When, Where and How to Refold a Flag

July 22, 2014 in Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Instructional

A Badly folded flag
All across AmBad flag presentation - Copyerica folded American, state, territorial and tribal flags are presented to the next of kin (NOK) of fallen military and first responder veterans. Unfortunately, some of these flags are poorly folded and still handed off. I’ve witnessed a folded flag in the hands of a first responder who was sincerely trying to cover the large swath of red stripe by trying to jam the end of the flag into itself. It didn’t work and the family sat there waiting. Obviously, adequate training is necessary, but when training is not accomplished, issues arise that then need to be taken care of on the spot or immediately afterwards.

The picture at right shows the folded flag from the funeral of the last Seminole Code Talker, Private First Class and Congressional Gold Medal recipient Edmond Andrew Harjo. This should never have happened. This flag needs to be refolded.

What to do?
As I stated, training is paramount, but let’s say training is accomplished for a couple of hours the day before the funeral and the folders don’t catch the last fold that goes too far toward the edge, barely leaving enough to tuck. While it would have been best to back out the last triangle fold and then tuck from there, if the tuck has already started, do your best and refold the flag after the ceremony.

On a side note: When I was training firefighters in the south in 2013, during one of the training sessions, the trainees actually had an Army veteran and firefighter retiree funeral to attend. The firefighters moved the casket and the veteran’s groups folded the flag and also fired the 3-Volley Salute. Regrettably, not only was the flag folded poorly, but it was also presented inside a plastic flag case to the widow. The flag should never have been cased before presenting it to the widow and my honor guard trainees could tell the flag was poorly folded and here is what we did.

One of my trainees, an honor guard member, went to the firefighter who was the family liaison and requested the flag at the widow’s earliest convenience for refolding. Before we knew it the liaison had discreetly asked for, retrieved and presented the flag to my trainee who handed it to me. Since we had not gone into pall bearers and flag folding in the course yet, I used the opportunity to begin teaching how to fold the flag. We went behind the small building where the service was held, which was completely out of the family’s and even the public’s view, unfolded the flag when we discovered three shells from the firing party that had been tucked into the flag (this is a no=no! The flag is not to be used a receptacle!), refolded the flag and handed the flag and shells back to the family. We would have handed them to the liaison, but the family was more than appreciative of what we had accomplished for them.

How to fold our National Ensign
There are a few flag fold videos on YouTube, but the ones for the two-man fold are all severely lacking- one even shows the flag being folded backwards- and that’s a flag company’s video.

How to fold the American flag with two people

How to fold the American flag with six people

Handing off a folded flag
Point- or flat side-first? Just like holding a folded flag, there is no “correct” way. While the military services have handed the flag to the NOK using both methods, I have some guidance that may be of help. Many times the family is in much grief and the NOK who receives that folded flag will hold on to it for dear life. It is easier to hold when the long flat end is at the abdomen.

honor guard, pall bearers, flag fold, american flag

Cadet season marches on – Belleville Intelligencer

July 19, 2014 in Scoop.it

Belleville Intelligencer
Cadet season marches on
Belleville Intelligencer
As part of general training, cadets participate in a drill competition.

Source: www.intelligencer.ca

Service, integrity, excellence: Robins Honor Guard always on the move

July 19, 2014 in Scoop.it

7/18/2014 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – Every 90 days an Airman at Robins has an opportunity to participate in a unique mission to honor his or her brothers and sisters in uniform. 

Sometimes it is their faces, or the sharp, crisp gestures that are the first things members of the public notice. Many times, however, it is their final actions that are remembered most by a grieving family. 

Every six weeks new rotations of 11 military members from across the installation are selected to walk through the doors of Bldg. 364 – home of the Robins Air Force Base Honor Guard. 
From airman basic to technical sergeant, enlisted members from the 5th Combat Communications Group, 461st Air Control Wing and 78th Air Base Wing come together from every career field in the Air Force. 

While they train rigorously, performing ceremonial tasks which epitomize perfection in dress and appearance at base ceremonies and community civic events, the team’s main priority is to render dignified military funeral honors for active duty members and veterans across Georgia, Tennessee and parts of North Carolina. 

Their area of responsibility covers more than 70,000 square miles, keeping them away for days at a time, depending on the month’s schedule. 

To date in fiscal 2014, the funeral detail has conducted 876 burial honors. There have also been 123 other events performed by the Color Guard so far this year. 

