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.
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.
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