Honor Guard Training

DrillMaster Honor Guard Academy and Honor Guard Clinic for adults as well as cadets!

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I wanted to let you know that thanks to your cadet honor guard training I’ve made the National Guard Honor Guard, I’m on a 2-man funeral team and currently am on my way to my 5th mission. Today I will be presenting the flag to the next-of-kin. During the training, the staff was like, ‘wow, well I guess we can just show you and let you help teach’. My region command and team leader have recommended me to be placed on Active Duty orders! I’m the number one ranked Soldier on the team!
~Marcus, KYNG

Thank you John  for your academies and the Honor Guard Manual. Both have been of great use.
~McAllen Fire Dept. Honor Guard

I heard that you recently connected with Melbourne High School. I passed on our history and informed them that you are the Honor Guard DrillMaster.
~Manny P., SMSgt, USAF

All Articles with the Honor Guard Tag

Your book has helped us immensely!
~Mountain State Honor Guard, WV

Great book. I am a commander for a newly formed Honor Guard for my Fire Dept. in NJ, and this book is helping us out greatly.
~Mark F., Commander, Firefighter Honor Guard, NJ

DrillMaster Honor Guard Training is the only honor guard training based on an established standard: the only published book for honor guard training,
The Honor Guard Manual

The Honor Guard Manual: fire department honor guard manual, police honor guard manual

Honor Guard Training at its Best
Honor guard units need to have a training program that has a solid foundation. This manual helps establish that, or gives you an added boost to your program. The Honor Guard Manual comes in several versions. This is the only complete honor guard manual available.

What does the manual contain? In a word, everything. For example:

  • Standing Manual
  • Manual of Arms (rifle: M1, M14, M1903)
  • Manual of the Firefighter’s Ceremonial Pike Pole
  • Manual of the Firefighter’s Ceremonial Fire Axe
  • Manual of the Flagstaff, Guidon and Bugle
  • Complete funeral information: Pall Bearer, Firing Party, Caisson, Casket Watch and Colors Procedures
  • Armed Cordon
  • POW/MIA Hat Table
  • Fallen Warrior Stand Diagram and Ceremony Procedures
  • A Complete Master Task Listing, Master Training Plan and Training Documentation File

Plus much more…

Thank you for the fine manual. Our FD Honor Guard trains and performs details with the USAF (ANG) here in Bangor Maine. The manual hit our procedures on the nose.
~Bangor Maine Fire Dept.

DrillMaster Honor Guard Academy

DrillMaster Honor Guard Clinic Logo

The DrillMaster 80-Hour Honor Guard Academy
Two week of training that can be tailored to your needs, training on every aspect of honor guard ceremonial duties.

The DrillMaster 40-Hour Honor Guard Academy
One week of training that can be tailored to your needs, training on every aspect of honor guard ceremonial duties.

The DrillMaster Honor Guard Clinic
Again, completely tailored to your needs, the Clinic offers 8 or 16 hours of training on specific aspect of honor guard ceremonial duties.

The DrillMaster Cadet Honor Guard Academy
A complete 40- or 80-hour training system or a training session tailored to your needs.
For students up to and including 18 years old from all cadet programs.

Adult Drill Team Training Clinic
The DrillMaster offers three to five days of ceremonial/exhibition drill for your organization.
Whether you need a complete routine created from the ground-up, or your already established team needs fresh ideas, look no further!
This training can particularly enhance your department’s routine for the National Police Week Honor Guard Competition or we can work together to create a routine that can be used by the team for an upcoming special occasion.

Both the Academy and Clinics are mobile honor guard training!

Click here to contact me for complete Academy or Clinic information and we can set a date!
Honestly, DrillMaster Honor Guard training is the lowest cost and most complete training your unit can receive that is based on the only published joint-service standard!

What you think you are paying for:

  • Some training that you may use.

What you are actually paying for:

  • Firing Party training
  • Pall Bearers training (casket movement, two- and six-man flag fold)
  • Color Team training
  • Hours of my personal training
  • Hours of personal practice
  • Years of ceremonial performance and instructor experience in seven countries with four different teams all beginning in 1989

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Comments 43

  1. We are looking to start an honor guard for our fire department to provide services for line of duty deaths. Could I get a couple of minutes to pick your brain?

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  2. I need assistance on protocol. We were requested to present at a baseball game and they want us to face the outfield from behind home plate. All the spectators are behind us with the exception of the baseball players facing us lined up down the first and third baseline. My question is do the flags remain in order from left to right as though there was an audience in the outfield?Or do we keep the American flag to the left of the audience who is standing behind us? If that were the case we would be reversed order.

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      Mr. DiStefano,

      Thank you for your question. It’s unfortunate that the organization wants you to present to the backfield. You could say that you will be presenting to no one, really. Being in front of either second base in front of the pitcher’s mound is much more preferable. See if your point of contact would read this article: https://thedrillmaster.org/2015/12/15/how-to-present-the-colors-at-an-event/. It may help change their minds for this upcoming season.

      As to your question, the American flag is always to the formation’s right/viewer’s left or in the lead, no matter the team’s orientation to the audience.

      I hope that is helpful.

