posted by Mr. Completely @ 4:49 PM
That was awesome. Thanks for sharing.
When I was in the Navy, most of the training commands had a rifle drill team. Their official name is the "Flying Rifles" We used to call them the "Fumbling Firearms".They practice a lot and some people just never do get to the point where they become a full member of the team. The bayonets are ceremonial and not sharpened, but are still dangerous. When I was an A school instructor, I had two students have "incidents" while practicing with the Fumbling Firearms. One pegged his own foot to the ground with the bayonet when he missed a catch, the other got a bayonet completely throught the thigh when another team member blew a move.The standing agreement was that any member that stabbed or cut another owed the victim a case of beer. Pretty inadequate compensation if you ask me, but they carried their scars with pride.At any rate, after much practice and and a rigorous elimination process, the fumbling firearms are pretty darn impressive...even the lower level groups at the training commands, the Presidential detail in your video is downright awe inspiring.Thanks for bringing back some memories.
owed the victim a case of beerThe case of beer (or equivalent) is pretty traditional for many things...I've paid out 3 bottles of scotch to parachute riggers who packed my reserves and saved my worthless life.
I can't speak for All of the Teams, but our team was VERY Impressive! Especially considering this was a PART Time, VOLUNTARY Team while attending School Full Time with Homework.AS far as I know, at that time (1983-84) we were the ONLY US Navy Flying Rifles Drill Team. There were other Honor Guards at ALL Bases, but not 'Flying Rifles Drill Teams', as far as know anyway.Apparently 'Sailorcurt' above was NEVER on the team, or went to very many events to WITNESS First Hand our performances!We worked VERY Hard, and were VERY Good. We did MOST of the performance moves in the video above at that time, AND MORE. Some of which were a little more dangerous. In fact, add another injury or two. One guy on our team took a BAYONET to the CHIN! It was on the 'Suicide' throw from another team member. He forgot the number ONE Rule - 'After you release your rifle it is the other person's responsibility, and now yours in the rifle heading your way'. He looked to late and couldn't react to the rifle coming at him. The bayonet went THROUGH his Chin bone (like just to the left of his mouth, through his chin bone, and STOPPED in the Upper Rear of his mouth!!! If it had been a 1/2" Higher OR Lower it could have Killed Him. 1/2" lower and could have went through his through his throut and/or spine at that angle, and 1/2" higher would have went through his teeth, MUCH easier than his Chin Bone, and would have lodged into his brain!. The fact that it had to go THROUGH His Chin Bone took Most of the Inertia and Impact from the Rifle (about 10 Pounds of Rifle behind the Bayonet with Inertia is ?? Pounds? behind the Point of a DULLED Bayonet Point being THROWN AT YOU). He received like 20 stitches in chin and mouth and had his mouth wired shut for 6 weeks because of the bayonet breaking and going through his chin bone. Second injury I know of Personally is when during marching practice the guy next to me got a little to close during one of your rifle spin routines and cut the skin on my upper arm. Not deep enough, or long enough for stitched, but left a scar for me to remember. It's a GOOD THING these Bayonets are NOT Sharp, because they can do PLENTY of damage in their DULL state as these two example prove.I am looking for Team Members for the team in Millington, TN during the time period of July '83 to May '84. Would LOVE to hear from you all!Please email me at email@example.comThanks!Joe
This was on the US Navy Drill Team in 1967 while in A school in Memphis Tenn. and I can not find any history of it. We perform in many places throughout the USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey Joe, It,s me. Jim S. Anyone who was in Cleveland Ohio on November 11, 1983 would know it didn't go down quite like you describe. James.email@example.com
SailorCurt is sadly mistaken. There is only ONE U.S. Navy Flying Rifles Drill Team, and we were second only to the Presidential Honor Guard, who happen to be full time. The FRDT were full-time students (10-12 hours a day) and part time drill team. WE were excellent. Try and catch a 13lb rifle, including a chromed bayonet attached to it, thrown from 10 feet away...and then get back to me. ;-)
Can anyone tell me where I can find the history of the Flying Rifles (officially)? reason being is that I found an old article in a newspaper in my dad's things telling about how he started the Flying Rifles around 1966-67 (I believe). It tells about how my father organized the very first group and commanded the first drill team. I am trying to find other documentation about it. I asked him and he had NO idea that the Flying Rifles grew into what it is today. According to the article he is the founder of the Flying Rifles and I wanted to do some digging. Any help is appreciated. you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry...the Flying Rifles weren't founded in 66-67...it was 59!!! Thanks.email@example.com
I was stationed at Point Mugu, Ca 1966-1968 and I was on their Rifle Drill Team too.. We peroformed all over California and it was a blast ...
