Annapolis, MD United States
The U.S. Naval Academy Drum & Bugle Corps is a student activity of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
The corps was initially started in 1914 under the leadership of Midshipman R.W. Cary. After the 16 member corps had its first performance at a baseball game, the group immediately became a popular student activity, marching around sixty member for the next seven years.
In 1922, the Academy's Superintendent Henry B. Hilson declared the corps to be "a luxury, not a necessity" and abolished it. But, in early 1926, two midshipmen persuaded Superintendent Admiral Louis M. Nulton and Commandant Captain Sinclair Gannon to allow them and "whatever volunteers they could muster" to drum the midshipmen Drum and Bugle Corps back into shape. Reorganized with 30 buglers and 15 drummers, the Corps was again a popular and successful student activity, and the corps was formally re-established in April. 1926.
The corps was an entertaining and energetic contributer to the esprit de corps of the Academy through the 1930s. "The Hell Cats" as they were commonly called were also said to be, "a cocky outfit, snappy on the field, comrades off it and ever proud of their organization."
In 1941, as it became apparent the was was approaching, Superintendant Admiral Hilson Brown had the Academy "strip for action" and, along with many of the school's customs of pomp such as dress parades and full-dress diners, the Drum and Bugle Corps was shelved for "the duration." As soon as Japan surrendered in September 1945, ending Wold War II, the corps was ordering new drums and bugles. The unit was reinstated and officially incorporated as a unit of the Brigade organization on March 16, 1946.
The present-day Corps performs over 200 times a year at football games, festivals, shows, parades, and military functions across the nation. Each year, when the Naval Academy and Air Force Academy football teams meet, the corps of the two academies also have a drum corps competition. When Navy is the host team, they are joined by the Coast Guard Academy corps.
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