Lance Cpl. Jamen Miller is a Body Bearer that has help lay to rest nearly 200 Marines in his year with 8th & I at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C..
The Marines perform military funerals differently from the rest of the uniformed services. Whereas the rest of the military use eight pallbearers, the Marines only use six.
Further, Marine Body Bearers carry the fallen at shoulder height and give a final head-high raise to those they are helping to inter.
As such, Body Bearers go through rigorous physical training and ceremonial drill practice for months before being cleared to perform movements for the funerals of fallen Marines. Even then, a typical day for a member of the 15-man Body Bearer detachment includes hours of ceremonial drill practice and intensive weight training and conditioning to maintain standard.
“We don’t take it lightly to do our job,” says Miller. “We want to do the best that we can for every funeral, because for a lot of people that’s their one look on the Marine Corps that they get and we want to leave them with that lasting impression.”