Honor guard -- a higher purpose

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Michael Jason
  • 28th Bomb Wing director of staff
Last month, as I assumed the duties of the 28th Bomb Wing director of staff, I did not realize with the job came such a unique responsibility - commander of the Ellsworth Honor Guard.

At first, I was flattered by such a lofty designation, but I quickly discovered how truly remarkable the men and women who make up our 57-member team are to the wing and the entire community they support.

Of the 13 Air Combat Command bases, Ellsworth is the only base which has an honor guard team made entirely of volunteer members. Almost every other base in the Air Force has some type of quota system to ensure participation requirements are met. Fortunately, Ellsworth has been able to sustain and support all of our ACC tasks and Ellsworth-specific ceremonies despite our extremely high operations tempo and robust deployment schedule.

So what makes our honor guard so incredibly successful?

It most definitely rests on the tremendous leadership Staff Sgt. Ruben TrejoSanchez, Ellsworth Honor Guard NCO in charge, who has led the team since November 2006. During this period, he developed a superior cadre of officers, NCOs and Airmen, who have represented Ellsworth and the entire Air Force with dignity, honor, and respect.

Due to its somewhat isolated location, Ellsworth Honor Guard duties expand across an area covering more than 115,000 square miles. Hundreds of performances each year, both on- and off-base, keep the team extremely busy and always in high demand.

All levels of supervision should be applauded for allowing their personnel to frequently participate in the demanding practice schedule and performances themselves.

In an effort to showcase our team and thank 28th Bomb Wing members for their support, the honor guard is hosting an open house in Dock 33, Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m. The event will provide the team a chance to display their expertise and fervent dedication for their specialized mission.

Personnel interested in joining ACC's premier honor guard team or those with questions about ceremony assistance, should contact Sergeant TrejoSanchez at (605) 385-1186. Continued support for our Ellsworth Honor Guard is greatly appreciated, and I hope to see all of you at the open house later this month.