Airman Gatlin joins Navy Ceremonial Guard – SP graduate serving with elite honor guard in D.C.

Published 1:49 pm Thursday, March 28, 2024

Batesville Ethan Gatlin recently completed an intensive 10-week training program to become a member of the elite U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard.

Airman Gatlin, a 2015 South Panola High School graduate who also earned a degree in construction management from the University of Montana in 2021, joined the Navy six months ago. Today, Gatlin serves as a U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guardsman.

“I joined the Navy to create a better life for myself,” said Gatlin. “What I like best about serving with the Ceremonial Guard are the opportunities we get here.”

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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.

Sailors of the Ceremonial Guard are hand-selected while they are attending boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, IL. 

Strict military order and discipline, combined with teamwork, allow the Ceremonial Guard to fulfill their responsibilities with pride and determination. They are experts in the art of close order drill, coordination and timing.

The Ceremonial Guard is comprised of the drill team, color guard, casket bearers and firing party.