The Fort Henry Guard and the United States Marine Corps

The relationship between the Fort Henry Guard and the USMC goes back to 1954, when the Marines first visited Fort Henry.  The following year, the Guard made its first visit to Washington, D.C. and marched at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington (VA) and Marine Barracks, Washington D.C. “8th and I”.


The friendship between the two units has continued for more than 50 years.  The Guard is one of the few civilian units permitted to parade on the Marine parade deck in Washington, and the Marines are the only non-British or Canadian unit to be entrusted with the keys to Fort Henry.  Among the many bonds shared by the two groups is General Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., a former Commandant of the Marine Corps who served as the Honorary Guard Commander from 1955 until 1990. 


Archivist Daniel Rose, FHG 2186, prepared this great piece that takes a longer look at the deep bond that exists between the Fort Henry Guard and the USMC.


Archival video of the Marines’ first visit to Fort Henry, and the Guard’s first trip to Washington, was recently shared with the Guard Club.  These silent films include historic footage of the Drums, Drill Squad, the Marine Battle Color Detachment, and the thousands of people who came to watch the performances.  Also included below is footage the USMC recorded of individual Guard performing and demonstrating various drill movements in August 1955, and the USMC Silent Drill Platoon’s performance at Fort Henry in 2015.