The Flagstaff Spade Marker

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The Flagstaff The guidon staff comes in three sizes for the US military: 8′ – for guidon flags and 3′ x 4′ colors (all services) 9’6″ – for 4’4″ x 5’6″ flags (all but the Air Force) 9′ – for 4’4″ x 5’6″ flags (Air Force, for some reason, as of 2019) The Finial A finial is a device or …

The Military Hand Salute

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This article originally published on Dec 30, 2014 under the title, When in Doubt, Salute! This is an update and rearrangement of information to help everyone understand this subject better. How to Salute The services have slightly different techniques. One technique is followed by the Army and Air Force. The middle finger is placed on the corner of the eyebrow, …

Color Guard Performance “Factors”

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As much as I am a “by-the-book” Airman, I know there are times when certain organizations must adapt and overcome and follow the spirit of the regulations rather than the letter. Speaking of letters. Below, is the text of an email from a friend of mine, MSgt Vincent Liddle of Warren Central High School MCJROTC. I was surprised to wake …

Half-staff

The American Flag at Half-Staff and Half-Mast

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Staff = a flagpole on land. Mast = a flagpole on a ship at sea or on a Marine Corps, Navy, or Coast Guard installation or other maritime location. Halyard = the rope used to raise and lower the flag. Never fly a fringed flag on a stationary or mounted (on a wall or post) flagpole. These flags are only …

Flagstaff Refurbishing

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Flagstaffs can become weathered and lose their original look like the one pictured. That is easily remedied! Well, not easy-easy, but it’s not really all that difficult. Here are the steps: Remove the ferrules and middle screw joints. Sand the staffs down completely to the wood. Stain the the staffs. Coat the staffs with at least five coats of urethane. …

Color Guard Flag Protocol

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The National Ensign/American Flag For the National Ensign/Color/American Flag, military and other color guards will always hold its staff vertical (Marine Corps, Navy, & Coast Guard and US Certified Ceremonial Guardsmen) or slightly incline it forward (Army & Air Force), depending on the service drill and ceremonies manual for regulation or ceremonial drill. The minimum color guard compliment requirement is …

The Difference Between Mark Time and Half Step

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OK, we know that Mark Time has you marching in place and Half Step has you marching forward at half the size as a normal step. But, there is confusion out there and I see it constantly. Mark Time Service Differences The Army tells us that the foot is brought straight up off the marching surface two inches. The Marine …

Flag Protocol Slides

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The following slides are provided for educating my fellow Americans. Please download and share. If you would like to have the whole set emailed to you, please use the contact form on the front page of the website.

Casa Grande High School MCJROTC

Practice Never Makes Perfect

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“Practice makes perfect” is the usual phrase, or you may hear the modified “perfect practice makes perfect”, which doesn’t even make sense. What exactly is “perfect practice”? I really do not like either of those phrases at all because they are quite meaningless. Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence. Vince Lombardi The learning …

The “Orlando Move” and Keeping Your Bearing

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Orlando De La Paz When I was in high school (Agua Fria in Avondale, AZ) I was on the drill team for our Air Force JROTC unit. During my sophomore year, at a competition in Phoenix, one of my teammates performed an incredible feat. We were always up against Tolleson High School Marine Corps JROTC and …