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APPENDIX C

CEREMONIES

Ceremonies represent the pride, discipline, and teamwork of the Army and, in particular, the units that are part of those ceremonies. They are important in developing and maintaining unit pride, building esprit de corps, and preserving tradition. In some cases, funerals for example, military ceremonies are the only contact and impression of the Army that the public gets. In this appendix you will find examples for a change of command, change of responsibility, military funerals and memorial ceremony. You can also find here some other common ceremonies and where to find examples of them.


Section I- Change of Command
Section II- Change of Responsibility
Section III- Memorial Ceremony
Section IV- Military Funerals
    8 Soldier Funeral Detail
    2 Soldier Funeral Detail
Other Ceremonies


For more information on ceremonies, see FM 3-21.5, Drill and Ceremonies. The change of command is in Chapter 10. Military funerals are in Chapter 14.

C-1.  The examples in this appendix are not the only way to conduct these ceremonies or even the best way. They are suggested ways so your unit spends less time and energy "reinventing the wheel." Many units already have standard ways to conduct these ceremonies and don't need this appendix; that is outstanding. The important thing is to conduct them in a professional, military manner. You may not be responsible for making the ceremony happen, but these examples are available to save time and assist in standardization.

C-2. A ceremony that isn't widely known is called the "Change of Responsibility" ceremony, shown in Section II. This is used when a First Sergeant or CSM change positions. Although many units don't use it, it is included here for those organizations that desire to do so. The passing of the NCO sword is symbolically powerful-like the passing of the colors in a change of command. The ceremony helps to reinforce NCO authority in the Army and highlights the support NCOs provide to the chain of command.

SECTION I - CHANGE OF COMMAND

C-3. The change of command ceremony is described in FM 3-21.5, Chapter 10. The example shown in this appendix is tailored to a company level change of command. For ease in distinguishing a preparatory command from a command of execution, the commands of execution appear in BOLD CAP letters and preparatory commands appear in Bold Italic letters. Reference to positions and movements appear in Italics.

COMPANY-LEVEL* CHANGE OF COMMAND CEREMONY

Note: Company is in formation at Parade Rest with platoon leaders in charge of their platoons and XO/COT in charge of the company. The 1SG and PSGs are to the rear of the formation.

Narrator: "Ladies and Gentlemen, the ceremony will begin in one minute, please be seated."

Action: The Outgoing and Incoming Commanders move to the ready line. When the Outgoing and Incoming Commander are in their positions, the COT starts the ceremony.

COT: Faces about and commands, "Company, ATTENTION" and "Present, ARMS." The COT executes an about face and salutes the Outgoing Commander. Upon return of his salute, the COT does an about face, commands "Order, ARMS" and "Parade, REST," does an about face, and assumes the position of parade rest.

Narrator: "Good Morning and welcome to the Change of Command Ceremony for (unit name). Today, CPT (Outgoing Commander's name) will relinquish Command of (unit name) to CPT (Incoming Commander's name)."

Narrator: "SPC (name) is presenting a bouquet of red roses to Mrs. (Outgoing Commander's spouse) for her devotion, dedication and tireless efforts to the soldiers and families of (unit name)."

Narrator: "SPC (name) is presenting Mr. (Incoming Commander's spouse) a bouquet of yellow flowers from the soldiers of (unit name) to welcome him to the company."

Narrator: (Reads Outgoing and Incoming Commanders' biographies and Unit History)

COT: At the completion of the unit history, executes an about face and commands, "Company, ATTENTION" and "Present, ARMS."

Narrator: "Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the playing of the National Anthem and remain standing for the invocation."

COT: On the last note of the National Anthem the COT drops his salute, executes an about face and commands "Order, ARMS" and "Parade, REST." The COT executes an about face and assumes the position of parade rest.

Chaplain: Gives invocation.

Narrator: "Please be seated."

Narrator: "The (battalion name) Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel (name), will now oversee the transfer of the guidon."

Action: The Battalion Commander** moves to the ready line.

COT: When the Battalion Commander is in position, the COT does an about face and commands "Company, ATTENTION" and "Present, ARMS".

COT: Does and about face and goes to the position of present arms.

COT: After salutes are exchanged, the COT does an about face and commands "Order, ARMS," then does another about face.

