1st Female USADT Commander

1st Lt. Lauran Glover, the first woman drill commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team [USADT], 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and her Soldiers perform, Nov. 23, at a football game at Candlestick Stadium in San Francisco, Ca. (Courtesy photo)

1st Lt. Lauran Glover, the first woman drill commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team [USADT], 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and her Soldiers perform, Nov. 23, at a football game at Candlestick Stadium in San Francisco, Ca. (Courtesy photo)

Being a female officer in a mostly male military is not the easiest job; however, there are women who continue to tear down the walls and barriers that have prevented them from certain positions.
1st Lt. Lauran Glover, a military police officer, has paved the way for women in the U.S. Army when she was recently selected as the first woman drill commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team [USADT], 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).
For more than 50 years, the USADT has showcased the U.S. Army both nationally and internationally through breathtaking routines with bayonet-tipped 1903 Springfield rifles.
As the commander, Glover will lead that team of Soldiers in drill and ceremony during performances for military, government, non-profit, and civilian organizations.
“I am honored and proud for this opportunity to represent the Army, women and my country,” said Glover.
A graduate of the officer candidate school, Glover was first assigned as a military police officer at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Following that assignment, she became a platoon leader for the 289th Military Police [MP] Company (The Old Guard) on Joint Base Myer – Henderson Hall, Va.
“When I joined the Army, I had know idea the Army even had a drill team,” said Glover. “After I saw one of their performances, I knew I wanted to be part of that team and their legacy.”
She added only at The Old Guard can a Soldier conduct tactical training one day and then perform a world-class ceremony for the American public on the next day.
Performing in ceremonies is nothing new to Glover; after all, she was as a key member in the Military District of Washington’s 2014 Twilight Tattoo [TLT] and Spirit of America [SOA] performances.
TLT and SOA are live-action military pageants featuring Soldiers from The Old Guard and the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” They give a glimpse into American history through performances by The U.S. Army Blues, vocalists from The U.S. Army Band Downrange and U.S. Army Band Voices, The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and The U.S. Army Drill Team.
“I enjoyed my time as a narrator during those shows,” said Glover. “It took countless hours of preparation and execution to prepare for the crowds averaging in the thousands from all across the country.”
Glover’s performances earned her numerous positive comments from not only the attendees but also from the senior leadership at The Old Guard.
“I have great leaders at here, and their experience and guidance has helped mold me to be the commander of the drill team,” said Glover. “It shows that if you work hard it doesn’t matter your race or gender.”
Glover said she is happy that more women in the military are stepping up to take on rolls traditionally filled by men.
“I hope I do inspire other women and Soldiers just as I was inspired by my mother, who also serve in the military,” said Glover. “If you want to be or do something, it is all up to that individual.”

1st Lt. Lauran Glover, the first woman drill commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team [USADT], 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), leads her Soldiers during a half-time performance, Nov. 23, at a football game at Candlestick Stadium in San Francisco, Ca. (Courtesy photo)

1st Lt. Lauran Glover, the first woman drill commander of the U.S. Army Drill Team [USADT], 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), leads her Soldiers during a half-time performance, Nov. 23, at a football game at Candlestick Stadium in San Francisco, Ca. (Courtesy photo)

The Old Guard Association (TOGA) held its 18th annual reunion from September 30-October 4 at the Pentagon City Sheraton in Arlington, Va.TOGA-59

TOGA consists of both current and former members of 3d Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). TOGA strives to maintain the traditions and camaraderie built between the service members who have served in The Old Guard.

Reunion activities included a TOGA President’s Reception, a wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and an Army Full Honor Review at Conmy Hall.

Started in 1997, a conversation at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier between former Old Guard soldiers and the then regimental commander, Col. Gregory C. Gardner, laid the foundation for what has become TOGA.

“Him (Gardner) and Command Sergeant Major Bob (Robert L.) Phifer,” said Pete J. McDermott, who joined TOGA in 1999. “They were the two guys behind it.”

“And then on the alumni side, you have Command Sergeant Major retired Tom Twomey, and Command Sergeant Major retired George Otis,” said McDermott. “Otis and Twomey became like, member one and member two.”

George E. Otis says he and Twomey wanted to start TOGA for some time before they brought it up to the then Regimental Commander.

Twomey said the commander had been considering an association for former Tomb Guards. Twomey suggested an association that encompassed all former members of The Old Guard.

