Sharp, crisp and motionless by choice

by Staff Sgt. Matthew B. Fredericks
18th Wing Public Affairs

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The training went through the basics of drill, rifle and flag movements, colors and a bearing check.

The honor guard is an all-volunteer duty demanding a one-year commitment to the team, and that comes with a lot of extra hours explained 2nd Lt. Hunter Brooks, 18th Wing Kadena Honor Guard office-in-charge.

“Volunteering with the honor guard helps members make themselves always strive and commit to or for perfection,” said Brooks, regarding the quality of Airmen joining the program.

The honor guard is about more than ceremonies and looking sharp though, it’s about representing the best of the Air Force and honoring the flag, explained Brooks.

“It feels good to represent the Air Force in a positive light,” said new honor guard member Staff Sgt. Amanda Gilpin, 18th Security Forces Squadron unit deployment manager. “I’m really proud to represent my unit.”

The new members will continue training to learn and reinforce skills needed for ceremonies, knowledge of procedures and proper wear of uniforms. In addition to time required of them for requested ceremonies, the honor guard members dedicate countless hours outside of their primary jobs, striving to perfect these new skills.

“These volunteers are part of a big overall message of promoting Air Force heritage,” explained Brooks.

The Kadena Honor Guard is about the desire to better oneself and honor those that deserve recognition. When called to do so, the honor guard also conducts dignified transferred in the event that a service member dies on the island.

“I know when we lost someone last year, when the honor guard did the dignified transfer, that meant a lot to our unit, and to me,” said Gilpin. “I think what they represent is really awesome; I want to be a part of that.”

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