Established in 1931, The Navy
Ceremonial Guard Is the Official Honor Guard of the United States Navy, With the Primary Mission of Representing the Navy in Presidential, Joint Armed Services, Navy And Public Ceremonies In The Nation’s Capital, Across The Country And Around The World.
The Ceremonial Guard is comprised of approximately 200 junior Navy enlisted men and women. Guardsmen are hand selected from the Navy’s Great Lakes Recruiting Command based on stringent physical and ethical standards. Only the tallest (a minimum 6'0" for men and 5'10" for females), fittest and most motivated seamen recruits are picked to serve alongside the Navy’s finest junior sailors.
Upon reporting to the command, guard recruits embark on an intensive 10 week training program, which is designed to test their resolve, commitment, and endurance. Guardsmen are trained to maintain stoic, motionless military tightness for extended periods of time, so that they will be prepared to hold their bearing through the entirety of the longest of Military Ceremonies. Only the strongest willed sailors persevere. They are trained in the areas of rifle drill manual and marching as well as the daily labor of maintaining the rigorous physical and uniform standards demanded of Ceremonial Guardsmen. Guardsmen and trainees alike spend hours every day pressing their uniforms and shining their shoes and belt brass. Meticulous inspections are performed prior to every ceremony. Once recruits graduate training and become Ceremonial Guardsmen, they are required to join one of the Guard’s specialized platoons, including the Ceremonial Drill Team, Color Guard, Firing Party, and Casket Bearer Platoons.
Guardsmen perform in a myriad of high visibility Navy and Joint Service Ceremonies. Navy elements have marched in Presidential Inauguration Parades, State Funeral Processions, and numerous annual celebrations. Full Honors Presidential Arrivals at the White House, Navy and Joint Service Wreath Laying Ceremonies at the Navy Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and Chief of Naval Operations Arrivals at the Washington Navy Yard are among the many events that the Ceremonial Guard executes routinely with unparalleled military bearing and accuracy. The Guard’s most somber duty is the delivering of funeral honors at every Navy funeral service conducted in Arlington National Cemetery. This honor is performed by the Guard’s casket bearers, firing party and marching elements on a daily basis and over twenty times every week.
The Navy Ceremonial Guard is the face of the Navy and publicly personifies our Navy core values, maintaining the highest standards of personal and professional conduct. These young sailors represent the best and brightest of today as well as the future leaders of the Navy.