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Tulane 2012 Solo Commentaries

The Mardis Gras Drill Meet at Tulane University 2012 was a great success! I was there judging solos. There were 12 competitors and all did a great job. The cadets from West Point, University of South Carolina NROTC and Norwich all pulled away from the others with great routines. I forgot my digital voice recorder, but used my Android phone’s voice recorder and it worked extremely well! However, there was one issue: dead battery by the last routine. No problem, a young lady from Norwich University was able to step up with her Android phone and let me use her voice recorder for Preston Huntington’s routine. That’s why you only see 11 of the commentaries.

It was great to see not only the solos, but with the big breaks in between the performances, some platoon XD performances as well. Some of the schools displayed variations in timing and step style and showed a concerted effort in programing and orientation (nicely done USAFA!!).

The great thing about Tulane this year was the introduction of the World Drill Association Adjudication System as a parallel to the standard judging system used. Solos were given the opportunity to hear professional adjudication feedback

I also enjoyed speaking with the teams, soloists, parents and instructors as well as some of the great Marine judges from Paris Island.

The day was also a good learning experience. Right Mr. Waddington? 🙂

Below are the links to the commentaries (automatic download).

Tulane: http://www.mediafire.com/?lua9e9vf8ecq120

Citidel 2: http://www.mediafire.com/?6qa9m3vm9c72x89

USMMA: http://www.mediafire.com/?qr3bd5dcxq5cbaq

TAMU: http://www.mediafire.com/?e5eucaapndscc7k

UT Austin 2: http://www.mediafire.com/?lejm7e4kgmgede4

UT Austin 1: http://www.mediafire.com/?uy08jqjhbjqjxgc

West Point: http://www.mediafire.com/?tc4d342v922ijtf

University of Florida: http://www.mediafire.com/?dvimvvujbrj9ry3

University of South Carolina: http://www.mediafire.com/?7yt574wco0ox2zw

Citidel 1: http://www.mediafire.com/?t38b1tqhcbhyce2

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Licensing Music for Performances

No matter what kind of performance you do, if it is to music and someone else wrote it, you need a license if you want to record and/or broadcast the performance. So, what is a Driller to do? This is where Copycat Licensing comes in. They will take care of everything for you, but you need to give them time! Here is the webs site, check it, bookmark it and use it when you want to explore drill and music!http://www.copycatlicensing.com/

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The DrillMaster Product Review: The CTA M14

The above rifle is called a “Rubber Duck”, it is one solid piece of urethane and metal, the perfect choice for Drillers, but the cost is just to high to begin making it for the drill world. I tried. Check out this video here at the DrillMaster Training YouTube Channel:

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Your Command Voice

Have you considered your command voice? Have you looked at your service’s manual and actually read about what it says on the proper way to call commands? No, it doesn’t say monotone is OK, it doesn’t say the gravel-in-your-throat style is a good style, it says use inflection, be clear and more! Read! Don’t rely on a senior cadet to tell you what you need to do (as with EVERYTHING else!)- read it for yourself!

“Well, I call commands like this.” “At my school we, [fill in the blank here].” Ever hear of standardization? That is what the military is about, standardizing. Your personal style, what you may think is really cool, does not matter. Stop it.

Click here to listen to some examples of commands in MP3 format and how to call them.

Also read this article, “Root Step” and Command Pronunciation.

When calling commands your voice should have inflection and NOT be monotone (some Navy cadets do this and I cannot figure out why). You should also enunciate each syllable and not leave off the first or last letter or substitute letters:

  • There is no such thing is “Righ, HACE“.
  • The USAF does allow, Forward, HARCH, (it’s in a picture, not text) the other services use MARCH.
  • There is no such thing as “A-Ten-Hut”, or any other number to bring a formation to Attention.
  • There is no need to growl your commands- that means you are calling from your throat. Stop, or you will have problems later in life.
  • There is no such thing is “Orward, ARCH“.

Here is a snippet from my book, The Honor Guard Manual.

Projection
•The ability of your voice to reach whatever distance necessary without undue strain.
•Voice is focused on the person farthest away.
•Assume the position of Attention, breathe properly, relax throat, open mouth and push the air out of your lungs from the diaphragm (place your hand on the top of your stomach, just under your ribcage and try to make those muscles tighten when giving commands).

Distinctness (Clarity)
•Distinct commands are effective; indistinct commands cause confusion.
•Clearly enunciate; use tongue, lips, and teeth to form words and word parts.
•Develop the ability to give clear, distinct commands. Practice giving commands slowly and carefully, prolonging the syllables. Gradually increase the rate of delivery to develop proper cadence, still enunciating each syllable distinctly.

Note: Honor Guard cadence is slow; approximately 90 beats per minute

Inflection
•The rise and fall in pitch and the tone changes of the voice.
•Starting at a normal speaking voice, pronounce the preparatory command with rising inflection.
•A properly delivered Command of execution should have no inflection.
•Command of execution should have a higher pitch than the preparatory command.

Precision
•Expresses confidence and decisiveness
•Expresses knowledge of commands and proper execution
•Commands are called at the proper time and in the proper manner

So, now that you have the info, straight from the manual, you will be able to properly call commands!

Happy drilling!

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A Meeting of Great Minds

My son, Bryent, and I spent time with Eron “Spinsane” Fayson in Columbia, SC where Eron and Bryent live. After a nice lunch and much talk, all three of us went to Eron’s house to see the progress he’s made for his 2012 routine. Eron, who is very interested in Composition Analysis, has done a great job on routine construction and executing what he’s developed so far. I had some ideas that I threw out which worked very well and Bryent (a Driller his freshman year in high school in early 2000) even added his take on certain segments which added to the rich interaction that was going on. All three of us were able to collaborate and add some great moments to Eron’s routine. Bryent and I wish him and his family great blessings in the coming year and hope that he, above all, enjoys drilling with other world-class competitors!