I was on the team at NAS Memphis in 1972 while attending airframes A school. The team leader instructor was Chief Gangweir
I was a member of the team in 1968 while attending "A" & "AQ" school. Back then it was Company 7 and we operated out of an old wooden barracks next to a Marine barracks whose occupants used to hoot and hollar at us during practice. We performed all over the country including the Mardi Gras of the west, Frontier Days in Cheyenne. It was great! Does anyone remember a "patch" that consisted of crossed & winged rifles (flying rifles)? We had them made as liberty cuffs, sewn on the inside of our dress blue jumper sleeves. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of a patch or just want to know more about old drill team activities. Thanx!
I was honored as the ADM in 1972, we were also students doing this through dedication and hard work. We performed everywhere less the west coast. A shout out to all the team, beginning to ? I would like to share with ALL team members. I remember Dale Gangweir, he was a first class Signalman and a real class act
This is amazing to know there many people before me that enjoyed FRDT. I wondered if i would ever lose the passion since 1997. I still at the age of 36 toss n spin M-1's for policy department drill team. JUST AMAZING!
FRDT 1999 Pensacola FL Senior Staff Armor CarterTruth is there is only one Flying rifles drill team and it is part of the aviation a school. it is second only to the presidential honor guard and for all intensive purposes will outspin the honor guard any day of the week. the four man team its called the bomb squad and it is made up of senior staff only and I don't know about you guys but when i was in ourbayonet were sharp tell a buddy of mine lost half of hand. Wooley hows the hand dude and RRIP Casper.as for sailor what's not if he is calling from Blaine forearms he was not intelligent enough to be in the aviation schoolhouse.
I was on the team in Millington in 87-88 during AQ A school. It was an honor and the best duty I ever had. We were the ONLY Flying Rifles, and we were really good.
I was a member of the Flying Rifles Drill Team, Bomb Squad and Honor Guard in Millington in 1971 while attending AT School. We were not a rifle squad, we were a precision drill team, the Navy Drill Team, we traveled around the country,sometimes with the Nave Band, performing in everything from the Armed Forces Day Parade down 5th Avenue in New York to the Annual Burro Festival in Fairplay CO.
I was a member of the Flying Rifles in 1973 while in AW A-school. Was only on the team for a few months because my school was so short. We made a trip to Meridian MS and performed for President Nixon in a parade and also did a show with the Blue Angels in Millington. I still have the certificate they gave me and a few pics. I'd love to know more about the history of the team. Remember the C-130 that would transport the Flying Rifles and the band? What was the band called? LOL
I had the pleasure to serve as the assistant company cmdr and drill master of the Flying Rifles Drill Team from 1970 to 72. Chief Autorino was the Company cmdr and Director of the Wings of Music Band. We shared the old Barracks till 71 when we moved to the New Barracks. During my two years with the Team we performed in 16 parades and static demonstrations from Atlanta Ga to Denver Co and many points in between. I have many many fond memories of that tour of duty. In my Navy Career the members of that team were the finest young men I had the pleasure to serve with. Just for the record I was a Torpedomen 1st class at the time. Would like to share stories with other former members.
Hey Jim S., thanks for the correction. I was in one of the other 2 groups when your mishap happened. I didn't realize the rifles hit in mid-air, and deflected causing your injury. BUT, One thing I DO Remember, is Badilla's (I think that was his name?) response to seeing your injury up close as he was handing you the replacement rifle!! LOL! I think he turned whiter than you when he saw your tongue THROUGH your lip! You were trying to figure out what happened to your chin/lip/etc with your tongue! and I was watching his head go up and down while watching the blood dripping from your chin to the ground! Glad we can laugh about it now, but Thank God it wasn't higher or lower or it would have been a Much Different Story! Looks like you may have stayed in and transferred to the Army?. If so, When did you retire? Flying Rifles was a LOT Of Work, but Wouldn't Trade it for the Memories! And was a Lot of Fun doing the Parades and Demos!
Hi,I was in Millington in 83-85 attending several schools for the AT rating up to, and including AFTA. I joined the Crackerjack Marching Team in 1983. We traveled all over the Southeast performing honor guards and drill maneuvers under the leadership of PO1 R. Davis from Anna, Illinois. We were housed on the second floor beneath the Flying Rifles who were on the 3rd floor. Without a doubt it was the most fun I had during my Navy career.
Hello Chris,Thanks for the info. I was there above you on the 3rd floor during your time on the 2nd floor. To be honest, I have never heard of your group, or maybe I have just forgotten! Getting Old you know! Anyway, glad to hear of your group there also. It Was a LOT of Work for Both of our teams, but a Lot of Fun Also! Thanks, Joe
I was also a crackerjack there in Millington in 1989 to 1990 AT school. Definitely enjoyed the parades around the local area. It made being out there away from mud island and Beale Street a wonderful experience.
Armor carter, I was there the day Wooley took that bayonet thru his hand it was a little crazy. I payed off several cases myself. Miss them days. Gunner Nichols
FRDT members in 1981-1982 included Beck, Quay (our Asst Drill Master), Brown, Brunson, Schlicher, Danis, Smulan, Purcel, Fisher, King, Adams, Jorgenson, Lloyd, Oakley, and 10 or 15 others. Drill Master was S. Chief Littlefield.
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