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.
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!