The high from the blue line ceremony didn’t last all day. Pretty soon we were back in class. A lot of people had failed to arrive on the first day because of the weather, so new people were arriving which created more inprocessing headaches. I felt sorry for them because they probably would never get to experience the blue line ceremony. It’s something you have to witness in person to truly appreciate.
The best part of the day was drill instruction. It was great because we got to see the MTIs really come to life. They separated the trainees into squadrons (groups of three flights; my squadron—Guardian squadron—is made up of Delta, Echo, and Foxtrot flights) and tried to teach us how to march. It felt like a line-dancing class, albeit a pretty complicated one. You have to count the beats, 1-2-3-4. Left foot is one, right is two, and so on. You take a 24-inch step each time. You follow the person in front of you. On a left turn, I call “column left, march!” and you execute a 90-degree pivot to the left using your right foot. After that, you fall into 12-inch steps. These are called half-steps. Once the entire column has turned, I will give the command “forward, march!” and you will resume a normal 24-inch step. When I call half-turns, such as “column, half-left, march!” you execute only a 45-degree pivot on your outside foot and continue with a normal 24-inch step.
Sounds complicated, but you know, it really was a lot like dancing. There is a rhythm to it, and I quickly grasped the idea. And I started to see this other side of the MTIs. Sure, they have been in our faces since we got here, yelling at us to fall in line, get in step, salute, and greet senior officers. But above all, they are passionate about drill. They are dedicated to teaching us not only discipline, but pride in our military bearing, the crispness of our movement, the snap in our execution. And I think I’m pretty good at it. Others, not so much. Our MTI explained why. If you can dance, you can march. You just have to follow the beat. But I know some of you can’t dance. In fact, I’ve seen you for three days now so I’m positive that some of you can’t dance. But you still have to march the best you can.
|He's not really that scary. He just wants to dance.|
I never thought I’d say this, but marching is kind of fun.