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Importance and Symbolism behind JROTC Color Guard Presentation

By Cadet 2Lt Araya Castillo

Tivy High School – AFJROTC

Have you ever seen a US flag presentation and wondered about what it is and how it’s done?  Well, after reading this short article, you will know a lot more about it and “why” we take pride in presenting the colors.    

A “color guard” is a group of people who present our nation’s and state’s flag on ceremonial occasions.  Color guards are usually found in specific organizations at universities, high schools, and middle schools.  High school Junior ROTC is well known as an organization that prides itself of presentation of “Colors” at important events.  A color guard is made up of the commander, who commands the detail and carries the US flag, the Texas flag bearer, and two guards with either replica rifles or sabers on each side of the flags. 

Every person in the color guard is important, from the commander to the support staff.  The “dressers” as we call them, are our support personnel and serve as a backup.  They also take care of our supplies and make sure that our uniforms, flags and all equipment are in order.  The “rifle/saber guards” provide a ceremonial guard for each of the flags, showing that they are safe and protected.  The flags are the American flag and the colors have meanings: white reflects innocence and purity, red represents hardiness and valor, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice and all our country has overcome.  The Texas Flag Code states what each color on the Texas flag means.  The red stands for bravery and courage, blue for loyalty, and white for purity and liberty.

The Air Force Junior ROTC program at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, has volunteer students who are trained for color guard activities.  Each color guard is specially selected and practices an entire week prior to each event.  These events range from home football games to grocery store openings, to little league baseball ceremonies. 

Our color guards would not be what they are without the leadership and training of CMSgt Michael Galifaro, our Aerospace Science Instructor who trains and mentors all of our members.   

For some civilians, the color guards might look like a few kids with flags and toy rifles, but to our Corps of Cadets, they lead the way by serving our community and nation in a very visible way.  The entire JROTC Corps is a family and we all find a place of purpose and belonging here in this incredible program.  We are an amazing and hardworking group that enjoys showing our love and support for our Corps, school, community, and nation! 

So, the next time you see one of our Color Guards, watch closely!