The commander agreed, so Twomey and Otis “threw down 100 dollars a piece” and TOGA was born.

From that humble beginning, TOGA has grown over the years to now have 895 active members.

The mission of TOGA includes maintaining records and publishing the history and achievements of The Old Guard, being of assistance and service in matters pertaining to Veterans of The Old GuardTOGA-53.

Otis said The Old Guard has a great standard, and that was built upon what generations of soldiers did before them.

To Otis, TOGA helps unite the members of The Old Guard.

“To get us all back together,” said Otis. “We all represent the greatest organization in the United States Army.”

Tabbed Out: Maj. Tim Meadors

Military training allows soldiers to experience a variety of posts and duties.

DA RETIRE-27Maj. Tim Meadors has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, has been on three deployments to Iraq and one in Afghanistan, earned a Ranger Tab, and is both Airborne and Air Assault qualified.

The first year of his assignment to the Old Guard is “a career highlight”, said Meadors.

Experience in Ranger battalion starting in October 2005 taught him a lot about himself, said Meadors.

It was difficult and took will power to get through the training.

“I can actually operate on very little sleep,” said Meadors. “It taught me personally I am more able to operate without sleep then without food.”

Meadors said lessons from Ranger school were mainly about work ethic.

For instance, an assignment like the Old Guard is not a typical environment Meadors is used to, but by working relentlessly one can get the job done, he said.

Meadors’ ability to adapt was put to the test during another assignment in the National Capital Region: as an Army Congressional Fellow.

The Army Congressional Fellowship program includes a Master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University, a year on Capital Hill as a congressional staffer, and two years working in the Pentagon, said Meadors.

“It gives the individuals a unique perspective on the U.S. Congress,” said Meadors. “And a tier-one graduate degree.”

Meadors calls his time with the Congressional Fellow program a “broadening experience”.

“It takes soldiers and gives them an opportunity to expand their aperture,” said Meadors. “And to view things through a different lens.”

In addition to writing legislation, Meadors said he learned to talk to constituents and perform tasks he’s never had to perform previously.

The greatest asset to Meadors as a fellow was his ability to convey his ideas.

“Communication is definitely a critical skill,” said Meadors.

“Communication is definitely a critical skill,” said Meadors.

“My father is an extremely effective communicator.”

Medors credits his father by involving him at around age 8 with “Toastmasters”.

“Toastmasters” is a non-profit education organization that helps members build public speaking and communication skills.

“He brought all the kids to Toastmasters just to see it,” said Meadors. “That’s when I first saw the importance of communication.”

Another aspect of Meadors’ ability to communicate he said is his passion for writing.

“When I was in graduate school I saw the importance of written communication,” said Meadors. “Being able to voice arguments on paper.”

Meadors said he writes in reflection, and looks upon it as a chance to give back to the Army profession.

Meadors currently serves as the Battalion Executive Officer for 4th Battalion.

His experience as a congressional fellow has helped him in his role at the Old Guard.

“Primarily my role is to insure that the regiment is meeting the commanders intent,” said Meadors. “It runs the gambit, but primarily I’m tied to meetings, developing concepts the commander gives me.”

The Old Guard touches both the operational, tactical and strategic spectrum in its engagements, said Meadors.

The unique thing about the Old Guard is to represent the Army to a grieving family, visiting foreign dignitaries, and to honor high-level staff that’s retiring, said Meadors.

“We are put in those situations on a daily basis.” Meadors said.

“The Old Guard has a unique mission,” said Meadors. “The purpose to communicate the Army’s story to the nation, to the world.”

Spirit of America Continues to Wow Audiences at EagleBank Arena


The Spirit of America continues September 18 and 19 in Fairfax Va. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc Brandon Dyer)

The lights dim and a high-octane stadium anthem blares from the sound system. Spot lights dart in every direction as members of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) in camouflage ACU’s begin throwing t-shirts into the excited crowd. The result of the music and the giveaway is a crowd brought to a fever-pitch.

This is not a scene from a concert or a professional sporting event, but rather the military’s largest public outreach program of the year, The Spirit of America (SOA).

The tour continues this weekend at the EagleBank Arena (formerly Patriot Center) in Fairfax, VA on September 18 and 19 with shows at 10:30 am and 7:30 pm on Friday and 2:00 and 7:30 pm on Saturday.

People from all over the country are in attendance.

“I’m really excited to see what the performance entails,” said Sunny Bittle of California. Bittle and her companion Rick A. Conrad are on a cross-country trip and made a point to take in the free military show. “We extended our schedule so we could do this.”

