Saturday, January 19, 2008

USMC Silent Drill Team

Photo from Marine Barracks Washington website.

First, thanks to the shout-out from bothenook. He periodically does a round-up, brief summary of a whole bunch of bubblehead (submariner) blogs around the blogosphere. In reviewing his most recent roundup, I found some really good stuff. I won't recap his whole post, but his roundup led me to this very powerful and heart-wrenching photograph, and also to a really good USMC recruiting video.

The USMC recruiting video brought back a memory from my last shore duty in DC. The USMC Silent Drill Platoon performs a Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima Memorial on Tuesday nights in the summertime. It's free and open to the public, and it's really amazing to watch. I was very glad I took the boys to see the Sunset Parade in the summer of 2006. Click here for Sunset Parade information (directions, parking, times, etc).

When I googled it to find the Marine Barracks Washington website with the info about the Sunset Parade, I came upon a whole slew of videos on YouTube. I flipped through a few of them, and most don't do justice to the power of seeing the performance live.

However (comma), this video I've attached below is an awesome remix with some music in the background. It's a little long (over 8 minutes), but around 2:30 into the video it starts showing some of the really amazing "rifle inspection" sequences in slow motion and repeated a couple of times. For to those of you who have never been on a drill team as a midshipman or otherwise, those M-1 Garand rifles are HEAVY, and those Marines twirl them with precision like they're twigs.

As you watch the beginning part of the video where it's all in fast-forward, keep in mind that they are doing ALL of that without ANY COMMANDS. Nobody is telling them what to do. They have memorized and practiced the routine until they can do it like clockwork without a single verbal command. The performance lasts like 30 minutes, and it's all perfectly timed with the utmost precision.

Be sure to scroll down and pause my blog music before you start the video.


Anonymous said...

What an amazing video! Truly amazing!

Sagey said...

I will give you a blog idea. I have always wondered this but never thought to ask before. What exactly is the point of the drill team. Since you were once on one, you can probably answer that.

Yes I think it is amazing and I really enjoy watching their acrobats. But to me that is what it is, a big show. Is that the point? How does it pertain to the military/used it real life, or is the point really just the show?

The drill team at the Acadamy was also really fun to watch when we went. :-)