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Half Right: Getting to Know Military Lingo

You’ve enlisted in the military and you’re gearing up for basic training in a few weeks. You’re doing your best to get into top physical shape and you’re reading up on every aspect of what is soon to be your new military life.

It’s common knowledge that there will be a lot of jargon to pick up on once you’re in the throes of the military. You’ll catch on quickly but it won’t hurt to be prepared. Plus, spouses, parents, siblings, and friends might also be interested in learning more about military jargon. One bit of that long list of jargon is “half right” (or “half right face”).

Used by drill sergeants, it’s a phrase you’ll get used to very quickly. “Half right” is definitely not something you want to hear. In fact, it’s pretty much synonymous with “you’re screwed” in most instances.

What Does Half Right Mean?

No, in military terms “half right” doesn’t mean that you’re sort of correct. Instead, it’s the precursor to a kind of punishment – er, character building. And in all fairness, it is the sergeant’s job to maintain order to ensure proper discipline. At the end of the day, when faced with battle, you don’t want anyone in your unit to go against the grain. You learn how to maintain this order in basic training.

The command “half right” instructs you to turn 45 degrees to your right. So, if everyone is standing in line, shoulder to shoulder, turning on the angle allows more room for “front leaning rest position, move!” In military terms, this means pushups – turning half right leaves more room for push ups while still staying in formation.

It doesn’t stop there. In fact, “half right” can mean you’re about to do any number of strenuous exercises. It really just depends on your drill sergeant. Their goal is to drill you hard and create a soldier out of a civilian.

It’s All About Discipline

In the military, it’s about the unit – not the individual. When one person steps out of line, everyone pays for the mistake. It’s why formations and drills are such a huge part of military life and a major aspect of basic training.

When you hear the command “half right” over and over, everyone will start to understand that you have a responsibility to your fellow recruits to be on your game. Stay in formation and do what you’re told to the best of your ability, or else everyone will pay.

You may have a drill sergeant with a sense of humor or one that takes out their anger on your unit. Either way, learn what your commander expects and avoid the phrase “half right” at all costs. Everyone will thank you.

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