The 3 Volley's, the signature honor of military funerals, is executed by teams of seven Firing Party riflemen during every Navy Funeral at the Arlington National Cemetery. A burst of volume and energy during an otherwise somber and quiet ceremony, this historic salute delivers a powerful emotional charge to all who attend.
The Firing Party endeavors to execute this salute in three seperate and clean volleys of seven rifles firing at the same exact moment, as though three cannon rounds were fired. The sound of a single rifle firing late is unmistakable and to the riflemen of the Ceremonial Guard Firing Party, unacceptable. The Firing Party trains daily and relentlessly in order to synchronize their movements. One rhythmic motion of seven index fingers on seven seperate triggers is the product of the numerous motions performed immediately prior to the salute and the countless hours of training endured in order for each member to be eligible to perform as a rifleman in the Firing Party.
Firing Party also conduct the Gun Salutes at the Washington Navy Yard during Chief of Naval Operations Arrival ceremonies, retirement ceremonies and other dates commemorating significant events. Each Firing Party member strives to achieve their TOP qualification "Battery Petty Officer." This qualification signifies a Sailor has demonstrated the knowledge, leadership and trust of the Commanding Officer to lead the gun crew in firing the cannons.