Air Training Corps
Drill is an important part of cadet life. In the Air Training Corps we pride ourselves on discipline, smartness and teamwork, drill is one of the ways in which we achieve these goals.
Drill is the most efficient way of moving a number of people from one place to the next. Instead of having a group of individuals meandering slowly we have an organized, efficient team with a clearly defined purpose and direction.
Drill is also an extremely good exercise in teamwork. Every member of the drill team relies on the next person for timings and dressing, we all have to get it right. There are no individuals in a team, everyone performs the manoeuvre in exactly the same time, in exactly the same way.
There are even competitions to take part in. Every year the drill team trains for around 30 mins a week in preparation for the Wing drill competition which takes place around May. Points are awarded for smartness, timings, dressing, bearing and the drill commander's ability. The winning team will recieve a trophy and will be chosen to represent the Wing at the regional competition. At the squadron, the cadets can form two flights and compete against each other to see who is the best.
The drill commander will usually be the AWO (Adult Warrant Officer) or an NCO (Non Commissioned Officer), who will instruct you as how to participate in the squad. In this way after a few years experience and you are promoted you can pass on your knowledge and experience to the younger cadets.
Drill Questions Answered
What is Drill?
Drill is defined as being instruction in military exercises which involves marching, saluting and turning.
There are many different types of drill including:
Why do we do drill?
Drill is used to make individual cadets work as a team and obey direct orders, thus enforcing discipline.
Who is in charge on a parade?
The parade Commander or instructor, is the person who is in charge and will most probably the person who is giving the commands, and will be physically separated from the main squad.
How and when do you salute?
In static drill, the timing for a salute to the front is: up, two, three, down. The timing for a salute to the right or left is up, two, three, four, five, down. Whilst saluting, the hand must be open, with the palm facing in the direction in which you have been told to salute to (e.g. In saluting to the front, the palm of the hand should be facing forward).
On a march, the timings are different, but the main salute is still the
same.(for more information see marching)
Static is defined as being stationary and non-moving, and this is exactly what static drill is all about.
In static drill, there are five main steps:
The commands as you would hear given on a parade, and the timings for
these steps are shown below:
There are three speeds at which a squad can march: slow, quick and double time, however, for all of these speeds, the timings for the various instructions are always the same.
Turning on the March.
When marching, turns and inclines to the left and right have the same timings: check, turn, forward and is always given on the opposite foot from which you are to turn. About turning has a different timing: check, left, right, left, forward and should be given on the left foot.
Saluting on the March.
When saluting to the left, right, or front(when given the command, “Officer passing your front - salute”) the timing is check, up, two, three, four, five, down, swing and this should be given on the left foot. When given the command “Saluting to the front, to the front -salute” , the timings are much different: one, one, two, pause, up, two, three, down, one, two, three, four, up, two, three, down, pause, one, pause, two, pause, away and this is also given on the left foot.
The command which you will be given to mark time is simply, mark - time and the timings are one, one, right, left, right. When changing step, the timings are right, right, left and this should be given on the left foot.
Parades are formal events where each squadron/flight has a chance to show respect and commemorate military events e.g. Remembrance Parade.
There is also a form of drill where a band marches whilst playing. This is extremely complex and requires much practice. Most Wings will have their own band and cadets may apply to be a part of it if they are of the required musical standard.
Duke of Edinburgh's Award