As the nation pauses this Memorial Day to remember fallen service members, a native of San Diego, California, has special responsibilities honoring fallen comrades in the nation’s capital with the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard.
By Lt. Egdanis Torres Sierra, Navy Office of Community Outreach
“Here, I am part of the official ceremonial unit of the entire Navy where we are held to standards of perfection. I was hand-picked to be in this command because of my standards of conduct,” said Seaman Daviontee Robinson, who joined the Navy nine months ago.
Established in 1931, the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard is the official Ceremonial Unit of the U.S. Navy and is based at Naval District Washington Anacostia Annex in Washington, D.C.
According to Navy officials, the Ceremonial Guard’s primary mission is to represent the Navy in Presidential, Joint Armed Forces, Navy and public ceremonies under the scrutiny of the highest-ranking officials of the United States and foreign nations, including royalty.
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.
Growing up in San Diego, Robinson attended Diego Hills Charter School and graduated in 2012. Today, Robinson uses skills and values similar to those learned in San Diego.
“Growing up, the life lesson I have carried over to my naval career is adaptability,” said Robinson. “Where I am from, you have the choice to make any decision that could lead you to a path of success or failure. Many times, God will put us in situations for us to grow and adaptability comes into play when answering His call. I didn’t know I was going to be chosen to be part of this unit, but here I am. I have adapted, I am succeeding and I am proud of it.”
These lessons continue to help Robinson while serving in the military.
The Ceremonial Guard is comprised of the drill team, color guard, casket bearers and firing party.
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 firing party renders the 21 Gun Salute, the signature honor of military funerals, during every Navy Funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.
Serving in the Navy means Robinson is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“We are national security at its best and what we do is for that purpose,” said Robinson. “Everything that we stand for, our core values of honor, courage and commitment, and even our attention to details, contribute to us maintaining the freedom of the seas.”
With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
Robinson and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“In my career, my biggest accomplishment is taking the sacred oath to serve in the first place,” said Robinson. “A lot of people live in fear and wait for others to take charge or to take the stand to be the difference. That is not me. I am the difference.”
As Robinson and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving in the Navy means that I am able to break the curse of generational trauma,” added Robinson. “Wearing this uniform and with my actions, I can tell my children with utmost authority to be leaders standing for what is right; to respect themselves and everyone around them and to always be confident in everything they do.”