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Thank God for those magnificent young American men and now women.
1 posted on 04/28/2004 5:20:42 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; TEXOKIE; Alamo-Girl; windchime; Grampa Dave; ...
3rd Infantry Regiment TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER
2 posted on 04/28/2004 5:21:49 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat
My husband and I took our sons to DC several years ago...this is a must see....we all stood in silence...in awe.
3 posted on 04/28/2004 5:34:09 PM PDT by mystery-ak (*They are all Pat Tillman's*........Rushl)
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To: SandRat
Amazing.
4 posted on 04/28/2004 5:42:28 PM PDT by Diva Betsy Ross (Every heart beats true for the red ,white and blue!)
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To: SandRat
Bump
9 posted on 05/01/2004 12:08:47 AM PDT by SAMWolf (War is God's way of teaching us geography)
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To: SandRat
While I generally disregard regular Army pukes, I bow to the warrior-studs guarding the Tomb! I remember standing my post on Guard at P.I. when Gloria ripped through, it was NOT fun but we did it. Know their pain, the rain felt like needles.

BRAVO ZULU GENTS!
10 posted on 05/06/2004 9:51:32 AM PDT by gunnygail
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To: SandRat
Bookmarked!
11 posted on 05/06/2004 10:41:13 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (Distinguished drop-out of the Why the Heck Should I Care School of Society.)
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To: SandRat
Most interesting.
12 posted on 05/07/2004 8:57:01 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: SandRat
While these soldiers are committed in their duties to Honor the fallen unknown ... we should be accurate in our discussion honoring them. While some of these interesting "facts" are true, some are not. Go here for more accurate info on the guarding of this honored tomb.
http://www.tombguard.org/FAQ.html
14 posted on 06/10/2004 7:16:41 AM PDT by Former Marine Guard (Honorable Men Should Be Honored With Truth .....)
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To: SandRat

The Guards of Honor at the Tomb of the Unknowns are highly motivated and are proud to honor all American service members who are "Known But to God."






Q: Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time, and if not, why not?

A: No, 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.

Fact:
The guard does not execute an about-face, and there is more involved in the procedure than is described here.

* The sentinel marches 21 steps across the black mat, past the final resting places of the Unknown Soldiers of World War I, World War II, Korea, and the crypt of the Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam War.

* With a crisp turn, the sentinel turns 90 degrees (not about-face) to face east for 21 seconds.

* The sentinel then turns a sharp 90 degrees again to face north for 21 seconds. A crisp "shoulder-arms" movement places the rifle on the shoulder nearest the visitors to signify that the sentinel stands between the tomb and any threat.

* After the moment, the sentinel paces 21 steps north, turns and repeats the process



Q: How often are the guards changed?

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

Fact
The Guard is changed every thirty minutes during the summer (April 1 to Sep 30) and every hour during the winter (Oct 1 to Mar 31). During the hours the cemetery is closed, the guard is changed every 2 hours. The Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, there has been a Sentinel on duty in front of the Tomb every minute of every day since 1937. And the Sentinel does not change the way he guards the Tomb, even at night when there is no one around. The Sentinels do this because they feel that the Unknown Soldiers who are buried in the Tomb deserve the very best they have to give.

Each Relief (team) has a rotation during the 24 hour work day. This rotation is dependant on the number of Soldier-Sentinels who are proficient enough to guard the Tomb. The standard is 3-4 qualified Sentinels, 1-2 Relief Commander/Assistant Relief Commander, and 1-2 Sentinels in training. Generally, the Sentinel will be on guard duty for a tour and have two tours off in between - then go out for another tour. However, in extreme cases, Sentinels have been known to go back-to-back for the entire 24 hour shift.

Currently, the Tomb Guards work on a three Relief (team) rotation - 24 hours on, 24 hours off, 24 hours on, 24 hours off, 24 hours on, 96 hours off. However, over the years it has been different. The time off isn't exactly free time. It takes the average Sentinel 8 hours to prep his/her uniform for the next work day. Additionally, they have Physical Training, Tomb Guard training, and haircuts to complete before the next work day.

