Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
Pioneer Days began in Twentynine Palms in 1937. Since its early beginnings, the local event has flourished and now includes dozens of events that represent many different groups in the community, including the Combat Center.
Combat Center Marines represented the base in the annual Pioneer Days Parade Saturday as they marched down the Twentynine Palms Highway or drove the military vehicles they employ overseas.
Men, women and children started lining the streets early to guarantee a good view of the festivities.
The mounted color guard from Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., led the parade on horseback. As they passed, carrying the national colors, the crowd raised their hands over their hearts.
Whether it was intentional or not, the color guard impressed many of the onlookers as their horses walked in step.
The Military Grand Marshal followed close behind colors in a white convertible. Representing the Combat Center was retired Col. Billy Bouldin, who flew the first team of Marines to the Combat Center and was a former Chief of Staff for the base. Bouldin was also distinguished as the first recipient of the MCAGCC Pioneer Award.
Following behind him and waving to the crowd was MCAGCC Chief of Staff Col. George C. Aucoin. Two platoons of Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School students dressed in their Dress Blue Delta uniforms followed suit.
“Anytime I get the opportunity to go out in public and show people, who may not have a lot of interaction with the Marine Corps, who we are, I love that,” said Staff Sgt. Seth Spivey, the staff noncommissioned officer leading the MCCES students in the march.
The platoons of Marines turned heads with their sharp display of discipline and obedience to orders.
“The crowd was great,” Spivey said. “More people than I expected clapped and cheered.”
Behind them, Combat Logistics Battalion 7 Marines showed off some of their armored vehicles. The unit’s vehicles stood out in the long line of civilian cars and trucks as they drove along the parade route.
At the very end of the parade, the Combat Center fire department took their place among the other fire departments in the area.
The Marines did their best to show the Combat Center is not only part of the Marine Corps, but part of the local Twentynine Palms community.
“It’s awesome we are part of Pioneer Days,” said Spivey. “It’s a really big deal to the community to have a remembrance for their heritage. This base has been around for 60 years, and we have to show the same support for them as they show for us.”