Parades - random question


5-Year Member
Aug 2, 2016
I just browsed through pictures of the latest parade. Pardon my non-USNA lingo as I ask my question: How are companies and lines arranged? Some companies had plebes in the front line mixed with upperclassmen. Others didn't (or I couldn't tell because of the angle of the picture). Are the Mids given a specific predetermined spot? Does the arrangement vary by company? How is each Mid's location determined?
The front line is a mix of sword bearers (platoon commanders, xo, ops, and other 1/c with rank) and those with a rifle. Some companies have all firsties and others make Plebes stand there. Usually the arrangement is by height. As you can see it's not 100% consistent as firsties like to hide in the mix many times. The guide on is usually a Plebe with the company commander up front. The most coveted spot is the guide who gets to high knee, find the spot for the company commander to move the company to. The goal is to the lose the cover and essentially be as ridiculous a possible with the high knees.
It used to be tallest in the front, but a couple years ago the drill sergeant changed it so it goes from shortest in the front to tallest in the back, with the exception of the 4 sword bearers in the front line. Your position isn't fixed, its dependent on the people who are actually present for the parade and how tall they are (there are around 150 people in a company but usually only half that number show up on a given parade due to excusals/movement orders). As NavyHoops alluded to, Firsties (and 2/c .... and youngsters.....) like to hide in the middle or be near their friends, so the sizing usually isn't perfect.