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Sidney Graduate Serves on Navy Ceremonial Guard, Escorts Late President

 

December 12, 2018 | View PDF

Kyle Wilson, a 2011 Sidney High School graduate, assists in carrying late President George HW Bush during his term as a US Navy Ceremonial Guard. Wilson is third from the left.

Sidney High School graduate Kyle Wilson is currently serving on the Navy Ceremonial Guard.

Wilson joined the United States Navy in 2017, after working several years for Uintah Engineering as a surveyor in Sidney. Though the 2011 Sidney High School graduate had always planned to join the Navy according to his parents, Jon and Nora Wilson, Kyle hadn't planned, necessarily, to take part as a prestigious Ceremonial Guard.

Members of the Ceremonial Guard are hand-selected, touted as the "one percent of the one percent" that join the US Navy. Members serve as casket bearers, color guards, and firing parties at the funerals of Naval Servicemen, as well as provide escort for dignitaries and others in the Pentagon and White House. Those selected for the Ceremonial Guard undergo rigorous additional training for ten weeks following Navy basic training.

According to Jon, Kyle was approached toward the end of his basic training to consider becoming a Ceremonial Guardsman. Those selected, however, aren't given much time to consider. "They don't give you a second chance," Jon explained. "It's either yes or no, right at the moment." For Kyle, it was a "yes". Kyle finished basic training on October 13, 2017, and reported for duty to train to be a Ceremonial Guard on October 20th.

The training schedule Kyle received included extensive focus on appearance, as the Ceremonial Guard stands as the face of the United States Navy. "There's a lot of inspections, and everything had to be perfectly creased and everything polished," Jon explained. "They're very meticulous with their uniforms." Guards are expected to remain standing for long periods of time, remain somber-faced, and remained disciplined.

Pictured is Air Force One. Wilson is one of the Ceremonial Guards assisting in transporting President George HW Bush during last weeks' funeral proceedings.

Though Kyle has escorted many dignitaries through the Pentagon and White House, his most recent assignment was to serve as a casket bearer for former President George H. W. Bush. "He was there when they escorted former President Bush off of Air Force One, and today he was there when they transferred him to be buried," Jon explained of Kyle's service during last week's funeral protoedings. The late President Bush's remains were transferred by the Union Pacific Railroad's Presidential Train Car for burial on the campus of Texas A&M University.

The funeral proceedings were broadcast live on major news networks across the country. Of seeing their son serve in such an honorable capacity, Jon and Nora replied, "We couldn't be more proud of him. It was breathtaking-something we've never experienced before."

Kyle has served one year of his two-year service as a Ceremonial Guard. Following his service term, he will enter US Navy career training for cryptic technology.

 

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