January: Drill Season is Here!

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While some JROTC units have a busy first semester that includes drill meets, for many across America January is when the competitions begin. Some states, like Florida, do not have any drill meets until the end of January, leaving the first semester to Raider meets. Maybe, like the school where I teach, Merritt Island High School, you have been having …

The Difference Between Training, Practice, and Rehearsal

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It may seem strange, even silly, to define practice, training and rehearsal down to the “nth” degree. Always remember, “Education is key!” Note: there are JROTC units that do not have the luxury of an experienced drill coach. Many JROTC instructors have never marched much past their Basic Training or Boot Camp days and that’s OK. Our military jobs came first …

How to Restart a JROTC Drill Team

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DrillMaster answers a cadet’s question on restarting her school’s JROTC drill team

How to Join a Service Honor Guard/Drill Team

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  FYI: Service honor guards are made up of all kinds of different members from all kinds of different military specialties. While the honor guard may have a specialty code (MOS/AFSC), the member’s “real” job is what that Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Airman or Coastie will eventually go back to, unless he/she decides to retrain. If the individual went directly from …

Joint Service Order of the Colors

DrillMaster Honor Guard, Instructional 12 Comments

The regulation that directs this order of precedence was Department of Defense Directive 1005.8, Order of Precedence of Members of Armed Forces of the United States When in Formations (31 October 1977) and now that information is contained in each service drill and ceremonies or protocol manual. The more interesting part of the story is the history behind why that …

The POW/MIA Ceremony

DrillMaster Honor Guard, Instructional 36 Comments

Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA)Remembrance Ceremony Information Related: The Fallen First Responder Ceremony Use this article as a training guide for an indoor POW/MIA Ceremony. NOTE: The POW/MIA Ceremony setup and ceremony proper are NOT different for any service or organization, what you read below is it. There is no such thing as “POW/MIA USMC Regulations” or POW/MIA Army Ceremony”. …


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Yes, it is another Joint Service Drill Competition that is now in the history books! This year’s competition also included a performance from the Tulane University Mardis Gras Drill Meet champions, the Merchant Marine Academy Drill Team. I judged each team on the World Drill Association Adjudication System’s Overall Effect caption. The scores I gave each team are in the …

The Left Flank and The Column Left

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Keep this image in mind as you read below. Span of Control CT asks: Hello DrillMaster, I would like to know if after giving left flank can the commander march backward while the platoon marches forward towards the commander during Regulation Drill. I have looked everywhere and nowhere can I find it. Answer: It’s good to hear from you; thanks …

Sword Maintenace and Care

DrillMaster DrillCenter News, Instructional 4 Comments

While stationed in Germany from ’07-’10, I had the chance to visit WKC sword makers in Solingen, Germany. I never could coordinate a good time to stop by to say hello and meet some sword makers. They don’t give factory tours anymore since their processes were being stolen and (unsuccessfully) copied by other companies. This is their info for caring …

Tulane 2012 Solo Commentaries

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The Mardis Gras Drill Meet at Tulane University 2012 was a great success! I was there judging solos. There were 12 competitors and all did a great job. The cadets from West Point, University of South Carolina NROTC and Norwich all pulled away from the others with great routines. I forgot my digital voice recorder, but used my Android phone’s …