Soldiers usually use the command “Eyes Right” for dignitaries and leaders, but in a recent event, soldiers used it to salute a Belgian boy.
As they march together, soldiers use the command “Eyes Right!” to salute a foreign dignitary or a leader as a mark of respect.
The U.S. Military has the following procedure for the “Eyes Right!” command:
The commands are Eyes, RIGHT (LEFT) and Ready, FRONT. These commands may be given at a halt or while marching. The preparatory command and command of execution are given on the right (left) foot while marching. On the command RIGHT (LEFT), all persons, except those on the right (left) flank, turn their heads and eyes smartly 45 degrees to the right (left) (figure 3.6). To return their heads and eyes to the front, the command Ready, FRONT is given as the left (right) foot strikes the ground. On the command FRONT, heads and eyes are turned smartly to the front.
In this case, Canadian troops were marching on the road after attending a memorial service. A little Belgian boy waited for them patiently and when the soldiers approached, he stood erect and salute them.
The boy has saluted soldiers in the past, but none have ever responded. Troops usually are ordered to ignore spectators. Breaking this rule can also have stiff consequences; for example, a band leader was fired for smiling at Obama during the march.
But in the case of the young Belgian boy, the leader of the Canadian troops marching issued the command “Eyes Right!” and all the troops followed the order. They looked at the boy as a sign of respect.