First Overseas DrillMaster Trip

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During my 20-year US Air Force Career, I was stationed in three European countries and Japan as well as two states. I had not been to the Middle East or the African continent.  Those two places are now added to the list. PART I Six Months in Planning Apparently, I have a fan or two overseas. One just happens to …

Off to Qatar and South Africa!

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Yes, it is true! The DrillMaster has been international for years now, but my travels have not taken me outside of the country until today. At 1 pm Eastern, I will fly with my good friend and exhibition drill colleague, Matthew Pereau. We are truly excited and blessed for this opportunity!       Our first stop is Qatar where …

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 …

Shaving, a Bane of Existence

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The first time one shaves is the beginning of a never-ending cycle when you wear a service uniform. Say hello to nicks, cuts and the occasional abrasion depending on your skin type and especially if you have acne. There are shaving powders, creams, and soaps, but probably the best shave you will find is from oil. You can buy a …

Communication and Respect

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In the movie, Ghost Busters, Egon Spengler says, “Print is dead.” To some extent, I agree, but words on the screen are alive and well. In the military, we know how to communicate and how to show respect in all forms of communication. After all, the military relies heavily on communication and it must be done the right way the …

“Guard, Fix the Flag”

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It’s a windy day. Your JROTC color guard is up next for the competition. You move into position on the drill, colors at Carry and rifles at Right Shoulder, pad and give the order to go to Present Arms. The rifles guards execute the Present Arms position, the American flag is flying in the breeze, and the spade at the …

Firing Party: Stop Taking Aim!

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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 …

Drill Team Organizational Guidance Examples

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Standards. The military is about setting and maintaining standards- even exceeding them. A cadet organization is not different. An extra-curricular activity of that program also needs to set and maintain standards. Those standards are of what is expected from each team member and what each team member can expect. Here are some examples. I encourage you to look them over, …

Distance and Alignment Training

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This is the best way that I know how to train a team to consistently maintain alignment and distance. When the platoon/flight falls in, they should always “dress and cover” without command. This is standard and if you are not doing this and relying on the commander to give commands, you are not falling in properly- this goes for every …

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 …