Air Force, Maxwell Honor Guard members spend a week training
Members of the Maxwell Honor Guard practice ceremonial procedures while being observed by members of the Air Force Honor Guard team. Members of the Air Force Honor Guard from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, D.C. regularly travel to provide specialized training to base level honor guard members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Voss)
Air Force, Maxwell Honor Guard members spend a week training

by Master Sgt. Michael Voss
Air University Public Affairs

10/17/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Recently, the Air Force Honor Guard team spent 10 days training the Maxwell Honor Guard ceremonial procedures from changes of command to military funerals.

The Air Force team, based at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington D.C., travels regularly to provide base level members specialized training they have acquired from more than 225 honor guards around the world.

The last time the Air Force team visited Maxwell was 2010. During that visit, they spent 80 hours training on the minute details of ceremonies.

During this visit, however, training focused on honing skills centered around the responsibilities of burial ceremonies, posting colors outdoors and firing party procedures.

"The Air Force Honor Guard comes here every two to three years and does training in the base facilities," said Master Sgt. Danny Bradberry, Maxwell Honor Guard superintendent. "It is beneficial because all of our Airmen receive the same training to refine and sharpen their skills."

According to Bradberry, when the Air Force Honor Guard visits, the training is maximized, providing a broad brush of the big picture ceremonies. This is necessary to accommodate the schedules of the Air Force Honor Guard, who train 800 students per year, and the Maxwell Honor Guard, who provide honors for fallen service members throughout the Southeast.

"If I had a magic wand, I would like them to stay longer," said Bradberry. "We would use the extra time to refine the training to the specific ceremonies we perform here on a regular basis. Our Airmen train hard to honor our retirees and deceased, but this training helps focus on the fine details."

Although the training days during the visit were filled with fast-paced work, the appreciation the base members have for the training was evident.

"The younger Airmen definitely benefit from this in-depth training," said Staff Sgt. Mindy Breedlove, Community College of the Air Force program manager and Maxwell Honor Guard member. "I now know what I was doing wrong, and I will not make those mistakes again."

Though the Air Force Honor Guard team has returned to Bolling, the effects of the training are lasting, according to Bradberry, who also said he has a great baseline of trainers for future honor guard members.

"The Air Force Honor Guard is hands down the best honor guard in the world," said Bradberry. "This training was a rare opportunity for our Airmen, and they are better because of it."