is the command that is issued at a military funeral to honor that veteran’s service to the United States of America. The origins of this tradition dates back to the US Civil War when casualties were high in warfare and rules were a bit different. Each side was allowed to remove their casualties from the battlefield. After which they “fired three volleys” to alert the other side that they were ready to resume the battle.
The seven Soldiers in the photo to the right are bearing weapons, which in this case are rifles. They are an example of continuing this tradition to honor one of their fallen. It just so happens that there are seven (led by an NCO), but there could be as few as two or as many as eight Soldiers. They are the ones who are ordered to “Fire three volleys” – simultaneously as commanded by the NCO…
The photo to the right is an example of a “GUN Salute” – The Soldiers of the Presidential
Salute Battery (also known as “The Guns Platoon) are firing weapon systems, which in this case are WW II M5 – 3″ anti tank guns. The Soldiers manning the guns are “orchestrated
” by a battery staff consisting of an Officer in Charge (OIC
), a boardman
, who counts the rounds fired & announces “Last Round”, two watchmen who call the guns to fire and a NCO in Charge (NCOIC
) who controls the backup gun and marches the Soldiers on and off. I’ve seen them countless times firing gun salutes – at timed intervals – but only once
saw them fire a “21 GUN SALUTE” for the
President on 20 JAN 2009 at the inauguration. I heard them fire a “21 GUN SALUTE” on Memorial Day upon the arrival and another on the departure of the President from Arlington National Cemetery. So you can imagine how “rare” a 21 GUN SALUTE is, which makes it so special.
I hope this clears up some of the confusion you might have and help to inform those who insist that they saw a 21 GUN SALUTE at the last military funeral that they attended.
Tags: 21 Gun Salute, fire three volleys, firing party, Guns Platoon, Presidential Salute Battery, The Old Guard, US Army
Posted in Everything 3 years, 11 months ago at 11:38 pm. 1 comment