An Honor Guard is a ceremonial escort typically composed of privates and Non Commissioned Officers.   The two main occasions that an Honor Guard is formed are to escort the Governor and senior elected officials, and to serve as the escort for the casket at a military funeral.    Although it has a standing Color Guard, the First Company does not ordinarily have a standing Honor Guard, but when one is needed, or at the direction of the Commandant, an Honor Guard is formed by the Sergeant Major of the Company. 




When it was chartered in 1771 by an act of the General Assembly, the First Company was charged to "attend upon and serve" the office of the Governor.   The First Company has faithfully discharged this duty since that time. 

In the present day, certain occasions require the Governor or Lieutenant Governor to request an Honor Guard.  Honor Guards have been formed to escort the Governor or Lieutenant Governor at occasions including the opening ceremonies of the Eastern States Fair, the Opening Session of the General Assembly, UConn Victory Parades, and Family Day ceremonies for activated units of the Connecticut National Guard.   Additionally, at the request of the office of then-Governor John G. Rowland, an Honor Guard and Firing Detail was formed in the fall of 2003 for the reinterment of Governor Samuel Huntington, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, President of the Continental Congress, and Governor of the State of Connecticut.   In the photo at right, an Honor Guard escorts Governor M. Jodi Rell at the State Armory on Broad Street.






According to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military Honors are a way to show the Nation's deep gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country.    As a military unit of the State of Connecticut, the First Company is authorized to provide military honors at funerals and ceremonies honoring veterans when directed by the Military Department or the office of The Adjutant General.   

In the photo at right, an Honor Guard under the command of Commandant Dennis Conroy renders a salute as part of a town sponsored ceremony honoring those town residents who died in service of their country.  Although not visible in the photo, an armorer sergeant was also present.  The armorer sergeant provides proper control of the weapons and ammunition both before and after the ceremony in addition to providing range safety during the actual firing portion of the weapons.





First Company musicians also assist in forming Honor Guards in a variety of ways, from actual participation to providing musical support.  When required, First Company musicians form a percussion battery to provide a cadence when it is deemed necessary.  These batteries may range from one to four percussionists, as required.  First Company musicians also provide trumpet players to perform bugle calls and appropriate musical selections.


More information on Military Honors may be found on the website of the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the MILITARY HONORS  section.