AFMentor | Bookmark | Search | Mail Page | Comment

Ceremony Check Sheet
General / Flag Officers



The Following checklist is targeted to support General and Flag Officers.  It was orignally created by Air University (thus the Office symbols)  Adjust to your needs.


o      Block officiating officer’s calendar
30 min prior to ceremony start time through 30 minutes beyond ceremony end (this allows time for pre-ceremony briefing and post-ceremony reception.)


o      Reserve location for:

n       Pre-ceremony reception (change of command only – for outgoing commander)

n       Pre-ceremony brief (NOTE: Official party and spouses meet there approx. 20 min before the ceremony. Family and other DVs, as appropriate, may be included in this gathering)

n       Ceremony

n       Primary location

n       Inclement weather back-up (if applicable)

n       Reception (a.k.a. post-ceremony reception)

o      Schedule photographer. Photo Lab Submit AF Form 833 (NOTE: Ensure photographer remains after ceremony to meet photographic requirements such as reenactments, family pictures, etc.)

o      Schedule publicity:

n       Air University Public Affairs (AU/PC)

n       Discuss with PA the appropriateness of local (civilian) media coverage

n       Discuss advertising the ceremony in the Dispatch

n       Schedule advertising messages as well as welcome/farewell messages for base marquees

n       Maxwell-Gunter Base Bulletin (42 CS/SCSPP)
The Base Bulletin is published on Tuesday and Thursday of each week. When submitting an article, include the dates you wish the article to be announced. If you wish to announce future events, submit articles no more than 1 month in advance. Include your office symbol, name, grade, title, and duty phone at the end of each article. It is easiest to email your submission. Email address may be obtained from the latest edition of the Base Bulletin or you may call the above telephone number.

o      Notify 42 ABW Special Programs
The 42 ABW Special Programs office acts as a central point of contact for coordinating base support functions for various events (i.e., public address, civil engineering, services, etc.)

Determine uniform requirements

o      NOTE: Uniform for "official party" may be different from other attendees. All key personnel – narrator, escorts, flag bearer, dec aide – should be in the same uniform as the official party. For example, it is quite common to see the official party and key personnel in Service Dress with other attendees in the Uniform of the Day.

Determine invitation list

o      When you build this list, it is wise to be careful and thorough. If you forget to invite someone you should, you send him/her a negative message. Discuss this matter carefully with the following individuals:

n       Your protocol officer

n       The officiating officer

n       Your commander (if not the officiating officer)

n       The honoree

o      AU/PC has some lists of people already prepared for high-level ceremonies. The lists, however, have limited application to lower level ceremonies.

o      Don’t forget family and friends!


o      Obtain sample wording from your protocol office

o      Obtain appropriate stationary from your protocol office (if applicable)

o      Allow protocol to review invitation prior to commander’s approval and printing
This is a good time to discuss printing and postal regulations with your protocol officer. There is specific guidance (depending on the type of ceremony) as to how to fund invitation printing and postage. Reference: Air Force Recurring Periodical 51-1 "The Reporter", Vol. 26, No.1, pp. 23-24.

o      Prepare RSVP list

o      Notify AU/PC (via AETC Form 88) of any general officers and/or equivalents who will attend (NOTE: Contact your protocol or executive officer for procedures)

o      Include DV pass and map for any attendees not stationed at Maxwell

Build a sequence of events and script for the ceremony

o      Obtain sample sequence of events and script from your protocol office

o      Customize the sample to fit your needs

o      After you write your script have protocol review it

Program (if desired)

o      Obtain current biographies of honorees (Note: Officiator's bio is not used)

o      Allow protocol to review prior to printing

o      Before printing, discuss printing rules with your protocol office. The rules that apply to invitations also apply to programs.

