Army Guidon Information

In this post, I would like to talk about Army Guidons.  We will cover some basic facts about guidons, protecting the unit guidon and some final thoughts.  Let’s get started.

Facts about the Army Guidon

Here are some basic things you should know about guidons:

  • All company level units and above have a guidon.
  • Guidons are 20 x 27 inches.
  • The guidon represents the unit and the commanding officer.
  • When the commander is present the guidon is displayed and when the commander leaves the guidon is put away.
  • Any sort of disgrace to the guidon receives a punishment.  For example if the guidon is dropped, the person who dropped it normally has to do push-ups (or something similar).
  • In formation, the guidon bearer is always one step behind and one step to the right of the commander.
  • Guidons are not normally used in combat, but they are used in drill and ceremony and are also used to mark the location of a unit’s headquarters.

Protect the Guidon

There’s always been an inside joke or contest in the Army to steal or acquire another unit’s guidon.  As a former Company Commander, I always told my soldiers to guard our guidon from other units.  Sometimes members outside of our unit would try to take our guidon when we weren’t looking.  Fortunately, our guidon never went missing.

I remember one drill weekend at Fort A.P. Hill.  My driver was driving me down one of the major roads in one of the training areas and we found another unit’s guidon at the range entrance.  No one was there.  We looked for the Commander or First Sergeant (or anyone) so we could give it back.  Unfortunately, we had to take the guidon.

I had my driver take me to the other battalion’s command post.  I couldn’t find the Company Commander, so I gave the guidon to the Battalion Command Sergeant’s Major.  I told him the story.  All I saw was a big smile on his face and the words “I’ll take care of it Captain.”  I’m sure someone did a lot of push-ups that day just to get their guidon back.

Final Thoughts

The Army Guidon has a long and proud tradition in the U.S. Army.  It should be treated with respect and honor.  Whether you are a unit commander or soldier, you should always do your best to protect your unit guidon (in combat and garrison).

On a side note, if you have a good guidon story, I would love to hear it. Just leave a comment to share your thoughts. Also, if you have any questions about the Army Guidon, you can post them below and I will try to answer them. Thank you for visiting and remember: Protect your Guidon!

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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9 thoughts on “Army Guidon Information”

  1. I was a guidon bearer at my university here in the Philippines. We are now at Advanced ROTC at the start of this year. One tiny detail I did not took focused on was the idea of anyone in ROTC who will snatch your guidon. One officer (2nd class) managed to get my guidon by being friendly with me. Unintentionally, I let it go—a mistake I regret doing that day. Around 70(?) cadets in my company, my tactical officer (2LT), 2 PLs, and my CoyComm, along with two other officers witnessed my foolishness, and that was the time I understood the importance of protecting the guidon. Thankfully, I found this post since there was none I could find in the internet; much better than asking an officer hahaha

  2. I’m searching for a policy or regulation that states when to post the company guidon outside of your CP.
    From all I’ve know in my career is that when the cdr is present the guidon is out and when the cdr is not present neither is the guidon.

    If anyone can point me where to find this in writing it would be greatly appreciated. thanks

    1. Dennis,

      I’m not sure of the current regulation to be honest with you. While I was in command, the guidon was out when I was there and inside when I was gone. If it is out, make sure you post a guard on it in case your sister unit tries to take it. :)


  3. Candace Ginestar

    That is hilarious, that you still have the guidon! I personally love the guidon rivalry. We don’t steal from within the squadron, but we try to band together and work plans to take from others. Doesn’t always work out, but it raises morale to plan an ‘operation’.

  4. Arturo Garcia


    Did the US Army Infantry used the same guidon flag (Blue with swallow tail) during the Spanish/Philippine American War 1898? I'm prepairing for Armed Forces Day this coming 18 May and we are setting up as a Philippine Scouts during that period. I have my Blue Swallow tail guidon flag with white Cross Rifle on it and a letter "P" in between the Cross Rifle to sybolize the Philippine Scouts. Need advice about this matter. Thank you.

    Art Garcia

  5. My favorite guidon story has to do with my husband’s unit. They were in the field on a field training with quite a few other units and went “Guidon Hunting”. They successfully captured the guidons on three units and proudly displayed them while headed back to their Company area. Their entire unit was smoked, but the other units fared even worse.

    1. I always told my troops to protect the guidon at all costs. Other units are always out there trying to snatch up unprotected guidons. When this happens, the unit that took the guidon can get in trouble, but the unit that loss their guidon is even worse off.

  6. Wow, I’m glad I wasn’t the one who left the guidon at the range entrance. He’s probably still doing push-ups right now! I think sometimes the Company Commander needs to take responsibility for losing the guidon as well. As you say, in your time you always made it a priority to take good care of the guidon. If someone left it out like that, maybe the commander in that unit wasn’t enforcing the idea of honor and respect for the guidon strongly enough.

  7. Guidon left out on a training site…ouch. That’s when you get one of those “Come see me in my office” calls from the command sergeant major, which are rarely good. Guidon stealing is one manifestation of (usually) friendly rivalry among units, though sometimes there’s an unspoken taboo about stealing from sister units (within the same battalion). I do have to admit that in 2001 my unit came back from the National Training Center with the guidon of a certain aviation unit that shall remain nameless. It remains today on the trophy wall.

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