Ontario, Canada --
Parade season is coming to an end for the summer of 2015 at
Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., however the U.S. Marine Corps Battle Color
Detachment continues to put on phenomenal performances around the world.
On August 15, 2015, the BCD, featuring the United States
Drum and Bugle Corps, Marine Corps Color Guard and the Silent Drill Platoon,
woke up before sunrise to travel to Kingston, Ontario, Canada to perform in joint
ceremonies throughout the weekend with the Fort Henry Guard.
According to the ceremony program, the Fort Henry Guard,
formed in 1938, represents the British troops who were garrisoned at Fort Henry
in 1867. The Guard is comprised of civilian University and College students and
is specially trained according to the drill manuals used by the British Army in
the 1860s. Additionally the Guard features the Drums of Fort Henry, their
Infantry and field artillery, Fort Henry East Battery and their mascot “David
Although the Marines and Fort Henry Guard have not performed
since the summer of 2011, the performances by the Silent Drill Platoon and United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps displayed ceremonial precision.
The ceremonies were performed in a large stone fort
with Lake Ontario in the background.
Unlike the Evening Parades in Washington, D.C., the Fort
Henry East Battery’s historical
reenactment of drills and battle tactics was a loud and powerful performance,
creating a different parade atmosphere.
“The members of the Fort Henry Guard displayed a lot of
discipline and were truly professional in their duties representing the
historical accuracy of the Fort dating back approximately 150 years,” said Michael Bell, Silent Drill Platoon
commander, Company A. “I think that the
performances went very well, and the crowd absolutely loved the Marines and the
The finale was an exhilarating performance of fireworks,
lighting the sky with beautiful colors and patterns.
“Fort Henry is a very iconic site on a beautiful backdrop
with Lake Ontario in the background, it was rather breathtaking,” said Bell.
According to the program, the relationship between the
Marines and Fort Henry goes back sixty-one years to 1954 when the Marines first
visited the Fort. This visit marked the anniversary of the Ogdensburg
Agreement, which was signed by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister King to
bind the two nations in the joint defense of North America. Since that time,
the two units have paraded together countless times both at the Fort and at Marine
Along with performing in the ceremonies, the two units
competed in various athletic activities to increase camaraderie to include
soccer and softball.
“I believe not only did we reach out and make some great
connections with the Canadians, but we also built a lasting impression of
history and good traditions within our own ranks,” said Gunnery Sgt. Berton
Chambers, Silent Drill Platoon sergeant, Co. A.
The Marines from the Battle Color Detachment perform in
dozens of ceremonies annually. Their next show will be at the Modern Day Marine
event in Quantico, Va.
“We felt very privileged to be in a select group of Marines who
had the honor to perform at Fort Henry,” said Bell. “It was an experience we will never forget,
and we’ll commemorate with various Fort Henry Guard memorabilia displayed in
the Silent Drill Platoon’s barracks.”