Base Honor Guard embodies dignity, respect

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shane M. Phipps
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
For decades base Honor Guards have represented all Airmen to the American public and the world by showcasing their skills at various functions, from funerals to retirement ceremonies.

With a desire to enhance the mission, set the standards, perfect the image and defend the legacy, members of the VAFB Honor Guard aim to exemplify the words integrity and respect.

"We perform a variety of tasks from funerals to presenting the colors at special functions, like Commanders' Calls or Airman Leadership School graduations," said Senior Airman Austin Hoyt, 576th Flight Test Squadron missile handling technician and base Honor Guard member. "As long as we have the appropriate manning, we try to get out and do as much as we can to show our public support to the surrounding area."

Earning the title of Honor Guardsman is achieved through epitomizing Air Force core values and traditions.

"As a member of the Honor Guard, Airmen have the opportunity to truly serve others," said Master Sgt. Toby Farr, installation Honor Guard manager. "It's a very unique assignment, one you can walk away from with great pride. The members of the base Honor Guard work very hard and truly go above and beyond - and for that, I am extremely proud of them."

In addition to multiple unique perks, like periodic free dry cleaning and reserved parking, Honor Guardsmen also have the privilege of saying "good-bye" to their deceased comrades.

"The military is full of traditions that should forever be cherished," said Senior Airman Scott Clark, 30th Comptroller Squadron lead defense travel administrator and base Honor Guard member. "To be able to give that lasting final impression and pass the flag on to a family member during a funeral is extremely rewarding."

Although joining the ranks of this elite group requires time and dedication, the training is conducted in an enjoyable manner.

"Joining the Honor Guard says a lot about someone's character because individuals who are interested want to become better people, not just better Airmen," said Hoyt. "When you first join, you receive a week of initial training but it's in a very family-oriented environment. It's not like Basic Military Training where you're getting yelled at while you learn. It's a positive learning atmosphere."

For most, the time serving on the base Honor Guard leaves a lasting impression not easily forgotten.

"It's really a fantastic experience," said Clark. "It has hands down been the best decision I've made in my military career, and I wish I had joined sooner. We're truly a big family and I know joining the Honor Guard will be the first thing I do at every new base I get assigned to."

For more information, contact the base Honor Guard at 805-606-3654.