MILLINGTON, Tenn. (KLFY) — A native of New Iberia recently completed an intensive 10-week training program to become a member of the elite U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard.

Airman Todd Johnson, a 2022 New Iberia Senior High School graduate, joined the Navy six months ago. Today, Johnson serves as a U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guardsman.

“I joined the Navy to make a better life for myself,” said Johnson.

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.

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 my current command because of the location,” said Johnson. “Washington D.C. is rich with history and famous monuments.”

There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers.

“I am most proud of graduating from boot camp and completing my training to become a Ceremonial Guardsman,” said Johnson.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Johnson, as well as other sailors, know they are 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.

“I serve in the Navy to help others and to be a part of something bigger than myself,” added Johnson.