Det 685 Walks Away With 3rd Place Trophy
The Silver Talons Drill Team is made up of twenty-two 100 and 200 cadets on the Full Flight team as well as a Four-Man Color Guard/Exhibition team. The Full Flight team is led by William, the Four-Man team is led by David and the overall Silver Talons Drill Team commander is Jason.
Drill team tryouts were held in October and were voluntary for any AFROTC cadets. Most members of the full flight team had never spun a rifle in their life. Imagine coming to drill tryouts, picking up an 8.5lb rifle and thinking “Wow! I’m supposed to throw this up in the air and catch it?” Throughout the last six months every member of the drill team practiced an average of seven hours a week, and additional practices were required once the Southern California Invitational Drill Meet (SCIDM) approached.
Dedication, perseverance, hard work and discipline describe an average drill team practice. As a team we learned how to work together and improve our technique and “snap and pop” movements. We were given a goal at the beginning of the year; practice regulation drill movements, learn warrior knowledge for the inspection by United States Marine Drill Instructors and create an eight minute exhibition routine to perform at SCIDM in March. SCIDM is one of the largest drill competitions in the nation. SCIDM includes several different categories of competition to include the Full, Four-Man, Color Guard, and Individual Drill-Down competitions.
While in California, the drill team took some time off from spinning rifles and shining shoes to enjoy a fun day at Knott’s Berry Farm Amusement Park. The amusement park was an extra special treat to recognize our accomplishments throughout the year.
Drill team is not just an extracurricular activity; it is a privilege to represent Det. 685 in front of other schools such as the Air Force Academy, WestPoint and Brigham Young University. SCIDM tested our ability to come together as a team and perform with excellence. Not only did we come home with a trophy for 3rd place in inspection but we came home feeling successful. We were proud of our teammates, proud of our commanders and proud of ourselves. I personally cannot fathom how different my first year in ROTC would have been without being a member of the drill team. We had fun, we worked hard and WE BROUGHT THE TEETH!!