USAF Honor Guard drill team performs for MLK Day of Service

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tabitha N. Haynes
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Seven service members from The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard drill team performed perfection Jan. 17 at John Philip Sousa Middle School, Washington, D.C., to celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

"As MLK Day is now celebrated as a day of service, it is very significant to have these wonderful representatives of our Armed Services perform in his honor," said Ms. Pandit Wright, honorary commander of the USAF Honor Guard, and the President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. "The Drill Team brings a demonstration of discipline and achievement to our youth, which we want them to see and to incorporate into their daily lives."

Members of the local community and students from Sousa Middle School comprised the 150-person audience.

"It was truly a thrill and an honor to be a part of the events on that day, especially in the local community," said Master Sgt. Nathan Todd, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard drill team flight chief. "It was a very proud moment for many parents and their children. I believe we left a lasting impression that may inspire some to serve many years from now."

The drill performance showcased precision and trust in each Honor Guardsman's movements. Sergeant Todd stood motionless while his Airmen tossed their weapons with bayonets attached around him, occasionally thrusting them towards his head.

"I know I was nervous and concerned about my performance and safety, but the trust in my team is strong," said Sergeant Todd. "It has to be, considering the spinning bayonets around me. We all have a part to perform and mine is easy - execute precisely, timely and do not move. The last part is particularly important to my wife. We expect a perfect performance every time and I have absolute trust and faith in my team that they will deliver each and every time."

The event was sponsored by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, DC Jazz Festival and Sousa Middle School. The title for this year's event was, "Lift Every Voice and Sing on MLK Day of Service."

It is important to have events like this one for the local community and because of the tradition, said Anu Thapa, education and community outreach coordinator for the DC Jazz Festival.

"It was my first performance, so it was very significant to me personally," said Sergeant Todd. "The military is here to ensure that days like Martin Luther King Jr. Day can be enjoyed by families reflecting on our history and celebrating freedoms those before us fought so dearly for. We represent all of our service members, past and present, by our performance. "

Following the drill team performance children from the community performed various routines to commemorate MLK Day of Service.

For more information about the MLK Day of Service, visit the official website at: