break down (in the army)

collilert

Member
Korea, South(Korean)
Hi, guys.
I want to know the meaning of 'break down' here.

When I was in the army, a U.S. sergeant said to a platoon, "Break down."
(Probably related to drill and ceremony stuff, I guess.)
I wonder what that means.
 
  • Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    It really is weird. I've heard: "break ranks", but not "break down". Not in this context, I mean.

    You can find different meanings of "breaking down" here. I can only say that the sergeant couldn't have been telling them to break down and cry like babies.

    Still, it's not unusual in the army to break someone down - make him feel disheartened. Only it's got nothing to do with ceremonies.



    EDIT: Welcome to the Word Reference Forums :D
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    It might help if you quoted a bit more. The writer must have said more about this. The only possibly military related phrase that springs to mind when hearing this is "break camp" which means to pack up ready to move on.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi, guys.
    I want to know the meaning of 'break down' here.

    When I was in the army, a U.S. sergeant said to a platoon, "Break down."
    (Probably related to drill and ceremony stuff, I guess.)
    I wonder what that means.
    The only thing I can think of is that there might have been a reviewing stand or bleachers assembled for a review and to "break it down" would be to disassemble and stow whatever was assembled.
     

    EnchiladaJack

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    They didn't happen to be marching, did they? The phrase "break down" or "break it down" or "break it on down" is used in several common marching cadences used by the U.S. military.

    Example:

    Drill sergeant: Sound off
    Troops: 1, 2
    Drill sergeant: Sound off
    Troops: 3, 4
    Drill sergeant: Break it on down now
    Troops: 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4
     
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