Drill Team + Color Guard = Honor
They march into memorial services, Scout meetings, and basketball games in perfect unison. Carrying flags and rifles with care, the BYU Air Force ROTC Drill Team and Color Guard perform their duties with precision and honor.
These two teams make up the Air Force ROTC’s Honor Guard, a group of cadets known for serving the community as well as bringing home trophies.
Cadets in the Color Guard post the colors at flag ceremonies, and those in the Drill Team perform rifle routines in military ceremonies. Volunteering to participate in the Honor Guard is a way cadets can set themselves apart.
When Sami Baker, a sophomore studying Spanish from Highland, Utah, joined the ROTC her freshman year, she took notice of the Honor Guard cadets.
“I’d always look at the Color Guard and Drill Team and thought they were so tough,” Baker says. “They just seemed like they were always the top cadets in the ROTC.”
Baker is now the first female commander of the Color Guard and will be a guide for underclassmen who join the team.
“It gives me a sense of purpose and a reason to be a part of the ROTC,” Baker says. “They teach us to have respect for the flag, and we learn to have a greater appreciation for the people who’ve come before us.”
The Drill Team and Color Guard perform every year in the Southern California Invitational Drill Meet—a competition that hosts detachments from all over the country. This year the teams took second. The sharp spin of their rifles was more than just a routine for the cadets performing, though.
“When you get involved with the honor guard, it becomes something deeper,” says Joseph Gelwix, a junior in Russian from Idaho Falls, Idaho, and former Drill Team commander. “We’re representing every member of the services, past and present.”