The First Responder Ceremonial Uniform

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A short time ago, I was sent a uniform question by an Assistant Fire Chief regarding creating the unit’s new ceremonials for the honor guard members. I thought it would be a relatively quick answer. It turned into three days of research and ten pages of text and images. I didn’t mind it a bit, thanks Chief! My uniform, in …

The DrillMaster Practice Ceremonial Fire Axe

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I thought the name, DrillMaster iAxe or iAx, (like the DrillMaster iDrill Rifle, because you, “I” make it) might just look weird, so I went with the longer name. Still, it works. The ceremonial fire axe is the usual weapon of choice for firefighter colors teams. However, firefighters are paramilitary and some teams do use the traditional rifle. Other units …

All About the Firing Party

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DrillMaster explains all about the firing party at a funeral or memorial service.

First Responder Casket Watch Videos

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Here is a playlist of three videos of law enforcement and firefighters learning the solemn technique of casket watch during three different honor guard academies that I’ve taught. You will notice that the techniques have changed slightly at certain points as my refining process has continued. The last video of the Louisiana LEOs (Oct 2015) is the latest iteration of …

Firing Party: Stop Taking Aim!

DrillMasterHonor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional 2 Comments

A Firing Party fires a ceremonial Three-Volley salute using modern or traditional rifles (military), shotguns, or pistols (law enforcement). It is not the 21-Gun Salute, that is fired by guns (canons) and only in the Army and Navy. The Numbers: Anywhere from three to seven members firing with a commander. The smaller amount of members on the team does not …

The “Savard Manual” or “Savards”

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A short time ago, Leslie Savard Hamud sent a question to me through my facebook page, The Honor Guard Manual. To me, the question a little cryptic and out of left field- but I really enjoy left field questions! Here is how the conversation went: Leslie: Hello, I am the daughter of Al Savard and my dad is a proud …

Don’t Break Vertical

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When executing facing movements while armed with a rifle, do not break vertical. But, what does that mean? In Regulation Drill, drill that is based on the drill and ceremonies manual for each military service, without any added movements whatsoever, Drillers must execute the movements exactly as described. The preparatory commands for facing movements are Right, Left and About. Do not …

“Military Neck”

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Military schools across the nation are notorious for telling their new cadets to pull back/tuck their chin. It’s difficult to tuck your chin, pull in your stomach while it’s up against the edge of the table, and look straight ahead while eating your three squares a day. Eating at the position of Attention. Three Squares (a meal): take a scoop …

An Embarrassing Color Guard Performance

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I created this article for two reasons: Help deflect questions that usually arise and come my way. The questions go something like this: “Can we do this/[is this proper] for our color guard?” Communicate to everyone, even Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, law enforcement, and firefighters that what you do is usually caught on camera and/or video and affects others in …

When, Where and How to Refold a Flag

DrillMasterHonor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional 17 Comments

A Badly folded flag All across America folded American, state, territorial and tribal flags are presented to the next of kin (NOK) of fallen military and first responder veterans. Unfortunately, some of these flags are poorly folded and still handed off. I’ve witnessed a folded flag in the hands of a first responder who was sincerely trying to cover the …