The military forces often get themselves in such a situation where the element of surprise and stealth are absolutely necessary. A single noise and your cover is blown. Thousands of lives can be lost.

In the fifth century BC, Socrates said “If we hadn’t a voice or a tongue, and wanted to express things to one another, wouldn’t we try to make signs by moving our hands, hand, head and the rest of our body…” 

 Following the same principle, the first records of hand signs used to pass on important secret information can be traced back to Native America in the 15th century. It was known as Lingua franca’ and was used by the neighbouring tribes to communicate. 

Now, after 5 centuries, sign language has become an integral part of military operations. Here are some of the basic hand/arm signs:

1-10 Counting Hand Signals


 Action Hand Signals


People, Animal Hand Signals


Movement Hand Signals


 Weapons – Articles Hands Signals


Formation – Position Hand Signal


There you go. Next time you sit to watch a war movie, you know what the guys means when they randomly start waving and thumping their hands as if they forgot their lines!


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