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Eyes Right for a Color Team

Click here for info on “Color Guard” vs. “Color Team.”

The Question:
Hello, I’m in an Army JROTC and I have a Federal Inspection coming up. I’m doing the color guard for the AFI and I wondering on what to do during eyes, right. Do I salute the rifle like this picture? Or do I just look to the right and keep marching and it’s just only the flag saluting? If you could reply back to me, I’d appreciate it.
Thank you very much

The Answer:
What a great picture you’ve found! Judging by the uniform, you’ve found a WWI-era Manual of Arms pic, possibly a Boy Scout maybe a Soldier. I really enjoy the history of how certain movements came about that we use today.

This picture, at right, is actually how one salutes, individually- not in a formation, when at Right Shoulder. And, as we all know, the right forearm should be horizontal and not at an angle like in this picture.

So, on with the answer: The Command, Eyes, RIGHT is called at Right Shoulder as two consecutive right steps are taken. When the next left foot strikes the ground, the following happens all at the same time:
1. The Left Rifle Guard, all non-national Color Bearers and National Color Bearer all turn their heads 45-degrees to the right; the Right Rifle Guard looks straight ahead and acts as the guide for the team.
2. The non-national Color Bearer brings his/her color to a 45-degree angle be fully extending the right arm in the three steps after the command (this is what we do on the honor guard), whipping the flag forward in one count does not look appropriate (you are not supposed to whip a color forward when standing still, so don’t do it when marching).

On the command, Ready, FRONT, the team snaps its heads back to looking straight forward and the non-national color bearer(s) bring their colors back to vertical in three steps.

Note: for honor guard, all team members do not swing their arms and shoulders are touching when marching. When halted the team should maintain a 4-inch distance between shoulders to facilitate equipment movement (going to Order, Right Shoulder or Present, etc.). Keep your free arm hanging at your side: you should feel your thigh move back and forth- do not move your hand with the seam of the trousers forward and backward when marching nor up and down when Marking Time. Keep that arm just like at Attention, not locked, but slightly stiffened.

Let me know if you need more info!

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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.

•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

•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.

•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!