MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Combat Center personnel, retired service members and local area elementary students gathered at the Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field for the annual Battle Colors Ceremony March 16.
Marines with the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, known as the “Commandant’s Own,” and the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon from Marine Barracks 8th and I, in Washington, D.C., put on a show filled with precision movements and musical classics, as part of the “Music in Motion 2010” tour.
“It was awesome,” said Lance Cpl. Dillonger Hackett, a tank crewman with Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, and San Antonio native. “We don’t get to see stuff like this too often, so it’s nice to have been able to come out here.”
Sgt. Phillip Jones, a baritone bugler with the Drum and Bugle Corps, and West Palm Beach, Fla., native, said he and his fellow Marines strive to make each performance better than the last.
“Our biggest challenge as performers is continually improving,” said Jones, who has played his instrument for 16 years. “Every year we spend nearly a month at [Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.], to perfect our routine. From there we have performance after performance throughout the country so we don’t get a lot of practice time.”
Gunnery Sgt. J.P. Johnson, the platoon sergeant for the Silent Drill Platoon, said he and his Marines join the Drum and Bugle Corps in Yuma each year to perfect their skills as well.
“We usually start out with around 87 Marines each year, but by the time our training is complete that number dwindles to 18,” said Johnson, of Kenosha, Wash. “Those who don’t make the Silent Drill Platoon are sent to other ceremonial marching units throughout the Marine Corps.
“What we’re able to do is absolutely amazing. We’re all infantry Marines serving abroad, representing every Marine in the Corps, and that’s what we take pride in,” he added.
Lance Cpl. Oscar Franquez, the platoon guide with the drill team, has been with the platoon for three years, and said it is something he is proud to have been a part of.
“I wanted to serve my country, and this is the best way I could,” said the Santa Clarita, Calif., native. “The Marine Corps has given me a chance to make a difference in the world, and that’s what I’ve set out to do.”
For more information about the Drum and Bugle Corps or to see a copy of their schedule, visit http://drumcorps.mbw.usmc.mil. To find more information about the Silent Drill Platoon, visit http://www.mbw.usmc.mil/sdpdefault.asp.
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