Parris island centennial celebration

Detachment Judge Advocate, Howard Schaeffer, and I were able to attend the Centennial Celebration for Parris Island and its role in the history of the Marine Corps. For those of you that don't know Parris Island was designated a marine barracks on October 25th and for the last 100 years the island has been used to as a recruit depot and has been making marines ever since. To be able to be there for this event and see those 100 years of tradition in motion was a wonderful thing. I recommend that any marine that gets the chance to take the time to walk around Parris Island, not just to remember, but appreciate where we came from. Below is a list of events we were able to attend, as well as pictures and a brief description. I hope you all enjoy  these photos, half as much as I did being there.

-Semper Fidelis,

Jason M. Smith

Commandant Lehigh Valley MCL Det. 296

Motivational run

The day before graduation families get their first glimpse of their new marines as the graduating platoons get together for a final motivational run. It is a great time in a new marines life as it an event for them to show the pride they have in themselves for all the hard work they had put in for the last 13 weeks. It was an emotional site to see.

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family day briefing

After the marines go on their run they return to their barracks in preparation for the first bit of real relaxation. Family day occurs the day before graduation, and as with everything in the military no function begins without a briefing. All the new marines form up and march in front of their families and are issued the order of the day. It was great to be there if only to hear and feel the anticipation of the marines families as they waited to greet their loved ones. We also had the honor of running into MCL National Commandant Richard Gore.

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"parris island: 100 years of making marines" Premiere

The Parris Island Historical and Museum Society recently undertook the production of a film documentary, "Parris Island: 100 Years of Making Marines". We were able to attend the premier of the film during a dinner sponsored by multiple donors including our very own Detachment Judge Advocate Howard Schaeffer. The film was fantastic and event itself went off flawlessly. In attendance were many military and political dignitaries including the Commandant of the Marine Corps General Robert Neller and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald Green.

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morning colors

On every U.S. military installation world wide at sunrise the American flag is raised during a ceremony called morning colors. The morning of graduation Parris Island holds a special morning colors ceremony for the family of the graduating marines. During this ceremony typically the base commanding general gives a speech to those in attendance. This ceremony was extra special as the Commandant of the Marine Corps was in attendance and gave the speech himself.

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Boot camp graduation ceremony

One of the proudest moments in an enlisted marines life is their graduation from boot camp. The ceremony is an event to behold. There are many parts to this ceremony including the pass and review, acknowledgment of the honor graduates, and the retirement of the platoon and company guidons. It was a nice to be able to watch this live. Listening to the family members trying to pick out their marines, and seeing the pride in the faces of the new marines as they passed by the bleachers. I would suggest to every marine to take the time to go watch this ceremony and feel the pride within you grow knowing that at one point that was you.

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Museum ribbon cutting

The Parris Island Historical and Museum Society, along with making the documentary, has been hard at work designing two new wings at the museum. They held the ribbon cutting ceremony during the centennial celebration. The 100 Years of Instructors Exhibit covers the evolution of the various types of instructors that helped shape the Marine Corps into the great fighting force it is today. The Making 21st Century Marines Exhibit covers the many stages current recruits go through today. The ceremony was nice, and it really shows how much the society cares about the rich history of Parris Island.

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8th & I silent drill team

As if everything else wasn't enough to top of the trip the final event that we were able to attend was a performance by the Silent Drill Team. The United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon is a 24-man rifle platoon of the United States Marine Corps. Often referred to as The Marching Twenty-Four, the unit performs unique silent precision exhibition drill. The purpose of the platoon is to exemplify the discipline and professionalism of the Marine Corps. It was a very impressive sight to see. Several current recruit platoons were able to watch the performance as well, which only goes to show the pride that the corps has in this unit.

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In between all the planned events we were able to take some time for ourselves and walk around the island. We saw rededications for the Iron Mike, Molly Marine, and Drill Instructors monuments. We also visited and took pictures on the yellow footprints, in front of the doors at the recruit receiving building, as well as the Iwo Jima monument. Overall it was a great trip, and very motivating.

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