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Base Honor Guard here to serve
New Fairchild Honor Guard firing party members perform a mock full-honors funeral ceremony during the honor guard graduation at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Sept. 13, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Means/Released)
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Base Honor Guard here to serve

Posted 9/17/2013   Updated 9/17/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Michael Means
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


9/17/2013 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Twenty-one of Team Fairchild's finest graduated honor guard training here Sept. 13.

The training consisted of a 10-day course involving all aspects of Honor Guard; pal bearing, firing party, bugle and the presentation of the colors.

"The new Honor Guard members received an intense 100-hour course of all honor guard movements, proper wear of the ceremonial uniform and physical conditioning required to flawlessly complete the variety of ceremonies that the base honor guard supports," said Staff Sgt. Terrill Castor, 92nd Force Support Squadron NCO in charge of honor guard.

Staff Sgt. Chad Evans, recently graduated honor guard alpha flight sergeant, said the training was extensive and the trainers did an excellent job explaining what tasks needed to be performed.

"We did each task several times to make sure we understood and performed it correctly," said Evans. "Timing is everything. Everyone has to be at the same step as each other."

Prior to graduating and receiving their honor guard ceremonial badge, referred to as a "cookie," the new ceremonial guardsmen perform a mock full-honors funeral ceremony.

Before graduating the new honor guard team, Col. Brian Newberry, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander, spoke about their power as a team.

"Team building is hard; it takes vision, leadership, followership and synergy," said Newberry. "You represent America, our flag and our Air Force to the citizens of the Inland Northwest."

Newberry urged the new graduates to show perfection from day one, to be proud in their uniform, to march crisply and to stand tall.

"You are an elite guardian of our colors," he said. "You've been chosen as being Airmen who are highly motivated and maintain exceptionally high standards of appearance and conduct. You are our finest."

Newberry expressed to the graduates that those in attendance were here to celebrate and salute them for representing the base, the flag and the nation.

"Honor guard is never an Airman of one," said Newberry. "You're a team standing tall giving pride to our long blue line."

"I fully expect our newest members to not only uphold our current military standards, but surpass them," said Castor. "We represent the entire Air Force and carry out a very special mission. In most cases we are the last military interaction that the family members will encounter, therefore, the highest level of professionalism must always be displayed."

The honor guard is a congressionally-mandated program to provide well trained, highly professional members to honor and carry out the primary mission of rendering funeral honors. Additionally, they do everything from rifle and sword cordons for distinguished visitors coming to base to balls, awards banquets, retirement ceremonies and more. The team practices everything from swift movements to their precision and accuracy.

They have a broad mission spanning 29 counties across a 61,000 square mile geographical area, extending from Eastern Washington to northern Idaho and Northwestern Oregon.

"It's an honor to be able to represent Fairchild and the Air Force," said Evans. "Families need closure from the military that their loved one gave it all when the nation needed them on the front lines.





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