The Chief Brief

DrillMaster Ask DrillMaster, Honor Guard, Instructional, Protocol and Flag Leave a Comment

You have an upcoming Line of Duty Death funeral and will be handing the flag to the Sheriff, Police Chief, or Fire Chief who will then hand the folded flag to the next of kin (NOK). What do you say to brief the Chief? Here is something to help you: “Chief, stand at the head of the casket. When I …

Marine Corps Color Guard

Color Guard and Team Member Height

DrillMaster Ask DrillMaster, Color Guard/Color Team, Honor Guard Training, Instructional 4 Comments

For the picture above, the Mirror Present technique is not authorized for Marines in the Fleet not MCJROTC cadets. It is ONLY authorized for the members of Marine Barracks Washington. Some people try to force the members of a color team into tallest-to-shortest (viewer’s left-to-right) no matter the skill level. That can be a recipe for embarrassment. Especially when the …

Wearing the Mourning Band

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First responders have a black band that is worn over or around their badge/shield like what is pictured. The band signifies the loss of a colleague usually through a Line of Duty Death (LODD); the military equivalent to this would be an Active Duty Death. Three questions arise: How long should the department wear the band? Thirty days is the …

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, …

How to Halt from Right/Left Step

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With me spending 27 years associated with Air Force drill and ceremonies, the Marine Corps style of D&C has always been unusual to me. Having said that, I’ve studied the MCO several times and have worked with a couple of Marines who have been a great help for me. Not long ago, A Navy Master Chief NJROTC instructor had a …

First Night Jitters

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One’s first performance can be a little stressful. Here are some words of wisdom to remember for just that situation. I’ve been associated with many performance ensembles over the years and one of the best pieces of advice has been: for that first performance in front of an audience, when you first go out, you will feel adrenaline coursing through …

Tuck Your Gloves! But, In Your Epaulet?

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Some may find this innocuous, but (first responder) ceremonial guardsmen need to maintain a professional image when in uniform before, during and after a ceremony. Any other time that we are out of uniform, dress is most likely not an issue. For us in the military, it’s a big no-no to tuck gloves into an epaulet. That’s not where they belong …

American First Responder Joint Service Order

DrillMaster Color Guard/Color Team, Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training 2 Comments

Is this a “thing”? I think so. My reasoning for the research and writing this article is to provide information that may be necessary for certain situations for American First Responders. For the US military, we have our joint service order or military order of precedence:  Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard. The order is based …

Firefighter Uniform for the Funeral Procession

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I constantly receive questions on here my website and on my social media accounts. I also belong to a couple of Facebook first responder groups where drill and ceremonies and honor guard questions are posted from time-to-time. For some questions, I just read the responses and learn; for others, I am able to share my knowledge. This one was a …

The Honor Guard and the Suicide

DrillMaster Ask DrillMaster, Color Guard/Color Team, Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional 1 Comment

It’s been years since I was part of an Airman’s Active Duty (full honors) funeral who committed suicide (early 1990s). During the preparation for that funeral I remember some of my fellow guardsmen voicing their opinion as to whether the Airmen deserved full honors or even a flag on his casket. Suicide is looked upon as shameful; less so now, …