Tag Archives: Kadets of America wda

Create Goals, not Dreams

A speedometer with red needle pointing to Reach Goal, encouraging people to get motivatedBut not just goals, SMART Goals
The difference between a goal and a SMART goal is your goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. SMART goals give you a much better avenue to reach your goals. Your dreams are the fuel that drives the high-performance goal engine.

Specific
Broad, general terms are not going to help. What, specifically, do you want to accomplish? “I want to be a better Driller”, is too broad. “I want to improve my footwork”, is much more solid and descriptive.

Measurable
How will you know how much you have improved? What will you use as your scale to determine your improvement? It is just fine to use a professional to give you feedback and rely on that as your tool for measurement.

Attainable
“I want to my footwork to be just like a professional tap dancer.” Probably not going to happen by your next competition or over the summer. Small steps are just fine.

Relevant
Does your goal strictly pertain to what you want? Make sure.

Time-bound
“A year from now, I want to be able to…” While a year is not an impossible timeline, it is quite a long time and there is a great possibility that you will get distracted. “In the next three hours I want to…” is also not impossible, but we need to find a happy medium. Give yourself a week or two, or even a month or six.

While we are on the subject:

Write it down
Successful people say it all the time, “Put it in writing.” In the Air Force I also learned, “If it isn’t written down, it never happened.” While professionally we may do this, sometimes we may overlook applying this to our personal lives. Goals in writing become real, it’s like making a contract with yourself. The contract then requires discipline on your part.

Sacrifice now for great dividends later
Practice, read and study. My articles and books and your service drill and ceremonies manual need to be at the top of your reading list. Wake up early to practice on your own. Carry the command list for the unarmed squad you will command for this year’s competitions. Read it when you are waiting in line. Put a copy of it up in your bathroom and read it three times while you brush your teeth.

Remind yourself why
People who are truly successful never let short-term pain override long-term goals. They know that the only difference between success and failure is where on the timeline they decide to quit. Even so, they constantly remind themselves of “why” they are doing what they do. Find an image that represents your goals and put it everywhere: your computer screensaver, refrigerator door, office desk and your bathroom wall at home. Think it, say it and repeat it. Never forget “WHY.”

While you may not have the power to predict and control the future, you most certainly have the power to shape and guide your future as you see fit. By following these six steps, you can begin to build your new future today, and take positive steps to make 2015 your most awesome year on record.

 

How to Create a Four-Man Team Exhibition Performance

The Tetrad
Drill teams come in all sizes for different reasons. Teams can range in size from nine to twenty five members with or without a commander marching outside of the formation. A tetrad, the shorter name for a four- or five-man exhibition drill team, creates a performance for small areas like a ballroom dance floor or on a stage.

Why a tetrad?
If your unit already has an unarmed, armed, one or more tandem (two Drillers) and soloists, why have yet another team especially if the team cannot compete (no category at local meets)? The answer is that the tetrad team is the perfect “portable” size. Does your school visit the local elementary and middle schools and perform for the students? You should. You need to advertise JROTC and give younger children an opportunity to see

There are specifics that a tetrad can follow for competitions (click here) or the team can design a routine that is specifically for entertaining an audience during a formal dinner.

The following diagrams are an example of what a tetrad can do. It will give you an idea of what your team may want to do.

The Progression of a Tetrad performance
You can use the following description or modify it to suit your needs.

1. The Entrance

If your team has five members (the fifth is the commander, usually armed with a sword/saber), the commander to enter at the head of the team, or even before the team, with the team following as soon as the commander posts at his/her spot.

You will probably want the team to enter and encircle the commander. The whole team would then look like the 5-side of a die, like this.

Tetrad 1

You may want to have your team enter so that they are all facing center like this.

Tetrad 2

2. Close-in Drill

Here the team’s rifle movements need to be very conservative since you are in close quarters. Rifle movement should be constrained to spinning and short exchanges (Port, Leaning, etc.)

Note: Numbers two and three can be reversed, starting farther away from the commander and then stepping in closer.

3. The Step Back

Now, the team can be a little more open to rifle movement with more exaggerated spins, tosses and bigger exchanges (Shoulder, Ground, etc.).

Tetrad 3

4. If you have room…

You can depart from the usual formation and work into and from a single-file line (column) like this.

Tetrad 4

5. Introductions

Prior to leaving, whether you execute number 4 or not, it’s a good idea to come forward in a single-file line for individual introductions. With the introductions, each member, commander last, can step forward, perform a “signature move” and then step back into line.

Tetrad 5

6. The Departure

The team can face toward their exit point and march off without performing anything else, or they can give the audience one last team move to wow the crowd and leave them wanting more.

