How to Become a Certified Visual Judge

DrillMaster Ask DrillMaster, Drill Teams, DrillCenter News, Honor Guard, Instructional 2 Comments

The World Drill Association and DrillMaster now offer a training and certification program for judges for the military drill world. All aspects of military drill come under the visual category and should be judged as such. That is where the program comes in. There are four visual captions:

1. Overall Effect
2. Composition Analysis
3. Movement
4. Equipment

Also a judging position, but not a caption is:

5. Timing and Penalties

To become a certified judge, here is what you have to do (this is all at your own speed):

1. Purchase The WDA Adjudication Manual
2. Read it
3. Pick a caption on which you would like to concentrate and get certification and study it over and over
4. Study that caption, begin watching videos on the internet of teams and solos and make commentaries based on your caption on that video (use your computer to record yourself- yes everyone’s voice sounds strange to them- but you need to be able to talk about your caption during a performance!)
5. Use the WDA score sheet for your caption to score that performance
6. Repeat steps 3 through 5
7. During your study, submit your commentaries to get feedback for necessary improvements, if needed
8. When you think you are ready, you will be given a short multiple-choice test and also shown several preselected videos in which you must make a commentary and give scores
9. When you pass, you will be given a certificate that says you are a certified WDA Judge for the caption you chose, you then have the option to repeat the steps above for each caption

When you have been certified, it will be time to obtain Continuing Education for the WDA Judge. This book takes you through a more in-depth study of ranking and rating.

When do you want to be a certified judge? It’s mostly up to you. How long will it take? At least six months of study and practice. Can I do it quicker? Probably not. There is no immediate short cut: Study. Practice. Repeat.

So then what? The WDA already has some drill meets where the adjudication system is used, is always looking to add more competitions and will be sponsoring competitions in each state. As more judges are certified and word spreads of real feedback being given to performers, more competitions will want to use certified judges. It will all take time.

The plan is to have groups of the WDA Adjudication Corps in each state with judge coordinators and trainers.

Are you a veteran? The WDA and DrillMaster have developed the Veteran Adjudication Program. The only difference from then above information is that, with sponsorship, the books will be free.


Regarding Colors

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Colors (meaning a color guard or, more precisely named, colors team), are a little different today than a few years ago, the honor guard standard is being used everywhere you look and, in my opinion, this is a very good thing: soon to be gone are the days of a color team unceremoniously stomping through a formal dinner setting or having the commander give multiple commands for the color bearers and rifle guards plus some other relatively annoying parochial issues.

Color Bearer Port Arms

The picture here depicts the position of Port Arms for a color bearer. The flagstaff does not have to be in the cup when marching- however, Port is only used for short distances and almost always indoors when the ceiling height is too low to carry at Right Shoulder (Right Shoulder for a color bearer is when the staff is in the harness cup and the right hand is at Attention).

The manual of arms (for colors), the manual of the ceremonial fire axe and the manual of the ceremonial pike pole all mirror each other and are intended to be used along with colors.

The manual of the flagstaff and the modified manual of arms, fire axe and pole for colors are completely described with pictures for each movement in The Honor Guard Manual.

On a side note, the World Drill Association will use the standards of The Honor Guard Manual for different phases of competition at WDA-sanctioned/sponsored drill meets. The future looks bright and fun!

The Six-Man Flag Fold

DrillMaster Honor Guard, Instructional Leave a Comment

I’ll begin with this statement: Just because the word, “man” is in the title does not necessarily mean, “male”.

There is a right way and a wrong way to fold the American flag and there re a couple of different ways in between. to learn how to do it the right way, pick up my latest book, The Honor Guard Manual.

Until you get the book, here are some tips:

1. When beginning, the flag should lay flat so that the canton (blue field with stars) would be over the left shoulder of the deceased; if the flag were tilted toward the audience, it would be the right way up, with the canton in the upper left corner as it is viewed.

