Following the Army’s Drill Manual for all Services

MacAruther Color Guard Dipping Cased ColorThe JROTC units from the Marines, Navy Air Force, and Coast Guard all have something in common- they all have to follow the Army Drill and Ceremonies Manual, Training Circular (TC) 3-21.5 at some point for competition. But where does MCOP 5060.20 and  AFM 36-2203 end and the TC begin? Good question! Let’s explore this.

Read also, The Case for Cased Flags and Colors.

One thing before we begin, you don’t dip a cased color. Just like you don’t salute a cased color. It’s cased, put away.

If you are in Army JROTC, you don’t need to know any of the following, although it may be interesting.

Competitive Color Guard

For the colors sequence that has the team uncase and then case the colors, there are some Army movements and some service movements (from the MCOP or AFM) that teams follow. That may sound confusing, but let’s look at the sequence and break it down move-by-move to see what we are talking about, specifically.

A= Army
M= Marines, Navy and Coast Guard
AF= Air Force

1. CARRY

A– Color bearers, right hand in front of mouth grasping staff, left hand on harness cup/socket. Guards at Right Shoulder
M– Add Ready, Cut. Guards at outboard shoulder. Left hand on staff directly underneath right hand only if windy.
AF– Color bearers right hand on staff at shoulder level, attention and marching have left arm at side, not on harness cup/socket. There isn’t a command in the AFM for this, however. Left hand on harness cup/socket only if windy. Guards at Right Shoulder.

2. FORWARD

A– Guards have arm swing, team marches at Close Interval (6″).
M– Come shoulder-to-shoulder, no arm swing.
AF– All have arm swing, team marches at Close Interval (4″).

3. LEFT WHEEL (Fwd)
4. LEFT WHEEL (Fwd)

All services follow the TC

5. HALT

A/AF– Follow TC
M– Split to Close Interval.

6. SLING ARMS

A/AF– Follow TC in technique as closely as possible, but there isn’t a standard set in the manual to go from Right Shoulder to Sling.
M– Follow MCOP in technique as closely as possible, but there isn’t a standard set in the manual to go from Right Shoulder to Sling.

7. POST
8. UNCASE SEQUENCE

All services’ rifle guards follow the TC. For the color bearers, the technique used to bring the staff to horizontal must match your service’s guidon salute technique! This means M must bring the staff to Order (no trim/strip) and bring it up to horizontal and A/AF must follow their arm and hand positions as outlined in their manuals.

9. PRESENT ARMS
10. ORDER ARMS

A/AF– Follow TC.
M– Follow MCOP.

11. POST
12. COLORS SALUTE

A/AF– Follow TC.
M– Follow MCOP in technique for guards.

13. REPORT-IN

Read here for an idea of what to say.

14. CARRY

15. COLORS REVERSE (Fwd)

A/AF– Follow TC.
M– Follow MCOP

16. LEFT WHEEL (Fwd)

All services follow the TC

17. COLORS REVERSE (Fwd)

A/AF– Follow TC.
M– Follow MCOP.

18. HALT

A/AF– Follow TC
M– Split to Close Interval.

19. ORDER COLORS

A/AF– Follow TC
M– Follow MCOP to include trimming/stripping the colors).

20. PARADE REST

All services follow their manual.

Next the team is called to attention and the sequence continues. I think you get the idea of what is going on. There are little subtleties that each service must identify as their own and stick to them. One subtlety is Mark Time. Each service has a slightly different explanation as to how to execute this movement:

A- Toes come two inches off the marching surface.
M– Toes come two inches and heels four inches off the marching surface.
AF– Toes come four inches off the marching surface.

So, we see that all is not just one or the other. If you are not aware of the nuances, then your team is not performing at its optimal and that’s not a good thing.

#KnowledgeIsKey!

 

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