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Guards of the Unknown Soldier

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  • skipperhe@wmconnect.com
    I knew the 21 steps bit and the hurricane business.....that s about all. I feel ashamed. Our kids don t feel anything. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 1. How many
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 26, 2005
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      I knew the 21 steps bit and the hurricane business.....that's about all. I
      feel ashamed. Our kids don't feel anything.

      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

      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
      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.

      Please forward to your list. I would 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.

      God Bless and keep them

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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