On Memorial Day, Haysville native has unique assignment as member of elite Navy Honor Guard

By Dusty Good, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Airman Bryce Shipe

As the nation pauses to remember those who have died in service to America, a 2016 Campus High School and Haysville, Kansas native has special responsibilities on Memorial Day, serving with the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard in Washington D.C.

Airman Bryce Shipe, is participating as part of the Navy drill team for the Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He is a member of the seven-person Navy Ceremonial Guard firing party that renders the 21 Gun Salute, the signature honor of military funerals, during every Navy Funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.

“I look forward to having the opportunity to honor our fallen heroes who have served this great nation,” said Shipe.

Established in 1931, the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard is the official Ceremonial Unit of the U.S. Navy and is based at Naval District Washington Anacostia Annex in Washington, D.C.

According to Navy officials, the Ceremonial Guard’s primary mission is to represent the Navy in Presidential, Joint Armed Forces, Navy and public ceremonies in the Nation’s Capital under the scrutiny of the highest-ranking officials of the United States and foreign nations, including royalty.

Sailors of the Ceremonial Guard are hand selected while they are attending boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. Strict military order and discipline, combined with teamwork, allow the Ceremonial Guard to fulfill their responsibilities with pride and determination. They are experts in the art of close order drill, coordination, and timing.

The Ceremonial Guard is comprised of the drill team, color guard, casket bearers, and firing party.

Casket bearers carry the Navy’s past to their resting ground. Whether it is in Arlington National Cemetery, or another veteran’s cemetery.

The firing party renders the 21 Gun Salute, the signature honor of military funerals, during every Navy Funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.

“The Sailors here are true ambassadors of the U.S. Navy,” said Rear Admiral Charles Rock, Commandant, Naval District Washington. “They are part of a legacy that promote the mission, protect the standards, perfect the image and preserve the heritage. This elite team are “guardians of the colors,” displaying and escorting our nation flag with an impeccable exhibition of skill and determination.”

Shipe and other sailors know they are part of a legacy honoring service and sacrifice of men and women on this historic occasion.

Serving in the Navy, Shipe is learning about being a more responsible leader, sailor and person through handling numerous responsibilities.

“The Navy has helped me become more open and outgoing and I am able to accept more responsibility,” said Shipe.

His father and mother, Raymond and Carla Shipe, both reside in Wichita, Kansas.

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