AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Navy Office of Community Outreach announced that an Amarillo native is now a member of the elite U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard after he completed a 10-week training program.

Seaman Marcus Avalos was a 2023 Caprock High School graduate and went on to join the Navy six months ago, currently serving as a U.S. Ceremonial Guardsman, according to officials.

“I joined the Navy to better myself and to travel,” said Avalos.

Established in 1931, the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guardsman is based at Naval District Washington Anacostia Annex in Washington D.C., officials detailed, and is the official honor guard of the U.S. Navy.

“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,” according to Navy officials. “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.”

“I’ve learned that teamwork goes a long way,” said Avalos.

Sailors are hand-selected to be a part of the Ceremonial Guard during their bootcamp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. as they utilize their strict military order, discipline and teamwork to fulfill their responsibilities. The members are “experts in the art of close order drill, coordination and timing,” officials said, and the Ceremonial Guard is comprised of the drill team, color guard, casket bearers and firing party.

“I like that I get the opportunity to be in Washington, D.C.,” said Avalos. “I am most proud of completing training and leaving my hometown.”

“As a member of the U.S. Navy, Avalos, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance,” described officials. “Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.”

“To me, serving in the Navy means that I get a lot of opportunities I wouldn’t get in the civilian world,” Avalos concluded.

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