Our Mission Statement
The United States Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard serves as the Coast Guard’s center of excellence for military protocol and ceremonial execution. We provide Presidential support duty to the Military District of Washington and the Commandant through ceremonial operations held before world leaders and dignitaries, and to lay to rest, with proper military honors, dignity and respect, the remains of our fallen shipmates.
"Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God"
These words are inscribed on the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery. The Tomb symbolizes those of America who gave their lives in World War I, World War II and the Korean War in defense of the Nation's Integrity, honor and tranquility. Numerous ceremonies are performed annually at the Tomb to honor these soldiers and to show the nation's respect for members of the United States Armed Forces. The most notable of such ceremonies are wreath-laying ceremonies that take place on National Holidays, such as Veteran's Day or Memorial Day, where the President, or his designee, lays a wreath to mark the national observance of that day. Also, held in high esteem are wreath laying ceremonies that occur during foreign dignitary State visits. At these ceremonies, the visiting head of state will pay formal respects to the sacrifice of America's veterans in foreign wars by placing a wreath before the tomb. All ceremonies performed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with the exception of Tomb Guard duty (performed by the Army Honor Guard), are Joint Service functions led by the Military District of Washington. Therefore, the members of the Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard serve as active participants in all Joint Service Ceremonies performed at the tomb, including the highly respected wreath laying ceremonies. During these ceremonies, each of the five Armed Forces (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard) provide Ceremonial Honor Guard personnel to represent their respective service to the public and to the leaders of foreign countries. The Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard strives to prepare its members for these ceremonies through hours of practice in weapons drill, uniform maintenance and military bearing.
"Last To Let You Down"
The rendering of honors at Military Funerals is a way to show the Nation’s deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. The ceremonial paying of respect is the final demonstration that a grateful Nation can provide to the veterans and their families. Some of the most respectable ceremonies that the Ceremonial Honor Guard participates in are military funerals. The Honor Guard performs for deceased Coast Guard members, either active duty or retired, and their dependents. The Honor Guard provides all essential personnel needed to render proper military honors and respect to its fallen shipmates and to their families. The Ceremonial Honor Guard can provide a Colors Team, Casket Team, Firing Party, and Platoon for Military Funerals, depending on the rank of the deceased Coast Guard member. The Colors team has the distinct honor of bearing the National Ensign and the Coast Guard Standard during funeral ceremonies. The Casket Team consists of six members who are responsible for carrying the remains of the deceased and ceremoniously folding the National Ensign, and then presenting it to the next of kin. The Firing Party consists of seven members who render honors through the traditional ceremonial three volleys. The Honor Guard also provides a platoon for certain military funerals. The Honor Guard performs most of its military funerals at Arlington National Cemetery; However, the Honor Guard is also called upon to participate in funerals around the United States for deceased Coast Guard members or their dependants. the Coast Guard Honor Guard also provides support for Armed Forces Full Honors funerals, Head-of-State funerals in honor of deceased Cabinet members, and State funerals for past and present Commanders-In-Chief.