That year there were 45 horns, 19 drums, 24 flags, 8 rifles, and an American Flag party. 1971 marked the year of the Midwest/West “Combine” and the East Coast Alliance. The corps traveled all the way to the East Coast once again. But this time they faced a series of tough losses (best known in SCV History as “The Boston Massacre”).
VFW Nationals (the 1970 equivalent of today’s DCI Championships) were held at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX. This was the biggest contest in the nation. Capping a 54-day, 17-state tour, which included the World Open, CYO, and the Danny Thomas Invitational, the Vanguard won VFW Nationals with a score of 89.95 (and without coming in first in a single caption). Rob Carson, a 14-year-old snare drummer, won his first individual contest, by 11 points.
The first major change in the uniforms was made this year when the cummerbunds were changed from red with red & green drops, to black w/ black & white drops. The brass and percussion sections switched to white shoes.