The Tomb is guarded, and has been guarded, every minute of every day since 1937. Back in the early 1920's, after the first interrnment in 1921, we didn't have guards and the Tomb looked much different. People often came to the cemetery in those days for picnics during which time some would actually use the Tomb as a picnic area (probably because of the view). Soon after, 1925, they posted a civilian guard; in 1926, a military guard was posted during cemetery hours; and on July 1, 1937, this was expanded
to the 24-hour watch. Since then, the ceremony has developed throughout the years to what we have today. Today, most of the challenges faced by the Sentinels are tourists who want to get a better picture or uncontrolled children (which generally is very frightening for the parent when the
Soldier challenges the child). However, there have been moments of concern, like in 1984 when a former government employee took the Sentinel hostage with a handgun. In that situation, the Tomb Guards not on duty were alerted and proceeded to tackle the gunman from behind - no one was injured.


Q: What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

A: 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".

Fact:
One of the first reactions of visitors at the Tomb, is to comment on how tall the soldiers are. While you might not notice the difference in height, a Tomb Guard can tell what Relief is working. . . . just based on their height.
1st Relief 6'2" to 6'4"
2nd Relief 6' to 6'2"
3rd Relief 5'11" to 6'


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

Fact:
This is a false rumor. The average tour at the Tomb is about a year. There is NO set time for service there. The Sentinels live either in a barracks on Ft. Myer (the Army post located adjacent to the cemetery) or off base if they like. They do have quarters under the steps of the
amphitheater where they stay during their 24 hour shifts, but when they are off, they are off. And if they are of legal age, they may drink anything they like, except while on duty.


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.

Fact:
The Tomb Guard Identification Badge is awarded after the Sentinel passes a special test,not something simply handed out to everyone who serves for a given period of time. The Badge is permanently awarded after a Sentinel has served 9 months as a Sentinel at the Tomb. Currently there are 525 awarded. And while the Badge can be revoked, the offense must be very severe, such as a felony conviction. But you can drink a beer and even swear and still keep the Badge. And the Badge is a full size award, worn on the right pocket of the uniform jacket, not a lapel 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.

Fact:
The shoes are standard issue military dress shoes. They are built up so the sole and heel are equal in height. This allows the Sentinel to stand so that his back is straight and perpendicular to the ground. A side effect of this is that the Sentinel can "roll" on the outside of the build up as he walks down the mat. This allows him to move in a fluid fashion. If he does this correctly, his hat and bayonet will appear to not "bob" up and down with each step. It gives him a more formal and smooth look to his walk, rather than a "marching" appearance.

The soles have a steel tip on the toe and a "horseshoe" steel plate on the heel. This prevents wear on the sole and allows the Sentinel to move smoothly during his movements when he turns to face the Tomb and then back down the mat.

Then there is the "clicker". It is a shank of steel attached to the inside of the face of the heel build-up on each shoe. It allows the Sentinel to click his heels during certain movements. If a guard change is really hot, it is called a "smoker" because all the heel clicks fall together and sound like one click. In fact, the guard change is occasionally done in the "silent" mode (as a sign of devotion to the Unknowns"). No voice commands - every thing is done in relation to the heel clicks and on specific counts.


The first SIX MONTHS of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV.

Fact:
A Tomb guard's behavior is not so stringently regulated that he is prohibited from speaking to anyone for a full six months (someone seems to have confused the Old Guard with a monastery!), and guards may do whatever they want (including watching TV) during their off-duty hours. But since any soldier wishing to become a sentinel must undergo rigorous training, including several hours a day of marching, rifle drill and uniform preparation, and every tomb sentinel is expected to be completely versed in the history of both the tomb and of Arlington National Cemetery (including
knowing how to find the graves of all the prominent person buried in the cemetery), they don't necessarily have a lot of free time to devote to recreational activities.


On the ABC evening news, it was reported recently 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 refused. "No way, Sir!"

