AF Colors

Responding To Your Own Commands

DrillMasterColor Guard/Color Team Leave a Comment

Commanders for Parade Staff, Flag Detail, and Color Guard, do not come to Attention (from Parade Rest) to call their formation to Attention. This article is for every branch of the US military and all cadets. The commander, in all three instances, is part of the formation and does not move independently of the other members of the formation. This is for uniformity.

Parade Staff

This is a sample quote.

10-24. First bullet point. “Upon completion of the remarks, the COT [Commander of Troops- DM] commands the {parade] staff to Attention, faces about, and directs…”

TC 3-21.5

Here, the command is “Staff, ATTENTION!” with the commander and staff coming to Attention simultaneously. The COT faces about to give the formation Attention or give the unit commanders a Directive Command (e.g., Bring your units to Attention). If the COT came to Attention to give the command to the staff, he/she would just assume Attention, face about and then give the command, but that is not what happens for uniformity’s sake. The staff works as one separate unit at times (Attention and Present/Order Arms, etc.) and the parade formation works as one unit.

For the best example, watch this parade at Marine Barracks Washington. You will see the staff do exactly as I have quoted and added to, above. Plus! You will also see the Colors Sgt of the Marine Corps bring his team to Attention and respond to his own command.

Here is a parade from The Old Guard at Ft Meyer in VA, which is not Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall.

Next is the 8nd Airborne Division in a parade. A massive formation!

Color Guard

Right and Left Face, Carry Colors, Order Colors/Arms, and Parade Rest are all commands where the commander responds to each command. Why would calling the team to Attention be different? Your answer might be to quote all three service drill and ceremonies manuals that state the commander must be at attention when calling commands and that is true- when the commander is outside of the formation. All references are for squad/element, platoon/flight, and company/squadron commanders.

We don’t usually ask the question I just did above, “Why would calling the team to Attention be different?” when it comes to colors. We just assume it’s a rule and followed every time.

All I have is logic and this lone quote from the USAF D&C Sticky Note.

2.2 Rules for Commands

2.2.2. When the commander is a member of a staff {parade staff- DM] or detail [flag detail, colors] and is required to perform a movement at the same time as the formation [a color guard], the commander will maintain the same position as the formation while giving commands and will respond to his/her command.

AFPAM 34-1203

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *