Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
The United States Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment performed on the Combat Center’s Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field March 12. More than 200 students from Palm Vista and Condor Elementary Schools were in attendance as well as service members from various Combat Center units.
The United States Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment is comprised of the Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps, the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon and the Marine Corps Color Guard.
The Drum and Bugle Corps, also known as “The Commandant’s Own,” is made up of 85 Marines who are recruited from civilian drum corps, marching bands and other musical units within the Marine Corps.
“What we do, and part of our mission, is to motivate, inspire and entertain,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Buckles, drum major, United States Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps. “We have these ceremonies, back at the Marine Barracks, every Friday, during the summer months. So we take that large ceremony and turn it into a smaller one that we take out to the public and to the Marines. We’re here to show the tradition and pride of the Marine Corps.”
The United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon is a 24-Marine rifle platoon. Their performance is a precision drill exhibition without music, cadence or verbal commands.
“This is my third year on the platoon,” said Lance Cpl. Anthony Smith, team leader, United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. “I’ve been doing this so long that when I’m out there it’s kind of instinct now. We memorize the drill in sections so the only thing I’m thinking of is what the next manual is, not the next move. It’s just making sure you’re in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.”
The hard work pays off and getting to speak with Marines and kids after the ceremony is very rewarding says Smith.
“This is my favorite part of the year,” Smith said. “We get to travel and share with people this proud tradition. Everyone’s reactions are great.”
The United States Marine Corps Color Guard has three teams that perform in more than 1,000 ceremonies every year.
“I think it’s important to come out to events like this,” said Maj. Jamisen Fox, Combat Logistics Battalion 7, executive officer, who brought his 5-year-old son, Aiden, along to watch. “It teaches him about our customs and traditions. It helps him to develop a good sense of our professionalism and our military pride.”