For the picture above, the Mirror Present technique is not authorized for Marines in the Fleet not MCJROTC cadets. It is ONLY authorized for the members of Marine Barracks Washington.
Some people try to force the members of a color team into tallest-to-shortest (viewer’s left-to-right) no matter the skill level. That can be a recipe for embarrassment. Especially when the tallest member has the least amount of knowledge.
For all color guards, the height of the team members is a secondary issue. The primary issue is knowledge and experience. Along with knowledge being the primary issue, flag height is right there with it.
All colors must be at the same height as per our military manuals, but since cadets are growing and sometimes vary greatly in height (this also applies to adults), the colors harness cup/socket heights need to be as close as possible in height so that the flagstaffs are as close as possible. In the case of a great height difference, as long as the American flag is higher, everything is fine.
Experience, not height is the goal.
This picture shows a preferable height distribution that is aesthetically pleasing. Shorter right axe/rifle guard, tallest on the American, and everyone else tapers off from there.
Let’s take a look at some color guards and how they navigate the height differences of the cadets.
The American flag bearer always needs to be the most knowledgeable member of the team and is always the commander. The second most knowledgeable is the right rifle guard, then the left rifle guard and finally, the other color bearer. Service honor guards go with the most experienced.
But what about Rank!?
Yes, our military manuals state that an NCO should hold the American flag, but the manuals were written for the military, not cadets or first responders- that does not mean we do not need to follow the manuals, on the contrary, we need to follow them and adapt where needed. Even so, military teams attempt to have the same height in their team members or they at least balance the height differences.