OGLETHORPE NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY, Ellenwood, Georgia, June 2, 2015, By PV2 Michael Chapman – The Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) Funeral Honor Guard (FHG) team recently added several new members. The new FHG team members are: Staff Sgt. Randy Kestle, Sgt. Jason Tweedell, Spc. Jonathan Melko, Pfc. Lalita Balakrishnan, Pfc. Mauel Menendez, and Pfc. Daniel Treadway. The new team members graduated from Phase One training on May 31, 2015. The Phase One FHG training was conducted at the Oglethorpe National Guard Armory in Ellenwood.
Sgt. Vicki Anderson, a member of the GSDF FHG team, said that each Soldier “came with the desire to serve on the FHG team and it showed in the way they took instruction and implemented to the National Guard FHG standard.” On several occasions during training, the National Guard instructor asked what the standard of the GSDF FHG team was; the GSDF trainees replied “our standard is the National Guard standard.” Successful collaboration between the GSDF and the National Guard is a goal of every GSDF Soldier and the FHG team is a shining example of such teamwork.