MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – When someone hears the word ‘Marine’, they picture the professional renowned Dress Blue Uniforms, and the men and women who embody the core values of honor, courage, and commitment. Who they envision, are the Marines with the Marine Corps Ceremonial Platoons.
Lance Cpl. Christian Anthony, a native of Branchburg, New Jersey, enlisted in the Marine Corps in November 2020 as a V-22 aviation airframe mechanic. Little did he know, his first duty station at Marine Corps Base Quantico had different plans for him.
Anthony arrived ready to work at Quantico’s pristine National Museum of the Marine Corps. There he provided Marine Corps history, information and facts to guests, and became well versed in the game of Q&A. Anthony’s leadership took notice in him, and he was asked if he would be interested in joining the MCB Quantico Ceremonial Platoon.
“I didn’t really know what it was at the time,” said Anthony, “But I’m always up for new opportunities.”
The MCB Quantico Ceremonial Platoon conducts funeral and color guard details, to include on and off base ceremonies and events. They are not your typical Marine Corps unit; this temporary duty assignment allows Marines from any unit across the base to volunteer.
“It pulls Marines from a wide variety of military occupational specialties and brings them all together,” said Anthony, “It teaches them the honor it is to be a Marine, and to carry ourselves high,” he continued.
The position requires countless uniform inspections and many hours of practice, making sure every step and every drill movement is perfect.
“We want to make the funerals look good for the families,” said Anthony, “So there is a lot of training that we do to get in sync with each other in order for the funerals to come together and look good.”
Ceremonial Platoon has provided opportunities for Anthony to meet inspiring people. At one funeral detail, he met and spoke with retired Col. Harvey C. Barnum Jr., a Medal of Honor recipient, who had served alongside the fallen Marine, in Vietnam.
Anthony has enjoyed listening to Marines who have walked before him, hearing their stories and learning from their experiences.
“We don’t often get to hear the stories about the fallen Marines,” said Anthony, “But he told us the whole life story of this Marine.”
Anthony never thought he would be a part of something like the Ceremonial Platoon. However, he is always eager for new opportunities and the chance to be a part of something different. Through this experience, Anthony now understands the weight in which the Ceremonial Platoon bears.
“The Ceremonial Platoon is important because it carries the legacy, and it shows the gratitude that the Marine Corps has for fallen Marines and their families.”