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Fancy or Basic Uniforms?

April 22, 2014 in Commentary, Drill Teams, Instructional

exhibition drillThe argument for uniforms in a drill meet
It can be made for either way. Currently, drill teams in many areas, can and do develop their own unique uniforms wearing almost nothing resembling their service’s basic uniform- but still communicate military flavor and some completely leave their military roots as far as the uniform and even the routine is concerned. If you have the funds, then the sky is the limit, apparently. Other teams, who cannot afford such things or that have uniform restrictions, wear the basic uniform, with or without blouse (jacket), and sometimes add accent items like an ascot, colored beret, gloves and/or aiguillette.

DrillMaster's drill team training, exhibition drillThe DrillMaster viewpoint
I appreciate the freedom of visual expression that some drill teams explore. It’s a good thing. However, I would restrict this to exhibition drill (XD) only. When it comes to the other phases of competition: inspection, regulation drill and color team, basic issue-only uniforms should be mandatory.This would make mandatory: name tags, ribbons (no medals), rank and authorized badges.

As teams progress through each phase, they would run through the mandatory issued uniform phases (inspection, regulation drill and color team) and would then be allowed time to change/add exhibition accouterments and then proceed onto the XD area to perform. NJROTC CutsWhy this philosophy?
Keeping the playing field level. This way, everyone gets to compete in a fair environment. Everyone has access to the issued uniform and its authorized accouterments and competition should be based on this- the already established standard.

I’ve talked with JROTC instructors around the world who tell me about funds that aren’t there for creating a “cool, flashy” uniform. the inspection and regulation drill, including color team, phases are all based on guidance that is published in a military service’s manual- whatever that manual is called. So, doesn’t it make sense to follow the manual to the letter? Of course!

What about Exhibition drill?
A military regulation/manual on XD does not exist. The series of books that I have written are in no way a regulation, but are tools for educating those in the military drill world. Still, each of the military services do not venture into writing regulations for exhibition drill because the military has no general interest regarding XD. Specific interest, yes (the service drill teams).

No official guidance for XD. XD is then wide open. While you still need to have military flavor in the uniform and routine itself, but the XD phase gives teams and individual Drillers room for imagination. And imagination is a good thing in XD, but not allowed in the other phases.

Some competitions do not allow anything more than an ascot, gloves and aiguillette/shoulder cord. This could possibly be called “extreme,” but it stands to reason: untrained judges can be swayed solely by how a team looks. Which brings up the issue of getting judges professionally trained!

Who do you Support?

April 16, 2014 in Commentary, Drill Teams, Honor Guard

Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps

Who do you Support?


I was wearing one of my drum corps shirts one day (the one on the right is my shirt from the Bluecoats of Canton, OH.) not too long ago at the exchange on base near where I live and an Airman walked up to me and said as he passed, “Thank you for supporting drum corps.” I turned with a big smile and asked with what corps he marched and he told me Phantom Regiment in the late 80s. We didn’t get a chance to speak any longer than that, but it reminded me that I, in my small way, contribute to the entire program. I help young men and women from around the country march with a drum corps each year. Yes, just by purchasing a T-shirt. And that’s why organizations sell things- for support and to advertise. Which brings me to the military drill world.

You are a Driller or a member of an honor guard. What are you sporting each day, some mega corporation’s logo or a T-shirt of your team or unit? Do you know that the DrillMaster has T-shirts and other items for Drillers and honor guard units? Click the Store tab above. If you are a member of the military drill world, do you know about For the Art Clothing Company? If not, now you do.

What does wearing a T-shirt of your (favorite) team accomplish?

  1. It supports the team directly through a purchase.
  2. It advertises for the team.
  3. It helps people with like interests, find each other, building a community around that interest.
  4. It supports jobs for T-shirt manufacturers, printers and delivery industries.

Your purchase has a big impact on the activities you like. Now, go browse FTA and see the cool stuff offered there.

The New Military Drill Hash Tag: #DrillFace

April 6, 2014 in Announcements, Color Guard/Color Team, Drill Teams, DrillCenter News, Honor Guard

#drillfaceThe New Military Drill Hash Tag: #DrillFace

The picture to the right is from the movie, Full Metal Jacket. Here the Drill Sergeant is asking the recruit for his war cry and we can obviously see his war face as well. This gave me an idea: #drillface.

We in the Military Drill Community have no need to speak of war, after all, most of the community is in high school with many still in middle school. The US Army’s Creed contains a Warrior Ethos which is only for Soldiers, not cadets/students. Cadets/students need to concentrate on education, working with others, leadership and a work ethic, etc.

With all of that in mind, I give you the picture that started me thinking of #drillface.



