126’s Rifle Drill Display Team have had a very exciting week. The team travelled to RAF Northolt to spend the day with The Queen’s Colour Squadron (QCS), 63 Squadron RAF Regiment. The QCS produce some of the highest standards of drill in the world and are a huge inspiration to the team members. In previous years, at performances such as Birmingham International Military Tattoo, The QCS have been on the same listing as 126’s team.
The QCS maintains a dual role undertaking both ceremonial duties as The Queens Colour Squadron and field squadron commitments as 63 Squadron RAF Regiment. In addition to delivering world renowned Continuity Drill Displays at the Royal Albert Hall, Military events and Tattoos both national and international, The Queen’s Colour Squadron can be seen representing the Royal Air Force at the Cenotaph, the State Opening of Parliament as well as on Public Duties, both at Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace, The Tower of London and Windsor Castle.
Upon arrival the cadets were greeted by Warrant Officer Mears, currently the Squadron Warrant Officer on The Queen’s Colour Squadron, and taken on a tour of their Squadron buildings. After the tour the cadets were shown the new promotional video for the RAF Regiment and had a talk on the QCS, what they do, how they do it and what the future holds for them. Cadet Flight Sergeant Cerri Minall asked how long it took to formulate a drill display through to performance level standards and it would take The QCS four days on average to perfect.
After having lunch the cadets stood to watch a training session where two teams were practicing; one for a performance at RAF Hendon and the other for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo which is an event that the cadets from Derby can only dream of.
It was then 126’s turn to take centre stage. As if it wasn’t daunting enough, the entire QCS crowded around the cadet team to watch their routine. Ever the professionals, the cadets performed their routine to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk which was a surprise to the QCS. The cadets really did the Squadron proud and even got a round of applause and cheers of approval on certain more difficult moves in the routine.
The cadets were elated that they had finished the routine they had performed for their idols and were invited up to the balcony where the QCS Warrant Officer stands and observes the drill. WO Mears then took the cadets and staff around the rest of the building before saying their goodbyes.
Overall the day was an honour for the cadets to be a part of and they have learnt a lot that they can take to their future performances.