October 6, 2011
Soldiers from 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) will get a sneak peek into the world of the U.S. Army Drill Team during the team's 14-day training cycle beginning Oct. 11. Interested applicants will learn more than 20 rifle movements, uniform standards, and marching sequences and formations unique only to the drill team. Those wishing to become members, this is only the tip of the iceberg. If you want to be a part of this elite group of Soldiers, you must be willing to really prove it.
"The 14-day training cycle allows us to analyze their potential, "said USADT senior soloist Spc. Andres Ryan.
"But even if they make it past the cycle, they are nowhere near making the team. It can take anywhere from 30 days to a year and a half for them to break drill," said USADT soloist and senior catcher Spc. Cory Johnson, finishing Ryan's statement.
Breaking drill occurs once an applicant appears in their first performance and only after they challenge a current member for his spot.
"They have to prove they are better than a current driller that's already in the show," said Johnson. "That is how you become a member of the team."
Johnson continued to say the competitive spirit of the drill team drives everyone to become better in order to maintain the team's high standards.
Pfc. Jacob Helms, USADT trainee, agrees the competition has helped him to improve his skills as well as enable him to continue to strive for a spot. Helms is 60 days into his training cycle; of the 15 people who started with Helms earlier this year, only seven are left.
"Everybody [struggled] at it at first. You have to have perseverance, stick with it and put in the time," said Helms.
Sgt. 1st Class John Beverage, USADT Drill Master, hopes the Soldiers coming out for the upcoming training cycle adopt the same attitude as Helms.
"I really hope the guys coming in possess personal motivation," said Beverage. "This team is completely dedicated. It takes a lot to excel at what we do."