Company A is comprised of 1st and 2nd Platoon, which are ceremonial marching platoons, the Silent Drill Platoon, and the Marine Corps Color Guard Platoon.
The Marines of Company A have the mission of executing all ceremonial commitments directed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and preparing for future service in the Marine Corps’ operating forces. Ceremonial commitments include Marine Corps funerals at Arlington National Cemetery and Joint Service Ceremonies at venues such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the White House, the Pentagon, and other high visibility venues across the National Capitol Region. Throughout the summer, the Marines of Company A also march in Sunset and Evening Parades, every Tuesday and Friday respectively.
The Marines of Company A are infantryman that are hand-selected from the School of Infantry to serve at Marine Barracks Washington for at least two years.
Each platoon within Company A is task organized according to a standard infantry platoon. Opportunities for Marines in Company A outside of being a ceremonial marcher include: leadership development if selected to serve as a team leader or squad leader, serving on the Firing Party, Dignified Transfer Team, or Cake Cutting Team, selection to the Silent Drill Platoon, and/or selection to serve on the most elite Color Guard unit in the Marine Corps, the Commandant’s Four.
In addition to ceremonial requirements, the Marines of Company A conduct infantry training to prepare for service in operational infantry battalions. Training is led by post-fleet tour Platoon Commanders and Platoon Sergeants within the company, and field training is conducted at Marine Corps Base Quantico. Due to the location of Marine Barracks Washington, Company A Marines conduct several unique and informative professional military education events to include battle site studies at civil war battlefields and visits to museums and federal government institutions across the National Capitol Region.
The Marines of Company A proudly represent the Marine Corps to thousands of spectators annually, and strive to live up to the discipline and high standards expected of United States Marines.
The United States Marine Corps Color Guard Platoon presents the National Flag and the Marine Corps Battle Color at ceremonies throughout National Capitol Region and across the United States in order to render appropriate military honors and to display the Marine Corps’ illustrious warfighting history.
The Official Color Guard Platoon is unique in that it is the only Color Guard entity that carries the Battle Color of the Marine Corps. These 55 streamers represent more than 400 U.S. and foreign awards as well as all campaigns in which Marines have participated. They span the entire history of the nation, from the American Revolution to the present. The Color Guard platoon is also unique in that they carry a banded staff. These 55 silver bands denote the title of the awards and campaigns of the United States Marine Corps that are symbolized in the 55 Battle Streamers. A duplicate of this Battle Color is maintained and held at the office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
The Official Marine Corps Color Guard Platoon was established shortly after the founding of Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. This platoon renders military honors at ceremonies in the National Capital Region and across the United States. The platoon consists of several separate entities that include the Commandant’s Four and three infantry squads, each of which is capable of supporting Joint Color Guard ceremonies, Marine Corps Color Guard ceremonies and Sea Service Color Guard ceremonies. The Commandant’s Four, selected and appointed by the Commanding Officer of Marine Barracks Washington D.C., is the official Color Guard entity for the Marine Corps and marches in high-visibility ceremonies across the nation. Today, the platoon consists of Infantry Marines that will soon transition to the Fleet Marine Force. These Marines are the keepers of the colors.
The Color Sergeant of the Marine Corps serves as the senior Sergeant of the Marine Corps and is selected from the Fleet Marine Force. The position was officially established in 1965. The first Color Sergeant of the Marine Corps was Gunnery Sergeant Shelton L. Eakin, who later commissioned as Second Lieutenant Eakin. He was killed in action in Vietnam in 1966. The Color Sergeant carries the National Flag in ceremonies throughout the National Capitol Region and across the nation. He is also entrusted with carrying the Presidential Colors for all official White House ceremonies. In addition to his ceremonial duties, the Color Sergeant leads the official Color Guard Platoon at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., and is responsible for training and preparing the Marines for future service in the operating forces. The 40th Color Sergeant of the Marine Corps is Sergeant Cameron L. Williams, from Jacksonville, Florida.
If you are interested in scheduling a performance by the Marine Corps Color Guard, please click here.
The Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon is a 24-man rifle platoon that performs a unique precision drill exhibition. This highly disciplined platoon exemplifies the professionalism associated with the United States Marine Corps.
The Silent Drill Platoon first performed in the Sunset Parades of 1948 and received such an overwhelming response that it soon became a regular part of the parades at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.
The Marines execute a series of calculated drill movements and precise handling of their hand-polished, 10-and-one-half pound, M1 Garand rifles with fixed bayonets. The routine concludes with a unique rifle inspection sequence demonstrating elaborate rifle spins and tosses.
These Marines are individually selected from the Schools of Infantry located in Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., based on interviews conducted by barracks personnel. Once selected, Marines are assigned to Marine Barracks Washington to serve a 2-year ceremonial tour. Beyond their ceremonial duties, the Marines collaterally train in the field as infantrymen. To remain proficient, these Marines hone their infantry skills at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., throughout the year.
Experienced members of the Silent Drill Platoon have the opportunity to audition to become rifle inspectors. They must go through inspection tryouts graded by the rifle inspectors of the previous year. Only two Marines per year are selected to become rifle inspectors. They, along with the platoon's drill master, are entrusted with keeping and passing on the unique knowledge and traditions of the Silent Drill Platoon.
Once the year's Silent Drill Platoon Marines have been selected each fall, they begin their rigorous training at Marine Barracks Washington and later move to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., in order to perfect the routine before beginning a tour of the Corps' continental installations. Throughout the year, they perform in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators at Marine Barracks Washington and at numerous events across the country and abroad.
If you are interested in scheduling a performance by the Silent Drill Platoon, please click here or on the community relations link at the top of the page.
Marines with the Silent Drill Platoon perform during a Friday Evening Parade at Marine Barracks Washington, April 29, 2022. The guest of honor for...
Marines with the Official U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard present the colors prior to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte, North...