No ordinary drill for the drill team
August 6, 2013
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - By its own admission, the United States Army Drill Team has added some pizzazz to its show repertoire.
The team, an integral part of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's Twilight Tattoo roster, planned to unveil a new drill routine during the July 31 tattoo in front of a crowd of hundreds on Whipple Field. Inclement weather interrupted the final tattoo of July, so the team will introduce the new drill at the Aug. 7 show.
When asked the difference between the new exercise compared to past routines, USADT members pointed out that the new drill will be flashier and more attention-grabbing.
"The biggest, noticeable difference will be the change in cadence throughout the drill. Normally, we are at 60 beats a minute throughout the drill," drill team soloist Spc. Taylor Davis explained. "In this one, we have quite a few cadence changes where we go from 60 to 120 back to 60. It is really fast-paced.
"There's a little more showmanship; we're known for having a routine where we do a lot of intricate movements, but there's no flair to it," he added. "This routine has much more flair, much more pop to the eye."
The team partnered with a drill team company from Jacksonville, Fla., to formulate the new drill, and the Soldiers will introduce the upbeat exercise following a month of training and getting approval from its chain of command.
"We've probably had a solid two weeks of actually training on the new drill, which is kind of a record for us," said senior thrower Spc. Ryan Smith of Valdosta, Ga. "We usually take anywhere from three to four solid weeks of training where we can specifically critique ourselves and perfect the drill the way we feel necessary. With this one, we've had to rush a little bit more, but we still hold ourselves to the highest standard of the U.S. Army Drill Team."
The new drill will feature 16 drillers, four soloists and the drill master. Up to the Twilight Tattoo debut, practices took place at Fort McNair where the team continues to ace throws and catches, which will be included in the new choreography.
"There will be a lot of sound, different beats going through it, so you are not only seeing but [the audience] will get into the rhythm of it, too," Smith said.