Perks of the Job

8 Oct 2014 | Lance Cpl. Gunnar Welch Marine Barracks

For the ceremonial marchers of Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.’s Alpha Company, the long hours of drill practice, parades, and funerals can be a trying experience. But there are a few perks to the job. Through their marching experiences, numerous Marines in the company have met people they otherwise never would have.

Cpl. Nicholas Adams of Cross Plains, Texas, a seasoned non-commissioned officer of the Silent Drill Platoon, recalls his opportunity to meet the American Ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, in his personal garden in 2011 when the platoon traveled to France for a Battle of Belleau Wood Memorial Ceremony.

 “The house was trimmed with gold everywhere, and there were incredible spiral staircases throughout the house,” said Adams. “The ambassador told us about a Marine who had previously visited the house and, while leaning against the wall, almost fell through a trap door. It was a great experience and the ambassador was a great host.”

Adams said he and the other members of the Silent Drill Platoon have also had the opportunity to meet many professional football players when the platoon has performed during NFL games across the country.

After the Medal of Honor Ceremony for Cpl. Kyle Carpenter at the Barracks earlier this year, several members of Alpha Company ran into another Medal of Honor recipient, Sgt. Dakota Meyer, at a local establishment and had a drink with him. The next day, Sgt. Meyer joined an Alpha Company platoon for drill practice.

Lance Cpl. Daniel Craig, a Denver native and marcher with the Marine Corps Color Guard, marched in the opening ceremony at the Jiffy Lube Live concert in 2012. After he finished, he had the opportunity to meet country music acts Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line, and Luke Bryan.

Last year at a First Lady’s luncheon at the White House, Craig and other members of the Color Guard met Michelle Obama and several wives of members of Congress.

Lance Cpl. Nicholas Guiles of Easton, Md., another member of the Marine Corps Color Guard, had the opportunity to meet retired Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis at a charity event earlier this year for Gold Star families.

But Sgt. Allen Banks, the current Color Sergeant of the Marines Corps, has the envy of many of Alpha Company’s Marines. Following a Friday Evening Parade at the Barracks earlier this year. The Savanah, Ga., native met almost all of the first family, including President Barack Obama.

“It was a once in a lifetime experience, and I was completely humbled and awestruck,” Banks said.

For all the Marines of Alpha Company, the opportunity to meet celebrities and high ranking government officials is always around the corner and can serve as motivation to ensure the ceremonial event at hand is always performed to the highest standard possible.