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Marine Corps Body Bearers

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October 18, 2016
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Ever wondered how the casket-carrying Marines at Arlington National Cemetery can handle the heavy weight of the coffin without ever breaking bearing?The answer is that they train for it. Every day.[caption id="attachment_8532" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]

body bearers

DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Jacob N. Bailey, U.S. Air Force[/caption]The Marines are the only service to exclusively use six body bearers per casket instead of eight. While the other branches do sometimes use six, they never carry the casket at head height, which requires immense strength.Marine Corps body bearers have the incredible honor and responsibility of carrying the remains of Marines and their family members at Arlington National Cemetery. The tasks of repeatedly lifting and holding the casket, walking with it, and conducting the accompanying drill and ceremony take months of physical training to perfect.[caption id="attachment_8531" align="aligncenter" width="640"]

body bearers

Source:[/caption]A body bearer must endure intense physical exertion while maintaining incredible bearing. TThey never breath out of their mouths while conducting the highly choreographed drill sequence required to lay a Marine to rest at Arlington.They train in the dark basement parking lot of their building at 8th and I, where they perform exercises with trash cans, 45-pound plates and other implements to build upper and lower body strength.After work, they go to the gym and continue weightlifting. The average weight of a body bearer is a whopping 230 pounds.The body bearers are selected from 03-series infantry Marines either right after bootcamp or are transferred after meeting selection requirements. They must pass an initial strength test and meet the stringent moral and security standards to join Company B at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.


There, they are part of an organized public face of the Marine Corps.The Silent Drill Platoon, the ceremonial marchers, and the color guard are just a few of the storied units stationed at 8th and I, where the Marine Corps Commandant lives and overseas the Corps.During times of need, the body bearers are all basically-trained infantry Marines who can help defend the city from attack.Check out the video below, posted by the Marine Corps to their official YouTube channel:

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