The Gator Guard Drill Team, abbreviated GGDT, is a nationally recognized precision drill team and military fraternity based at the University of Florida. The team is named after the Florida Gators, the mascot of the University of Florida. Founded in 1953, the Gator Guard is most widely known for its annual performances in the New Orleans Mardi Gras Parades. The drill team was formed by cadets from the University of Florida ROTC program and was modeled after the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment, "The Old Guard." The Gator Guard absorbed and succeeded the University of Florida's Army ROTC chapter of the Pershing Rifles upon its inception. The founding class of the Gator Guard consisted of 16 cadets in 1953. The team's membership would see an all-time high of 72 members in 1957.
The Gator Guard performs annually at the University of Florida's Homecoming Parade, as well as the Krewe of Mid-City and King Rex parades at the New Orleans Mardi Gras. The Drill Team uses M1903 rifles with 8-inch bayonets for all performances. In addition, the Gator Guard also performs Color Guard ceremonies for the University of Florida, the SEC, and the MLB. The team has made annual trips to Washington D.C. to train with The Old Guard.
The Guard has drill practices on Thursdays and Fridays from 16:30-18:30. The Guard also has Color Guard practices from 15:00-18:00. They practice on Stadium field, behind the Stadium’s Florida Field North End Zone. They meet in Yon Hall before practices.
Raiders serves as the core source of small unit training and tactics for cadets at the University of Florida. While enhancing your warrior skills, involvement in Raiders will place you in an exclusive brotherhood of elite cadets, preparing you for a successful future as an officer in the US Army. We believe that every officer in the US Army has a responsibility to be prepared to act as a combat leader. Raiders hosts a weekly training lab to supplement the training that cadets receive from the Battalion.