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Requirements of being in charge of Guarding the Tomb of the unknown soldier in Arlington cemetary

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posted on Jan, 6 2008 @ 09:39 PM
This is a very interesting tid-bit that was passed on to me of the requirements and the reason's of what actually takes place during the guard dutied of the "Tomb of the unknown Soldier".
Very fascinating in the detailed repitions of each and every individual movement and action for the history of the USA.
Just gives us a little insight and understanding of how very important our US troops are to us, no matter what the circumstance or situation of our world, we should be proud as a paople, and beware the war machine.
Requirements go as follows:

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.

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

Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the

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.

How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

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.


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 assignment, it was the highest honor that can be
afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

Like I had said before, "Very interesting information for those that never really knew the reason and the importance of this particular position in the USA military and what it stands for to our Vet's and currently deployed."

Source/Rather speratic finds through Google:

[edit on 6-1-2008 by Allred5923]

posted on Jan, 11 2008 @ 06:57 PM
Absolutely astounding. I have no idea what to say to this, the men who do this deserve the highest respects of anyone in this county. To bad none of them care to run for president huh?

This country does have some honor, it's just tucked away in places like this.


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