The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church has a wonderful youth program called Pathfinders to instill discipline, hard work, teamwork, and a whole host of other positive attributes, all while honoring our Lord and Savior.
There are three marching parts of the Pathfinder program: Drill Team, Honor Guard (includes color guard), and Drum Corps (a percussion section).
In early 2017, Leanna Clarke, Pathfinder Director for the Southeastern Conference of the SDA Church, was directed to me by the AFJROTC instructors of the former Florida Air Academy where I’ve worked training the cadets over the past few years.
Leanna and I sat down to discuss her vision of creating a training program to help nail down the standards that the Pathfinder program needed. It turns out that modification of my Certified DrillMaster program would fit perfectly into Leanna’s plans. We then worked out a self-paced reading and in-person training program for the Conference’s Drill Specialists (those who are in charge of the drill team for their local church’s Pathfinders).
Most of the Specialists were able to meet with me in Orlando several times throughout 2017. We began with the idea that everyone was at the very beginning and, using the information contained in Training Circular 3-21.5, began the process of learning the correct way to execute movements to the US Army’s standards. We thoroughly covered regulation drill, color guard, protocol and an introduction to exhibition drill (the Boxes of Three Method). Eventually, I was not teaching full-time, I let the newly-trained Specialists take over with my occasional input.
Ladies and gentlemen, after months of training, I am happy to announce that the SEC of the Seventh Day Adventist Church’s first Certified Pathfinder Drill Specialists!
There’s more to come: Adjudication certifications, exhibition drill endorsements and more Drill Specialists to certify!