Jan. 9, 2015 --
Parades at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., are phenomenal.
It takes an enormous amount of coordination to make the Evening Parade happen. Crowds see the ceremonial marchers, the hosting
element, the United States Marine Band, the United States Marine Drum and Bugle
Corps, and the Silent Drill Platoon. What is not seen are the countless hours
that each of the individual augments put in during the off season.
Ceremonial Drill School (CDS) is how the officers and staff
noncommissioned officers of the Barracks do their part in preparation for
CDS prepares the officers and staff noncommissioned officers
for marching on a parade staff.
The three week course teaches the fundamentals of marching,
sword manual, voice commands and uniform preparation.
At the end of the course, the students perform an evaluation
that is similar to a parade sequence. The evaluation is performed on the parade
“Everyone at the Barracks comes to watch the CDS evaluation,”
says Gunnery Sgt. Cedric Smith, the Barracks Drill Master. “So the CDS students
are under a lot pressure.”
The Ceremonial Drill School is crucial in training the staff
that marches in parades. Without the parade staff executing perfect drill
commands, the ceremonial mission of the Barracks cannot be met.