Gather appropriate paperwork/elements/props

o      Award (medal/citation) (NOTE: Insure "cheater" clip is attached to medal for presentation)

o      Official order

o      Certificate(s)/Letter(s)

o      For ribbon-cutting:

n       Ribbon

n       Stanchions

n       Scissors

Appoint key personnel and alternates

o      Project Officer -- The project officer must remain flexible before, during, & after the ceremony. He/she must not assume any other duties (sole exception: ceremony briefer.)

o      Narrator

o      Decorations Aide (Dec Aide) also known as a "proffer"

o      Flag bearer (in the case of a change of command this should be the First Sergeant)

o      Music director

o      Singer (if singing the National Anthem)

n       WARNING: the National Anthem is a very difficult to sing make sure you audition your prospective singers and you are VERY satisfied

o      Escorts

o      Site setup team

o      Ceremony briefer

o      POCs from support organizations:

n       Protocol

n       42 ABW Special Programs

n       Security Forces

n       Communications Squadron

n       Civil Engineering

n       Transportation

n       Photographer

n       Public Affairs

n       others as your situation warrants

Build notification list for inclement weather back-up.

o      Official party

o      Family members

o      All key personnel

o      Protocol

o      42 ABW Special Programs

o      Wing support personnel (as applicable)

n       Security Forces

n       Communications Squadron

n       Civil Engineering

n       Transportation

o      Photographer

o      Public Affairs

o      Base populace (via marquees and/or email)

o      Off base attendees (via marquees and directional signs)

o      others as your situation warrants

Schedule dry-run(s)

o      Dry run your primary location AND inclement weather back-up!!!

o      Schedule your dry run(s) in the same location as the the ceremony

o      For outdoor ceremonies, your dry run should be at the same time as the ceremony (look at heat, lighting, shade, etc.)

o      Notify all ceremony players and POCs of dry run(s) -- all should be present  

Seating Chart

o      Contact AU/PC for assistance. AU/PC supports "By-name" seating for the following ONLY:

n       Mayor of Montgomery and/or Spouse

n       AU/CC and/or Spouse

n       AU/DS and/or Spouse

n       42 ABW/CC and/or Spouse

n       All active-duty and retired general officers and equivalents

n       Current Chairman, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and/or Spouse

n       Guest of Honor and his/her family members

n       Spouses of Official Party members

o      Prepare name tags for chairs (NOTE: Photographer should have reserved seat that will allow easy access for photos)

Planning for site setup

o      Determine # of required seats

o      Make a room setup diagram (If event to be held in Officers’ Club, fax diagram to club NLT 24 hrs. prior to event.)

o      Make a seating diagram

o      Schedule a PA system

o      Determine what items will need to be borrowed and reserve them

o      Determine what flags will be needed

o      Have an adequate number of people on your site setup team

Site Setup

o      Setup seats

o      Place name tags on chairs IAW seating chart

o      Site setup team arranges room in proper fashion

o      Ensure PA system is operational

o      Ensure appropriate flags are present

o      Ensure flags are in correct order and right side up (Note: G.O. flags: stars w/single point up)

o      Restore room after ceremony

o      Return borrowed items

Receiving Line

o      Determine location

o      Determine who stands in the receiving line

o      Appoint "intro aide" and "pull off aide"


o      Funding: most receptions can be funded by SM&W funds. Contact your resource advisor (RA) or AU/RPB

o      Determine menu. Food & drink purchased with SM&W funds must be considered "light refreshments" and be non-alcoholic. Review your menu with your resource advisor to ensure compliance with the SM&W regulation's criteria.

Miscellaneous requirements:

o      Contact Security Police  

n       Determine traffic control requirements

n       Provide three (3) copies of guest list and three (3) sample DV passes to 42SFS NLT 48 hours prior to event. These will be distributed to three gates. Lists will enable guards to allow access to guests who have forgotten their DV pass.


o      Contact transportation (as applicable)


o      Determine music requirements:

n       Band: Schedule band


n       Recorded music:

n       Ruffles & Flourishes and appropriate March

n       For Army and Air Force general officers, use "General’s March"

n       For Navy admirals and Marine Corps general officers use "Flag Officer’s March"

n       National Anthem

n       Air Force Song (or appropriate service song)

o      Decoration pillow

o      Decoration table

o      Parking

n       Reserved parking signs may be borrowed from AU/PC

n       Generally, give reserve parking for those individuals who have "by-name" seating

Information needed in package to Officiating Officer

o      Script

o      Ceremony and seating diagrams

o      Guest list (NOTE: Annotate family members and relationship to honoree [i.e. son, sister, etc.])

o      Current biographies on honorees

o      any other items requested by officiating officer

If inclement weather plan becomes primary plan:
Notify all personnel on your notification list!!!


Click here to submit your information. Send me Comments and Suggestions

Page added on: 27 July 2007

Copyright 2007 AFMENTOR. All rights reserved.  View Terms and Conditions of Use.
Revised: 10/21/09.