Honor Guards in the United States

An honor guard, or ceremonial guard, is a special unit, Police, Fire departments, and EMS in nature and composed of volunteers who are carefully screened for their exceptional strength and skillfulness, as well as their incomparable performance on duty. Only the most exceptional representatives who are highly motivated and maintain superbly high standards of appearance and behavior and show talent for ceremonial duty are likely to be honored with the duties of their particular guard. Special uniforms are designated for the men and women chosen for this special duty. Each branch of uniformed occupation has a special unit, Police, Fire departments, and EMS departments have their own Honor Guard uniform.

A primary role for honor guards in the United States is to provide funeral honors for fallen officers and to represent their professions in special functions. It is most important that in these special roles, officers and other uniformed occupations must look their best. An honor or color guard may also serve as the “guardians of the colors” by displaying and escorting the national flag on ceremonial occasions at official state and local functions. Finally, guards usually provide detachments for review by visiting in the most important and highly visible capacity and therefore must represent the most polished and professional uniforms available. The uniform for these professionals must represent the elite code and conduct of the service they represent.

In the United States, honor guards may serve as ambassadors to the public, presenting a positive image of their service, and assisting with the recruiting effort. Each uniformed service branch has its own guard: special Law Enforcement Units, Police, Fire departments, and EMS departments, all have different uniforms to help discern them from one another. A typical Honor/Color Guard uniform includes, Dress Coats, Dress Pants, Dress Caps, Dress Shoes, Dress Uniform Accessories and Flag Accessories, as well as other specific attributes. Most State Police Units have a ceremonial guard as well. The official guard of every branch is based in their particular profession though nearly every Law Enforcement Unit will have its own honor guard for local ceremonies and events. The units perform numerous ceremonies on behalf of the particular occupation they are representing.

The honor guard, in any profession, is considered a coveted job. Although not used in the actual line of duty, the dress uniforms for the guard must be top quality, reflecting the best of what job they perform. In any case, the honor guards of these professions take their jobs, although ceremonial, very seriously. Therefore, much care must be taken in selecting a well designed, top quality uniform that reflects the seriousness of their job.

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