A few days ago, a website called The Truth Is Viral “broke” a story that the Marines from Marines Corps Barracks Washington, D.C., 8th & I who marched in the President Barack Obama inaugural parade were “ringers.” Based on video of the inaugural parade, the site proclaimed:
On orders from the Obama administration, the bolts from the M1 rifles carried by Marines in the Inaugural parade were removed. Even more shockingly, it appears that the Marines who normally provide security and perform ceremonial functions for the President were replaced with ringers.
Some of the “Marines” that paraded in front of the reviewing stand on Inauguration Day were unshaven, their uniforms out of line and ill-fitting, and their marching skills — in the opinion of this writer and dozens of other real Marines — could easily have been bested by any 3rd phase Marine Corp recruit platoon.
Host Bob Powell challenges former Marines to look at the footage from the video (beginning about 13:00) and pretend to be an inspecting general.
“These, some of these Marines are unshaven,” Powell said. ”If you look at their rank and file, they’re walking all over like ducks. They look like they’re just bouncing back home on the block. These are Marines, they’re supposed to have been marines from Bravo Company Marine Corps Barracks Washington, D.C., 8th & I. All these guys do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, is drill, drill, drill.”
After it was posted, the story made the rounds of the anti-Obama Internet sites with the declarative statement, “Obama’s Inaugural Marines Were FAKE.”
In short, no, they weren’t. I personally spoke with a Marine currently serving at Marine Corps Barracks Washington, D.C. 8th & I in Alpha Company. He confirmed that the Marines pictured in the video were Bravo Company Marines whom he knows personally. They were not “fake” Marines. He admitted they were sloppy, but he explained why.
The claim by Powell that all the Bravo Company Marines do is “drill, drill, drill” is untrue. Bravo Company trains mostly in the field to be the first responders in the event of an attack on the Capital. Alpha Company primarily drills and performs the ceremonial functions, including funerals. Also, certain mustaches are allowed, so Powell’s claim there is also bogus.
According to the Marine, Alpha Company marched in the inaugural parade from the Pentagon to the White House. Bravo Company marched from the White House.
As to Powell’s claims that the Marines had the bolts and firing pins removed from their guns, the Marine said Alpha Company’s guns — aside from seven used in funerals — already have the firing pins removed. He did not know why Bravo Company had to remove the bolts from their rifles.
He called it silly, and he said that each Marine was searched by Secret Service agents, as were their rifles and bags, prior to the parade.