March 17, 2016 --
The steady crack of white-gloved hands hitting rifles and the precise timing of every note coming from various instruments at the direction of the conductor captivated everyone in attendance. Close order drill unscored by syncopated drums tied together the entire performance – the Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment had arrived at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
“We wanted to come out and demonstrate what the Marine Corps is all about,” said Lance Cpl. Matthew Evans, a member of the Silent Drill Platoon and a native of Whitehall, New York. “I’m very humbled to have this experience, to be able to come out here and have people look at me; they’re picturing the entire Marine Corps.”
On March 17 these highly disciplined performers converged on Liversedge Field for an unforgettable display of precision the Marines, sailors and their families would never forget.
“This was an opportunity for Marines at Camp Lejeune to connect with our history,” said Brig. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley, commanding general of Marine Corps Installations East – Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “Looking at the performance, everything about it was precise. The timing was excellent; everything was executed flawlessly and that’s something that we pride ourselves on as Marines.”
At the end of the routine, the crowd erupted and rose to their feet to acknowledge Marines’ performance before these members of the detachment headed back to the field for a meet-and-greet with members of the public. After numerous practice performances at Marine Corps installations across the country this spring, Camp Lejeune was the final stop before a short break and the extensive summer season of performances in Washington, D.C. and across the country.
“Those Marines have a long road ahead of them,” said BGen. Weidley. “They’ve done a lot of work to get to this point and you saw the fruit of their labor today with their fantastic performance.”
“I’ll miss the travel and camaraderie with my brothers, this will be my last tour all together, and I’ll definitely miss the experiences I’ve gotten to have,” said Evans. “I hope people realize that the Marine Corps is always going to be the way we are; we’ve always been disciplined, and the Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment is going to give the people what they want.”