Honor guard
An honor guard, or ceremonial guard, is a ceremonial unit, usually military in nature and composed of volunteers who are carefully screened for their physical ability and dexterity. Only those persons who are highly motivated and maintain exceptionally high standards of appearance and conduct and show aptitude for ceremonial duty are likely to be considered.

A primary role for honor guards in the United States and some other countries is to provide funeral honors for fallen comrades and to guard national monuments. An honor guard may also serve as the "guardians of the colors" by displaying and escorting the national flag on ceremonial occasions at official state functions. Finally, honor guards usually provide detachments for review by visiting heads of state. Honor guards also serve in the civilian world for fallen police officers and other civil servants. Persons serving in this capacity may or may not be designated, meaning they may not be assigned to serve each and every time there is a funeral in their jurisdiction.

In the U.S., military honor guards may serve as ambassadors to the public, presenting a positive image of their service, and assisting with the recruiting effort.

Honor guards around the world


Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers (Argentina). Still serving as part of Argentine Army
Argentine Army
The Argentine Army is the land armed force branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic and the senior military service of the country.- History :...

. They are the presidential guard and ceremonial companion. Two unmounted grenadiers are step in front of the Pink House (la Casa Rosada
Casa Rosada
La Casa Rosada is the official seat of the executive branch of the government of Argentina, and of the offices of the President. The President normally lives at the Quinta de Olivos, a compound in Olivos, Buenos Aires Province. Its characteristic color is pink, and is considered one of the most...

) as symbol of ceremonial and honor guard.


The Brazilian armed forces and police have several troops for ceremonial usages. The most important of them is the Brazilian president's
President of Brazil
The president of Brazil is both the head of state and head of government of the Federative Republic of Brazil. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the Brazilian Armed Forces...

 honor guard. It is composed of the 1st Guards Cavalry Regiment (1o Regimento de Cavalaria de Guardas - RCG, in Portuguese) - "Independence Dragoons", the Presidential Guard Battalion
Presidential Guard Battalion (Brazil)
The Presidential Guard Battalion is a unit of the Brazilian Army and honor guard to the President of Brazil. Two other units, the 1st Guards Cavalry Regiment and the Cayenne Battery, are also part of the presidential honor guard....

 (Batalhão da Guarda Presidencial - BGP, in Portuguese) and the Cayenne Battery
Cayenne Battery
The Cayenne Battery of the Brazilian Army is one of three military units that comprise the Brazilian president's honor guard, the others being the 1st Guards Cavalry Regiment - "Independence Dragoons" and the Presidential Guard Battalion ."Cayenne Battery" was how the Brazilian colonial troops,...

 (formally, the Historical Cayenne Battery - Bateria Histórica Caiena, in Portuguese).


Bulgarian guard of honor
National Guards Unit of Bulgaria
The National Guards Unit of Bulgaria is the successor of the Personal Cavalry Convoy of knyaz Alexander I, founded in 1879, when on July 12 the guards escorted the Bulgarian knyaz for the first time. Accordingly 12 July is the official holiday of the modern National Guard Unit...

Bulgarian language
Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group.Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language, demonstrates several linguistic characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages such as the elimination of case declension, the...

: Gvardeitsi) are guarding President's office in Sofia
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...



The Canadian guard of honour comes from all branches of the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

. The Canadian guard of honour participates in ceremonies such as Canada Day
Canada Day
Canada Day , formerly Dominion Day , is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act , which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire...

 and in carrying fallen soldiers from transport planes arriving from Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...



Honor guards, as known as Combined Honor Guard of the People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

, are provided by the Capital Garrison in Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

. They marched as the first division in the military parade of 50th anniversary and 60th anniversary
60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China
The 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China took place on October 1, 2009. A military parade involving 10,000 troops and the display of many high-tech weapons was held in Tiananmen Square in Beijing and various celebrations were conducted all over the country...

 of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...



The 37th Infantry Presidential Guard Battalion, composed of 5 companies, a historical company and 1 artillery battery
Artillery battery
In military organizations, an artillery battery is a unit of guns, mortars, rockets or missiles so grouped in order to facilitate better battlefield communication and command and control, as well as to provide dispersion for its constituent gunnery crews and their systems...

 plus a military band
Military band
A military band originally was a group of personnel that performs musical duties for military functions, usually for the armed forces. A typical military band consists mostly of wind and percussion instruments. The conductor of a band commonly bears the title of Bandmaster or Director of Music...

, a fanfare trumpet section and Corps of Drums
Corps of Drums
A Corps of Drums is a type of military band, which originated in European armies in the 16th century. The main instruments of a Corps of Drums are the drum and the flute or fife. Unlike 'full' military marching bands, Corps of Drums exist within an infantry battalion. A Drum major is the leader of...

