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Honor Guard                         Click here to visit the Coast Guard Honor Guard website Click here to visit the Honor Guard website

Honor Guard personnel at a Veteran's Day Wreath-Laying CeremonyThe United States Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard represents the United States Coast Guard through ceremonial operations held before world leaders and dignitaries, and to lay to rest with proper military honors, dignity, and respect the remains of fallen shipmates.  The Honor Guard performs in over 1100 ceremonies annually.

The Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard consists of three separate teams:

The Ceremonial Honor Guard is under the direct control of the Military District of Washington and is loaned to the Coast Guard for special events. The Military District of Washington uses the Ceremonial Honor Guard for White House functions, dignitary visits, state funerals and other high-level, official ceremonial events.

The Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard was established at the request of President John F. Kennedy in 1962.  Prior to that, the Coast Guard Recruit Training Center in Cape May , N.J. , was responsible for supplying a recruit platoon to fulfill Coast Guard commitments in national ceremonies.  This not only proved expensive, but the recruits lacked essential experience and performance skills.  On March 5, 1962, Admiral Alfred C. Richmond, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, established the Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard.  The Honor Guard, then located at the United States Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Md., had 33 original members.  In order to reduce the logistical problems involved in responding to ceremonial tasking in Washington , the Honor Guard moved its base of operations to Coast Guard Radio Station Washington in 1965.  That facility is now known as the Coast Guard Telecommunication and Information Systems Command (TISCOM).  TISCOM is located in Alexandria , Va., and is still home to the Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard. 

The Honor Guard is comprised of 63 members, with a Lieutenant (O-3) serving as the Officer in Charge, two junior officers (usually O-1 or O-2) serving as Operations Officer and Training Officer, a Chief Petty Officer (E-7) as the Honor Guard Chief/Chief Master at Arms, and four Petty Officers (ranging from E-4 to E-6).  The remaining 55 members of the Honor Guard are "first-tour" non-rates (E-3) coming directly out of Training Center Cape May.  The officers and non-rates serve a two year tour of duty in the Honor Guard, while the Chief Petty Officer and Petty Officers serve four year tours.

While official honor guard activities take priority, the units of the Ceremonial Honor Guard are available for some public performances. The sponsor must fund all expenses connected with the appearance, such as transportation, meals, lodging, and promotion efforts.

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Last Modified 1/12/2016