Lauren M. Ortiz, mother of two had a comparatively shorter trip to attend SOA. Ortiz saw an ad for the 2-hour show on a homeschool website and decided to make the trip from Baltimore with her sons Gabe L. Ortiz, 8, and Julian A. Ortiz, 5.

Ortiz is seeing SOA for the first time. She saw the educational benefit to the show’s review of how the U.S. Army has impacted American History since its inception.

“We just started our home school year, and we are studying the American Revolution,” said Ortiz.

“This is a fun field trip for us,” said Ortiz.

Spirit of America includes performances by The Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Drill Team, and the U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own).

Spirit of America includes performances by The Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Drill Team, and the U.S. Army Band (Pershing’s Own). (U.S. Army Photo by Spc Brandon Dyer)

Another group on a field trip to SOA is St. Michael’s Catholic School. Monika A. Herdick is a chaperone and hopes the show helps the children build a sense of patriotism.

“I’m very excited and looking forward to this,” said Herdick.

Elaine L. Morse of Annapolis is returning to SOA for the third time.

“I just think its wonderful,” said Morse. “I think its so patriotic. Very, very professional.”

SOA’s theme for the 2015 tour is “Trusted Professional”. The message is that the military is entrusted to safeguard our nations interest, a responsibility and honor servicemen and women take seriously.

The Old Guard soldiers in SOA have been rehearsing for the show for over a month and Morse is impressed with their dedication.

“I really appreciate the extra effort,” said Morse.

For more information on “Spirit of America” and to order tickets, visit www.spiritofamerica.mdw.army.mil or call 1-866-239-9425.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers Attracts a Diverse Set of Sentinels

TOMB-6ARLINGTON,VA- The sprawling marble plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (TUS) attracts an estimated 5 million people every year.TOMB-7

Placed in Arlington National Cemetery in March of 1921, the Tomb serves as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by service members to protect freedom.

Since 1926, the TUS has had a military guard on duty everyday. In 1948, the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) formally became responsible for guarding the TUS.

Like the thousands attracted to the new Memorial Amphitheater, Sentinels called to serve at the TUS are driven to honor the fallen.

Serving as a Tomb Guard is a unique opportunity found nowhere else in the U.S. Army.

The Sentinels are as varied as the pieces of marble that make up the plaza.

Sentinels come from all walks of life and from every part of the country. Men and women of every race and creed are handpicked and meticulously trained.

The standard every Tomb Sentinel strives to achieve is perfection. The duty is performed solely to honor the bodies interned in the Tomb, not for personal glory

The Tomb Guard Identification Badge (TGIB) is one of the least awarded accouterment in the Army. Only after months of training can soldiers earn the badge.TOMB

Of the over 632 TGIB’s awarded, only three have been awarded to females.

The soldiers of The Old Guard that perform this honored duty at the TUS have a simple mission: maintain the strictest standards and traditions in the United States Army to guard those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of not only their life, but their identity, in service to our nation. This duty includes stopping any desecration or disrespect.

Tabbed Out: 1st Sgt. Anthony Y. Montalvo

1SG Anthony MontalvoIn 1st Sgt. Anthony Montalvo, the Old Guard gains a capable voice on the ground for helicopter operations, a seasoned instructor, and a soldier with a reverence for military history.

Montalvo arrived at the Old Guard just about four months ago.

Montalvo has earned several prestigious honors: a Pathfinder badge in July of 2007, he has worked as a drill sergeant from 2005 to 2007, and in 2004 he was inducted in the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club.

The Pathfinder school is a three-week course that teaches soldiers how to establish and operate drop zones for helicopters. Other tasks include providing air traffic control to both rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft, and conducting sling load operations for moving equipment in and out of an area.

“The challenge that I faced is its not a physical course,” said Montalvo. “Its more of a mental course. You have to do a lot of thinking. You have to do a lot of mathematics.”

The biggest challenge of Pathfinder school was memorizing large amounts of information, Montalvo said.

“I’m not very good at math,” said Montalvo. “I went there with a clear head, willing to learn some new stuff. It was a pretty challenging course, but a rewarding course.”

Montalvo said Pathfinder certification is valuable since he could be called upon to perform drop zone duties as part of contingency operations in the national capital region.

Montalvo was a Drill Sergeant at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.

Montalvo wasn’t necessarily thrilled with his orders to become a Drill Sergeant at for mainly support jobs.

