Photo Information

Capt. John McLaughlin leads the Silent Drill Platoon during a performance at the half-time show of the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys football game in Philadelphia, Nov. 8. The SDP has performed at several National Football League games throughout the 2009 football season.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Johnny Merkley

The Roar of the Coliseum

8 Nov 2009 | Lance Cpl. Johnny Merkley

The U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon traveled to Philadelphia to perform during halftime at the Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys football game Nov. 8.

The performance was the last for many of the SDP Marines who will soon be changing duty stations. They recited their chant loudly and talked themselves up before marching out onto the field.

“Drill is life!” the Marines yelled. “One, two, three drill team!”

The roar of the crowd was deafening as the SDP moved into formation.

“When you march out of that tunnel and you have an entire stadium cheering for you, the adrenaline rush is incredible and it puts butterflies in my stomach every time,” said Alamo.

Some of the Eagles players on the sideline watched in amazement as the platoon conducted its precise sequence of rifle flips and spins.

“These guys are awesome,” said David Akers, Philadelphia Eagles kicker. “It blows me away every time I see them.”

At the end of the show, the platoon presented the Eagles with a signed photograph. In return, they received an Eagles football helmet autographed by the entire team.

Although gifts are appreciated by the Marines, the ultimate reward is the years of hard work and sacrifice that generates a great sense of pride and belonging within the platoon.

“One thing I’ll miss the most is the traditions we carry on within our platoon,” said Cpl. Jeremiah Alamo, a three-year veteran and squad leader with SDP. “The Silent Drill Platoon is a brotherhood that goes beyond our performances.  We are so involved in each others life, both at work and at home. We know one another and we are like family. I know it is something I will miss when I leave.”

For these Marines, pride and accomplishment have set them apart from other units around the Corps.

“Their pride is a product of the unique skill set they have, as well as the extreme standard to which they are held,” said Capt. John Mclaughlin, the platoon commander for SDP. “There is only one

Silent Drill Platoon in the entire Marine Corps, and to be part of it is reason enough to be proud.”

“After our last performance I realized how spectacular of a job this team did,” Alamo said, “We definitely carried out the mission that was tasked out to us by the barracks.”

This year, the SDP has performed at seven National Football League games, making stops in New Orleans, Houston, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, and Phoenix.