Sergeant Richard P. Saint-Blancard
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
KSP Wins Gold in National Honor Guard Competition
Date of News Release: 05/18/2010
(Frankfort, Ky.) -- The Kentucky State Police Honor Guard earned a gold medal for a first place finish in the Fraternal Order of Police National Honor Guard Competition held in Washington, DC on May 14. The event is held each year during National Police Week to test the skills of law enforcement honor guard units that perform ceremonial and patriotic tributes for the public.
Facing units from eight agencies throughout the U.S. and one from Canada, the KSP team placed first in each of the competition's three phases: uniform inspection, posting of colors (flags) and specialized demonstration.
For the demonstration phase, the KSP Honor Guard folded a Commonwealth of Kentucky flag over a specially detailed coffin honoring the fallen troopers of the Kentucky State Police. The donated coffin was painted gray and black with the KSP emblem and listed the names of troopers who have given their life in service to the Commonwealth. While a U.S. flag is traditionally folded from one end, the KSP Honor Guard folded the Commonwealth flag from both ends to reveal the state seal at the final fold.
The competition was judged by members of the famous 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known for their precision and attention to detail. Nicknamed "The Old Guard," the unit provides high-visibility ceremonial services in Washington such as state funerals, presidential escorts and salutes and sentinel duties at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
"This was the first time our honor guard competed in this prestigious event," said KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer. "To achieve this level of success under such circumstances is highly commendable and I congratulate all those involved in the effort. It reflects well on the state and gives Kentucky positive exposure on a national level."
According to event officials, KSP's victory was the first time that a team has won the event on their first visit to the competition. It was also the first time a team has won each of the three phases on their first try.
Due to their winning efforts, the KSP Honor Guard also participated in the 29th Annual National Peace Officer's Memorial Service on May 15th at the U.S. Capitol. Tpr. Jason Bunch, of KSP Post 10 in Harlan, was selected to be on stage during the service, which included remarks by President Obama. During the wreath-laying ceremony that followed, the KSP unit escorted police officers who were wounded in the March 2010 shooting incident at the Pentagon.
Members of the KSP Honor Guard who participated in the competition include: Lt. Blake Slone, Post 7 Richmond; Sgt. Scott Hopkins, Drivers Testing; Tpr. Manuel J. Cruz, Post 4 Elizabethtown; Tpr. Jason Bunch, Post 10 Harlan; Tpr. Bryan E. Johnson, Post 10 Harlan; Tpr. Joe Lucas, Post 7 Richmond; Tpr. Corey Nokes, Post 4 Elizabethtown and Tpr. Mark Treadway, Post 12 Frankfort. The remaining members of the team, who served as alternates and support for the competing team members included: Tpr. Scott King, Post 7 Richmond; Tpr. Seth Lee, Post 4 Elizabethtown; Tpr. Chris Masters, Post 12 Frankfort; Tpr. Camileo D. Threatt, Post 2 Madisonville and Tpr. Dwaine Barnett, Executive Security.