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 …

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 …

Service Drill Teams Attend Annual Training Camps

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Each year around the end of February and the beginning of March, each of the service drill teams (Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force- not sure about the Coast Guard*), leave their duty station and head out to train for about 30 days to work on the upcoming season’s routine. Before the teams leave for training there is a challenge time or, …

Drill Team Technique

Running Practice for a Competitive Drill Team

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Training, Practice and Rehearsal, three different types of well, practice. Here is an article on the Difference Between Practice and Rehearsal and an article on the Difference Between Practice and Training. Whether you are on a first responder or military honor guard or a JROTC/ROTC drill team, your responsibilities are the same to a point: develop your skills, keep them …

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 …

Training and the Three Styles of Leadership

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Training Levels. Since I spent my last seven years in the Air Force as a Unit Education and Training Manager (AFSC 3S2), I will use the USAF’s levels. They are applicable to everyone, no matter what task, no matter if you are in the military or not. Our emphasis here is military drill and ceremonies. Featured image from taskandpurpose.com A 3-Skill Level: …

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 …

New Leader Syndrome

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Yes, it’s true, there is a plague that spreads about this time every year among many schools’ JROTC programs: the new leadership for the unit is being picked and the old leadership is getting ready to graduate. Here is the question I get most often at the end of each school year: “I’m going to be the new (Armed/Unarmed Drill …

Eight Things Every Driller Needs

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Drill Team Training Alice Cooper sang, “School’s Out For Summer!” back when I was growing up and it is still the same- students across America look forward to those great summer months of NO SCHOOL! Some students get jobs, vacation with family, march in a drum and bugle corps and many other activities. What will you do? Sit around on …