2. After making the first horizontal fold, the canton should be on the underside of the flag- the canton goes back to the same place where it started. After the second horizontal fold, the canton is brought back to the same place again.

3. The first triangle fold is open end to open end. If one looks on from the end of the flag, the fold is to the viewer’s right. This is the ONLY way to make this fold! See this article’s picture, above.

4. Ensure that the tuck of the folded flag does not create lumps.

Obviously, there is more to a flag fold than the above four points. Again, the Two- and Six-Man Flag Folds are completely details in my book. Also, look for training videos to come on my Youtube Channel, DrillMasterTraining.

Sword Maintenace and Care

DrillMaster DrillCenter News, Instructional 2 Comments

While stationed in Germany from ’07-’10, I had the chance to visit WKC sword makers in Solingen, Germany. I never could coordinate a good time to stop by to say hello and meet some sword makers. They don’t give factory tours anymore since their processes were being stolen and (unsuccessfully) copied by other companies.

This is their info for caring for swords, sabers and accessories:

Ceremonial Use and Safety:

– WKC swords and sabers are intended for ceremonial use only.

– Blade tips are relatively sharp; exercise care during use.

– The blades are not designed for impact and “fighting.” While forged, tempered, and designed for flexibility and durability, ceremonial blades lack the toughness to withstand the heavy impact of “blade-to-blade” contact.

– Do not use ceremonial swords for re-enactment fighting.

– Horseplay may result in damage to the sword or, worse yet, personal injury.

– Sword and saber manual of arms is a developed and practiced skill. Do not be flamboyant when handling a drawn sword.

– Children tend to have a natural fascination with swords and often mistake a ceremonial sword for a weapon. Supervise children closely and know that the misuse of a sword is dangerous.

General – Metal Components:
-Acids from fingerprints can react with metals and discolor metal components over time.

– Salts and other air contaminants (e.g., formaldehydes form carpets, etc.) can collect on metal surfaces over time and can also cause discoloration.

– Water or humidity can affect all parts of the swords and accessories. They should be kept away from wet or humid conditions. In case the swords or accessories get wet please dry them properly by using soft dry cloth.

– Periodically, wipe your sword or accessories with a soft, dry cloth. We recommend monthly for harsh environments (e.g., high humidity, proximity to sea air, cities with heavy smog, etc.) and every few months for less harsh environments. Do not use any chemical based or other cleaners for belts or sword knots.

– Remove fingerprints and other oil marks with a soft, dry cloth.

Gold-Colored Components:

– Gold is very soft metal. Rubbing or polishing gold-plated materials will take off the gold-plating.

– Do not use abrasive metal polishes or metal wool on any gold-colored part. All gold-colored parts on WKC swords are gold-plated. All gold-colored parts on WKC swords and accessories are gold-plated.

– Use a soft dry cloth and common glass cleaner to remove any discolorations. Use abrasive “jeweler” cloths sparingly to remove any discolorations to avoid rubbing off the gold plating.


– All WKC blades are stainless steel.

– Discolorations or minor scratches can be removed with a “jeweler” cloth or a mild metal polish, such as a silver polish.

– Remove all polish residue with a final wipe of a soft, dry cloth.

– Never use heavy abrasive polishes, scouring pads, or metal wool as they will the polished finish of the blade.

– Avoid contact with acidic or alkaline substances as either may chemically react with metals in the stainless steel.


– Leather scabbards should only require an occasional wipe with a cloth moistened with a clear household silicon spray polish.

– Scuff marks in the leather can usually be repaired or hidden with ordinary shoe polish. Pay attention of that the color of the polish is the same than the leather.

– Maintain nickel-plated scabbards as a general metal component.

– Maintain the stainless-steel Marine officer scabbards as described for blades above.


– Periodically, wipe your accessories with a soft dry cloth. We recommend monthly for harsh environments (e.g. high humidity, proximity to sea air, cities with heavy smog etc.) and every few months for less harsh environments. Do not use any chemical or other cleaners for belts or sword knots.

