Maryland Honor Guards Compete
Marching in rhythm, more than 80 honor guards entered the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Center Gymnasium in Sykesville, asking permission to enter the floor and take the stage in the second annual departmental honor guard competition.
"We look for a team that is well disciplined looks good in their uniform and is sharp in their execution of the commands a lot of this relates to our job that we are a uniformed organization we're paramilitary so we have to follow orders we have to work as teams," said Gary Maynard, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
The honor guards are volunteers who represent the departments, divisions and institutions at ceremonies and funeral services. This year the first place prize went to the honor guard from the Patuxent Institution Correctional Mental Health Center in Jessup.
"They do their regular jobs plus they do this in addition. Many many hours have gone into each of these teams," said Maynard.
Only in its second year the competitive program has taken off, more than doubling in size since last year.
"This I think provides camaraderie within the prison amongst pre-release prisons so we can get together, get to know our different facilities better," said Bryan Bonitati
Corporal, Maryland Correctional Pre-Release System Rockledge Correctional Facility.
And these uniformed officers showcasing their discipline in competition represent more than 7,000 uniformed officers in the Maryland Department of Public Safety.
"I'm just very proud to be a part of the honor guard I think it's a great thing to be a part of, it can show our professionalism to the community it's just a great thing to be a part of and to network here at the training facility," said Bonitati.