A question from India: Why is drill necessary in the armed forces?
Answer: 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 body- the unit), etc. It also helps trainees react immediately to commands; all of the qualities that an individual needs to accomplish the mission. Adding a rifle into drill helps the trainee become very familiar with that piece of equipment. The more familiar one is with their weapon, the better able they are to use it.
Drill is very necessary in initial training and as a refresher throughout one’s career. To understand this a bit better, watch this brief documentary on drill and ceremonies.
Marching, both armed and unarmed, is a foundation to military life. We can see it almost on a daily bases. Now, if it’s not your specific job at the moment, like a member of your installation’s honor guard or one of the Presidential Honor Guard units in and around Washington DC (or the equivalent in another country), drill and ceremonies still plays a role in what you do.
You are not expected to be perfect when asked/told to march in an upcoming parade, that’s why we retrain and practice. By the way, anyone who actually expects immediate excellence after a time of not marching at all is not living in reality.