USAF Honor Guard Drill Team performs at AFJROTC drill competition

  • Published
  • By Air Force Airman 1st Class Tabitha N. Haynes
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
From the time they first stepped off the bus at Gwynn Park High School, Brandywine, Md., to the prayer and chant they shared after their performance, The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard's Drill Team set an example of what it means to be the "the best" at what they do.
The Drill Team performed Jan. 8 as the halftime entertainment for the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps drill competition.

The Drill Team performs more than 120 times a year at various venues, ranging from local high schools to professional sporting events.

"The Drill Team performs at smaller events to showcase Air Force precision to communities who may not see the Air Force or the military on a daily basis," said Capt. Chad Frey, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team commander. "It helps build interest and support for the Air Force and at the same time gives back to the community."

The AFJROTC unit at Gwynn Park hosted the competition to raise additional funds to support the school's AFJROTC program.

"As the host unit, this is our 29th year doing this," said retired Lt. Col. Jacqueline S. Hamlin, senior aerospace science instructor for Gwynn Park High School's AFJROTC program.

The host school provides the space, judges, halftime entertainment and a concession of food for the competing schools.

"There is nothing that thrills them more than seeing the active duty military," said Colonel Hamlin.

AFJROTC units from various high schools across U.S. can register to participate in the event for an entrance fee. Then active duty service members from the local area volunteer to judge the cadet units participating.

The competition had 21 volunteers from Joint Base Andrews this year. The performances are judged based on memorization and sequences of movement in order to determine the best high school JROTC unit in the categories of drill and colors.

"The school that presents the sequence flawlessly will definitely be in the 'top seed,'" said Colonel Hamlin. "Most schools have a drill team and a color guard. It's quite an honor to be the top dog out of all of them."

At this particular event, the junior cadets had the opportunity to watch the active duty "top dogs" in drill perform - The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team.

"Our performance emphasizes teamwork, discipline and dedication on all levels, not just precision military drill," said Captain Frey. "For the Drill Team to be able to showcase the Air Force and inspire these future leaders, whether it is in the military or as a civilian, it is a rewarding experience."