Photo Information

The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps performs during a Friday Evening Parade, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., Aug. 14, 2015. The guest of honor for the Evening Parade was Lance Cpl. Joshua Leakey recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration for valor in the British and Commonwealth armed forces, and the hosting official was Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy commandant for Aviation. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christian Varney/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Christian J. Varney

The Lone Bugle

15 Sep 2015 | Cpl. Chi Nguyen and Cpl. Christian Varney Marine Barracks

Every Friday night during the summer, after the evening colors are lowered, a spotlight shines upon a lone bugler on the roof of Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. As taps sounds you can feel the somber music take hold of the audience. This lone Marine is the ceremonial bugler.

As a ceremonial bugler for the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, Staff Sgt. Codie Williams is one of many individuals who plays a key role in funerals and various formal events such as the Evening and Sunset Parades. In these events she will sound the various bugle calls, including Officer’s Call and Taps.

 “It’s a very humbling feeling,” said Williams.

At a young age, Williams had a passion for music. She was persuaded into playing the trumpet by her parents who played the same instrument she performs with today. From there, she continued to perform at churches and joined the band during her high-school years in Dallas, Tx.

“I was going to play the clarinet,” said Williams. “It’s really ironic, because if I had played the clarinet I really wouldn’t be here.”

Williams originally aspired to pursue the intelligence field upon enlisting into the Marine Corps. Once discovering her musical background, her recruiter suggested that she audition for a position in the fleet bands. Upon successfully completing the audition, she was offered the opportunity to join the “Commandant’s Own.” She accepted that same day and left for basic training several weeks later.

 To audition for any musician positions in the Marine Corps such as the D&B and the band, one can simply request to do so with a Marine recruiter who will then contact specialized Marines who examine to individual’s performance. A various amount of scales as well as prepared pieces are performed during the audition. Upon successfully completing the audition, a score is given, and that score is used to determine placement and unit assignment throughout the Marine Corps.

The D&B practices all throughout the year. During the winter months, they travel to Yuma, Ariz. to learn and perfect their music in motion performance for the year. After this they perform at various Marine Corps installations and public venues across the US during their West and East Coast tours with the Battle Color Detachment. Then they travel back to Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., and prepare for the parade season.

With this year’s Parade season over, the Drum and Bugle Corps has begun preparing for next year’s show, as well as various other ceremonial commitments. And with next year’s show on the horizon, we can only expect bigger and better things from Williams and the rest of the D&B.