Support our mission
 
Capt. Christopher Miorin, commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), salutes with his sword Dec. 2, during the 2011 British Military Tournament in London. Miorin, from Harrisburg, Pa., often risks being hit by bayonet-tipped rifles.
Capt. Christopher Miorin, commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), salutes with his sword Dec. 2, during the 2011 British Military Tournament in London. Miorin, from Harrisburg, Pa., often risks being hit by bayonet-tipped rifles. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
Capt. Christopher Miorin, commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), salutes with his sword Dec. 2, during the 2011 British Military Tournament in London. Miorin, from Harrisburg, Pa., often risks being hit by bayonet-tipped rifles.
Capt. Christopher Miorin, commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), salutes with his sword Dec. 2, during the 2011 British Military Tournament in London. Miorin, from Harrisburg, Pa., often risks being hit by bayonet-tipped rifles. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
Members of the U.S. Army Drill Team, part of The Old Guard, toss their bayonet-tipped 1903 Springfield rifles in the air during the British Military Tournament in London on Dec. 2, 2011. The rifles weigh about 10 pounds and are often thrown blindly to other members of the team.
Members of the U.S. Army Drill Team, part of The Old Guard, toss their bayonet-tipped 1903 Springfield rifles in the air during the British Military Tournament in London on Dec. 2, 2011. The rifles weigh about 10 pounds and are often thrown blindly to other members of the team. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
Members of the U.S. Army Drill Team send their bayonet-tipped 1903 Springfield rifles spinning in the air while their commander, Capt. Christopher Miorin, stands at attention in the center of the circle at the 2011 British Military Tournament in London on Dec. 2.
Members of the U.S. Army Drill Team send their bayonet-tipped 1903 Springfield rifles spinning in the air while their commander, Capt. Christopher Miorin, stands at attention in the center of the circle at the 2011 British Military Tournament in London on Dec. 2. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
World War II veteran Joseph Francis, 91, and his son, Michael, stand in front of their Napoleon six-pounder cannon as part of the Southern Skirmish Association Civil War re-enactment group, which performed at the 2011 British Military Tournament in London.
World War II veteran Joseph Francis, 91, and his son, Michael, stand in front of their Napoleon six-pounder cannon as part of the Southern Skirmish Association Civil War re-enactment group, which performed at the 2011 British Military Tournament in London. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
Members of the Southern Skirmish Association Civil War re-enactment group play out the 1864 Battle of Franklin, where the Confederate army advanced upon the Union army at Franklin, Tenn. The performance was part of the British Military Tournament, held Dec. 2-4, 2011 in London.
Members of the Southern Skirmish Association Civil War re-enactment group play out the 1864 Battle of Franklin, where the Confederate army advanced upon the Union army at Franklin, Tenn. The performance was part of the British Military Tournament, held Dec. 2-4, 2011 in London. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
During the British Military Tournament in London, a "wounded" Confederate soldier is helped by a medic in a re-enactment of the 1864 Battle of Franklin, Tenn. The British-based Southern Skirmish Association re-enactment group regularly portrays soldiers from the 1st Maryland Field Artillery unit.
During the British Military Tournament in London, a "wounded" Confederate soldier is helped by a medic in a re-enactment of the 1864 Battle of Franklin, Tenn. The British-based Southern Skirmish Association re-enactment group regularly portrays soldiers from the 1st Maryland Field Artillery unit. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
Members of the U.S. Army Europe Band & Chorus perform during the 2011 British Military Tournament in London on Dec. 2, 2011.
Members of the U.S. Army Europe Band & Chorus perform during the 2011 British Military Tournament in London on Dec. 2, 2011. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
Students from Wellington College in England participate in the Field Gun Run during the British Military Tournament on Dec. 2, 2011 in London. Participants must overcome various obstacles while traveling with a scaled-down version of a wheeled field artillery cannon. The competition has a storied history in Britain and commemorates an event that took place during the Boer War.
Students from Wellington College in England participate in the Field Gun Run during the British Military Tournament on Dec. 2, 2011 in London. Participants must overcome various obstacles while traveling with a scaled-down version of a wheeled field artillery cannon. The competition has a storied history in Britain and commemorates an event that took place during the Boer War. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
Students from Wellington College in England participate in the Field Gun Run during the British Military Tournament on Dec. 2, 2011 in London. Teams compete to overcome various obstacles while traveling with a scaled-down version of a wheeled field artillery cannon. The two teams were named Terrible and Powerful.
Students from Wellington College in England participate in the Field Gun Run during the British Military Tournament on Dec. 2, 2011 in London. Teams compete to overcome various obstacles while traveling with a scaled-down version of a wheeled field artillery cannon. The two teams were named Terrible and Powerful. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)
Two members of the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, also known as the White Helmets, perform during the British Military Tournament on Dec. 2, 2011 in London.
Two members of the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, also known as the White Helmets, perform during the British Military Tournament on Dec. 2, 2011 in London. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

LONDON — The “special” relationship between the United States and Great Britain didn’t start that way, as the recently ended British Military Tournament highlighted.

The annual show in London brought the two countries’ history to life through battle re-enactments and historical ceremonial display performances; more than 700 participants from the U.S. and the U.K. performed in the opening show, which was attended by Queen Elizabeth II.

The show opened with a narrated video describing some of the circumstances surrounding the American Revolutionary War and subsequent War of 1812.

In its first U.K. appearance since 2003, the U.S. Army Drill Team wowed the crowd with coordinated marching movements and spinning and tossing of bayonet-tipped 1903 Springfield rifles, culminating with the front-to-rear overhead rifle toss.

Also representing the American military was the U.S. Army Europe Band & Chorus, which performed a selection of music from the 1940s. Lt. Col. Beth Steele, from Ames, Iowa, conducted the marching band from the back of a World War II-era military jeep, and the band’s percussion section performed from the back of an M35 “deuce-and-a-half” truck. Steele said she considers the band to be “America’s musical ambassadors in Europe for the Army.”

Featured appearances by the Britons included: the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, also known as the White Helmets; the Wellington College Field Gun Run, two teams of students race to maneuver a wheeled cannon across an obstacle course; and the Musical Drive of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, a saluting battery made up of six teams, each with six horses and three riders, that haul World War I-era “13-pounder” cannons. The team performs a choreographed routine to showcase its riding skills.

A British-based Civil War re-enactment group, the Southern Skirmish Association, portrayed the 1864 Battle of Franklin in Tennessee, in which the Confederate army was dealt a massive blow by Union soldiers.

Among the re-enactors were Joseph Francis and his son, Michael. At age 91, Joseph Francis, who served in Britain’s Territorial Army during World War II, doesn’t think he’s too old to run around the “battlefield” and operate his Napoleon six-pounder cannon.

“It’s getting out and about,” he said. “Keeping yourself fit; I’ve always said I wasn’t going to sit around.”

hodged@estripes.osd.mil

Migrated

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up