News: La Puente, Calif.,-native selected for ceremonial team
Story by Cpl. Dengrier Baez
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A native of La Puente was selected to represent the Marine Corps as a member of one of the Marine Barracks Washington ceremonial cake escort teams Nov. 1.
Pfc. Angel Cruz, 18, son of Pedro and Cecilia Cruz, was selected for the position of “youngest Marine” after a Barracks-wide audition two weeks earlier. The youngest Marine travels with one of two cake escort details around the National Capital Region throughout the month of November performing for numerous government organizations celebrating the Corps’ birthday.
During these celebrations, a cake cutting ceremony is performed. A piece of cake is cut and passed from the oldest Marine present to the youngest Marine, representing the passing of tradition from one generation to the next.
“The selection was simple since it was by age, but a lot had to do with how you carry yourself and if you were able to march. Plus, I learned the routine quickly,” said Cruz, who graduated from La Puente High School in 2011.
The team’s mission, although seemingly simple, requires extreme concentration and adaptability during the ceremonies.
“At first I was really nervous and a bit scared of messing up,” said Cruz, who will begin Silent Drill School in the upcoming month and later try out for a position on the Silent Drill Platoon. “With all the hours of practice we had, I feel I’m able to handle anything that comes up. It’s definitely an honor to be part of these types of ceremonies.”
Cruz said the experiences gathered from the escorting team will help him prepare for a possible spot on the SDP since their schedule is also very demanding.
To date, Cruz has participated in ceremonies at the Library of Congress in D.C. and The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York and is scheduled to participate in the Commandant’s Marine Corps Ball for this year.