Conversations sifted from "We have to sit through this?" to "OMG, did you see what he just did with that rifle? And he caught it too!" as Fort Jackson youths watched a special presentation from the top drill team in the Army.

Imboden Youth Center was treated to a performance from the U.S. Army Drill Team Feb. 23 during the team's visit to South Carolina.

"We definitely feed off of the excitement from the crowd even though it looks like we don't," said Christian Stokes, drill master of the U.S. Army Drill Team, "the younger crowds are a lot louder and that crowd reaction provides more training for the Soldiers."

Crowd reactions provide training? But aren't all the Soldiers we see performing already part of the Drill team? Actually, no.

Soldiers desiring to be part of this elite team must possess a trim military bearing, strength and dexterity and be able to endure six months of rigorous and competitive drill practice. Soldiers practice their performance and performances serve as practice, training and test.

"As a non driller, today's performance was my test to see if I'll become an RD which is a regular driller…" said Jerry Anderson, anon driller United States Drill Team "becoming a RD will mean that I'm certified to do this and I think I did great today."

Judging by the reaction of the crowd, the dl Team's performance certainly delivered.

"Do you see these kids? These kids are so hype right now, look at them … It's been my joy to bring happiness to them, because I really enjoy doing it and I'm glad they got to see it. To see everyone else get excited when I'm out there is the ultimate pay off for me." Anderson said.

The U.S. Army Drill Team's annual scheduled performances are held in May and June as part of Twilight Tattoo and in September for Spirit of America.