sentry's responsibilities. He must maintain authority in guarding whatever is in his care. He remains alert and walks in a military manner. He reports any violation of orders at his post. He vocally repeats messages from post to post if necessary. He remains at his post until he is relieved. He passes on to the next sentry orders from their superior officers. He refrains from speaking to others unless it is in the line of duty. He sounds the alarm when confronted with fire or other disorders. He calls his immediate superior officer if something occurs that is not covered by his orders. He salutes officers and the American flag. He maintains special alertness at night, challenges all comers and allows only those who have proper authority to pass.

General orders for the Navy and the Coast Guard are very similar to those for the Marine Corps. They differ only in the titles of the immediate superior officers in orders six and nine. However, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force use an abbreviated version of only three general orders.

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