Written by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin
Who Live Here, Reveres Honor, Honors Duty
There exists a higher standard of conduct that can neither be delineated by laws nor defined by regulation. It is the concept of Honor.
Honor is exactly what Bryan Landreth, from Warner Robins, Georgia, brought with him to the Coast Guard Academy in July when he raised his right hand and pledged to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Coast Guard Academy Class of 2022 Day One was not the first time Landreth had taken the Coast Guard oath.
For two years, Landreth exemplified the Coast Guard Honor Guard’s motto of “Pride, Poise, and Perfection.”
“The Honor Guard taught me how to pursue excellence and to improve on myself,” said Landreth. “I applied to the Coast Guard Academy because of what I learned in the Honor Guard.”
As a member of the junior ROTC in high school, Landreth has had a long-standing interest in wanting to serve his country.
“My dad worked on an Air Force base,” said Landreth. “My love for the military came from him and he told me that if I wanted to join the military that I should join the Coast Guard.”
As part of the Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard, Landreth traveled with the Silent Drill Team and represented the Coast Guard at events in the United States and other countries.
The Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard represents the commandant, the Military District of Washington and the United States Coast Guard through ceremonial operations held before world leaders and dignitaries.
Ceremonies can include parades, funerals, White House dignitary arrivals, as well as presenting colors at local and official functions. Honor Guard members participate in joint service activities as well as Coast Guard functions.
The Honor Guard performs in excess of 1,600 ceremonies annually. The Honor Guard is comprised of 73 members, with a lieutenant serving as the Honor Guard company commander, two junior officers serving as operations/weapons officer and supply/training officer, a chief petty officer as the Honor Guard chief, and four petty officers.
The remaining members of the Honor Guard are “first-tour” nonrated personnel coming directly from Training Center Cape May. The officers and nonrates serve a two-year tour of duty in the Honor Guard, while the chief petty officer and petty officers serve four-year tours.
Once a member has reported to the Honor Guard, they start a 12-week self-paced program consisting of qualifications such as ceremonial marching and uniforms, as well as passing a mandatory drill test in front of all qualified members of the Honor Guard. The test consists of standing orders, marching orders and ceremonial sequences.
After passing the test they are presented the Honor Guard ceremonial rope and start their training in the more specific parts of the Honor Guard.
Honor Guard members are hand selected into the Silent Drill Team and spend up to four months training.
Landreth became not only a member of the Silent Drill Team, but also a member of the Center Four, a group of four members who perform the most complex tasks of the drill.
“Being a member of the Coast Guard Honor Guard was amazing,” said Landreth. “The men and women on the team are the best of the Coast Guard.”
In 2016, Landreth traveled with the drill team to Barbados where they performed before a crowd of 20,000 people, to include Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex; Fruendel Stuart, the nation’s prime minister; and Barbadian popstar Rihanna, during the Golden Anniversary Spectacular Mega Concert, marking 50 years of Barbados independence from England.
The Coast Guard Academy recognizes that not every prospective cadet emerges from high school prepared for the academic, military and athletic demands of the Academy. The Scholars Program is designed to develop the necessary foundation for success as an Academy cadet.
The program begins with a rigorous three-week orientation on the Academy’s campus, after which scholars are sent to Marion Military Institute in Alabama, the Naval Academy Prep School in Rhode Island or Georgia Military College.
Most participants who successfully complete this year of focused preparation receive, and are expected to accept, a full appointment to the Academy as a member of the next entering class.
CGA Scholars appointees are selected from within the general applicant pool. There is not a separate admissions process for this program.
CGA Scholars attending Marion Military Institute and Georgia Military College earn college credit and normally incur no out-of-pocket expenses.
The Coast Guard covers program expenses, including uniforms, tuition, room and board.
“I enjoyed my time there,” said Landreth. “It prepared me to come to the Academy.”
Now that he is at the Academy, Landreth plans to continue to use what he has learned in the Honor Guard and at Marion Military Institute to help him achieve success.
“I came here to learn and further my career,” said Landreth. “The Academy lets me do that.”
Currently, Landreth is a mechanical engineering major and has joined several clubs including Jewish Hillel, Model United Nations and of course, the Academy Drill Team.