The Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon is a 24-man rifle platoon that performs a unique precision drill exhibition. This highly disciplined platoon exemplifies the professionalism associated with the United States Marine Corps.
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.
The Marines 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., based on interviews conducted by barracks personnel. 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. They must go through inspection tryouts graded by the rifle inspectors of the previous year. 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.
The United State's Silent Drill Platoon, 2019.