11 General Orders for Sentry

The 11 General Orders of a Sentry are the rules to follow when serving as a guard or on watch (sentry). Every branch of the military has these rules, but they are particularly detailed and stressed in the navy, Marines and Coast Guard. You as a recruit will be expected to memorize the General Orders. Your drill instructor will most likely call on you to recite a random order…so be able to respond word for word. Learn the USMC general orders before you ship out to boot camp.

Marine Corps General Orders

1. Take charge of this post and all government property in view.
2. Walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
3. Report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.
4. To repeat all calls [from posts]more distant from the guardhouse than my own.
5. Quit my post only when properly relieved.
6. To receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me, all orders from the Commanding Officer, Officer of the Day, Officers, and Non-Commissioned Officers of the guard only.
7. Talk to no one except in the line of duty.
8. Give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.
9. To call the Corporal of the Guard in any case not covered by instructions.
10. Salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.
11. 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

35 thoughts on “11 General Orders for Sentry”

  1. There is a unwritten 12th General Order in the Marines

    12. I shall walk my post from flank to flank, and take no shit from any rank.

    No kidding.

  2. SIR: MY 11TH GENERAL ONDER IS TO WALK MY POST FROM FLANK TO FLANK SALUTING ALL OTHERS ABOVE MY RANK…SIR LCpl USMC 60-64 when THEIR WERE only 10 GENERAL ORDERS

  3. Drill instructor: Whats your 12th general order private?
    Private: the general order after the 11th one, ‘sir.

  4. Standing compartment watch in Navy boot camp, inspection team comes in. I snap to present arms and report. The Chief inspector says, “Recruit, what would you do if a naked lady came running through here followed by a herd of wild elephants?” I think for a second, then reply, “Sir! The 9th General Order of a Sentry is, Sir! To call the corporal of the guard in any case not covered by instructions, Sir!” Pass. Yep, memorize those orders.

  5. One of my best times as a sentry in the Corps was catching my company commander sneak on my post. My fellow sentry and i went through the whole drill of not only challenging him but we had fun with making him get on his face. After his second failed attempt, he never tried again. He was pissed but he joked about it later.

    1. memorize the number with it. i memorized the first few words of each order at first and then built upon that, plus my recruiting station’s poolees got together outside of pt and worked on memorizing.

    2. Fastest way to learn them,,, is “Not know them,, when the Plt Sgt asks”,, guaranteed,,,, you will learn them then…

      1. Very true. When I was a Poolee for the Corp I was new to all the ranks and orders since I didn’t do JROTC or anything like that. We had an E-3 (Lance Corporal) who noticed I wasn’t sounding off. He was yelling at me getting me to repeat everything for the whole Poolee function. The hardest thing for me was the 6th order to the sentry and officer ranks but I know them now. I never did get to ship off to Parris Island. I lied on my medical form about medication and three days before I shipped my recruiter called me and said if I didn’t get my dad to lie on a police statement for my federal background check I couldn’t ship. I decided to keep my dad or of prison and not ship out. I still talk to most of the guys I would’ve shipped out with.

    3. Recite them to your friends. Have people text it to you. That was the easiest ways for me anyways. Especially to have people text it to you randomly because you’re going to read a text to see what it is about.

    4. Say them over and over till you can remember them then remembering the order;This helped me remember the order of my general orders. I took the first two words of each general order and when asked I would say them in my head till I reached the one requested:
      Example: Drill Instructor;
      Recruit what is you 7th. General Order.
      Me quickly saying this in my head without breaking POA;
      To take
      To walk
      To report
      To repeat
      To quit
      To receive
      To talk
      Answer: Sir, this recruits 7th general order is: To talk to no one except in the line of duty, Sir.

    5. Get a copy of the 1957 movie, The D I starring Jack Webb. Very early in the movie, a certain sergeant O’Neill attempts to harass and trip up the young sentry, Private Madison. As you can see, the sergeant definitely picked the wrong man to pick on.

      Now pay attention to the dialogue. When Sergeant O’Neill asks him:

      “Moore your DI?”
      If the private says “Yes sir” he’s in deep shit. When referring to a superior officer, always mention rank first. In this instance, Private Madison gives the correct answer:

      “Sergeant Moore is my Drill Instructor, Sir!”

      O’Neill then asks:
      “Is Sergeant Moore a GOOD DI?”

      Private Madison:
      “Sergeant Moore is my Drill Instructor, Sir!”
      If Private Madison had simply answered “yes sir” he would have been severely chewed out. Why? Because as a private, he is not equipped to evaluate the competence of a superior officer! Thus, his was the correct response.

      Sergeant O’Neill :
      “What’s your 9th general order?”
      Here, Sergeant O’Neill tries again to trip him up by asking him a random general order. But Private Madison, responds verbatim:

      “Sir, my 9th general order is. To call the corporal of the guard in any case not covered by instructions.”

      It will help tremendously if you play it on your I-phone constantly in your spare time. Play it during your sleep as well as any rest period until it becomes second nature!

      Good luck in your career.

      Semper Fi!

    1. 2) To walk my spot in a military manner and take no shit from the Company Commander. You’ll do time in the Brig for that one.

  6. Due to NJROTC, I’ve learned them all. Word of advice?
    – make sure you learn them line by line. soon they’ll become second nature to you.

    1. Get a copy of the movie “The DI” starring Jack Webb. Play that part over and over until it becomes second nature!

  7. More than once these were life savers, especially while in Indian Country

    S/Sgt H&S CO. 1ST BATTALION 6TH MARINES, 2ND MARDIV

  8. I tried to join the Marine Corp when I was a teenager, but I failed the physical because of my knee and because I have flat feet. When I heard the news I was really devastated because not only my childhood dream of becoming a Marine had been shattered but mainly because my entire world had crumbled around me. Aside from the above, I still get goose bumps whenever I see the Marine Honor Guard marching as well as the Color Guard. Finally, I would like to add that I never had the honor and the privilege of joining the Marine I still hold the highest respect, esteem, and admiration toward the United States Marine Corp and I also pray for those Marines who are presently serving overseas as well as all of our troops and for their safe return home. SEMPER FI!

  9. I am the daughter of a Marine, who taught me so much ex. Love of Country, loyalty…I am 44 now and he is so precious to me. He is retired, of course, a Korean War Vet. He has told me stories of Korea..just today how these Grneral orders saved his butt. These are important but to me No man left behind & Semper Fi will always stand in my memory. I never got to see ny daddy in uniform but everytime I see a soldier, I thank them for their service just as I was taught by the greatest man I have ever known, Sgt. Charles B. Dickson, Dog Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division!

  10. General Order Number 12: To walk my post flank to flank, to take no sh** from any rank.

    General Order Number 13: To walk my post, round and round. F*** this Sh**, i’m sitting down.

  11. This is awesome, I’m in a program called “JROTC” And I’m trying too learn all of my general orders. I have used this over 20 times. Now I know them all!

    1. Keep them memorized. You will be tested on them. You will need to know them when on guard. You will use them in the line of duty sometimes. They are as important as the orders of the day.

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