What to expect on your first mission
Once you have decided to attend a mission or event, the following will give you an idea of what to expect and some guidelines of the Iowa Patriot Guard to help maintain a high level of integrity for our organization.
Please arrive at the staging location at the appointed time. Introduce yourself to the Ride Captain as a new member and follow any and all instructions. It is not necessary to call or email the Ride Captain in advance of the mission to let them know that you will be attending. Although; you may call him or her in advance if you have a specific concern or question. Keep in mind that our Ride Captains are also volunteers with other life commitments and responsibilities. Since the planning of a mission takes a considerable amount of time and energy on top of those, please be mindful that they are very busy juggling many things.
Dress comfortably and safely for a mission or event, and keep in mind that you may be outdoors for a considerable amount of time. Due to circumstances beyond the control of the mission Ride Captain(s), there may be occasions wherein times get moved up or pushed back on the ground at the last minute. Your patience and understanding should that happen will be greatly appreciated.
During the mission briefing, the Ride Captain(s) will provide members attending with the information that is needed for that particular mission. Please pay attention and ask questions if something is not clear to you, and please follow the instructions.
Please choose your method of transportation according to weather conditions and any other circumstance that might have an impact on your safety or the the safety of others. Although various law enforcement agencies or Funeral Escort Companies often provide logistical support during mission escorts, it is possible that for various reasons it may not be available.
When a law enforcement agency or Funeral Escort Service is on the ground and providing support, all of our members are expected to follow their instructions regardless of method of transportation.
Road or traffic blocking is permitted by a Funeral Escort Service or law enforcement only, Any questions or concerns that you may have in that regard should be brought to the attention of the Ride Captain(s).
Members should not be in contact with families, police agencies, funeral homes, military representatives, or other planners around missions or potential missions. If you are contacted by one or more among them as the result of an acquaintance or relationship, please refer them to the assigned mission Ride Captain or senior leadership in attendance. Lines of communication are established and need to be maintained in order to preserve consistency and clarity of information. Once again, it is important to remember that everyone associated with a mission or potential mission is quite likely very busy attending to a wide range of details and circumstances.
Occasionally, another source might publish or bring to your attention certain mission details (dates, times, locations, escort routes, etc.) in advance of a statewide email or national forum mission thread posting. Since that information might be inaccurate or inconsistent with our operational security guidelines, that information should not be further published or distributed by members. Instead, any such information that might come your way should be communicated to the mission Ride Captain(s).
Photographs and/or videos should not be taken while you are in a flag line.
Photographs and/or videos should not be taken of a casket or of family members.
Members should refer all media requests for interviews, comments, or photographs to the mission Ride Captain(s). He or she will be familiar with the mission parameters and organizational guidelines in that regard.
Although it is not a requirement, you can purchase Patriot Guard Riders gear (patches, decals, clothing, etc.) through National Patriot Guard Riders gear store by following the appropriate link on that website (www.patriotguard.org).
With regard to patches and articles of clothing, in general, any that contain obscene; politically oriented; or objectionable content should either not be worn at missions or covered with tape. Because our mission activities bring us into contact with children, families, and a diverse public, it is important that we strive to leave a positive and apolitical footprint wherever those activities take us. It is also expected that the conduct of members should reflect positively on our organization.