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

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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 …

The Colors Reverse How-to

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This is for Army and Air Force. For the Colors Counter March (Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard), Click here. We can read in the Army Training Circular how to execute the move and even see the provided diagram, but it sometimes really helps to see exactly what the feet do. To begin, here is what the Colors Reverse* does: …

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 …

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 …