Drill and Ceremonial
What’s the point of Drill?
You may think it doesn’t have much to do with things like Adventurous Training, or Leadership but that’s not the case at all! It shows how disciplined and organised you can be as an individual, remembering instructions and carrying them out accurately. More importantly, it shows your ability to work in a team and is a way of displaying the high standards of dress and behaviour for which Air Cadets are renowned.
The Air Cadets, as a disciplined uniformed youth organization, sets itself and its members very high standards, including Dress, Behaviour and Drill.
Drill is a powerful aid to discipline, but should NOT be used as a punishment. It develops a sense of corporate pride, alertness, precision and readiness to obey orders instantly. It also instills smartness on parade which is not only a sign of good discipline, but a basic factor in raising the standard of performance in everything you do.
All Squadrons practice drill as a means of instilling discipline and teamwork and a means for developing the ability to command and control. It is also used in formal parades and for moving around military bases and moving Cadets in a smart, uniform manner.
There are also drill competitions at Squadron, Wing, Region and Corps levels. Our drill is taken from the RAF Drill Manual (AP818) and all drill instruction should be conducted by an Authorised Drill Instructor (DI). However, as not all squadrons have access to a DI, other Warrant Officers and Senior Non Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) will assume this responsibility, but cadets are actively encouraged to instruct drill within their Squadron and drill competition squads must consist only of Cadets, led by a Cadet drill co-ordinator.
There are various forms of drill which the Cadets participate in;
Basic Drill – Quick & Slow Time,
Once a Cadet has gained a few years of experience and has attained Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) rank, the Cadet will pass on knowledge and experience to other Cadets, such as instructing Cadets on how to participate in a drill squad, taking charge of a drill squad or flight or even taking a major part in Ceremonial Drill such as a Standard Bearer at Remembrance Day Parades.
The Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) offers various courses that are centered around Drill, for those Cadets that have gained a passion for this activity and want to learn more. Also, once a year, the Corps Drill Team hold a week long Drill and Ceremonial Camp, where participating Cadets learn more about Drill and Ceremonial parades. This week is concluded with a Final Parade of approx 300 Cadets on a parade square carrying out a continuity drill sequence in front of the Commandant Air Cadets.
When a group of twenty Cadets walk on to a parade square they are all individuals, but as soon as a session of drill begins the Cadets become a team, following the orders given by one person. Instead of twenty individual feet hitting the ground, there is only one sound. This is the result of discipline, practice and teamwork.
Whatever the reason for you and your Squadron to be participating in drill, it’s an impressive sight and shows members of the public, serving members of the forces, and forces veterans just how well disciplined our Cadets are.