How do I join the Patriot Guard, and what benefits do I get?
(Everyone with RESPECT is Welcome to Join us at any Event)
- To become a member of the Patriot Guard Riders you must do so at the National website.
- Be advised of missions/events as they pertain to South Dakota.
- You may elect to be added to our email list (please email the State Captain or Asst State Captain) and receive emails regarding Patriot Guard missions and events as they pertain to South Dakota PGR.
- You may check this website Calendar as they will be posted in a timely manner.
- Please note that if you don’t hear from us, it is because there are no pending missions or events but you can always check the website to make sure.
- We will not send frivolous emails.
- We will not solicit anything from you nor will we ask you if we can share your contact info with anyone.
My family member was killed in action and I would like the PGR to assist us during the funeral service.
- •An invitation from a family member for us to attend must be presented through an authorized Ride Captain. See Invite the Patriot Guard Page.
Where can I attend a Patriot Guard meeting?
- •Other than missions and events, there are no regularly scheduled meetings.
Where do I Display of Patches on Vests and What is Proper Head Gear?
Where can I buy Patriot Guard pins, patches, armbands, hats, shirts, and other merchandise?
- •We do not offer PGR merchandise on this website. The patch identifies you as Patriot Guard when you are on a mission.
- •You can find Patriot Guard merchandise on this website: National website
Do I have to ride a motorcycle to be in the Patriot Guard?
- •No, you do not have to ride a motorcycle. You can drive your car or truck. Everyone is welcome to show respect.
Do I have to be a Military Veteran to be in the Patriot Guard Riders?
- •No, you do not have to be a veteran.
- •The Patriot Guard Riders is a group of citizens who come together to support the Patriot Guard mission. The only requirement is that you love and support our nation and the soldiers who fight for our freedom. Some of us are Veterans. Some of us are members of Veterans Service Organizations. Some of us ride motorcycles. Some of us do not belong to any sort of organization, but we are all citizens and patriots who wish to honor our fallen heroes and their families.
What do I do on a funeral mission? What is expected of me?
- •Read the itinerary prior to showing up for the mission.
- •Arrive at the staging area at the designated time so that you are present for the briefing. Ride Captains will direct you where to park. If this is your first time, tell them. They may direct motorcycles with flagpoles to one area, and motorcycles without poles to another. Automobiles may be directed to another area and will follow the bikes in the procession.
- •Pay attention to the Ride Captain’s briefing and follow their instructions.
- •If you are a first-timer and are riding a motorcycle, it is suggested you ride in the middle or near the back of the motorcycle group to easily observe what is happening.
- •Be cautious and attentive when in the procession. It is an emotional experience.
- •When standing in line with a flag, do not smoke or use your cell phone. This is a matter of showing respect to the fallen soldier. When holding your flag, be solemn and reverent. No joking or cutting up.
- •Cell phones should be turned off or switched to vibrate during a memorial service or flag line.
What is meant by flag protocol?
- •Flag protocol means order in which flags are flown. This is not a matter of us expressing our personal preference. Flag order was established long ago. It applies to military and non-military processions.
- •We refer to it as military flag protocol because these are military funerals with full military honors. Simply put, the US flag always leads, and state flags are next. Military branch flags, then organizational flags – all flown based on date of origin. The youngest organization’s flag flies last.
- •The US flag flies from the right side of any vehicle, whether it is a cage or bike.
When I’m holding a flag, how do I stand at attention and salute?
- •When you’re holding a flag and are called to attention, you stand at attention.
- •When “present arms” is called, the flagpole is held upright with your right hand near your chin and your left hand at the base of the flagpole and near your waist.
- •Do not hand salute when holding the flag.
- •During prayer, and they say “uncover” you do not take off your hat.
- •Veterans, Law Enforcement Officers, Firemen, not holding a flag, for example, will salute. All others will put their hand over their heart.
What sort of clothing should I wear?
- •If you’re riding a motorcycle, wear protective clothing. Many of us wear helmets, gloves, and leathers.
- •The leathers may be too hot in the heat of summer. If you’re driving an automobile, dress appropriately for the weather, but be sensible. Use common sense, and keep in mind that you are attending a funeral.
- •We are all showing respect to a Fallen Soldier. We’re not there to make a personal statement about anything.
- •It’s not about us. It’s about the soldier and family.
What should I do if the protesters jeer at us and make obscene gestures?
- •Turn your back and ignore them. They want a reaction from you. Don’t give them one.
Where can I get a small flag to mount on my bike, and a flagpole for the large U.S. flag?
- •You can buy small flags 4”x6” and poles from your local motorcycle dealer. or National website.
- •If you want a standard flag and pole 3’x5’, you can generally find these items at a home improvement store. There are also many of these to be found on the Internet.
- •There are many bikes and there are many ideas about flags, poles and how to attach. Interact with other PGR, they’re very happy to share. Perhaps we’ll put something in Gallery regarding this topic where ideas can be submitted.
During Mission Briefings and other discussions I hear about Blue Star parents and Gold Star parents. What are these?
- •Blue Star – families of Soldiers currently serving
- •Gold Star – families of Soldiers who have lost their lives in the line of duty
- •Silver Star – families of Soldiers who have suffered catastrophic injuries such as loss of limbs or severe brain trauma