Promoting patriotism

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Duane Duimstra
  • 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 114th Fighter Wing offers members a unique way to show their patriotism and to support community events through participation in color guard events in Sioux Falls, S.D. and the surrounding area.  The color guard is organized through the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy Graduates Association and Master Sgt. Lisa Eisenhauer, current president of the NCOAGA, is in charge of organizing events and managing volunteers.

Among its goals, the NCOAGA strives to instill pride and esprit de' corps through patriotism and community involvement.  The color guard does just that.  They are a volunteer based group and often work during off-duty hours.

"I have been a member of the color guard since the early 90's," said Eisenhauer. "It has been a fun and rewarding experience."

The color guard participates in up to 50 events annually which range from college basketball championship games to the governor's inauguration.

"I will never forget when I had the opportunity to be part of the color guard team when the Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor spoke at the Mount Rushmore amphitheater in 2000," said Eisenhauer.

Unique opportunities like the one experienced by Eisenhauer are what keep unit members volunteering for the color guard.  You do not need to be a graduate of the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy to be part of the 114th Fighter Wing color guard.  Younger Airmen who volunteer are enjoying the chance to promote patriotism and spread awareness about the South Dakota Air National Guard.

"I volunteer to meet other members of the unit," said Tech. Sgt. Alex Oppold, 114th Communication Flight cyber security technician. "Volunteering is also a unique way to represent our unit and the military."

When presenting the colors, which usually includes the U.S. Flag and a state flag, a four person team will march in unison with the flag bearers in the middle and a rifle guard on each side. The two rifle guards serve as the protectors of the flag. Members of the color guard can also be from different branches of service which is called a mixed service color guard.

Some civilians are unfamiliar with military customs and traditions and the proper respect which should be given to our U.S. flag.  The NCOAGA and the color guard strive to promote these values and traditions.

For more information about the color guard, contact Master Sgt. Lisa Eisenhauer at 605-988-5813.