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. When you see a person approaching
your post, take the position of port arms and call, Halt!
Who is there? The challenge must be made at a
distance sufficient to prevent your being rushed by the
person being challenged. If the person answers Friend
or Petty officer of the guard or gives another reply
indicating a friendly nature, call, Advance (friend, and
so on) to be recognized.
If you challenge a party of persons, after receiving a
reply indicating the party is friendly, you call, Advance
one person to be recognized. When you have identified
the one, you have the person bring up the rest of the
party and identify each individual.
You must positively identify all persons challenged
before permitting them to pass. If you cant identify
them to your satisfaction, detain them and call the petty
officer of the guard.
Never let more than one person advance at a time. If
two persons approach at the same time, have them halt;
then advance the senior and pass that person (if properly
identified) before advancing the other person.
If the people are in a vehicle, you halt the vehicle
and inspect the drivers or the passengerscredentials, as
appropriate. (Normally, inspecting the driver of a
military vehicle is sufficient; but for a commercial truck
or taxi, you should check the passengers too.) If you
believe theres something suspicious about the vehicle
or its occupants, direct one of the occupants to get out
and approach you for recognition. If you arent satisfied
beyond a reasonable doubt that the people are
authorized to pass, detain the person or party and call
the petty officer of the guard.
When challenging, advancing, and passing persons
and patrols, always stand where you can get a good look
at them in such a way that you are protected from a
Relieving an Armed Watch
Two methods are used for relieving armed sentries.
One way (usually used ashore) is for the Petty Officer of
the Watch (POOW) to fall in the reliefs and march them
to their posts. Normally, each person in the relieving
detail is armed with a rifle. At each post, the petty officer
halts the ranks, and both the sentry being relieved and
the reporting sentry come to port arms while the person
being relieved passes any special orders or other
information the relief should know.
In the other method (usually used aboard ship),
each relieving sentry goes alone to the post. This sentry
normally is unarmed and will relieve the sentry of the
rifle or pistol as well as the post. The relief reports to the
sentry, I am ready to relieve you. The sentry executes
inspection arms and port arms and repeats the orders;
the relief says, I relieve you. The relieving procedure
is completed when the sentry being relieved passes the
rifle to the relief and says, I stand relieved.
Refer to the ships Standard Operating
Procedures (SOP) for relieving an armed watch.
When standing an armed watch with a pistol, you
must strictly observe the following additional
1. Keep the pistol in its holster except when the
watch is relieved or circumstances require you to use it.
Never engage in horseplay with the pistolit is a deadly
weapon and must always be treated as such.
2. Do not surrender the pistol to any unauthorized
3. The pistol normally is carried loaded aboard
ship with one round in the chamber. Two loaded clips
(magazines) are in the pouches attached to the pistol
belt. Leave the clips in their pouches.
4. When being relieved, a safe area for unloading a
pistol must be established. In a safe area, remove the
magazine from the pistol. With the weapon pointed in a
safe direction (i.e., barrel full of sand), carefully jack the
slide to the rear and remove the round from the chamber.
Check the chamber, ensuring no rounds are present.
Release the slide and let the hammer go home (weapons
terminology for returning the hammer to the uncocked
position). Dry fire the weapon and then engage the