JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team participated in a Joint Service Drill Exhibition at the National Mall in Washington DC, Oct. 19, 2022, marking the first “Drill Off” in ten years.

During this exhibition, the drill teams of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard competed for the most superlative display of precision, mastery, discipline and teamwork as they undertook simultaneous ceremonial maneuvers. Set against the backdrop of the Lincoln Memorial, these feats of military excellence made a striking impression on both cheering spectators and passers-by from places as far-flung as India and Australia. International tourists who came to sample the wartime speeches of the 16th American president were delighted to serendipitously encounter contemporary martial displays, as well.

Senior Master Sgt. Antonio Lofton, who led the USAF Drill Team Performance, reflected on his team’s work amid reactions from the public. “Today is the result of intense training not only over the last year, but over the last month,” he said. They came out to give a great show today, and that’s what they did. It feels great to be here, back with all the services, after the pandemic.”

Airman 1st Class Eyan Smith agreed. “Our main job is to recruit, retain and inspire. I joined the Air Force, following my sister’s example, and [I’ve learned that] excellence is a habit. It’s a lot of hard work; we came out and gave it all we’ve got. As a result, we get to inspire people both stateside and internationally.”

The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team has returned from a tour of international military tattoos in Scotland and Switzerland over the summer. Previously the defending champions, they placed third in the Drill Exhibition, which was judged by the “service-agnostic” Capitol Hill Police Drill Team. The Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon won the competition. The next Drill Exhibition is tentatively scheduled for April 2023.

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This piece is written by Anastazia Clouting from the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. Want to feature your story? Reach out to us at [email protected].