Some in the military honor guard world (pick any service you would like) seem to believe that if you have not served on a presidential honor guard, then you are nothing more than a “wanna be.”
In some ways a presidential honor guard is what we might call the “Big League.” It is a chance to do something not too many others have done. After all, only three percent of the American populace have served in the military and a small amount of that three percent have then gone on to serve on their service’s presidential honor guard.
The Air Force has what I think is the best system- with the Army right behind it: The AF Honor Guard squadron at Joint Base Bolling-Anacostia was given control over the training and look of all base honor guard (BHG) units across the Air Force in the early 1990s. Since then, instead of all BHGs doing things slightly differently, they are, mostly, all on the same sheet of music. This lends to the “Big League – Minor League” feeling of the honor guard system which some use to the extreme.
Installation honor guard units from each service and some joint-service teams around the world provide honors at all kinds of events, including countless funerals, day after day. Those “Minor Leagers” (of which I was one for 17 years) have just as an important job as the “Big Leagers.” Those at the installation level may not be in front of heads of state on a daily basis, but they have those kinds of opportunities at times, plus depending on the location of the team, there are some opportunities that the “Big Leagers” may never get.
My hat is off to all who have stepped up to the plate and have ever served on any kind of ceremonial unit whether it is military or civil, with a presidential unit or a deployed location, you are all Big League players.
Semper ad Honorem
“Always for Honor”
See also the article, Your Uniform makes me Uncomfortable.
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