Resistance to Change: The Five Monkeys Syndrome

stages_of_resistance_to_change1Even if you are a cadet in high school JROTC or in Sea Cadet, Young Marines, etc. you may have come across this syndrome. If you are an adult, you most definitely have come across this. Please watch this short video before reading on and it will explain. Image courtesy of Sharon Browning and Associates.

Now, we are not talking about “Change for change’s sake” that’s just plain useless. Many organizations have tools in place for use by their members to afford the opportunity to review processes and then implement better ideas.

When we come to the Military Drill World, there is plenty to learn that has not been taught and ways of teaching that have not been used. But we encounter the mindset of, “The military (collectively) has been around for over 200 years! We are doing just fine, thank you.” The fact is that many soloists, JROTC, ROTC and even CAP, Sea Cadets and other units are not “just fine” and need differing levels of help in the form of education and guidance. Still, many are too stubborn to accept constructive criticism or seek help.

Service and Military Bias is quite prevalent as well. Service Bias is when a member of one service will not budge on any issue if it comes from outside his/her scope of training. Military Bias is when a service member does not accept any form of training that was not developed or used by the military in general. The education and training of cadets could be advanced quite a bit if only some would understand.

I am not equating anyone or any group to being monkeys. The video only shows the progress and results of a scientific study.

The military, at the end of WWII, fostered the pageantry arts, drum and bugle corps and marching bands, which led to indoor color guard as well and other arts. An issue arose in the early 1970s regarding the control that the military (veteran organizations) had over competitions and judging. You see, those involved in the pageantry arts who did not have that military background- and even a few who did- began to take their groups into new levels of performance which left the rigid rules of the military behind – though the foundational training remained and was added to. For decades the foundation was laid by the military men and women and they needed to let these organizations grow and learn on their own and even grow and learn with them, but the veterans didn’t grow and learn. Eventually, those who were staffing the groups in the pageantry arts did not deal with the military men and women. The military roots are still held in high regard and many lessons are still taught today, but they are mixed with the higher-level education and training that is seen in high school marching bands and drum corps across the USA and even around the world as the education and training began spreading in the early 1980s.

The point is, being open to new ideas- or at least ideas that are new to you- is a good thing. If these ideas work well, everyone wins. If these ideas do not seem to work for your organization, then there is nothing lost as you at least tried.

“That’s the way we’ve always done it,” is such a horrible statement to hear, don’t be the one to say it.

What is “Readability”?

1e6497f5-c07b-41de-93a5-a17f0bff64ca.jpgReadability describes something that we can easily read. We get that. When we pick up a newspaper or look at a magazine article, we find it easy to read and comprehend, in general. We can read a master’s degree thesis and find complex words, phrases and sentence structure. On the other hand, we can look at a child’s first paper and see that it is very difficult to read and not just because of the child’s inability to draw the letters well. The same goes for a visual performance.

The three types of drill in the military are, regulation (RD), ceremonial (CD) and exhibition (XD). All require readability, but XD is where it comes into play since this type of drill is strictly performance-based. For ease of explanation, I will talk about RD, but it can be applied to CD and XD.

It’s about Communication 
Take a look at the picture above. Notice the stripe on the skirt/trouser leg, cover (hat) and the white gloves. These make certain movements and positions stand out. Look at the hand positions, leg angles and the height of the feet. We see mostly the same positions with a small variation here and there. This is fairly clear communication or, readability. This means we can see what the team is doing and we can understand and appreciate it. This is a picture of one moment in time. Now let’s use our imagination.

Envision yourself executing the following sequence: you execute a Right Face and let your hands swing out a little as you use your shoulders to help you (a common new Driller move). Your shoulders and hands moving create movement that hinders communication, clarity and sharpness.

Now, envision this: you are at Port Arms going to Order. You reach up with your right hand, grasp the rifle to pull it down and as you let go with your left, your left drifts over to your left side and then moves to the rifle muzzle. You then rest the rifle on the deck and cut your left to your side to Attention. That indecisive left arm movement creates confusion as to where it should go creating confusion.

Imagine you are executing the 15-Count Manual, Arms sequence. Imagine that your hands never reach your sides when you are at either shoulder, but stop a few inches away from your trouser seam. This means you are not completing each position’s movements like you should. This completely blurs clarity and greatly hinders communication. This usually happens when the Driller is concentrating on completing the sequence in order near the beginning of learning the manual of arms.

And now, if you are an exhibition Driller, imagine not completing moves or positions, as described above for the 15-Count Manual. This is very common for Drillers as they progress.

You create clear communication by completing moves and by executing movements sharply. It isn’t simple at first because you have multiple responsibilities* going on at the same time. Eventually though, as you progress, you learn to balance those responsibilities and create effective drill.

*Multiple Responsibilities are what you have to consider all at the same time, while performing: marching with your feet straight while at attention, using proper arm swing, staying aligned to the front and side, staying in step, executing movements at the right time, etc.

