Joint Base Charleston


JB CHS Honor Guard - sharp Airmen wanted

By Airman 1st Class Jared Trimarchi | Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs | June 01, 2011

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- It takes the sharpest, brightest and most dedicated Airmen to represent Joint Base Charleston, the Air Force and the United States of America in ceremonies such as Reveille, Retreat, Colors, retirements, weddings and funerals.

Joint Base Charleston's Honor Guard currently has 23 full-time members ranging from non-commissioned officers to Airmen who work weekends and holidays throughout the tri-state area of South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

"Being part of the Honor Guard is the most rewarding thing I have done during my time in the Air Force," said Senior Airman David Glessing, 628th Force Support Squadron Honor Guard assistant flight leader and originally from the 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "But there are times where it's also the most challenging."

Honor Guard members train Monday through Friday and are available 365 days a year to perform at any given ceremony.

"We seek perfection," Airman Glessing said. "That's why we train over and over again.

"But our work hours are very unpredictable. We have to give up a lot of our free time. But after we perform at a retirement or a funeral, the rewards are always worth the sacrifice."

Senior Airman Steven Williams, the 628th Force Support Squadron Honor Guard flight trainer, originally from the 628th Comptroller Squadron said representing the fallen heroes of our country is an honor.

"We are usually the last military contact the families of the fallen see during a funeral," he said. "We are always thanked for what we do. We don't wear name tags and we don't look razor-sharp for us. We do it because we represent the fallen and the freedoms he or she fought for."

Honor Guard members also take great pride in their volunteer work in the local community.

"We always try to keep involved with the local community," said Airman Glessing. "We volunteer with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and help clean kennels, mow grass and walk dogs.

"We also help promote recruiting by performing Colors at different local events such as RiverDogs and College of Charleston games and holiday parades."

The JB CHS Honor Guard is looking for new members, but before a candidate can become part of the Honor Guard, they must first talk to their first sergeant.

"Coordinate with your first sergeants and your chain of command if you are interested in becoming part of our Honor Guard," Airman Glessing said. "After being accepted, candidates have to complete a two-week training course that covers uniform appearance, basic marching movements, rifle movements and the steps we take to perform each ceremony."

After graduating from the two-week course, Airmen are given a ceremonial dress uniform and a 'cookie,' which is worn on the uniform to represent being part of the Honor Guard. Each Airman must complete at least one rotation which consists of 90 days active Honor Guard service.

"We are looking for sharp and highly motivated Airmen who want to make a difference in people's lives and their community," Airman Glessing said. "I promise, if you join the Honor Guard, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride like no other."

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