Requesting Ceremonial Support
Military bands, color guards, drill teams and the like may, when requested and in appropriate situations, take part in public events sponsored by non-federal organizations. Likewise with military equipment and other information – these might be included in static displays or exhibits. For the National Capital Region, the U.S. Army Military District of Washington facilitates requests for such support, including Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard elements. Approval and tasking authority is exercised according to governing regulations and practices.
Requesters should be aware that Armed Forces participation in public events may only be provided at no additional cost to the government. A sponsor must pay, when necessary, for non-local transportation, lodging or meals, in order to bring a performing unit to locations outside the National Capital Region.
Please realize that all Armed Forces units and equipment have specific military missions and training requirements. Participation in public programs will only be authorized when such support is in the best interests of the Department of Defense and the Military Services and does not interfere with mission or training programs. This means, for example, that an operational contingency might arise that would preclude participation in an event even though previously approved, scheduled and tasked.
Some requests that cannot be accommodated
- Fundraising events
- Events that benefit a particular business or company
- Events for a narrow segment of the populace, e.g. a family reunion
- Support for or during a religious service (although on-post chaplaincy mission is supported)
- Events that are not open and free to the public
- Events that would be detrimental to the interests or values of the armed forces
Examples of requests that can be considered for support
- Veterans of Foreign Wars convocation
- Major sporting events accessible to public through television broadcast
- Musical clinics or workshops
- Congressional Youth Leadership Council's National Young Leaders Conference
- Civic/business associations/organizations annual conferences/conventions
- United Maryland Realtors Association annual meeting
For most ceremonial requests, the support provided, if available, would be patriotic in nature and may include a color guard and/or a band. If a band is available to provide support, the type of support they would provide consist of 15 to 20 minutes of patriotic music prior to the start of the event and is designed to establish a patriotic mood or tone that initiates the formal portion of a civic, military, or governmental event.
Requests should be submitted a minimum of 60 working days in advance of an event, although a greater amount of time is desirable. In the course of processing a request, it could take as much as four weeks to determine if support can be provided.
Requestors are asked to submit a request for support on organization letterhead and fill out a DD Form 2536, “Request for Armed Forces Participation in Public Events (Non Aviation).” This is necessary to process a request for military participation by Military Service personnel from the National Capital Region. A sample of the DD Form 2536 is located at the bottom of this page.
Letters must contain the following information: who you are, what is it that you are requesting, when is the event, where is the event and a point of contact for more information, if necessary. Fill the form, print and fax with along with the letter on organizational letterhead to:
Public Affairs Office
U.S. Army Military District of Washington
210 A St., Suite 200, Bldg. 32
Fort McNair, DC 20319
ATTN: Community Relations Branch
Telephonic assistance is available at 202.685.4990 or 202.685.1072
All Department of Defense service branches and federal government agencies included -- use the same form but go through a different channel when requesting ceremonial support.
Federal requesters should complete the form, print and fax with a cover letter using organizational letterhead to:
Ceremonial and Special Events Office
U.S. Army Military District of Washington
103 Third Ave (Bldg 42)
Fort McNair, Washington DC 20319-5058
TEL: 202.685.3379 (Fax)
ATTN: Special Events
Telephonic assistance is available at 202.685.2509 or 202.685.2947.
Are assets available elsewhere?
Consider these alternatives:
National Guard units may be able to support. Here is a list
A reserve unit may be able to support. Top-level links include