Joining the Beale Honor Guard

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. William Davis
  • 9th Force Support Squadron
Have you ever wondered about or possibly considered joining the 9th Reconnaissance Wing Honor Guard?

One of the longest lasting traditions of military service is the formal creation, development and continued support of the base ceremonial HG. This all-important inherently military function provides support for highly visibly ceremonies including award ceremonies, changes of command, numerous off base civic events and most importantly, the rendering of final honors for fallen comrades, retirees and military veterans. Yet this list is not all inclusive. HG teams are regularly called upon to provide a professional, patriotic touch to events such as professional sporting events, ribbon cutting ceremonies, distinguished personnel visits and even Air Force wedding cordons.

The HG traces its beginning to May 1948 when Headquarters Command USAF was instructed to develop plans for an elite ceremonial unit comparable to those of the other armed services. As a result, a ceremonial unit was activated within the Air Police Squadron in September 1948 with an authorized strength of 98 enlisted and two officers. However, due to transfers and personnel attrition, the end of the year found the Ceremonial Detachment, for all practical purposes, disbanded. It wasn't until March 1949 that sufficient personnel were assigned to enable the unit to function. The Ceremonial Detachment continued to be assigned to the Air Police Squadron until December 1971. Finally, on January 1, 1972, the HG came into its own as a separate unit. Today's HG is comprised of volunteers who are carefully screened for their ability and physical dexterity. Only those persons who are highly motivated and maintain an exceptionally high standard of appearance, conduct, and aptitude for ceremonial duty are considered.

Our team covers a three state area including California, Nevada and Oregon so duty here is never boring or routine. Volunteers are normally signed up under a 6 month contract and support from the wing has been amazing. Volunteers from across the wing and wing leadership at all levels understand the importance of the HG team, especially here at Team Beale. Besides the obvious distinction of being part of this awesome team, other perks of membership apply too. During the 6 month duty commitment, HG members have reserved parking spots located throughout the base, are exempt from certain details including controlled quarters and bay orderly, are authorized to wear the HG functional badge in service dress and may even qualify for basic allowance for subsistence.

And of course during their tenure, HG members are recognized on a quarterly and annual basis. Finally, at the culmination of each member's tour, ample consideration is given towards presenting that member with an AF decoration for those members who routinely exceed HG standards. So, if you have ever considered that unique special duty experience of a career and even a lifetime, please think about becoming a valued member of the Beale HG team. I promise you, no other duty or experience is this rewarding, enriching and exciting. Team Beale's new HG Superintendent is Master Sgt. Tenell Woods. She can be reached at 634-3346 for any questions or comments. Thank you for your service!