COT: In a low voice commands "Guidon... Post."

Guidon Bearer: On the command of "Guidon" the unit guidon bearer assumes the position of attention, and the command "Post" the guidon bearer takes two steps forward executing a right flank as in marching, takes two steps, halts and executes a left face.

COT: In a low voice commands, "MARCH."

Guidon Bearer: The guidon bearer takes three additional steps forward.

Action: When the guidon bearer has halted, the command group and First Sergeant move to a designated position in front of the unit guidon.

Narrator: "The transfer of the company guidon is significant in many ways; the history, traditions and accomplishments of (unit name) are embodied in it. With the transfer, the unit's legacy is passed as a building block for future performance and achievement. Historically, the flag or colors of a unit served as the point around which the soldiers of the organization rallied as they moved forward into battle. The colors have traditionally been at the side of the commander and were carried forward even when the commander fell in combat. All others may perish, but the colors live on. The guidon is an extension of the unit colors, to the company level. With the transfer of the guidon here today goes the transfer of responsibility for the accomplishment of the (unit name) mission and the welfare of the troops."

Narrator: "The senior NCO of the organization is traditionally responsible for maintenance and care of the Colors and so the First Sergeant passes the unit guidon to the Outgoing Commander, CPT (name), signifying the unit's appreciation for his leadership and guidance. CPT (Outgoing Commander's name) passes the company guidon to the Battalion Commander signifying the relinquishing of his command and gratitude for the opportunity to lead soldiers. LTC (name) then passes the guidon to the Incoming Commander, CPT (name), entrusting her with the responsibility and care of the unit. CPT (Incoming Commander's name) passes the guidon back to the First Sergeant, signifying her trust and confidence in the leaders and soldiers of the organization."

Action: The Outgoing Commander positions himself four steps in front of his guidon; the senior commander is directly to his left. The old and new commanders then take one step forward and execute facing movements so that they are facing each other. The First Sergeant takes the guidon from the guidon bearer (with his right hand above his left hand), and faces about. The narrator reads the assumption-of-command order.

Narrator: "In accordance with AR 600-20, Paragraph 3-4, the undersigned assumes command of the (unit name and location) effective (date). Signed, (Incoming Commander's signature block), commanding."

Action: Upon completion of the reading, the First Sergeant steps forward and presents the guidon to the Outgoing Commander (l), who grasps the guidon with the left hand above his right hand. The Outgoing Commander passes the guidon to the senior commander (2), who grasps the guidon with his right hand above his left hand and, in turn, passes the guidon to the Incoming Commander (3), who grasps the guidon with her left hand above her right hand. The Incoming commander passes the guidon to the First Sergeant (4) who grasps it with his right hand above his left hand, faces about and returns the guidon to the guidon bearer. This procedure (1-4) allows the guidon to be over the heart of the Incoming and Outgoing commanders. As the First Sergeant faces about, both commanders then execute facing movements back to their original direction facing the guidon.

Action: After the First Sergeant has returned the guidon to the Guidon Bearer, the Battalion Commander, Incoming Commander, and Outgoing Commander face about. The guidon bearer also faces about. The First Sergeant commands "Forward, MARCH" and the commanders march back to the ready line, the Outgoing and Incoming Commanders exchange positions. (Incoming commander crosses in front of Outgoing). The First Sergeant and guidon bearer return to their posts.

COT: After the command group is in position the COT does an about face and commands "Parade, REST" then does and about face and assumes the position of parade rest.

Narrator: "Ladies and gentlemen, the commander of the (higher unit name), Lieutenant Colonel (name)."

Battalion Commander: Battalion (senior) Commander remarks.

Narrator: "Captain (Outgoing Commander)."

Outgoing Commander: Outgoing Commander remarks.

Narrator: "The Commander of (unit name), Captain (Incoming Commander)."

Incoming Commander: Incoming Commander remarks.

Action: After remarks are complete the Incoming Commander returns to position.

COT: Executes an about face and commands "Company, ATTENTION" and faces about.

Narrator: "Ladies and Gentlemen, please stand for the playing of the (branch/unit song) and the Army Song." ***

Incoming Commander: At the completion of the Army Song, the Incoming Commander moves forward to assume command of the unit from the COT. After salutes are exchanged, the Incoming Commander waits until the COT is in position, executes an about face, and renders a hand salute to the Battalion Commander and reports "Sir, this concludes the ceremony."

