The Burial at Sea

DrillMaster Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional Leave a Comment

Burial at Sea is a long standing maritime tradition and, just like a committal service on land, there are certain procedures to follow. Picture courtesy of navaltoday.com. It’s not just military members, Coast Guard or Merchant Mariners, there are also law enforcement and firefighting departments that have water-dedicated sections and burial at sea for the members of those sections would …

The “Flake Monster” at Obama’s Farewell

DrillMaster Ask DrillMaster, Color Guard/Color Team, Commentary, Drill Team Training, Drill Teams, Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional Leave a Comment

It happens to the best. It’s called “Flaking” in the Ceremonial World. You hydrate, eat well, exercise and you don’t lock your knees, but all of the sudden, after standing for two-and-a-half hours, your vision pinpoints, you feel light headed and BAM! you are out cold on the ground. It’s physical, it’s mental, and it’s physiological. It is quite possible …

Creating a Casket Deck

DrillMaster Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional Leave a Comment

When a firefighter passes, many, if not all of the time an apparatus (fire truck) is used as a caisson. Whether it’s an antique or a modern apparatus, it is a fitting way to transport a fallen brother or sister. The hose bed is emptied and used to transport the casket. There are a couple problems, however. The first problem …

The First Responder Ceremonial Uniform

DrillMaster Color Guard/Color Team, Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional Leave a Comment

A short time ago, I was sent a uniform question by an Assistant Fire Chief regarding creating the unit’s new ceremonials for the honor guard members. I thought it would be a relatively quick answer. It turned into three days of research and ten pages of text and images. I didn’t mind it a bit, thanks Chief! My uniform, in …

The DrillMaster Practice Ceremonial Fire Axe

DrillMaster Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional Leave a Comment

I thought the name, DrillMaster iAxe or iAx, (like the DrillMaster iDrill Rifle, because you, “I” make it) might just look weird, so I went with the longer name. Still, it works. The ceremonial fire axe is the usual weapon of choice for firefighter colors teams. However, firefighters are paramilitary and some teams do use the traditional rifle. Other units …

Back to Basics

DrillMaster DrillCenter News Leave a Comment

Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers football team, never liked to lose a game. The team lost one particular game that Mr. Lombardi thought they definitely should not have. The game was lost due to the team making several mistakes on the field. On the bus ride to the airport the coach said nothing. On the plane …

The DrillMaster Drill Team Improvement Seminar

DrillMaster DrillCenter News Leave a Comment

JROTC units across the country send drill teams and colors guards to drill competitions for many of the school year’s Saturdays. Whether your team is competitive in World Class events or can only afford a couple of hours of practice each week, everyone can benefit from this course. Download the flyer from my Downloads page under the DrillMaster University heading. …

The DrillMaster DrillUp! Clinic

DrillMaster Announcements, Color Guard/Color Team, Drill Team Training, Drill Teams, DrillCenter News, Instructional Leave a Comment

I’ve been teaching in various official capacities since 1986 and since 2009, I’ve been teaching various elements of what I have developed into a formal clinic for cadets, mainly, and JROTC instructors. The best news is that the clinic is free! I teach it to JROTC units as I travel the country instructing first responder ceremonial units. The text of the …

To Post or Present, That is the Question

DrillMaster Color Guard/Color Team, Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional Leave a Comment

Geared more toward honor guard units, but cadets can also use this information. With apologies to William Shakespeare… Color teams have a choice, based on ceremony location, size of the area (room or outside area), size of the audience, and time limit, as to whether the team should “Show-n-Go” or post. The Show-n-Go Equipment needed: two sets of colors, floor stands, …

Weapons Inside a Chapel?

DrillMaster Color Guard/Color Team, Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional Leave a Comment

I received an email recently with a dilemma: Hey John, I hope you’re doing well. I had a question for you. Our team was asked to post colors in a synagogue yesterday. When we arrived, one of the synagogue members stated that we could not be armed inside the sanctuary. Our policy does not allow us to be unarmed (sidearm) …