The Colors Platoon performs in numerous Joint Service and Navy ceremonies throughout the National Capital region each year. This platoon is hand selected from members who show an exceptional aptitude for uniform maintenance so as to reflect positively on the Navy during their high visibility work. Members of the Colors Platoon spend countless hours each week perfecting drill and maintaining their uniforms worthy of carrying the National Color, foreign national colors, and the Navy Color in front of Navy personnel, dignitaries, and the public.
A standard color guard is comprised of 4 members--a left rifleman, National Color, Navy Color, and a right rifleman.
In addition to learning the specific drill and movements associated with the Navy Colors set, members of the Colors Platoon are required to learn a rigorous history behind the Navy Colors and the 30 battle streamers that accompany the flag and represent all of the wars and conflicts within the Service’s history. This ultimately prepares Colors personnel for their final TOP qualification "Personal Colors Bearer," in which those who attain this qualification are authorized to carry the personal colors flag of Admirals and Senior military officials, including the President of the United States.
The U.S. Navy flag, or Navy Color, was approved by Executive Order 10812, signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on 24 April 1959. Six days later, on 30 April 1959, at the retirement ceremony for RADM Albert Mumma, Chief of the Bureau of Ships, at the David Taylor Model Basin in Carderock, MD, the new Navy flag was displayed publicly for the first time. It was a young seaman of the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard, SN James Ronan, who carried this flag for the first time as part of a joint Navy Marine Corps color guard.