Following the call
By Master Sgt. Stan Coleman , Public Affairs
/ Published November 27, 2007
DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga., --
Honor, duty and patriotism--three of the reasons many military members give for serving their country. The honor guard is one of the many ways the Airmen of the Dobbins Air Reserve Base Honor Guard volunteer to represent the Air Force in the Atlanta area as an additional duty.
"It's been my calling since high school Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps," said Master Sgt. Xavier Sanford, 80th Aerial Port Squadron NCO. "The honor guard gave me the opportunity to lead, perform and train my peers. It is a role I've thrived in."
"I wanted to show my respect through honoring military members who have served before me and who have died for their country," said Tech. Sgt. Lena Tamplin, 94th Mission Support Group administrative specialist. "This duty requires a heart of commitment and respect," said Tech. Sgt. Danny P. Wilson, 80th APS air cargo specialist. "Watching the joint services honor guard perform at President John F. Kennedy's funeral inspired me to join the honor guard. I've been performing with an honor guard since high school."
Each member of the 94th HG have their reasons for representing Dobbins Air Reserve Base and the military at special events, military promotions, retirements, and funerals.
"We perform at more than 350 events annually," said Master Sgt. Bruce See, honor guard superintendent. "Those events total out to more than 150 color guard presentations and more than 200 funerals."
The base honor guard also has three members from the Navy who participate to make up the Joint Service Honor Guard. Honor guard members attend a one-week initial training session.The training involves learning how to stand properly, drill-and-ceremony facing movements that are specific to the Air Force honor guard, two-man and six-man flag folding techniques and color guard routines. The honor guard team is also taught techniques to improve stamina for standing motionless for very long periods.
"The ceremony requirements for funerals differ depending on the status of the individual who has passed; such as if they are on active duty, a retiree or a veteran," said Sergeant See. "For example, if an individual passes while on active duty, the ceremony will require a six-person pallbearer team, a firing-party sequence, a six-person flag fold, an officer to present the flag, taps and the addition of a color guard team. An individual who passes with a veteran status will receive a two-person flag fold and taps. Honor guard rehearsals are four to eight hours per day. The team concept is emphasized in each performance. The goal is to perform each movement and ceremony with flawless precision whether it is the performance of taps, the folding of the flag, the presentation of colors or any other honor guard."
"It's the best job ever," said Staff Sgt. Angela M. Berghult, Information Management specialist at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. "The tenets of our honor guard include maintaining a standard of conduct and a level of professionalism that is above reproach. I am a member of one of the most important teams that the armed forces of the United States offer. 'When civilians see military members in uniform they see their grandfather who fought in World War II. They see their uncle who was a prisoner-of-war or is missing-in-action. In other words, when military members are in uniform, we represent all of our brothers and sisters (past and present)," said Sergeant Berghult.
If you are interested in becoming a member please contact Master Sgt. Bruce See at 678-655-5272 or email him at email@example.com.