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Marine Corps General Orders for Sentries





Your General Orders are the first thing you should memorize EXACTLY. Believe me, even if you replace a single word, you are wrong. This is the strictest form of memorization you will ever encounter. While I would never advocate just memorizing the words and not understanding the meaning, at first you will have to concentrate on the memorization part.

But here is a secret; I will help you memorize them so that you will never forget them as long as you live.

Tip #1: The first thing you will notice is that every single order starts with the word "To" and then followed by a verb. This is called an infinitive phrase and it will help you memorize the entire order.

Tip #2: Start by associating the number of the order with something that rhymes with it. For instance, "one" rhymes with "run." So when you want to know what General Order number "One" is, think of "Run." Why are you running? Because you just "took" your drill instructor's wallet! (The sillier the mental image, the better!).

So this is how it works. You Think "One." Then you think "run." Then you think "Take (wallet)" and then you have "To take..."

After that, it is just repeating the entire order over and over until just remembering "To take.." will naturally start you out and continue through the entire order.

Below are my original memory aides that are still with me after 12 years. You can make up your own but remember, the sillier, the better!

Tip #3: this will get you started. There is no secret to memorizing the rest other than repetition to the extreme. But once you got them, all you will need is a little help to remember the beginning and the rest will roll off your tongue.

General Order 1
To take charge of this post and all government property in view.

("Run." I am running because I took my drill instructor's wallet.)
"One" = "Run" = "To take"

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.

("Shoe." I need my "shoe" to walk my post.)
"Two" = "Shoe" = "To walk"

General Order 3
To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.

("Tree." I imagine the tree from The Wizard of Oz yelling "REPORT!")
"Three" = "Tree" = "To report"

General Order 4
To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guardhouse than my own.

("Door." Remember when Bugs Bunny nailed all the doors together with the last one connected to explosives and Yosemite Sam started opening them? Bugs Bunny says "I wonder if he is stubborn enough to open all those doors." Then there was a loud explosion in the distance and Bugs says, "Yep, he's stubborn enough." The doors repeated.)
"Four" = "Door" = " To repeat"

General Order 5
To quit my post only when properly relieved.

("Hive." I imagine a single, disgruntled bee flying away from the hive yelling "I QUIT!!")
"Five" = "Hive" = "To quit"

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.

("Sticks." I imagine receiving the drum sticks from the drummer from KISS (Peter Kris, I think).)
"Six" = "Sticks" = "To receive" 

General Order 7
To talk to no one except in the line of duty.

("Heaven." I think of an angel talking to me.)
"Seven" = "Heaven" = "To talk"

General Order 8
To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.

("Ate." I imagine I am hungry and someone gave me something great to eat and I ate it."
"Eight" = "Ate" = "To give"

General Order 9
To call the corporal of the guard in any case not covered by instructions.

("Sign." I imagine this huge billboard sign that says "Call Home!")
"Nine" = "Sign" = "To Call"

General Order 10
To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.

("Win." I think that if I salute properly, I will "win" at being squared away.)
"Ten" = "Win" = "To salute"

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.

I never came up with anything for eleven, probably because in rhymed with "Seven." I will let you figure this one out.

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