On-Going Care and Maintenance:

– After each use, completely wipe the sword with a clean, dry cloth to remove fingerprints, perspiration, and any residue.

-All ferrous materials, including “stainless” steel will rust in varying degrees if not maintained and with prolonged exposure to the elements.

-Whether displaying or storing your sword, periodically clean and wipe your sword and metal scabbards with a lightly oiled cloth to protect your sword.

-Please do not store the swords and accessories in the vacuum plastic bag in wet, humid or hot surroundings.

– We recommend storing the sword unsheathed from the scabbard if storing for prolonged periods of time.

– If shipping or transporting your sword by air, securely wrap the sword in plastic to minimize condensation on the cool sword surfaces after the sword returns from the cooler high altitudes.

Dipping the American Flag

DrillMaster Commentary, DrillCenter News, Honor Guard, Instructional 5 Comments

I read this short article that was sent to me by a retired Marine friend of mine:

The 1908 Summer Olympics were held in London, England were extremely controversial. Many of the medals were won by Irish and Irish-American athletes who were not only members of the Irish American Athletic Club of Celtic Park in Sunnyside, Queens, but also members of the New York City Police Department. Ian McGowan, Archivist for CUNY’s Institute for Irish-American Studies is currently creating an exhibit of the Club’s trophies, photographs,and other ephemera, including vintage trading cards celebrating the feats of athletes such as John Flanagan, Johnny Hayes, Pat McDonald, Martin Sheridan and Matt McGrath, collectively known as “The Irish Whales.”

During the “Parade of Nations,” it was a customary for teams to dip their nation’s flags as a show of respect for the ruling monarch of t he host country. Martin J. Sheridan, a Discus thrower, born in 1881 in County Mayo, Ireland was part of the American Olympic team. Sheridan immigrated to New York in 1901 and joined the NYPD in 1906. Patrolman Sheridan held a grudge against the English because he believed that they helped make the Irish potato famine so bad. Members of the Olympic committee knowing his dislike for the English replaced Sheridan – who was scheduled to carry the American flag – with Ralph Rose as bearer of the flag.

Irish-Americans had a strong sense of patriotic pride to their new found country. NYPD Patrolman Mathew McGrath at 6’2″, 245 pounds was a hammer thrower and native of County Tipperary, born in 1878. As the Americans approached the Royal Box, McGrath broke ranks and stepped up to the American flag bearer – Rose – and said, “Dip our flag and you will be in a hospital tonight.”

The flag was not dipped which caused an international incident. During a news conference, Sheridan spoke for the entire Olympic team; he pointed to the American flag and said, “This flag dips to no earthly king.” That precedent was set which is still followed today during the Olympic Games. The American Flag has never been dipped to anyone since that day in 1908. In fact, the United States Flag Code was officially changed to read, “No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing.” (See Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1 § 8) In 1924 Olympics McGrath earned the silver medal…at the age of 45. During his police career McGrath attained the rank of Inspector, and was awarded the NYPD’s Medal of Valor twice. Inspector McGrath died in January of 1941.

Martin Sheridan attained first place on the eligibility list for the NYPD and was appointed to the ‘finest’ in 1906. He helped organize the Police Carnival and Games for the benefit of the welfare fund of the Department which, for many years, was an outstanding athletic event in New York.

To perpetuate his name for the future generations the Martin J. Sheridan Award for Valor was established and given each year to a member of the Police Department for bravery above and beyond the call of duty. Sheridan, a First Grade Detective died of pneumonia in 1918 while while working a double shift for a sick NYPD colleague on March 25 at the age of thirty-seven and is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Woodside, Queens.

And now the 2012 Olympics and this issue.

