BCD Island Hopping in South Carolina

26 Sep 2007 | Lance Cpl. Eric N. Carranza

Marines of “The Oldest Post of The Corps” invaded the low country of South Carolina to deliver wave after wave of heavy motivation with a barrage of music, precision drill, and above all—tradition.

The United States Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment, comprised of the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, Silent Drill Platoon and Marine Corps Color Guard, landed in South Carolina and performed at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Sept. 18, and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island the following day.

More than 1,000 who showed up to watch the ceremonies were treated to diverse performances by each of the Marine Corps’ ceremonial units.

The BCD presented the Official Battle Color of the Marine Corps at both ceremonies. The Battle Color is the center of each ceremony because its 54 campaign streamers and silver bands, dating back to 1775, represent the Marine Corps’ rich history.

At MCAS Beaufort nearly 300 spectators surrounded the parade deck and watched in respectful silence at each of the units’ performances. Though the sound of F-18 jets taking off echo throughout the base each day, the only noises heard throughout the ceremony were the crisp notes of drums and bugles and the"snap and pop" of M-1 Garand rifles.

“It’s easy to see all these Marines have a lot of talent and work really hard,” said Heather Brown, a spectator of the performance. “It also allowed the opportunity to see what else the Marine Corps has to offer.”

The BCD continued its campaign the next morning at “The island God forgot,” also known as Parris Island. Covered and aligned in perfect formation, six platoons of recruits lined the parade deck sitting cross-legged with their right hand on their right knee and their left hand on their left knee. More recruits sat in the stands separated from approximately 150 depot staff and spectators.

For one of the Marines performing, this would be her first trip back to the island since their time in recruit training.

“I could pick out the spot where I sat and watched the performance a year ago to the day,” said Lance Cpl. Codie Williams, Drum and Bugle Corps bugler. “I was in awe of how they performed flawlessly when I was there, and it means that much more now that I can provide to them that same experience I had while I was there.”

Following the drum and bugle corps into the fight, the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon took to the parade deck leaving their spectators, most of them recruits, in silent awe.

After the Battle Color Ceremony, the drill instructors requested the SDP to perform a short display of the “Manual-of-arms” for a platoon of 3rd Battalion recruits. The Marines of SDP gladly obliged and performed an intense drill demonstration that had the drill instructors commanding fervently to their recruits, “That’s how you do final drill recruits! You understand that trash?!”

Even though the recruits were not allowed to applaud throughout the Battle Color Ceremony the pride in their eyes was unmistakable. As the Marines of “8th and I” marched off the parade deck heading back to Washington, D.C., they left behind more than 1,000 spectators, to include 600 recruits, who are sure to march sharper and yell louder—supercharged with motivation from the Battle Color Detachment.