The Difference Between Accuracy and Precision

This video can be of great help to you in training.

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Drill Team and Honor Guard Training, Part 2

ff785d98-1551-4a5f-a934-bb218127ea61.jpgTraining, Practice and Rehearsal, three different types of well, practice. Here is an article on the Difference Between Practice and Rehearsal and an article on the Difference Between Practice and Training.

Whether you are on a first responder or military honor guard or a JROTC/ROTC drill team, your responsibilities are the same to a point: develop your skills, keep them sharp and, if you can, learn new skills.

How to Run a Competitive Drill Team Practice
You must cover these areas at drill team practice: Inspection, Regulation Drill and Exhibition Drill. There is one other area to cover whether drill team members or other cadets, color team (color guard). If the color team members are also drill team members then, obviously, you will have to have these cadets practice their sequence either on their own or for part of the drill team practice.

Scheduling your time between platoon/flight and squad/element regulation sequences, then moving on to the exhibition sequence and even then working in color team(s) into the mix can be quite a challenge.

Inspection
Find out the layout of the next competition’s inspection area and work to enter and exit the area with the team.

I remember when I marched on my JROTC team and we had a very small room (on purpose) for the inspection area. We marched 17 members with fourth squad entering first, then third, second, first and me last, the commander. The team formed up at the back of the room with just enough space for the judge to walk behind 4th element and we opened ranks perfectly and then it began. What I do not remember is how we exited. Practice marching into a small area/room by squad/element using “(Column of Files) File from the Right” command.

We did very well my four years on the team because we had dedicated cadets and, what was even more important, we had dedicated instructors.

Regulation Drill
Armed and unarmed platoon/flight and squad/element sequences can take the least amount of practice if you have created a solid foundation of drill and ceremonies in your JROTC program. All cadets should at least be familiar with all stationary drill (standing manual), flanks and columns. Proper execution of each movement is key and then working on alignment and distance should follow.

All team members should read applicable D&C manuals and the Commander(s) should eat, sleep and breathe the regulation sequence command list until it is completely memorized.

Colors
The color team is part of regulation drill, but needs very specific attention. The uncase and case parts of the sequence must be accomplished per a mixture of the Army Training Circular and your service’s D&C manual. Yes, a mixture.

Exhibition Drill
This is also where that solid D&C foundation will help, plus personal practice time. Creating an effective routine takes time, teaching it takes time and, finally, practicing it takes time.

All of the parts of a drill competition take a great deal of time and you must find a balance. If your teams practice for two hours every day after school, you will be able to find that balance with relative ease. If you practice Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour-and-a-half, that balance will be more difficult- but it is doable.

What do I recommend? Start early- even during the summer and teach new cadets all they must know for regulation drill to be perfect in their execution. Then, run through those regulation sequences twice a week to keep them fresh in everyone’s memory, with the rest of the time spent on exhibition.

Lastly, give 100%, 100% of the time. Each time you practice make that practice seem like a performance on the competition field and be professional. If you can do your best with the resources you have and come in 8th place and still know that you gave your all, trophies will never matter.

Drill Rifle Set-Up Instructional Video


Preparing your drill rifle for exhibition drill is extremely important for your safety. This video walks you through key safety steps with tips for setting your rifle up for …

Source: www.youtube.com

This is an outstanding tutorial. It is a must-see video for anyone thinking of armed exhibition drill, solo or team.

See on Scoop.itDrillCenter eMagazine

Outstanding Unarmed Exhibition Drill

Many JROTC drill teams here in America have yet to consider unarmed drill on this scale. I encourage you to explore drill on this level with your team whether armed or not.

The gentleman calling the commands has been doing this for years and has increased the complexity of the program with each new team.

World Drill Association Mentioned in AFJROTC Newsletter

world drill association, drill team, exhibition drillThe World Drill Association (WDA), is the organization developed to create a solid foundation for adjudicating all types of drill and ceremonies in the military drill world: regulation, ceremonial and exhibition. The WDA exists to educate judges and Military Drill Professionals of all levels.

The WDA recently co-hosted a drill meet at Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, FL and Headquarters, Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps published a picture of the teams and gave a mention to the WDA.

Click here to download the AFJROTC April 2015 Newsletter.

My Cadet Hero

The best reason for JROTC, in my view, is that high school cadets can wear a military uniform and participate in different activities no matter their physical issues.

I have worked with JROTC units for many years and have had the opportunity to work with many, many cadets. Of those cadets I have seen some with physical issues that would prevent them from joining the military, but they have the opportunity to at least see what it is like to be in a pseudo-military environment. I so appreciate that.

Ariel Summerlin 2012
Ariel Summerlin, 2012

In 2012, I read a story online about a young lady, Ariel Summerlin, who has a physical issue and was intrigued. She does not have a left leg; and yet, she marches with her school’s JROTC program. You read that correctly, she marches with her team. She was a freshman then.

Back then, she was on her unit’s inspection team and did very well. Then she added unarmed regulation drill to her competitive repertoire. She even does extremely well in drill downs (knock out).

Fast forward three years and she is still marching with her team as a high school junior. As I attended Nationals in Daytona Beach, I saw her marching with her team and, when the opportunity was right, I ran over and told her how inspirational she is. I’m sure she has heard that hundreds of times before and that the word “inspirational” might even seem trite, but it’s true. I wanted to get a “selfie” with her, but her team was loading onto the bus on Saturday evening and I thought she was leaving.

Ariel Summerlin and MeSunday arrived and so did she! As she was at a booth near mine and walked over and introduced myself again and asked if I could get a picture with her. She was a little embarrassed and laughed when I commented on her height limitation compared to mine.

