Drum & Bugle Corps, Silent Drill Platoon step off annual tour at air station, Yuma
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    Exclamation Drum & Bugle Corps, Silent Drill Platoon step off annual tour at air station, Yuma

    Drum & Bugle Corps, Silent Drill Platoon step off annual tour at air station, Yuma
    Story by Cpl. Laura A. Mapes

    The Silent Drill Platoon along with "The Commandant's Own," U.S. Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps kicked off their annual tour Tuesday with performances at the station parade field and Kofa High School in Yuma.

    The performance began with the Drum and Bugle Corps playing "Another Op'nin', Another Show" from the musical "Kiss Me Kate," as well as a collection of other numbers. They ended their performance with "Stars and Stripes Forever." The Silent Drill Platoon then marched onto the field, performing their new drill routine, which was designed by Cpl. Jeremy Miller, drillmaster.

    The Silent Drill Platoon has been training here for more than 20 years, due to Yuma's great weather and centralized location, said Gunnery Sgt. Reginald Bradford, the SDP platoon sergeant.

    After arriving here, Feb. 2, the performers immediately jumped into practice.

    "The Marines are dedicated, and that's what we need," said Bradford. "In order to get the perfection we are trying to obtain, we have to work hard, but it is well worth it."

    The intense effort is nothing new to these Marines.

    After being screened at both Schools of Infantry, the Marines chosen for the platoon go through four and a half months of training, starting at the Marine Barracks in Washington D.C., and finishing in Yuma.

    "We started out with 93 students at school this year and we had to bring it down to 24," said Bradford. "We look at numerous amounts of things; bearing, how they conduct themselves on and off duty and how they represent the Marine Corps. They have to want to be here."

    When they are not training in Yuma, the SDP travels throughout the world performing for spectators.

    During the summer, the Silent Drill Platoon and the Drum and Bugle Corps perform Sunset Parades at the Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesdays, and Evening Parades at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. on Fridays.

    "I like different things about different places that we go," said Miller. "The shows I enjoy the most are the smaller ones where we get to meet and greet with the public and see the influence we have on the young people and the older veterans."

    Before returning to Washington, D.C. the platoon is also scheduled to perform in California at Twentynine Palms, Barstow, Camp Pendleton and San Diego for a total of 15 ceremonies.

    Ellie

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