Training Videos

The following videos are examples that I created with the help of my students at Merritt Island High School. I’ve written exhibition drill routines and needed how to execute certain moves and that I had included in the routines. This set of videos is from a routine that I wrote for a sheriff’s department for their performance during the National Police Week Honor Guard Competition in May.

The Drill Team Training Playlist
Kick Exchange to Right Shoulder, The Kick Exchange, The Shoulder Toss Exchange,
Shoulder Drop Exchange and the The Port Exchange
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The Solo Exhibition Driller Training Playlist
The Arm Roll, Liberty with Drop, The Liberty, XD Order from Right Shoulder,
Standing & Kneeling Queen Anne Salute, Black Watches & Marching XD Right Shoulder,a Sample Exhibition Rifle Sequence,
& more to come!
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23 thoughts on “Training Videos”

    1. Hello Sir,

      I do not yet offer video instruction- that is on my to-do list. The next best thing for now is my book, The Honor Guard Manual which I offer in three flavors:

      Spiral bound: http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-marshall/the-honor-guard-manual/paperback/product-18929420.html
      Hard bound: http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-marshall/the-honor-guard-manual/hardcover/product-18954194.html
      Paperback: http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-marshall/the-honor-guard-manual/paperback/product-20530458.html

      I hope to get videos in the works very soon!

  1. Im suppose to create an unarmed drill team and they want me to be commander. I have no clue on anything about it. Please help me! I have comp in two weeks…

  2. Drill Master,

    I’m C/Sgt Jeffrey Washburn from Midway HS MCJROTC in Hewitt, TX. I have been our company’s color sergeant for about one year now, (I’m an LE-3 this year), and ever since I joined this program as a freshman, our color guard and drill team haven’t gone to any competitions. I am the only one with any exhibition experience at my school and I have been doing drill longer than most in the program. I want to break the cycle and finally see us go to competition this year. My SMI told me to get a team together who is ready to go to a competition, but I have no clue how I’m supposed to motivate cadets to join the team! I also have no clue how to teach other cadets exhibition! I could really use some advice on the matter, thanks!

    1. Cadet Washburn,

      Thank you for writing. There are many JROTC units in the same situation: they either have never competed, or the last time they competed was years ago.

      So, how do we get your team(s) together with enough members to compete? A color team (guard) needs four members and a drill team needs at least 9, 10 with a commander. Although, you could compete with just a squad for your first year, that would, be a minimum of 7 cadets; a squad and commander.

      Advertising/recruiting: flyers in the classroom and other JROTC areas would be good and briefings in each class throughout the day would help to ensure all cadets hear about the program. You could call it the Midway Battalion Honor Guard with the honor guard consisting of the armed drill team, unarmed drill team and color team. You could tentatively plan the year with, for instance, three competitions (maybe regulation only for the first year), two parades and two arrival ceremonies that require a cordon (two lines of cadets facing each other leading to the entrance of a building) and color team. Make it a big deal- no fluff, but a big deal with all kinds of opportunities: drill ribbon, awards at competitions. Also in the flyers and briefings you need to have a schedule of practice days/hours laid out. Also, be ready to answer questions with some solid answers- if you don’t have the answer right then and there, that’s OK, just make sure to write it down and get the answer as soon as you can. If you follow through with the answers and show that you have a plan- a good plan (practice days and times, the schedule for each practice, equipment ready to go, etc.) this will help motivate the other cadets. Just throwing out ideas is going to go nowhere fast.

      Let’s say you get the number of team members you want and you divide them into two teams: drill team (or squad) and color team for the first year of performances. Be excited about this- the numbers don’t matter, just go and do it. When other cadets learn of the fun time everyone had at the last parade, you will probably get more cadets wanting to join. Don’t expect perfection the first year, just work and enjoy the fruits of your labors and everything else will fall into place if you are consistent.

      With these two teams begin training as one and then practicing separately. Hit unarmed regulation drill (RD) with everyone and perfect it- follow your manual to the letter (I know that the wording and pictures in some places are at odds with each other, but pick one and stick with it- download all four PDF parts of MCO P5060.20 from my Downloads page and have everyone read it). Then, move on to armed RD. Once everyone has perfected and standardized all movements, and I mean ALL movements, move into separating the teams and concentrate on the team’s RD sequences. Perfect those sequences until you can do them backwards while sleeping.

      Then and only then move into exhibition drill (XD). XD can be difficult when starting, but I looked up your school’s address and I’m going to send you my first book, Exhibition Drill for the Military Drill Team. This should help begin your foundation for XD.

      Let me know how you are doing and also if I can help further.

      DrillMaster

  3. hi sir!

    is there any way you can share me a manual for silent drill team composed of 30 cadets. i will really appreciate it. thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Ricky,

      I’m not sure what sharing a manual would mean. I could write a routine for the team, or at least get you started, but I would need to know where you are to perform, or if you want a routine that can fit just about anywhere and if the team is armed.

  4. Nice site. Years ago I was on the drill team of my military school ( Leonard Hall Military Academy ) and we did a manouever were both ranks stood faced to face and tossed the the rifles up in the air and across to the other cadet while a cadet walked under the rifles as they went over from one end of the file.

    With the passage of time, I cannot recall what the drill was but I KNOW we did it in 1963 and then again when I was in high school ROTC in 1966.

    I would appreciate it if anyone could give me an answer to what this is called.

    It nearly got ME killed on 11-22-1963, as we were practicing on the parade ground and I was walking underneath the flying rifles just as an announcement came over the PA system that President Kennedy had been killed in Dallas.

    The lined up cadets were so shook by this that NO one caught the rifles and I had to run for my life to keep from being brought down by 42 very heavy rifles which all wound up clattering to the ground.

