Bolingbrook native becomes member of elite Navy Honor Guard
By Stephanie Fox
A native of Bolingbrook, Illinois, recently completed an intensive 10-week training program to become a member of the elite U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard.
Airman Rodrigo Godinez, a 2022 Downers Grove South High School graduate, joined the Navy six months ago. Today, Godinez serves as a U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guardsman.
“I joined the Navy because I wanted to be the first in my family to join the military and I wanted to see the world,” said Godinez.
Established in 1931, the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard is the official honor guard of the U.S. Navy and is based at Naval District Washington Anacostia Annex in Washington, D.C.
According to Navy officials, the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard’s primary mission is to represent the service in Presidential, Joint Armed Forces, Navy, and public ceremonies in and around the nation’s capital. Members of the Navy Ceremonial Guard participate in some of our nation’s most prestigious ceremonies, including Presidential inaugurations and arrival ceremonies for foreign officials.
“The Navy has taught me the the importance of attention to detail and I have learned to put others before myself,” said Godinez. “I now understand the importance of unity and working together as a team.”
Sailors of the Ceremonial Guard are hand selected while they are attending boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. Strict military order and discipline, combined with teamwork, allow the Ceremonial Guard to fulfill their responsibilities with pride and determination. They are experts in the art of close order drill, coordination and timing.
The Ceremonial Guard is comprised of the drill team, color guard, casket bearers and firing party.
“I enjoy the fact that we represent the Navy on such a large scale,” said Godinez. “At the Guard, we get to be the face of the Navy. It’s such an honor.”
There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers.
“I am proud to have made it through bootcamp and Alpha Company training and to have the opportunity and honor of joining the elite ranks of the Ceremonial Guard,” said Godinez.
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Godinez, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.
“To me serving in the Navy means protecting my family, the people I love, and this country as a whole,” added Godinez.
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Stephanie Fox, Navy Office of Community Outreach