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Gismo

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier...... Facts

On Jeopardy the other night, the final question was " How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns "  ---- All three missed it --

This is really an awesome sight to watch if you've never had the chance . Very fascinating.


Tomb of the Unknown Soldier









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.    

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 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 Lewis {the boxer}
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.





ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching     Washington ,  DC , our
US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC
evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the
hurricane, 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 as signment, it was the highest honor that can be
afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously,
24/7, since 1930.





God Bless and keep them.



I don't usually suggest that many emails be forwarded, but I'd be
very 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.
whisperingwindfarms

Having visited the Tomb on many occasions when my father was a lobbyist for the textile industry, I can say that these soldiers are the finest in the world.  They NEVER shirk their responsibilities and they do indeed consider it an honor of the highest form to guard the Tomb.  I have been there in the July heat and once at Christmas time during a pretty thick snowfall.  They amaze me.

The Sentinel's Creed

My dedication to this sacred duty
is total and whole-hearted.
In the responsibility bestowed on me
never will I falter.
And with dignity and perseverance
my standard will remain perfection.
Through the years of diligence and praise
and the discomfort of the elements,
I will walk my tour in humble reverence
to the best of my ability.
It is he who commands the respect I protect,
his bravery that made us so proud.
Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day,
alone in the thoughtful peace of night,
this soldier will in honored glory rest
under my eternal vigilance.

The Sentinels (the actual guards that walk) do not wear any rank on their uniforms as it would be a dishonor to outrank any of the three unknowns in the Tomb.

Is this a great country or what?
whisperingwindfarms

One more tidbit I found:

The Tomb Guard Identification Badge is the only badge awarded by the United States Army that can be revoked after a soldier has left the military. The Regimental Commander of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment has the authority to revoke a Badge from any Guard (past or present) for any act that would bring discredit upon the Tomb of the Unknowns.

When one becomes a Tomb Guard, one takes an oath not to drink alcohol in public nor swear in public for the rest of one's life.  I assume these would be a couple of the circumstances for having the badge revoked.  These soldiers do amaze me.
CoolsLadyInRed

Thanks for posting that Giz and Erin. I am in awe of these soldiers' tenacity and giving their hearts for the rest of their lives.
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