MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. (KXNET) — You always hear people say that you need to go above and beyond, but what does that really mean?
According to a news release, people who have joined the Air Force did it to serve their country, but others say that by joining the Honor Guard, you’re doing even more.
The United State Air Force Honor Guard is a duty that is bestowed upon someone who truly exemplifies personal and professional excellence.
No matter what base you’re assigned to, the standard of the Honor Guard remains the same.
The ceremonial guardsmen are made up of Airmen, non-commissioned officers, and officers from the same base who serve in different fields. They must have integrity, a good reputation, and limitless devotion to be part of the Honor Guard legacy.
The Minot Air Force Base Honor Guard Program Manager Technical Sergeant Lance Vandervoort says the most rewarding part of the ceremonies are the funerals.
“Most times, the last military person the family sees at the funeral of their loved ones are the Guardsmen,” Vandervoort stated. “Handing out the flag to the next of kin, the firing party, and the bugler leave such a huge impact on the families.”
The guardsmen’s duty is to perform military honors for those who have served our county, but the responsibility of being noble doesn’t stop when you clock out of work.
They are very involved in the community and do their best to give back.
“We do a lot around the local area such as Minot State football and basketball games, performing at the Nodak Speedway, 4th of July parades, and now we’re recognized whenever we go out,” Vandervoort added.
As program manager, Vandervoort had to attend training to make sure he was properly trained on the movements so that he could teach the Guardsmen.
“We practice every day, and to break up the monotony, we’ll do colors one day, fire party the next, we’ll do pall bearing after that, always doing something,” Vandervoort said.
The application list for Honor Guard is always full, but Vandervoort has some advice for those trying to fulfill the spot.
“Get with your leadership, express that you’re interested in Honor Guard, and work hard,” he said.
When Guardsmen finish serving this special duty, they go back to their assigned duties.
Even if the Airmen finish with the Honor Guard, the Honor Guard is not done with the Airmen.
“When Guardsmen go back to their unit, they’ll notice an increase in their attention to detail, and everyone will treat them as the subject matter expert on uniform codes, regulations, and courtesies,” Vandervoort explained.
If you want to join the Minot Air Force Base Honor Guard, you need to aim high.