What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word, “detail”? I think of being “voluntold” to mop floors, lawn police, etc. Some law enforcement personnel think of overtime details downtown working a sporting event security or something similar. You possibly thought of something different while reading this. Regardless, we need to stop calling every formation a “detail” as in “Detail, Tench, Hut!”
Yours is a professional ceremonial team and you need to project that at all times not only in what you do, but in what you say. Calling out “Detail” as the preparatory command, which is quite common, is not a word that is usually associated with a professional honor guard unit and I suggest not using it at all especially in public. After all, in the military, members get picked for unpleasant details, jobs that they would rather not do and that word is associated with the members of a detail not wanting to be there. This is not something that we want to project to VIPs or even the next-of-kin.
Better preparatory commands, as you will read throughout The Honor Guard Manual, are specific:
- “Bearers” for the pall bearers
- “Colors” for the color team
- “Firing Party” for those on the team firing the 3-volley salute
- “Cordon” for those on a cordon
- “Guard” for the honor guard
- “Drill Team” or “Team” for a Drill Team
For downloadable audio examples of how to give commands, click here and scroll down to Honor Guard Commands.