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Mission Ride Etiquette and Protocol

The responsibility for determining if we are to attend services for fallen active duty military personnel, a military veteran, Law Enforcement Officer or First responder falls to the State Captain, Assistant State Captain or an official designee. At no time shall anyone else contact the family or a military casualty staff member to initiate a mission.

  1. We are here to HONOR and RESPECT a fallen soldier and his/her family. We are invited guests of the family, please act accordingly.
  2. Observe the same decorum you would exhibit if you were attending a funeral for your loved one. Any disruptive behavior will not be tolerated and you will be asked, respectfully, to leave. Should your behavior be excessive, aggressive or disrespectful to ANYONE it will be documented and you may be removed from the organization.
  3. There will be time before and after the mission to visit, admire bikes, and swap stories. It’s an honor to stand a flag line or be part of an Honor Guard. Give it the respect it deserves.
  4. Standing for long periods can be overwhelming so we allow a quiet conversation in the flag line but when the family is close by or guests are leaving or arriving, remain silent.
  5. Keep noise level respectful at all times. This includes speech anywhere on the property, operation of any vehicle in an excessively loud manner including the playing of music in procession.
  6. We do not interact with any other groups that cause disruption in any way, shape, or form. We respect ourselves, the PGR, and foremost the mourning family. This includes signs made to show our displeasure with any other groups.
  7. Turn off all cell phones, pagers, and other devices or leave them in your vehicle. If you need to, set the device on silent/vibrate and excuse yourself to handle the call.
  1. The Flag is to be presented with respect. The flag shall not touch the ground or any other surface.
  2. PGR Flag Holding Guidance:
    1. Do not allow the flag to touch the ground.
    2. Do not hold the flag upside down or backward.
    3. Do not allow the flag to drape over you, bushes, trees, or the facility.
    4. Carry the flag straight up and down as you walk to and from the flag line.
    5. Unroll and roll up the flag at staging area, not walking to or from the flag line.
    6. You may hold the flag in either hand and may have to switch due to fatigue and wind; it is advantageous to hold with your left hand at times where we will render honors (to salute or remove your cover) or when we may be greeted by family, friends, or dignitaries.

There are additional U.S. Flag Code details in the PGR Forums.

  1. There is no smoking, drinking, or eating in the flag line. Fluids for hydration are fine, when the time is appropriate. Feel free to take a break if you need to. If you need a break to smoke, you should return to the staging area or another area out of site of the family and attendees. The same applies E-cigs or vape devices.
  2. Follow the Ride Captains directions at all times.
  3. We obey any and all directions of local and state Law Enforcement Officers, and remember they have a difficult job to do. If you feel that a request by any law officer is inappropriate, bring it to the attention of the Ride Captain, but remember that sometimes we just have to do what we have to do because of the higher calling of our Mission.
  4. Wait until the Ride Captain has addressed ride protocol – mainly large flagged bikes in the front, two abreast column, staggered formation and always be alert of the bike/vehicle in front of you. This type of riding is difficult if you are not familiar with it. Do not get impatient and get out of line, we want to be perceived as cohesive and a single-minded group.
  5. Photos
  1. Once the mission begins, no photos may be taken.
  2. No photos may be taken of the casket, family, or attendees. The only exception to this would be if the family requests that we make a photo record of the event. If you get this request, convey it to RCIC as soon as possible and he may designate a person to take pictures.
  3. Do not take pictures in or of the flag line, the mission has begun at that point.

Rendering Honors
As a final point, every branch of the service handles this differently and none address the public. We will follow the guidelines below:

In the rendering of Honors, the Ride Captain may defer to the commands of any active military command, any veterans organization, or any Law Enforcement unit. Should these not be present or effective, the Ride Captain may take this role personally or assign a member to “Call it” according to the following.

  1. We will call to “Attention”, that being, fully standing if possible, flag in left hand facing the casket or family path:
    1. Upon the approach of the family.
    2. Upon arrival of the incoming procession and will maintain that posture until the casket and family is inside the facility and doors are closed.
    3. Upon approach of the Honor Guard and casket at the end of the service. We will maintain that posture until the coach doors are closed and the family has left the immediate area.
    4. At the cemetery or burial site, upon arrival of the incoming procession and we will maintain that stature until the casket is secure and family is seated.
  1. We will call to Present Arms, that being that the flag shall be held in the left hand, all covers shall be removed by non-veterans with the right hand and held over the heart or by a military salute by those active duty and veterans who choose to do so (those rendering a salute do not remove their cover):
    1. At the opening of a coach door which exposes the casket. We will maintain that posture until the casket and family is inside the facility and doors are closed.
    2. Upon approach of the Honor Guard and casket at the end of the service. We will maintain that posture until the coach doors are closed and the family has left the immediate area.
    3. At the cemetery or burial site, upon arrival of the incoming procession and we will maintain that stature until the casket is secure and family is seated.
    4. Under special circumstances, when the Veteran’s casket/urn is moved out of the chapel after the presentation of the flag and placed into the motorized carriage for placement. It’s our final show of respect for our Hero.
  2. We will call to “Order Arms” after the above conditions are complete. Anyone holding a military salute will complete the salute and covers may be worn again.

Summary

Our personal condolences and comments should be entered in the mission listing. Please wait until the State Captain posts a Ride Report in the Forums section and then add your comments. Stay respectful and positive. Do not mention protesters. The forum will be read by the family they deserve to remember it honorably.

Our mission remains critical and we have much work left to do. Please remember that having the opportunity to make a difference in the life of another person or family is a rare privilege and we owe it to those that entrust this to us to do the very best we can. We owe no less to those that have gone in harm’s way to protect our way of life and our very freedom.

4 Comments

  1. What exactly does “Stand Down Mission”
    Mean. No escort? No flag line? Don’t attend?
    Some clarity please.
    Gracias

    1. It’s a cancelled mission, but one which previously had been posted and notification sent out.

  2. WE ARE THE PGR IN WYOMING.THE WIND IS A CONSTANT FACTOR AT MISSIONS. IS IT OK TO HOLD THE FLAG AWAY FROM YOURSELF AND FAMILY/FRIENDS WALKING BY? HOLD AWAY BY HAVING THE FLAG NOT IN FULL FURL..BY HOLDING THE FABRIC OF THE FLAG.. AS IN NOT LETTING THE FLAG HIT YOURSELF AND OR FAMILY/FRIENDS WALKING PAST?

  3. The question has arisen about rendering honors?salute at the first shot of rifle squad volley and holding salute through Taps. What is Nationals position.

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