The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps performs martial and popular music for hundreds of thousands of spectators each year. Comprised of ninety Marine Band musicians, dressed in ceremonial red and white uniforms, it is known worldwide as a premier musical marching unit. Throughout the summer months, the unit performs in the traditional evening parades held at Marine Barracks Washington, and in the sunset parades at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. The Drum and Bugle Corps travels more than fifty thousand miles annually, performing in nearly five hundred events across the nation and abroad. The history of the unit can be traced to the early days of the Marine Corps. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, military musicians, or "field musicians," provided a means of passing commands to Marines in battle formations. The sound of various drum beats and bugle calls could be easily heard over the noise of the battlefield and signaled Marines to attack the enemy or retire for the evening. Through the 1930's, Marine Corps posts still authorized a number of buglers and drummers to play the traditional calls and to ring a ship's bell to signal the time. The United States Drum and Bugle Corps was formed in 1934 to augment the United States Marine Band. The unit provided musical support to ceremonies around the nation's capitol and, during World War II, was tasked with Presidential support duties. For this additional role, they were awarded the scarlet and gold breast cord by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which they still proudly display on their uniform.