US Marine Corps

Washington, DC United States
Founded: 1934

Active Military
The history of the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps can be traced to the early days of the Marine Corps. In the 18th and 19th centuries military musicians, or "field musics," provided a means of passing commands to Marines in battle formations. The sound of various drum beats and bugle calls could be easily heard over the noise of the battlefield and signalled Marines to attack the enemy or retire for the evening. Through the 1930s, Marine Corps posts were still authorized a number of buglers and drummers to play the traditional calls and to ring a ship's bell to signal the time.

The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps was formed in 1934, at historic Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., to augment the United States Marine Band. The unit provided musical support to ceremonies around the nation's capitol and, during World War II, was additionally tasked with Presidential support duties. For this additional role, they were awarded the scarlet and gold breastcord by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which they now proudly display on their uniform.

When the war ended, the Drum and Bugle Corps resumed performing at various military and public ceremonies.

In the early 1950s the unit gained considerable acclaim by performing for increasing numbers of civilian audiences. Music composed specifically for their unique selection of instruments helped establish their reputation for excellence during this period. These factors also led to the unit's formal designation as "The Commandant's Own," a title noting their special status as musicians for the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The corps was led for 25 years by Colonel Truman Crawford, a member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.

In the tradition of their "field musics" predecessors, these musicians in "The Commandant's Own" are Marines in the truest sense of the word. Every enlisted corps member is a graduate of Marine Corps recruit training and is trained in basic infantry skills. Prior to enlisting, each Marine must pass a demanding audition for service in the Drum and Bugle Corps. Following recruit training and Marine combat training, the Marines are assigned to "The Commandant's Own."

The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps performs martial and popular music for hundreds of thousands of spectators each year. The corps travels more than 50,000 miles annually, performing in excess of 400 events across the nation and abroad. Dressed in ceremonial red and white uniforms, the corps of more than 80 Marine musicians is known world-wide as a premier musical marching unit.

Throughout the summer months the unit performs in the traditional Friday evening parades at the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., and in Sunset Parades at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Monument) in Arlington, Virginia, every Tuesday evening.

[http://www.mbw.usmc.mil/organizations/dbdefault.asp; DCW, 6/11/04, p.17]

Members (19)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Bennett3rd, Gene Snare/Cymbal 1993 to 1997
Benson, Craig Snare, Mallets 1983 to 1989
Bruce Jr., Walter First Baratone Bugle 1972 to 1974
Davis, Cindy Baritone 1978 to 1980
DERR, SKEE SNARE 1960 to 1964
doherty, mike soprano 1976 to 1981
Eickleberry, Herman Percussion 1979 to 1986
Foley, James 'Axel' Lead Soprano, Mellophone, Director & Commander 2004 to 2024
Glennon, Sean Contra 1992 to 1993
Hatheway, Dave Baritone 1983 to 1985
LeBlanc, Duane Soprano/Mellophone 1995 to 1998
Lindberg, Mike Soprano 1967
Min, April Mellophone 1991 to 1993
Nichols, Ed Snare Drum 1959 to 1961
Perez, Antonio (tony) Snare/Quad Lines 1994 to 2001
Rivera, Joey Bassline 2001 to 2005
Sherwood, Michael Drum 1978 to 1981
Spencer, Calvin Upper Lead Soprano 1999 to 2003
Tatman, Michael percussion 1985 to 1986

CORPS 11 items

US Marine Corps

USMC Drum Corps from the Bill Ives Collection
US Marine Corps

USMC Drum Corps 2 from the Bill Ives Collection
US Marine Corps

USMC Drum Corps 3 from the Bill Ives Collection
US Marine Corps

US Marine Corps 29 Palms from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by John Gillialand
US Marine Corps

US Marine Corps 29 Palms from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by John Gillialand
US Marine Corps

USMC from the Bill Ives Collection
US Marine Corps

Marine Corps from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by George Biggs*
US Marine Corps

US Marine Corps ENCORE CD from the Chris Maher Collection
US Marine Corps

1976 US Marine Corps from the Steve Vickers Collection
US Marine Corps

1976 US Marine Corps back from the Steve Vickers Collection
US Marine Corps

1982 Poster of United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps from the Steve Vickers Collection

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