Patriot Honor Guard dedicated to service, legacy

  • Published
  • By Lauren Russell
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – When Master Sgt. Peadar Clark, Patriot Honor Guard superintendent, first arrived at basic military training in 2004, he thought his career path had already been laid out.

Clark had originally enlisted to become a crew chief; a tactical aircraft maintainer. However, that changed a few weeks into training.

“One day, I got pulled out of formation by a group of instructors,” said Clark. “They started taking my measurements and asked me if I had ever thought about joining the honor guard.”

Once he graduated from basic training, Clark went on to then-Bolling Air Force Base, Washington D.C., for the Air Force Honor Guard technical school. For eight weeks, he was trained extensively on ceremonial drill, facing movements, and how to stand and march with a weapon.

“Everything was so much more intense and precise than the basic drill movements we learned in BMT,” he said. “Attention to detail wasn’t a building block for the mission, it was the entire mission.”

As a member of the Air Force Honor Guard, Clark participated in a number of ceremonies at the White House and Pentagon, as well as funeral services at Arlington National Ceremony, including President Gerald Ford’s interment in 2007.

“When you’re in Arlington, everything suddenly lands into perspective as to why we do this job,” he said. “You have to be unshakable.”

After four years as an Air Force Honor Guardsman, Clark moved on to a medical career as an optometry technician.

Years later, his career came full circle when he saw an assignment opportunity for the 66th Force Support Squadron’s Patriot Honor Guard at Hanscom, and he took it.

“I absolutely love this team and how we get the job done,” said Clark, who took over as the Patriot Honor Guard superintendent in May 2020.

The team here supports areas throughout New England and New York, providing military honors at veterans’ funerals, and comfort to the families left behind.

On average, the honor guardsmen here support more than 2,000 services a year across 78,000 square miles.

According to Clark, the team is looking for more members to join them.

“We need more volunteers from any rank, any career field, that wants to take on the challenge,” he said.

Clark said joining the Patriot Honor Guard offers long-term professional benefits by making members more competitive for boards and promotions.

However, Clark said the greatest benefit is what the experience does for one as an Airman.

“This is the greatest opportunity to give back to those who truly love the Air Force,” he said. “After a family loses their veteran and they see us standing there, they know the Air Force is there for them.”

For additional information or to join the Patriot Honor Guard call 781-255-5900, email, or attend a drill practice at building 1210 on Thursdays from 8 to 9 a.m.