Drill teams come in all sizes for different reasons. Teams can range in size from nine to twenty five members with or without a commander marching outside of the formation. A tetrad, the shorter name for a four- or five-man exhibition drill team, creates a performance for small areas like a ballroom dance floor or on a stage.
Why a tetrad?
If your unit already has an unarmed, armed, one or more tandem (two Drillers) and soloists, why have yet another team especially if the team cannot compete (no category at local meets)? The answer is that the tetrad team is the perfect “portable” size. Does your school visit the local elementary and middle schools and perform for the students? You should. You need to advertise JROTC and give younger children an opportunity to see
There are specifics that a tetrad can follow for competitions (click here) or the team can design a routine that is specifically for entertaining an audience during a formal dinner.
The following diagrams are an example of what a tetrad can do. It will give you an idea of what your team may want to do.
The Progression of a Tetrad performance
You can use the following description or modify it to suit your needs.
1. The Entrance
If your team has five members (the fifth is the commander, usually armed with a sword/saber), the commander to enter at the head of the team, or even before the team, with the team following as soon as the commander posts at his/her spot.
You will probably want the team to enter and encircle the commander. The whole team would then look like the 5-side of a die, like this.
You may want to have your team enter so that they are all facing center like this.
2. Close-in Drill
Here the team’s rifle movements need to be very conservative since you are in close quarters. Rifle movement should be constrained to spinning and short exchanges (Port, Leaning, etc.)
Note: Numbers two and three can be reversed, starting farther away from the commander and then stepping in closer.
3. The Step Back
Now, the team can be a little more open to rifle movement with more exaggerated spins, tosses and bigger exchanges (Shoulder, Ground, etc.).
4. If you have room…
You can depart from the usual formation and work into and from a single-file line (column) like this.
Prior to leaving, whether you execute number 4 or not, it’s a good idea to come forward in a single-file line for individual introductions. With the introductions, each member, commander last, can step forward, perform a “signature move” and then step back into line.
6. The Departure
The team can face toward their exit point and march off without performing anything else, or they can give the audience one last team move to wow the crowd and leave them wanting more.