One of the ways PGR members honor the veterans who have served and continue to serve our country is to participate in Missions. The time you give to stand for those who have stood for us is greatly appreciated. Below are some guidelines regarding Mission etiquette.
Every Patriot Guard Riders mission will be led by a Lead Ride Captain (LRC). Ride Captains will be identified by a Maroon PGR cap. The State Captain and Assistant State Captain will be identified by a Red PGR cap. There may be one or more Ride Captains present at a Mission; however, there will be only one Lead Ride Captain who will be responsible for providing all the necessary information to conduct an honorable and dignified mission from motorcycle/cage escort protocols to establishing and placement of PGR flag lines. The Lead Ride Captain for a particular Mission will be identified in the Mission details.
Members are not required to participate in a minimum number of missions. There is also no requirement that a member participate in the entire mission - your presence for as much as you are able is appreciated. Should you arrive after the mission begins, see the Lead Ride Captain (LRC) for instructions. Should you have to leave a mission early, let the LRC know this at the beginning of the mission and then just leave when you need to as discretely and quietly as possible.
Although there is no specific dress code, it should be kept in mind that Missions are about respect for our military. Clothes should be clean and not contain anything that could be construed as being offensive or political in nature. Weather permitting, most of our members are on motorcycles so they will be dressed in leather or denim. Check the weather prior to a mission and dress appropriately for both comfort and safety. Vests/jackets with PGR patches and PGR armbands are common , but they are not required. PGR patches, armbands, and other PGR clothing, gear and accessories can be purchased through the PGR National website at: PatriotGuard.org.
PGRNY members standing a flag line require a clean 3' x 5' US flag on a flag pole (most people have a 6' light-weight, collapsible pole).
Flag Line Etiquette:
- Turn cell phones off or to mute.
- Stand tall, proud and silent. Talking in the flag line should be kept to a minimum and should never be done with the family present.
- Flags (3' x 5') are to be held STRAIGHT UP at all time and never dipped. The flag should be held at an approximate height of 9' to 10'. This can be accomplished when the butt of a 6' flag pole is held at waist height.
- Where possible, each flag line member is an arms-length from the next flag line member. The Flag Line will be adjusted if waving flags interfere with any aspect of the mission. The Lead Ride Captain in charge will instruct you what Flag Salute protocol will be used during a particular mission. There are two commands that may be issued during a mission:
- Present Arms: flag held in front of your body
- Order Arms: flag is held at the side of your body
- (LRC will demonstrate the correct positioning for each of these flag presentations)
- There is to be no drinking of fluids or smoking in the Flag Line. If you need to do either, quietly and discreetly remove yourself from the flag line. Hand off or neatly roll up your flag when leaving a flag line.
- Some Flag Line missions can be lengthy and no one is expected to stand reverently for long periods of time. We encourage breaks when you think it appropriate for your personal comfort.
Escorts are usually provided by PGR members on motorcycles in good weather. Members in cars and trucks (referred to as cages) are also welcome to participate in an escort,. Flags are not required for either motorcycles or cages. Protocols for escorts during any of our missions will be covered by the Lead Ride Captain during the Mission briefing for that day.
These guidelines are not meant to be comprehensive. Any questions you may have during a Mission should be directed to the Lead Ride Captain.