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ND drill team to perform in NYC

Casey Kenny | Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Irish Marauders, a color guard and exhibition drill team of the Notre Dame Army ROTC, recently received an invitation to perform at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City, Officer-in-Charge, Justin Figueredo said.

“We are really excited to be invited to march in this parade and provide the colors in a nationally televised event – not many teams are invited, so it is a huge honor to be recognized and invited to participate and represent Notre Dame,” Figueredo, a senior, said.

The team provides color guard for sporting leagues and charities off campus, and represents Notre Dame’s Army ROTC at various events and functions throughout the nation.

“Not many people know about the other component of the Irish Marauders … the drill team,” Figueredo said.

The drill team is made up of about 17 Army ROTC students in all classes and has practice every week, he said. The Marauders are a voluntary group for personal development, he said.

“Since it is intended to be for enjoyment and the development of personal discipline, there are no tryouts for the team or cuts from the team,” Figueredo said.

He adds that their mission is “to develop leadership, confidence and teamwork while learning the art of Army ceremonies and rifle and exhibition drill techniques, including spins, throws and other maneuvers.”

The team’s performances involve silent drill, which requires that all rifle movements be executed at precise moments.

“Our performances are a real show of discipline,” adds Figueredo. “We move and spin our rifles with no beat or counting, but rather create our own beat which requires that all members be mentally sound and in complete sync with one another in order for it to work.”

Though they are challenging, the performances are also meant to be fun and exciting for team members and viewers alike, he said.

The drill team’s performances are “a lot of fun to watch and really demonstrate the values of the Army ROTC program. They are especially enjoyable for the team members.”

The Marauders drill team has been looking forward to its performance at the Irish women’s basketball game Wednesday night, he said.

“It is the team’s first performance outside the battalion and a great opportunity to show the public our drill team,” says Figueredo. “Public performance is such a rewarding part of our practice and the team really enjoys putting on these exhibitions.”