The history of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary District 11 NR Honor Guard is one of patriotism, dedication, support and fellowship. We have strived to be professional, diverse, inclusive, and a true asset to those we serve.
Our Honor Guard history began in August 2011 when Nick Tarlson inquired if there were members who were interested in forming a District Honor Guard to present at the initial dedication of the Auxiliary Memorial on Coast Guard Island in November 2011. Several members volunteered. Some with prior military experience and some without. A few with Honor Guard training and most without.
The team trained for several months on weekends before the event and spent quite a bit of time in conversation with our counterparts in District 11 SR as well as with the United States Coast Guard Ceremonial Team. We received permission from DIRAUX Chareonsuphiphat, OTO Danny Kilberger and Commodore Perata as well as support from the Ceremonial team to wear an Honor Guard uniform (Service Dress Blue Uniform with a shoulder cord and device) primarily modeled after the Ceremonial team.
After the successful initial event, the team opted to stay together and received authorization from the DIRAUX , OTO and Commodore to do so. The next four months were spent networking with other Honor Guards and extensive collaborations with the Ceremonial team as well as Coast Guard Island's Base Honor Guard to develop a respectful and credible Honor Guard. We reviewed numerous areas related to Honor Guard development including attire and aligned ourselves as much as possible with the high standards of the USCG Ceremonial team who offered tremendous support and guidance.
Subsequently, we collectively collaborated and developed a list of requirements for Honor Guard members, a structure which included an elected Captain and Chief, a creed, a performance Qualification Standard which includes both written and performance based assessments/requirements, a powerpoint, a challenge coin, a website (cghg.weebly.com), training and tasking schedules, a code of conduct, grooming specifics and uniform guidelines which include an approved and reasonably priced device from a reputable firm and cord which adheres as much as possible with the Ceremonial team uniform.
Our Honor Guard had been granted permission to train with Ceremonial team in Alexandria Virginia when they came out west to commission the USCGC Stratton in March 2012. The ceremonial team graciously extended their stay three additional days to train our group. Joining us in that training was the Coast Guard Island Base Honor Guard Team.
Aside from the initial sanction of our group from DIRAUX, the OTO and the District Commodore, we have currently received support/sanction/authorization from all D11 NR DIRAUX, (Chareonsuphiphat, Sumrok and Lynn), OTOs (Kilberger, James and Lavelle) and Commodores (Perata, Collins, Thomas and Smith) since 2011. After submitting our PQS to the USCG Ceremonial team, training with them and soliciting their support in our development, LT Qureshi of the Ceremonial team recommended and approved our wearing of the device and the rope as well as our positional titles.
Since our inception we have participated in numerous events including many professional sporting events, changes of watch, District Training's, funerals, memorials, joint taskings, parades, ship christenings, harbor ceremonies, birthdays, retirements, training events, etc. Every tasking and presentation is a privilege and an honor for our members to participate in. The opportunity to offer solace and comfort when participating at funerals and memorials is priceless and touches all who are involved.
We have participated in many notable taskings; Among them have been marching in the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and leading the Ceremonial Team; presenting at a private function for the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard; presenting at a ceremony for the most decorated Air Squadron from the Vietnam War and honoring a fellow shipmate who turned 100 years young.
Commander Williamson (retired USCG) ) has thirty years of Honor Guard experience and joined our ranks three years ago. Commander Williamson is our Honor Guard Chief and is also an adviser/trainer. He was the first recipient of our Douglas Munro Award. Our second Douglas Munro award winner is the Honorable Chester Bartalini who is now serving as the Honor Guard Captain.
Many individuals and organizations have been instrumental in our development and have been very supportive of our Honor Guard. We serve at the discretion of our leadership and strive to be Honorable and live up to the expectations of our Honor Guard Creed. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude and salute all who have offered their support and guidance.