What’s Wrong with this POW/MIA Table Picture?

DrillMaster Commentary, Honor Guard Training, Instructional 6 Comments

What’s Wrong with this POW/MIA Table Picture?

Several organizations/pages across Facebook have posted this as a way to bring attention to POW/MIA Day this September and, unfortunately, whoever setup and took this picture had very little knowledge of what the setup should have looked like. The table setup is spelled out in the POW/MIA Ceremony script, here. Colors information, while a little harder to find, could have been obtained from ANY military honor guard member in the Washington D.C. area or most likely any military installation around the world. Ignorance of the standards is no excuse.

This picture is just one of the several I have seen.

POW-MIA Table Bad Setup

POW-MIA Table Bad Setup

Quite a bit, and here we go.

The posted colors:

1. The fringe of a posted color is ALWAYS to the right.2. The POW/MIA flag’s fringe should have been gold, to match the National color.

The POW/MIA Table: (where do I start?)

1. There are two types of POW/MIA tables: the single setting and the Five Service Hat Table. Note that that I did not write “Four Service,” because there are five military services.
2. The script, mentioned above, says nothing of having a salt shaker on the table.
3. The script also says nothing of having a set of dog tags on the table.
4. The script mentions a “slice of lemon,” not a wedge and certainly not more than one!5. Usually, there is only one small plate, mentioned in the script with the slice of lemon on it.
6. The service covers are usually put in place of the plates (picture design is understood here in this instance).
7. Nowhere does the script say a mound of salt is poured onto the plate, and again, definitely not several mounds. There is supposed to be a “pinch of salt.”
8. Where is the Bible? Don’t give me that political correctness garbage, the script mentions a Bible. Period. A Bible with Psalm 91, the protection psalm, marked, would be quite appropriate as well.

Either stick with the League of Families POW/MIA Ceremony script, the standard for decades now, or don’t setup the table at all.

Comments 6

  1. At my American Legion Post, I say the American Flag is the only Flag on the staff when the flag is at half staff! The POW-MIA flag is removed. Am I correct, or full of hot air.

    Thank you
    Charles Brunette

    1. Post

      Hello Mr. Brunette,

      Thank for the comment and your service.

      There is no official guidance on this issue, specifically.

      You are not right or wrong. Sorry that I cannot give you a definite answer, but your thinking is right- render respect!

  2. Drillmaster

    I have the honor of beening on the AMVETS honor guard. We had a funeral the other day with two retired Militery persons.
    The two Militery porsonal were Air Force, as the car’s were pulling up it came over our radio that we had two earns with two burial flags. Never had this happen before. Two people to fold the two flag! We had just did a funeral and only had five rounds left, we could do one but not two without reloading, do we play taps twice?

    1. Post

      Mr Brunette,

      Thank you for your continued service. It is very much appreciated.

      If there are two urns, two flag folds, one for each family, both at the same time is what is called for. However, in this case, the two Airmen had to move from one to another. Adapt, improvise and overcome.

      For the firing party, one Three-Volley Salute is appropriate. I have an article that explains the firing of this salute.

      Likewise, Taps played once is sufficient, twice is unnecessary.

      Thank you for your question, sir. All the best to you and your team, you perform a valuable service.

    1. Post

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