What does this mean? Post a picture of your best #drillface on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag and let’s see what we can come up with!

instagram, #drillface, twitter, exhibition drill, regulation drill, color guard, colorguard, color team, honor guard, drill team

Become a Certified DrillMaster

April 1, 2014 in Drill Team Training, Drill Teams, Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training

DrillMaster UniversityBecome a DrillMaster
You can be a Certified DrillMaster by going through the courses I have developed. Certified Honor Guard DrillMaster is for anyone wanting to learn how to become an honor guard instructor and be able to learn and then teach the style of the Presidential Honor Guards.

I already have that title
Great! There are drill masters for drill teams, military schools and certain American military units and I applaud your efforts and achievements! You are a drill master and that is great. The next level is becoming a Certified DrillMaster. There is a difference.

Becoming a Certified DrillMaster takes study and testing along with application. Become a Certified DrillMaster (with endorsements in regulation and exhibition drill) and you can then go on to receive endorsements for honor guard and/or military drill competition judging.

Contact The DrillMaster for complete details.

Certified DrillMaster, drill team, drill master, regulation drill, exhibition drill, honor guard, color guard, firing party, pall bearers, body bearers, casket bearers, firefighter, law enforcement, police, sheriff, ems

Dress Right, DRESS!

March 18, 2014 in Drill Team Training, Drill Teams, Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional

Dress Right, DRESS!

If you are in the military. a cadet program or even a firefighter, law enforcement or EMS, you’ve heard this command at least once.

While you may be amazed with my drawing abilities, stay focused on the info!

Dress Right Dress

Dress Right Dress

Each service, except the Marine Corps (which then pushes out to the Navy and Coast Guard) spells out in some detail what is supposed to happen when given the command, Dress Right, Dress. The Air Force specifically states that if an arm is too long, but the hand behind the person to the left.

(TC 3-21.5) “On the command of execution [DRESS RIGHT,] DRESS, the first squad leader stands fast and serves as the base. Other squad leaders obtain correct distance by estimation. The members of the first squad execute in the same manner as in squad drill to obtain exact interval. All other squads execute as the first squad, except that each squad member raises the left arm only for uniformity, actually covering (glancing out the corner of the left eye) on the man to the front.”

(MCOP 5060.2) [cue crickets] “…” The MCOP does not say anything about it. NVMC 2691 (1983), the previous drill and ceremonies for the Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard mentions it briefly, but does not give details.

(AFMAN 36-2203) “As the remaining members align themselves behind the individual in front of or to the right of them, their shoulders may or may not touch the fingertips of the individual to their right. If the arm is too long, place the extended hand behind the shoulder of the individual to the left. If the arm is too short, leave it extended toward the individual to the left and parallel to the ground.”

Dress Left Dress

Dress Left Dress

Dressing to the center is not usually called so that everyone puts their arms up like dressing to the right or left, but it is something that may be beneficial. Honor guard units dress to the center in different formations, cordons (after dressing to the direction of the VIP) and colors.

Dress Center Dress

Dress Center Dress

One instance where dressing to the center is very necessary is the last part of Regulation Drill where the team is marching behind the commander toward the head judge. THe team should align like this:

Dressing Center For Regulation Drill

Dressing Center For Regulation Drill

regulation drill, dress right dress, dressing right, dress left dress, dress center dress

Florida Air Academy Joint Service Drill Meet 2014

March 17, 2014 in Announcements, Color Guard/Color Team, Drill Teams, World Drill Association

FFlair 14 064lorida Air Academy Joint Service Drill Meet 2014

The Florida Air Academy (FAA) AFJROTC Department and the DrillMaster teamed up to create the first annual FAA Joint Service Drill Competition and on March 25, 2014 the competition was in full swing. Schools from Brevard County and even Martin County (their first ever competition!) came to march, have a free lunch (which was just wonderful) and compete for guidon streamers, overall trophies and, get ready for this, CASH prizes!

World Drill AssociationNot only was this the first drill meet hosted by FAA, the first competition for Martin County High School, but there was another first as well: FAA decided to use the World Drill Association (WDA) Adjudication system. This is the first time the WDA system has been used at the JROTC level. It has been used as the basis for many independent drill competitions across America and now, the JROTC drill world has had it’s introduction into the only adjudication system that is based on visual judging and has score range descriptions- which means that scores actually mean something and are not just a random number. We believe it is only a matter of time until more teams/schools will want this educational judging system for their competitions. For more information on the WDA, click here and click here and here for information on the 2 WDA adjudication books.

Flair 14 070Judging was handled by Army recruiters and a police officer from West Melbourne. Yes, a police officer! She retired from the Army in ’09 and was thrilled to be asked to judge. We were happy to have our local Army recruiters and our very own police officer.

