The Colors Reverse and Counter March How-to

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We can read in the Army Training Circular (and the Marine Corps Order) how to execute the move and even see the provided diagram, but it sometimes really helps to see exactly what the feet do. The Colors Reverse, called Counter March in the Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard, turns the team around 180 degrees without executing a wheel …

John-Wayne-in-The-Green-Berets

How to Shape a Beret

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How do you shape a beret? I’m glad yo asked! First: Cut out the lining. Second: Cut the cardboard so that it is just a small arch about 2 or 3 inches across the bottom so that whatever device you wear fits nicely. Third: Put on your beret and make sure it (the leather band around the bottom) is as …

To Fringe or Not to Fringe, That is the Question

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Fringe on my flag? Why? It is an honorable enrichment only, not an integral part of the flag. As it is attached on the edge, it does not “deface” the flag which therefore remains the Stars and Stripes of the US (as per the opinion of the US Attorney General in 1925). The fringe is used only inside or on …

All About the Shoulder Cord

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 How to Attach a Shoulder Cord or Aiguillette What’s a Shoulder Cord? Just a standard braided rope that fits onto the shoulder either underneath an epaulet (picture below, #452) or above the epaulet on the outside shoulder seam (picture below, #484SL). The cord above was specially made for the Modesto Fire Department Honor Guard by Shoulder Cords Unlimited. Glendale Paradestore …

Got Squeaky Shoes?

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While wearing your shoes (low quarters/boots/civvy shoes), move your feet back and forth and side to side to try to pinpoint from where the squeak is coming. Once you find the area that is squeaking, sprinkle it with corn starch or baking powder, inside and out. This will help to absorb noisy moisture and reduce or even eliminate noise. See …

How to Call Commands

Your Command Voice

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Have you considered your command voice? Have you looked at your service’s manual and actually read about what it says on the proper way to call commands? No, it doesn’t say monotone is OK, it doesn’t say the gravel-in-your-throat style is a good style, it says use inflection, be clear and more! Read! Don’t rely on a senior cadet to …

Firefighter Color Guard Axes at Right Shoulder

The “Magic White Glove Effect”

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It’s truly amazing. One minute you are doing your job in your department or unit and then supervision comes in and chooses you and a couple of others “to be an honor guard” for an upcoming event. You have no idea what that means, but you have complete faith in your leadership as they hand out the white gloves that …

The DrillMaster Reading List

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Over time, I will update this list as needed. For now, educate yourself. Many of the following manuals are the Resources page. Service Drill and Ceremonies Training Circular 3-21.5, Drill and Ceremonies Marine Corps Order P5060.2 (with all four changes), Drill and Ceremonies Air Force Manual 36-2203, Drill and Ceremonies Regulation Drill Training (portable lesson plans) DrillMaster’s Color Guard Coach’s …

The Difference Between Achievement and Success

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“My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others. That is nice but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.” Helen Hayes Actress Photo courtesy, helenhayes.com

Drill Team Technique

Regarding Competition

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Some, over the years, have said competition is a bad thing because little Johnny or Suzy get their feelings hurt. The instance given is the game Musical Chairs; all of the kids are running around then one doesn’t make it to a chair and “loses,” there is only one “winner.” What a sad way to look at such a fun …