Eleven General Orders of the Sentry

All Navy Members Should Be Able to Recite These Rules from Memory

navy general orders of the sentry graphic

 © The Balance, 2018

In the Navy and Marine Corps, there are eleven General Orders of a Sentry - also known of General Orders of the Watch. The Army and Air Force have condensed these eleven orders into three.

Who Needs to Know the Orders of a Sentry?

These are the rules the gate guards, duty officers, and officers of the watch must abide by when on guard duty. Their job is to protect the base or area on the base where people and property reside. Failing to adhere to these standards can cause big problems for you as an individual or worse cause grave damage to people or property.

The Eleven General Orders of a Sentry as listed in the Navy's DEP (Delayed Enlistment Program) study guide are below. During boot camp, recruits will be required to quote any one of, or all of the Eleven General Orders of the Sentry from memory anytime, anywhere and to anyone.

When Should Recruits Learn the Orders of a Sentry?

Recruits should learn the Eleven General Orders of a Sentry while in DEP prior to departure for Recruit Training. This will give them an advantage over others in their division and will provide some valuable time to perform additional required items the first few days in boot camp.

The Navy version below is slightly different than the Marine Corps version (mostly because ranks and titles differ between the Navy and USMC), and a whole lot different than the Army version. Standing duty, standing guard, guarding your post, or standing watch all are terms used by the military to mean that you are the person to hold security for that area for that particular time.

Navy General Orders of the Sentry

  1. To take charge of this post and all government property in view.
  2. To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert, and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
  3. To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.
  4. To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guard house than my own.
  5. To 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, Command Duty Officer, Officer of the Deck, and Officers and Petty Officers of the Watch only.
  1. To talk to no one except in the line of duty.
  2. To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.
  3. To call the Officer of the Deck in any case not covered by instructions.
  4. To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.
  5. 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.

Army General Orders of the Sentry

  1. I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.
  2. . I will obey my special orders and perform all of my duties in a military manner.
  3. I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.

Marine General Orders of the Sentry

  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.
  1. Talk to no one except in the line of duty. It is all business when on duty.
  2. Give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.
  3. To call the Corporal of the Guard in any case not covered by instructions.
  4. Salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.
  5. 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.