A native of Nampa recently completed an intensive 10-week training program to become a member of the elite U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard.
Fireman Dalaynoh Wilson, a 2021 Nampa High School graduate, joined the Navy six months ago. Today, Wilson serves as a U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guardsman.
“I joined the Navy to start a career at a young age so I did not have to worry about finding an average job,” said Wilson.
Established in 1931, the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard is the official honor guard of the U.S. Navy and is based at Naval District Washington Anacostia Annex in Washington, D.C.
According to Navy officials, the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard’s primary mission is to represent the service in Presidential, Joint Armed Forces, Navy, and public ceremonies in and around the nation’s capital. Members of the Navy Ceremonial Guard participate in some of our nation’s most prestigious ceremonies, including Presidential inaugurations and arrival ceremonies for foreign officials.
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“This is a special command so not everyone has a chance to come here and do what we do,” said Wilson. “I like putting fallen veterans to rest and conducting ceremonies.”
Sailors of the Ceremonial Guard are hand selected while they are attending boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. Strict military order and discipline, combined with teamwork, allow the Ceremonial Guard to fulfill their responsibilities with pride and determination. The Ceremonial Guard is comprised of the drill team, color guard, casket bearers and firing party.
Casket bearers carry the Navy’s past service members to their resting ground, whether it is in Arlington National Cemetery, or another veterans’ cemetery. The firing party renders the 21 Gun Salute, the signature honor of military funerals, during every Navy Funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.
“Serving in the Navy is a big honor for me,” added Wilson. “You can gain the respect of others from doing it.”