Ask DrillMaster- Colors and Spacing

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Question: Hi, I just found your website. I have an urgent question. How many steps do there need to be from the head judge before and after executing eyes right, regarding colorguard? Now, I have read both  AFMAN-36-2203 and FM-3-21.5, and in the Colorguard section, there is no statement addressing my question. However, in the category regarding the Squadron/Platoon, there is a section on “Pass in Review” which states that the command “eyes right” must be commanded six paces before reaching the person who is “saluted” and the command “ready front” must be called six paces after: [The following is from FM-3-21.5{AFMAN-36-2203 sates something similar)

(7) As the reviewing party approaches the Colors, the commander of troops inconspicuously commands Present, ARMS (six steps from the Colors) and Order, ARMS (six steps beyond the Colors). They do not salute when passing to the rear of the Colors. The Color guard and bearers execute Eyes Right. The organizational Color dips (salutes).

BUT, this is regarding a regular formation, NOT a color guard. I digress….My main point is that if colorguards DO need to do eyes right/ready front six paces before/after, how do I do it??? The field is 60ft by 60ft. THERE IS WAY little space for us to do this. Main Main point: DO judges care if we do the six-pace thing? Will they deduct points if we don’t?


Answer: Hi Ian,

Man, you have done your research! I commend you on that.

Now on to your point. I cannot give you a definite answer. Sorry. But! What I can give you is guidance based on my years in ROTC, the AF and as a judge. As a judge I would look for the 6 paces. Since you have very little space in which to work I would suggest that you use the space wisely (I’m sure you already are). Since you are using the space wisely then don’t give a judge any reason to look any further into the routine. Here’s what I mean: keep everything perfect and have each team member project nothing but confidence. Make sure your step size is the same and also make sure your step type is the same. I’ve attached a book that I’ve been working on for a little while. I’m going to publish it soon but I’d like to send you this copy. Read through it and send me your thoughts. It may help you for this weekend.

I wish you good luck with the competition! Please keep me posted on how your team does.


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