Fact:
It was erroneously reported that during Hurricane Isabel, the Sentinels were ordered to abandon their posts for shelter and that they refused. No such order was ever given. All proper precautions were taken to ensure the safety of the Sentinels while accomplishing their mission. Risk assessments are constantly conducted by the Chain of Command during changing conditions to ensure that soldier welfare is maintained during mission accomplishment.

The Tomb Guards have contingencies that are ready to be executed IF the weather conditions EVER place the Soldiers at risk of injury or death – such as lightning, high winds, etc. This ensures that Sentinels can maintain the Tomb Guard responsibilities while ensuring soldier safety. It is the responsibility of the Chain of Command from the Sergeant of the Guard to the Regimental Commander to ensure mission accomplishment and soldier welfare at all times.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org
http://www.mdw.army.mil/OLDGUARD/index2.htm
http://www.tombguard.org


15 posted on 07/02/2004 1:00:06 AM PDT by cew64
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To: Dad yer funny

read the thread as well for corrections.


16 posted on 03/07/2005 10:09:26 PM PST by Yehuda (AMERICA: LAND OF THE FREE, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!)
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To: SandRat
Sobering.

Such devotion is increasingly rare.

Name any rite or ritual that is not religious, that compares anywhere.

18 posted on 05/26/2009 10:36:57 AM PDT by happygrl (Hope and Change or Rope and Chains?)
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To: SandRat

Bookmarking


22 posted on 11/11/2009 4:50:21 PM PST by Verbosus (/* No Comment */)
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To: SandRat

HERE RESTS IN
HONORED GLORY
AN AMERICAN SOLDIER
KNOWN BUT TO GOD

23 posted on 11/11/2009 6:26:47 PM PST by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: SandRat
They cannot swear in public FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES ...I sure as hell have no intention of spending my Army career being known as the damned idiot who

The soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknowns are wonderful heros and are a special breed apart. However, there seems to be a bit of mythology surrounding them. I don't believe they never ever drink alcohol either.

Just sayin'

24 posted on 11/12/2009 3:14:09 AM PST by Jemian (Withold treatment of Hasan. Give him "Granny's Blue Pill". The Death Panel has spoken.)
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To: SandRat

BUMP


27 posted on 05/31/2010 8:49:09 AM PDT by N8VTXNinWV
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To: SandRat

Dear Mr. Robinson,

I read with interest and understanding your posting of “TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Interesting Facts).

But I found inconsistencies.
One is: Q: How often are the guards changed?

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

Yet farther down the site someone has written:
They are relieved every hour in a very formal drill that has to be seen to be believed.

Farther on it is written:
They cannot swear in public FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES...

Farther still it is written:

One fellow said “I’ve got buddies getting shot at in Iraq who would kick my butt if word got to them that we let them down. I sure as hell have no intention of spending my Army career being known as the damned idiot who couldn’t stand a little light breeze and shirked his duty.”

I believe the above statement contains swear words.

Please correct me if I’m wrong and do not misconstrue my intent. During World War II I had 9 uncles in service - 4 uncles and 5 uncles-in-law. Three did not come back. One was in the 29th Infantry Division at Omaha. One was on Iwo Jima and one flew of the USS Yorktown in 1943-1944.

Finally, researching a book I was writing I spent a week at the National Archives. I found the time to go to Arlington National Cemetery and and watched the Guards and was deeply impressed.


33 posted on 05/28/2012 12:34:50 PM PDT by Harvard 76
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To: SandRat

One more BUMP to the pinnacle!


36 posted on 12/14/2013 8:29:25 PM PST by Thumper1960 (A modern so-called "Conservative" is a shadow of a wisp of a vertebrate human being.)
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To: SandRat

Just found this site, and THANK YOU !!
My attention was called to the Dedication of the Sentries
to the Soldiers and Honorables buried at ARLINGTON.
I do not mean to be picky ....Please...but
You give Honorable mention to “ Joe Lewis” the Boxer...
You mean “JOE LOUIS the Boxer.”


40 posted on 06/09/2014 8:49:49 PM PDT by billzet ( bill zet)
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