National Drill Championships
SOP Updates / Clarification Page
Below are the event update/clarifications that have been implemented since
the initial posting of all event materials. These items listed below are found
in inverse chronological order to their date of implementation.
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#1 - 13 March 2019: Update Page Set-up, Initial Items Posted
The website has been set with SOP, LOI, Scoresheets and Floor Diagrams. These documents are the MOST ESSENTIAL and have been rushed out the door to allow your unit max time to prepare. MOST aspects of this event (especially the drill sequences) are completely unchanged from your Regional competitions. The MySchool Website is up and running and accepting school information after schools register with SNI. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO REVIEW EVERYTHING AND ASK QUESTIONS! We know you are working on very limited time and despite the incredibly short timeframe to prepare, we want to make sure there are no misunderstandings, Other less pressing items will be added in the coming week(s).
#2 - 13 March 2019: Facebook has Pictures/Video of the Competition Site
This is not an "update" but a point of emphasis. The USMC JROTC Drill Nationals Facebook Page has been established and provides some additional information that may be of benefit in preparing your unit. Mainly many pictures and videos from both inside and outside the building have been posted.
#3 - 14 March 2019: Awards Ceremony Logistics
The Awards Ceremony for the event will be held roughly 10 minutes AFTER the completion of the Knockout drills in the main area. Parents and other spectators will be seated in the fixed, raised seating area looking onto the competition floor. Cadets from the 16 competing schools will be assembled on the floor standing in formation in two groups of eight teams facing the spectators, in four columns per school. Their position will be fixed and assisted into place by SNI. Between these two groups and facing the cadets will be the trophies and the dais table with guest speaker & master of ceremonies. As stated within the SOP, the Awards Ceremony will be fast paced and exciting. The Keynote Speaker (to be determined) will be attending and facing the cadets. After their speech, trophies will be awarded in 1st-5th place in the 6 team events, as well as 1st-5th place in the Event Overall competition. Cadets will come forward TOWARDS the parents to the presentation area to receive their awards. Teams should send a single representative to receive their team award. The FIVE winners will be held together in each event for a group photo opportunity with the Keynote Speaker and then dismissed as a unit. NOTE: We STRONGLY encourage parents to move forward to the "wings" and even the "front" of the presentation area when their school called to gain a trophy for photos and video - don't be BASHFUL!
#4 - 26 March 2019: Clarifications to the Regulation Events
Several items are being clarified and in some cases "loosened" to ensure school do not get unfairly penalized. They are listed below:
2) Many teams are finding the standard required distance between the Cadet Commander and the Head Judge, and/or the Cadet Commander and the team is impossible to maintain without adding additional commands to then properly execute the sequence as written while staying inside the drill area boundaries. Again, this was because the drill cards were written and approved without thought to the drill area dimensions in use. Therefore, TEAMS MUST MAINTAIN THE PROPER SPACING IAW THE MCO. However, after the report-in has been completed, units MAY march the unit to any position in the area to "begin" their individual scoring movements.
3) Prior to the Eyes Right/Left Command(s) on the score sheets, schools will be permitted to maintain a "Platoon, Halt" command to reposition their commander should they desire without penalty. Of course, "Forward, March" will be permitted and required to begin the routine after any such commander halt and movement.
#5 - 26 March 2019: Clarifications to the Exhibition Events
All schools are reminded that because of the late notifications and specialized nature of exhibition drill (and how the report in/out location can affect report in/out locations and how that impacts overall event timing, IN EXHIBITION DRILL ONLY, TEAMS WILL DIRECT THE JUDGE SPECIFICALLY WHERE TO REPORT-IN AND WHERE TO REPORT OUT prior to their report-in in the ready area outside the drill area entrance. Also, we have been contacted by a school seeking relief from the timing burden of "time starts when first cadet enters and then ends when last cadet leaves" the drill area. We CANNOT do this and stay on time. Teams should design their entry, performance and exit to maintain no more than the prescribed time allowed in the SOP for your team exhibition performance. To provide flexibility, the MAXIMUM time of the event has been adjusted to move from 5-to-8 minutes to 5-to-9 minutes. Every second over 9 minutes on the floor will results in a 1 point penalty.
#6 - 27 March 2019: Minor Verbiage Change on Inspection Scoresheet
The Inspection score sheet maintained an old reference to "open ranks" that is no longer a part of the proper execution and was removed. NOTHING about the actual scoring of the event has been modified.
#7 - 27 March 2019: NO GUIDE is in Use at the USMCJROTC Nationals!
To clear any possible confusion, Headquarters USMCJROTC has made the call that Guides WILL NOT be in use at the event for either Regulation Drill event. Plan your performances accordingly.
