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Author Topic: VFW Honor Guard Uniform  (Read 37023 times)

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Offline DoggyDaddy

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VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« on: May 02, 2007, 05:31:55 pm »
:) Each Honor Guard establishes or designs its own uniform.  We try to keep it low maintenance.  Some have summer and winter.  Because my Honor Guard is self sufficient and does not receive financial support the Post, we are careful in spending funds we raise and donations received.  Being retired Army, I get some of our items from the PX - Military clothing section.
We use the VFW Emblem and Supply Catalog for uniform items but refuse to pay higher prices when others provide the same items for less.
Example: Twelve " Honor Guard" tabs from the VFW are $72.00 (that's $6 each) and tabs from BeeKay Parade Equipment are just $1.00 each.  The VFW also wants more money for US Flag patches and shipping.  The local flag store also gives VFW members a 10% discount and I don't have to deal with shipping costs.
It is wise to shop around. 8)

How about you ???
Joe Kleinsmith
All State VFW Post 1716 Cmdr (1998-2000)
Cpt, VFW Post Honor Guard, Retired (1991-2009)
SC-SB County Council Cmdr (1996-1997)
SFC, US Army, Retired (1971-1991)
Full Time RV'er
www.vfwwebcom.org/ca/post1716
http://vfwwebcom.org/ca/Post1716HonorGuard/

fabulous fifth

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2007, 10:09:04 am »
 ;)  Good morning, DD:  I just got around to read this one.  Call me lazy!  The honor guard sponsored by my Post has a "suntan' summer uniform, and the Army green uniform for Fall and Winter.  I understand the Army is phasing out the green uniform, so we will lose our supply source if that happens.  We currently rely on some of our retired Army guys to get our uniforms.  We wear a red scarf with both uniforms, and have overcoats and windbreakers for bad weather.  Our patches consist of American flag, state funeral honors program patch, VFW life member patch (we are all life members) and we all wear the ribbons to which we are entitled.  We DO NOT wear any military rank insignia or brass.

Offline DoggyDaddy

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2007, 01:02:09 pm »
Thank you FF, it is a beauthful morning today.  I forgot about wearing Army kaki's and TW's.  I would not worry about the supply of Army Green Class A uniforms.  There are a lot sitting in closets and in military Thrift Shops.  Heck, I still have my initial issue (winter & summer) and my knit in a box.

The current uniform of my Honor Guard was established over 25 years ago by our first HG Captain.  With our Central California coast weather being primarily sunny and warm (sometimes foggy & wet), we have only one uniform.  Members are required to provide/purchase their own black shoes, black knit pants, and white knit shirt (US Navy Enlisted), and the military ribbons and badges they are authorized to wear.  Their personal investment for pants and shirt is less than $50.00 and of course, our team helps those on limited incomes.  This weeds out the chaff and leaves the team with dedicated members.

The Honor Guard issues its members:  VFW Member  Patch,  Honor Guard Tab/Patch,  Military Branch Patch  (Army, Navy, USMC,  etc),  VFW & 1716 numeral brass-collar insignia, Black Aiguillette /lanyard (Black is for funerals and all purpose), Nameplate,  Black Beret w/ Metal VFW Cross-of Malta,  Black Neck Scarf, White and chrome Pistol Belt, and a winter black Bomber Jacket with Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard momogramed on it.

Because our Honor Guard is not financially supported by the Post, we raise our our funds thru  fundraisers and donations we receive.  Our monies are under the control of the Post Quartermaster in an account restricted for Honor Guard Use Only.  We do not receive any monies from the state for doing military funeral honors as some other states do.

I would love to have some female members from the Post or Auxiliary on the team. Their uniform would be the same of course.  When a member is unable to handle or carry a weapon, I use them as a flag bearer, flag folder, bugler or Chaplain.

