It took three months to create the final version of the Ultra-Reinforced DrillMaster bayonet. The DrillMaster worked with the Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team and Supply Airmen to create this extremely reinforced bayonet.
The picture below is the final version. extra spot welds and a small plate of steel to reinforce the handle. This DrillMaster Bayonet* is the Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team’s new practice bayonet.
How it Began
An Airman on the current AFHG Drill Team, SrA Jason Black, contacted my about my bayonets since they do not have a sharp edge or point- a much safer alternative than what they use in performances. The issue was training new members of the team and having them more comfortable with not only spinning a rifle, but having a bayonet on the end.
The Welded DrillMaster Bayonet was the answer, or so we thought. That and two more versions broke after training with it for a while. They needed something extremely strong to take the rigors of a new drill team member constantly dropping the rifle without the constant breakage that the team experienced. SrA Gabriel Goldsborough and finally, A1C Johnathen Howard finished the whole process.
You don’t really need to practice! You will be able to throw a rifle around in just a matter of weeks, especially if you sleep with your drill rifle under your pillow.
OK, enough sarcasm, you need to practice. Every day. For a couple of hours at least and then wake up and do it again. World-class Driller Sam Gozo and I spoke a while ago about a question I received. The question was, “How did Sam Gozo get to be so good?” Years of practice. I knew and judged Sam while he was still in high school and he was very good then. Now, Sam’s work in the box is absolutely stunning at times. How did he get that way? Well, he practiced a little bit here and there and lamented that he was not better and by him being concerned that he was not better, he magically started to get better at drill. NOT! He practiced for countless hours over the last several years- and still practices! It takes time.
The cadets I work with at Merritt Island High School here in Florida here me say “One more time” at every practice and they know that it’s not going to be just that one more time. You need to do the same thing over and over and over and then do it again. Learn a new skill, perfect it and then move on to another skill.
Are you new to the military drill world? Learn how to stand at Attention, execute facing movements, the rest positions, saluting, static dress and cover, perfect them and then start marching. Learn columns, flanks, dress and cover while marching, perfect them and then pick up a rifle. Learn the basics: Port, shoulder, Present, Order, Sling, perfect them and move on. Learn the Port Spin, single-hand spins, the single toss, double, triple toss. Perfect each and move to the next exhibition/fancy drill move. Learn and perfect. Learn and perfect. The cycle never stops. Do you know why Adam Jeup is so good at performing individual moves? Practice, practice, practice. How did Matt Wendling do so well when he was in high school? Practice! These Drillers didn’t have their skills handed to them on a platter and that moment start drilling with an amazing style and perfect execution, they practiced for years.
Have you been practicing for a year or so and can’t seem to better yourself? It could be that you need to do more than just practice with a rifle. Weights and aerobic exercise will help with general health and will also help you improve your drill? Are you winded after one intense sequence in your routine and have to stop and rest? Start running and some other aerobic exercise- running through that same sequence back-to-back is also a good way to increase stamina. Do you have shaky muscles or does the rifle jolt your body around? Work your core muscles so that they are nothing but solid.
The point is that it takes months of unending practice; constant repetition and more practice. It is true for the armed or unarmed JROTC Driller or the Olympic athlete.
Angel and I were together for this review after I brought him up to Kentucky to give my Cadet Joint Service Honor Guard Academy cadets a taste of what armed exhibition drill is all about.
The DrillAmerica M1 Garand and M1903 are the best ceremonial rifles you can buy especially since they come in chromed versions. For Drillers, no better beginning rifle and these rifles can last well into years of exhibition drill if the Driller does not desire switching to a demilitarized rifle.
The DrillMaster Education and Training System: Drill Team Training- The DrillMaster: Filling in the Gaps
Knowledge is key: educate yourself!
Drill Team Training: Filling in the gaps for the Exhibition Drill books and the Honor Guard Manual. After publishing these books, questions arose that I answered and ideas came to me, all of which I wrote in articles on my website, thedrillmaster.org. This is a collection of all of those educational articles from 2012. Collected and published to help independent Drillers, drill teams and honor guard units who are seeking to constantly improve and increase their knowledge.
The DrillMaster Education and Training System: Drill Team Training- Exhibition Drill for the Military Drill Team, Vol II
The follow-up to Exhibition Drill for the Military Drill Team. Where the first book left off, Volume II gives you in-depth and broader information. Continue your education with the second book in the only series for drill team training.
A reader’s review: Exhibition Drill For The Military Drill Team, Vol II, is an excellent resource for those who have very little to no drill experience and yet still contains information for those experienced in drill. Volume II is written in an easy to understand style and is directed towards instructors and cadets. It contains all you ever wanted to know about drill and maybe more. One could actually build a team from scratch using Volumes I and II and be extremely competitive
The Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1: DRILL TEAM/DRILLER INFORMATION.. 9
The Professional Driller 9
Exhibition Drill: Building from the Foundation. 9
Things to consider for a performance: 10
Reporting-in or -out: 11
Speaking When Spoken To. 12
Uniform and Equipment How-To’s, Care and Maintenance. 13
But, how do I really make a routine?. 15
Performing to Music. 21
The Commander: Rifle or Sword/Saber?. 22
Offering Feedback. 22
Which Service Has The Best Drill Team? The Final Answer! 25