The Norwich University Regimental Drill Team

Norwich color guardThe Norwich University Regimental Drill team, the official color guard of the state of Vermont, continues to develop a reputation as one of the top drill teams in the nation.

The Norwich University Drill Team was established in 1932 under the name of "Shock Platoon." The team was to be a group of Cadets who were "highly efficient in personal appearance and soldierly bearing." Admission to this elite platoon was on a competitive basis and each member was required to maintain the highest of standards. For a short time, the platoon was called the Escort Platoon, providing escorts to visiting teams and distinguished guests of Norwich University. Later, the Shock Platoon would accompany the university Glee Club and orchestra on tours throughout New England for the benefit of citizens who enjoyed the "snap and color" of a military drill team.

Cadet Angoy performing his winning solo trick drill routineThe lofty standards required of the original Shock Platoon are maintained to this day by the Norwich University Drill Team, as they continue to perform in parades, official ceremonies, and special events on campus and throughout the country.

The Shock Platoon has gained national recognition in recent years. The drill team competed in a national competition for the first time in the team's history in February, 2003, in New Orleans. The team returned to the Northfield campus with several high honors, including Matthew Angoy's first place finish in the solo trick drill, and the color guard's first place award in their division. The team as a whole placed tenth overall in a field of 97 competitors from 20 different universities.

In November 2003, Shock Platoon participated in the 25th annual Cornell University Invitational Drill Competition in Ithaca, NY, matching their skills against top drill teams from universities across the country including the Naval Academy and West Point. Shock Platoon won overall first place honors in the competition.

Shock Platoon in competitionThe Shock Platoon is currently in New Orleans participating in the 32nd annual Mardi Gras Drill Competition national championship at Tulane University.

The 24-member 2003-2004 Shock Platoon consists of: CPT Corinne LeFrancois, 1LT James Hubbard, 1SG Brian Hickey, SFC Matthew Angoy, SSG Juan Ortiz, CPL Jeffrey Clark, CPL Christopher Cote, CPL Dustin McCullough, CPL Eric Miller, CPL Christopher Quinlan, CPL Jonathan Ryder, CPL Elliott Weidel, PVT Krystal Brandt, PVT Andrea Bryant, PVT Jeremy Dreher-Cote, PVT Frances Jackson, PVT Eugene Miranda, PVT Michael Pavlick, PVT Matthew Pelton, PVT Jonathan Pride, PVT Anthony Rivera, PVT Cody White, PVT John Young, and Edward Sulton -el. Faculty advisors for the Shock Platoon are Majors Russ Holden and Helen Bryan.

by Mark Albury
pubrel@norwich.edu
February 2004

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