Airman Marco Ruiz, a native of Fontana, has completed an intensive 10-week training program to become a member of the elite U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard.
“I joined the Navy because I’ve always wanted to serve my country while at the same time travel the world and explore career opportunities,” said Ruiz.
Established in 1931, the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard is the official honor guard of the U.S. Navy and is based at Naval District Washington Anacostia Annex in Washington, D.C.
According to Navy officials, the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guardâs primary mission is to represent the service in presidential, Joint Armed Forces, Navy, and public ceremonies in and around the nationâs capital. Members of the Navy Ceremonial Guard participate in some of the nationâs most prestigious ceremonies, including presidential inaugurations and arrival ceremonies for foreign officials.
“What I like best about the Ceremonial Guard is that I get to work with great people and do cool stuff,” said Ruiz.
Sailors of the Ceremonial Guard are hand selected while they are attending boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. Strict military order and discipline, combined with teamwork, allow the Ceremonial Guard members to fulfill their responsibilities with pride and determination. They are experts in the art of close order drill, coordination and timing.
The Ceremonial Guard is comprised of the drill team, color guard, casket bearers and firing party.
Casket bearers carry the Navy’s past service members to their resting ground. The firing party renders the 21 gun salute, the signature honor of military funerals, during every Navy funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.
There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers.
“Iâm most proud of completing the initial training to become a guardsman,” said Ruiz. “It is very intense but with the proper mentorship and discipline, I can definitely say it was one of my biggest accomplishments.”