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:
A precision drill team
A parade unit
A color guard
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
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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