Regarding a Driller’s Bearing

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Some Driller colleagues of mine tried to put together a list of what one might consider the “basics” of drill. However, this title brings Standing Manual, marching and even the manual of arms to mind. So, “basics” as the title does not work to fully describe this attempt. ”Bearing” however, does.


Main Entry: bearing

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: person’s conduct, posture

Synonyms: address, air, aspect, attitude, behavior, carriage, comportment, demeanor, deportment, display, front, look, manner, mien, poise, port, pose, presence, set, stand


: the manner in which one bears or comports oneself

Now that we know what bearing is, how do we apply it to the military drill world? What made this list? Good questions. These are the things that, if a Driller does not record himself, he may miss completely since he is not aware. Here is the answer of what to keep in mind when drilling going from head to toe, let’s call them Bearing Basics:

Bearing Basics

  • Keeping one’s mouth closed
  • Staring at the rifle
  • Keeping one’s neck straight
  • Unintentional facial expressions
  • Grunting
  • Pinning the free hand/arm or purposefully doing something with either/both
  • Hip and shoulder agreement or disagreement
  • Posture (back and shoulders)
  • Purposeful foot movement

Military Bearing

Think of Regulation Drill (RD) and how you must look the whole time: You must remain at strict Attention and execute all movements as sharply as possible. But what about when it comes to Exhibition Drill (XD), does one need to have strict military bearing? Well, the answer is, no, one does not have to have a strict military bearing in XD. If so, that would kill certain types of performances. One needs “military flavor,” though.

Military Flavor

There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules about this term; it’s quite ambiguous, but here are some suggestions to help Drillers:

  • Wear some sort of “uniform”

A colleague of mine wrote on her Facebook page about Drillers wearing “church clothes.” I agree, a nice pair of trousers, belt, shirt and tie look silly and if you do not wear any type of headgear, you are not looking at your routine as a whole. Just putting on matching clothes does not work in this case! Your clothing is part of the overall effectiveness of your routine- PAY ATTENTION TO IT!

  • Watch your movement

A Driller needs to experiment with all kinds of different influences for their body/foot movement during their routine. If you rely too heavily on something other than a more military type of movement, you’ve lost the military flavor of your routine.

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