Wearing the Mourning Band

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First responders have a black band that is worn over or around their badge/shield like what is pictured. The band signifies the loss of a colleague usually through a Line of Duty Death (LODD); the military equivalent to this would be an Active Duty Death. Three questions arise: How long should the department wear the band? Thirty days is the …

The Color Guard and Multiple National & State Colors

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Multiple National Colors So, what is a team to do when you have more than one national color? Here is some information to consider: When overseas Air Force Base Honor Guard teams carry both colors when called to present them on base and in the local community. The photo here is of the Spangdahlem Air Base team when we (I’m …

Making Things More “Ceremonialer”

DrillMaster Color Guard/Color Team, Commentary, Honor Guard 0 Comments

“Ceremonialer” is the term I created as I’ve watched members of the military, first responders (many who are veterans), and cadets perform movements that do not bring any more reverence or honor to what they are doing at ceremonies . Similar terms would be: When it comes to the American flag and rendering honors, never should anyone use the thinking, …

Using Colors Cases

DrillMaster Color Guard/Color Team, Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional 0 Comments

JROTC color guards compete throughout each school year and part of the color guard competition is uncasing and casing the colors. It’s a very technical process involving and adaptation of Sling Arms, the uncasing sequence, an adaptation of Tighten Slings, and casing sequence. Not only that, but the team must spend several minutes executing precision movements in a box no …

Raising and Lowering the Flag

DrillMaster Ask DrillMaster, Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional 0 Comments

Across the country,  JROTC units receive requests to perform duties several times each year and Memorial Day is no different. Unfortunately, what the cadets are requested to do can create concern. Here is an example. Recently a CMSgt JROTC instructor wrote to me seeking guidance since his cadets had practiced and practiced a certain way (read: properly, as the Chief …

Just Don’t Do It…

DrillMaster Color Guard/Color Team, Instructional 0 Comments

The picture below was taken as an example. While there are issues with the rifle guards’ salutes, the main problem here is the color bearers’ salute. The salute pictured here executed by the color bearers is only executed in the Marines, Navy and Coast Guard by armed (rifle or guidon) individuals when not in formation when approaching or being approached …

How to Halt from Right/Left Step

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With me spending 27 years associated with Air Force drill and ceremonies, the Marine Corps style of D&C has always been unusual to me. Having said that, I’ve studied the MCO several times and have worked with a couple of Marines who have been a great help for me. Not long ago, A Navy Master Chief NJROTC instructor had a …

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

DrillMaster Honor Guard Training, Instructional 0 Comments

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

DrillMaster Drill Team Training, DrillMaster Certification, Honor Guard Training, Instructional 0 Comments

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 …