Seaman Nicholas Dorsey Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amber A. Weingart / Navy Office of Community Outreach

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the nation pauses this Memorial Day to remember fallen service members, a native of Silver Spring, Maryland, has a special responsibility to honor fallen comrades in the nation’s capital with the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard.

“I am a part of the drill team,” said Seaman Nicholas Dorsey, who joined the Navy a year ago. “The drill team performs nationwide, representing the Navy at various events.”
Established in 1931, the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard is the official Ceremonial Unit of the U.S. Navy and is based at Naval District Washington Anacostia Annex in Washington, D.C.

According to Navy officials, the Ceremonial Guard’s primary mission is to represent the Navy in Presidential, Joint Armed Forces, Navy, and public ceremonies under the scrutiny of the highest-ranking officials of the United States and foreign nations, including royalty.

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

Growing up in Silver Spring, Dorsey attended Albert Einstein High School and graduated in 2015. Today, Dorsey uses skills and values similar to those learned in Silver Spring.

“I’ve learned to take a step back when I don’t fully understand a situation,” said Dorsey. “Sometimes it’s good just to take a breath, soak in what’s going on around me and then decide what I need to do.”

These lessons continue to help Dorsey while serving in the military.

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

Casket bearers carry the Navy’s past service members to their resting ground. Whether it is in Arlington National Cemetery or another veteran’s cemetery. The firing party renders the 21 Gun Salute, the signature honor of military funerals, during every Navy Funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.

Serving in the Navy means Dorsey is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy is important because it offers protection of the seas and coasts,” said Dorsey. “Having a global presence helps keep us safe here at home.”

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States are directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

Dorsey and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“I’m proud of completing my Ceremonial Guard training,” said Dorsey. “I’m very excited to see and learn more.”

As Dorsey and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“My service allows me to give back and give more to my home,” added Dorsey. “It also allows me to support everyone differently.”


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