call (one) to attention(redirected from called them to attention)
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.