North Dakota Highway Patrol Honor Guard serves special purpose for troopers, families

ND Honor Guard

A lot of workplaces have different ways to honor their members, but North Dakota Highway Patrol is raising the bar by recognizing fellow troopers and state law enforcement. Highway Patrol recently started its own Honor Guard to celebrate the lives of those in their department and members of other law enforcement agencies. This dedicated group of 16 troopers has a special purpose. Posting the colors is just one of the routines Highway Patrol Honor Guard members do. Since 2013 troopers have learned this and much more. "They first learn how to march and how to get in formation, and then they grow into how to do a flag fold over a casket, how to do a firing volley at a funeral," says Lt. Daniel Haugen, Highway Patrol Honor Guard Commander. After attending the training camp in Minnesota, the group of 16 troopers perform at celebrations of troopers' lives, retirement parties and various state functions. The training leads to a rewarding experience. "It means a lot to the individuals that belong to this group. We are given special uniforms that look really good, and it means a lot to us when we see the look on the families faces," says Haugen. Haugen says Honor Guard uniforms are modeled off their old uniforms and a military formal dress uniform. Besides the special detailing, members wear a badge recognizing their position in the Honor Guard. A position which requires great sacrifice. "We have a really dedicated team of troopers on the Honor Guard that drop what they are doing, and with two days notice, will travel somewhere in the state of North Dakota and help a family get through a funeral," says Haugen. The department is one of several agencies in the state who have their own Honor Guard. Honor Guard members have a wide range of experience within the department. Haugen says some members have close to 20 years with Highway Patrol.