, is the President of Colombia
President of Colombia
The President of Colombia is the head of state and head of government of the Republic of Colombia. The office of president was established upon the ratification of the Constitution of 1819, by the Congress of Angostura, convened in December 1819, when Colombia was part of "la Gran Colombia"...

's honor guard service regiment. It's stationed at the Casa de Narino
Casa de Nariño
The Casa de Nariño or Palacio de Nariño is the official home and principal workplace of the President of Colombia. It houses the main office of the executive branch and is located in the capital city of Bogotá...

 in Bogota
Bogotá, Distrito Capital , from 1991 to 2000 called Santa Fé de Bogotá, is the capital, and largest city, of Colombia. It is also designated by the national constitution as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, even though the city of Bogotá now comprises an independent Capital district...



In Croatia, the Honor Guard Battalion serves as the guard of honor. The Honor Guard Battalion performs protocol tasks for the needs of top level state and military officials, as well as tasks related to the protection and security of the Commander-in-Chief (President of the Republic of Croatia). It consist up to 300 members.

Czech Republic

Ceremonial duties are usually served by the Castle Guard, a special unit of the armed forces of the Czech Republic, organized under the Military Office of the President of the Czech Republic
Military of the Czech Republic
The Army of the Czech Republic comprise the land forces, the Czech Air Force and support units. From the late 1940s to 1989, the extensive Czechoslovak Armed Forces formed one of the pillars of the Warsaw Pact military alliance...

, directly subordinate to the President of the Republic
President of the Czech Republic
The President of the Czech Republic is the head of state of the Czech Republic. Unlike his counterparts in Austria and Hungary, who are generally considered figureheads, the Czech President has a considerable role in political affairs...



The Honor Guard in Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 was the MH 32. Budapest Őr- és Díszezred (HDF 32nd Budapest Guard and Ceremonial Regiment) until 31 December 2006, than disbanded. From 1 January 2007 was the Ceremonial Battalion branch, part of the MH Támogató Dandár (MH TD, HDF Support Brigade) until 31 December 2010. Converted from 1 January 2011 to Nemzeti Honvéd Díszegység (National Home Defense Ceremonial Band) as part of the MH TD and achieved the service from 25 April.


In India, the Guard of Honour is provided by men drawn from three services of the Indian military. The Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.


In France, the Republican Guard serves as the guard of honor.


The Honor Guard in Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 is made up of members selected from the Navy, Army or Air force. Some of their duties include protection of the Mexican flag in Zocalo
The Zócalo is the main plaza or square in the heart of the historic center of Mexico City. The plaza used to be known simply as the "Main Square" or "Arms Square," and today its formal name is Plaza de la Constitución...

, and the raising and lowering of it. Also, are those who are selected from another scout (Mexican historic society: Eagle warrior and Cougar Warriors, schools, Sports centers, celebrities, etc...)


The Honor Guard in Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 is the Batalion Reprezentacyjny Wojska Polskiego (Ceremonial Battalion of Polish Forces) from 1 January 2001.


Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, the Guard of Honour is provided by men drawn from three services of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. The Sri Lanka Army, the Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Air Force. During the colonial era the Lascarins
Lascarins is a term used in Sri Lanka to identify indigenous soldiers who fought for the Portuguese during the Portuguese era and continued to serve as colonial soldiers until the 1930s....

 provided the local honor guards apart from British Army, British Indian Army or Ceylon Defence Force personal.


Honor guard service is carried out by all units of the Swedish Armed Forces
Swedish Armed Forces
The Swedish Armed Forces is a Swedish Government Agency responsible for the operation of the armed forces of the Realm. The primary task of the agency is to train, organize and to deploy military forces, domestically and abroad, while maintaining the long-term ability to defend the Realm in the...

 although the Life Guards regiment
Life Guards (Swedish Army)
The Life Guards is a combined cavalry/infantry regiment of the Swedish Army, with responsibility for training. The infantry battalion trains ordinary infantry soldiers in both the mechanized and rifle roles, as well as training clerical soldiers. The Guards Battalion consists of three companies,...

 (Livgardet) accounts for the main part of the honor guards.

The Royal Guards
Royal Guards (Sweden)
The Royal Guards , the Main Guard at the Stockholm Palace is carried out by units of the Swedish Armed Forces. It is the King of Sweden's guard of honour and is responsible for the protection of the Royal Family. The Royal Guard is normally divided in two parts, the main guard stationed at the...

 (Högvakten) at the Stockholm Palace
Stockholm Palace
The Stockholm Palace is the official residence and major royal palace of the Swedish monarch. . Stockholm Palace is located on Stadsholmen , in Gamla Stan in the capital, Stockholm...

 and the Drottningholm Palace
Drottningholm Palace
The Drottningholm Palace is the private residence of the Swedish royal family. It is located in Drottningholm. It is built on the island Lovön , and is one of Sweden's Royal Palaces. It was originally built in the late 16th century. It served as a residence of the Swedish royal court for most of...

 is the honor guard to the King of Sweden. The service is carried out by the Life Guards as well as other units of the Swedish Armed Forces including the Home Guard and other voluntary defence organisations.