Oh yeah, our mascots' uniform is a wavy Stars and Stripes bandanna worn around his neck.  Buddy is a miniature white English Bull Terrier (like Patton's dog Willie).  I have been unable to find a beret in his size.   8)
Joe Kleinsmith
All State VFW Post 1716 Cmdr (1998-2000)
Cpt, VFW Post Honor Guard, Retired (1991-2009)
SC-SB County Council Cmdr (1996-1997)
SFC, US Army, Retired (1971-1991)
Full Time RV'er
www.vfwwebcom.org/ca/post1716
http://vfwwebcom.org/ca/Post1716HonorGuard/

fabulous fifth

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2007, 04:37:58 pm »
 :)  Joe: I think I like the idea of berets for the Honor Guard rather than VFW caps.  Our caps have various VFW titles on them and are not, therefore, alike.  Our summer caps are the tan VFW issue cap with just Honor Guard lettered on them.

Offline Loadtoad

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2007, 06:00:02 pm »
Two thaughts here.

  One.......why is it that your Post cannot help your detail out monitarily?  The Post has a responsibility to that detail to ensure that they have support so that they may provide those services when needed.  I know that my Post does not support them entirely but do provide some financial support.  Time to get the Post to own up to it's RESPONSIBILITY. 

Two......remember that the money you spend thru the VFW supply system goes back into the VFW to help operate and fund the organization and its programs.  Sure you can get stuff cheaper elswere.  It's like living in a small town.  If everone went out of town to get their groceries, what would happen to the local grocer?  Look at the time we spend looking to see if something is made in the USA or in China.  There is no reason why you can't shop outside the organization, just try to shop within once in a while to help keep things going within the organization.
Christopher Davey
2nd District Quartermaster
Dept. of Iowa

Offline DoggyDaddy

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2007, 06:58:58 pm »
Loadtoad, :)  When a motion was made to establish an Honor Guard within our Post, there were many objections.  Some thought the HG would be a continous source of debt, a liability the Post could not afford, and others thought as financial supporters that they would or should have a voice in its operations.  By the Honor Guard being self supporting by itself, and having its own line item in the Quartermasters Book, it is difficult for the membership to object how we spend the money we raise.  In the past we have purchased plaques for retiring HG Captains, held camp-outs, barbecues and purchased beer for annual HG Outings, purchase drinks for the team and toasted the deceased, purchased floral wreaths and paid for live buglers, purchased flags to give to school children, as well as uniform items and equipment for the team.  The Honor Guard is a committee of the Post and the Captain is the Chairman. He is in charge of the operations of the team and selecting his volunteers, not the Commander or membership.  When the Post is having a function and wants Honor Guard participation, the Commander or Chairman of the function requests our participation. We like it better having our own account separate from the Post.  When we need to spend money, we make a motion on the floor and explain how it will be used.  If we think we may face opposition, we make sure the HG members attend the meeting so they can vote.

I have memories of another local Post and a County Council that tried to dictate to their Honor Guard Teams what services they did.  Hard to do with volunteers.  The Post and County Council also raided and spent the money ($K's) the HG raised and donations it received to pay their (Posts and Council) bills.  Needless to say, the two Honor Guards disbanded.  Of six VFW Posts, DAVs, American Legions, and other VSOs within the county, my Post is the only one with an Honor Guard.  8)

Now, the Post and Auxiliary does support us in other ways.  We get to use the Post hall for free for fundraisers and training.  We also have an area for storing our weapons and equipment.  The Post recognizes that the HG is very popular within the community and is a public relations factor in new members joining our post and Auxiliary and not 3 others located within 17 miles. 
The Post also appreciates the bar business from families who rent the hall for after funeral gatherings and memorial services.

In regards to saving money in purchases for the Honor Guard,  the VFW is not a little store and a 600% mark up of an item over the competition is price gouging.  That is why they have competition.  The VFW should be able to provide comprable prices especially since we are members of the VFW.   If National did not pay for air fare and ship cruises for Department Commanders and their wives, and other outrageous freebies, prices could be lower and more money put into programs.  People tend to forget that Department and National Officers are paid by the VFW members, especially those high in Dept and National.  8)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2007, 08:14:50 pm by DoggyDaddy »
Joe Kleinsmith
All State VFW Post 1716 Cmdr (1998-2000)
Cpt, VFW Post Honor Guard, Retired (1991-2009)
SC-SB County Council Cmdr (1996-1997)
SFC, US Army, Retired (1971-1991)
Full Time RV'er
www.vfwwebcom.org/ca/post1716
http://vfwwebcom.org/ca/Post1716HonorGuard/

Offline Loadtoad

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2007, 10:23:02 pm »
You have a point on the 600% markup, however I was speaking more generally.  I doubt that every item sold via the VFW catalog has a 600% markup.  I also did not say to buy everything from the catalog.  You certainly have the right to question thier pricing.  I'm sure that many of the items are alot more reasonably priced in comparison to local markets. 

