An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Vermont National Guard Logo News
News | April 26, 2022

Vt. Guard hosts Level II Military Funeral Honors Train-the-Trainer certification

By Joshua Cohen Vermont National Guard Public Affairs

From April 4-15, 12 Army National Guard Military Funeral Honors Soldiers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio, New York and Vermont took part in a Level- II MFH Train-the-Trainer certification course at Camp Johnson in Colchester.

This marked the first time the Vermont National Guard has ever hosted this certification course.

“We are hosting the Military Funeral Honors Level-II course to better train our Soldiers and set a standard across the board,” according to Sgt. 1st Class Travis Rock, Vermont Army National Guard MFH Program noncommissioned officer in charge.

Rock said a State National Guard from each region of the U.S. has an opportunity to host the Level-II course, which is taught by national-level MFH instructors.

“This is the first time in the history of the MFH program that Level-II training is available in Vermont,” Rock explained. “We took the opportunity and offered to host the course about ten months ago.”

Kevin Palladino, a Military Funeral Honors national trainer, said the Level-II course hosted by the Vermont National Guard represents a gathering of MFH Soldiers from the Northeast region.

“This is extremely detailed training, everything from the foot placement to their hands on the weapon and flag, as well as body posture,” Said Palladino. “We’re looking for a total Soldier concept; we’re looking for the embodiment of what a Solider really is in this training, we’re looking for Soldiers who can not only represent the U.S. Army but the entire nation,” Palladino said.

According to senior instructor Bryan Hise, the Level-II course is designed to certify Level-I MFH trainers.

“It is intended for the Soldier who has that unique dynamic to be a trainer and a leader,” Said Hise. “We conduct this course to certify trainers to go back and conduct a Level-I course, which is an initial Honor Guard course for the various states to perform this respectful mission.”

Hise explained that every three years, his team conducts seven Level-II courses, one course for each United States Region, and two Level-III certification courses to recertify Level-II trainers.

Due to the intense attention to detail required in a Level-II course, Hise said the character of individual Soldiers is necessary for success.

“Honor Guardsmen hold themselves to a higher standard both on and off-duty in performance, conduct and appearance,” said Hise. “Everything in Military Funeral Honors has a purpose, everything must be correct, or it will affect something else, on the flag, the casket carry, or the weapon and it won’t be as precision or in time with other personnel.”

Students of the course agree with the sentiments from their instructors.

Pfc. Shakira Casillas attended the training upon the recommendation of her supervisors after performing Military Funeral Honors for six months in the Connecticut Army National Guard.

“My Sergeants decided this would be a good opportunity to grow and I’ll be a new Level-II trainer, so I will be able to go back and help make the Military Funeral Honors Soldiers better,” said Casillas. “I'm happy to have come for this training, it was hard, but you must push yourself, there was a lot of attention to detail.”

For Spc. Jacob Sieracki of the New York Army National Guard MFH program, the training made him much more aware of small details in both personal appearance and overall performance.

“We had some very talented trainers; they were very knowledgeable and helpful, I learned a lot, and now I know what I need to work on and what I have to become proficient with,” said Jacob. “I feel confident about training MFH Soldiers on what they need to do and to fine tune everything to keep that high standard.”

Spc. Matthew Ward, a member of the Vermont Guard program, said the course changed his outlook on his duties.

“It is undeniably upping the game,” said Ward. ”This course has been a wonderful opportunity; the Level-II course is special because I can give families of veterans the respect they deserve.”

National Guard News
Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 3rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team conducted a training proficiency exercise April 11, 2024, at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. The team was evaluated by a U.S. Army North team.
Pennsylvania Guard WMD Civil Support Team Completes Exercise
By Wayne Hall, | April 12, 2024
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania National Guard’s 3rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team conducted a training exercise April 11 to validate its proficiency. In the exercise scenario, potentially contaminated...

Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marine Forces Reserve, and Maryland National Guard pose for a photo during Deliberate Response '24 at Warren Grove Range, New Jersey, April 6, 2024. The exercise demonstrated the partnership between the Maryland National Guard and the AFBiH through the State Partnership Program.
Maryland Guard, Bosnia and Herzegovina Conduct JTAC Training
By Master Sgt. Christopher Schepers, | April 12, 2024
WARREN GROVE, N.J. - Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in their first live-fire training exercise with state partner the Maryland National Guard April 2-6 at the...

Finnish Maj. Gen. Juha-Pekka Keränen, commander of the Finnish Air Force, meets with Virginia National Guard leaders April 8, 2024, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia. The VNG enjoys an enduring relationship with Finland that includes military training exchanges between Finnish Defence Forces and VNG Soldiers and Airmen.
Finnish Air Force Commander Meets Virginia Guard Leaders
By Mike Vrabel, | April 12, 2024
HAMPTON, Va. - Maj. Gen. Juha-Pekka Keränen, commander of the Finnish Air Force, met with Virginia National Guard leaders April 8 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, the adjutant general of Virginia, Brig...

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing, South Carolina Air National Guard, are greeted by family and wing personnel as they return from a six-month deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility April 10, 2024. Approximately 150 Swamp Fox Airmen deployed in support of 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central) to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, the unit’s first deployment as an expeditionary air base team under the new Air Force Force Generation model.
South Carolina National Guard Airmen Return From Deployment
By Capt. Lisa Allen, | April 12, 2024
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. - Airmen assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing returned to South Carolina April 10, ending a six-month deployment to U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility as part of the new Air...

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and the 337th Airlift Squadron from Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass., and U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 1-151st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, South Carolina Army National Guard, load an AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopter onto a C-5M Super Galaxy at Shaw AFB, March 22, 2024. The two-day process marked the first time U.S. Army AH-64Es were loaded into a C-5M at Shaw AFB.
Army, Air Force Team up to Load Helicopters at Shaw AFB
By Staff Sgt. Kelsey Owen, | April 11, 2024
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. - U.S. Army and Air Force units worked together to load two U.S. Army AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters onto a C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft at Shaw Air Force Base March 21-22.The helicopters assigned...