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Do Standards even Matter?

August 19, 2014 in Commentary, Drill Teams

Drill Team Uniform for XDThe picture at right was sent to me by a Facebook friend who is an Army JROTC instructor in Texas. He sent it with the note that, at this particular drill meet, the SOP stated that only authorized service uniforms were to be worn. He told me the reason for the strict uniform requirements:

One year I saw a color guard there wearing western wear. They had black denim trousers, western style shirts, cowboy boots and hats, and even wore red bandannas around their necks. It was getting ridiculous.

The Fancy or Basic Uniforms? article.

My response follows.

While I think the white Kevlar helmets are a strange choice, I don’t understand the Army’s (or any service’s) stiff-necked approach to uniforms. While I understand and fully support inspection, regulation and color guard in only authorized service uniforms, I don’t see why there is an issue regarding “exhibition uniforms” when it comes to exhibition drill. I in no way support any other kind of uniform when it comes to all regulation drill.

That being said, if instructors and cadet leaders cannot be bothered to read the SOP/OI, then the cadets should suffer the consequences which, unfortunately, ruins the purpose and experience of a drill meet.

What’s more, those who were running this competition did not even uphold the rules! This communicates to everyone involved that, no matter what standards are, it really doesn’t matter. I seriously doubt that this is what any JROTC command or unit wants to convey.

exhibition drill, regulation drill, color guard, color team, drill meet, drill competition, jrotc, air force, army, navy, marine corps, coast guard, standards, uniform

Details, Details, Details

July 15, 2014 in Color Guard/Color Team, Drill Teams, Honor Guard, Instructional

Yours is a Professional Ceremonial Unit
Army Pall Bearers
And you need to project that at all times not only in what you do, but in what you say.

Calling out “Detail” as the preparatory command, which is quite common, is not a word that is usually associated with a professional honor guard unit and I suggest not using it at all especially in public. After all, in the military, members get picked for unpleasant details, jobs that they would rather not do and that word is associated with the members of a detail not wanting to be there. This is not something that we want to project to VIPs or even the next-of-kin.

Better preparatory commands, as you will read throughout The Honor Guard Manual, are specific:

  • “Bearers” for the pall bearers
  • “Colors” for the color team
  • “Firing Party” for those on the team firing the 3-volley salute
  • “Cordon” for those on a cordon
  • “Guard” for the honor guard
  • “Drill Team” or “Team” for a Drill Team

For downloadable audio examples of how to give commands, click here and scroll down to Honor Guard Commands.

honor guard, firing party, color guard, color team, cordon, pall bearers, body bearers, firefighter, law enforcement, military

Color Team: This Position is not Authorized for any Service Branch

June 17, 2014 in Color Guard/Color Team, Commentary, Honor Guard, Instructional

Color Team: This Position is not Authorized for any Service Branch

Colors- Never Parade Rest

Never should a color (a color is a flag attached to a flagstaff) be pushed out like a guidon when at Parade Rest or Stand at Ease. The position pictured here is ONLY for a guidon bearer.

guidon, color guard, color team, honor guard, jrotc

The Registration Application Works!

May 24, 2014 in Announcements, Commentary

The DrillMasterYes folks, I was finally able to get the code and my friend at Dave Becker Design to finally make things work. It’s difficult being a one-man band while maintaining the site, writing articles, teaching, writing books and all of the others things necessary in life. But, God is good and gracious and I was able to connect with Dave and have him take care of a long overdue job.

Please register and begin the discussions in the forum, comment, inform and learn!

jrotc, honor guard, cadet, guardsman, training, exhibition drill, regulation drill, color guard, color team, drill team, firing party, pall bearers, casket bearers, firefighter, fireman, police, sheriff, law enforcement, ems, first responder

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 2014 Cadet Joint Service Honor Guard Academy

April 14, 2014 in Announcements


Cadet Joint Service Honor Guard

CJSHGA members receiving their Honor Guard Tab at graduation

The 2014 Cadet Joint Service Honor Guard Academy

If you are between the ages of 12 and 17 (high school seniors are welcome), in any kind of cadet program and have a desire to learn the tasks of America’s military honor guards, Millersburg, KY is the place to be from July 27th to August 9th. Why? Because these 2 weeks are the Cadet Joint Service Honor Guard Academy! The academy is taught by The DrillMaster and hosted by Forest Hill Military Academy which turns into the National Cadet Training Center during the summer where cadets from all over the world meet to attend many varied Military Adventure Camp courses:

COURSES (First Time Attendees):

Basic Cadet Training – Session 1                                                       June 29 – July 12

Basic Cadet Training and Tactical Leader Course                            June 29 – July 26

Basic Cadet, Tactical Leader, and Cad. Mil. Combatives Prog.        June 29 – August 2

Basic Cadet, Tactical Leader, and Cadet MP Academy                    June 29 – August 9

Basic Cadet Training – Session 2                                                       July 13 – 26

Basic Cadet and CMCP Week                                                           July 13 – August 2

Basic Cadet and Cadet MP Academy                                               July 13 – August 9

COURSES (Returning Attendees):

Cadet Tactical Leader’s Course                                                         July 13 – 26

Cadet Tactical Leader’s Course and CMCP                                       July 13 – August 2

Cadet Tactical Leader’s Course and Cadet MP Academy                 July 13 – August 9

Cadet Advanced Leader’s Course                                                      June 6 – 26

Cadet Ranger Challenge (CRS prerequisite)(15 y/o+)                      June 22 – July 12

Cadet Ranger School                                                                          July 13 – August 2

Cadet Combat Engineer School                                                        June 22 – July 12

Cadet Combat Support Schools                                                        June 22 – July 12

Cadet Ranger Challenge and Cadet Ranger School                         June 22 – August 2

Cadet Military Police (MP) Academy                                                 July 27 – August 9

Cadet Joint Honor Guard Academy                                                  July 27 – August 9

Cadet Military Combatives Program (CMCP)                                  July 27 – August 2

I hope to see you around the campus!

honor guard training, cadet honor guard, air force, army, navy, marine corps, coast guard, sea cadets, young marines, civil air patrol, cap, honor guard, color guard, funeral detail,  pall bearers, pallbearers, firing party, color team, posting the colors, presenting the colors

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

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

Ask the DrillMaster: What are we doing wrong with our color guard?

February 4, 2014 in Color Guard/Color Team, Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional

Notre Dame Trimilitary Cadet Color Team, color guard

Notre Dame Trimilitary Cadet Color Team

Question: Since you work with drill teams & know proper flag etiquette, you’re my go-to person on this one. We were told at a national veteran convention by someone from another state that we shouldn’t have an eagle on our state flag staff, only on the US Flag staff. I haven’t found anything about it. Is this accurate? Thanks! B

Answer: Hi B, Thanks so much for the question. Actually, the eagle is only for the president. Army spades are the only authorized finials for all services except the Navy and Coast Guard which both use the battleaxe- except when they are in joint-service situations.

Since veteran organizations are an extension of the military services, they should be following the guidance provided. However, the guidance is kinda difficult to find and can be confusing so I did some research and put everything on my website. The following links are my articles on flags (colors), flagstaffs and ornaments (finials), I hope they are helpful. If they are, please send this information to those you know might benefit from it.

All about ornaments (finials):

All about the flagstaff:

All about flagstaff sizes:

How to mount a flag:

Fringe on a flag:

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