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Photography by John Michael

"Preserving the memories so others will remember"™

Guns Run Long – 4th of July 2012

For the last three years, I have watched and captured the outstanding 50 GUN Salute to the nation on the 4th of July – Independence Day.  It’s an amazing event that has been precisely executed by one of the elite platoons in the US military – The Presidential Salute Battery…

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Posted 4 years, 10 months ago at 12:07 pm.

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The tradition continues –

Earlier this week another small milestone was set in history…

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Posted 7 years, 1 month ago at 12:44 am.

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And the survey said…

The Old Guard on Parade

The Old Guard On Parade

they’re still the best kept secret!

I spent a week on a special mission.   I wanted to find out peoples’ awareness in the Washington DC area.   I asked about the sports teams, and most people knew without any coaching what teams they had for baseball, football, basketball, hockey and more.   I also asked who would defend Washington DC if a disaster struck.

I even showed photos of …

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Posted 7 years, 1 month ago at 8:47 pm.

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PART ONE: TOG on a Mission – 2010

Here’s a more in-depth look at the making and background of the calendar – “The Old Guard on Mission – 2010” – some history and little known facts…

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Posted 7 years, 3 months ago at 5:50 am.

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Мерры Чристмас !

Or for those who cannot read Russian Cyrillic –

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Posted 7 years, 3 months ago at 10:03 pm.

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Mission: ANC

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

For those who have followed me on Facebook, you have seen how from Saturday morning in the frenzy of the snowstorm, I attempted daily to get into Arlington National Cemetery.  The mission was to capture some of the beauty of this hallowed place in the snow…   ANC closed on Saturday, and when I arrived, the barriers were symbolically across Memorial Drive.

I turned around and decided that Sunday morning was probably a better choice and when I returned on Sunday, I found the roadway of Memorial Drive completely clear thanks to the efforts of the National Park Service.  Alas, the gates of ANC were closed and locked …

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Posted 7 years, 4 months ago at 11:36 am.

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10 Miles – 30,000 Runners…

atm-media-badgeAdd a “drop-in” visit from the US Army Golden Knights Parachute Team,  A starting send-off by the Presidential Salute Battery from the US Army’s Old Guard combined with weather that was just perfect and one had a combination for a spectacular event –

Hosted by the US Army’s Military District of Washington, the 25th Anniversary running of the US Army Ten Miler was held this weekend with festivities beginning on Friday 02 OCT as the runners headed to the Washington DC Armory to get their credentials and spend some time perusing the array of vendors & exhibitors covering the floor of this DC Landmark.

Several of the runners had run in the first one over two decades ago were on hand to discuss “why they run…”    It was quite special to encounter several people John Michael met over the years who were getting ready for the day on Sunday.

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Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 8:46 am.

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Rendering Honors at Arlington National Cemetery

Recently, I spent the day at Arlington National Cemetery and captured the Presidential Salute Battery in action as they rendered honors …

I had another camera with me and decided to turn on it’s video mode. . . combined with a few photos taken before and during mission and it appears below.

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Posted 7 years, 7 months ago at 9:01 am.

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A glorious 4th with the Big Guns of the Old Guard…

GUN SALUTE

GUN SALUTE

It all began on Summerall Field of Fort Myer. Four artillery pieces placed – The “Big Guns of the Old Guard” were ready to celebrate America’s birthday in a big way – The sun shone brightly on Saturday, July 4th reflecting off the highly polished WW II vintage 3” anti-tank guns of the Presidential Salute Battery. The battery looking sharp in their dress blue uniforms stood at the ready as the time approached for the ceremony to begin for a 50 Gun Salute to the United States of America.

Marched into position by the NCOIC, SFC Calvin Flinta, Platoon Sergeant, the Soldiers of the Battery waited as the seconds ticked off. When it was exactly noon, SGT Chris Johnson the Officer in Charge issued the command “Fire!” The first round echoed as the smoke billowed from the barrel and 5 seconds later, the watchman called the second gun to fire. Then every 3 seconds another gun called to fire until all 50 “Salutes to the Nation” were fired.

The crowd watching applauded vigorously as the last echoes of the salutes and smoke drifted off. The Soldiers of this elite unit then marched off and got ready for “part 2” of the day’s celebration. The guns were then packed up and US Park Police escorted the entire caravan down to the US Capitol. Again the four gun battery was placed in position, where later that night, the Guns Platoon provided accompaniment for the Washington Symphony Orchestra.

Marched into position by Platoon Leader – CPT Ronald K. Vinyard, the battery once again stood at the ready waiting for the signal to fire. As the colors of the fireworks were filling the sky over the Washington Monument, the orchestra played the 1812 Overture at the Capitol 4th with the Presidential Salute Battery providing the appropriate gun salutes. The final salute was all four guns firing simultaneously.

Photos by John Michael

Happy Birthday America!
 
 
 
This article also appears
in
the 10 JUL 2009 issue
of
“The Pentagram”
with one of the photographs.
 
 
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Posted 7 years, 9 months ago at 2:37 am.

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"Fire Three Volleys…"

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.

 Rifles are weapons not GUNS

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 BIG GUNS of the Old Guard

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.

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Posted 7 years, 10 months ago at 11:38 pm.

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