This seems truly remarkable.

This seems truly remarkable.

This is a discussion on This seems truly remarkable. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I got this fwd'd to me in an email from my son - I do not know the source or even the veracity of the ...

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Thread: This seems truly remarkable.

  1. #1
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    This seems truly remarkable.

    I got this fwd'd to me in an email from my son - I do not know the source or even the veracity of the content. If it is true then this is totally remarkable and a testament to the guys who undertake this duty.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    This is really an awesome sight to watch. 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.



    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 assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson.

    The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.


  2. #2
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    It's all true, a lot of tradition in the Old Guard (well, maybe not the swearing for the rest of their lives..... Guess it sepends on what you call public). If you ever get to the DC area it's something you should see. And you can see it anytime 365/24/7!
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I've been there and have seen the ceremonial changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with my own eyes.

    I walked up and down the lush aisles of Arlington National Cemetary.

    You don't realize, you don't understand, the significance of fighting for America until you see something like that. And even then you don't really understand. You just have some vague idea.

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    Thx rstickle - good to have confirmation, thx. It is impressive beyond words and I guess the relatively few guys who do get selected must feel pride for which there are no words.

    Truly outstanding.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  5. #5
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    Minor correction on #5. During winter months and off hours the guard is changed every 60 minutes.

    The Tomb Guard has their own drill manual and uniform manual unique to that unit. They are expemted from the regular Army drill manual and uniform manual for the duration of their assignment. They even have their own cleaners that specializes in the roll pressing that is done to their uniforms.

    The Tomb Guards hand select and totally refinish and redo their M14 rifles. They must qualify expert with a rifle, they must score the maximum on their physical readiness test and they must earn their expert infantryman's badge in their first year IIRC.

    Also the guards are the ones who put out over 84,000 flags on each and every grave for the holidays requiring flags. They start at about 2AM and work until sunrise.

    When they earn their badge it has a serial number on it. Their name is placed on a wall with their badge number. Should they dishoner their creed their name is stricken from the wall, but the number remains.

    They wear the exact same dress blue uniforms summer and winter. It being wool you can imagine how they must sweat during the summer. I've been told that during a watch some guards will use 3-5 uniforms because once it is soiled they cannot wear it again until it has been cleaned.

    There is so much more.

    These guys are the best of the best, the elite. Some of them are second and third generation Tomb Guards. They join the Army with the sole goal of being good enough to be a Tomb Guard. I personally knew a second generation Tomb Guard. He was also Sergeant of the Guard for his watch, which is even more prestigious.

    Yes, I have confirmed that although they were given the option to stand down during the hurricane they chose to continue at their posts.

    -Scott-

  6. #6
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    Scott - thank you Sir.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up

    BTW Guys
    If the Guard is confronted by an unruly onlooker, a protester, or individual determined to deface any of the tombs, the Guard on duty DOES have the capability (as they're carrying live rounds on their person) and HAS the authorization to defend the Tomb with deadly force. This was mentioned in a S.O.F. mag in June of 1980.. just another bit of info for you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    Thx rstickle - good to have confirmation, thx. It is impressive beyond words and I guess the relatively few guys who do get selected must feel pride for which there are no words.

    Truly outstanding.
    I knew a guy who at one time ran the web page for the Old Guard and was one of the "few" that wear the Tomb Badge. The badge they get is actually numbered, and I think it might be the only Army badge that is presented by number to the individual.

    As far as I know his page is gone (He got out years ago) But there is a good site ( http://www.tombguard.org/ ), and if you look under the FAQ you'll see which of the things in the list you posted are true and which are myth.

    Having said all that I was stationed at Ft. McNair, in DC, where part of the Old Guard is stationed, the rest including the Company that includes the Tomb Guards is stationed across the river in Virginia at Ft. Myer. I was in the EOD Detachment, and just enjoyed watching the Guard.
    Rick

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rstickle
    As far as I know his page is gone (He got out years ago) But there is a good site ( http://www.tombguard.org/ ), and if you look under the FAQ you'll see which of the things in the list you posted are true and which are myth.
    I ran across that website a year or so ago and wound up spending the whole evening on it and a couple of others. It's a very interesting topic.
    Bumper
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