Whenever 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 practice and teamwork.
Drill has been a feature of service life for hundreds of years and still has significant value today. 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 which 497’s cadets are renowned for.
Drill is the term used to describe a formal parade where you are able to move quickly in formation from one place to another. This may sound easy but when there is more than one person, marching, turning and saluting at the same time can be pretty difficult to master. You will learn how to form into a squad, then progress to turning and saluting at a halt. Once you have mastered these moves separately we put them all together, marching, moving, turning and saluting on the march.
There are various levels of drill. Once you understand the basics, you will then progress to the more challenging aspects of parades. Once you have mastered drill routines you will then be taught the skills needed to teach others, including the key command words and the art of timing. With a few years experience, and if you’ve attained a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) rank; you could be commanding other cadets, instructing them on how to participate in a drill squad, taking charge of a drill squad yourself, or even playing a major part in ceremonial drill. Being a Standard Bearer at a Remembrance Day parade is a real moment of pride and achievement for a cadet.Whatever the reason for a drill it’s an impressive sight and shows civilians and members of the Forces just how well disciplined you are.
Turnout is the term used to describe how to wear your uniform and personal equipment correctly. Your appearance is an important part of being a cadet. We will teach you about each part of your uniform and how to take care of it, ensuring smartness at all times. It will be your responsibility to always look smart and tidy when on duty.
Whilst drill remains a relatively small part of the training programme, you will receive lots of patient support and assistance, whilst learning your basic drill movements. Most cadets learn from scratch and it can be immensely enjoyable and rewarding, when everything comes together. Drill movements are outlined in Air Cadet Publication (ACP 19).
As a cadet you’ll participate in various forms of drill, such as:
- Foot Drill.
- Basic Drill (both quick & slow time).
- Banner Drill.
- Band Drill.
- Rifle Drill.