By Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Standing in front of the family of a fallen hero, a retirement, a community event or a sports stadium — different venues with the common objective to display the American and Air Force flags with precision.
The High Frontier Honor Guard graduates 45 Airmen a year to become ceremonial guardsmen. Selected Airmen go through two weeks of training in procedure and physical training to become an elite team to represent Air Force excellence.
“Once you graduate you hold a title that can never be taken from you; there is a responsibility that you carry to act accordingly and carry yourself as if you are the best of the best,” said Master Sgt. Michael Bishop, High Frontier Honor Guard superintendent. “Being able to be the final send off for military members either through retirement or in remembrance is a great honor and something that I don’t take lightly.”
For the High Frontier Honor Guard, Airmen will get to step away from their jobs for approximately four and a half months to constantly train, excel in all their tasks and then train the next unit to fill their shoes. Their normal days consist of intense physical training, rehearsing for their tasks then executing their tasks with precision and confidence.
“Being a ceremonial guardsman, we are supposed to be faceless and move as a team in unison, to provide the last rights for the fallen hero, veteran, retiree, and be the person who hands the flag to the wife or child. That’s something that I’ve never experienced before,” said Airman 1st Class Rosemary Gudex, a member of the High Frontier Honor Guard. “The first experience at a funeral (was difficult) because the family members are crying and you’re not allowed to cry, so you present the flag and deliver the speech. Then once we get back to the van all the emotions hit you.”
Without the Honor Guard, there wouldn’t be a readily-available team of sharp Airmen presenting and honoring the American and service flags during sports games or community events. No one would be there to honor a retiree and their families for making the sacrifice to their country, or for those who have fallen, no one would be there to recognize and honor the fallen hero.
The ceremonial guardsmen come from units all over Team Pete and Schriever AFB with different levels of military and life experience, and come together as one team. Within the team, the members will be assigned an additional duty that will help keep the team on point and organized with their trainings and tasks.
To become a ceremonial guardsman with the High Frontier Honor Guard, inform your supervisor so when manning requests come up your leadership will already have your name, said Bishop.
“Also, keep yourself physically fit. We don’t slack when it comes to fitness and our job requires you to be of sound mind and body,” said Bishop. “Lastly, be ready to experience something that you will never forget. There is almost no other job in the military where you will get a better opportunity to represent the Air Force as a whole and leave a lasting image of our core values.”