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 the second 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 …

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 …

Colors- The Leather Tab Issue

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I posted this on my Instagram account and realized that this really need to go to as wide and audience as possible. Click here to read the article, How to Properly Mount a Flag on a Flagstaff. Yes, there is a correct and incorrect way to mount a color! If you still have colors with leather tabs, secure them by …

The “Silver Brass” of the Silent Drill Platoon

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In the late 1970’s, the number one rifle inspector with the Marine Corps Silent Drill platoon passed on his brass, or the buttons and emblems from his uniform, to his successor. The brass continued to be passed on, and over time, the cleaning and polishing turned the once gold-colored brass silver. “Being able to wear the silver brass and to …

The ridiculous and ceremonialer flag tilt

Making Things More “Ceremonialer”

DrillMasterColor Guard/Color Team, Commentary, Honor Guard 2 Comments

“Ceremonialer” is the term I created as I’ve watched members of the military, first responders (many who are veterans), and cadets perform movements that do not bring any more reverence or honor to what they are doing at ceremonies becuase these movements or techniques are based on ego. When it comes to the American flag and rendering honors, never should …

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 …

The Obstacles of a Parade

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When I was in AFJROTC (’79-’83), we didn’t have scoopers right behind horse entries in a parade. They were the unsung heroes who brought up the very rear, just in front of the police car with the flashing lights signaling the end of the parade. This meant that everyone in the parade had to dodge, duck, dip, dive and… dodge …