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Eielson welcomes newest base honor guard members
Members of the base honor guard team perform a mock military funeral with honors Feb. 7, 2014, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Twelve new members completed 40 hours of training which included pall bearing, firing team, colors, proper wear of the ceremonial dress and the importance of military customs and courtesies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Turner/Released)
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Eielson welcomes newest base honor guard members

Posted 2/11/2014   Updated 2/11/2014 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

2/11/2014 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Eielson recently welcomed 12 new members to the base honor guard team during a graduation ceremony held at the Baker Field House Feb. 7.

More than 100 Icemen including family members, friends and base leaders watched the class of 2014 perform a mock military funeral with honors.

"Thanks everyone for being here today honoring all the time and hard work these folks have put in," said Col. Larry Rice, 354th Mission Support Group commander. "Obviously it's a big time commitment for these folks to dedicate to the honor guard and I think they did a great job and looked really sharp."

Rice encouraged the Airmen to continue to do well during their time in honor guard and remember why it is so important to be the best.

"You represent all Airmen, past, present and future, so I hope you keep that in mind when you do these ceremonies," said Rice. "I've gone to ceremonies and I've seen the families. They're very grateful for the sharp professional Airmen and may not recognize individuals by name, but they always recognize the honor guard team and you are a direct reflection on each of us."

New members participated in a 40-hour training session which included pall bearing, firing team, colors, proper wear of the ceremonial dress and the importance of military customs and courtesies.

"I'm looking for Airmen who are professional, pay attention to detail and can represent the Air Force in the community as the face of Eielson," said Staff Sgt. Paul Davis, 354th Force Support Squadron NCO in charge of honor guard. "If you're looking for the opportunity to be an ambassador to the community and honor the fallen, then I encourage you to join honor guard."

Four trainers already educated with the honor guard, assisted Davis in teaching the new members and encouraged their new comrades to do their best.

"The new members performed great and my advice to them is to continue to work hard and stay disciplined," said Airman 1st Class Joshua Feekes, 354th Maintenance Squadron munitions stockpile manager and honor guardsman. "If you take this serious and understand that the movements will get easier with the dedication, you will succeed."

Every member devoted their time and all had a unique reason as to why they joined honor guard.

Airmen generally serve one year in the base honor guard, in addition to their regular Air Force career field duties.

"My grandfather passed away a few years ago and during his military funeral an honor guardsman handed me the folded flag," said Airman 1st Class Thomas Black, 354th Communications Squadron network infrastructure technician and honor guardsman. "Realizing that I could be the first or the last time a family will see the military makes me want to represent the Air Force in the best way and make us look as good as possible."

Although this is an annual training, Icemen interested in being an honor guardsman can join throughout the year by getting approval from their supervisor, first sergeant and commander. For more information, contact Davis at 377-4370.

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