Expectations and Requirements
Who we’re looking for
Dedicated and motivated Soldiers and Army Retirees who desire to honor their fallen comrades.
Honor Guard Soldiers are expected to exceed the standards not only within the Honor Guard but also their unit. Prior to interviewing for a position within the Honor Guard, Soldiers must ensure they are in good standing with their unit. Soldiers who have been AWOL from drill within the last 12 months or facing any adverse action will not be considered. “Flagged” Soldiers will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Perform Funeral Honor missions to standard. Once trained, team members will provide an availability schedule to their Honor Guard Team Leader. The Team Leader will contact them when funeral missions meet the team member’s availability. The team member can accept or decline the mission. However, once the team member accepts the mission, he or she must report unless the team leader removes them from the detail. Funerals take place year-round, in all types of weather. Team members must be willing to accept that the Funeral Honors they provide could be on a sweltering hot day in August, with a long-winded minister, or in the snow on a wind-swept cemetery in January. Team members must also maintain “Ceremonial Composure” during missions, even when a grief-stricken family member erupts in tears over the loss of their loved one.
How to Join
Soldiers should refer to the Contact Information on our homepage. Teams cover two or three counties each. Generally, members are assigned to the team closest to their home. Where your unit is assigned does not affect your team assignment. Often, team members will work with adjacent teams to accomplish the mission.
The Honor Guard offers three courses that train team members on the various aspects of Military Funeral Honors.
Four Day Course
This one day course instructs team members how to conduct basic two Soldier funeral missions. Topics covered include uniform wear, Honor Guard drill and ceremonies, flag folding and ceremonial bugle use. Upon completion of this course, team members should be able to participate successfully in a two Soldier detail.
Twelve Day Course
This course usually takes place over twelve days, depending on mission requirements. The team member will be instructed on full honors funerals and nine Soldier details. Topics include advanced uniform preparation, six Soldier flag fold, casket carry, and firing party. Soldiers must complete a practical examination at the end of the course, and complete an online class to be considered trained to standard. After completion of this course, team members should be able to participate successfully in a full honors funeral.
Two Week Course
The eighty-hour course is the culmination of Honor Guard training. This course takes place at various locations over two weeks. During the two weeks of training, team members will be instructed by Old Guard Certified trainers. This training will hone the skills taught in the twelve day course, and teach advanced techniques to help team members accomplish the mission under various circumstances. The student is evaluated on his or her uniform, knowledge, and proficiency in all aspects of Military Funeral Honors.
The primary benefit of the Honor Guard is the gratification of honoring one’s comrades, and providing comfort to grieving family members. Being a team member, however, does have tangible benefits.
M-Day Soldiers will be paid a Funeral Honors Duty Allowance, with is the same as one IDT stipend (one UTA), regardless of how many missions they perform that day. Retirees receive $50 per mission, regardless of rank. Training is also in a paid status.
The four- and twelve-day courses are both considered resident courses for the purpose of enlisted promotion points.
Soldiers who successfully complete thirty funeral missions are eligible for the NJ Honor Guard Ribbon.
Meet New People
The Honor Guard is comprised of Soldiers from units throughout the state. You will meet people from outside your MOS and unit.