The United States Marine Corps Color Guard Platoon presents the National Flag and the Marine Corps Battle Color at ceremonies throughout National Capitol Region and across the United States in order to render appropriate military honors and to display the Marine Corps’ illustrious warfighting history.
The Battle Color of the Marine Corps
The Official Color Guard Platoon is unique in that it is the only Color Guard entity that carries the Battle Color of the Marine Corps. These 54 streamers represent more than 400 U.S. and foreign awards as well as all campaigns in which Marines have participated. They span the entire history of the nation, from the American Revolution to the present. The Color Guard platoon is also unique in that they carry a banded staff. These 54 silver bands denote the title of the awards and campaigns of the United States Marine Corps that are symbolized in the 54 Battle Streamers. A duplicate of this Battle Color is maintained and held at the office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Marine Corps Color Guard Platoon
The Official Marine Corps Color Guard Platoon was established shortly after the founding of Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. This platoon renders military honors at ceremonies in the National Capital Region and across the United States. The platoon consists of several separate entities that include the Commandant’s Four and three infantry squads, each of which is capable of supporting Joint Color Guard ceremonies, Marine Corps Color Guard ceremonies and Sea Service Color Guard ceremonies. The Commandant’s Four, selected and appointed by the Commanding Officer of Marine Barracks Washington D.C., is the official Color Guard entity for the Marine Corps and marches in high-visibility ceremonies across the nation. Today, the platoon consists of Infantry Marines that will soon transition to the Fleet Marine Force. These Marines are the keepers of the colors.
Color Sergeant of the Marine Corps
The Color Sergeant of the Marine Corps serves as the senior Sergeant of the Marine Corps and is selected from the Fleet Marine Force. The position was officially established in 1965. The first Color Sergeant of the Marine Corps was Gunnery Sergeant Shelton L. Eakin, who later commissioned as Second Lieutenant Eakin. He was killed in action in Vietnam in 1966. The Color Sergeant carries the National Flag in ceremonies throughout the National Capitol Region and across the nation. He is also entrusted with carrying the Presidential Colors for all official White House ceremonies. In addition to his ceremonial duties, the Color Sergeant leads the official Color Guard Platoon at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., and is responsible for training and preparing the Marines for future service in the operating forces. The 37th Color Sergeant of the Marine Corps is Sergeant Kenneth J. Newton, from Colorado Springs, CO. He previously served as an infantry machine gunner with 1st Battalion, 4th Marines.
If you are interested in scheduling a performance by the Marine Corps Color Guard, please click here or on the community relations link at the top of the page.