The Grenadier company of the Life Guards is used as a honor guard at state visit welcoming ceremonies. A detachment of grenadiers is also used as honor guard at the opening of the Swedish parliament
Parliament of Sweden
The Riksdag is the national legislative assembly of Sweden. The riksdag is a unicameral assembly with 349 members , who are elected on a proportional basis to serve fixed terms of four years...

 (Riksdagen), when an ambassador meets with the King at an audience to present his credential
A credential is an attestation of qualification, competence, or authority issued to an individual by a third party with a relevant or de facto authority or assumed competence to do so....

s and when the King attends an annual meeting of one of the Royal Academies
Swedish Royal Academies
The Royal Academies are independent organisations, founded on Royal command, that act to promote the arts, culture, and science in Sweden. The Swedish Academy and Academy of Sciences are also responsible for the selection of Nobel Prize laureates in Literature, Physics, Chemistry, and the Prize in...


Drabantvakt ("Royal Bodygard"), commonly known as Karl XI:s drabanter ("The Bodyguard of Charles XI
Charles XI of Sweden
Charles XI also Carl, was King of Sweden from 1660 until his death, in a period in Swedish history known as the Swedish empire ....

") and Karl XII:s drabanter ("The Bodyguard of Charles XII
Charles XII of Sweden
Charles XII also Carl of Sweden, , Latinized to Carolus Rex, Turkish: Demirbaş Şarl, also known as Charles the Habitué was the King of the Swedish Empire from 1697 to 1718...

") is a ceremonial guard used at state occasions such as state visits, investiture of a monarch, royal weddings and funerals etc. The guard was formed in 1860 based on historical royal bodyguards. The design of the uniforms of the guard is inspired by, but not identical to uniforms used during the reign of Carles XI and Charles XII respectively. The guard consists of 24 soldiers and one officer selected from the Life Guards.


In the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 (Taiwan), the honor guard is provided by members from the three service branches of the Republic of China Armed Forces, including the ROC Army, ROC Navy and the ROC Air Force, usually present at the places as follows:
  • The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
    Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
    The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attractions erected in memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. It is located in Taipei, Republic of China ....

     in Taipei
    Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

  • The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
    Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
    The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is located in Taipei, Republic of China . It is a memorial to the Republic of China's National Father, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, and was completed on 1972. The total building area covers in an open space of...

     in Taipei
    Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

  • The National Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrine in Taipei
    Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

  • The Cihu Presidential Burial Place in Taoyuan
  • The Daxi Presidential Burial Place in Taoyuan

United States

Each military branch has its own honor guard: Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, Marines
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

, Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

, and Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

. Most state national guard units have a ceremonial guard as well. The official honor guard of every branch is based in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, though nearly every military installation will have its own honor guard for local ceremonies and events. The honor guard units in Washington, D.C. represent the military as a whole and the United States as a nation, and perform numerous ceremonies on behalf of the President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....


Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

's Tomb of the Unknowns
Tomb of the Unknowns
The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument dedicated to American service members who have died without their remains being identified. It is located in Arlington National Cemetery in the United States...

 is guarded by members of the U.S. 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).


Honor guards are present at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a large memorial in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located in the centre of Ba Dinh Square, which is the place where Vietminh leader Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.- History :Construction...

 in Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

, all coming from the three services of the Vietnam People's Army
Vietnam People's Army
The Vietnam People's Army is the armed forces of Vietnam. The VPA includes: the Vietnamese People's Ground Forces , the Vietnam People's Navy , the Vietnam People's Air Force, and the Vietnam Marine Police.During the French Indochina War , the VPA was often referred to as the Việt...


See also

  • Guard of honour
    Guard of honour
    A guard of honour is a ceremonial event practice in military and sports as a mark of respect.-Military:In the military a guard of honour is a ceremonial practice to honour visiting foreign dignitaries, or the fallen in war, or a ceremony for public figures who have died.The commander is three paces...

  • Color guard
    Color guard
    In the military of the United States and other militaries, the color guard carries the National Color and other flags appropriate to its position in the chain of command. Typically these include a unit flag and a departmental flag...

  • Change of command (military)
    Change of command (military)
    A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding or flag officer to another...

  • Military rites
    Military rites
    Military rites are honors presented at a funeral for a member of a military or police force. These rites, which are performed at the burial, include the firing of rifles, presenting of a flag and or bugle calls. In Australia and New Zealand a Poppy Service is often held for members of the Armed...

External links

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