The Purpose of the Honor Guard
To Serve all Honor Guard functions of the home organization and the Community. The Honor Guardsman is a fully uniformed guardsmen that perform Flag Postings, Parades, Ceremonial functions, Sentry function at funeral homes and graveside military functions as Riflemen, Blowing Taps and Folding and Presenting the American Flag to the next of kin.
The Honor Guard will offer service to all Veterans and Veteran functions when possible. The Honor Guard will offer service to homeless Veterans at the gravesite. The Honor Guard will hold the highest level of respect for all that wore the uniform of this Country.
The Honor Guard is always looking for new members that meet the highest standards that are required for membership. To become a member of the Honor Guard you must meet your home organizations requirements. You must also attended several consecutive drills with the Honor Guard and be voted in by the existing Honor Guard members.
Uniforms may or may not be furnished by the Honor Guard, a complete list of items will be furnished and assistants is available to help you with uniform selection.
The Honor Guard is financially independent of any home organization, each member will garishly pay out of pocket expense if necessary. An Honor Guard can only financially function with support and contributions. Please make checks payable to your home organizations Honor Guard.
Ceremonial rifles and blank ammunition are available through the United States Army Ceremonial Group. Eligibility for the rifles and ammunition are generally but not always the same for each organization, VFW, AL Police, Fire Department and some National Cemetery Honor Guard units are eligible.
Each Honor Guard Unit will establish a drill regiment that meets the requirements of the Honor Guard. It is common practice to meet two times a month for a minimum of one hour, if additional time is required to practice you must work out the time schedule with all the members of the Honor Guard.
Manual of Arms
The information that is most helpful for Honor Guard training is the United States Army Drill Manual FM 3-21.5. This manual is available on CD and book format, you can locate this field manual on line or order it at your local book supplier. The outline of the training is marching commands and the manual of arms for the rifle that you are going to use.
It is important to remember not to go overboard with disciplined and physical actions, this is not the military and the men and women are volunteers, not nineteen year old marines. Some of the things that the drill instructor will have to overcome is slow moving, knees, hips and joint movement that slows down the movement of some of the Guardsmen. and hearing is very important for uniform movement of the Honor Guard. This problem is found when working with older veterans at VFW and AL. Remember, the beauty of this Honor Guard is the respect, dignity and the personal time that each veteran and member give to this responsibility as an Honor Guard Member.
When assigning each guardsmen a position on the team the drill instructor must be familiar with each members abilities to perform that task. Some members may only be able to fold the flag, some can fold and present the flag, riflemen must be able to fire and charge the rifle if needed. When performing the units inspection at assembly, remember to be prepared to assisted the guardsmen with adjustments to uniforms and do not make an issue of the adjustments in front of the unit. If you must continually remind the individual to shine boots, press clothing and so on you may have to ask the individual to resign from the unit.
The drill instructor should have the ability to lead the team with dignity, speak clearly, be prepared to resolved problems, and have some knowledge of the Army field manual FM 3-21.5.
Honor Guard Captain
The Honor Guard Captain is the business manager for the Honor Guard. The Captain will be the main contact for the units activities, scheduling and act as the unit comptroller for all financial activities. The Honor Guard Captain will work closely with the drill instructor and maintain continuity within the unit.