WASHINGTON, D.C — A Copperas Cove High School graduate presented the Navy's flag at the White House Salute to America on July 4.
David Pomeroy, a 2018 graduate and former football player, credits the school district and his parents for the history he is now making in his military career.
“Growing up, I relied on football and my family to groom me into the man I am now and decided to join the Navy due to the opportunities to learn certain trades and be able to use those skills I picked up whenever I decide to return to the civilian world,” Pomeroy said. “I joined as an E1 and now am a third class petty officer (E4) with the rating of hull technician that involves welding, working on plumbing, and heating and air conditioning repair.”
Pomeroy’s path in the military was diverted immediately following basic training when selected for the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guardsmen.
Most recently, he presented the Navy’s flag at the White House Salute to America event aired live on NBC on July 4.
“I have done events at the White House before for the arrival of foreign dignitaries, but this event was entirely different,” Pomeroy said. “The feeling of patriotism around me was surreal.”
Pomeroy and other ceremonial service members practiced their routines for more than eight hours the day before the big event.
“I felt great pride in the fact that I would be representing the entirety of the Navy and with that also came the overwhelming nervousness of being on television and (fear of) making the Navy look bad,” Pomeroy said. “But, I looked back at my training and reassured myself that I would execute it flawlessly.”
Selection as ceremonial guardsmen requires an interview evaluating work history and activities, appearance, physical fitness, military bearing, and current performance in basic training.
If chosen, sailors relocate to Joint Base Anacostia Bolling in Washington, D.C. following basic training to complete a self-paced training program to prepare their uniforms to perfection, maintain impeccable military bearing, and master rifle drill movements.
“It normally takes eight weeks for someone to become a (ceremonial) guardsman,” Pomeroy said. “After training, you are assigned to a specialty platoon including casket bearers, drill team, firing party, and color guard. I chose to go into the color guard.”
Once accepted, Pomeroy entered a long training process learning the rifle, Navy colors, and national ensign drill, along with memorizing every ceremony performed by the ceremonial guard.
Pomeroy became fully qualified and began teaching sailors who have not yet become fully qualified.
“We only put fully qualified members on high level events like the Salute to America event. I was chosen from the other fully qualified members because I stood out amongst my peers. There are currently 10 other fully qualified members,” Pomeroy said.