#8 - 01 April 2019: Tape Usage on your Rifle-No DECORATIVE TAPE
Electrical tape or similar may be applied in any way and in any manner to your rifle as you see fit. HOWEVER the tape used may ONLY be BLACK IN COLOR - NO EXCEPTIONS! Also, please keep in mind that anything you TAPE UP may have to come off depending on your schedule and how you plan to tape so tread lightly as the competition day is rather compressed with only 16 schools attending and your Regulation and Color Guard rifles will need to be fully functional.
#9 - 01 April 2019: Unit Inspection Questions and Unit Formation/Question Information
Teams looking to plan may be interested in more detail on the Inspection competition. Every judge will maintain three questions from the standard military, government, historical, first aid areas that form the basis of a good citizenship program like JROTC. These questions may maintain a single answer (example: who is the Vice-President of the United States?) or they may have multiple answers (example: what are three U.S. states spelled with only four letters). Listen to the questions and answer every question with full detail to gain maximum points. Every cadet WILL ALSO receive a single philosophical question that maintains no right or wrong answer, but the cadet will be judged on giving an opinioned answer and then giving a foundation of facts to WHY they believe their answer to be true (example: Q) Cadet, what is the most important quality you look for in a best friend and why? A)MGySgt., honesty is the most important quality because without honesty I cannot trust them and without trust I will not be able to count on them for anything"). Tell your cadets to be verbal and give good, solid reasoning behind their answer and they will do fine. These FOUR questions in total will make up the 40 point score for KNOWLEDGE on the judges score sheet - therefore each question is worth 10 points.
Judge stations will be numbered internally with SNI as Judge #1(Head Judge/Cadet Commander) to Judge #13(last judge/last cadet in the formation). Each station will have a judge question "sheet". The sheets have questions included that have been subjectively evaluated to maintain EASIER QUESTIONS the farther away from your Cadet Commander you go to better allow the older more experienced cadets and your slightly less knowledgeable cadets to stand their ground well. Therefore, your Cadet #1 (Cadet Commander) will maintain slightly tougher questions than your Cadet #13. Plan your formation accordingly to give you the best chance of gaining your best team score.
#10 - 02 April 2019: NO CHECKING ALIGNMENT after Open Ranks
The manual is fairly clear regarding the ability to check (or not check) alignment after Open Ranks with well drilled troops. As competitors in a meet of this stature, TEAMS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO HAVE THE CADET COMMANDER MOVE TO CHECK/ADJUST ALIGNMENT. Judges will EXPECT perfect alignment upon execution of this movement. Any team commander who moves to check will face a deduction of points for this movement, as well as a likely deduction within the "Overall Technical Impression" aspect of the scoresheet.
#11 - 02 April 2019: Pulling the Trigger During Inspection Arms with the 1903 Springfield
The current MCO which is the standard in use for the event is written for the M16A2 rifle and obviously not the 1903 Springfield replicas that all MCJROTC teams use. Therefore, some adjustments and judgment calls are made for the sake of uniformity in judging and execution. MCJROTC HQ has forwarded guidance long ago on proper execution of Inspection Arms with the Springfield Rifle and we plan to follow this and train this standard to the judges to the letter. However teams rightfully still ask "Do we pull or not pull the trigger on proper execution of this movement?". For numerous reasons too detailed and unimportant to go into here, for the upcoming competition, teams WILL NOT pull the triggers on this movement. Judges will point deduct if they hear or see this action. We are fairly "strict constructionists" and there is nothing in the current instruction that says to execute this, therefore it will be deemed incorrect to do so for this meet.
#12 - 03 April 2019: NO CHECKING ALIGNMENT...at ALL
Just to ensure there is no confusion, TEAMS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO HAVE THE CADET COMMANDER MOVE TO CHECK/ADJUST ALIGNMENT during any non-exhibition movement at the Marine Corps Nationals. This has many reasons behind it and time is but one of them. Judges will EXPECT perfect alignment upon execution of this movement from teams at this level of drill - that is part of what you are being GRADED on! (something the manual was never written to do). Open Ranks, Dress Right Dress or any movement. None.
#13 - 03 April 2019: Commander Position Clarification
As Per MCO 5060.20 w/ch 1, 9002. POSTS OF INDIVIDUALS: In line, the platoon commander's post is 6 paces in front of the center of the front rank of the platoon. (See figure 9-1.) In column, the platoon commander marches at the head of the left file of the platoon (see figure 9-2). This is straight forward and should provide both correction and clarity for erroneous information written within the event SOP. Judges understand you are marching cadets in small boxes, but this is right from the manual. Many schools have shared they DO NOT NEED to adjust the position of their platoon after report in to accomplish the drill even with these standards in force. Outstanding!, then no "additional commands" penalty will be assessed if a c/CDR adjusts Platoon after report in but before beginning the sequence but there is no REQUIRENMENT to move. It is there if you need it without penalty.