I served in the UK milirary for 22 years, left 6 years back and 'bulling' as we called it was core to a parade.
On hindsight, total waste of time but all tied to discipline, essentially it means adding spit and polish layer after layer, then a glass appears. Thing is, it does not last and cracks, then you do it all again....!
You should meet them. I can brag them up all day. http://gocivilairpatrol.com/
Rich Nichol - their color guard does prefer the Chlorofram shoes since they are easier to make look shiny and uniform but most cannot afford them. It only costs $28.00/year to be a CAP cadet and that included a voucher for a free set of US Air Force style "B"s (blue short sleeve shirt, slacks, and C-cap) so we try and scrounge dress shoes, black combat boots, woodland camo BDUs, belts, buckles, field jackets, GORTEX, gloves, etc..... They tend to get a lot of older style leather dress shoes and then outgrow them quickly.
So these young cadets spit/shine? Interesting. I worked a lot with US military and must admit felt the plastic wipe shine shoes did not cut it in my opinion, which many of them agreed with me on.