The Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard was formed aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Barstow in 1967 and designated an official Mounted Color Guard by Headquarters Marine Corps in 1968. This is the only remaining Mounted Color Guard in the Marine Corps today. The Bureau of Land Management honored this unit by portraying it on the first edition of the BLM’s “Wild Horse” trading cards.
This elite military unit has performed throughout the Western United States, traveling as far as Memphis, Tenn. The Mounted Color Guard has received numerous national awards including Overall High Point Champion and Class Champion from the California National Association of Paraders from 1980 to 1985, 1989 and 1991 to 1997, and Overall Outstanding Equestrian Group from 1987 to 1989. The Mounted Color Guard no longer competes due to military regulations.
In January 1985, the Mounted Color Guard made its first appearance in the Tournament of Roses Parade. Since January 1990, the Mounted Color Guard has consistently participated in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The unit has been given the extreme honor of being the first military unit to lead the parade in 1990, 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2002. The Mounted Color Guard has also participated in events such as the Fiesta Bowl, Super Bowl Parades and Military Finals Rodeos. This unit is active with public schools and participates with the DARE Program and Good Citizenship Programs.
Horses in the unit are wild mustangs of Palomino color adopted from the Bureau of Land Management’s Adopt a Horse and Burro Program. The mounts are gentled and trained by the Marines.
The Mounted Color Guard members are active-duty Marines who volunteer their time-evenings, weekends and holidays-and perform these duties in addition to their regular duties. This unit travels all over the Western United States participating in parades, rodeos, and many other numerous events and ceremonies.