The bit of info regarding the Dept and Natnl Officers and cruises is new news to me.  I still don't feel that by spending your money elsewhere is going to fix that situation.  That money will prob still be sent no mater what and the programs will suffer because of it.  The right way to go after that would be to politic the posts and districs to pressure the Dept about their spending habits.  Once the Dept is on board they in turn can pressure national.  I'm not trying to defend the Depts and National, but your efforts will be would be of more use if you directed your frustration towards getting the word out on this supposed frivilious spending issue rather than boycotting the VFW store.

I have only a few years of service to the organization in an active(officer) role. Please don't think that I am an authority on these issues.  I do respect your ideas and opinions.  My whole reason for being on this forum is to learn.  Every day is a new surprise for me.
Christopher Davey
2nd District Quartermaster
Dept. of Iowa

Offline DoggyDaddy

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2007, 02:02:49 pm »
Loadtoad,  You speak of boycotting the VFW  store. ???  I never mentioned or suggested such a thing.

:)  Being retired Army, I get some of our items from the PX - Military clothing section.
We use the VFW Emblem and Supply Catalog for uniform items but refuse to pay higher prices when others provide the same items for less. 

I continue to use the VFW Store but I shop wisely using money raised and donated to the  Post Honor Guard.  I also said "It is wise to shop around."  That is economics 101.  8)
Joe Kleinsmith
All State VFW Post 1716 Cmdr (1998-2000)
Cpt, VFW Post Honor Guard, Retired (1991-2009)
SC-SB County Council Cmdr (1996-1997)
SFC, US Army, Retired (1971-1991)
Full Time RV'er
www.vfwwebcom.org/ca/post1716
http://vfwwebcom.org/ca/Post1716HonorGuard/

joekenickjr

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2007, 02:47:41 pm »
Greetings all,
THANK YOU (yes, I know that is "shouting" in cyberspace, but I wanted to thank each of you big time) for so much helpful information.  As a 50+ year horn player I started serving as Bugler at veteran interments several years ago.  One day the NHARNG Honor Guard discovered me at a friends funeral and I've often served with them since.  And a few times with the Honors Detail from the Portsmouth Navy Yard.
Yesterday the ARNG Sergeant said his NCOIC wants to run a VSO program and get more "third man" augmentation of his details.  They advised me of the AP3 program and I researched that last evening.
Today I spoke with my post Commander about Post 1088 (NH) joining the AP3 program.  As often happens, you suggest a program or event and pronto you are HMIC of it.

So I hit this forum to see what I might learn.  To say it has been most helpful would be an understatement.

I would offer, though with the attitude appropriate for a "new boots", that you do not need to pay for a live bugler.  While Bugles Across America members is restricted to horn players, and they often ask for travel pay etc. the DOD approved use of the "ceremonial bugle" several years ago.  Both the ARNG and the Navy Yard HG have them.  That bugle has a fine key of G voice of its own, but I often use the "insert" myself as herpes simplex frequently makes for overnight lip eruptons.   I've never had anyone attending a funeral even comment on its use, much less criticize it.  Done right it is very much the "live bugler" they wanted for their loved one. Around $500 one-time expense.  And your Bugler can be put in for detail pay ($50.00 per interment) by the Military Honor Guard which he/she augments.  Ten details and the unit is paid for.

