Molesworth honor guard rekindles joint patriotism

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ashley Hawkins
  • JIOCEUR Analytic Center Public Affairs
Editor's note: Due to the sensitivity of the joint intelligence mission, the last names of personnel have been removed in this article.

A line of seven U.S. Service members stand together, clad in their respective services' ceremonial uniforms, carrying the Army, Marine, Navy, Air Force and American flags, with two riflemen on each end.

Their movements are paced and calculated. They place the flags, salute, and while the national anthem is played, the ceremony begins.

The Service members are a part of the newly-reconstructed RAF Molesworth Joint Honor Guard, a command program comprised of U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force personnel.

According to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Zaybreon Jeter, Joint Intelligence Operations Center, Europe Analytic Center, property book officer and noncommissioned officer in charge of the honor guard, it is the only American joint honor guard in the United Kingdom.

The revised program involves two phases: the initial - which consists of learning facing movements, weapons handling, marching, individual drill and command calling, and the selection phase - which allows honor guard leaders to evaluate and choose applicants based on the execution of learned skills.

"This is a great improvement from the organizational structure in the last program," said Jeter. "With this new program, we are recruiting more people to form back-up teams and everyone will be trained in every detail."

U.S. Navy Reserve Seaman Sheridan, U.S. Africa Command analyst, is one of the program's newest recruits.

Sheridan, who joined to honor the heritage of his father and WWII-veteran grandfather, said being a part of a joint honor guard has been a remarkable experience.

"It's weird," said Sheridan. "What sticks out to me the most are the differences between the services. It's interesting and it changes your perspective. I feel like [the honor guard] is breaking down stereotypes and it helps everyone feel a part of something bigger."

According to Jeter, the reason for the revised program all boils down to patriotism; the military forces working together to represent the United States.

The team travels throughout England, as well as other countries, to showcase the U.S. flag and the four military services serving at Molesworth.   

The various events the group performs include monthly retreat ceremonies, retirements, funerals, remembrance ceremonies at the Madingley American Cemetery in Cambridge, and the NFL games in London, alongside British forces.

"It's like being an ambassador for the country," said Jeter. "It is an honor to be the NCOIC for a joint honor guard. Now that I have the opportunity, I'm taking full advantage. This is probably going to be the highlight of my career."

The RAF Molesworth Honor Guard team accepts applications for recruiting every six months. The next application process will begin in November.