Battalion Commander: "Take charge of your company."

Action: Salutes exchanged.

Narrator: "This concludes the (unit name) change of command ceremony. Please join us for refreshments in the (location), bldg xxxx."

* While the unit name "Company" is used, substitute as needed for Battery, Troop or Detachment.

** While the unit name "battalion" is used, substitute as needed for the appropriate higher unit commander.

*** See inside back cover for the words to the Army Song.

SECTION II - CHANGE OF RESPONSIBILITY

For ease in distinguishing a preparatory command from a command of execution, the commands of execution appear in BOLD CAP letters and preparatory commands appear in Bold Italic letters. Reference to positions and movements appear in Italics.

COMPANY-LEVEL* CHANGE OF RESPONSIBILITY CEREMONY

Note: The colors are present, located so that the company is facing them when the National Anthem is played. The guidon bearer has the NCO sword on his belt.

Note: The Senior Platoon Sergeant (Senior Platoon Sergeant) controls the company during the ceremony in place of the First Sergeant, similar to a Commander of Troops (COT) in a change of command or review. Platoons, under control of their platoon sergeants march to the final line five minutes before the start of the ceremony. When the platoon reaches the final line the platoon sergeant commands "Mark Time, MARCH" and "Platoon, HALT."

Senior Platoon Sergeant (Senior Platoon Sergeant): With platoons in position, the Senior Platoon Sergeant commands "At close interval, dress right, DRESS."

Platoon Sergeants: Platoon Sergeant moves to the left or right flank of the platoon, aligns the platoon, returns to the original position and commands "Ready, FRONT."

Senior Platoon Sergeant: When all Platoon Sergeants are in position, and the platoons are at the position of Attention, the Senior Platoon Sergeant commands "Parade, REST" and executes an about face.

Narrator: "Ladies and Gentlemen, the ceremony will begin in one minute, please be seated."

Action: The Outgoing and Incoming First Sergeants move to the ready line, the Company Commander and the Senior Platoon Sergeant are standing off to the side. When the Outgoing and Incoming First Sergeant are in position, the Senior Platoon Sergeant starts the ceremony.

Senior Platoon Sergeant: Executes an about face and commands, "Company, ATTENTION" and "Present, ARMS." Then the Senior Platoon Sergeant executes an about face and salutes the Outgoing First Sergeant. Upon return of his salute, the Senior Platoon Sergeant does an about face, commands "Order ARMS," and "Parade, REST," does an about face and assumes the position of parade rest.

Narrator: "Good Morning and welcome to the Change of Responsibility Ceremony for (unit name). Today, First Sergeant (Outgoing First Sergeant's name) will turn over the duties of First Sergeant of (unit name) to First Sergeant (Incoming First Sergeant's name)."

Narrator: "SPC (name, often an outstanding soldier such as the soldier of the month) is presenting a bouquet of red roses to (Outgoing First Sergeant's spouse) for her devotion, dedication and tireless efforts to the soldiers and families of (unit name)."

Narrator: "SPC (name) is presenting (Incoming First Sergeant's spouse) a bouquet of yellow flowers from the Officers and soldiers of (unit name) to welcome her to the company."

Narrator: (Reads Outgoing and Incoming First Sergeants' biographies and Unit History).

Senior Platoon Sergeant: At the completion of the unit history, executes an about face and commands, "Company, ATTENTION" and "Present, ARMS."

Narrator: "Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the playing of the National Anthem and remain standing for the invocation."

Senior Platoon Sergeant: On the last note of the National Anthem the Senior Platoon Sergeant drops his salute, executes an about face and commands "Order, ARMS" and "Parade, REST." The Senior Platoon Sergeant executes an about face and assumes the position of parade rest.

Narrator: "Please be seated." After the audience is seated, "The (company name) Company Commander, CPT (name), will now oversee the transfer of responsibility."

Action: The Company Commander and Senior Platoon Sergeant move to the ready line.

Senior Platoon Sergeant: When the Company Commander and Senior Platoon Sergeant are in position, the Senior Platoon Sergeant does an about face and commands "Company, ATTENTION" and "Present, ARMS."

