Why is Close Order Drill Necessary in the Armed Forces?

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A question from India: Why is drill necessary in the armed forces? There are three types of drill: Regulation Drill (RD), Exhibition Drill (XD), Ceremonial Drill. Drill, mainly XD, is life for some, but what about those basic trainees coming into the military. Why do they drill unarmed and even armed? Close order drill, what we call, RD, instills discipline, …

Protocol for the Thin Blue and Red Line Flags

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FYI, this flag violates the Flag Code.  Question: I am a funeral director and have recently made funeral arrangements for a retired police officer. He is not a military veteran, so the family would like to drape his casket with the thin blue line flag (the black and white flag with the blue line representing police officers). I know with …

First Night Jitters

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One’s first performance can be a little stressful. Here are some words of wisdom to remember for just that situation. I’ve been associated with many performance ensembles over the years and one of the best pieces of advice has been: for that first performance in front of an audience, when you first go out, you will feel adrenaline coursing through …

Drill Team Technique

Last-Minute Performance Advice

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I am consistently asked about last-minute advice whether it be for a competition the next day the next week or even the next month. Most of the time the request for advice comes a bit too late to fix any major issues. What what a team can work on at the last minute is uniforms and haircuts, etc, but teams …

Tuck Your Gloves! But, In Your Epaulet?

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Some may find this innocuous, but (first responder) ceremonial guardsmen need to maintain a professional image when in uniform before, during and after a ceremony. Any other time that we are out of uniform, dress is most likely not an issue. For us in the military, it’s a big no-no to tuck gloves into an epaulet. That’s not where they belong …

American First Responder Joint Service Order

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Is this a “thing”? Possibly, my reasoning for the research and writing this article is to provide information that may be necessary for certain situations for American First Responders. For the US military, we have our joint service order or military order of precedence:  Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The order is based on the creation of …

Firefighter Uniform for the Funeral Procession

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I constantly receive questions on here my website and on my social media accounts. I also belong to a couple of Facebook first responder groups where drill and ceremonies and honor guard questions are posted from time-to-time. For some questions, I just read the responses and learn; for others, I am able to share my knowledge. This one was a …

The Honor Guard and the Suicide

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It’s been years since I was part of an Airman’s Active Duty (full honors) funeral who committed suicide (early 1990s). During the preparation for that funeral I remember some of my fellow guardsmen voicing their opinion as to whether the Airmen deserved full honors or even a flag on his casket. Suicide is looked upon as shameful; less so now, …

The Three Types of Respect

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And you probably thought there was only one type. I did initially. Thank you very much to my Facebook friends who chimed in giving me their requested feedback for this article. Very interesting! I need to make one point very clear, it does not matter what one “thinks” about this subject. “I think respect is…” What you think, what I …

The Burial at Sea

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Burial at Sea is a long standing maritime tradition and, just like a committal service on land, there are certain procedures to follow. Picture courtesy of navaltoday.com. It’s not just military members, Coast Guard or Merchant Mariners, there are also law enforcement and firefighting departments that have water-dedicated sections and burial at sea for the members of those sections would …