Ceremonial Drill School Prepare for Parade Season

Ceremonial Drill School Prepare for Parade Season

United States Marines practice sword manual during Ceremonial Drill School at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., Jan. 8, 2015 Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. The school teaches officers and staff noncommissioned officers of the Barracks their part in preparation for parade season. Photo by LCpl Christian Varney.

MARINE BARRACKS WASHINGTON D.C. (Jan. 9, 2015) – To make the parades at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. happen, It takes many months of coordination.

Crowds see the ceremonial marchers, the hosting element, the United States Marine Band, the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Silent Drill Platoon. What is not seen are the countless hours each of the individual component puts in during the off season.

Ceremonial Drill School (CDS) is how the officers and staff noncommissioned officers of the Barracks learn their part in preparation for parade season. Without the parade staff executing perfect drill commands, the ceremonial mission of the Barracks cannot be met.

The school prepares the officers and staff noncommissioned officers for marching as the parade staff.

The three-week course teaches the fundamentals of marching, sword manual, voice commands and uniform preparation.

At the end of the course, the students perform an evaluation similar to a parade sequence. The evaluation is performed on the pristine parade deck of the Barracks.

"Everyone at the Barracks comes to watch the CDS evaluation," says GySgt Cedric Smith, the Barracks Drill Master. "So the CDS students are under a lot pressure."

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