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Some advice on calling drill commands

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  • Some advice on calling drill commands

    Good day one and all

    As some of you may or may not know, I am a member of a Canadian youth movement known as Air Cadets, the purpose of which is, to quote Wikipedia: "develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership; promote physical fitness; and stimulate the interest of youth in the sea, land, and air activities of the Canadian Forces"

    Air Cadets models itself after the Air component of the Canadian Forces, and being that Air Cadets is not officially a part of the Forces, and does no actual operational training, a large part of Air Cadets is drill. Now, for most of the previous Cadet training year, I was at the rank of Flight Corporal, a middle rank which only occasionally was given the duty of drill instruction. However, at the end of our training year, when one of our Sergeants aged out (you cannot be an Air Cadet past the age of 18), I found myself promoted to Sergeant to fill the empty position. This next training year, which starts in September I believe, I will be doing a lot more drill instruction of younger Cadets, and this means calling out a lot of drill commands.

    Now, I haven't done this very much, so I was wondering if any members here could give me a few pointers on getting a good drill voice. I don't need to be swearing at new recruits like R. Lee Ermey in the film 'Full Metal Jacket', I just need to be loud and clear.

  • #2
    Originally posted by HoratioNelson View Post

    Now, I haven't done this very much, so I was wondering if any members here could give me a few pointers on getting a good drill voice. I don't need to be swearing at new recruits like R. Lee Ermey in the film 'Full Metal Jacket', I just need to be loud and clear.
    First of all learn to shout from your abdomen and NOT from your throat. Start gently and not in all one day or you will be dumb in minutes. Plenty of short periods 5-10 minutes max, gradually build it up, but don't rush it.

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    • #3
      Aside from what Mr Lukins had said, use your drill voice sparingly. A lower voice forces the cadets to concentrate on hearing you, and therefore, your instructions. Walk closer to your people rather than trying to cover the extra distance with your voice. Make sure the rear rank can hear you without the front rank going deaf but no more than that.

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      • #4
        Dont shout at them ,


        belt em with your swagger stick

        Joking apart , do as Herr Lukins and Ooe points out .

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dave lukins View Post
          First of all learn to shout from your abdomen and NOT from your throat. Start gently and not in all one day or you will be dumb in minutes. Plenty of short periods 5-10 minutes max, gradually build it up, but don't rush it.
          Dave's got it right. From the abdomen, don't raise the tone of you're voice, that causes a restriction in your throat. Relax the throat, keep your tone steady, let it out from the bottom of your stomach, then push! I am sometimes asked to use my "parade ground voice" during volleyball tournaments to get someones attention. It will stop play on adjacent courts. Ooops, sorry!:))
          Reddite igitur quae sunt Caesaris Caesari et quae sunt Dei Deo
          (Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things which are God's)

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          • #6
            It is possible to have an excellent drill/parade voice without becoming a stereotype. You definitely don't want to sound like a U.S. Marine... you want to sound like a leader with authority, without sounding like a joke or cliche.

            One of the harder things to do is to know which syllable to emphasize. For example, the "Attention" command. You certainly don't want it to sound like this:

            "AtTENsion!"

            or you'll sound like a PA guy at a mall saying "Attension Shoppers!"

            It should sound more like

            AHH tennn.... <pause> SHUUuun

            with a moderate emphasis on Ahh, a lower, drawn out tennn, trailing off, slight pause, sharp, powerful SHUun that draws out a bit. Think in your mind the rythum that you know is correct, authoritative, and pleasing. You can practice this at a whisper. You can almost assign musical notes, too. Ahh is higher than tenn, back up a bit with the Shuun.

            The "notes" for "Parade Rest" are very similar.

            PAH-raaaaade.... HrESST!

            It is not intuitive. If you've never done it before, you MUST practice. Keep what you know sounds good in your mind, the cadence, pitch, emphasis, and work the commands before you ever give them publicly. And again, you DON'T want it to fall into a cliche, don't overdo it. Find a good middle ground between raw civilian and crusty Marine DI. You aren't a Marine DI, and if you act like one, it will come off badly.

            Best of luck to you. I was in the U.S. Civil Air Patrol for many years; enjoyed it thoroughly.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dave lukins View Post
              First of all learn to shout from your abdomen and NOT from your throat. Start gently and not in all one day or you will be dumb in minutes. Plenty of short periods 5-10 minutes max, gradually build it up, but don't rush it.
              Very true.

              This sort of thing might be hard to understand without having someone show you. If no one at your unit can give you some advice/exercises to do in order to better understand how to use your voice from your abdomen, maybe you know someone at school who has ever done vocalist training? Maybe a music teacher? They would likely be able to show you exactly what we're talking about.

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              • #8
                One....... Two, Three, One.

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