How to plan and coordinate a Color Guard Event

DrillMasterColor Guard/Color Team, Commentary, Guest Post, Instructional 2 Comments

Today, DrillMaster has a guest author!

Hello fellow drill mates,

3-07 CAP Color Guard Comp_ 006This article will talk about the steps to planning and coordinating a Color Guard event! To give you a little bit of information about myself, I am Alex Pantaleo, a Cadet 2nd Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol. I have attended the Pennsylvania Wing Honor Guard Academy in 2013, then staffed it in 2014. Out of CAP I am a sophomore at Freedom High School, and a student athlete. My goals are to attend West Point and become an Infantry Officer. Enough about me let us get to the article!

Step 1:

Pick a Venue

Pick a venue that suits your needs, I tend to look for events, such as sporting events, where I can recruit new members. I tend to look for events that some of our other members can go to and participate in. While the color guard is presenting the colors, the other cadets can help with the recruiting table. Those are some things to look for when selecting a venue.

Step 2:

Call the venue with help from senior members or higher-ranking cadets

After you have picked your venue, let us say a minor league baseball game, you must contact the special events coordinator. Ask if there are any dates open to present the colors for the National Anthem, and possibly set up a recruiting table somewhere in the park, or just contact another venue. Always remember to give yourself enough time to prepare when picking a date!

Step 3:

Get your color guard together and properly train them.

When contacting a special events coordinator and getting the “OK,” ensure your color guard is already fully trained since you never know what kind of lead-time you will have. The team must follow your service’s drill and ceremonies manual.

Step 4:

Contact the special events coordinator the day before the event

This is to confirm that you are still doing the event and to show that you are responsible. Check to make sure all uniforms and equipment are ready to go. Having a checklist will help the team to not forget a thing.

Step 5:

Arrive 1 hour early the day of the event.

It’s the big day, get to the venue at least an hour early to meet with the coordinator and get “Show Ready,” as I call it. The coordinator should show you a very important aspect of your day, the terrain; where you will start, if there are any low-clearance areas, the spot to where the team will march and to where the team will return, if different. Double-check uniforms and equipment; practice it once or twice as early as possible so the public sees your performance and not the rehearsal. Change into your full uniforms and at ten minutes prior to performing, line up out of the way at Parade Rest. You could also get to the venue a day early, with permission from the events coordinator, to practice.

Step 6:

Perform the event

It’s showtime! You are fully trained and have practiced so call commands loudly and correctly and perform all movements sharp and crisp; be safe and have fun!

Step 7:

Just after the performance,

Thank the event coordinator in person, and help your cadets with the recruiting table.

Step 8:

Perform an After Action Report/Hot Wash with Senior Members or higher-ranking cadets.

Even if it you just talk about the event and how you could improve on it, this is just to ensure that you do not repeat any mistakes!

Thank you all for reading and I hope this can help you better plan your next color guard event!

Comments 2

    1. Post


      Yes. All services are authorized to carry the national with just two guards. This then applies to veteran organizations, cadet programs, first responders, explorers, and scouts.

      Please read here:

      Army –

      MC/N/CG –

      AF/SF –


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