Plans are underway to create a bigger and better competition for next year- including creating and independent category for Drillers who are not affiliated with a school to come and compete. If you are interested in competing or judging, let me know by clicking here to contact me.

The cadets at Florida Air Academy (FL-032) would like to thank the participates who helped make our first drill meet a success and invite everyone else to consider us for next years event. We started off this first year with two Air Force units and two Army units, seven different categories, and 28 events. The points we used to count overall placings were restricted to events that had at least three different units participating. The results of the FAAJSSC were:
Update on awards:

Eau Gallie High School
Overall 1st Place = $500.00

1st Place Unarmed Inspection = $100.00

1st Place Unarmed Regulation Drill = $100.00

1st Place Color Guard = $100.00

Martin County High School

Overall 2nd Place = $250.00

2nd Place Unarmed Inspection $50.00

2nd Place Unarmed Regulation Drill = $50.00

2nd Place Color Guard = $50.00

Cocoa Beach High School

3rd Place Overall = $100.00

3rd Place Unarmed Inspection = $25.00

2nd Place Unarmed Squad = $50.00

3rd Place Unarmed Squad = $25.00

3rd Place Color Guard = $25.00

Astronaut High School

3rd Place Unarmed Regulation Drill = 25.00

1st Place Armed Inspection = $100.00

1st Place Armed Regulation = $100.00

1st Place Armed Exhibition Squad = $100.00

1st Place Unarmed Squad = $100.00

1st Place Armed Regulation Squad =$100.00

For more pictures from the day’s competition, click here to go to The DrillMaster Flikr Site.

squad drill, flight drill, exhibition drill, platoon drill, regulation drill, color team, color guard, drill meet, drill competition, world drill association, drillmaster

The DrillMaster South Africa Project 2014

March 12, 2014 in Announcements, Drill Team Training, Drill Teams

south africa project

I train Drillers, whether here in the USA: the picture at right is of me working with the first cadet Joint Service Honor Guard Academy in 2013, or in other countries: I’ve trained honor guard members in Belgium. And now, I’ll train young men and women in South Africa.

The DrillMaster South Africa Project 2014

For 7 to 10 days I will be in South Africa teaching exhibition drill. Below is a picture of my friend Tshepo Tautshwane in action as the drum major of his marching band that is in the Field Band Association. Next, here he is with one of his students. Lastly, Tshepo’s drum major maces. He makes them. By hand. His students are the only Drum Major Mace Drill Team that I know of and they want to try spinning rifles. That’s where I come in.

Plus, I plan on completely replacing the roof on Tshepo’s home. His house is more of a shack. It will cost around $500 to put on a new roof for him and his family. They need it desparatly since each time it rains, their belongings get drenched.

Tshepo1 Tshepo







Click on any picture or here to donate. Every amount helps!









drillmaster, south africa project, drum major mace, exhibition drill, drill team

Army District Drill Meet at Port St. Lucie High School 2014

March 10, 2014 in Drill Teams, DrillMaster Performance Critiques, Judging

Army JROTCArmy District Drill Meet

The following are the DrillMaster Audio Performance Critiques for the Army JROTC District Drill Meet held at Port St. Lucie High School on Mar 8, 2014. I judged armed exhibition drill.

exhibition drill, drill team, drill meet, drill competition, army district, port st lucie high school, merritt island, south fork, forest hill, fort pierce central

New Mexico Military Institute’s Goss Rifles: The Goss Project

March 4, 2014 in Drill Teams, DrillCenter News

NMMI Drum MajorNew Mexico Military Institute (NMMI, the school I attended for Jr. college, ’85 JCX- that’s me at right) has a 6-year program: 4 years of high school and 2 years of Jr. College. It is one of a very few schools that offers a commission into the US Army after completing just 2 years of college. However, not all NMMI graduates enter into the military; the school builds the skills young men and women need to be successful throughout life.

The high school program has Army JROTC. All cadets are in the program and Goss Rifles, the school’s high school drill team, is a big part of JROTC.

NMMI is one of if not the best military school in the nation. Am I biased? Sure, but the school’s record stands by itself: great military and civilian leaders have walked through Sally Port during the school year. It is a school that you need to check out if you even have the slightest interest and, once there, join Goss, you won’t regret a minute.

Fish Drill Team Wins 2014 Mardis Gras Drill Meet!

February 28, 2014 in Drill Teams, DrillCenter News

DrillMaster and Fish Drill Team 2014

DrillMaster with Fish Drill Team and Cadet Staff 2014

If I’m not mistaken, this is number 5!

Fish Drill Team Class of 2017- National Champions
1st platoon exhibition
1st platoon regulation
1st Color Guard
1st Squad regulation
1st Individual Solo
2nd Inspection

Congratulations, cadets!

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