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SARATOGA NATIONAL CEMETERY

HONOR GUARD ASSOCIATION

SNCHGA SOP HG-2Page 1

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES

TRANSPORTATION HG-2

Dated: 1 May 2016. Supersedes all previous SOPs for Transportation

PURPOSE: The purpose of this SOP is to outline transportation and vehicle

parking at the cemetery.

TRANSPORTATION from the squad room area to the committal shelter will be

primarily via the Honor Guard bus.

1. Squad Leader will designate squad member to drive the bus.

a. Driver will pick up the bus from the maintenance area

b. Driver will perform maintenance check required by the cemetery

personnel

c. Driver will move bus to the squad room area to pick up squad

members and will drive back and forth to the committal shelter as

needed.

d. At the committal area, park in the paved cut-out facing away from

the shelter; if space is not available then park on the cemetery

access roadway, facing away from the shelter.

i. In winter leave the bus running if necessary

e. At the end of the duty day, driver will return bus to the

maintenance area and notify maintenance personnel of any repairs

needed. Driver will ensure debris is removed, bus is swept if

necessary. Driver will plug in bus in cold weather.

f. Driver will not take bus off the cemetery grounds at any time.

2. If the bus is not available, members should carpool in POVs to keep

traffic at a minimum. POVs are not to be driven through the maintenance

yard. When POV travel is required/desired, members will have to go

through the main entrance to the cemetery and travel through the

cemetery to the appropriate shelter. It is recommended that POVs be

parked at the shelter that is not in use and members walk from there.
 
 
 
 
 

 
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hg 2 sop transportation.docx
 
 

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SARATOGA NATIONAL CEMETERY

HONOR GUARD ASSOCIATION

SNCHGA SOP HG-3Page 1

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES—HG 3

FUNERAL PROCEDURES

Dated: 1 May 2016. This SOP supersedes all previous editions of funeral

procedures and SOP HG-3 .

PURPOSE: The purpose of this SOP is to outline cemetery procedures to be

followed and duties to be performed by Honor Guard personnel.

All personnel are to be positioned prior to arrival of the remains. Squad leader

(SL) can determine that the funeral party is on the way to the shelter either through

radio contact with cemetery personnel or by line of sight. Squad leader may

command either the Flag Detail or the Rifle Detail and must designate a

representative to command the alternate detail. [For purposes of this SOP, we will

designate SL for the Flag Detail and the Assistant Squad Leader (ASL) for the

Rifle Detail.]

1. FOR CASKET.

a. FLAG DETAIL. Flag detail will form on the sidewalk leading up to

the shelter area. Members will flank the sidewalk on both sides, with

the members folding the flag closest to the shelter area and the Squad

Leader closest to the sidewalk.

i. As the hearse approaches, SL will call the detail to attention and

will salute the hearse until it comes to a stop. SL will then

execute order arms.

ii. As the casket begins to move toward the shelter area, SL

will order PRESENT, ARMS and all members will salute. As

the casket passes the last members of the flag detail, SL will

command ORDER, ARMS. SL commands POST and

members turn to face the committal shelter. SL orders

FORWARD, MARCH; members proceed at a slow march

behind the casket until they reach the front chairs. Members

halt without command and wait for the casket to be properly

positioned by the funeral director. SL then orders POST and

the FOLDERS (Folder and Holder) go to the head and foot of
 
 
 
 
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SARATOGA NATIONAL CEMETERY

HONOR GUARD ASSOCIATION

SNCHGA SOP HG-3Page 2

the casket; other members and SL go to the outside edges of the

shelter. NOTE: SL must be on the side closest to the roadway

in order to notify the Rifle Squad. Members then go to

PARADE REST (without command) until the end of the

religious service/family comments.

iii. Upon notification (usually a nod of the head) from the

clergy/funeral director/cemetery personnel, the SL comes to

ATTENTION and calls his/her detail to ATTENTION. SL

then notifies the family/mourners of the sequence about to

happen. For example: “We will now have 3 volleys of rifle fire,

followed by TAPS.” If there are small children/infants among

the mourners, SL might also add a warning about the loudness

of the rifle fire, for example: “The rifle fire can be quite loud;

anyone with sensitive hearing might wish to protect their ears.”

SL then executes an ABOUT FACE, salutes to commander of

the Rifle Party, executes another ABOUT FACE, and

commands the flag detail: PRESENT ARMS, and salutes.

