I was asked a short time ago why someone would hire me or use the skills I’ve acquired. That is an excellent question. Why indeed.
Question: Concerning drill, what would you tell someone who is just coming into JROTC, whether they are an instructor or a cadet?
Read. Read your service drill and ceremonies manual. You need to know it so well that you can start reciting quotes from it in your sleep. Then, you need to practice, practice, and practice. Strive for excellence in every movement, armed and unarmed.
Question: But you have just negated the need to bring in the DrillMaster.
My response: From the outside, that would seem to be true, but we are talking about competitive regulation drill in the JROTC world. The key word here is, competitive and the service manuals were not made for competitive drill. To highlight this, the Army’s TC 3-21.5 states that drill is incorporated in the military to move from point A to point B. That is it unless you are assigned to a unit that has a specific need for a much more advanced level of drill and ceremonies. I am definitely needed.
I teach a course called DrillUp! that helps cadets learn the necessary tools for competitive regulation drill and also have two books that are made specifically to teach every aspect of competitive regulation drill for the flight/platoon and color guard. These two DrillMaster Field Manuals help build that competitive drill foundation that cover all areas that cadets and instructors need to know for JROTC in pocket-sized.
If the instructor is comfortable teaching, great. If not, I am available to work with the cadets and the instructor to ensure they all have a solid foundation.
Many JROTC instructors do not have a firm grasp of drill and that can be daunting. Afterall, drill and ceremonies is not a major aspect of military life like it once was and is only given a cursory overview during professional development courses, and that’s only for the Enlisted, drill falls under the purview of the non-commissioned/Petty Officer meaning commissioned officers do not receive training. There are cases where the officer had ROTC and was on the college’s drill team, but this is fairly rare.
Regulation Drill: Cadets need to learn 1) unarmed and 2) armed Regulation Drill and then 3) color guard. The sequence works best in that order.
Question: Once Regulation Drill gets nailed down, then what?
Move to Exhibition Drill (XD). Regulation Drill (RD) is the foundation that must be taught first and XD can then be layered onto that foundation. Unarmed XD gives cadets a good understanding of this http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-marshall/the-drillmaster-filling-in-the-gaps-vol-ii/paperback/product-21908902.htmnew level of performing and armed XD takes drill to an even higher level.
My books, Exhibition Drill for the Military Drill Team and Vol II of the same name, The DrillMaster: Filling in the Gaps and it’s Vol II, The World Drill Association Adjudication Manual and Continuing Education book are must-haves for every drill team out there. My favorite saying is, education is key! and I really mean that.
Question: What about units that want a ceremonial program?
Many JROTC, ROTC, and first responder departments have an honor guard unit and my book, The Honor Guard Manual, is the perfect addition for their training library. It is the only published manual that covers every aspect of a military honor guard.
What I provide in a course comes right from my books. I do not need to be there if someone has a good understanding of drill and ceremonies and they are teaching from my books. Most of the time, I need to be there to get everyone going whether that be a weeklong honor guard academy or a weekend drill clinic. After that, the teams usually have the required knowledge to push on from there. However, I am always a phone call or email away if questions arise!
There are three types of military drill: I teach Regulation, Ceremonial, and Exhibition Drill. There are two types of Exhibition Drill: Standard (high school drill teams) and Ceremonial (think of the service drill teams).