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 …

The Guidon Staff Repair Kit

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“The best thing since sliced bread.” That phrase is used so often that it usually loses its meaning. Until now – and it’s only available from MIL-BAR! The Guidon Staff Replacement Kit IS the best thing since sliced bread. Well, it may be a little lower than the number one spot, but it’s on the list! Maintenance is Key! Flagstaff …

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 …

Nassau County (NY) Police Department Explorers

More Than One Flag At a Ceremony

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“You cannot display more than one flag at a ceremony!” That’s one of several urban legends I’ve heard over the years related to me or told directly to me by well meaning people. Well meaning people who don’t know what they are talking about. Apparently, one set already posted and another set formally presented is “too many”. I know, you …

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 …

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 …

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 …