Andres Guiterrez, NBC 5 News
The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corp band preps for their 50th appearance at the State Fair of Texas.
Members of the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, known as the "The Commandant's Own," spent Thursday practicing routines and songs a day before the State Fair of Texas opens.
This year marks the 50th appearance of the unit at the fair.
Leading the unit members is Major Brian Dix who has been with the unit since 1984.
"The fact that I have the ability to not only to lead Marines, but lead them in front of an audience -- an appreciative, Texas-style audience -- is overwhelming," Major Dix said.
The unit consists of 80 active-duty Marines including Sergeant Codie Williams.
Sgt. Williams would come to the fair to watch the unit perform while growing up in Richardson and playing at the Berkner High School marching band.
"It gets better every year. Every year we come we're more prepared, we've got different music, we're trying to play music that is more exciting," Sgt. Williams said.
"The Commandant's Own" does more than 400 performances around the world annually.
The group will perform at the State Fair of Texas daily except Wednesdays at 4 p.m. in the Marine Corps Square. In addition, the unit will lead the nightly parade and perform a formal flag-lowering ceremony.