Tulane 2012 Solo Commentaries

DrillMaster Commentary, Drill Teams, Instructional Leave a Comment

The Mardis Gras Drill Meet at Tulane University 2012 was a great success! I was there judging solos. There were 12 competitors and all did a great job. The cadets from West Point, University of South Carolina NROTC and Norwich all pulled away from the others with great routines. I forgot my digital voice recorder, but used my Android phone’s voice recorder and it worked extremely well! However, there was one issue: dead battery by the last routine. No problem, a young lady from Norwich University was able to step up with her Android phone and let me use her voice recorder for Preston Huntington’s routine. That’s why you only see 11 of the commentaries.

It was great to see not only the solos, but with the big breaks in between the performances, some platoon XD performances as well. Some of the schools displayed variations in timing and step style and showed a concerted effort in programing and orientation (nicely done USAFA!!).

The great thing about Tulane this year was the introduction of the World Drill Association Adjudication System as a parallel to the standard judging system used. Solos were given the opportunity to hear professional adjudication feedback

I also enjoyed speaking with the teams, soloists, parents and instructors as well as some of the great Marine judges from Paris Island.

The day was also a good learning experience. Right Mr. Waddington? :-)

Below are the links to the commentaries (automatic download).


Citidel 2:



UT Austin 2:

UT Austin 1:

West Point:

University of Florida:

University of South Carolina:

Citidel 1:

Licensing Music for Performances

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No matter what kind of performance you do, if it is to music and someone else wrote it, you need a license if you want to record and/or broadcast the performance. So, what is a Driller to do? This is where Copycat Licensing comes in. They will take care of everything for you, but you need to give them time! Here is the webs site, check it, bookmark it and use it when you want to explore drill and music!

Eyes Right for a Color Guard

DrillMaster Ask DrillMaster, Honor Guard, Instructional Leave a Comment


Click here for info on “Color Guard” vs. “Color Team.”

The Question:
Hello, I’m in an Army JROTC and I have a Federal Inspection coming up. I’m doing the color guard for the AFI and I wondering on what to do during eyes, right. Do I salute the rifle like this picture? Or do I just look to the right and keep marching and it’s just only the flag saluting? If you could reply back to me, I’d appreciate it.
Thank you very much

The Answer:
What a great picture you’ve found! Judging by the uniform, you’ve found a WWI-era Manual of Arms picture, possibly a Boy Scout maybe a Soldier. I really enjoy the history of how certain movements came about that we use today.

The position in the picture is an individual salute while at Right Shoulder. The Army, Marine Corps, and Navy all used to use this type of salute while at either shoulder or Order. Now, only the Marines, Navy and Coast Guard use these individual salutes. The Army ceased using them decades ago. The salutes are not used in formation or while marching, only as an individual while standing still (think of reporting to the formation commander while armed). As we all know, the right forearm should be horizontal and not at an angle like in the picture.

Eyes Right
The Command, Eyes, RIGHT is called at Right Shoulder as two consecutive right steps hit the marching surface. When the next left foot strikes the ground, the following happens all at the same time:

  1. (Army and AF) The Left Rifle Guard, all non-national Color Bearers and National Color Bearer all turn their heads 45-degrees to the right; the Right Rifle Guard looks straight ahead.

(MC, N, & CG) The Left Rifle Guard, all non-national Color Bearers turn their heads 45-degrees to the right; the National Color Bearer and Right Rifle Guard look straight ahead.

  1. (Regulation Drill- all services) The non-national Color Bearer brings his/her color to a 45-degree angle be fully extending the right arm in one count/step after the command.

(Ceremonial Drill- Honor Guard Units only) The non-national Color Bearer brings his/her color to a 45-degree angle be fully extending the right arm in the three counts/steps after the command. Whipping the color forward in one count does present a ceremonial image.

Ready Front
On the command, Ready, FRONT, the team snaps its heads back to looking straight forward and the non-national color bearer bring their color back to vertical in one (regulation drill) or three (ceremonial drill) counts/steps.

M1 Garand Reimportation from Korea to the USA

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This has been a big issue and yet it has remained relatively behind the scenes.