Senior Platoon Sergeant: Does and about face and goes to the position of present arms.

Senior Platoon Sergeant: After salutes are exchanged, the Senior Platoon Sergeant does and about face and commands "Order, ARMS," then does another about face.

Senior Platoon Sergeant: In a low voice commands "Guidon... Post."

Guidon Bearer: On the command of "Guidon" the unit guidon bearer assumes the position of attention, and on the command "Post" the guidon bearer takes two steps forward executing a right flank as in marching, takes two steps, halts and executes a left face.

Senior Platoon Sergeant: In a low voice commands, "MARCH."

Guidon Bearer: The guidon bearer takes three additional steps forward.

Action: When the guidon bearer has halted, the command group and Senior Platoon Sergeant move to a designated position in front of the unit guidon.

Narrator: At this time CPT (name) joins First Sergeant (outgoing First Sergeant) and First Sergeant (incoming First Sergeant) for the passing of the noncommissioned officers sword. The War Department in 1840 adopted the unique noncommissioned officers sword. It is a completely functional weapon, not intended for display, but rather for hard and dedicated use. While no longer part of the Army's inventory, American sergeants wore it for over seventy years, during which occurred the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American war. The passing of the sword signifies the relinquishing of responsibility and authority from the outgoing to the incoming First Sergeant. First sergeants may come and go, but the sword remains razor sharp.

Narrator: "SFC (name), the Senior Platoon Sergeant, retrieves the sword from SPC (name) the guidon bearer. The guidon bearer, entrusted with the symbol of the unit, today also holds the First Sergeant's sword, symbol of the authority of the NCO. SFC (name) passes the sword to First Sergeant (Outgoing First Sergeant) in final deference to his authority and leadership. First Sergeant (Outgoing First Sergeant) passes the sword to the Company Commander signifying the relinquishing of his duties and gratitude for the opportunity to care for (unit) Company's fine soldiers. The Company Commander passes the sword to First Sergeant (incoming First Sergeant), delegating authority and entrusting him with the responsibility and care of the unit. The new First Sergeant passes the sword back to SFC (name) and the guidon bearer, symbolizing his dedication to the soldiers of (name) Company and the continuity of the NCO support channel."

Action: When the Narrator begins reading the previous paragraph, the Outgoing First Sergeant positions himself four steps in front of his guidon; the company commander is directly to his left. The old and new First Sergeants then take one step forward and execute facing movements so that they face each other. The Senior Platoon Sergeant secures the sword with scabbard from the guidon bearer's pistol belt (with his right hand above his left hand), and faces about. The Senior Platoon Sergeant draws the sword from the scabbard slightly (about 2 inches), steps forward and presents the sword to the Outgoing First Sergeant (l), who grasps the sword with the left hand above his right hand. The Outgoing First Sergeant passes the sword to the Company Commander (2), who grasps the sword with his right hand above his left hand and, in turn, passes the sword to the new First Sergeant (3), who grasps the sword with his left hand above his right hand. The Incoming First Sergeant replaces the sword completely in the scabbard and passes it to the Senior Platoon Sergeant (4) who grasps it with his right hand above his left hand, faces about and reattaches the sword on the guidon bearer's pistol belt. This procedure (1-4) allows the hilt of the sword to be over the heart of the Incoming and Outgoing First Sergeants. As the Senior Platoon Sergeant faces about, both First Sergeants then execute facing movements back to their original direction facing the guidon.

Action: The Senior Platoon Sergeant and the reviewing party face about and return to their post. The Senior Platoon Sergeant commands "Forward, MARCH" and the command group marches back to the ready line, the Outgoing and Incoming First Sergeants exchange positions. (Incoming First Sergeant crosses in front of Outgoing). The First Sergeant steps off to the left as in marching, and marches around the platoon to a position behind and centered on the formation. The guidon bearer executes an about face and returns to his position.

Senior Platoon Sergeant: After the command group is in position the Senior Platoon Sergeant does an about face and commands "Parade, REST" then does and about face and assumes the position of parade rest.

Narrator: "Ladies and gentlemen, the commander of (company name), CPT (name)."

Company Commander: Company Commander remarks.

