RC Protocols and Procedures
In order to be in charge of a mission, your SRC will send out mission requests to your region. Make sure you are aware of what avenues they use to alert RC’s when missions are requested. Some use email, Facebook, Twitter
Volunteer to organize a mission based on what your availability is. Let your SRC know that you will take the mission.
SRC will send you all the information they have.
Have a piece of paper and pen ready!
Call contact person that is listed on the mission request form.
- Express your sincere condolences and that we are honored to be invited.
- Ask them about their loved one.
- Remember, this is one of their worst days of their life. Let them talk about their loved one. Jot notes down as they share. Some of this can be used in the write up. They will often talk about how much this would have meant to their loved one. They will talk about their service. They will talk about their hobbies and their family. This is all stuff you may share in the mission write up later.
Things to find out from contact:
- Funeral Home and Address
- Date, Time and Location of Services
- Maybe just a wake
- Maybe only funeral and burial service
Explain that it may be difficult to get people to commit to both days. Offer to be there for the funeral service and burial. Let them know exactly what we do.
Walk them through what it will look like. Answer any questions they may have.
- Casket draping (if needed)
- Flag Folding (if needed)
- Escort Line-Up Order
- Rendering of Honors at the Cemetery
Correct Spelling and Pronunciation of first and last name and confirm rank from the DD214.
Note: Double check rank with the Funeral Home
Contact Funeral Home/Director
Let them know that we have been invited by the family to honor their loved one.
Ask if they are familiar with us and what we do. Chances are, we have worked with them before.
Offer a refresher of what we do.
• Flag Line/Casket Draping and Undraping/Cemetery Honors
Ensure our position in the escort.
Double Check Name and Rank from DD214. Funeral Home will have the document.
Find out what time family is set to arrive. This will determine your stage and brief time.
Allow enough time from your stage time to the family’s arrival time for a mission brief to pass on information to PGR attendees.
Mission Write Up
All of the following details must be included
- Rank (if confirmed by DD214)
- Staging Time
- A small narrative about the Veteran (These are the notes that you should have jotted down when you made your initial phone call to family member)
- Any other information that PGR attendees will need to know
- Ex.- Jefferson Barracks require full riding gear to enter.
- RC’s name and phone number
Send to all Moderators in your state in addition to your SRC.
- Bridget Krupa- firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dave Gier- email@example.com
- Annette Stark- firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sytze Nauta- email@example.com
- Bill Sugg- firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ian Chafee- email@example.com
- Moderators will post missions in a timely manner. SRC’s have examples of a correct mission write up for reference. If you have any questions, please ask them.
Day of Mission
- As an RC:
- Arrive at mission before staging time
- Meet with Funeral Director and go over plans. Things might have changed since you spoke last.
- Timing of the Family
- Timing of the Service
- Estimated Time of Departure to church or cemetery
- Offer to do the draping and undraping ceremony
- Make sure casket flag is folded correctly
- Where they will be exiting the funeral home with Veteran in order to have your flag line
- Prepare for Mission Brief
- All briefs should start with a prayer or the Pledge of Allegiance • Whatever the RC is comfortable with.
- Feel free to read the mission announcement or recite from memory.
- If details that are listed in the mission announcement, make all PGR attendees aware.
Establish your flag line
- Quiet conversation is ok, however, when funeral goers come and go, it should be silent.
- Select another RC to present flag or plaque.
Note: If another RC is not present, RC may ask another member to present. This is under the RC’s discretion.
As we all know, things change at a moment’s notice. Please be flexible.
When arriving at the church:
- The branch flag should be next to the hearse.
- All members should be holding flags other than the people folding the flag only if that needs to happen.
Depending on the facility, direct your members to the best place to stand.
- During the service, feel free to join or wait outside.
When leaving the church:
- Just the opposite happens. The casket is draped with the flag and members should provide a flag line from the church to the hearse. As an RC, you may need to direct people where to stand.
On the escort:
- Bikes should be riding in a staggered position with plenty of room between each bike in case of an emergency.
- If a car needs to cut into the procession, let them.
- We do not road block.
- Depending upon the mission, you may have a LEO escort.
- Sometimes there is a lead car and then the hearse and other times there is just a hearse. You will need to adjust positions of bike and cages.
- If there is an opportunity to “cradle” the hearse, please do so.
- Music should be kept quiet on the escort and then silenced as you enter the cemetery.
Once we arrive at the cemetery:
- Create an aisle of flags from the hearse to the burial site.
- Once the casket is moving, call everyone to attention and present arms.
- Ensure all family and friends are in place before the flag line relocates closer to the burial site.
- If possible, form a “circle of comfort” around those present.
- Once the military has rendered their honors, the RC and other presenter make their way to the front of the family.
- The flag should be presented first followed by the plaque.
- Once presented, call other members for a “pass and review”.
- Once the pass and review is completed, the aisle of flags should be created once again.
At the RC’s discretion, he or she will call for everyone to be dismissed.
Walk with flags upright and intact until you are at the motorcycle or cage for storage.
DO NOT BREAK DOWN FLAGS AS YOU ARE WALKING! It is disrespectful.
Family will often ask us to join the funeral luncheon. Politely and respectfully decline as this is a time with their family. If you are friends of the family, and you wish to go, feel free. As a group, we will not be attending!
Thank everyone for coming. Remember that people have taken time out of their day to be there to honor a veteran!
Thank you for stepping up to be a Ride Captain. It is an honor and a privilege to be one.
1 May 2022