For anyone with plans to visit Washington DC, I highly recommend seeing the USMC Silent Drill Team Sunset Parade.
We had the pleasure of seeing these highly impressive men perform at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. The Drill Team has a full ceremony every Friday evening at the barracks on 8th & I Street in DC, however, they have a shorter version on Tuesdays during the summer in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
The setting in front of the Washington Monument was perfect for such a performance. No tickets are required for the Lincoln Memorial Parade, spectators sit on the steps of the Memorial. If you want to see the performance at the barracks, tickets are required. We were lucky enough to be selected to sit up front and center to see these men perform their hearts out.
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.
Turn your volume up to hear the USMC Band perform the Star Spangled Banner.
The Marines also 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. 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. 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.
For more information about the USMC and the Silent Drill Platoon, please click here.
This performance was especially meaningful for our family, as my husband is a Marine. These men are beyond skilled and so impressive to see in person. It reminds me of how lucky we are to have these men protect our country and our freedom. Please visit to the USMC site to learn more about the few, the proud, the Marines.
Are any of you military families? Would love to hear from you.
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4 thoughts on “United States Marine Corp Silent Drill Team Sunset Parade”
Wow – that sounds really cool Denise, and what amazing precision! I bet it was fantastic to sit so close! Thanks for sharing this unique ceremony. And tell your husband thanks for his service!
It was so cool to watch Barbara and I can only imagine the training that goes into doing something so precise. And they do it with the bayonet attached…yikes 😬
I have been to this twice and it was fantastic both times.
Hi Mary! It’s so awe inspiring right?! I sat there in amazement. Thanks for stopping by!