Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.

 

Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.

8th & I

"Oldest Post of the Corps"
Body Bearer Section

 

Company B is home to the Marine Corps’ Body Bearer Section. This elite unit, though small in number, is comprised of hand-selected candidates, who through the crucible of Body Bearer Ceremonial Drill School, honed their minds and bodies to recreate themselves into members of the most elite funeral detail in the United States’ Armed Forces. The primary mission of the Body Bearer section is to perform flawless funerals for Marines and Marine family members at Arlington National Cemetery and abroad. Additionally, the Body Bearer section is responsible for flawlessly executing a myriad of other ceremonial commitments that include: participating in Presidential, state and joint service funerals, manning the saluting battery of Marine Barracks Washington to render honors to dignitaries, and performing wreath laying ceremonies across the National Capitol Region.

The family is the most cherished and important entity for the Body Bearer Section; flawless funerals are the standard the Section maintains for itself to show to the family the love and respect we have for our fallen Marines and the honor we take in being “the last to let you down”. For this reason, the road to becoming a Body Bearer is one of the most arduous paths one can take in the Marine Corps. Earning the right to perform the most solemn duty in the Marine Corps is an experience that will humble even the most prepared Marine. Marines in Ceremonial Drill School will be required to demonstrate the character and resolve to progress through the strict training regimen, the bearing to keep one’s composure no matter the circumstances, and progress from a physical strength and conditioning perspective to bear the weight of Marines’ caskets for our fallen heroes and their loved ones. Ceremonial Drill School is a self-paced program, meaning students will progress as quickly or slowly as their mental and physical faculties will allow. The average time it takes to create a Body Bearer typically ranges between six and twelve months.

Earning the title of a Marine Corps Body Bearer is not the light at the end of the tunnel for students, however. Once earning Black and Gold, Body Bearers fight complacency by continuing to improve their strength, perfect their craft in the ceremonial drill they perform, and must continue to perform flawless funerals on a daily basis.

This billet is not for everyone. Marine Corps Body Bearers serve as a tangible, physical manifestation of the institution that our fallen brothers and sisters have poured their hearts and souls into fortifying.  As such, the mental, emotional, and physical toll this responsibility exacts from the Body Bearers as well as Ceremonial Drill School students is immense. That being said, the honor and pride the Body Bearer Section takes in caring for Marines the way they do is one of the most gratifying experiences of their lives.  If this opportunity interests you and you believe you have what it takes to earn the title of Marine Corps Body Bearer, please refer to the contact information below to begin the screening process.

Company B 1stSgt: 1stSgt Christopher J Johnson; christopher.j.johnson@usmc.mil 202-433-3301

Company B GySgt: GySgt Michael D Nichols Jr.; michael.d.nichols@usmc.mil 202-433-3304

Body Bearer Section Leader: Cpl Luke M Givens; luke.givens@usmc.mil 202-433-5922

Body Bearer Recruiting Coordinator: Sgt Jesse G Beckwith; jesse.g.beckwith@usmc.mil 202-433-5922

 

- The Last to Let You Down -

 

 

 

 

 

Body Bearers Top Shots
Body Bearers, Bravo Company, Marine Barracks Washington D.C., fold the National Flag during a full honors funeral for Lt. Gen. John I. Hudson at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, Feb. 26, 2019. Lt. Gen. Hudson enlisted in the Navy on July 23, 1952 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps and designated as a Naval Aviator on June 11, 1954. During his 37-year career, Hudson held various commands; his final assignment was Deputy Commandant for Manpower. At the time of his retirement in 1989, Hudson was the active duty Marine Aviator holding the earliest designation date. Hudson's personal decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device, and 24 Air Medals. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Damon McLean/Released)
Body Bearers with Bravo Company fire cannons during a Friday Evening Parade at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., July 5, 2019. General Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, was the hosting official and the guest of honor was The Honorable Mr. Michael R. Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Allen Sanders)
Marine Corps Body Bearers, Bravo Company, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., conduct the final raise of the casket of Maj. Matthew M. Wiegand during a full honors funeral for Wiegand at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, Aug. 15, 2019. Wiegand, an Ambler, Pennsylvania native, commissioned as a second lieutenant in 2008 and served 11 faithful years as a pilot and flight instructor. Wiegand passed away on March 30, 2019 during a night training accident. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Robert Knapp/Released)
Marine Corps Body Bearers, Bravo Company, Marine Barracks Washington D.C., prepare to fold the National Flag during a full honors funeral for Lt. Gen. Leo Dulacki at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, March 13, 2019. Dulacki enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1941 and received his commission as a second lieutenant on Sept. 2, 1941. During his 32 years of service, Dulacki fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam; he retired in January 1974. His personal decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal with a gold star, Legion of Merit with a combat distinguishing device for valor with three gold stars, and the Purple Heart. Dulacki passed away on Jan. 4, 2019 six days after his 100th birthday. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Robert Knapp/Released)
Marine Corps Body Bearers, Bravo Company, Marine Barracks Washington D.C., march behind the Caisson during a full honors funeral for Staff Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, May 10, 2019. Hines was killed in action on Monday April 8, 2019 in Afghanistan, alongside two of his fellow Marines while deployed with the 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve. The unit deployed as a part of a NATO program to train and advise Georgian infrany troops. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Robert Knapp/Released)
Become a Body Bearer