Physical and Psychological Performance Preparation

Preserving the pattern of the “P”: for your positive pre-reading program, precluding any possible problems: peruse The Difference Between Practice and Training and The Difference Between Practice and Rehearsal. Please also read, Having a complete Plan for a Performance and, from the Civil Air Patrol angle, How to Plan and Coordinate a Color Guard Event.

Now that we have given Ps a chance, let’s get on with the primary polestar of this piece. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself…

b2b83f0a-80bf-4e06-a2fd-d102d833adbd.jpgPhysical Preparation
The aspect of this article is not on a performer’s endurance of physical strength, this is about what you actually do right before the performance.

Competitive drill teams and color teams (guards): Let’s say you are up north and have a competition in a high school gymnasium or field house. These two buildings offer a large amount of space for competitions when the snow is piled up outside or the rain is pouring down. So, in this case, what does your team actually do prior to the performance? You need to map out and practice your entrance to the competition area. Just having the team wander over and form up at the sideline is not going to set the stage properly at all.

Along with that notion is giving thought to the butt of the rifle that you are carrying. Does it have a metal plate on the bottom? If so, you may have to slip something over it or reverse the butt plate, if the ability exists, to the rubber side to protect the school’s shiny basketball court floor.

Are you performing in a parking lot? This is the standard in the southwestern states, what I grew up with. In many other states, including the southeast, competitions are on football fields and other grassy areas. Where you will perform may dictate a change in your performance. As an example, you may want to move from practicing in your school’s parking lot and moving to a grassy area for the week or two prior to the next competition that will be on a grass field. Keeping aware of your team’s upcoming competition and any changes you may encounter will help you prepare to do your best even with those changes.

ae14e23b-517f-40ad-b035-717b41667849.jpgHonor guard ceremonial performances: Arrive at the ceremony at least one hour prior to performance time. Scout out the area, identify where you will setup, form up and perform. Also know where and how you will exit and, if there is another part to the ceremony, say a funeral where the deceased is transported from the ME to the funeral home to the chapel and then to the cemetery, practice what you will need to do at each location. It can be a tall order, but it will pay off when, after the ceremony is finished, you can rest assured that you gave your 100% and prepared as much as possible.

Psychological Preparation
Rely on your training. You have trained, practiced and rehearsed and now the moment comes to where you put all of that together and produce the fruit of all of those hours in front of a few or a thousand people.

c76622f7-c81a-4de9-894d-0f722cbafb88.jpgLearning to drop is an article that I wrote mainly for exhibition soloists and drill teams, but it applies to every group that performs, whether that performance is in front of the next of kin at a funeral or in a friendly competition. Learn to take mistakes in stride, never broadcast a mistake by throwing up your hands, making a sigh, or even your eyes widening. Go on and recover as if nothing happened. Chances are that barely anyone will notice the mistake. The mistake does not matter, it is already in the past, time to move on and finish. Learn from that mistake for the next time. Do you notice the problem in the above picture?

JROTC, ajrotc, mcjrotc, njrotc, afjrotc, cgjrotc, cpjlp, Jr guard, junior guard, drill team training, color guard training, color team training, drill, drill team, drill competition, drill meet, drill rifle, rifle drill, exhibition drill, driller, drillmaster, precision drill, world drill, fancy drill, regulation drill, freestyle drill, drill judge, drill judging, young marines, civil air patrol, cap, army cadets, sea cadets, Kadets of America, wda, world drill association, drill meet judge, drill competition judge, color guard, colorguard, color team, honor guard, explorer post, scout, firefighter training , LEO training , police training, sheriff, marshal, border patrol, EMS, ceremonial, merchant mariners, multiservice, joint service, honor guard training


	

The Difference Between Accuracy and Precision

This video can be of great help to you in training.

JROTC, ajrotc, mcjrotc, njrotc, afjrotc, cgjrotc, cpjlp, Jr guard, junior guard, drill team training, color guard training, color team training, drill, drill team, drill competition, drill meet, drill rifle, rifle drill, exhibition drill, driller, drillmaster, precision drill, world drill, fancy drill, regulation drill, freestyle drill, drill judge, drill judging, young marines, civil air patrol, cap, army cadets, sea cadets, Kadets of America, wda, world drill association, drill meet judge, drill competition judge, color guard, colorguard, color team, honor guard, explorer post, scout, firefighter training , LEO training , police training, sheriff, marshal, border patrol, EMS, ceremonial, merchant mariners, multiservice, joint service, honor guard training

Outstanding Unarmed Exhibition Drill

Many JROTC drill teams here in America have yet to consider unarmed drill on this scale. I encourage you to explore drill on this level with your team whether armed or not.

The gentleman calling the commands has been doing this for years and has increased the complexity of the program with each new team.