call (one) to attention

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call (one) to attention

To instruct military personnel to stand at attention (which, in most cases, means looking forward and standing erect with one's arms at one's sides). The troops abruptly stopped marching when the drill sergeant called them to attention.
See also: attention, call
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

call someone to attention

to demand that someone assume the formal military stance of attention. The officer called the platoon to attention. The sergeant called us to attention.
See also: attention, call
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
They call us to attention. They raise the questions about who we are in America and what is being done in our names.
He would go through the routines, and as soon as we were all flat on our faces, he would call us to attention and double-time us around the field.