Did You Know?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Joz, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. Joz
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    Joz Senior Member

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    How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier , and why?

    Twenty-one. It alludes to the 21-gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

    How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk? Twenty-one seconds. Same reason as # 1.

    His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing grip on the rifle. He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path he executes an about face & moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

    Guards are changed every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    A guard must be between 5'10" & 6'2" tall & his waist cannot exceed 30". They must commit 2 years of their life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb & cannot drink alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives & cannot disgrace the uniform (fighting) or the tomb in any way. After the 2 years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

    There are only 400 presently worn.

    The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal 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 6 months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone or watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetary. A guard must memorize who they are & where they are interred.

    Among the notables are President Taft; boxer, Joe E. Lewis, Medal of Honor winner; Hollywood's, Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII. Every guard spends 5 hours a day getting his uniform ready for guard duty.

    Our US Senate/House took 2 days off as they couldn't work because of the expected storm, Hurricane Isabelle. 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.

    Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment. It was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously 24/7 since 1930.
     
  2. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Thank you Joz--good info. It's SO sad that many Americans are too ignorant to repect or appreciate what the known and unknow have sacrificed so that we even exists. My salute to the guards and the Americans who remember!
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I love watching that ceremony. Those guys are the best!
     
  4. Semper Fi
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    Semper Fi VIP Member

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    Actually that would be a 'to the rear' or a 'forward to the rear', where the soldier pivots on his/her left foot turning 180 degrees, and thus, to the rear. An about face is stationary, and if Im not mistaken, only in formation, dont quote me on that, Im not too sure.
     
  5. krisy
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    krisy Senior Member

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    Great post,Joz. These guys are so poised and collected,just like the ones watching at Reagans funeral. Just proves our military is the greatest!!!!
     
  6. Joz
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    Joz Senior Member

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    Hey, I only typed what was written. :D

    I'm glad you made the distinction. Whoever wrote the information needs to be corrected, but I don't know.
     
  7. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    After the 21 seconds of being stationary the guard does do an about face and then switches to the opposite shoulder arms.
     
  8. Joz
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    Joz Senior Member

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    So, then, the author was right. Thanks DK. That's one of the things I like about this Board. I can ALWAYS learn something.
     
  9. HGROKIT
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    HGROKIT Active Member

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    the whole thing gives me goose bumps. if anyone gets the chance, they should go. the real deal however is the changing of the guard. real snap and bearing - such precision and pride displayed - wow
     
  10. Joz
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    Joz Senior Member

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    I saw the Tomb back when I was a teenager ( which by the way was a LONG time ago). I watched for as long as the girl I was with would let me. I was sooo impressed, and proud. I agree. this is one of those things that should be seen. Maybe more would take pride in our servicemen.... and what they represent.
     

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