The Tennessee Highway Patrol Honor Guard was established in 1997 by Colonel Jerry Scott. Colonel Scott felt that there needed to be a dedicated guard to handle “In Line of Duty” deaths. This unit established and provided a more structured and military type protocol ceremony for these funerals. At the time that the Honor Guard was established, Sgt. Kendall Riley was selected as the Officer in Charge. Other members selected were Troopers John Mann, Michael Hamilton, Jon Officer, Bill Miller and Mark Dial. Shortly there after, Lt. Mike Walker was selected as the designated trumpet player.
In December 2000, the Honor Guard participated in the Trooper graduation. Less than ten days later they would be doing funeral detail for one of their own. Trooper John Mann was killed when he was struck by a vehicle while he was chasing a suspected carjacker on foot. Trooper Mann was in a vehicle pursuit when the suspect crashed into a retaining wall on I-24 near Nashville, Tennessee. Trooper Mann was able to catch the suspect on foot and was in the process of arresting him when another driver struck both men. Trooper Mann was killed instantly. Trooper Mann always made sure that everyone was at ease and having a good time.
Today the Tennessee Highway Patrol Honor Guard has participated in not only “In Line of Duty” funerals but funerals for retired THP personnel, events for THP graduation ceremonies, parades, Tennessee Titan football games, Nashville Sounds baseball games, TACP Conferences and various other events.