Marines

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NAVAL AIR STATION JOINT RESERVE BASE NEW ORLEANS, La. – Lance Cpl. Olivia Goncalves, a Marine Forces Reserve administrative specialist and color guard member, answers questions from children with Cub Scout Pack 454 at Belle Chasse Academy here, Sept. 12, 2013. Marines from the MARFORRES color guard attended the troops’ first meeting of the school year to demonstrate and teach proper color guard skills and procedures. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tiffany Edwards)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Tiffany Edwards

These colors don’t run: Marines teach Belle Chasse Cub Scouts flag-folding traditions

18 Sep 2013 | Lance Cpl. Tiffany Edwards

The elementary school gym echoed with the screams and laughter of dozens of children racing to their seats. As they chattered animatedly, their Cub Scout leader, in a khaki shirt embellished with patches and insignias, called for their attention and raised a hand with two pointed fingers, the universal salute of the Cub Scouts. Almost as if by magic, the gym full of children went silent as they returned their revered salute.

Marines from the Marine Forces Reserve color guard visited Belle Chasse Academy here, Sept. 12 to demonstrate and teach official color guard techniques to the Cub Scouts of Pack 454.

“With this being our first meeting of the year, we felt it was very important to take a symbol like the U.S. flag to really emphasize patriotism for the scouts,” said Maj. Arthur Houghtby, former MARFORRES aide-de-camp and one of the leaders of Pack 454. “So we wanted to set a lasting impression on our scouts, on how to conduct a flag ceremony properly with reverence and respect. We thought the Marines would be the perfect example.

Sgt. Arrens Cange, the MARFORRES color sergeant, has his own two sons in the troop and his wife volunteers as a troop leader.

“We came here to educate and get the kids to understand the color guard and why it’s very important,” Cange said. “My heart was filled with joy when I saw the energy and enthusiasm those kids had for this, and I was able to give it right back to them and show them the precision of how we do things.”

This was the first time ever that the Marines of the color guard had the opportunity to perform a color guard for children.

Lance Cpl. Olivia Goncalves, an administrative specialist and color guard member, said the new experience of working with children was a bonus.

“Color guard embraces the traditions of the Marine Corps,” Goncalves said. “You take pride in what you do, and everything that Marines do is to instill good order and discipline. I think our main mission was to show these kids what we as Marines stand for. I had a little boy come up to me and say ‘Thank you for being a Marine,’ and it made me want to do what I do even more.”

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s oldest and largest youth-development organizations that focuses on character building, physical fitness, patriotism and participating citizenship. As the Marines answered each question from different children about Marine Corps history, culture and traditions, American tradition was passed on to a new generation through the combined effort of the Boy Scouts and the Marines of the MARFORRES color guard.