Why is Drill Necessary in the Armed Forces?

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From India: why is drill necessary in the armed forces? Thanks for the question! Drill is life for some, but what about those trainees coming into the military through Basic Training and Boot Camp? Why do they have to drill unarmed and even armed? Drill instills discipline, timing, teamwork, confidence, followership, leadership, coordination, togetherness, esprit de corps (spirit of the …

Color in a Color Guard

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You may think that this is an oxymoron, of course there is color in a color guard- the team carried flags, hello! However, let’s look a little closer at some specifics. High schools have a school song, motto, and even school colors. Those colors can really enhance rifles: yellow tape used to make stripes on a black rifle stock or …

Suggested Sports Field Entrance and Exit

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I just finished a critique for a first responder color guard colors presentation which gave me an idea to write this article. Also see the How to Present the Colors at an Event article here. This one will go a little more in depth. Instead of a four-step interval, I suggest that the team enters with shoulders touching so that …

The Color Guard Wedge Formation

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Never, ever, ever, ever, should a color guard use this line formation with the American in the middle.   Someone will say, “But the American is higher.” That is NOT the standard. The standard is all colors at the same height and the American flag on the marching right. The American flag should never be taller for a color guard. …

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 …

The “Silver Brass” of the Silent Drill Platoon

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In the late 1970’s, the number one rifle inspector with the Marine Corps Silent Drill platoon passed on his brass, or the buttons and emblems from his uniform, to his successor. The brass continued to be passed on, and over time, the cleaning and polishing turned the once gold-colored brass silver. “Being able to wear the silver brass and to …

Making Things More “Ceremonialer”

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“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, …

A Reading Plan for JROTC Instructors and Cadets

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For many years now, I’ve received requests from JROTC instructors, especially those recently retired and new to the program, and some highly motivated cadets as to where to begin when teaching/learning drill. For regulation and color guard drill: Army- Training Circular (TC) 3-21.5.  Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard- Marine Corps Order (MCO)P5060.2 Air Force*- Air Force Manual (AFMAN) 36-2203 …

Using Colors Cases

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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 …

Color Guard: Two Guards, American Flag, and…?

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The standard color guard has four members: Right/Lead Guard American Flag Bearer Other Flag Bearer Left/Trail Guard Guards The guards are always armed (except in a chapel, at the discretion of the pastor). The weapons the guards may carry are: Ceremonial-style rifle (M1, M14, M1903) Modern automatic rifle (M16, etc., not as nice looking) Shotgun (fairly standard for law enforcement) …