The Bugler

Bugler Newsletter
 

Thanking Veterans and Their Families During the Holidays

First, do something. As you go about this busy time of year take a few minutes to find ways you can give back something to a veteran during this time of year. But, be sure and research the organization first. Yesterday someone handed me an email notice about sending cards to veterans at Walter Reed Hospital. This sounded like a great idea but once I started researching, I quickly realized that these cards never get delivered - they have to be addressed to a specific individual.

However, there are several things you can do. First, look at the American Red Cross website. The Red Cross has traditionally held a "Mail for Heroes" program that is now based in local communities. It is too late for this year, but contact your local Red Cross and see if your community participates in a program like this. See what other programs where you can participate. For instance, the Red Cross in the Connecticut area has a "Totes for Hope" program where groups can put together bags of essentials for a veteran going through a hard time. The Red Cross supports military families 365 days a year so if you are involved with your own veterans organization, or lead a JROTC unit, or your child is a Scout, help your organization develop an event to support Red Cross. Red Cross is one of the many organizations that need your help. The Marines Toys for Tots program was featured in a December 2013 Bugler and is a great program for this time of year. The Salvation Army and their iconic red kettles are also great ways to help others during the holidays. If time is an issue, every organization fundraises during this time of year. The Red Cross website actually has a "holiday gift giving" link where you can choose where to direct your funds. As you go about your busy days, just try to make it part of your holiday season to support one group that serves you.

Drilling with a Bayonet

There are some very important things you should know before drilling with a bayonet. It's very important to remember that, however dulled it may be, you are putting a knife on the end of your rifle and spinning it near your head and body at high speeds. This is very dangerous and may result in serious injury and death. Please follow the safety tips below.

Bayonet drill is reserved for high school graduates over the age of 18 - CADET COMMAND FORBIDS JROTC CADETS FROM USING BAYONETS. If you are still in high school, or are a minor, your use of this product may very well threaten the continuity of drill, and we highly urge you to abstain from using a bayonet until you have graduated.

For those of you that meet these two requirements (Over the age of 18, and a high school graduate) and feel that you are ready to take the next step, you are about to enter the exclusive and dangerous world of bladed drill. Follow these safety tips to reduce your risks of injury.

Safety Tips

  1. DO NOT USE THIS IF YOU ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL! I cannot stress this enough. It doesn't matter how good you are on your team, you shouldn't be spinning a bladed rifle until you have graduated.
  2. DO NOT TAKE UNCOMFORTABLE RISKS! Remember that you are putting a knife on the end of your rifle. It can now do more damage to your body than before. If a particular move makes you feel uncomfortable, it shouldn't be done.
  3. DOUBLE REINFORCE THE BAYONET! The bayonet will click and lock onto the lug, but malfunctions do happen. Use electrical tape or zip ties to reinforce the bayonet so it doesn't fall off and hurt someone else. Wrap the electrical tape around the midpoint of the bayonet handle and the barrel of the rifle. Tape around at least 3-4 times.
  4. USE ALUMINUM FOIL TO SOFTEN THE BLADE-SIDE! Take a substantial sheet of aluminum foil and crumple it up. Smash the foil up (crumple, don't fold) along the side of the blade, and use electrical tape to secure it during practice sessions. Without foil, a hit to your body, even with a dulled bayonet, could induce serious injury - it's metal. By placing the foil along the blade, the impact will be partially absorbed by the malleable aluminum foil.

Bladed drill is very exciting, and very dangerous. Please exercise caution and drill conservatively. Again, do not use a bayonet if you are still in high school. Do not use a bayonet if you are under the age of 18. Drilling with a bayonet is a very different experience. Be sure to be smart, stay safe, be responsible, and have fun!

Adam Jeup has been an active driller for 11 years and has competed at IWDC. He owns and operates Independent Drill, a learning resource for drillers of all skill levels. Adam is a regular contributor to the Bugler. Stay tuned for his exclusive articles on competitive drill!

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Glendale and ParadeStore.com

Glendale outfits honor guards, color guards, and drill units. Visit our site for the best in parade and drill equipment and for uniform accessories at http://www.ParadeStore.com

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