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Senior Contributor

Sleepy Joe

A Friday Night Parade Flashback:
The night I pissed off Joe Biden
May 21st, 2010
Being the guidon bearer for Alpha Company of Marine Barracks Washington D.C. was a pretty skate gig during Friday night parades. All I was expected to do was march out, a couple of present arms, Officers center, then pass and review. That was it. The rest of the time was fly over country where I had to stand perfectly still and find ways to distract myself from my feet going numb - which involved one thing: blinding people in the audience with the reflection of the lights off the pike of my guidon.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, a guidon is a small unit flag that’s carried on an 8 foot pole with a chrome pike on the top that if you liberally apply windex to, will emit a blinding reflection under the stadium lighting of the barracks. This was a well known trade secret amongst guidon bearers and a delight for the Marines in the parade as audience members became the target of it and we all got to delight in their discomfort as they bobbed and weaved away from it.
Joe Biden was the guest of honor for this evening parade during my inaugural parade season. Being such, all he was expected to do was sit there and not fall asleep until pass and review - which seemed to prove difficult for him as the parade went on. Roughly half way through, he donned a pair of aviators and comfortably leaned back in his chair. Ten minutes after that, I saw his head bob ever so slightly as though he caught himself before nodding off. Then again a couple minutes later. Then I got an idea.
After blinding a couple of parade goers who laughed it off and simply moved out of the way, I hadn’t felt inspired to engage in my nefarious game until I saw Joe bob his head for the third time. His seat was a distance from where the reflection naturally hit so the journey would be obvious, but the prize was worth the labor.
I crept the reflection over as I covertly rolled the guidon in my fingers until it was hovering above his head. I could tell the CO to my left was apprehensive as he was well aware of my game, but it wasn’t like he could stop me, so with a gentle forward lean of the guidon, I caught Joe right in the eyes. He did not like it.
He shook himself awake and pulled off his aviators to inspect them as though they were the source of his discomfort until the aide seated next to him pointed to me as the agitator. It was hard not to laugh as he scowled at me and adjusted himself in his seat to play off the obvious fact that he had dozed off and I had caught him in the act.
He didn’t seem too pleased with me during pass and review either (pictured below).
Oh well 🤷🏻‍♂️
Vote for whoever you like, but just know Sleepy Joe is a spot on nickname.
2 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Sleepy Joe

Devil Dog Kurt,

Thanks for the laugh and the memory from one of the 8th & I Friday evening parades.

If you were the guidon bearer, I am guessing you are also 6'4" (or taller) and had the iron patience of Job to do that particular duty assignment. Good stuff!



Senior Contributor

Re: Sleepy Joe

Didn’t think the military allowed 60+ year old people to serve