MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
Two non-commissioned officers carry the U.S. and Marine Corps flags, and two Marines junior to them carry rifles as security. They march shoulder-to-shoulder, all members close to the same height to ensure the flags are level. They perform a special drill movement called colors reverse march to keep the National Colors positioned to the right. Once the national anthem begins, The Marine Corps flag drops to salute, while the U.S. flag renders no salute. They are the Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron color guard.
This iteration of Marines have been participating in color guard events around the Southwest since July.
The color guard has performed at nearly 50 events, from Phoenix to San Diego, since the beginning of its cycle.
“I know the public has an expectation of Marines,” said Sgt. Gregory Dillon, H&HS armorer and color sergeant. I trust the Marines I have chosen for color guard exceed those expectations. When the public sees us, there is no question whether or not we are United States Marines.”
“I am single and don’t have any kids, so I like to take the advantage and serve after work with the color guard,” said Dillon.
“It is always fun and we always look good. I especially enjoyed doing the Marine Corps Ball,” said Lance Cpl. Julio Alvarez, H&HS postal clerk and color guard rifleman.
The majority of the color guard’s events are local high school football games.
Staff Sgt. Eugenio Mejia, Recruiting Substation Yuma recruiter and color guard liaison said, “Having an available color guard really helps out the recruiting side of the spectrum as well by giving the local high schools Marines displayed at the majority of the high school football games. It has really worked out well and they are a big part of our community.”
Although the majority of their events are high school football games, the color guard performs important service at local funerals as well.
“Even though we have only done three burial details, they are the best service to the community. This cycle we have done burial details for former, retired and active Marines,” said Dillon.