Once again, an open mind allowed him to succeed.

“I’m an infantryman, and I was stationed at Fort Jackson,” said Montalvo. “I was a young staff sergeant, so I wanted to train infantrymen. But I realized that here in the future, the same soldiers that I am training here are going to be my soldiers.”

Montalvo decided that he would train support occupations like cooks and clerks with the same level of enthusiasm as infantrymen.

Drill Sergeant School once again challenged his ability to memorize the modules to teach basic trainees, Montalvo said.

The orders to be a Drill Sergeant however did prove to be rewarding.

“It’s a great honor or a privilege to be able to teach the new recruits coming in the Army the basics,” said Montalvo. “Those soldiers coming in, their family is entrusting you to train for whatever they see in the future.”

“You’ll get a soldier who’s been hand fed his entire life,” said Montalvo. “You will watch them grow from civilian, slowly transitioning to a warfighter.”

Montalvo said it was extremely rewarding on family day and graduation when he would meet parents of recruits that didn’t recognize their son or daughter because the transition was so encompassing.

Montalvo had to develop his study habits for entry into the Audie Murphy Club.

“A lot of studying,” he said. “You must be well versed in everything being a member of that prestigious club.”

Remaining open to possibilities allowed Montalvo to succeed.

“I was a horrible student,” said Montalvo. “That (memorization) came with time.”

All of the accolades he has earned since his enlistment in 1998 have brought him to his new post as first sergeant of Delta Company 1-3.

“The Old Guard has really opened my eyes,” said Montalvo. “The attention to detail in this unit is outstanding.”

Montalvo said he finds an influx of older, more mature soldiers has been joining lately.

Montalvo said the Army is transitioning into more of a profession.

“The soldiers coming in today have the ability to think on their own,” he said. “To think outside the box.”

Montalvo said one of the bigger adjustments he’s had to make is giving out more responsibility to the members of the Old Guard.

“I entrust my young specialists and sergeants to go to the sergeant major of the Army’s house to set up a flag mission,” said Montalvo. “Where if I was in a regular infantry battalion, that may be a tasking for a staff sergeant or a sergeant first class.”

With everything he has accomplished, Montalvo looks at the Old Guard as his career highlight.

“Our mission is high vis (visibility),” said Montalvo. “We’re doing great things for the fallen’s family. We’re giving the proper respect and proper burial.”

Montalvo has been enriched by his ability to keep an open mind and stretch beyond his comfort zone.

“The impact is very good,” Montalvo said. “Going to these courses, bettering myself, my soldiers can see, ‘Hey, First Sergeant has been to this course, lets ask him about it.’”

“My career so far has been a great one for me,” said Montalvo. “I’ve done just about everything that I set out of my own goals.”

MDW’s Best Warriors Close to Home

Military District of Washington’s Best Warrior Competition at Fort A.P. Hill in Bowling Green, Va was won by two outstanding soldiers that call Fort Myer Home.

Competitors at this year’s event came from as far away as Korea and Germany. Units from the United States Army Corps of Engineers, United States Army Intelligence and Security Command, U.S. Army Air Operations Group, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and The United States Army Band, Pershing’s Own.

MDW’s Best Warrior lasted from August 24-28. The field was not made aware the subsequent array of events.

Day one began with a standard Army Physical Fitness test. From there candidates were challenged on grenade range and then a written test.

BWCFB-12Day two began well before dawn, with competitors completing a Land Navigation course at night followed by a day iteration. Competitors then were sent to a village modeled after something similarly seen in Afghanistan. To challenge their proficiency in battle drills, candidates were asked to provide tactical first aid and perform weapons maintenance among other tasks. The day ended with a briefing on how to board a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter. A surprise event with media interaction challenged candidates to answer a reporter’s probing questions.

Day three, candidates boarded the Blackhawk and were flown to the start point of a nine-mile ruck march in full body armor. The canidatesBWC26FLICKR-32 then had to qualify with their M-16/M-4 rifles, M9 pistols, and M240B and M249 machine guns.

A final test judged competitors based on them leading a block of instruction and a board comprised of Sergeant Majors.

Ultimately, Fort Myer’s Best Warriors bested the field by displaying determination and tenacity.


The best junior enlisted warrior is Pfc. David Saunders, of the 3d Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), Alpha Company.

The best NCO warrior is Staff Sgt. Kevin Simpson of the United States Army Band, Pershing’s Own.

