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Guarding the tomb.

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  • Guarding the tomb.

    I received this in an email and found it fascinating. I personally have never witnessed it but I would love to hear stories of others who have. I hope this isn't a sensitive subject that will get deleted because I think it is pretty cool and wanted to share.
    __________________________________________________ ___________

    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."

    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.

    God Bless and keep them.

  • #2
    Thanks Reid.
    I enjoyed that very much. That's the kind of information I enjoy reading.
    Emancipate your mind!
    The People's Poster


    • #3
      Great thread Reid! I've already forwarded it to a friend of mine. A few years ago his son got the honor of laying a wreathe at the tomb and I saw video of it. Very moving!


      • #4
        Originally posted by Emancipator
        Thanks Reid.
        I enjoyed that very much. That's the kind of information I enjoy reading.
        Thanks E. I too enjoyed reading that a lot.
        Gave me a sense of pride....


        • #5
          --- Great post Reid !!! ---

          --- I hope it's not too long

          --- For some members to read !!!



          May God Bless all men and women of our Armed Forces, past and present
          The Only Thing Necessary For The Triumph Of Evil Is For Good Men To Do Nothing

          My Adopted Bronco is #95 Derek Wolfe


          • #6
            Originally posted by Reidman
            Thanks E. I too enjoyed reading that a lot.
            Gave me a sense of pride....
            Yep one of those things that make you appreciate those who gave their lives and those who stand to honor them.
            Emancipate your mind!
            The People's Poster


            • #7


              • #8
                Serving those who have served us and paid the higest price for that servitude,
                takes complete and total dedication.
                Last edited by Saddletramp; 05-23-2006, 11:25 AM.
                Adopted player Lindsey


                • #9
                  Awesome post! Great dedication to and from our servicemen.


                  • #10
                    I've been there -- didn't know that such dedication was involved with the duty given to these men, though.

                    "When Kepler found his long-cherished belief did not agree with the most precise observation, he accepted the uncomfortable fact. He preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions; that is the heart of science."
                    - Carl Sagan


                    • #11
                      Good post daughter took a trip to Washington her senior year and got to see this...I think it was a good experience for her along with all the other things she saw.....JFK's grave with the eternal flame etc....

                      This is very interesting....

                      talk about discipline and dedication these guards have....
                      Last edited by KCLadyFan; 05-23-2006, 03:23 PM.
                      Tony G

                      The Chefs


                      • #12

                        There's really not much more to say... Bless them all!


                        • #13
                          Those guys are incredible. If you ever get a chance - check out this movie:Gardens of Stone

                          One thing I'm torn about, though, is that with today's technology, we could probably identify the remains in the tomb. I'm conflicted because I think it's a beautiful monument and represents something great, but I can't help thinking that some families could finally find peace of mind knowing exactly what happened to their loved ones. Does that make sense?

                          I don't know what the answer is. Maybe they should ID the remains, but leave them where they are as a tribute to all of those unaccounted for. If any of you ever get a chance to go to Arlington National Cemetary, please do. You'll never forget it.
                          Last edited by spikerman; 05-23-2006, 06:27 PM.
                          "Oh I Have Slipped The Surly Bonds of Earth... Put Out My Hand And Touched the Face of God"

                          -Rest In Peace, Darrent & Damien