Pride. Poise. Perfection. These are the time honored values of the Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard. These values are the foundation upon which the Honor Guard was formed and are fundamental in training new Honor Guard members. All of the Coast Guard Honor Guard members are selected directly from Training Center Cape May. Current Honor Guard members travel to Cape May each week to educate and recruit the future members of the Honor Guard.
There are several criteria that must be met before a recruit is considered for Honor Guard service. The primary requirement is minimum height: 6 feet for males, 5'8" for females.. This is a general requirement for all Armed Forces Honor Guard members, because it provides uniformity among all five Joint Service platoons. Other criteria considered include the ability to gain a security clearance for White House jobs, any health problems that would prevent long periods of standing or marching, and any visible tattoos and markings.
Once a recruit is selected for the Honor Guard and arrives at TISCOM from Cape May, they begin a rigorous training program. The program is self-paced but is designed to advance the trainees in approximately four weeks. The objectives of training include ceremonial drill, knowledge of Honor Guard job sequences, stamina during extensive ceremonies in excess of two to three hours, and to maintain the ceremonial uniform to the standards of the Honor Guard. While in training, new Honor Guard members are expected to excel in all areas and will remain in training until they do so. Strict standards are placed upon the trainees regarding uniform maintenance, due mainly to the precise uniform regulations that must be upheld by the Ceremonial Honor Guard at all times.
Trainees have uniform inspections every day, sometimes more than once a day, and brass inspection every morning. Trainees are also required to learn ceremonial drill and are evaluated on their progress daily. The training program is led by designated seamen in the Honor Guard and the Training NCO. Once a trainee has excelled in all necessary areas, they are considered for advancement into the Honor Guard. The trainee must perform in a “going up” ceremony, demonstrating poise in front of his/her peers, pride in uniform appearance, perfection in ceremonial drill, and basic knowledge of Honor Guard job sequences. If the trainee is successful in all of these areas, they are honored with the Honor Guard badge and rope as well as accept the Honor Guard Oath. The Honor Guardsman is then inducted in to the Honor Guard way of life, as one of the elite few.
If you were selected to join the ranks of the Ceremonial Honor Guard, then the below links will assist you in your transition. Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with them. If you have any questions that are not answered in the documents below, please contact the Training Petty Officer, YN1 Kyser or phone, (703) 313-5407. Welcome aboard!