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The DrillMaster Honor Guard Staff Assistance Visit

The DrillMasterIn the military we have two types of visits from higher HQ: 1. Inspections and, 2. Staff Assistance Visits (SAV).

Inspections are to gauge an organization’s effectiveness on a pass/fail or multiple rating standard. However, SAVs are meant to help an organization improve- it’s an inspection, but without the stigma of a judgmental rating. It is an educational process. Inspections have their place, most definitely, but a SAV is like a fact-finding mission to see how well a program is doing and what areas can be improved.

In our case the program is an honor guard unit’s training and operations programs. Now, DrillMaster Honor Guard Academies and clinics offer an optional SAV. A DrillMaster SAV is also available separate from other DrillMaster Training as a one- to two-day visit. Contact me for complete details.

You can download the DrillMaster Training Staff Assistance Visit Form and use it to help your own program succeed.

Having a Complete Plan for a Performance

0649c73c-787d-4f6c-982f-39fb4d710402.jpgThis information applies to any performance: presentation/posting of the colors, solo exhibition or drill team routine. The key is acting with nothing but professionalism the whole time.

Before: Arrive at least an hour early. No two performances are the same and the more time you have to set up and rehearse, the better. Speak with your point of contact as soon as you arrive and ensure the timeline .

The service honor guards and installation honor guards travel and rehearse at performance site in their travel uniform which consists of the ceremonial or Class A trousers and a lightweight jacket- even in summer. About 20 minutes before the ceremony, the team changes into their ceremonial/Class A blouse and sets up for their entrance.

During: Perform, giving it your utmost!

After: Here is the sticking point for some. For installation honor guard units, it is permissible to remain in the ceremonial/Class A uniform if invited to a celebration, etc. because many people like to have pictures taken with those in uniform and the ceremonial/Class A is much more appropriate. If the team is going to be in the area and have time to partake of the county fair (for instance), it may be a good idea to stay in the performance area for a time for pictures, head back to transportation to change into the travel uniform and put equipment away. Then the team can go back and have some fun.

This is the “sticking point” I mentioned above: some, especially in JROTC, seem to think that once the performance is finished, the uniform can be treated however some cadets seem fit to treat it: no cover, shirt untucked, etc. This is unacceptable.

Have a plan, develop a standard and enforce that standard. It only takes on person acting inappropriately just one time to give your organization a bad name. Don’t let that happen.