Thursday, April 19, 2007

Drill Teams

Little Green Footballs put up this excellent video of the US Marines Silent Drill Team. The silent part means that no commands are given to initiate various actions as is done in normal squad manuvers. Commands like "About Face", "Forward, March", "Attention", "Present Arms", etc.

Which of course got me to thinking about my days as a Navy boot.

We drilled with the Springfield M1903. It is a very fine piece to drill with. They never trusted us with bayonets though. LOL (Boot camp for me started 11 Nov '63. NTC San Diego. Right next to Marine Corp Recruit Depot. We'd be having a smoke next to the fence watching the Marines double timing around the perimiter of the Recruit Depot. I know we thought "stupid Jar Heads". They probably thought "pussy Sailors". I'm sure the positioning was intentional. Motivation for both sides. LOL.)

BTW I love the way the fittings on the rifles rattle. It sounds like men going to battle since the age of metal weapons began.

Wiki on the 1903:

Due to its balance, it is still popular with various military drill teams and color guards, most notably the U.S. Army Drill Team. M1903 rifles are also common at high school Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) units to teach weapons handling and military drill procedures to the cadets. JROTC units use M1903s for regular and inter-school competition drills, including elaborate exhibition spinning routines similar to a majorette spinning a baton.
You can also watch The Navy Drill Team.

1 comment:

linearthinker said...

They never trusted us with bayonets though.

A pity. We used sheathed bayonets in Army basic. One day I got paired off with a nice fellow who often seemed to need help tying his boots. He (and I) didn't notice the sheath had come unsnapped and fallen from his rifle. The D.I. called for a rapid full-count unarmed parry-and-disarm trick where the unarmed attackee sat on his butt in the sand while the attacker lunged at his throat with the bayonet on his rifle. I looked up at my attacker and saw a bare bayonet, just as the D.I. started calling the numbers. I'd never been an enthusiastic student until then. A sight like that does focus your attention. My partner decided a few days later that he missed his girl friend and didn't really like Army life. He stole a kid's bike from the married NCOs' neighborhood, and rode it out the front gate of Ft Leonard Wood. He'd probably have made it, but he stopped to ask directions to St Louis. I'm sure the new volunteer Army is made of better stuff.