IHS grad picked for elite Navy unit

Photo Courtesy of US Navy
Taheed Phillips, Irvington High School Class of 2023, is now a member of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard.

A native of Irvington recently completed an intensive 10-week training program to become a member of the elite U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard.

Airman Taheed Phillips, a 2023 Irvington High School graduate, joined the Navy six months ago. Today, Phillips serves as a U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guardsman.

“I joined the Navy to serve my country,” Phillips said.

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 composed of the drill team, color guard, casket bearers and firing party.

“I am most proud of joining the Navy,” Phillips said. “Serving in the Navy means being a part of something bigger than myself.”