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, …

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 …

Exhibition Color Guard? Consensus Says it’s OK!

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I cannot even bring myself to insert a picture of a color guard performing exhibition moves. Instead, here is an awesome firefighter color guard, the members of which were trained by yours truly. Reference: Training Circular 3-21.5; Marine Corps Order P5060.20; AF Manual 36-2203; The Honor Guard Manual I have heard from several cadets that their color guard has performed …

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 Minimum and Maximum Number for a Color Guard

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Two of the questions that I receive quite often: How many flags can our color guard carry? What do we do if one of our four team members do not show? The Maximum With two rifle (axe) guards you can have what the joint service color team carries (in this order): US State (not usual with more than one service …

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 Honor Guard Equipment Checklist

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These are suggestions for your team. Ceremonial Equipment 9.5′ flagstaffs with spade finial 4′ x 5.5′ (4′ x 6′) Indoor/Parade fringed flags US (0216) State Military Service Law enforcement Fire (7784) EMS (7625) POW/MIA (7724) Colors harnesses (the best for training) Colors harnesses (the best for performance) Flag Stands These are beautiful These are economical (AMG) Floor Stand Adapters for …

The “Ownership” Style of Leadership

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There really isn’t a style of leadership called the “Ownership Style”, it is the best way I have found to describe this very bad technique of leading subordinates. It most likely stems from selfishness, insecurity, and fear and it is wrong. Here is how it works. In each one of these pictures, there is at least one thing wrong. This …