Thursday, September 20, 2007

USMC Silent Drill Platoon

Reader Soccer Mom In Denial asked me who these guys were... so I thought I would share.

The Silent Drill platoon is an infantry platoon that is part of the battalion that makes up the bulk of the Marines at Marine Barracks, Washington, DC. For the most part, all of the troops are ceremonial. There are two companies of infantry that comprise the "marching battalion", as well as The Drum & Bugle Corps, The Marine Band, Headquarters & Service Company, etc...

During the spring and summer, the battalion puts on two parades per week, in addition to any other ceremonies (eg, White House stuff or funerals at Arlington National Cemetery). These parades are the Sunset parade, held on Tuesday evenings at the Marine Memorial in Arlington and the Evening Parade, held Friday evenings on the quadrangle of the main barracks area.

The video below, is from a performance during a summertime Evening Parade.


Oh, the area where the Marines are marching is only about 20 yards from the sign you saw on the earlier post, that says "Marine Barracks".


Adventures In Waitressing said...

I was married to a Marine.. and man I love a man in Marine Corp blue. Or in any uniform for that matter. LOL.. thanks for the great clip.

melody is slurping life said...

Hi, found you at cre8Buzz. Great blog, interesting guy. Nice to "meet" you.

Beth the Sensible said...

Yet another cre8Buzz click-thru! Love your site ... my husband's a former jarhead too. OCS, Quantico, got out right before Gulf War.

soccer mom in denial said...

I cannot thank you enough for promptly answering my "huh?" question. That was amazing. I was in high school marching band so I know alittle about what it takes to get a bunch of people to march in synch, be precise and NOT USE A SINGLE BEAT OF A DRUM! Wow.

But now I've got even MORE questions.

1. So you were one of these guys? What is the selection process?

2. How long did you train? What was the training like?

3. Did at any point while marching and twirling your rifle like a baton did you think - "I joined the Marines to be in a glorified drill team?" No disrespect but really. Is this considered an honor among Marines or a fluff assignment? (I'm really asking - I have no idea and am not judging.)

Gunfighter said...

Hello new readers!

Thanks for dropping by! I hope you'll come back some time. I tend to rant about lots of things, and generally speaking, I am a staunch anti-Republican... which doesn't mean Republicans aren't welcome.


I live a five minute drive from Quantico... as a matter of fact, I was on post only a few weeks ago.


To your question... no, I wasn't one of those guys. Do you know what I did while I was assigned to the Barracks? I took care of the Commandant of The Marine Corps lawn and garden.

No. Really.

As for the selection of the SDP guys, they had to be of a certain height/build... think tall and slender. You'd never look at me... even in the bloom of my youth and think that.

My training? I was an infantryman. A heavy machinegunner. My training consited of learning how to use the large caliber machineguns (50 caliber and 40 milimeter, to blow great big holes in enemy bodies.

Since I was never a rifle twirler, I never had to ask myself those questions... but the assignement is considered to be a great honor. Having said that, most MArines who are assigned to Marine Barracks , Washington, DC only stay in the Marines for one enlitsment... you kind of get spoiled being in the middle of all the action in DC and then going back out to the fleet in places like Camp Lejeune, NC, and other "fabulous" places.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Great blog, Gunnie. I've seen these guys perform at the Marine Memorial in Arlington and they are AMAZING! If you live in the D.C. area, you should add this to your list of "Must See".

I'm also going to throw in a plug for the Old Guard (I know they're Army and not USMC, but still...) at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Arlington. Granted, they don't throw their rifles or march in platoons, but their precision and assignment is equally moving.

DJ Black Adam said...

Hey GF, did you work for General Gray? He visited El Toro while I was there, he was old school and cool as heck (at least he came off that way)!

Desert Songbird said...

I had the honor and pleasure of watching a USMC silent drill team performance back in 1985 at Bangor NSB. Not the Commadant's Own, but awesome nonetheless.

Thanks for the thrills and chills.

MedStudentWife said...

I've seen them (maybe not "them") but them a couple of times at Fort Henry in Kingston, and it always has taken my breath away... silent drill is so "kwel".

When I've watch them, I try try to figure out the timings (beats) and memory cues... havent got it figured out yet, but it does not distract from the beauty of it.

Anonymous said...

If you would like to see pictures and video of the Silent Drill Platoon's current filming tour, go to This website will be updated weekly as the platoon travels around the country filming a new USMC commercial. Check it out!