Geared more toward honor guard units, but cadets can also use this information. With apologies to William Shakespeare…
Color teams have a choice, based on ceremony location, size of the area (room or outside area), size of the audience, and time limit, as to whether the team should “Show-n-Go” or post.
Equipment needed: two sets of colors, floor stands, harnesses and weapons. Either the team brings two sets of colors, or the organization (City Hall, for instance) already has a set pre-posted. That means, the team arrives and hour early, practices a couple times, dresses, and 10 minutes before performance time forms up at Ceremonial at Ease, and, on the cue from the announcer, comes to Attention and Port or Right Shoulder (depending), moves to center, faces the audience, presents the colors, the National Anthem plays or the Pledge of Allegiance is recited, the team assumes Port and departs. That’s it.
See also – All About Posting or Presenting the Colors
Port or Right Shoulder/Carry? It depends on how high the height of the ceiling and if there is adequate room between the front row of the audience and the color team.
More colors pre-posted than presenting? Sometimes this will happen- you present the American and state flags, but the pre-posted flags include several more. You really should present all of the colors that are pre-posted as the standard however, every situation is different and sometimes you just have to play it by ear.
Posting The Colors
Equipment needed: a single set of colors, harnesses and weapons. The same sequence as above, except that after the presentation, the team executes Port, color bearers turn and post the colors in the stands, reform with the guards and the team departs.
More colors pre-posted than presenting? Hopefully, this will happen very seldom- you present the American and state flags, but there is one or two more pre-posted flags. You really should post all colors without any others being pre-posted. Again, every situation is different and sometimes you just have to play it by ear.
Formal Retrieval of the Colors
Only accomplished on very formal occasions. This is reserved for extremely formal occasions. You reverse the posting procedure. When the colors are only presented and not posted, they are not presented again at the close of a ceremony. If the ceremony is formal enough, you will have posted the colors.