Know What to Say and How to Say it

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Reporting statements are a must for all competitive drill teams, color teams (color guards), tetrads (4-man), teandems (2-man) and solos. Even if the performance is not on the competitive field all, except for the color team, can have an introduction statement for the audience.

Team Responses for Inspection

Your team should have standardized responses for each team member when addressed by an inspector. Something like these would be good:

“Yes, Sir (or Ma’am)!

Or put Sir (or Ma’am) at the beginning and end of each statement:
“Sir (or Ma’am), Yes, Sir (or Ma’am)!”

If a team member does not know an answer, standardize a response like this:
“Sir, I do not know the answer to your question, but I will find out.”

Commanders: Reporting-in and Reporting-out

At some drill meets, a judge will walk over to the team and receive the report-in and then the team performs without an integrated report-in.

Personal note: I do not appreciate “request permission” in an integrated (within the routine) reporting statement. You are here and I’ve given you the signal that your team or you may begin. Requesting permission can sound weak.

Either before or just after the beginning of your performance, center yourself on the head judge and introduce yourself (if performing solo) or your team. Here is what I use when I was commander of my team back in high school: “Sir, the Agua Fria Air Force Junior ROTC Drill Team reporting-in to utiliza and dominate the exhibition drill deck!” After an acknowledgement, I would say, “Thank you, Sir!” If you report-in before the performance begins, “Sir, The Agua Fria Air Force Junior ROTC Drill Team requests permission to enter Exhibition Drill pad [area, floor]!”

Don’t just “request permission,” report-in! Be assertive!

For the report-out:

If it is required, just before you finish your performance, report to the head judge something like this, “Sir, this concludes the Agua Fria Air Force Junior ROTC Drill Team’s exhibition drill performance!” After an acknowledgement, “Thank you, Sir!” Don’t just march off, perform off, unless your SOP tells you that timing and judging ends there at the report-out.

“Requesting permission to continue!”

Don’t ever say this. This is what runs through my head when I’m judging and hear this:

1. You didn’t practice and created your routine 12 hours ago and forgot something and you are stalling for time to think.

2. You didn’t practice enough and are worn out and need to catch your breath.

I have no idea if either of these thoughts are true, but this is what you are communicating: something is not quite right and you are not creating the professional atmosphere that a team or soloist needs.

For Regulation Drill (including Color Team/Guard)

Reporting in and out have almost become their own entities with elaborate statements. Check the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for the drill meet you are attending, there may be some requirement. Statements are usually full of good information like this:

“Sir, XYZ high school drill team (color team) drilling in accordance with (Your Service) manual (number), reporting for regulation drill.”

Once you create the perfect statement for your school, stick with it for each phase.

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