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What does jrotc color guard do?

The JROTC color guard is an important part of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. The color guard presents the national, state, and school colors at various events and ceremonies. This demonstrates discipline, teamwork, and respect for the flag and what it represents. Let’s take a closer look at what the JROTC color guard does.

Presentation of the Colors

The main responsibility of the JROTC color guard is to properly present the colors at events. This includes marching in formation to precisely unfold, exhibit, and retire the flags. Common events where the color guard presents the colors include:

  • School assemblies
  • Sporting events
  • Parades
  • Community events
  • Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies
  • Retirement ceremonies
  • Change of command ceremonies
  • Dining in/dining out events
  • Military balls and formal events

The color guard marches in, presents the colors, leads the Pledge of Allegiance or national anthem, and marches out. The solemnity and precision demonstrate respect for the flag.

Training and Practice

Being part of the color guard requires extensive training and practice. Cadets must learn intricate marching maneuvers, facing movements, flag handling, and timing/commands. Practice sessions develop teamwork and discipline among squad members. Some key skills include:

  • Marching in formation – Marching in step as a synchronized unit
  • Facing movements – Precise pivots, turns, and facing changes
  • Flag handling – Proper techniques for unfolding, exhibiting, dipping, and retiring each flag
  • Commands and timing – Performing each sequence precisely on command
  • Rifle/saber maneuvers – If armed color guard, proper handling of rifles/sabers

Cadets practice these drills regularly to perform flawlessly at events. The color guard often serves as the “face” of the JROTC program, so performance reflects on the entire unit.

Uniform and Appearance

Color guard members must maintain a high standard of uniform wear and personal appearance. Key uniform components include:

  • Service dress uniforms – Pressed and proper fitting
  • Helmet/covers – Shined and securely fitting
  • White gloves – Clean and in good condition
  • Spats/leggings – Properly fitted and snug
  • Footwear – Shined black shoes/boots
  • Insignia and ribbons – Proper placement and shiny

In addition to neat uniforms, cadets must exhibit military bearing with good posture, organized hair, and crisp movements. This projects professionalism and military orderliness.

Types of Color Guards

JROTC color guards can take several forms, based on the number of members and equipment carried. Common types include:

Type Composition Role
Standard 2-4 cadets Carry flags only
Armed 4-6 cadets Carry flags and rifles/sabers
Exhibition 8+ cadets Larger teams, perform spins/tosses

The armed color guard adds an extra layer of complexity with rifle/saber maneuvers. Exhibition guards have more members and integrate acrobatic flag spins, tosses, and exchanges for demonstrations.

Selection Process

Cadets undergo a competitive selection process to join the color guard. Requirements may include:

  • Teacher/instructor recommendations
  • Color guard application
  • Marching and drill evaluations
  • Uniform inspection
  • Interviews
  • Past academic and disciplinary records

The selection process aims to identify the most qualified cadets who demonstrate leadership, discipline, skill, teamwork, and commitment. Selected members represent the best of the JROTC program.

Duties and Responsibilities

In addition to marching and presenting the colors, JROTC color guard members have other duties and responsibilities. These include:

  • Attending all practices and training sessions
  • Memorizing and executing commands/routines
  • Caring for uniforms and equipment
  • Polishing helmets, buckles, shoes, and weapons
  • Storing flags properly when not in use
  • Staying for required event durations
  • Assisting with setting up/taking down equipment
  • Maintaining academic and disciplinary standards

Members who do not fulfill duties may be dismissed from the team. Belonging to the color guard requires commitment, effort, and responsibility.

Benefits of Color Guard

Serving on the JROTC color guard provides many benefits to cadets. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Leadership skills – Opportunity to hold leadership ranks and direct the team
  • Confidence – Performing builds self-confidence and poise
  • Military bearing – Develops professional demeanor and conduct
  • Teamwork – Fosters camaraderie and collaboration skills
  • Attention to detail – Enhances focus through perfection of minute details
  • Public presentation – Provides experience in public performances
  • Sense of service – Instills pride in ceremonial contributions

In addition to benefitting cadets, the color guard also builds goodwill and support for the JROTC program.

Advanced Leadership Roles

As color guard members gain experience, they may progress into leadership roles with additional duties. Common leadership roles include:

Role Duties
Color Guard Commander Oversees all practices, training, and performances
Color Guard Captain Assists commander, leads training, fills in if needed
Color Guard Sergeant Helps with training, uniform inspections, mentoring newer members
Color Guard Corporal Assists with routine tasks, sets up equipment, mentors

Taking on leadership roles allows experienced cadets to further develop their skills and train newer members.


In summary, the JROTC color guard serves a highly specialized and important role. Presenting the colors with precision and professionalism demonstrates respect for the nation and its symbols. The intensive training promotes excellence, teamwork, discipline, and leadership capabilities. Cadets take great pride in representing their school and the JROTC program at ceremonial events. The color guard’s dedication and performance sets an outstanding example of citizenship and service.