Tabbed Out: Maj. Michael R. Thompson

THOMPSON     Adorned on their uniforms, tabs and badges display how a soldier has reached an upper echelon of expertise in the profession.

Maj. Michael R. Thompson has earned the Ranger tab and the Senior Parachutist’s badge.

Thompson earned his Ranger tab in 2003 as a second lieutenant.

Thompson’s motivation for earning the Ranger tab was not for notoriety.

Thompson said his chief motivation was perception.

“For me, going to Ranger school I thought was important because I knew I was going to be an infantry platoon leader,” said Thompson. “I would be arriving as the newest member of the platoon. So I wanted to have every tool I could get.”

As a second lieutenant, Thompson said if he had shown up without a Ranger tab, his platoon would assume he had failed Ranger school.

“I wanted to show up with whatever small amount of credibility I could get,” said Thompson.

Thompson attended Ranger Assessment and Selection Program (RASP) in 2010.

RASP is a program designed to eliminate candidates who are not capable of assignment to 75th Ranger Regiment.

The training severely limits the amount of sleep and constantly punishes perspective Rangers.

Ultimately, Rangers are looking for leaders said Thompson said of the now eight-week course. “You work under conditions where there is extreme physical and emotional stress.”

Perspective Rangers must learn what their limitations are while learning how to motivate themselves and others, said Thompson.

“To do things even though it’s not going to be mentally, physically, or emotionally easy,” said Thompson.

The grueling process led to a position earned in 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

While in 2/75 from 2011-2013, Thompson deployed twice to Afghanistan.

The most memorable moment for Thompson during his deployment was the quick tempo of Ranger operations.

“We conducted special operations raids with very short notice,” said Thompson. “And had amazing effects on the enemy.”

The difficult training cycle aside, Thompson looks at his time in the 2/75 as incredibly rewarding.

“The 75th Ranger Regiment has advanced equipment and training not found in any other unit,” said Thompson. “Rangers frequently jump out of airplanes, fly in helicopters, drive unique special operations vehicles, detonate explosives, or conduct a live-fires during training and real world operations.”

“It’s all the stuff every Infantryman joined the Army to do,” said Thompson.

Thompson’s other accomplishments include a Senior Parachutist’s badge, awarded after a soldier is both Airborne (Three week course) and Jumpmaster (Two week course) qualified.

The Senior Parachutist’s badge identify a leader on Airborne missions, Thompson said. The badge is awarded after a combination of 30 specific types of jumps with a minimum of 15 jumps that include combat equipment.

“The hardest thing about jumpmaster school though is the attention to detail required,” said Thompson. “I think that’s the biggest piece translated to the Old Guard is the attention to detail.”

Leadership skills learned in Ranger school now help Thompson in his new position with the Old Guard.

“Our mission here is obviously a very important and highly visible mission,” said Thompson. “Its one that just like anywhere else, leaders need to make good decisions and take care of soldiers.”

“That’s all stuff I learned how to do in Ranger school,” said Thompson.

Thompson said badges do not tell the whole story of a soldier, however.

“All these badges and medals everything you wear on your uniform, all that is just a first impression,” said Thompson. “The second you start working with someone, you find out what they are really like.”

“When you start working for subordinates and those that you work for, immediately they make and assessment on you,” said Thompson. “Its deeper then just whatever badges and medals you are wearing.”

Thompson joined the Army 12 years ago and has been assigned to the Old Guard for the past two.

The differences between The Old Guard and other units are obvious, Thompson said. Fundamentally, the mission here is unlike other units.

However, the core foundation for success is the same.

“Leadership qualities, the day-to-day, a lot of it is really similar here,” said Thompson. “One thing that is difference is we are working with hand-picked, high quality soldiers and NCOs (non-comissioned officers).”

“I think it’s important here to lead from the front and lead by example,” said Thompson. “Being a caring leader is also important here.”

Thompson said he eats in the dining facility daily. It is important to know how soldiers are being treated, he said.

Thompson also does regular drill and ceremony training. He said it is important if he expects his staff to march around in the heat, he do so as well.

Thompson sees the Old Guard performing its role as meeting the public’s perception of a soldier.

“We are the face of the army,” said Thompson. “We provide that unit that looks like the United States Army. What we want the United States Army to look like, what the American people want the United States Army to look like.”

It is in this way Thompson’s tab and badge mirror the Old Guard.

The Old Guard meets expectations.