How to Effectively Round Your Corners

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And thus completely mess up alignment and spacing! Now, no one wants to do this, but some Drillers do this and don’t understand how to fix it. I’ll explain the problem, show the negative results and tell you how to fix it. Easy! Below is a properly executed flank movement. As you can see, when you march, you are actually …

How to Half Step Properly

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What is Half Step? Here is what each service manual has to say: Army Use the following procedures to execute the 15-inch step, forward/half step. a. To march with a 15-inch step from the Halt, the command is Half step, MARCH. On the preparatory command Half step, shift the weight of the body to the right foot without noticeable movement. …

The Mechanics of the First Step

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The Army and Navy/Marine Corps use this phrase or something very similar: “On the preparatory command, shift the weight of the body to the right foot without noticeable movement.” Nothing like being vague, but in all honesty, marching for each service only facilitates orderly travel from Point A to Point B and the services’ manuals don’t have to be exact. …

How to Mark Time Properly

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While marching or standing still at Attention, the command, Mark Time, MARCH is given and, beginning with the left foot, raise your feet so that the ankle comes half way up the calf.Straight up and straight down. The ankle bone should trace the center line of the opposite leg’s calf; do not bring the foot in front of or behind …

Practice Makes Permanent: Knees and Hips

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The first part of the series, Feet, is here. In this article, we will look at the knees and hips- we are working our way up the body. Knees Should point in the direction of the feet and should be controlled during marching/walking. Save your knees, don’t extend them past your feet. Here are some knee exercises. Also see this …

The Column Movement For Each Service

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Here is the column movement: The picture below shows the steps as I count them: without pivots. See your service manual for specifics, but you get the idea from this which is much easier to digest: pivots are pivots and steps are steps. This would apply to the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. This applies to the …

What is the Straight Leg Technique for Marching?

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The “Straight Leg” Technique* is used for marching bands/drum corps and could be used for a military drill team. The leg barely bends at the knee while the foot rolls from the heel to right behind the ball of the foot, the foot does not roll to the toe as in a normal marching step. The reason for this technique …

Ask DrillMaster: Toe First?

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Why do military honor guard march toe-first? I can speak for American honor guard units: Sometimes the Pall Bearers may march toe-first depending on terrain or other circumstances.  Other than that, military honor guards do not march toe-first, it’s a roll-step of sorts. The Guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns, roll-step on the outside of the sole to create …

First Step- How to Step Off

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One of the things I really did not like about Basic Training was my TI and/or DI yelling things like, “You look like trees in the wind!” “Stop be-bopping!” But, in Basic, there is not time for the “why” of what does not work. I’m going to explain the “why.” “Stop be-bopping” is regarding vertical movement when marching and the …

“Open” or “Closed,” that is the Question

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There is a difference whether you and/or your team stands with the Closed Foot Method or Traditional Method and not just visually. There are two ways of standing at Attention for the American military, drill teams and honor guards when referring to the position of the feet (the star is the center of balance): Closed-Foot Method Heels and toes together …