Most Viewed Stories
Famed Marine Corps band to perform here
Before a famed group of military musicians leaves Yuma after conducting spring training here, it would like to treat the community to a pair of free performances.
The U.S. Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment, featuring the Silent Drill Platoon, the Drum and Bugle Corps and the official Marine Corps Color Guard, will offer free performances on Thursday at Kofa High School, 3100 S. Avenue A, and on Friday at Gila Ridge High School, 7150 E. 24th St. in Yuma. Both performances are free and slated for 7 p.m.
The U.S. Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment arrived here the first week of February.
“Just like baseball teams, this is our spring training for the year,” said Staff Sergeant Joshua Miles, a spokesman with the detatchment. “We've been coming here for a long, long time, I want to say since the late 1970s. The good weather is a big draw, plus the community is so supportive.”
The Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment is a ceremonial unit from Marine Barracks Washington featuring, “The Commandant's Own” United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, The United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, and the Official Color Guard of the Marine Corps. Each year, the unit travels worldwide.
After leaving Yuma, the Battle Color Detachment will launch its 2013 season and travel to Marine Corps installations and communities on both coasts of the United States.
The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps performs martial and popular music for hundreds of thousands of spectators each year. Comprised of over 85 Marine musicians, dressed in ceremonial red and white uniforms, it is known worldwide as a premier musical marching unit.
Miles said he hears the musicians perform every day, yet their music's grasp on his heart never loses its grip.
“I may have heard a song a thousand times, but seeing the smile on a kid or the sense of pride on someone's face standing for the national anthem...it's amazing,” he said.
Throughout the summer months, the unit performs in the traditional Evening Parades held at Marine Barracks, Washington, and in the Sunset Parades at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. The Drum & Bugle Corps travels more than 50,000 miles annually, performing in nearly 500 events across the nation and abroad.
The history of the unit can be traced to the early days of the Marine Corps. In the 18th and 19th centuries military musicians, or “field musics,” provided a means of passing commands to Marines in battle formations. The sound of various drum beats and bugle calls could be easily heard over the noise of the battlefield and signaled Marines to attack the enemy or retire for the evening.
The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps was formed in 1934 to augment the United States Marine Band.
The unit provided musical support to ceremonies around the nation's capitol and, during World War II, was tasked with presidential support duties. For this additional role, they were awarded the scarlet and gold breast cord by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which they still proudly display on their uniform.
When the war ended, the Drum & Bugle Corps resumed performing at various military and public ceremonies.
In the early 1950s the unit gained considerable acclaim performing for an increasing number of civilian audiences.
Music composed specifically for their unique selection of instruments helped establish their reputation for excellence during this period. These factors also led to the unit's formal designation as “The Commandant's Own,” a title noting their unique status as musicians for the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Every enlisted member is a graduate of Marine Corps recruit training and is trained in basic infantry skills. Prior to enlisting, each Marine must pass a demanding audition for service in the Drum & Bugle Corps. Following Recruit Training and Marine Combat Training, the Marines are assigned to “The Commandant's Own.”
The United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon is a 24-man rifle platoon that performs a unique precision drill exhibition.
The Silent Drill Platoon first performed in the Sunset Parades of 1948 and received such an overwhelming response that it soon became a regular part of the parades at Marine Barracks, Washington, DC.
The Marines execute a series of calculated drill movements and precise handling of their hand-polished, ten and one-half pound, M-1 Garand rifles with fixed bayonets. The routine concludes with a unique rifle inspection sequence demonstrating elaborate rifle spins and tosses.
The United States Marine Corps Color Guard is unique. It includes the National Colors, carried by the Color Sergeant of the Marine Corps and is the only official Battle Color of the United States Marines. A duplicate is maintained in the office of the commandant of the Marine Corps in the Pentagon.
The battle colors bear the same fifty-four streamers authorized for the Marine Corps as a whole. These streamers represent U.S. and foreign unit awards as well as those periods of service, expeditions, and campaigns in which the Marine Corps has participated from the American Revolution to today.
During the Marine Corps' first 150 years, Marines in the field carried a variety of flags. It was not until 18 April 1925 that Marine Corps Order Number 4 designated gold and scarlet as the official colors of the US Marine Corps.
The Color Sergeant carries the National Ensign during ceremonies, the Presidential Color for all White House State functions and tours and carries the National Ensign with the Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment. He heads the Marine Color Guard Section of Company A, Marine Barracks, Washington, DC, which performs for parades, ceremonies and official functions around the United States and abroad. The Color Guard section often participates in more than 1,000 ceremonies annually, regularly two to eight per day.