MCLB to host Battle Colors ceremony

MCLB-ALBANY, Ga. -- An event that typically comes to the Albany Civic Center in the Fall will be making its way to Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany next week.

Marine Corps Logistics Command, a tenant command aboard the base, is scheduled to host the annual Battle Colors Ceremony on Wednesday on the field at MCLB-Albany just past the installation's main gate.

The free event, which kicks off at 6 p.m., will feature a performance by the United States Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment -- which is comprised of the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, the U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard and the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.

The highlight of the ceremony is expected to be the Silent Drill Platoon, a 24-man rifle platoon that performs a unique precision drill exhibition without vocal commands.

The group travels worldwide and is considered to be the nation's premier drill platoon.

"They perform at the Sunset Parade in Washington, D.C.," said 1st Lt. Kyle Thomas, public affairs officer at MCLB. "It is the same show, but they are doing it in Albany.

"(The Silent Drill Platoon) is what I think will really stand out (at the event)."

The Marine Corps Color Guard, the official color guard of the Corps, carries the only official Battle Color of the Marine Corps. The Battle Color bears 50 streamers representing U.S. and foreign awards earned by the Corps in its 235-year history.

The Drum and Bugle Corps, also known as the "Commandant's Own," consists of 85 Marines recruited from various civilian drum corps, marching bands and other musical units from within the Corps. The unit combines contemporary songs and traditional music with choreographed drill movements in a program entitled "Music Motion."

Maj. Gen. James Kessler, the commanding general of LOGCOM, will be the reviewing officer for the ceremony. Jeff Sinyard, chairman of the Dougherty County Commission, will be the guest of honor at the event.

The timing and location for the ceremony has not been coordinated the way it is being done this time for several years, Thomas said. Since it will be on the base, officials will not be able to accommodate as many people as they normally would at the Civic Center -- but they still expect a good response.

"(The number in attendance) will depend on what everyone's spring schedule is," Thomas said. "We've had a pretty good response in the past."

MCLB is planning for roughly 3,500 attendees, but may be able to take up to 4,500.

Anyone wishing to attend is encouraged to be seated by 5:45 p.m. The public is asked to not bring alcohol, coolers, pets or weapons, or dress inappropriately. Bags will be subject to inspection.

"There will be the same safety provisions that we have in place for the Independence Day celebration," Thomas said.

Parking for the event will be available just outside the main gate.