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Author Topic: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier  (Read 927 times)

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Offline beetle

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Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
« on: August 03, 2004, 02:46:15 PM »

Guarding The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier


  I thought this was interesting.  Must take a special kind of person.
  1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?
     21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.
  2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?
     21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1.
  3. Why are his gloves wet?
      His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.
  4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time, and if not, why not?
      He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After  his march across the path, he executes an about face, and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.
  5. How often are the guards changed?
      Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.
  6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?
       For a  person to  apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30."
Other requirements of the Guard:
They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and  cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way.  After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn.
The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.
The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of  the  shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. There  are  no  wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform.
Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.
The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV.
All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred.  Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis {the  boxer} and Medal of Honor winner Audie
Murphy, {the most decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame.
Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.
I don't know if you saw this in the news but it really impressed me. Funny, our US Senate/House took 2 days off as they couldn't work because of the expected storm.
On the ABC evening news, it was reported tonight that, because of the dangers from Hurricane Isabel approaching Washington DC, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment.
They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!"
Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson.
The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.
I don't usually suggest that many emails be forwarded, but I'd be DanG proud if this one reached as many as possible.
We can be very proud of our young men and women in the service no matter where they serve.

  God Bless them.
   What an amazing bit of Americana.
Too many hobbies...not enough time.

Offline sandmar

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Re: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2004, 03:00:09 PM »
Thanks for sharing Beetle...there are some true heroes left in this ol' world.....these are just a few of our great men and women in service of our country. God bless 'em all!


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