About Us · WSP Honor Guard
The Washington State Patrol Honor Guard was established in 1984 under a department plan devised by then Captain Edward Crawford, (Crawford would later become a deputy chief with the department). Under this plan the Guard was to perform solely at department functions and funerals at the direction of the Chief.
At that time the Guard consisted of ten members who wore the department-issued, long-sleeved shirt with black bow tie, white gloves, and a white shoulder braid (these braids were hand-made by then Trooper Bill Larson). Captain Crawford was the original Honor Guard Commander, with Trooper William Larson as the original tactical commander. The first Honor Guard event was the presentation of the colors at the WSP Memorial Foundation Dinner in April 1985.
Our Motto: Duty and Honor
The Honor Guard Motto, implemented in 1999, embodies the reasons why members volunteer and give their best to the Guard at each performance and function. When members send correspondence, or contact each other by phone, the communication frequently ends with “Duty and Honor!” It is also used just prior to a performance to help focus all members on the task at hand and remind them of why they’re there. Those two words represent the Honor Guard’s core existence and reasons for its creation.
Honor Guard Commander
Currently, the Honor Guard is commanded by Lieutenant Zach Elmore and includes four Detail Officers.
The Detail Officers provide additional leadership at functions, and assist the Honor Guard Commander with ensuring that the highest standards of efficiency and performance are maintained with training, staffing, and logistics.
Trooper Heather Axtman, Trooper Saul Duran, Trooper Jeffrey Evers, Detective Matthew Fehler, Sergeant Jason Greer (Detail Officer), Trooper Greg Marek, Trooper Makayla Morgan, Corporal Ian Morhous (Detail Officer), Trooper Shaneka Phillips, Trooper William Rutherford, Trooper Brandon Tobol, Trooper Melissa Walstad, and Trooper Ethan Wynecoop. Also, Sergeant Greg Tri, Lieutenant Johnny Alexander (Detail Officer), Lieutenant Keith Huntley, and Senior Telecommunications Specialist Michael Kildow.
Administrative support is provided by Field Force Administrative Assistant Nancy Salsman.
Honor Guard Uniform
Former Chief George Tellevik and Captain Edward Crawford devised the original Honor Guard tunic, and the Guard began wearing it, in 1987. It was originally developed for the department's executive staff to wear at formal functions.
The accoutrements of the tunic were developed through numerous discussions with unit members and followed the dress uniform of the United States Marine Corps. The tunic was left without a sidearm due to the use of the rifle for superior rifle drill movements.
Early in 2007, tunic design was reviewed by the Honor Guard Commander, Sergeant John-Paul Sager, and a panel consisting of Chief John Batiste, Deputy Chief Paul Beckley, and Assistant Chief Brian Ursino. Breast pockets, action backs, additional buttons, and a more flexible material were added to increase longevity of wear, uniformity, and ease of movement. The Honor Guard members were then polled and all voted in favor of the changes.
Other recent equipment and uniform changes include five Sam Browne Belts for the Detail Officers and the unit guidon (flag).
Membership in the Honor Guard creates career-long camaraderie with the other members and the opportunity to work with, and develop friendships with other police units throughout the United States and Canada. The Guard provides members with a career enhancement opportunity by allowing them to meet, and work alongside, the Executive Staff of the Agency. This also helps train members in the critical areas of protocol and interpersonal skills as they prepare for promotion.
Honor Guard members enjoy traveling across the state, and in some cases the nation, to various details and the chance to interact with notable dignitaries to include the President and Vice-President of the United States, U.S. Senators, International Dignitaries, State Governors, U.S. military general staff, movie and television celebrities, and many others, while representing state government and the agency. Members completing at least two years with the unit, in good standing, are presented with a personalized, plaque-mounted certificate for their devoted service.
For more information on a career with the Washington State Patrol, please visit our Trooper Career page.
National Peace Officers' Memorial Service
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week. Tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington D.C. to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Today the event is more commonly known as National Police Week and has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to the U.S. Capitol each year.
In 2012, the Washington State Patrol had the privilege of sending Honor Guard Detail Officer Trooper Jason Greer of District 2 and Lieutenant Mike Turcott of District 8 to Washington D.C. to be part of the National Peace Officers' Memorial Service where President Obama delivered remarks at the annual ceremony honoring law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty in the previous year.
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