Header image alt text




The Social Media Contributor Comments: April 2013



Hashtag – #Bullets and Bayonets and Horses

-By SFC Andre V. Milteer, USA (Ret.)

Remember the 2012 Presidential debates between (former) Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and (incumbent) President Barack Obama? Do you recall the infamous Horses and Bayonets words retorted by Mr. Obama towards Mr. Romney? The phrase became so catchy that the Romney campaign purchased the Hashtag #HorsesandBayonets on Twitter.

That whole ‘Twittar-Thang’ got me to thinking about my time as a Military Bandsman. In the preparatory research phase of writing this article, I stumbled upon a Sousa March entitled…yep, wouldn’t ya know it—Bullets and Bayonets. Thanks to the power of the Internet, Google, and Bing, I found manuscripts, sheet music, and (the coolest of all) an actual band recording.


Although I was Army, Sousa was a Marine. Just like the embodiment of Marine Commitment, Sousa’s marches always rise to the cream of the top within the search engines. John Philip Sousa’s march “Bullets and Bayonets” (published ca. 1917), (played by the U.S. Marine Band) performed January 9, 2009 at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall at George Mason University. [Colonel Michael J. Colburn, conducting]

I must’ve listened to the Marine Band’s rendition of this march at least 10x. Listen in Click Here and judge for yourself . . .

Fixing Bayonets

Going back to my tour of duty (circa 1978) @8th Army in the Land of the Morning Calm, I was part of an honor guard band lead by CW2 Edward Greene. The ‘Chief’ drilled us mercilessly [he was a stickler for military band drill precision and perfection]; yet the Infantry Soldiers of the Honor Guard ATE/DRANK/SLEPT/DREAMED/CHOKED on drills [literally] night and day.

During each ceremony, the Bandmaster would baton direct, D-R-U-M_R-O-L-L………….a 5-10 minute drum [section] 10 stroke snare drum roll. This sequence of ceremonial pomp and circumstance was followed by the Honor Guard Commander’s, FIX BAYONETS!

Rather than trying to use words to describe my Bandsman flashback, a picture is worth…

Click on picture to view video!



To comment on this article, contact Andre Milteer via email, via this site, or rss feed. Subscribe to his podcast .

Find Andre on   as well. Click here to view past commentaries.