Ariel, you’re awesome.

The Military Cordon

Military cordons (two lines of people, armed or unarmed, facing each other) are used for arrival/departure ceremonies and awards banquets. Here is a video I created with my outstanding cadets from Merritt Island High School in Florida.

If you have any questions, please ask.

Drill Team and Honor Guard Unit Training, Part 1

Training Pic Doris DayIn the military, we train. And we train, and train and train. We have major training scenarios (exercises) that involve multiple services and other countries, we have them for a single military installation, single unit training, all the way down to military specialty and ancillary training for each individual. It’s time consuming, but well worth the effort. After all, lives are at stake.

This amount of training is what you would expect from a superb military- training to ensure everything goes according to plan- from the big-picture war games down to the single individual who needs to upgrade to the next skill level. And as a former Air Force Unit Education and Training Manager (UTM, for short), I am well aware that training forms the foundation of all we do.

The Master Task List/Master Training Plan
One of the key tools that every shop or office has is the Master Task List (MTL). As you can guess, it is a list of all of the tasks, broken down by skill level for each military job: MOS/AFSC (Military Occupational Specialty/Air Force Specialty Code).

Sometimes combined with the MTL, the Master Training Plan (MTP), as the name states, is a description of the plan for upgrade/recurring training that each member of the shop/office follows.

The Training Record
The other document of which every single service member has a copy, is their On-the-Job Training Record. This stays with you while in the service and has every task imaginable for a specific specialty. Many are electronic now with very few probably still in a folder in a file cabinet.

What all of this has to do with you
If you are on an honor guard, I have already created a downloadable PDF Training Record for you, one that covers every aspect of honor guard duties. Here is the MTL/MTP for download.

If you are on a drill team, you can use the same kinds of documents to track training. In JROTC/ROTC it may not be the most practical since cadets are on the team for four years and then gone- however, if schools adopt this system, those who move from high school to college could take their training plan with them. Here is a sample Drill Team Training Record and here is a sample MTL/MTP to get you started.

Have  plan, that is what is going to be your best bet in the long run. Write things down- even drill move ideas or additions you think should go into the training plan. Discuss training: who, when, how long. The more planning you do, the less running around you will do later.

Stand by for part two coming soon!

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Creating the “Drill Buddy” Concept for Your Unit

Battle BuddyThe Army and Marine Corps have the Battle Buddy system. The Navy and Coast Guard have Shipmates and the Air Force incorporated it’s Wingman system service-wide in the late 2000s. Maybe you are not familiar with this concepts but might see the opportunity to adopt it once you see how it works.Honor guard units and drill teams can use this to their great benefit.

Getting Buddy-Buddy
In the military, the number one priority day-in and day-out is safety and the old adage, there’s safety in numbers, is very true. It’s also the reason that many in the law enforcement community have a partner on the job, safety. You do not go anywhere without your “Battle” and it doesn’t matter where you are going. We, in the military drill world, can stretch that concept to go a little further to meet our needs.

Cadets have all kinds of things for which they need to keep track: all of the other classes in school, JROTC and then there is drill team, color guard and even Raiders/Orienteering. On the team, you have to remember to dry clean your uniform, shine shoes, prepare the uniform, haircut, practice days and times, performance days and times, etc. Keeping track of all of that can be much easier when two cadets are working toward that same goal.

Honor guard units (law enforcement, firefighters and EMS) can reap the same benefits of using a buddy system. It’s all for making the team look their best when it counts.

Uniform prepWhat a Drill Buddy Does
Spending the night before a competition to help setup uniforms and shine shoes. That 0400 phone call to make sure your Drill Buddy is up. Finishes your breakfast since it’s way too early. Gives you part of his/her lunch since he/she ate half of your breakfast. But the biggest role a Drill Buddy accomplishes is checking your uniform right after you check his/hers. Yes, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are wearing everything that you need to have on and carrying the rest, but it is your Drill Buddy who makes sure your cover (hat) is on straight and that the chin strap is flush with the bill, that you do not have wrinkles and he/she is the one ready with the lint roller.

To bring all of this together, does your unit have a contract/list of expectations? No? You should and I’ll soon publish an example that you can download, use and modify. Check back, it will be on the Downloads page.

The Ultra-Reinforced DrillMaster Bayonet

DrillMaster and Air Force Honor Guard Airmen
TSgt Carmen Hassell and the proud Airmen of the USAF Honor Guard Supply

It took three months to create the final version of the Ultra-Reinforced DrillMaster bayonet. The DrillMaster worked with the Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team and Supply Airmen to create this extremely reinforced bayonet.

The picture below is the final version. extra spot welds and a small plate of steel to reinforce the handle. This DrillMaster Bayonet* is the Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team’s new practice bayonet.

DrillMaster Ultra-Reinforced Bayonet

How it Began
An Airman on the current AFHG Drill Team, SrA Jason Black, contacted my about my bayonets since they do not have a sharp edge or point- a much safer alternative than what they use in performances. The issue was training new members of the team and having them more comfortable with not only spinning a rifle, but having a bayonet on the end.

The Welded DrillMaster Bayonet was the answer, or so we thought. That and two more versions broke after training with it for a while. They needed something extremely strong to take the rigors of a new drill team member constantly dropping the rifle without the constant breakage that the team experienced. SrA Gabriel Goldsborough and finally, A1C Johnathen Howard finished the whole process.

You can now benefit from these three months of work and information exchange between the USAF Honor Guard Drill Team and The DrillMaster. Click here to go to the DrillMaster Bayonet page.

*Patent pending

 

Training and Education for Drill Teams and Honor Guard Units

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