Narrator: "First Sergeant (Outgoing First Sergeant)."

Outgoing First Sergeant: Outgoing First Sergeant remarks.

Narrator: "The First Sergeant of (company name) First Sergeant (Incoming First Sergeant)."

Incoming First Sergeant: Incoming First Sergeant remarks.

Action: After remarks are complete the Incoming First Sergeant returns to position.

Senior Platoon Sergeant: Executes an about face and commands "Company, ATTENTION" and faces about.

Narrator: "Ladies and Gentlemen, please stand for the playing of the (branch/unit song) and the Army Song." **

Incoming First Sergeant: At the completion of the Army Song, the Incoming First Sergeant moves forward to assume command of the unit from the Senior Platoon Sergeant. After salutes are exchanged, the Incoming First Sergeant waits until the Senior Platoon Sergeant is in position, executes an about face, and renders a hand salute to the Company Commander and reports "Sir, this concludes the ceremony."

Company Commander: "Take charge of the company."

Action: Salutes exchanged.

Narrator: "This concludes the (unit name) Change of Responsibility ceremony. Please join us for refreshments in (location), bldg xxxx."

* While the unit name "Company" is used, substitute as needed for Battery, Troop or Detachment.

** See inside back cover for the words to the Army Song

SECTION III - MEMORIAL CEREMONY

C-4. Memorial ceremonies are patriotic tributes to deceased soldiers. These ceremonies are command-oriented so attendance is often mandatory. The ceremony is a military function that is not normally conducted in a chapel. The content of the ceremony may vary depending on the desires of the commander.

C-5. In most cases, the unit prepares a program that may include a biographical summary of the deceased soldier with mention of awards and decorations. The following elements are commonly part of a memorial ceremony:

  • Prelude (often suitable music).
  • Posting of the Colors.
  • National Anthem.
  • Invocation.
  • Memorial Tribute (e.g., remarks by unit commander or a friend of the deceased).
  • Scripture Reading.
  • Hymn or other special music.
  • Meditation (quiet moment for attendees to reflect).
  • Benediction.
  • Last Roll Call. This is a final tribute paid by soldiers to their fallen comrade. It has its origin in the accountability roll call conducted by the unit First Sergeant following combat. Although sometimes painful to listen through, the Last Roll is called with the conviction held by soldiers that all unit members will be accounted for, and none will ever be forgotten.
  • Firing of rifle volleys.
  • Taps.

Figure C-1. Fallen Soldier Display

Figure C-1. Fallen Soldier Display

C-6. Most units prepare a visible reminder of the deceased soldier similar to that depicted in Figure C-1. The helmet and identification tags signify the fallen soldier. The inverted rifle with bayonet signals a time for prayer, a break in the action to pay tribute to our comrade. The combat boots represent the final march of the last battle. The beret (in the case of soldiers from airborne units) reminds us that the soldier has taken part in his final jump.

SECTION IV - MILITARY FUNERALS

C-7. Rendering military funeral honors is our Nation's final tribute to those who have made personal sacrifices in the service of our country. Performing duties as part of a funeral detail is a privilege. It a distinct means of honoring fellow soldiers who have served before us or who have given their lives in defense of our Nation.

C-8. Since the January 2000 National Defense Act, military funeral honors are authorized for all active duty soldiers, military retirees, and honorably discharged veterans by their parent service. For active duty soldiers and military retirees, honors include firing of rifle volleys, uniformed soldiers as pallbearers, folding and presentation of the flag to the next-of-kin, and playing of "Taps" by a bugler or a high quality recording. For deceased veterans of the Armed Forces, honors rendered may be by a two-person team to fold and present the flag and a high quality recording of "Taps."

The effect of having the Honor Guard perform their solemn duties with care and precision shows how much we care for our comrades in arms, as well as for the communities and families they represent.

MG Robert IvanyC-13

C-9. Army installations, reserve component units, and ROTC detachments often support funerals of veterans by providing soldiers to conduct the military honors for those funerals. FM 3-21.5, Chapter 14 provides a description of how to conduct a military graveside service. That description shows how to do the service with 14 or more soldiers. In this section you can find how to conduct the service with 8 or fewer soldiers. In any case, if you are a member of a funeral detail, remember this: you are taking part in a service for a deceased veteran and there are people present who will take comfort in your professional attitude and performance.

