Duty, honor, commitment: Vandenberg's Honor Guard

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Steve Bauer
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
Every organization on an installation serves a purpose and contributes to the overall mission of the Air Force. However, there is one flight that stands out from the crowd when it comes to military bearing and professional image. This group is Vandenberg's Honor Guard.

The honor guard selectively takes volunteers from units around the base that they feel strongly represent the Air Force's image. Individuals must reflect the core values of the Air Force: Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.

The honor guard is responsible for supporting events and ceremonies put on by the Air Force. Their primary responsibility is funeral honors, paying the final respects to our fallen servicemembers.

"My favorite aspect is providing funeral honors," said Master Sgt. Daniel Fernandez, the NCO-in charge of Vandenberg's Honor Guard. "Out of all the different events we support, I take the most pride in providing military funeral honors for our fallen Airmen; what a privilege to present the flag of the United States on behalf of the President, the Air Force, and a grateful nation!"

There are other events around the Air Force that the honor guard is involved with. They support POW/MIA, retirement and change of command ceremonies. They also participates in community events such as parades, weddings and sporting events.

"The entire team strives for excellence at every duty detail we are involved in," said Senior Airmen Jose Porras, this month's Honor Guard Airman of the Quarter from the 30th Operations Group. "As long as we present a positive appearance for the family of a fallen Airman, a retiree ceremony, or any of the details we do, then we have done our job."

Ceremonial Guardsmen are known for being precise in all aspects of their duty. From flawless uniforms to strict movements in and out of formation, the Guardsmen have to be skilled professionals. However, People who wish to be a part of the honor guard should not get discouraged, Airman Porras said.

"After you have been through the practices and details, the duty of the Guardsman will all start to become more natural after a while," he said.

Representing every member of the Air Force, past and present, is a very rewarding position to be in, Airman Porras said.

Other than being a part of such an elite group, there are additional benefits that go along with the membership. These benefits include leadership and travel opportunities. Members get base-wide recognition and are actively involved in the community.

Members also may even get a chance to perform at professional sporting events. One of the most rewarding aspects is Representing every member of the Air Force, past and present, Airman Porras said.

"We welcome walk-ins to come visit our practices," Sergeant Fernandez said. "This is a great chance for Airmen to show us what they can offer the team or the Airman can just sit back and watch us as we give them a crash course into what the honor guard does."

Airmen interested in seeing what it takes to be a part of Vandenberg's Honor Guard can watch the team on Tuesday in Bldg 7420 from 7 to 10 a.m. For more information about becoming a Ceremonial Guardsman, call 606-3654.