From 2010:

If this goes through Drillers, hunters, collectors and gun enthusiasts will benefit tremendously.

You can read the latest full story here:

Pssst. Hey Buddy, wanna buy an M1903?

DrillMaster Ask DrillMaster, Commentary, Drill Teams, Instructional, Review 57 Comments

m1903 drill rifle, exhibition drill, demil rifle


Armed Exhibition Drill Rifles for Sale

How to buy a demilitarized Rifle
It’s relatively easy to purchase a demilitarized (demil’d) rifle from the the companies below. If you already have a Federal Firearms License (FFL), then you can order the rifle straight from the company. If you do not have an FFL, you can go to your local gun dealer and explain the situation to them, they will give you paperwork and you will pay a fee to have the rifle delivered to the dealer (who has an FFL) who will then give the rifle to you.

“Theatrical Replicas”
Replica rifles that are not created specifically for spinning/drill, could be a hazard waiting to happen. Real rifles are made from steel and wood, plastic or a resin composite. Theatrical replica rifles are usually not made from steel, but from zinc or another cheaper, softer metal that MAY NOT hold up to slams and the rough use that happens with exhibition drill. An example of this type of rifle is here: and Denix of Spain is one of the theatrical replica rifle makers. They are great to look at, but exhibition drill is almost impossible since the wood and metal are weak.

Demilitarized Rifles (Demils):
Dupage Trading Company

Battlefield Relics call them too: (912) 966-1900 <— Best Choice!

Old Western Scrounger

Sarco Inc.

You can also visit:
The Gun Broker

Excellent replica M1 Garands: Their Amazon page:

Inert Products: (great “Rubber Duck” M14, metal barrel with bayonet lug)

Replica Rifles for Drillers
The Daisy Drill Rifle (replica 1903A3)

The Glendale DrillAmerica (replica M1 Garand)

The Glendale DrillAmerica (replica M1903A3)

Training Rifles (Red/Blue Guns)
Thanks to Matt Rogers for this info:

1903 Springfield 03A3 (Approx 8.5lbs.)

Old Western Scrounger Price 199.95
WWII 1903-A3 Military drill Rifle – NO FFL OR NICS NEEDED! These U.S. surplus 1903-A3 drill rifles are all complete, all original parts with original finish with rare Navy issue wood grain synthetic stocks. These guns have their barrels plugged and welded, boltface and cutoffs welded as well and the lower chambers removed to render them permanently deactivated so they can be sold WITHOUT AN FFL OR NICS CHECK! Both the complete rear sight and front sight blade has been removed by the government to ensure they do not cut the hands during the manual of military arms.
Picture: OWS 1903

Battlefield Relics || Price 450.00 (Standard Bluing) 550.00 (Fully Chromed)

M-1903/A3, S161DMIL, Springfield Demilitarized Drill Rifle. With functional bolt, safety, trigger and cut-off. Available in wood or synthetic stocks and hand guards. BFR 1903 CHROMED

Sarco Inc. 1903A3 Demils Price $249.00 – $419.00

From the outside you cannot tell these rifles have been changed except for the weld spot on the cut off. These rifles are perfect for a gun room display, reenactors, enhancements for your military vehicle, or just WWI or WWII nostalgia. A perfect gift for a youngster who is not old enough to have a firing military rifle. All parts function and click perfectly except the bolt stop.

1903 Springfields will be Springfield Armory or Rock Island Armory. 1903A3’s will be Remington or Smith Corona. You may choose and we will ship that model if available at no extra charge – however this is not guaranteed.

Not for Sale to Puerto Rico, NY, MN, WI, KS, CT, MA, or CA Sarco 1903A3

Daisy Model 1903 Drill Rifle Replica (Approx. 8.5lbs.)

