The “Dress” in the Honor Guard Dress Uniform

Honor Guards serve a very distinguished place in many organized occupations, honoring the fallen and representing groups in ceremonial functions. The uniform of particular guards may vary greatly depending on who they represent. There are basics to a dress uniform as well as individual specifications. The basic guard uniform consists of the service dress uniform coat with epaulets and slacks/trousers, service cap, cap device, a tie or an ascot, patch, shoulder cord, white pistol belt, formal white gloves, and a non-operating parade rifle with sling. Helmets or helmet liners may be used instead of caps; however, all members of an honor or color guard should be in the same style, if possible.

Each type of Honor Guard has different variations; therefore, the uniforms have intricacies of the specific faction they are representing. Ranging from Law Enforcement to EMS/EMT’s, the accessories to their dress uniform can use items to represent rank, accomplishments, and badges. These accessories can include one or more of the following.

Insignia and accouterments:

1. Citation cords of various color

2. Faction/Branch insignia

3. Insignia of grade

4. Headgear insignia

5. Shoulder sleeve insignia (SSI)

6. Law Enforcement detail unit

7. Rank and Class bars

8. Service stripes

9. Decorations

10. Awards and badges

Citation Cords are an understated but highly used attribute of an honor guard uniform. Citation Cords can vary in and of themselves, distinguishing different groups, levels, or rank. There are also various cords that are sometimes authorized for wear at unit or group-level (such as Cadet of the Year, etc.), or to designate a special role at an event/activity, or to represent where they are from. Some common colors include gold, red, green, blue, white, and many, many more.

Most members of the many different Honor Guards, including Standard Bearers, Firing Detail and Pall Bearers wear the Dress uniform with the addition of white parade gloves. White cotton parade gloves are a must for special occasions and events in law enforcement and the military. They’re also great for directing traffic or crowds. Parade rifles are used by a number of groups, including honor guards, color guards, and drill teams. Because of safety, availability, and legal issues in different geographic locations, there isn’t any reason to use a real rifle when a replica rifle will works to suit the occasion. A usual selection of ceremonial rifles offers options in weight, balance, and finish. These rifles are the perfect solution for competitions, performances, parades, and training.

Many professional uniform companies carry honor guard and dress uniforms including custom uniforms to suit this special unit of any service organization, especially Law Enforcement, EMT/EMS, and Firefighters, offering individualized products. There are many variations on the Honor Guard uniforms as well as parade rifles and many different accessories but outfitting this special unit is crucial for the special occasions they are called upon to perform their respective duties. It is important that the Honor Guard Uniform reflects the professionalism of the Guard, itself.