Service members from a Joint Armed Forces Color Guard and The United States Army Band presented the colors during the national anthem at the NFL Pro Bowl in Las Vegas February 6, 2022.
“Working the Pro Bowl was an amazing experience,” said Marine Cpl. James Lilley. “To come out here and represent the Marine Corps, as well as the entire military, was a great honor.”
Specially selected from the honor guard units of each military service within the National Capital Region, these Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen, provide ceremonial support and excellence throughout the Washington, D.C. area.
“Vegas is beautiful,” said Seaman Haley Tanner. “We were honored to represent all the services and our honor guards based in D.C. I’m super grateful for this opportunity.”
Each member of a joint color guard carries their respective service color (military-branch flag) with attached campaign streamers. The color guard's flank men carry M14 rifles.
“I had a great time at the Pro Bowl representing the Department of Defense and bearing the Space Force flag,” said Air Force Airman 1st Class Yoana Loredo-Benitez. The Space Force flag was added to the joint color guard following its unveiling in 2020 and is currently carried by a member of the Air Force Honor Guard.
The United States Army Band provided two drummers to accompany the colors and represent a time in history when drummers accompanied the colors to keep troops in step, assist in ceremonial duties, and signal movements on the battlefield.
In addition to their appearance at the Pro Bowl, the JAFCG and drummers from The United States Army Band conducted educational clinics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The JAFCG met with UNLV Army and Air Force ROTC cadets. The two programs often conduct joint missions together for events like Memorial Day and Veterans Day. For the cadets, the day of training with the JAFCG was another chance to collaborate and to hone their skills with the guidance of the JAFCG.
Marine Sgt. Cameron Williams, 40th Color Sergeant of the Marine explained the training his Marines conduct in order to meet the service’s high standards and achieve ceremonial excellence.
“If you put the time, the effort, and the work in, you’re going to get better. I promise you,” said Williams, as he emphasized dedication with the cadets.
While the JAFCG spent time with the ROTC cadets, Drummers from The United States Army Band conducted a clinic for UNLV music students. Staff Sgt. Michael Dillman and Staff Sgt. Brian Blume shared their experiences as military musicians and the opportunities available to serve both as a Soldier and as a professional musician. Blume and Dillman demonstrated techniques, played along with the students and answered questions.
A JAFCG and drummers from the National Capital Region are scheduled to present the colors during Super Bowl LVI, February 13, 2022.
“We continue to embrace our relationship with the NFL as they continue to highlight the skills, capabilities and talents of the U.S. Armed Forces,” said Jeremy Kern, public affairs officer, U.S. Army Military District of Washington. “Community outreach is a crucial Department of Defense activity that reinforces trust and confidence in our military.”
The service members for the JAFCGs are from U.S. Marine Corps Ceremonial and Guard Company, Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.; U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, Navy District Washington, Washington, D.C.; U.S. Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard, Telecommunications Information Systems Command Center, Alexandria, Virginia; U.S. Air Force Honor Guard, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.; and the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia.
As the official ceremonial units for their respective services, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard Honor Guards routinely participate in ceremonies at the Pentagon, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, national memorials, throughout the National Capital Region and across the country.