Drill Team seeks inspiration, perfection at training camp

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Bahja Joi Jones
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, Md. --The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team loaded up and rolled out Feb. 15, 2013, as they traveled to Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., for their annual training camp.

During the month-long training, the members will undergo intense training to develop and perfect a new routine for the upcoming season.

"Throughout 12-hour days, these young men put their bodies through a lot of pain just to get this right. Sore hands, elbows, shoulders and backs are the norm during camp," said Master Sgt. Whitfield Jack, Drill Team superintendent.

Though the team trains consistently throughout the year, this annual training gives the Drill Team members an opportunity to seek inspiration and perfection away from the distractions of everyday life as well as unveil their new moves during "performance week."

"We travel to Keesler to train so we can get away from the distractions of the normal operations tempo," 1st Lt. Michael Lemorie, Drill Team flight commander. "This venue provides a low-cost option to focus our attention on perfecting our drill maneuvers. This allows us to be effective and productive ambassadors for the U.S. Air Force."

To be ambassadors of the Air Force, the team must exemplify excellence, and to be excellent they have to train hard.

"During camp last year, a typical day at camp started at 4:30 a.m. with physical training and we drilled until about 6 p.m. every day," said Airman 1st Class Nelson Berrios, Drill Team member.

The camp also strengthens the bond between the Airmen.

"Being away creates a better mindset towards training and a renewed sense of camaraderie," said Jack.

Airman 1st Class Sergio Maria, Drill Team member, is attending the camp for the first time.

"I am excited, but at the same time I'm a little nervous," said Maria. "I know it will be a good experience and I know it will also be a lot of work."

In their final week of training, the team will unveil their new routine at several scheduled performances with intent to recruit new members to join the Air Force Honor Guard.

"I don't want to give away any secrets, but the fans will be very pleased with the new routine," said Jack. They will see why we are the 'best in the DoD.' They will realize that 'Excellence in All We Do' isn't just a great slogan; it is what we live by on the Drill Team. Perfection is our standard, not a goal."