Wheel movements can be one of the most difficult techniques to master when you are just starting out.
Unfortunately (in my opinion), JROTC cadet color teams are relegated to their service drill and ceremonies manual and cannot compete using the ceremonial standard. I’ll give you two examples of why I use the word, “unfortunately:”
- Cadets on a color team are not allowed to march shoulder-to-shoulder (I’m not talking about awkwardly pressing in with all of your might, just touching shoulders), they must march at close interval. What happens when the color is blown into either color bearer’s face and that color bearer cannot see anything? I’ll tell you what happens, alignment and spacing a shot. Shoulders touching is the answer and there are established techniques to execute it and make it look perfect. The same goes for moving to the 4-inch distance when halting.
- Color teams must only pivot using the rifle guards at either end. This makes for a team that goes from marching in place ad rotating on the pivot end to practically running on the other end. That is, unless the team understand that 8 counts is the norm to execute a wheel movement.
On with the lesson for this article!
The technique that many teams use is to take a flagstaff (without a color or with a cased color) and have each member hold onto the staff while executing wheel movements and even marching forward. Sometimes teams have put the flagstaff in the harnesses that the color bearers wear. Sometimes, this just won’t work- see the picture below.