C-10. Many Army installations already have detailed instructions for conducting military honors at a funeral. This section may be helpful to soldiers who do not have access to such specific instructions. For every military funeral, the OIC should contact the funeral director as early as possible to determine if there will be any variations. At the completion of the service, the OIC should again contact the funeral director to conduct an informal after action review. Finally, when the detail returns to home station, the OIC should AAR the service with the tasking authority.

C-11. For ease in distinguishing a preparatory command from a command of execution, the commands of execution appear in BOLD CAP letters and preparatory commands appear in Bold Italic letters. Reference to positions and movements appear in Italics.

8 SOLDIER FUNERAL DETAIL

COMPOSITION OF DETAIL

C-12. The 8 man funeral detail normally consists of an OIC or NCOIC (depending on the rank of the deceased veteran), an NCOIC of the firing party, a five or six soldier firing party (who also act as pallbearers) and a bugler, if available. For this description there is an OIC of the funeral detail and an NCOIC of the firing party/pallbearers.

DETAIL, WEAPONS ARE IN PLACE

C-13. Weapons are pre-stacked in an appropriate position, in plain view, and a good distance from the gravesite. The firing party, acting as pallbearers, is pre-positioned along the roadside; awaiting the arrival of the hearse. The OIC is located where the hearse will stop.

RECEIVING THE CASKET

C-14. As the hearse approaches, the NCOIC orders the detail to "ATTENTION" and "Present, ARMS." Once the hearse has passed the detail, the NCOIC calls the detail to "Order, ARMS" and "Parade, REST." The OIC comes to attention and present arms as the hearse approaches his position. The OIC terminates his salute when the hearse comes to a halt.

C-15. After the vehicle has come to a halt, the driver gets out and opens the rear door. The driver prepares the casket for movement to the gravesite by removing the stock. The driver pulls the casket to the rear of the hearse. The OIC, with a nod of his head, signals the NCOIC to move the pallbearers to the end of the hearse, three on each side, to remove the casket. The NCOIC marches the pallbearers into place, then orders "Mark time, MARCH;" "Detail, HALT" and "Center, FACE." After the pallbearers are facing inward, the individuals closest to the casket will grasp the handrails and pull the casket from the hearse. Each pallbearer, in turn, grasps a casket handle as it reaches him. The OIC will render a hand salute while the casket is being removed.

Moving the Casket

C-16. On the NCOIC's command of "Ready, FACE," the pallbearers will execute the appropriate facing movements so that they are all facing the feet of the casket. The NCOIC orders the detail to "Forward, MARCH." Led by the OIC, the pallbearers incline to the proper direction to move to the gravesite, ensuring the casket is level and feet first. Once the casket is over the gravesite, the NCOIC commands "Mark Time, MARCH," and "Detail, HALT." Once at the head of the gravesite, the OIC will come to render a hand salute until the casket is placed on the lowering device. To maintain uniformity the pallbearer NCOIC will command "Center, FACE." When pallbearers are facing center, the casket is set on the lowering device. After the casket is set down, the pallbearers come to attention and the OIC will drop his hand salute.

MOVING TO THE WEAPONS

C-17. On the command "Ready, FACE," by the pallbearer NCOIC, the pallbearers all face toward the head of the casket. The next command is "Forward, MARCH." The pallbearers move from the gravesite to the location of the weapons. Just prior to reaching the stacked arms, the firing party NCOIC, and formerly the pallbearer NCOIC, gives "Mark Time, MARCH" and "Detail, HALT." The firing party NCOIC assumes their position and gives a "File from the Left, Forward, MARCH." On the command "March" the firing party performs the proper movements to form a single file to the rear of the weapons. When the firing party are to the rear of the stacked arms, the NCOIC gives "Mark Time, MARCH" and "Detail HALT," and the appropriate facing movement to face the rifles.

