Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier

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Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier

Postby ilovemytroops » Sat, 2 Oct 2004 20:58:56

compliments of Frank Ambruso

Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier
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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 ace to begin his return walk and why?
21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. Louis (the boxer) and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, (the most decorated soldier of WWII) of Hollywood fame.
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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.
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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.
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I don't usually suggest that many emails be forwarded, but I'd 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.
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Postby christy » Fri, 8 Oct 2004 12:44:43

:clap: I never knew this information. There is so much about troops worldwide that we know nothing about, other than that they are civil servants to settle disputes between those who control the money and others.
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Re: Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier

Postby RangerBob » Fri, 8 Oct 2004 22:05:31

ilovemytroops wrote: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.


Just a quick bit of clarification on this item. The Guard's rifle is carried on the shoulder opposite the Tomb as he makes his pass to ward against intrusion. The Guard never speaks except in the case of an attempted intrusion upon the Tomb.
If ya can't beat 'em - arrange to have 'em beaten...
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Postby tamra » Sat, 9 Oct 2004 23:52:37

8) Thanks! Frank said he approved the message for distribution. Well, I just hope there's no major investigation back to the source which had the error :lol:

So I have in writing from you as to where I received the new info from, therefore, if a congressional meeting unfolds about this...well...I wasn't here :liar:
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Postby RangerBob » Sun, 10 Oct 2004 01:26:49

Ok, so a few of these trivia points began to bother me, so I decided to do a little research. The information provided below is actually backed up by several sources, thus, I feel comfortable posting it....

This collection of little-known 'facts' has been around for years, but saw a resurgeance of popularity after Memorial Day, 2004 - no doubt the result of thousands of tourists converging on the Washington D.C./Arlington area for the opening of the World War II memorial.


The Tomb of the Unknowns, also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by Tomb Guard sentinels, members of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), headquartered at Fort Myer, VA. The claims in this chain letter can be categorized as true, mostly true and totally false. Here goes:

________________________
True

Guards take 21 steps before turning, for the same reason there are 21 guns in a 21-gun salute.

The Guards' gloves are wet to improve his grip on his rifle.

The guard always carries his rifle on the shoulder opposite the tomb.

Guards wear specially designed shoes.

The Guards' uniforms are impeccably kept.

President William H. Taft and Audie Murphy are buried there.

________________________________
Mostly True

Guards make an about-face, then wait 21 seconds before retracing their steps. Actually, guards make a 90-degree turn to face the tomb, wait 21 seconds, then make another 90-degree turn before retracing their path.

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. According to the Military District of Washington, "The guard is changed every hour on the hour Oct. 1 to March 31 in an elaborate ritual. From April 1 through September 30, there are more than double the opportunities to view the change because another change is added on the half hour and the cemetery closing time moves from 5 to 7 p.m."

Guards must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall, with a waist no bigger than 30 inches. Actually, the upper limit for height it 6' 4", and no exact specification is made for waist size except that weight and build must be "proportional."

Joe Louis, the boxer is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. However, Joe "E." Lewis is a comedian buried in New Jersey.

_________________________________
Totally False

Guards must commit two years of service, live under the tomb and never drink alcohol, swear or fight for the rest of their lives. The Old Guard makes no such restrictions on the personal lives of its members, and soldiers may live in housing of their choosing.

After two years, they are given a lapel pin that they can lose if they break the rules unique to them. Guards can earn a laurel leaf badge after several months of service, if he passes a test. It is a badge to be worn on the uniform jacket, not a lapel pin. The badge can be revoked for conduct unbecoming a soldier of the Old Guard.

Guards give up all television and social activity for the first 6 months of duty. Again, the Old Guard makes no such person restrictions on their members, though the elaborate training and preparation for the job may leave them little time for entertainment.
If ya can't beat 'em - arrange to have 'em beaten...
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Postby tamra » Sun, 10 Oct 2004 11:29:58

actually, the email had "Joe Lewis". I've never heard of a Joe Lewis and immediately assumed it was a typo, so I changed it to Louis as I knew Louis served in the Military.

side note, check out Joe and Max on cable this month. it's a story about Joe Louis and Max Schmelling (?spelling?). a lot I didn't know about those two. but a good story.
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