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 …

First Night Jitters

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One’s first performance can be a little stressful. Here are some words of wisdom to remember for just that situation. I’ve been associated with many performance ensembles over the years and one of the best pieces of advice has been: for that first performance in front of an audience, when you first go out, you will feel adrenaline coursing through …

Tuck Your Gloves! But, In Your Epaulet?

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Some may find this innocuous, but (first responder) ceremonial guardsmen need to maintain a professional image when in uniform before, during and after a ceremony. Any other time that we are out of uniform, dress is most likely not an issue. For us in the military, it’s a big no-no to tuck gloves into an epaulet. That’s not where they belong …

Firefighter Uniform for the Funeral Procession

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I constantly receive questions on here my website and on my social media accounts. I also belong to a couple of Facebook first responder groups where drill and ceremonies and honor guard questions are posted from time-to-time. For some questions, I just read the responses and learn; for others, I am able to share my knowledge. This one was a …

The “Flake Monster” at Obama’s Farewell

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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 …

Communication and Respect

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In the movie, Ghost Busters, Egon Spengler says, “Print is dead.” To some extent, I agree, but words on the screen are alive and well. In the military, we know how to communicate and how to show respect in all forms of communication. After all, the military relies heavily on communication and it must be done the right way the …

Firing Party: Stop Taking Aim!

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A Firing Party fires a ceremonial Three-Volley salute using modern or traditional rifles (military), shotguns, or pistols (law enforcement). It is not the 21-Gun Salute, that is fired by guns (canons) and only in the Army and Navy. The Numbers: Anywhere from three to seven members firing with a commander. The smaller amount of members on the team does not …

The “Savard Manual” or “Savards”

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A short time ago, Leslie Savard Hamud sent a question to me through my facebook page, The Honor Guard Manual. To me, the question a little cryptic and out of left field- but I really enjoy left field questions! Here is how the conversation went: Leslie: Hello, I am the daughter of Al Savard and my dad is a proud …

Don’t Break Vertical

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When executing facing movements while armed with a rifle, do not break vertical. But, what does that mean? In Regulation Drill, drill that is based on the drill and ceremonies manual for each military service, without any added movements whatsoever, Drillers must execute the movements exactly as described. The preparatory commands for facing movements are Right, Left and About. Do not …

“Military Neck”

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Military schools across the nation are notorious for telling their new cadets to pull back/tuck their chin. It’s difficult to tuck your chin, pull in your stomach while it’s up against the edge of the table, and look straight ahead while eating your three squares a day. Eating at the position of Attention. Three Squares (a meal): take a scoop …