Retrieving the Weapons and Conclusion of Religious Services

C-18.  The next command given is "Take, ARMS." On the command of execution, the stack man secures the first two weapons. The left and right soldiers receive the weapons from the stack man. The left and right soldiers then pass the weapons to the outside soldiers. The stack man grasps his center weapon. The left and right soldiers step toward the stack and remove their weapons, returning to the position of Attention. Once the left and right soldiers retrieve their weapons, the stack man secures his weapon and comes to the position of Attention. Once all of the firing party is at Order Arms, the firing party NCOIC gives them "Parade, REST." The firing party will remain at Parade Rest until the end of the religious services. Once the religious services are over, the Chaplain steps away from the casket. The OIC steps to the head of the casket and renders a hand salute. This is the signal for the firing party NCOIC to command the firing party "ATTENTION."

Firing of Honors

C-19. After bringing the firing party to Attention, the NCOIC gives the command of "Ready." At the command of Ready, each rifleman executes Port Arms, faces Half Right, and moves his right foot to the right ten inches. Each rifleman then chambers a round, places his weapon on Fire, and resumes Port Arms. When the firing party has completed the movements, the firing party NCOIC gives the command "Aim." On the command of Aim, the detail shoulders their weapons with the muzzles of the weapons at a 45-degree angle from the horizontal. When the NCOIC commands "FIRE," the detail fires and returns to Port Arms. On the subsequent commands of "Ready," each rifleman pulls and returns the charging handle of his weapon. After the third round is fired each rifleman resumes Port Arms, and the firing party NCOIC commands "CEASE FIRE." Each rifleman places his weapon on Safe, resumes the position of Order Arms, and faces Half Left. The firing party NCOIC then commands "Present, ARMS" for the playing of "Taps". The bugler plays "Taps." If a bugler is not available, one soldier is positioned to turn on the high quality recording (and is not part of the firing party).

STACKING ARMS

C-20. After "Taps", the NCOIC brings the firing party to "Order, ARMS," and then commands "Stack, ARMS." On the command of execution, Arms, the stack man grasps the barrel of his rifle and places his rifle directly in front of him. At the same time, the left and right soldiers grasp the barrels of their respective rifles, step toward the center and insert the muzzles through the sling loop of the stack man's weapon. Both soldiers swing the butts of their rifles out and then down to the ground ensuring the stack is steady. The two outside weapons are then passed to the stack man, who adds them to the stack.

RETURNING TO GRAVESITE OR SHELTER

C-21. After Stack Arms is complete, the NCOIC moves the firing party two steps backward and gives the appropriate facing movement to have the firing party move back to the gravesite. From this position, the NCOIC will form the firing party in two columns by giving the command "Column of Two to the Right, MARCH." Once in Column of Two formation, the NCOIC takes the last position, and gives "Forward, MARCH." The firing party marches to the gravesite along either side of the casket. Once at the gravesite the NCOIC gives "Mark Time, MARCH," and "Detail, HALT." The NCOIC gives "Center, FACE," to ensure that all of the pallbearers are facing the casket.

FOLDING THE FLAG

C-22. After the pallbearers have faced the casket, they use their peripheral vision to take their cues from the NCOIC. As a unit, the pallbearers reach down and secure the flag. Once flag is secured, the detail folds flag. The flag is first folded with the lower stripe area over the blue field. It is then folded so that the folded edge meets the open edge. The triangular fold is started at the striped end and is continued until only the blue field remains. The flag margin is then tucked in and the flag is ready for presentation.

PRESENTING THE FLAG.

C-23. After the flag has been folded, it is passed down to the soldier closest to the right side of the OIC. This soldier executes a Half Left as the OIC executes a Half Right and the flag is then passed to the OIC at, chest level. After the pallbearer has passed the flag, he salutes the flag for three seconds then executes Order Arms. The soldier executes a Half Right as the OIC executes a Half Left and resumes their original position. At this time the pallbearers will leave the gravesite. The NCOIC commands "Outward, FACE," (pallbearers face towards the head of the casket) and "Forward, MARCH." Once the detail is out of the area, the OIC will present the flag to the next of kin or Chaplain, it next of kin is not available. The OIC recites the following passage:

"Ma'am (sir), this flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service."

C-24. At the conclusion of the remarks and presentation, the OIC will render a hand salute and hold the salute for three seconds then assumes Order, Arms. OIC then executes marching movement and marches back towards the direction of the pallbearers.

