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 …

Organizing a Massing of the Colors Event

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Massed Colors Massed colors, but not the type outlined in the Army and Marine drill and ceremonies manuals. These manuals specifically state to not have multiple color guards at a ceremony. One is enough. But, that’s for strictly military formations. Click here for information on a massed colors formation. Massing of the Colors is an event where multiple color guards …

The Honor and Sword/Saber Cordons

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The Cordon Comprised of two squads facing each other. Spacing between members of each squad is usually an arm’s distance. Spacing between each squad of the cordon is a safe enough distance for the VIP to pass in between the squads*. The number of members in each squad depends on the type of cordon. The commander positions centered, behind one …

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 …

All About the Color Guard

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Please read this article very carefully. The following information is based in regulation drill. Much of the information directly relates to ceremonial unit color guards. Even though this is not about ceremonial drill (honor guard), color guards are ceremonial in nature and all must adhere to the standards. Definitions Military color guard. A uniformed Active Duty, National Guard, or Reserve …

The Colors Reverse and Counter March How-to

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We can read in the Army Training Circular (and the Marine Corps Order) how to execute the move and even see the provided diagram, but it sometimes really helps to see exactly what the feet do. The Colors Reverse, called Counter March in the Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard, turns the team around 180 degrees without executing a wheel …

Protocol for the Thin Line Flag on a Casket

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The Thin Blue Line and the Thin Red Line. Hi there–I am a funeral director and have recently made funeral arrangements for a retired police officer. He is not a military veteran, but the family would like to drape his casket with the thin blue line flag (the black and white flag with the blue line representing police officers). I …

Making Things More “Ceremonialer”

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“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 . Similar terms would be: When it comes to the American flag and rendering honors, never should anyone use the thinking, …

Using Colors Cases

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JROTC color guards compete throughout each school year and part of the color guard competition is uncasing and casing the colors. It’s a very technical process involving and adaptation of Sling Arms, the uncasing sequence, an adaptation of Tighten Slings, and casing sequence. Not only that, but the team must spend several minutes executing precision movements in a box no …