It’s been a good ride
By LCpl. Garrett White
| Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow | March 31, 2014
Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif. --
Mounted Color Guard
The Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard, stationed on Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., is the last remaining mounted color guard in the Marine Corps.
This small unit of four to five Marines has the honor and privilege of representing the Marine Corps on horseback in events and ceremonies across the United States.
While most Marines are picked at random from infantry units to join the MCG, some Marines, like Cpl. Bryanna Kessler, requested to be a part of this unique unit.
Joining the MCG was the combination of two childhood dreams, said Kessler.
“I didn't know anything about (the MCG) until somebody mentioned it to me,” explained Kessler. “I googled them and it looked like something I would want to do. I’ve always loved horses, and I wanted to be in the military (since I was) a kid, so it tied in two things I was passionate about.”
Having participated in hundreds of events with the MCG, narrowing it down to a favorite one was difficult, said Kessler. From the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in Houston, to the parades in Cody, Wyo., there are aspects of each event that make them special to her.
“I really enjoyed my experiences,” she said. “It's helped me grow as a person and a as Marine. I got to see different aspects of the Marine Corps I wouldn't have seen before. It gave me an opportunity to see the whole country, meet different people, and experience different things.”
Aside from the events, getting to know the other members of the MCG has been fun, added Kessler.
“As much as we get on each other’s nerves, we are like a little family,” Kessler added. “I’ve never been this close to a group of people before. I love that we are close enough that if someone is having a bad day or a good day we are there for one another. Plus if all else fails you can just go out and hug your horse.”
But after two years of serving on the MCG, the needs of the Marine Corps are calling, Kessler said.
From the MCG, Kessler will be deploying with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, she said. She hopes this experience will further broaden her view of the Marine Corps, and allow her to figure out where she wants to take her career from there.
Her hard work and dedication didn’t go unnoticed by her fellow members of the MCG, said Sgt. Edgar Torrealba, non-commissioned officer in charge of the MCG. Having worked with Kessler since she first checked into the unit, Torrealba saw her grow as a person, as a Marine, and as a member of the MCG.
“I believe she will do great things when she moves on from here,” he added. “I think that being with the MCG will be one of those pages in her life she will never forget, and she will be remembered here.”
“Kessler brought a special dynamic to the color guard that will be hard to replace,” Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Garcia, staff NCOIC of the MCG. “She will be missed by everyone here.”