Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Ceremonies and formations: Time-honored traditions

Members of the High Frontier Honor Guard post the colors during a ribbon-cutting ceremony  Aug. 26 to officially open the first-ever base housing here.

Members of the High Frontier Honor Guard post the colors during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 26 to officially open the first-ever base housing here.

Commentary by Maj. Thomas Smicklas

50th Comptroller Squadron commander

I recently attended a master sergeant’s retirement, a career civil service employees retirement, an Airman Leadership School graduation, a retreat ceremony, NCO and senior NCO inductions and a First Term Airman Center graduation, to name a few. I distinguish these formations from other meetings, discussions and conferences because they are ceremonies, not just ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill events. They honor extremely significant accomplishments, items of national interest and all the hard work that each of you do to make Schriever Air Force Base so successful.

Ceremonies and military formations have always been important to me. A ceremony serves as an act of respect and courtesy. Our retreat ceremony, in particular, provided just the right environment to both pay respect to those that serve and to personally reflect on the things in life that are important. Both the NCO and SNCO inductions provided opportunities to show respect and courtesy to those being honored. It provided a forum that enabled close friends, family and co-workers to stop everything for one brief moment and concentrate on the big picture. They were there to show support and congratulate their friend, mentor, co-worker or family member.

By listening to the speaker, standing when asked, and quietly observing the ceremony, you are paying respect to both the individual and to our Air Force. It’s your way of saying I appreciate what you did and thank you for working so hard to make a difference.

The Air Force has many different types of ceremonies that are unique customs of our military profession. Retreats, decorations, changes of command, promotions, re-enlistments and retirements are just a few of the ceremonies that you will attend throughout your service to our country. Not only is it a way to say thank you, but it gives you an opportunity to reflect on your service and your commitment to the Air Force and our nation. It’s a shot of adrenaline that no other forum can provide.

The High Frontier Honor Guard is quite often at these ceremonies representing our heritage as a military service, our devotion to duty and our collective willingness to give our lives in defense of freedom and this great nation. The honor guard only accepts Airmen that demonstrate an overwhelming sense of pride, strive to do the right thing and love to take care of people. Airman 1st Class Evan Poster, 50th Comptroller Squadron, recently returned from a four-month detail with this elite team and did a superb job with an outstanding group of young men and women that truly represent the incredible fighting power of Schriever. What a team! What a cause! What an unprecedented group! It’s what makes Schriever so great! When the National Anthem plays or any time you are called to attention, I urge you roll your shoulders back, stand proud, be proud to be here and proud to serve your nation. Take advantage of this unique time in your lives; don’t let it pass you by.

You are serving your nation because you know, especially as we fight the War on Terrorism and various other overseas contingency operations that it needs you and your abilities. It needs you to serve with honor and to provide support to everyone else serving with you. We are a team and there is no better way to show support than attending these important functions. Take it upon yourself to lead by example and take the time to support each other; not only because it’s important, but because it’s the right thing to do.

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