      1. Yes. I was questioning myself but wanted confirmation. The issue us that the stadium only has one media camera located in the outfield. They post the singer and the guard facing the outfield around home plate. I knew we were out of sequence towards the field, however, the spectators saw the American in its proper placement. I felt very uncomfortable with the ball players facing us and Im sure some are familiar with protocol. Irks the crap out of me. Anyway I spoke with the POC after and he agreed that we were out of sequence but stated they still want our placements to be the same area facing the outfield. So we will make arrangements next time. He was very understanding and respectful as to the proper flag sequence. As you can tell by my writing this already took place, today actually. I will forward the link so hopefully he will or can make the recommendation to change. He has two MLB organizations he has to deal with to ensure its ok.

        Thanks so much. I am not military but pride myself in researching protocol and creating a high standard within my agency. Most if not all comes from your site that I have been referring to for years.

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  3. Hello Sir,

    I have been training from your Honor Guard Manual for the last 2 years and just now had an idea. Would it be possible for you to create lesson plans so that our Fire Department Honor Guard training can be mapped out for several months to a year? Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

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      Mr Baker,

      I’m so glad that the manual is a help for you and your team. A lesson plan is a written map for the instructor to follow and there is a complete lesson plan at the back of the manual. I’m fairly certain that you are thinking of a Master Training Plan (see this article http://drillmaster.wpengine.com/2015/05/05/drill-team-and-honor-guard-unit-training-part-1/). The article explains a Master Task Listing and the MTP and you can download samples of both for free from the article and my Downloads page. The MTP outlines everything the team needs to learn over a period of time: what should happen each practice, each month, each quarter, etc.

      I could write a specific training plan for your team, but I’m sure that the information that I have already developed will benefit you just the same. After all, hardly any team is able to strictly adhere to a training plan due to ceremonies that pop up unexpectedly.

      Thank you for your question- I appreciate how you are thinking, it shows that you are on the right track!


  4. Looking for info on space availability for a 40 hour Color Guard Course
    I’m a member of the Camrose Alberta Canada Fire/Rescue and have started a Color Guard in the Department
    I bring 14years of Military(Airborne) training to the table
    I understand travel will be involved ,hoping to hear from you
    Len Chartrand

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      Hi Len,

      I have two tentative courses coming up in California for this summer. No contract yet, but shoot me an email at jkmarshall001 at yahoo.com no spaces and I will keep you informed.

      Thanks for contacting me!

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      Mr. Fulk,

      Creating a solid foundation through education is the first step. I need more specifics of what your program is for: first responder (EMS, police, fire) or a JROTC unit at a school? The more information you give me, the better guidance I can provide.

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  5. DrillMaster,

    I am a member of the Honor Guard here at Barksdale AFB and i was wondering what type of Training plan you use and what could be effective for our Guard. Currently the only enacted training plan is a simple 2 week spread sheet that covers all the basics for new members but we don’t have anything suited for certified guardsmen and i think my initial training plan could use some work. I also had some questions on the movements and sequences you teach in regards to base Honor Guards. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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  6. Sir: I am a member of a Drum & Bugle Corps Honor Guard. Two questions: To execute a Column Right movement, what foot is the Command of Execution given; and, what foot is the pivot executed on? Appreciate and awaiting your response.

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      MSG Maiuri,

      Thank you for the question!

      Columns and flanks are called on the foot if the direction (I.e. Column Right, on two consecutive right steps and Left Flank on two consecutive left steps). The pivot that follows the command of execution, March, is then on the next step- opposite of the direction you intend to move: movements to the right are executed on the left foot and vice versa.

      All the best to the corps and team!

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      Hello Mr. Brigham,

      There isn’t one. The manual I wrote, does cover all services for the most part, but I could not cover the Army’s specific procedures for each element due to an Army manual not being available.

      Your installation’s mortuary affairs may have more information.

      Thanks for the question!

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  7. Sir,

    I am in the beginning stages of establishing an Honor Guard for my Fire Dept. in Corpus Christi Texas. Could you send me information regarding classes that can be held at our department.

    Respectfully, FF. Helwig

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  8. DrillMaster,

    I am the Honor Guard Operations Officer for Massachusetts Maritime Academy. I am interested in the Honor Guard training classes for my staff and I. Could you please give me some more information about the training? Also, where are the classes held and what would be the price of both the clinic and the 40-hour class be? Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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  9. We’re looking for a good reference for military funerals, etc. but would like a reference with plenty of illustrations, pictures AND instruction. Is this the book for me?

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  10. Pingback: DrillMaster Education System: The Honor Guard Manual | The DrillMaster

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  11. Hello, God bless you. I would like to be informed when you need (Seniors) Volunteers for Up-coming events.
    Phone XXX-XXX-XXXX ,or e-mail

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      Hello Denise,

      Thanks for the blessing and the offer. The Drillmaster and the World Drill Association are working to create training and competition events all the time. I’ll get in touch with you soon.


  12. I’m looking at updating our PD’s flags. Our new Honor Guard would like to purchase an American flag a Texas flag, poles for each and bases. What do you recommend?

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  13. I work for Amarillo Medical Service in Amarillo, TX. We are starting an Honor Guard and I am looking for information on training and basically everything involved with presenting a great Honor Guard for the EMS personal in the TX panhandle.

    I didn’t see anything on how to get a manual from your organization. You have my email address, please let me know how to get a manual.

    Thank you for your time!

    Greg White
    Senior EMT
    Amarillo Medical Service

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      Hello Greg,

      Thanks for stopping by and inquiring about The Honor Guard Manual. How silly that I did not put a link on the page! I just edited the page with two links. One is in the text at the top for the paperback, spiral bound version and one is the manual’s cover image which is linked to the hard bound version.

      Good luck to your team and let me know if I can help further!

      “The Drillmaster”

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