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Command Headquarters

NOTE: If you are driving to see the graduation, get there EARLY, because it can take an hour, or more, to get on the base Friday morning. There are a lot of folks that come ONLY for graduation, and this adds to the time, to get through security.

One more time, check at the motel for shuttle bus time. You will be over at the base at about 7:00 A.M. This time, you will be at Command Headquarters. The shuttle bus drops you off in front of the Depot Theater and Command Headquarters is at the far end of the Parade Deck. That Parade deck is the area of 6 football fields so it is a ways from the Depot Theater over to Command Headquarters.

You will be present for the Morning Colors Ceremony and I am telling you this, DO NOT miss Morning colors, it is the pageantry of the Corps. There will be the Marine Corps Band, the Color Guard, the Commanding General, Command Sergeant Major, etc.

At exactly 8:00 A.M. the Colors are presented as the band plays the National Anthem, followed by the Marine Corps Hymn. This is only done on Friday morning and it is done just for us, THE FAMILIES. If it is raining, this will not happen, but if it is not raining, please, do not miss it.

After morning colors, we can ease on back down to the Marine Exchange area for a coffee or a Pepsi and relax a bit. You need to be in the graduation stands by 9:15-9:30 A.M. The graduation starts at 10:00 A.M., not 10:01, this is still the Corps. The graduation stands are a football field long with the Commanding General's booth in the center. Where to sit? Not to worry. The stands are broken down by PLATOON NUMBER. Find the section marked off for your Marine's platoon, sit down, and he will graduate right in front of you.

If you have any questions, there are Drill Instructors all along in front of the stands to help you. As I said, the graduation starts at 10:00 A.M. and ends at 11:30 A.M. By the time we get him, and his sea bag, it will be about noon. before we are ready to leave the base. There will be taxi's waiting, in front of the Depot Theater, if you would want one.

Important Note: If it is raining, graduation will be held inside at the Depot Theater. Some graduating Companies are small in the early months of the year but later they can be in the 500-600 new Marines range. This means that there are already 500-600 seats filled with the graduating Company and there is not enough room in the Theater for them and all the parents. Regardless of when you are there, if it is raining, get there EARLY so you can get a seat and not miss the graduation ceremony.

The last move he will make, at about 11:30 A.M., is take one step back, do an about face- and he is then officially one of the Few, the Proud, a United States Marine. It is over and done with and we are out of there.

Jamie Brian, USMC




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