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Imperial Guard at Present Arms
The “present arms” command has been used as a sign of respect by militaries around the world since the 16th century. The weapon is brought to the front and shown in an inactive and nonthreatening posture. With the left hand the musket is turned to the right so that the lock plate is facing to the front with the right hand grasping the small of the stock. The piece, now vertical in front of the soldier’s body, the barrel turned towards the body. With the left hand grasping the musket, the thumb is just above the lock plate, with the elbow kept close to the side and forearm horizontal with the ground. This maneuver, or slight variation thereof, has been used from the age of musketry to the modern era.