Honor Guard Rules

National Police Week, Washington, DC

Equipment Requirements / Restrictions for Competitors

Teams will be required to perform three different functions that will be judged during the competition. They are the Team Inspection, the Color Guard Posting of the Colors and an Exhibition Phase. During each phase of the competition, teams and team members will be judged in uniformity and military bearing. The variations of marching styles will not be penalized, rather judged for bearing, precision, straight lines, uniformity, etc.

All teams are responsible for bringing all of their own equipment, including flags, poles, bases, parade equipment, rifles, swords, etc. Rifles must be inert and nonfunctioning. Teams bringing rifles or sidearms must comply with all federal, state and local requirements, concerning the transportation of such items.

The Honor Guard Demonstration/Competition is a one (1) day team event consisting of three segments including the Team Inspection, the Color Guard Posting of the Colors and the Exhibition Phase. Teams should arrive 30 minutes prior to their assigned starting time. Please note there will be no changing facilities on site. Teams start times will be posted on this site and social media one to two weeks prior to the event. Teams arriving late or not prepared may be disqualified.

Team Participants

Team members shall be full time or retired law enforcement officers from the same agency or organization. Each team shall have a minimum of 4 and not more than 8 members. One of those members shall be designated as a team leader; however, they will actively participate in all of the phases. Each member must participate in all of the phases of the event. Support staff is allowed to aid in technical equipment and will not be judged. The team leader must clearly identify any support staff to the judges ahead of their performance.

Competition / Event Coordinator

Ken Roske
E-mail: info@policeweekhonorguard.com

Registration and Deadline

There is no fee for this event and there will be a maximum number of teams allowed to participate. Team registration will be accepted up to the maximum team cut off so early registration is important. Only online registrations will be accepted.


To be announced

Description of the events and general rules

The Honor Guard competition is composed of three separate events:

  • The Team Inspection
  • The Posting of the Colors
  • Exhibition Phase

Preparation: Prior to the designated time for teams to begin the Team Inspection, teams will have an opportunity to assemble before moving to the Inspection line. Team members of the Honor Guard team may silently make one last inspection of their uniforms and equipment, to remove any lint, or dust and to straighten creases and gig lines, etc. prior to being inspected, the Honor Guard Unit shall move up to the Inspection Line and follow these instructions:


The Team Leader shall present the team for judging at the designated inspection location (the Inspection Line) at the proper time. The team shall fall-in on a single line at a full arms length dress right, and at “Attention". The team shall remain at attention until dismissed or otherwise told to do so by the judge. When the Team Leader is satisfied that his team is ready, he shall take his position in front of the team and inform the judge that the team is ready for inspection. Note: Judging begins when the Team Leader reports into the judge for inspection. The Team Leader will then be inspected for neatness, cleanliness, and military bearing. The remaining team members will then be inspected for conformity to the leader’s uniform. Members of the Honor Guard Unit will be randomly inspected at the judge’s discretion in the Team Inspection. Equipment used in the “Posting of the Colors” or the Exhibition phase, does not have to be carried or worn during the inspection. However, all equipment worn or carried will be inspected.

When the judge comes to a member carrying a piece of equipment (rifle, sword, etc.) that member shall bring the equipment to a “Port Arms” or carry position. The equipment will also be judged, however, the equipment will not be taken from the honor guard member. The individual members are judged on neatness, cleanliness, and military bearing – plus the team as a unit, is judged for conformity, precision, straight lines, etc. The leader will be given instructions by the judges, whether to stand by or follow the judge during the inspection of the team. At the end of judging for the Team Inspection, the judge will instruct the Team Leader that the judging is complete and to prepare his team for the Posting of the Colors.


When the inspection portion for each team is completed, the flags/equipment may be brought to the flag bearers by self-supplied, non-participating members assisting each team. Not all team members are required to Post Colors but all team members must participate as guide on(s) or escorts. When the team has all equipment and is ready, the Team Leader shall notify the judge that the team is ready to Post the Colors. Judging begins in this event when the judge instructs the leader to begin. Each team will immediately begin the “Posting of the Colors.” Each team will post a minimum of two colors (national, state, province, district, agency, or unit flag when appropriate).

NOTE: Teams are expected to supply their own equipment (flags, flag carriers, bases, etc.) necessary to complete this phase of the event.

Starting from the start location, the Team Leader shall lead the Color Guard Team through the following:

  • The Team leader shall begin with "a forward march command", and then with the use of either audible or silent commands, the team leader shall march the Color Guard to the designated posting area by following the pre-set path which will require will require a turning movement. For proper order of posting the colors, it will be toward the audience. You will need to verify with the judge or official prior to your start of the posting if you are not sure.
  • The Team Leader shall direct the Posting of the Colors in a manner, which may be done as elaborately or as simply as the team wishes. The Posting shall accomplish placing the national and (if applicable) the state, province, district, agency, or unit flags in fixed holders according to national tradition and facing in the pre-designated direction. Be sure and check with the judge or official so you know which way to face the posting. Questions must be prior to your teams start. The bearers will then return to the rank. (Teams will not be responsible for flags that are blown over as soon as the flag bearer has released the flag pole.)
  • After posting the Colors, the team will march to the designated endpoint in a disciplined and professional manner, where the team leader shall audibly command, "Color Guard, Halt".
  • The Color Guard may march or fall out and quietly move to the assembly area for the Exhibition Phase. Assisting non-participating members may retrieve the colors and any other equipment as soon as the team has come to a halt after posting and exiting.


Teams should take into consideration the positive impact their performance would have on the law enforcement image, patriotism, honor and memorializing of this profession. This phase is an opportunity for pomp and circumstance, snap and flare as it is viewed by the public.

This phase will consist of a performance that all team members must participate in. The performance must last no more than Eight (8) minutes and teams that go over the time limit will receive demerits however, teams using less than 8 minutes will not be penalized. The event time will begin once the team’s leader has his team assembled and gives an audible command to the judge(s) that the team is ready within a reasonable time, or when the judges give a time warning to begin due to time restraints. Teams will be restricted to the Exhibition Area. This area is approximately 40'x75'. There will be no discharge of any firearm (for example, a rifle volley) however; the use of musical instruments will be acceptable. All rifles must be inert and nonfunctioning. Teams need to provide any special equipment that will be used in this event. Operational support for sound controlling equipment (other) will be allowed and not considered part of the team; however, any live musical or other instrumental support will be deemed a member of the team and must participate in all phases.

Teams will be graded based solely on the judge’s discretion taking into account the following:

  • Team Uniformity
  • Choreography
  • Difficulty
  • General Protocol
  • Patriotism
  • Exceeding Time Limit = Lose of points

Team leaders must be prepared to give a quick overview of their routine to the judges before the performance to notify them of special movements, formations and directions of most movements.

Confirmation and Start Times

Will be posted on this page about one week prior to the event.