May 17, 2002
U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon To Perform at RSU June 8
The internationally recognized U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon will bring its unique precision drill exhibition to Rogers State University on Saturday, June 8.
The 24-man rifle platoon will provide a free public performance at approximately 4 p.m. at Soldier's Field on RSU's campus in Claremore. A more specific time will be announced soon.
The famed Silent Drill Platoon is visiting RSU as part of the annual reunion of the Oklahoma Military Academy - the university's predecessor institution.
During the performance, the Silent Drill Platoon will execute a series of calculated drill movements and precise handling of their hand-polished 10 and one-half pound M-1 Garand rifles with fixed bayonets. The routine concludes with a unique rifle inspection involving elaborate rifle spins and tosses.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this highly skilled group of Marines perform their famous silent drill in Claremore," said RSU President Joe Wiley. "We are pleased to host this distinguished group of individuals on our campus."
The Silent Drill Platoon first performed in 1948 and received such an overwhelming response that it soon became part of the routine parades at Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.
Members of the Silent Drill Platoon are individually selected from the Schools of Infantry located in Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., from interviews conducted by barracks personnel. Once selected, they are assigned to Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., to serve a two-year ceremonial tour. Beyond their ceremonial duties, the Marines collaterally train in the field as infantry men. Throughout the year, these Marines hone their infantry skills at the Marine Corps Combat Development Commandat Quantico, Va., and at other bases.
Experienced members of the Silent Drill Platoon have the opportunity to audition to become rifle inspectors. They must go through inspection tryouts graded by rifle inspectors of the previous year. Only two Marines become rifle inspectors.
Once the year's Silent Drill Platoon members are selected, they begin their training at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., and continue to train at Marine Corps Air Station at Yuma, Ariz. They continually work on perfecting their routine year-round.
Several hundred alumni and friends of the Oklahoma Military Academy, who live in cities across Oklahoma and the nation, will gather for their annual reunion on June 7-8. The reunion will include a variety of activities, including a golf tournament, awards ceremony and dinner and dance.
More than 10,000 men graduated from Oklahoma Military Academy's junior college and high school from 1919 to 1971. During that period, the Oklahoma Military Academy was commonly known as the "West Point of the Southwest."
For more information about the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon or the Oklahoma Military Academy reunion, call (918) 343-7773.