Daisy 1903 Drill Rifle Price Approx 280$

At first glance, the Daisy drill rifle looks like a fully functional 1903-A1 Springfield rifle with a black synthyetic stock. But the only feature this rifle shares with a firearm is the opening bolt. The design and durable steel components and synthetic stock make this drill rifle capable of withstanding the abuse that is inherent in drill team use. (Approx 100-150$ more, A Chromed Version can be Purchased.)
Picture: Daisy 1903 Replica (Black)

To ORDER Contact Daisy at:
Daisy Outdoor Products
P.O. Box 220
Rogers, Arkansas
Or Order Over Phone: (800) 643-3458

Demilitarized M1 Garands

BattleField Relics Price 450$(Standard Bluing) 550$ (Fully Chromed)
With functional bolt, trigger, safety and cut-off. Available in wood or synthetic stocks or hand guards.

Mailing Address:
P.O.Box 306
Savannah, GA 31402-0306

Telephone: (912) 966-1900
(912) 966-1901

Civilian Markmanship Program Price $345.00

By law, the CMP can sell surplus military firearms, ammunition, parts and other items only to members of CMP affiliated clubs who are also U.S. citizens, over 18 years of age and who are legally eligible to purchase a firearm.

A listing of affiliated organizations can be found by clicking on our Club Search web page at http://clubs.odcmp.c…/clubSearch.cgi. (Please Check This For Your JROTC Unit)

If you have any difficulty in locating a club, please contact the CMP at 256-835-8455 or by emailing CMP Customer Service. We will find one for you. In addition to shooting clubs, the CMP also has several special affiliates. Membership in these organizations satisfies our requirement for purchase.

These special affiliates include: Congressionally chartered veterans’ organizations such as the VFW, AL, DAV, MCL, etc. U.S. Military services (active or reserves), National Guard, to include retirees. Professional 501©3 law enforcement organizations and associations such as the FOP, NAPO, NSA, etc.

Fits the description of our Rack Grade with the additions of: gas cylinder lock *** is welded to lock and gas cylinder, barrel is drilled, plugged and welded at chamber mouth. Barrel is welded to the receiver, firing pin hole is welded closed on bolt face. Rifle wear will be exhibited by worn and mixed colors of the finish; there may be some pitting on the metal parts; wood will be basically sound but may be well used with minor hairline cracks, poor fit, and many dings, scratches and gouges; wood may not match in color, type of wood or condition. Wood may be Walnut, Birch, Beech or other variety.

Replica M1 Garand Approx. 8.5lb

DrillAmerica M1 Price $134.95

The DrillAmerica® rifle is the only available weapon of its type, weight, and balance for parades, drill, and competitions. Thousands of individuals are using this rifle for drill teams, honor guards, color guards – active duty military personnel, reservists, veterans, cadets, law enforcement personnel and firefighters.

•It is the first 8.5-pound balanced drill rifle in the United States.
•Length is 43”.
•The DrillAmerica® rifle is made of high-impact plastic with a wood-grain appearance and exterior chromed metal parts.
•The basic rifle has a one-piece bolt with no moving parts and a trigger that “clicks” for effect.
•An interchangeable moving bolt or a safety bolt without a handle may be purchased separately.
•All bolts can be engraved at $15 each – 24 characters maximum.
•Each rifle has a reversible black rubber pad and a metal plate.
•There is no bayonet lug.


Springfield 1903A3 – Parts Diagram
E-Gun Parts
Sarco A3 Parts
Sarco CHROME Springfield Parts
Bill Ricca
North Ridge (M1 Garand parts)
Ernst Armory

M1 Garand – Parts Diagram (M1 Garand)
Fulton Armory
M1 Garand Rifle
RA Parts

M1 Drill America Parts
Springfield 1903A3 Parts Diagram
M1 Garand Parts Diagram (M1 Garand)
Fulton Armory
M1 Garand Rifle
RA Parts
Amherst Depot

M14 Diagram
————————– Fulton Armory Smith Enterprise Freds M14 Stocks/Parts M14

M1 Drill America – Diagram
Daisy 1903 Replica – Diagram Parts Listings


The DrillMaster Bayonet

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