Bajen el arma (military order)

Grey Fox

Senior Member
UK - English
Please, is there anyone out there who can help with the correct phrases for the orders for firing?

There's a sequence here, where they're practising, perhaps it would be helpful to check them all?:

¡Preparen! = Get ready!
¡Apunten! = Take aim!
¡Fuego! = Fire!
¡Bajen el arma! = Lower the weapon? - help!.
¡Descarguen! = Discharge?! or Unload? - help!
Carguen! = Load? - help!

Sorry, I know it should be one query per post, but I feel this all goes together.

Any military help greatly appreciated!
 
  • Grey Fox

    Senior Member
    UK - English
    Thanks, Mullet - are you actually military? I'm a little worried that "Lower arms" only comes up in Google as a reference to the lower part of the arm as a part of the body!
     

    elirlandes

    Senior Member
    Ireland English
    ¡Preparen! = Get ready!
    ¡Apunten! = Take aim!
    ¡Fuego! = Fire!
    ¡Bajen el arma! = Lower the weapon? - help!.
    ¡Descarguen! = Discharge?! or Unload? - help!
    Carguen! = Load? - help!

    Perhaps this link is useful.

    I am not military, but my best efforts would be:
    ¡Preparen! = Ready:tick:
    ¡Apunten! = Take aim : Aim :tick:
    ¡Fuego! = Fire:tick:
    ¡Bajen el arma! = Shoulder arms [UK] Order arms [US]
    ¡Descarguen! = Unload [NB to "discharge" a weapon is to fire it]:tick:
    Carguen! = Load :tick:

    I am pretty sure on all of them save for the one you asked - I suspect "Bajen el arma" is the "Shoulder arms" command.
     

    Grey Fox

    Senior Member
    UK - English
    Thanks, irlandes - yes, I realised about "discharge" as I wrote it, and all sorts of other ideas flashed through my mind as well as the obvious one you give! ;)

    Yes, I saw that Wiki page, plus one of the US forces, and in all cases what was confusing me or giving me room for doubt was a) they're all the drill commands "dress ceremonies", as opposed to using the guns in combat, and b) I had forgotten that when a rifle is "shouldered", it's laying on the shoulder with the butt in the palm of the hand, not, as one might at first suppose, the exact opposite - the butt to the shoulder in the position ready for firing!

    It's all so confusing! Both the above are what make me still have reservations about the command being "shoulder arms" in a combat situation?

    Oh and BTW, the context is some revolutionaries practising with stolen rifles, all very paramilitary, but nothing to do with real army drill!
     

    Grey Fox

    Senior Member
    UK - English
    Thanks, again, irlandés - finally scored a bullseye! (that's about as far as my jargon with "aiming" goes - darts!) ;)

    And yes, "discharge" could "trigger off" a very interesting thread... :)

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited:

    mullet57

    Senior Member
    US English
    I was in the military many moons ago.:)

    I agree that “order arms” would be a better fit as a military command . Lower arms would work in a non military setting.

    In the US military today the command “lock and load” is used right before going into battle or a dangerous place.

    Order arms “a position in the manual of arms; the rifle is held vertically on the right side with the butt on the ground; often used as a command “

    Lock and Load “The firing line command to put the weapon's safety to the on position and load the weapon with ammunition and await further orders from the range officer. In combat an command to prepare to fight”
     

    FerhagoH

    New Member
    English-Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I am a reenactor who portrays a soldier in King George III's 9th Regiment of Foot circa 1777. I have worked with El Regimento Fijo de Puerto Rico, a reenactment group that portrays a Puerto Rican garrison unit circa 1790's. The following commands are written in Spanish, then the English equivalent, followed by a short description of the action.

    Descansen las armas: Order arms. The firelock is held by the barrel in the right hand and the butt rests on the ground.

    Armas al hombro: Shoulder arms. The firelock is brought to rest on the left shoulder and is held by the butt in the left hand.

    Carguen: Prime and load. With the firelock held by the left hand, the right hand removes a cartridge from your cartridge box, tear it open with your teeth, prime the pan, close the frizzen, cast the lock about, pour rest of powder and ball down barrel, seat ball on powder charge using ramrod, return ram rod, come to the ready (musket held vertical with the lock next to your left cheek).

    Preparen: Make ready. Your left hand holds the lock aloft while the right hand pulls the hammer back to full cock.

    Apunten: Present. The British felt “aiming” was dishonorable. It appears the Spanish, with “apunten,” and surely the rebels, with “take aim,” felt otherwise.

    Fuego: Fire. Discharge your weapon. In some cases you wait for a command to return to the loading sequence, and in some you go there automatically.

    I do not know of a command to “lower” your weapon. If anything, a unit would go to the shoulder or to the order. There is a command, bajen armas, however it is a command similar to order arms where the lock is at your right side and you tilt the barrel forward a little. Lastly, there is no command to “unload,” as our weapons only hold one round and it leaves the weapon with the command of “fire.”

    I hope this helps, late as it is!
     

    Grey Fox

    Senior Member
    UK - English
    Thanks, Ferhago, interesting details. Unfortunately too late for that specific job. Actually, the context wasn't official military, but more "paramilitary", guerillas, civilians taking up arms and organising themselves in a pseudo-military fashion. Certainly not
    commands on drill or parade, but in action and in a fairly ad hoc situation, nothing like a real army unit, so I felt that "bajen armas" would sound rather contrived as "shoulder arms".
     
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