Some weeks are busier than others. They’re always on the move, and every day brings new challenges. 

While one group is rotating in, learning and performing ceremonial duties, another has already been around for several weeks, continuously training and perfecting precise movements. 
Every detail is meticulously rehearsed hundreds of times by team members inside the unit’s large training room. There, members can practice folding flags or marching with one of two caskets on standby as part of funeral detail duties. A firing party conducts practice just outside. Everyone is well versed in multiple roles. 

But it’s been agreed that one has to experience firsthand what it’s really like performing the sacred duties of what’s required. 

“We train them. We prepare them. And, we trust their abilities,” said Master Sgt. Matt Hurless, program manager. “Once they step out the door, we really don’t have any concerns about their ability to perform. 

“We are fortunate to have that high quality of Airmen who come through here,” he added. 

Honor Guard Flight Sergeant Staff Sgt. Juan Garcia, who handles details involved with travel and vehicles, says it’s been a joy getting to know different members’ strengths and weaknesses, their personalities and backgrounds. 

“Their initiative is a lot higher than most, so we get the cream of the crop as far as Airmen,” he said. “When something needs to get done, they’re all over it. 

The Honor Guard’s funeral detail is a first for many, including Senior Airman Jan Ronel Recano, a pediatric technician in the 78th Medical Group. 

“This opportunity allowed me to lead and to be in charge of a detail,” he said. “I was told by a friend who previously joined that if I wanted to do something different, I needed to get out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know what to expect, and it’s been a great experience.” 

Admitting to having a sometimes shy personality, Airman 1st Class Darlene Tran, who works in personnel with the 78th Force Support Squadron, said serving on the team has helped her reach out and be part of something bigger than herself. 

“It has made me appreciate those I love and to spend time with those who matter,” she said. “This allowed me to give back, to do as much as we can for those who gave their time to us.” 

The Honor Guard Charge states, “My standards of conduct and level of professionalism must be above reproach.” 

“They grab those words and live them,” said Garcia. “It’s a higher calling – not a paycheck that brings them here. They follow the creed and honor it.” 

With adrenaline pumping and hard-earned training closing in, all agreed that nothing can really prepare a member for that initial moment upon seeing loved ones grieving during a funeral. 

“But once that moment hits you, you realize it’s not about you, it’s about the family,” he said. “The mission is very gratifying and rewarding. We might be the last image a family will see of the Air Force.”

Source: www.robins.af.mil

Leavenworth High School drill team seeks members … – Fort Leavenworth Lamp

July 18, 2014 in Scoop.it

Leavenworth High School drill team seeks members …
Fort Leavenworth Lamp
Team members arrive at the high school as early as 3 a.m.

Source: www.ftleavenworthlamp.com

Elkin JROTC cadets return from camp – Elkin Jonesville Tribune

July 18, 2014 in Scoop.it

Elkin JROTC cadets return from camp
Elkin Jonesville Tribune
After “squaring away” rooms, cadets prepared for physical training, known as PT, then moved into platoon drills.

Source: elkintribune.com

ROTC students shape Penn State experience while learning leadership skills – Penn State News

July 18, 2014 in Scoop.it

ROTC students shape Penn State experience while learning leadership skills Penn State News Besides her official duties, Ernst also has become involved in ROTC student groups like the Honor Guard drill team, and she’s currently the president of…

Source: news.psu.edu

The Rocky Mount Telegram

July 17, 2014 in Scoop.it

North Edgecombe High School JROTC is known for producing excellent cadet leaders. This year proved to be no exception.

For the past eight years, NE JROTC has trained cadets to achieve and excel when given the opportunity to do so.

At Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge Camp, held at Fort A.P. Hill in Bowling Green, Va., four Warrior cadets continued the success. More than 700 cadets from five states and 28 high schools participated the Annual Summer Leadership Challenge.

Cadet Maj. Kaylah Thorne, Cadet Capt. Derrick Downing, Cadet Lt. Col. Ja’Quarius Battle and Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Qa’lexus Taylor represented North Edgecombe at the camp.

“The camp is where all cadets get to do three things: develop and tone their leadership skills, demonstrate the skills they have already developed, and build their confidence and competence in leadership. The end result is cadets become better students, leaders, and better citizens,” said Maj. Melvin Davis, senior army instructor at North Edgecombe High School JROTC.