 

SOLICITATION FOR MARINE CORPS BODY BEARERS

In addition to screening candidates for Ceremonial Drill School (CDS) at Infantry Training Battalion (ITB), the Body Bearer Section seeks to bolster its numbers by recruiting highly qualified candidates from the Active Component (AC) in the ranks of Corporal and below. AC Marines that apply do not need to be in the 03xx OCCFIELD, as this billet has now been opened to all MOSs in the Marine Corps.

In order to be considered, potential CDS candidates should first reach out to the Body Bearer Recruiting Coordinator so that the Section can ascertain whether you meet certain baseline requirements (outlined below). After you complete an initial screening, potential candidates must assemble a package (contents list below) and submit it to the Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks Washington D.C. If approved by ones’ monitor, candidates will then receive PCS orders to Marine Barracks Washington. Once checked into the unit and medically cleared to begin physical training by medical, candidates will begin their CDS tenure.

The Section is looking for quality individuals of immaculate character, who possess a high degree of maturity, self-discipline, motivation and drive. Needless to say, applicants must also display uncommon strength and endurance; however, being physically strong is not enough alone, as the school is also a deeply mental and intellectual endeavor.

Below is a list of minimum requirements potential candidates must meet before being considered for this somber and sacred duty:

  • Be a Marine of unquestionable character, maturity, self-discipline, and resolve.
  • Active Duty Male 70 to 76 inches tall (72-76 preferable).
  • Must be within Marine Corps Height/Weight standards, possess both a 1st Class PFT and CFT, and possess outstanding physical characteristics to include, but not limited to: strength, cardiovascular and muscular endurance, and flexibility.
  • Grade of Corporal or below. (Sergeants may be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Must be pending no legal action. (Prior negative actions will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Meets minimum obligated service of 30 months upon check-in to CDS.
  • Must be able to pass the Initial Strength Test by performing a minimum of 10 repetitions for the following exercises (although it is recommended that one is well beyond this minimum threshold before attending CDS):
    • 225lbs Bench Press (must touch your chest)
    • 135lbs Behind-the-Neck Military Press (barbell must be even with the ears at the bottom position of the rep)
    • 115lbs Strict Straight Barbell Curl (barbell must come above the nipple line at the top of the rep)
    • 315lbs Barbell Squat (hips must be parallel (or below parallel) with the deck at the bottom of the rep)
    • For additional guidance on the proper execution of these lifts, please refer to our Initial Strength Test video located on our YouTube page here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lOZeF-xRKs
    • If a Body Bearer cannot witness an Initial Strength Test in person, these lifts should be filmed and sent to the Body Bearer Recruiting Coordinator for assessment.

After talking to the Body Bearer Recruiting Coordinator and determining that you meet the baseline for eligibility, you will be instructed to compile a package. This package must include the following documents (links to these documents are provided below for your convenience):

  • A Commander’s endorsement letter
  • Commanding Officer’s Screening Checklist
  • Medical Screening Guide
  • Commanding Officer’s Financial Worksheet NAVMC 1330/2
  • Page 11s
  • MCTFs Screen D119
  • Official Photograph taken at your base’s Combat Camera unit
  • Tattoo Screening Form (w/photos)

After assembling your package, the application with all enclosures should be submitted to the Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks Washington D.C. All further inquiries can be answered by calling the Body Bearer Recruiting Coordinator or by directing such calls to the Company B 1stSgt or Company B GySgt at (202) 433-5922.