CONCLUDING THE CEREMONY

C-25. The firing party returns to the location of the stacked arms in the same manner as before. When commanded to "Take, ARMS," the party retrieves the rifles in the same manner as before. After retrieving the weapons, the NCOIC marches the detail away from the funeral site to clear and inspect the weapons. The firing party will police all of the brass after the service is over and the next of kin have left the area. The OIC is not required to escort the next of kin back to his/her vehicle.

2 SOLDIER FUNERAL DETAIL

RECEIVING THE CASKET

C-26. The OIC is located where the hearse will stop. The NCO is to the left of the OIC. As the hearse approaches, the OIC brings himself and the NCO to "ATTENTION" and "Present, ARMS." The OIC gives the command of "Order, ARMS," after the hearse has come to a halt. The funeral director is responsible for removing the casket from the hearse and placing it on the lowering device at the gravesite. When the casket is being removed from the hearse, the OIC commands "Present, ARMS." Once the casket has cleared the peripheral vision of the OIC, then the OIC commands "Order, ARMS," and "Parade, REST."

CONCLUSION OF RELIGIOUS SERVICES

C-27. Once the religious services are over, the Chaplain steps away from the casket. The OIC commands "ATTENTION." The OIC commands "Ready, FACE," and the OIC and NCO face in the direction of the casket. OIC then commands "Forward, MARCH," The OIC marches to the head of the casket, and faces the head of the casket, while the NCO marches to the foot of the casket facing the OIC. If a bugler is not available, the NCO moves to the device that will play the high quality recording of "Taps."

FOLDING THE FLAG

C-28. The OIC gives the command to the NCO to secure flag. Once the flag is secure the bugler will play "Taps" and both the OIC and NCO execute Present, Arms. When "Taps" is complete, both the OIC and NCO execute Order, Arms. The OIC gives the command to side step march (just far enough to preclude the flag from touching the casket). Once the OIC and NCO have cleared the casket the OIC nods to begin folding the flag. NOTE: If a bugler is not available, once the casket is on the lowering device, the NCOIC will march to the recording device and wait for the Chaplain to conclude religious services. He will play "Taps" after the OIC is positioned at the head of the casket. When "Taps" is complete, the NCOIC will march to the foot of the casket and then assist in folding the flag.

C-29. The flag is first folded with the lower stripe area over the blue field. It is then folded so that the folded edge meets the open edge. The triangular fold is started at the striped end and is continued until only the blue field remains. While folding the flag the NCO moves towards the OIC. The flag margin is then tucked in by the OIC and the NCO presents the flag to the OIC. Once the NCO presents the flag to the OIC, the NCO renders the hand salute and holds the salute for three seconds then executes Order, Arms. The OIC is ready for presenting the flag to the next of kin.

PRESENTING THE FLAG

C-30. After the flag has been folded and passed to the OIC, the OIC then moves in the direction of the next of kin and presents the flag to the next of kin while the NCO marches away from the gravesite. The OIC will present the flag to the Chaplain if the next of kin is not available. The OIC recites the following passage:

"Ma'am (sir), this flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service."

C-31. At the conclusion of the passage and the flag presentation, the OIC will render a hand salute and hold the salute for three seconds then assumes Order, Arms. OIC then executes a marching movement and marches away from the gravesite.

CONCLUDING THE CEREMONY

C-32. The OIC is not required to escort the next of kin back to his/her vehicle.

NOTES

C-33. The meaning of the word gravesite also includes a committal shelter. The meaning of the word casket also includes a receptacle containing the cremated remains of the deceased. On windy days, the flag should already be anchored to the casket by the funeral director. If the flag is not secured, the detail will fold the flag immediately after placing the casket on the lowering device, then hand the flag to the OIC.

OTHER CEREMONIES

C-34. NCO Induction Ceremony - See FM 7-22.7, The Army Noncommissioned Officer Guide, 23 Dec 2002, Appendix F.

C-35. Retirement Ceremony - Most installations conduct retirement ceremonies, see your installation DPTMS for details.

C-36. Farewell Ceremony (for deploying units) - Most installations conduct ceremonies to "send off" deploying units, see your installation DPTMS for details.

C-37. Welcome Home Ceremony (for returning units) - Most installations conduct ceremonies to welcome units back from deployments. These ceremonies often include participation from the civilian community around the installation. See your installation DPTMS for details.



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