Offline DoggyDaddy

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2007, 08:09:02 pm »
My Honor Guard team purchased a digital bugle in 2005 with the optional insert that plays reveille, call to colors, and numerous other calls.  It has paid for its self over multiple times as we use to pay for live buglers.  Our ARNG honor teams have some musicians with horns but not enough for every team.  Sometimes we hear the real thing and other times its digital.  The public has difficulty identifying the difference.    8)
Joe Kleinsmith
All State VFW Post 1716 Cmdr (1998-2000)
Cpt, VFW Post Honor Guard, Retired (1991-2009)
SC-SB County Council Cmdr (1996-1997)
SFC, US Army, Retired (1971-1991)
Full Time RV'er
www.vfwwebcom.org/ca/post1716
http://vfwwebcom.org/ca/Post1716HonorGuard/

ProudAmerican

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2008, 03:53:19 pm »
Our Post recently re-organized our Honor/Color Guard.  The Old Guard was perceived as not being cooperative or supportive of the Post or at times veterans.

We set our uniform and had meetings to determine the direction of the Guard.

We have raised our own money and with donations purchased uniforms for the new Guard.  Many of us paid for our own (shirt and pants).  We had donations from members to pay for patches, collar brass and some cords and scarves.  With our own money we finished getting the items we needed.

We are having a golf outing in June to get outerwear for the Guard.  We have meals also to raise money. 

We also have our own line item in the Quartermaster's Report.  We do not spend money that the Post has not previously approved.

We have done this in a manner of a few months.




Xnavy1989-2007

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2009, 04:46:06 pm »
Hi everyone, Im a bit new to the VFW Honor Guard. SO forgive me if i ask something dumb. I have noticed from reading some of the post, that The Hoor Guard Uniform various with each post.  mine at post 4002 wears a Navy Blue Dress Jacket, Grey Dress pants the tie, and white glovesname plate, for the winter, Summer months its a plain white colored shirt with the tie gloves  with the Horon guard rocker patch, VFW patch on the front and  a flag patch. Is that the normal uniform?

Offline Redmaxx

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2009, 09:06:51 am »
Each Post sets it's own uniform for the Honor Guard. My Post has the US Army Dress Green (Class A) Jacket and Officers pants for winter and in the summer they wear the US Navy kaki shirt and pants. I know some Honor Guards that just wear a white shirt, tie and black pants.
Department of Michigan
District 4 Commander 11-12
National Aide-de-Camp 10-11
District 4 Sr. Vice  10-11
District 4 Jr. Vice 09-10
Post Commander 08-09
District 4 Employment/Homeless Vet Chair 08-11
Post Sr. Vice 07-08 12-13
District 4 Service Officer 06-07
Post Jr. Vice 06-07

ParaMyers505

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2009, 02:54:05 pm »
We have (1) honor guard member at our post.  He has promoted himself to O-6 Colonel.
Wears a Army uniform with Black Beret and Bloused Boots.  He usually wears anywhere from (6) six to (12) tweleve ribbons.  He shows at all all Member funerals and Veteran functions wearing this uniform.  He looks good, but my concern is that he has not earned any of the awards/ribbons that he his wearing and was an E-4 when he left the Navy.
I think his intentions are not honorable.  Are there any guidlines for a Honorguard as far as wearing awards/ribbons and a suitable rank.  I thought the rank of Captain O-3 was the highest allowabe rank to wear. 

Offline Redmaxx

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Re: VFW Honor Guard Uniform
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2009, 02:59:00 pm »
Is he a member of your Post? If so you need to bring it up at your next regular meeting. Ask to have the Post Commander review his DD-214/215 and see if he is authorized to wear the ribbons that he is wearing. If he isn't you can notify the FBI and he can be charged under the stolen valor act. I believe that you have to mention your honor guard in your Post by-laws. I also believe that you are correct about the O-3 rank. There is only Capt of the honor guard, nothing more. Doggydaddy would know more about this than I do.
Department of Michigan
District 4 Commander 11-12
National Aide-de-Camp 10-11
District 4 Sr. Vice  10-11
District 4 Jr. Vice 09-10
Post Commander 08-09
District 4 Employment/Homeless Vet Chair 08-11
Post Sr. Vice 07-08 12-13
District 4 Service Officer 06-07
Post Jr. Vice 06-07