headquarters and Service Company
Established in 1801, Marine Barracks Washington, is the "Oldest Post of the Corps" and has been the residence of every commandant of the Marine Corps since 1806. The selection of the site for the Barracks was a matter of personal interest to President Thomas Jefferson, who rode through Washington with Lt. Col. William Ward Burrows, the second commandant of the Marine Corps, in search of a suitable location. The site now occupied was approved due to its proximity to the Washington Navy Yard and because it was within easy marching distance of the Capitol.
Marine Barracks, 8th and I
Washington, D.C.

Headquarters and Service (H&S) Company provides installation level administrative and logistical support for the Marines, Sailors, and civilians assigned and attached to Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.  Additionally, H&S Company coordinates and executes the hosting of and parade escort plan for the Evening and Sunset Parades as well as providing ceremonial officers and staff non-commissioned officers for funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, parade staffs and other assigned ceremonies to promote Marine Corps heritage and to enhance the image of the Marine Corps to the public. 

Headquarters and Service Company is comprised of a variety of sections designed to support other companies in their ceremonial commitments. Administration, logistics, networks, and motor transport are just a few of the many responsibilities H&S Co. holds. Aside from regular daily tasks, H&S Co. supports the marching companies during their parades, funerals and all other ceremonial events. Below are just a few of the different responsibilities unique to Marine Barracks Washington that H&S Co. provides.

During Full Honors Funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, Marines from H&S Co. are posted at intersections along the route of the caisson. As it passes, these Marines ensure its path is clear and render a salute to the deceased.

The Hosting Element is responsible for welcoming all guests and escorting VIP guests at MBW ceremonies and for setting and maintaining the ceremonial atmosphere. The Hosting Element is made up of Marines from nearly every section within H&S Co.

Every morning and evening, seven days a week, teams of three comprised of Marines from H&S Co. raise and lower the National Ensign and the POW/MIA flag. They also have the honor of lowering a replica of the original flag flown here at the Barracks in 1801, displaying 15 stars and stripes at Friday Evening Parades. 

The Docents of Marine Barracks Washington have the unique responsibility of learning, understanding, and passing along the knowledge, traditions, and intricacies of MBW. These Marines study our history and present it to guests touring the Barracks.

A solemn dignified transfer of remains is conducted upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, to honor those who have given their lives in the sacrifice of our country. It is the process by which, upon return from the theater of operations to the U.S., the remains of the fallen U.S. service member are transferred from the aircraft to the transfer vehicle. Once the remains are loaded onto the transfer vehicle, they are transported in final preparation for their final resting place.

A dignified transfer is conducted for every U.S. military member and civilian contractor who dies in the theater of operation while serving our country. The Marines of the Dover Dignified Transfer Carry Team offer a lasting impression on the families of the fallen Marine, as they are the first Marines the family has seen since losing their loved one.

There are carry teams for each designated branch of service. Each team conducts carries for service members of their respective service. Marine carry teams are comprised of seven Marines. Six Marines are on the case and one Marine, the noncommissioned officer in charge, calls commands and guides the team throughout the transfer sequence.

Marines who are interested in joining the Dover Dignified Transfer Team, E5 and below, must look sharp in uniform and be of strong physical stature and mental character. Marines must maintain a regimented physical fitness schedule to keep up with the physical demands of carrying heavy cases over extended distances. This duty is solemn and honorable in nature; each Marine must be mentally and physically prepared to carry fellow service member.




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.


Through and Through

Sergeant Moussa Ba, water support technician, and Sgt. Timothy D. Bennet Jr., electrician, Headquarters and Service Company, clear wreaths from...


Welcome to the Barracks

Robert Gronkowski, retired tight-end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, greets barracks Marines during a meet and greet session at Marine Barracks...


Eyes Right

Marines with Headquarters and Service Company, Marine Barracks Washington execute eyes right during “pass in review” at the Marine Corps War...


Funeral Honors Support

Lance Cpl. Nikias Nicholas, Headquarters and Service company, Marine Barracks Washington D.C., renders a salute at the passing of the Caisson platoon...


H&S Company Docent

Dana “Warrior” Hellwig, Lacey Evans and Mark Henry listening as Sgt. Joshua Cole, a docent, discusses the history Home of the Commandants, May 10,...