U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps

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. Through the 1930's, Marine Corps posts were still authorized a number of buglers and drummers to play the traditional calls and to ring a ship's bell to signal the time.

The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps was formed in 1934, at historic Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., 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 additionally tasked with Presidential support duties. For this additional role, they were awarded the scarlet and gold breastcord by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which they now proudly display on their uniform.
When the war ended, the Drum and 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 special status as musicians for the Commandant of the Marine Corps. In the tradition of their "field music" predecessors, these musicians in "The Commandant's Own" are Marines in the truest sense of the word. 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 and Bugle Corps. Following Recruit Training and Marine Combat Training, the Marines are assigned to "The Commandant's Own."

U.S. Marine Silent Drill

The United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, a 24-man rifle platoon, performs a unique precision drill exhibition. This highly disciplined platoon exemplifies professionalism associated with the United States Marine Corps.

The Silent Drill Platoon first performed in 1948 and received such an overwhelming response that it soon became part of the routine parades at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.
The Marines execute a series of calculated drill movements and precise handling of their hand-polished 10 and one-half pound M-1 Garand rifles with fixed bayonets. The routine concludes with a unique rifle inspection involving elaborate rifle spins and tosses.

U.S. Marine Band

The Marine Band traces it origin to the fifers and drummers who marched with the Continental Marines during the Revolutionary War. The band was officially established by an Act of Congress signed by President John Adams on July 11, 1798, making the Marine Band America's oldest musical organization. In 1801, the band moved to its present location at Marine Barracks, Washington D.C., and now performs in John Philip Sousa Band Hall, home of "The President's Own."

The Marine Band's Presidential debut took place on New Year's Day, 1801, at a reception hosted by President John Adams. In March of that year, the band performed for the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson. Since that time, the band has performed for every Presidential inauguration. Jefferson has been described as the "godfather" of the Marine Band and his personal interest in the organization led him to give the Marine Band the title "The President's Own."

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