The SALUTE is held until the last notes of TAPS. SL then

commands ORDER ARMS.

iv. Flag folders pick up the flag, raise it and tilt it slightly

towards the family, then proceed to make the first fold with the

stripes over the blue field. After making the second fold, the

folders take 3 steps away from the casket, holding the flag

horizontal. If there are additional members available, they then

step towards the middle of the flag to help hold it taut as the

flag is folded into the triangle shape. Members use their

judgment as to when to step away to allow the folders to

complete the fold. NOTE: all members should assist in making

sure no red shows when the flag is completely folded. Folders

should not hesitate to back up and refold if necessary. After the

flag is completely folded, the folder takes it and smooths it as

necessary. He/she then lowers the folded flag to a horizontal

position and turns it so the point faces him. He hands the flag

to the holder and does a slow salute. He then aligns himself

with other members facing the family. [If the folder is also

responsible for the unit colors, he will move to that position

instead.] The holder again smooths the flag, checking once

again to ensure no red is showing. He turns the flag so that the
 
 
 
 
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SARATOGA NATIONAL CEMETERY

HONOR GUARD ASSOCIATION

SNCHGA SOP HG-3Page 3

point is facing him. He executes an ABOUT FACE and gives

the flag to the PRESENTER (usually the SL). The holder then

salutes and aligns himself with the other members, facing the

family.

v. The individual in charge of the service flag will remove

the flag from the holder.

vi. The PRESENTER will turn the flag so that the point is

facing him, then execute appropriate facing movements to

position himself in front of the next-of- kin, who will receive the

flag.

1. He presents the flag to the NOK with the phrase: “This

flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation, in

appreciation of the honorable and faithful service

rendered by your loved one.”

2. He then gives the NOK the packet with 3 spent shells and

these or similar words: “These spent shells represent the

rifle fire you just heard; that was our salute to this fallen

comrade.”

vii. PRESENTER then comes to attention and all members

execute a slow salute. The individual holding the service flag

dips the flag in salute. PRESENTER then commands: “Retire

the colors”; member in charge of the colors removes the flag

from its standard and marches out with it. All members follow.

b. RIFLE DETAIL. Rifle Detail will form on the roadway leading

from the shelter to the parking area. The Assistant Squad Leader or

designated representative will march the detail to its position on the

roadway, approximately 40-70 yards from the shelter. From the front

of the detail he will command DRESS RIGHT DRESS, then position

himself to make necessary adjustments to the detail alignment. He

will command READY FRONT and PARADE REST, and take his

position to the right of or behind the detail.

i. As the remains arrive, ASL will call the detail to ATTENTION

and PRESENT ARMS until the remains are in place in the
 
 
 
 
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SARATOGA NATIONAL CEMETERY

HONOR GUARD ASSOCIATION

SNCHGA SOP HG-3Page 4

shelter. After the remains are in place, he will command

ORDER ARMS and PARADE REST.

ii. At the conclusion of the clergy service, the SL in the

shelter will turn to face the Rifle Detail, and will salute the

ASL. The ASL will come to attention, return the salute, and

bring the detail to ATTENTION.

iii. At the command WITH BLANK AMMUNITION

LOAD, the Rifle Detail will come to PORT ARMS, execute a

Half Right, and extend the right foot out to the right

approximately 10 inches to a position that gives the member a

steady stance. On the command READY, the detail will move

the rifle safety to the firing position, and on the command AIM

will bring the rifle to the right shoulder with both hands, muzzle

to the front and at an angle of 45 degrees to the horizontal.

iv. On the command FIRE, the rifle detail will squeeze the

trigger quickly and in unison and return the weapon to READY

ARMS, awaiting the 2 nd and 3 rd commands AIM, FIRE.

[NOTE: with bolt action rifles, the command READY will

precede AIM, FIRE all three times so that members will

chamber a round in the rifles.)

v. After the 3 rd round has been fired, the detail will return to

PORT ARMS. The next command will be CEASE FIRE. At

this command, members will put the safety on their weapons.

vi. The ASL will command PRESENT ARMS. TAPS will

sound. At the conclusion of TAPS, the ASL will command

ORDER ARMS. Members will return to Order Arms in a four

count movement, the first count being a return to Port Arms.

At his discretion, ASL will give one of the following two

commands:

1. PARADE REST. At this command, all members will

wait for the conclusion of the services. After the flag

detail departs the shelter, ASL will command

ATTENTION, PORT ARMS, LEFT FACE,

FORWARD MARCH to depart the area.
 
 
 
 
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SARATOGA NATIONAL CEMETERY

HONOR GUARD ASSOCIATION

SNCHGA SOP HG-3Page 5

2. PORT ARMS, LEFT FACE, FORWARD MARCH to

depart the area without waiting for the flag detail to

complete folding the flag and departing the shelter.

[Recommended in inclement weather]

vii. As the Rifle Detail departs, ASL will ensure expended

brass is policed from the area.

