On September 18th The Law Enforcement Memorial Association (LEMA) Honor Guard held its annual Honor Guard Training Camp at Camp Ripley. 2016 marks the 20th year that LEMA has hosted the annual event. Police officers and correctional officers from throughout the United States attend and are taught basic and advanced military drill and ceremony. Many of the officers are or will be members of their departments honor guards. The Attendees start out by learning or reviewing basic drill and put on several miles of marching to achieve proficiency. Attendees then learn the basics of rifle drill which concludes with a “Top Gun” competition. The Top Gun competition is a rifle drill that encompasses all of the rifle movements and is slowly whittled down to the one that can complete the drill with precision under immense stress. This year’s winner of the Top Gun award went to the Bloomington Police Department. The week continues with specialized training in casket movement, flag fold, colors movement, colors posting and retrieval, ceremonial rifle volleys and ceremonial guard duty. Attendees are also given classes on funeral preparation and planning and participate in a parade of colors.
The week concludes with a mock funeral at the Camp Ripley Chapel where the attendees are assigned specific duties that were learned during the week. The Camp is designed to prepare Honor Guards for Honoring the Fallen and their Families in a dignified manner that is deserving of our profession and this great nation.
“The Best we can do is the Least we can do.”
Commander, LEMA Honor Guard