Taps: “America’s National Song of Remembrance,” Information and Origin

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In The News That will be what the bugle call Taps is called when a proposal that is now in the House eventually passes. Read the complete story here. See also Taps 150 and TapsBugler. What to do – During a rendition of Taps at a military funeral, memorial service or wreath ceremony, -All present not in uniform should stand …

Is it “Tall or Tap,” “Tall Tap” or What?

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When first falling-in for a flight or platoon formation, after the dressing to the right, the leader of the formation (Drill or Training Instructor or even the Drill Team Commander) might use a term that some seem to be unfamiliar with, “If you are taller than the person in front of you, tap him on the shoulder and move up!” …

What is Articulation?

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Articulation is to speak so that one is understood. It is not only about speaking clearly (enunciating words), but also about speaking clearly (using words that are easily understood for your audience). Got that? (photo courtesy of stripes.com) But what does this have to do with drill? Plenty. A Driller can step onto the performance floor and not be clear; …

Marine Corps Color Guard

Color Guard and Team Member Height

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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 …

Replacing the Army Spade Finial

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Finial = the topper/ornament of a flagstaff Flagstaff = the guidon staff carried by a color guard member Active Duty and Reserve US Navy and US Coast Guard color guards are required to have the battle-ax, also called a Battalion Lance, as their primary finial, according to NTP 13B, Flags, Pennants and Customs (download from the Resources page). The Army …

Organizing a Massing of the Colors Event

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Massed Colors Massed colors, but not the type outlined in the Army and Marine drill and ceremonies manuals. These manuals specifically state to not have multiple color guards at a ceremony. One is enough. But, that’s for strictly military formations. Click here for information on a massed colors formation. Massing of the Colors is an event where multiple color guards …

What is Vocabulary?

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Armed/Unarmed When speaking in terms of drill and performance, vocabulary deals with the amount of different movements displayed in a routine. For the body there is vocabulary for your feet, the head, arms and hands, and the torso. When armed, vocabulary adds on the manipulation of the piece of equipment (sword/saber, rifle or guidon). Vocabulary means each individual movement. A …

Reciting the Pledge with a Colors Presentation

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At ceremonies across the country, many local municipalities request a color team from military installations or even first responders. Quite often, music is not available so those gathered recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Please note: the picture of the USAF Honor Guard Color Guard is just used as an example color guard. Color Guards: In all of the research I’ve …

What is “Color Guard Exhibition Drill”?

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So what exactly is is “Color Guard Exhibition Drill (XD)”? In a nutshell, it is disrespect to the American Flag. There is absolutely no way that a color team should ever execute any kind of movement other than what is described in their service manual. Period. Rifle spins, fancy steps, even creating some sort of “beat” when performing Sling Arms/Tighten Slings …