Marine Marches to the Beat of His Own Drum
By Staff Sgt. Nathan Hanks Jr
| | September 10, 2004
MARINE CORPS RECRUITING STATION N.J. --
From the time Stuart E. Davis was in the fourth grade, he knew that he wanted to be a drummer but had no idea that his desire would see him into the Marine Corps.
Private First Class Davis, a 19-year-old native of Lakewood, N.J., has now embarked on a career in “The Commandant’s Own” U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.
Davis recalls his earliest memory of the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps from his childhood.
“I first saw the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps play on videotape,” he said. “I would watch the videotape and play it over and over until I could play every note just like they did.”
Although he had admired the group from his childhood he had not thought about joining the Marine Corps until he was a senior in high school. After attending an Evening Parade at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., in May 2003, he made up his mind.
“When I saw the Drum and Bugle Corps play, all I could do was stare at the drum line,” Davis said. “I was amazed at how clean they played. It sent goose bumps all over me. They were great. I loved it.”
Once he returned from Washington, D.C., the Lakewood High School graduate set his sights on becoming a Marine and playing for the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.
“When I heard that he was thinking about auditioning for the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, I immediately got a smile on my face. I was elated,” said Dennis Kline, director of string instruments for Lakewood Elementary Schools. “Everyone I know said Stewart could pretty much write his own ticket as to where he wanted to go,” said Kline, Davis’ former band instructor.
For the next several months, Davis worked at a local hardware store but was not satisfied.
“I was working but I was not going anywhere. I have this talent and did not want it to go to waste,” Davis said. “I wanted to do something with my life.”
Davis joined the Marine Corps in January 2004 and departed for basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., June 1.
Currently on leave, Davis will be attending Marine Combat Training at Camp Lejeune, N.C., in mid-September. Upon competition of his training, Davis will report to the Marine Corps Barracks at 8th & I Street in Washington, D.C.
Although Davis plans to make the Marine Corps a career, once he retires he would like to become a professional musician.
“I would like to teach a drum corps league,” Davis said. “I want to teach and pass on to others what has helped me become a better musician.”
According to Davis, the Marine Corps is helping him do something he loves to do.
“My life is music. It is something I love,” he said. “This is a dream come true. I’m a Marine and I get to play music. It can’t get any better than this.”
Davis was enlisted by Marine recruiter Staff Sgt. Carlos Orjuela of RSS Toms River.