    After we calmed down a bit we all went back to the armory to put the rifles in the racks & spent the evening watching Cronkite or Brinkley or ABC report non stop as classes were suspended. Many of the students had parents in the military or in government and there was great concern at the time that this was a plot against the government of the US.

    The driveways and roads approaching the school were packed as our parents came to pick us up the next day. Classes didn’t resume until well after Thanksgiving, which was the following week.

    When people ask me ” Where were YOU when JFK was shot ? ” , this is what I tell them.

    I was 11 at the time & never forgot it. My late Father was in the Army for years so I had a tie to the military as well.

    Have a great Thanksgiving everyone !

    1. Mr. Senda,

      Thank you very much for writing! What an ominous memory. The move you describe is a cordon and the rifles moves are variations of exchanges, ripple or simultaneous.

      Drill teams most likely call it different names, but cordon is the standard name.

      Again, thanks for writing and I am glad you like the site!

  5. Good Morning,

    I am currently an AFROTC cadet at syracuse university and previously enlisted. I recently made the drill team butI am the only cadet on the team who doesn’t have prior drill training. I am looking for some way to catch up or even get ahead regarding armed drill. I am already proficient at a 15 count and marching with a rifle. I am interested in learning how to spin/ do more advanced moves. My hope is to eventually compete in armed exhibition later this year.

    Very Respectfully

    Alyson Kaufman

    1. Hi Alyson,

      Thank you for writing and for your continued service to our country.

      My books can be quite helpful at creating a knowlegde basis from which you can build your skills. In the mean time, i suggest looking at Adam Jeup’s videos (Independent Drill) on YouTube, he explains moves quite well.

      You may also wnt to purchase a rifle of your own with which to practice. Glendale’s paradestore.com has a great selection.

      Please let me know if you have more questions, I’m happy to help.

      All the best to you!

  6. DrillMaster

    I have a few questions that need to be cleared in my mind as what’s the correct protocol in handling flags. At the beginning of the work day (duty day) when raising the U.S. flag in conjunction with a state flag which one is flown first? I believe it to be the U.S. flag.
    When lowering the flags at the end of the day which one is lowered first? U.S. or state flag?
    Lastly, in a ceremony such as a high school graduation should the National Anthem be performed before or after the Pledge of Allegiance?
    Thank you for your expertise.

    1. Mr. Desphy,

      Thank you for writing; you have great questions here.

      1. At the beginning of the work day (duty day) when raising the U.S. flag in conjunction with a state flag which one is flown first? I believe it to be the U.S. flag.
      Answer: Per the Flag Code, the American flag is always raised first.

      2. When lowering the flags at the end of the day which one is lowered first? U.S. or state flag?
      Answer: Per the Flag Code, the American flag is always lowered last. The state flag is lowered and gathered into someone’s arms and then the American is lowered and gathered. Both can be folded at the same time.

      3. In a ceremony such as a high school graduation should the National Anthem be performed before or after the Pledge of Allegiance?
      Answer: The National Anthem is played while the flag is being raised or when the color team (guard) posts to the front of the auditorium. The Pledge of Allegiance is recited after the flag is raised or when the color team posts to the front of the auditorium in place of the Anthem. There is no need for both the Anthem and Pledge. One or the other suffices.

      I hope my answers are helpful, please let me know if I can be of further service.

  7. Hello, I am C/ Captain Giles. I am the Drill Commander for Cypress Lake High School in Fort Myers, Florida. I have to create an Unarmed Exhibition Routine for a platoon and dual and I have no clue what to do or how to even create a routine. I have read your articles on how to write it. But I still do not understand. Please help.
    Thank you,
    C/ Captain Giles

    1. Cadet Giles,

      You have some work to do- and you’ve come to the right place! I applaud your research to find the answers and I am glad you have laready read my articles. Have you read this one? http://www.thedrillmaster.org/2014/02/07/how-to-write-exhibition-drill-the-boxes-of-three-method/. The boxes of three method will be a great beginning for you creating a routine for your team. As for the tandem, this is where body movement is that much more integral- not that the team’s body movement (legs, arms, hands, head, & torso) is any less demanding, it’s just that a larger team (9, 12, 16 or more) must balance that movement with drill. Teams that do not integrate various drill moves into their program and rely more on the body movements are not creating nor providing a complete performance.

      Send me an email through my contact page (look at the tabs at the top) and we can communicate much easier.

  8. Salute Drill Master,

    I am Gerico, Drill instructor of Heroes College here in Philippines, I am teaching now the rifle exhibition to my 3rd class cadet/cadettes as their preparation to incoming Criminology day on March 11, 2016, i just want to know, how or what would be the best statement/or report of the drill leader before the drill team begins to their presentation…

    1. Gerico,

      Thank you for the question! My article, What to Say and How to Say It, may be just what you are looking for.
      Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Thanks!

  9. Hello DrillMaster,
    I am currently a third year in AFJROTC In Colorado. This year I will be the unarmed exhibition team commander and I have no idea how to create a sequence, nor an I really find anything on the internet. Please help! Thank you and have a wonderful day!

    NadeaSK.

    1. Hello Nadea!

      Never fear! I’m here to help. The first thing I always recommend to cadets us to read the articles I’ve written specifically for drill teams and their commanders. I know that you want to create a routine right now, but take some time to team through those articles with the tag Drill Team Training. This is going to help you begin to understand the what and how of an exhibition routine. Among those articles, you will read How to Write Drill: The “Boxes of Three” Method. Also, go to my Contact page and send me a message there and we can then work together through email.

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Training and Education for Drill Teams and Honor Guard Units

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