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Military retirement ceremonies

military flag shadow boxMilitary retirement ceremonies offer friends, colleagues and others to thank the  retiring veteran for his services and sacrifice.

They are solemn occasions although humorous recollections about the retiree's experience in service are usually encouraged.

The formal ceremony usually has the following elements:
  • reading of the retiree's biography
  • presentation of a certificate of service and a flag
  • a speech made about the retiree
  • a response by the retiring veteran with a retirement speech.
American flags wavingThe speech may include include humorous comments but the overall tone should be patriotic and inspiring.

Members of the public who attend such programs should be aware of certain protocols:
  • There will be special seating for the family and invited guests.
  • Dress appropriately which means avoid dressing like you've just come from the beach or the gym. Those taking part in the ceremony will be wearing the civilian equivalent of a coat and tie.
  • Arrive early. Military time is punctual and it would be considered impolite to come into a formal ceremony late.
  • Eat before you come or at the party afterwards. It is not appropriate to eat or drink during the ceremony.

 For suggestions on what to say to or about the retiree, check out the toasts and sayings especially collected for military retirees.