A tradition honored over time

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Eric Summers
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The Honor Guard is a tradition and detail that is held highly in the U.S. Air Force.

"As an Honor Guard member you may render arms for retirees and veterans, participate in flag folding, give honors to funerals, but you are more likely to be tasked with present colors and cordon for weddings, a retreat or anything else that may require a posting or presenting of colors," said Staff Sgt. Susanne Lindsey, Yokota Air Base Honor Guard commander.

These events are done by Airmen who have a 13-month commitment to Honor Guard.

"A 13-month commitment is required to join Honor Guard here," said Sergeant Lindsey "There are 30 days of training, depending on how fast the person learns, and a one year commitment to detail."

Before being eligible to sign up for the 13-month commitment Airmen must go through a five-day seminar to see how fast they can progress.

"For four days a person would train learning the basics and on the fifth day they are evaluated to see if they made enough progress," said Sergeant Lindsey

Details that members participate in after joining consist of ceremonies, change of commands, presentation of colors, retreats and other events. After 32 details a person may be awarded an achievement medal during his permanent change of station.

"This is one of the single most important and rewarding details I feel that a person can do," said Staff Sgt. Raul Sauceda, Honor Guard vice commander. "Doing ceremonies such as retirements and retreats show part of our customs and courtesies that are sometimes forgotten over time in the Air Force."

Honor Guard practices once a week except the fourth week in a month when they have all-day practices.

The Honor Guard is always looking for new members.

"We encourage motivated, committed people to come out and try," said Sergeant Lindsey.