THE FIRST FEMALE SILENT DRILL PLATOON COMMANDER
Capt Kelsey Hastings made history as the first woman to lead the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon when she stepped onto the parade deck at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., for the first Evening Parade of the 2023 season.
The Silent Drill Platoon is a 24-Marine rifle platoon that performs precision drill movements without verbal cadence or commands. Only Marines assigned to Infantry roles are eligible to audition for this prestigious platoon.
Hastings is among the first female Marines eligible to earn the role of platoon commander since combat arms roles were opened to women in 2016. The platoon commander must hold the rank of captain, which requires a minimum of four years of service to be considered for promotion.
Hastings commissioned from the U.S. Naval Academy in May 2017 and then completed training to become an Artillery Officer. She was assigned to Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., in 2020.
"When I got selected [to be platoon commander] I was so excited," Hastings said. "The best marcher at the barracks should be the Silent Drill Platoon Commander. I wanted to be in that role. I wanted that representation for us."
In her role, Hastings is responsible for the welfare of the 24-Marine platoon. She's also upholds the legacy of one of the Marine Corps' most recognized and celebrated traditions.
"The Silent Drill Platoon is always going to be relevant," she said. "The dedication, precision and discipline that the Marine Corps is all about is what holds us different from every other service. The values don’t change. Warfare may change, but the values don’t. Who we are and what we embody and what we practice, they will always remain the same. "
The Silent Drill Platoon performs the historic Friday Evening Parade at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., and the Tuesday Sunset Parade at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va.