Joint Service drill competition held at Lincoln Memorial

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Katherine Windish
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial the 3rd annual Joint Service Drill Team Exhibition was held April 10 before thousands of spectators.

Drill team members from the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Coast Guard ceremonial guard units performed in the competition. Drill teams were evaluated by judges representing all five services, and each performance was reviewed based on the team's sequence execution and military bearing.

"It's great to see the drill teams come together for some spirited competition and show these people out here what drill teams are all about," said Navy Chief Petty Officer Houston Delaney, competition judge.

Each team wore the ceremonial uniforms specific to their service and carried M1 Garand rifles with 10-inch chrome-plated bayonets while showcasing their very different drill performances.

"Every service's drill has a different style but there is always a commonality," said Senior Airman Mark Freda, United States Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team member. "Each service always presents a good military image and represents their service to the best of their ability."

"We all train really hard," said Senior Airman Jezel Reyes-Torres, United States Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team trainer. "Each team is dedicated and proud of what they do. Everyone strives to be the best they can. We all cheer each other on - we all support each other."

Unfortunately, one of the Air Force team members nearly dropped a weapon while completing a toss called the mass-over. During the mass-over, all 16 members simultaneously hurl their weapons about 15 feet in the air during the maneuver. The member recovered the weapon and finished the otherwise pristine performance, but the fumble cost the team the win.

"Even though this happened, you could tell the whole team was motivated to finish the drill and make the absolute best of it that we could," said Airman 1st Class Christopher Martinez-Hernandez, Drill Team narrator.

"Keeping military bearing is the most important part of a drill," said Airman Reyes-Torres. "We were able to continue the drill and keep our military bearing despite it all."

The drill teams executed tosses and other maneuvers that made the crowd gasp and cheer.

"Hearing the crowd cheer is so rewarding," said Airman 1st Class Hunter Overton, Drill Team member. "It's rewarding to have a 20-year Army veteran come up to you after a drill and say 'That made me feel American again.' That makes us drill even harder."