HomeNewsArticle Display

Base Honor Guard upholds tradition, builds leaders

Airman 1st Class Cesar Tapia-Caballero, 341st Contracting Squadron contracting apprentice and current 341st Missile Wing Base Honor Guard honor guardsman, practices proper form while holding a ceremonial rifle April 13, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Airman 1st Class Cesar Tapia-Caballero, 341st Contracting Squadron contracting apprentice and current 341st Missile Wing Base Honor Guard honor guardsman, practices proper form while holding a ceremonial rifle April 13, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Honor Guard members are responsible for providing military honors including funerals, changes of commands and retirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tristan Truesdell)

Airman 1st Class Cesar Tapia-Caballero, 341st Contracting Squadron contracting apprentice and current 341st Missile Wing Base Honor Guard honor guardsman, practices proper form while holding a ceremonial rifle April 13, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Airman 1st Class Cesar Tapia-Caballero, 341st Contracting Squadron contracting apprentice and current 341st Missile Wing Base Honor Guard honor guardsman, practices proper form while holding a ceremonial rifle April 13, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Honor Guard members are responsible for providing military honors including funerals, changes of commands and retirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tristan Truesdell)

341st Missile Wing Base Honor Guard Airmen practice pall bearing during training April 13, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

341st Missile Wing Base Honor Guard Airmen practice pall bearing during training April 13, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Malmstrom’s Base Honor Guard supports more than 125 funeral homes across 157,000 square miles in Montana and Wyoming. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tristan Truesdell)

Photo of Airmen

Airman 1st Class Ashton Martin, left, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron defender and Senior Airman Cho Yang, right, 841st Missile Security Forces Squadron defender, both current 341st Missile Wing Base Honor Guard honor guardsmen, practice folding an American Flag during training April 13, 2021, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. In addition to performing ceremonial honors during military funerals, the 341st Missile Wing Base Honor Guard also presents the colors at retirements and other ceremonial events. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tristan Truesdell)

Photo of Airmen

Airman 1st Class Ashton Martin, left, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron defender and Senior Airman Cho Yang, right, 841st Missile Security Forces Squadron defender, both current 341st Missile Wing Base Honor Guard honor guardsmen, practice folding an American Flag during training April 13, 2021, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. During military funerals, Honor Guard Airmen fold the flag and present it to the fallen military member's next of kin with a salute. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tristan Truesdell)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. --

Rendering a final salute to a fallen service member and handing a folded flag to their next of kin is not something that’s easy to do or taken lightly. That’s why service in the Honor Guard is reserved for those who want to exemplify Air Force tradition, honor and core values.

The 341st Missile Wing Base Honor Guard performs ceremonial functions during funerals, retirement ceremonies, changes of command and other base and community events. They perform pall bearing, flag folding, bugling, three-volley rifle fire, presenting or posting the colors, POW/MIA ceremonies and more.

“In the Base Honor Guard, we honor the memory of the fallen by carrying them to their final resting place, folding their flag perfectly while we uphold the highest standards remaining sharp, crisp and motionless as we pay our respects,” said Tech. Sgt. William Strauss 341st MW Base Honor Guard NCO in charge.

The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard originated in 1948 when Headquarters Command, U.S. Air Force, directed the creation of an elite ceremonial unit. Now, in addition to the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard, each installation has their own Base Honor Guard team. At Malmstrom, Airmen on the team are volunteers who commit to one-year rotations with four months active service and eight months on standby.

“The Base Honor Guard is a small team of very dynamic and dedicated Airmen who support more than 125 funeral homes across a 157,000 square mile area in Montana and part of Wyoming, which is the Air Force’s third-largest area of responsibility,” said Airman 1st Class Loglo Kouava, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron electrical power production apprentice and current honor guardsman.

Senior Airman Cho Yang, 841st Missile Security Forces Squadron defender and current honor guardsman, said that while Base Honor Guard’s mission doesn’t necessarily support developing and providing combat-ready forces for nuclear deterrence, honor guard creates leaders.

“When we go back to our real jobs, our leadership skills will also transfer,” Yang said “When you join honor guard, how you carry yourself will change.”

Airmen completing an honor guard rotation spend the majority of their time training and immersing themselves in military bearing, attention to detail, teamwork and understanding why their job is important.

“We do it to honor the memory of those that fought and served before us and to let their family and friends know that they will not be forgotten,” Strauss said. “They carried our country on their backs while serving, going to battle, fighting for our freedom and now it’s our turn.”

To request 341st MW Base Honor Guard services call 406-731-2831 or email 341MW.Malmstrom.HonorGuard@us.af.mil.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.