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 and around the world.
The Guard is comprised of 200 junior Navy enlisted men and women. Members are hand selected at the Navy’s Great Lakes Recruiting Command based upon stringent physical and ethical standards. Upon reporting to the command, recruits endure an intensive 10-week training program, designed to test their resolve, commitment, and endurance.
Each member is 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. 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. Each graduate joins a specialized platoon, including the Ceremonial Drill Team, Color Guard, Firing Party, or Casket Bearer platoons.
Guardsmen perform in a myriad of high visibility Navy and Joint Service Ceremonies. They participate in presidential inauguration parades, state funeral processions, and a variety of annual celebrations. Additionally, the Guard delivers funeral honors at every Navy funeral service conducted in Arlington National Cemetery. This honor is performed by casket bearers, firing party and marching elements on a daily basis and more than twenty times every week.