HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah —
Airmen at Hill and three other bases gathered here Aug. 20-29 to learn how to perform an active-duty funeral service.
Twenty honor guard members from Hill, Nellis, Mountain Home and F. E. Warren Air Force Bases sent its newest members to train with the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Mobile Team.
Throughout the year, the Air Force team travels from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., to installations all over the globe teaching base honor guards how to perform ceremonial honors.
“Active-duty funeral training is important because it encompasses all duties required of the honor guard,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Vadnais, Hill Air Force Base Honor Guard NCO in charge. “All other funeral honors are modified from the active-duty sequence.”
A detail of two can perform funeral honors, but the full-honors service for a fallen active-duty member requires a 20-member team performing firing party, pallbearer and color team duties.
The Class 5 Basic Protocol, Honors and Ceremonies Course also included instruction on maintenance and wear of the ceremonial uniform, military customs and courtesies, dress and appearance, and drill and ceremony.
The Air Force Honor Guard sends a team to train base honor guards on an average of once a month, said Staff Sgt. Amanda Gibb, mobile training team member.
“Ultimately, this training ensures standardization across the Air Force and enables base honor guards to complete their congressionally mandated mission,” said Vadnais.
The mission of the honor guard is to represent the Air Force during military funeral honors and ceremonial functions. It also provides ceremonial support for Air Force ceremonies and civic events.
The training conducted by the Air Force team allows for new honor guard members to become proficient in their duties at an accelerated rate, said Vadnais.
Airman 1st Class Taylor Saunders, assigned to 388th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, began her first weeks of honor guard commitment at this training.
“I know what elements I need to perfect and it was good to get this training right of the bat,” said Saunders.
The volunteer ranks of Hill’s ceremonial guardsman support funeral requests across a 169,000 square mile area across Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada.
Volunteers for honor guard duty come from Hill AFB’s active duty and Reserve Airmen. Active duty members serve rotations of two weeks on duty and four weeks back at their units for the duration of a year. Reservists serve on a contract for 179 days.
Airmen interested in serving on Hill’s honor guard can call team at
801-777-3967 or email at: