When to Drape the Deceased

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My firefighting friends in California had a great question for me. Here are my thoughts. What a tragedy to lose a fellow firefighter, emergency medic, or law enforcement officer, let alone a member of the armed forces. However, it does happen and all too often. Since we know that death comes to us all and that it is just a …

All About Posting or Presenting Colors

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There is quite a bit of information and several situations that every color team needs to know to maintain the American flag in the position of honor – on the marching right or in front. The American flag never marches any other position. Never. Military and para-military (just about every organization that has its members in uniform) should follow military …

How to Create and Teach Drill Team Ripples

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The “domino effect” does not accurately describe what we call a ripple in exhibition drill. Dominoes fall and that’s it. Yes, it’s a ripple, but nothing else happens. Not very effective for a drill team. This video is a great illustration of the domino effect, using books. [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWUPA-xUsFo[/embedyt] However, we are talking about a ripple for a military drill team. …

The “Savard Manual” or “Savards”

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A short time ago, Leslie Savard Hamud sent a question to me through my facebook page, The Honor Guard Manual. To me, the question a little cryptic and out of left field- but I really enjoy left field questions! Here is how the conversation went: Leslie: Hello, I am the daughter of Al Savard and my dad is a proud …

Reciting the Pledge with a Colors Presentation

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At ceremonies across the country, many local municipalities request a color team from military installations or even first responders. Quite often, music is not available so those gathered recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The picture above is from nba.com. Here is how to do it: The MC says something like this. “Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the presentation [or …

JROTC Drill Team Issues

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DrillMaster, My name is John and I was selected to be the drill commander for this year. It’s only been a few days and we are already having problems, especially between my selected leaders. The whole atmosphere changed the next day when my AI handed me the drill cord, it was like my leaders didn’t want to socialize with me …

Color Guard and Cadet Height

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After receiving the same question several times, I decided I had to write this. Some instructors or even cadets try to force cadets on a color team into tallest-to-shortest (viewer’s left-to-right) no matter the skill level. That’s a recipe for embarrassment. The height of the members of a military color guard/color team is a secondary issue. The primary issue is …

Color Guard Part 1: Preventing “Flag Wrap”

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In competition, (A & AF) JROTC color teams must follow their service drill and ceremonies manual to the letter, for ceremonies, we can incorporate some tools to help navigate around possible problems. The wind can be a serious issue, especially when at Order or when traveling. However, remember this: you may not tuck your color, per the manual, but that …

The Graveside Sequence For Funeral Directors Part 1

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This is a Full Honors Funeral with all elements present. A Standard Honor Funeral would encompass the pallbearers also firing the Three-Volley Salute as the firing party. Military and first responder funerals are about the deceased, but for the family. With that being, the family needs to be able to see every element of the honor guard. In the image …

An Embarrassing Color Guard Performance

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I created this article for two reasons: Help deflect questions that usually arise and come my way. The questions go something like this: “Can we do this/[is this proper] for our color guard?” Communicate to everyone, even Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, law enforcement, and firefighters that what you do is usually caught on camera and/or video and affects others in …