2. CREMATION.

a. FLAG DETAIL. Flag detail will form to greet the remains in the

same manner as for a casket. The funeral director or cemetery

representative will give the urn to the HOLDER, and the flag to the

FOLDER. SL will give the commands POST and FORWARD

MARCH. Detail will march to the shelter, stopping at the forward

chairs.

i. At the command POST, the holder will step forward and place

the urn on the stand. He will then take his place to the left of

the stand.

ii. At the second command of POST, the folder will step

forward and place the flag in front of and leaning against the

urn. He then steps back, salutes, and takes his place to the right

of the stand.

iii. At the third command of POST, all remaining members

move to their designated positions.

iv. All members assume the position of PARADE REST

until the conclusion of the religious service/family remarks.

v. SL calls the detail to ATTENTION, tells the gathering

that we will have Rifle Fire and TAPS (see 1.a.iii) executes an

ABOUT FACE and salutes the Rifle Detail. He executes

another ABOUT FACE, and commands PRESENT ARMS.

vi. At the conclusion of TAPS, SL commands ORDER

ARMS. The FOLDER then steps forward, salutes the

flag/remains, and picks up the American Flag. He turns to the

HOLDER, who steps out and the two of them unfold the flag.
 
 
 
 
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SARATOGA NATIONAL CEMETERY

HONOR GUARD ASSOCIATION

SNCHGA SOP HG-3Page 6

vii. The remainder of the service proceeds in the same

manner as for a casket (see 1.a.iv. through 1.a.vi.)

b. RIFLE DETAIL. Same as for casket.

3. For funeral services at SNC, the HG will use the ceremonial PARADE

REST or ceremonial AT EASE. The positions are easier to maintain than

the more formal positions and are appropriate for funeral services. In both

the ceremonial PARADE REST and the ceremonial AT EASE, the feet are

positioned approximately shoulder width apart (or at a width comfortable for

the individual) and the hands are folded in front of the body, arms extended,

with right hand over the left.
 

 

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SARATOGA NATIONAL CEMETERY

HONOR GUARD ASSOCIATION

SNCHGA SOP HG-4Page 1

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES—HG 4

DRESS AND APPEARANCE

Dated: 1 May 2016. This SOP supersedes all previous editions of HG 4.

1. PURPOSE: The purpose of the SOP is to standardize uniform requirements

for members of the Saratoga National Cemetery Honor Guard Association

(HG).

2. UNIFORM: The uniform for the HG is issued by the Quartermaster, except

as noted below, and will be as follows:

a. Summer.

i. Long sleeved white shirt with organizational patch affixed to

the left sleeve, and American Flag with blue field forward

affixed to the right sleeve.

ii. Gold shoulder cord worn on the left arm, with all parts

worn under the arm.

iii. Gold Garrison cap worn slightly tilted over the right side

of the head, with the front being two fingers above the eye.

iv. Black trousers,

v. white belt with brass buckle and tip,

vi. black oxfords (preferably patent leather),

vii. white web weapons belt,

viii. white gloves,

ix. Gold ascot.

x. Optional: white suspenders, purchased at member’s

expense

b. Winter. Same as summer, with the following additions/exceptions:

i. Black sweater

ii. Black overcoat/raincoat,

iii. White scarf, as needed

iv. Black gloves (rifle squad and bugler only)
 
 
 
 
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SARATOGA NATIONAL CEMETERY

HONOR GUARD ASSOCIATION

SNCHGA SOP HG-4Page 2

v. Black boots (purchased by member) or issued black

overshoes

vi. Black fur cap with organizational patch affixed. Worn

with flaps up unless weather dictates otherwise (squad leader

decision)

vii. Black earmuffs

c. Accoutrements

i. Nametag. Nametag (issued, black with white lettering, last

name only) will be centered on the flap of the right breast

pocket of the shirt. Nametags will not be worn on any other

uniform item.

ii. Ribbons. This organization was formed to honor the

deceased veterans interred at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga

National Cemetery. Our intent is that the deceased veteran is

the one to be recognized. As such, it is the decision of the

membership that we will not wear ribbons earned on our

uniforms at any time, nor will this item be allowed to be

brought to the membership for a vote. This is a closed decision.

iii. No other devices of any kind will be affixed to the

uniform, unless and until voted on and agreed to at a general

membership meeting.

iv. Gold cord (item 2.a.ii) and white web weapons belt (item

2.a.vii) will be worn on the outside of all uniform combinations,

with the exception of the raincoat. All parts of the gold cord

will be worn under the arm.

3. APPEARANCE.

a. All personnel performing Honor Guard duties, whether at the

cemetery or as a representative elsewhere, will ensure that they meet

or exceed standards set forth

i. Shirts will be clean, pressed, and properly fitted

ii. Trousers cleaned and pressed. Hem should rest on the

top of the shoes, with a slight break in the crease.

iii. Shoes clean and highly shined
 
 
 
 
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SARATOGA NATIONAL CEMETERY

HONOR GUARD ASSOCIATION

SNCHGA SOP HG-4Page 3

iv. Ascots clean and pressed

v. Caps cleaned and pressed

vi. Hair neatly trimmed, tied back as necessary; must not

interfere with proper wear of the hat

vii. Beards and mustaches neatly trimmed

viii. Earrings, if worn, are small studs only

b. Uniform items that cannot be cleaned, or are faded/worn, will be

brought to the attention of the Quartermaster for replacement.

c. Members who fail to meet these appearance standards will be relieved

from duty until the situation has been corrected.