Battle Color Detachment performs ceremony at depot
By Cpl. Benjamin E. Woodle
| Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | April 04, 2014
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego --
Each year friends, families and service members come together to enjoy a performance from the Marine Corps’ professional and elite.
The Battle Color Detachment performed their Battle Color Ceremony on Shepherd’s Field aboard the depot, March 15.
The Battle Color Ceremony features the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, the Silent Drill Platoon, and the Marine Corps Color Guard. All are attached to Marine Barracks Washington, also known as the "Oldest Post of the Corps." These Marines appear in hundreds of ceremonies annually across the country and abroad.
“The purpose of our tours is to go around the country and the world to show people the Marine Corps,” said Lance Cpl. Ryan J. Hasty, silent drill platoon. “We go out to the people who have probably never seen a Marine before and put on a good impression of who we are and what we’re about.”
The show started when the Drum and Bugle Corps marched out from the depot flag pole and took their position center stage on Shepherd Field.
Known as “The Commandant’s Own,” the musicians played contemporary songs and traditional marching music with choreographed drill movements as part of their “Music in Motion” program. They are currently the only full-time active duty drum corps in the United States Armed Forces. The Drum and Bugle Corps travels more than 50,000 miles, performing in excess of 400 events across the United States and around the world.
The 85 Marines wore uniforms unlike the traditional Marine Corps dress uniform. They showcased a red and white ceremonial uniform with white gauntlets that cover the wrists.
After the Drum and Bugle Corps concluded their last song, the Silent Drill Platoon took center stage.
As the 24-man Silent Drill Platoon marched out, the audience could already see the discipline each Marine exemplified. Their performance was unique and unlike any other around the world. The platoon delivered a high precision drill routine with their M1 Garand rifles with fixed bayonets. During the performance, not a single verbal command was given, which is what earned them the name, Silent Drill Platoon.
Those watching on clenched as they saw live bayonets being swung around and rifles thrown mid-air, waiting and hoping nothing would go wrong. For those Marines in the Silent Drill Platoon, it was just another day at the office.
“It’s all just muscle memory now,” said Hasty, a Villa Park, Ill., native. “When I first started, I was thinking about every single move and what was coming up, but now I just go with the flow.”
The conclusion of their performance included a rifle inspection where a Marine threw his rifle to the rifle inspector who caught it, inspected and then tossed the weapon back to him after a series of elaborate spins.
After the performances, the Marine Corps Color Guard came out to present the colors for the National Anthem. The Color Guard carried the official Battle Colors of the Marine Corps, with 54 streamers and silver bands that commemorate the military campaigns the Corps’ participated in spanning the entire history of the nation from the American Revolution to the present.
The Battle Color Detachment performed two shows, one for the public and one for the recruits. Rarely do recruits get a chance to step out of their training and enjoy such an event.
“The recruits got a chance to see a prestigious show to see what hard work and dedication can do for you,” said Staff Sgt. Paul E. Espindola, senior drill instructor, Platoon 2170, Company H, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion. “They looked really good and squared away. I want my recruits to emulate that.”
With the ceremony concluded, the Battle Color Detachment packed up for their next show at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga. They will then wrap up their current spring tour with two more shows in South Carolina.