JCLC places Cadets in different leadership positions as they successfully accomplish numerous tasks in difficult circumstances and situations. Up at 5:00 a.m. each day, the cadets train and compete in Academic Challenge, Land Navigation and Map Reading, Confidence and Obstacle Courses, First Aid Training, Leadership Reaction Course Skills, Ceremonial Drill, Athletic Skills Events, Physical Fitness, Ropes and Knot tying, Drown Proofing and rappeling from a 70-foot tower.

Thorne, a rising senior attending for the second year, was the winner of the first-ever Master Cadet Honor Award. This award is given to the best overall cadets who reach mastery in all 15 categories.

“Having the opportunity to go to camp is an amazing feeling,” Thorne said. “Then to cap it off with winning this award is just great. It means I stood out above all my peers before and during camp, and the instructors saw something in me. I’m glad they did, and I’m glad I won. I only wish my mom and grandma could have been there to see me get the award, cause I missed them while at camp.”

She is planning to compete for a U.S. Military Academy at West Point scholarship in the upcoming school year. She is the daughter of Rhonda Thorne and granddaughter of Mary Smith.

Battle was the winner of a Distinguished Honor Cadet Award for achieving the highest rating in his company out of 159 other cadets.

“Being able to go to camp this year meant a lot to me, I feel that I had improved in my leadership and this award confirms that for me,” Battle said. “Winning Distinguished Cadet fisrt place makes me feel proud, and ready for the upcoming school year. I worked hard this year and the hard work paid off. I know my parents are really going to be proud of me.”

He plans to join the U.S. Army after graduation and go on to become an Army officer after college. He is the son of Bonita Battle and Leroy Moss.

When you look at Taylor you see the gleam and the glow in her face. She carries herself confidently as she walks. Less than 5 feet tall, she is tough for her size, she proclaimed with a smile,

“This accomplishment rewards my hard work and dedication and is so over-whelming,” Taylor said. “It means I achieved all the standards and excelled at them. hey (standards) tested me to the max, everything from teamwork, obstacle courses, the rappel tower, different leadership positions and getting up early, going to be late, wow!, what a week. This has overall helped my confidence in moving to be a better leader. I am glad for this opportunity and ready for my final year in high school.”

Taylor”s plans are to compete for a four-year ROTC scholarship, attend East Carolina University in pursuit of a nurse practitioner career. She is the daughter of Pricilla Charles.

Downing was in for quite a surprise. As a first year cadet, it seems nearly impossible to make up the ground which his classmates had journeyed across. But to his surprise and his Instructors, he achieved a great feat. His drill squad took first place in the Drill Competition out of 48 squads.

“I first had to compete against everyone in my squad totaling 12 cadets,” Downing said. “ After that we had to march and practice, over and over again. Every free minute, which weren’t many, we had to march and practice. This award tells me that all that marching paid off. To win the best squad out of 48 wasn’t easy, but to stand here today is a great feeling. To just get to go to camp show I had leadership potential, others didn’t have. Winning means a lot. It means I went above and beyond the call of duty and it paid off.

“My parents strongly uphold the quote about being the leader and not the follower. I know they will be surprised and pleased. I can surely say that without my parents I wouldn’t be the leader that I am today.”

Downing also plans to compete for a four-year ROTC scholarship, attend Campbell University and pursue Nursing. He is the son of Martha Jones and Lonnie Hendricks.

Source: www.rockymounttelegram.com

Mount Dora Junior ROTC cadets visit nation’s capital – Orlando Sentinel

July 17, 2014 in Scoop.it

Mount Dora Junior ROTC cadets visit nation’s capital
Orlando Sentinel
In addition, cadets enjoyed a performance by the Army Old Guard Drill Team and Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. … The Lake Hills School advisory council will meet at 10 a.m.

Source: www.orlandosentinel.com

DrillMaster’s Honor Guard Training Page on Squidoo

July 16, 2014 in Scoop.it

Police, firefighter, EMS, military honor guard units require training and that training needs to teach all ceremony fine details: funeral, memorial service, casket watch, colors posting/presentation and parades. The DrillMaster offers mobile training- he c…

Source: www.squidoo.com

DrillMaster’s Exhibition Drill Equipment Article on Squidoo

July 16, 2014 in Scoop.it

It’s totally up to you. No matter what rifle you choose, it will be the best one for you if you know how to use it to its maximum effect. In this article we will look at rifles, swords, sabers, the guidon and even flags that are used in military drill…

Source: www.squidoo.com

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