MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Siloam Springs native Shealy Soucie recently became a member of the elite U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard.
Soucie recently completed an intensive 10-week course to achieve the honor, according to a press release from the Navy Office of Community Outreach. Soucie, who graduated from Siloam Springs High School in 2020 and presently holds the rank of fireman, joined the Navy three months earlier, the release states.
"I knew college wasn't for me at the time," Soucie said. "I was searching for something to do that didn't involve going to school and was directed to the military."
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., the release states.
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, the release states.
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 release states.
Sailors of the Ceremonial Guard are selected while they are attending boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill., the release states.
Strict military order and discipline, combined with teamwork, allow the Ceremonial Guard to fulfill their responsibilities with pride and determination, the release states.
They are experts in the art of close-order drill, coordination and timing, the release states. The Ceremonial Guard is comprised of the drill team, color guard, casket bearers and firing party, the release states.
Casket bearers carry the Navy's past service members to their resting ground, whether it is in Arlington National Cemetery or another veteran's cemetery, the release states.
The firing party renders the 21 Gun Salute, the signature honor of military funerals, during every Navy funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, the release states.
"My proudest moment in the Navy so far is completing training and persevering when wanting to quit," said Soucie.