Marine Returns Home To Perform With Silent Drill Platoon
by U.S. Marine Corps Gregory Gilliam, Recruiting Command
March 4, 2023
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jackson Acree’s life has come full circle nearly two years after leaving Alaska for service as a Marine.
U.S. Marine Corporal Jackson Acree, 21, a native of Palmer, Alaska and member of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon returned home to Anchorage on March 2, 2023. The unit is visiting Alaska to perform at various locations around the Anchorage area and during the opening ceremony of the Iditarod. The visit is part of a joint effort between Marine Barracks Washington and Marine Corps Recruiting Command designed to increase awareness of the Marine Corps and prepare the unit for the upcoming summer parade season at Marine Barracks Washington D.C., the oldest post in the Marine Corps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gregory Gilliam, Recruiting Command)
As a boy growing up in Palmer, the 2020 graduate of Palmer High School played “war” with his friends in the front yard as his mom used smoke bombs to help create a more realistic environment for Acree and his friends.
Now, the 21-year-old returns home as the man he once emulated.
Acree is participating in one of Alaska’s most iconic events as a member of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, performing at the ceremonial start of the 51st running of the Iditarod, March 4, 2023, in Anchorage.
“I am excited to bring the platoon home to show the community what we do,” said Acree. “A lot of people out there don’t understand what it takes to be a Marine and now they get to see.”
Acree has always had a strong desire to serve his country, dating back to those early years with his friends. Service is in his blood, and his family knew he would inevitably follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
“I always knew he was going to do something in the military,” said Acree’s mother Michele Acree. “He is so patriotic and big on family.”
Acree’s path to the Marine Corps was not direct after graduating high school. Like his firefighter father, Acree’s initial calling would lead him to serve in his home state. He pursued a career as a Wildland Firefighter after high school.
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jackson Acree, a native of Palmer, Alaska, and member of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, stands with his parents in Anchorage, Alaska on March 2, 2023. The visit is part of a joint effort between Marine Barracks Washington and Marine Corps Recruiting Command designed to increase awareness of the Marine Corps, and prepare the unit for the upcoming summer parade season at Marine Barracks Washington D.C., the oldest post in the Marine Corps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Menelik Collins)
“I pursued firefighting because they offered the opportunity to be qualified as a firefighter during high school – it was not something I wanted to pass up,” said Acree, who found himself in his first active fire fight five days before high school graduation. “I was surrounded by like-minded, active individuals who all have inspirational amounts of self-drive to do things greater than themselves.”
Acree left Alaska for a short stint to fight fires in Colorado before thoughts of military service started to resurface. During his time in Colorado, he watched a video of the Silent Drill Platoon and made the decision to serve in the Corps.
“I knew that I always wanted to join the Marine Corps,” said the high school wrestling team captain who placed third in the 171-pound weight class in the Alaska State Wrestling Championships as a senior. “I was having fun, but I always wanted to join the military."
He enlisted in January 2021 and shipped to recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Calif. Following graduation, he attended follow-on training to become an infantryman at the Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry-West at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Acree reported to Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., where he serves as a member of the Silent Drill Platoon which is part of the Battle Color Detachment.
“He is a hard hitter, a fire and forget type of Marine,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Kelsey Hastings, platoon commander for the Silent Drill Platoon. “He is one of our fire team leaders, easy to work with and easier to lead.”
Acree will perform for his second drill season in 2023. According to Michele, even when he is many miles away, he keeps the family close during his travels, often talking to them through video messaging as he tours around the country.
The visit to Alaska is the unofficial beginning of the Marine Barracks Washington’s (MBW) training tour through the Northwestern United States.
The tour, a joint effort between MBW and Marine Corps Recruiting Command, will help increase awareness of the Marine Corps and prepare the unit for the upcoming summer parade season at Marine Barracks Washington D.C., the oldest post in the Marine Corps.
Following their performance in Alaska, Acree and the Silent Drill Platoon will rejoin the Battle Color Detachment to perform in Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and, Spokane, Washington.
Minor editing without impacting facts.
The U.S. Marines | Marines - The Few, The Proud | Our Valiant Troops | I Am The One | Veterans | Citizens Like Us
U.S. Marines Gifts | U.S. Marine Corps | U.S. Department of Defense