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Windows 7: Arlington National Cemetery & The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers

18 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 
Arlington National Cemetery & The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers

I read this recently and found it absolutely fascinating:

This question was asked on a quiz show recently and none of the contestants were able to answer it correctly: 'How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the unknown soldiers?' It is in fact 21.

The following facts relate to this national monument in Arlington Cemetery:

21 steps equate to a 21-gun salute, which is the highest honour that can be given to any military person or foreign dignity.

The guard hesitates for exactly 21 seconds before his about-face for the return walk.

His gloves are always moistened to prevent him losing his grip on his rifle.

His rifle is always on the shoulder furthest away from the tomb so on his about-face the rifle is changed to his other shoulder.

The guards are changed every half-hour, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

For a prospective guard to apply for guard duty, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall with a waist size not exceeding 30".

They must commit to a two-year period of guard duty, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink 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 or tomb in any way.

After two years the guard is give a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel to signify they have served as a guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of his life or relinquish the pin.

Their shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. The shoes have metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make a loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lints on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

During the first six months of a duty a guard cannot talk to anyone or watch television. All off-duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in the Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorise who they are and where they are interred. Among these important people are:

President Taft.
Joe Louis the boxer.
Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy who is the most-decorated US soldier of WW2.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniform ready for guard duty.

In 2003, as Hurricane Isabelle was bearing down on Washington D.C., the U.S. Senate took a two-day recess because of the storm. ABC News reported that because of the danger posed by the hurricane the guards of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers were asked if they wanted to suspend their guard duties. They respectfully refused saying that no matter what the danger from the weather and no matter how wet they got, guarding the tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honour that can be awarded to military personnel.

The tomb has been continuously patrolled since 1930.

Quite an amazing set of facts really that goes to show the esteem that America's war dead are held in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #2

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600
 
 

very strict regimen they live with.

how many guards are there at present?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 & 64 -(Boot Camped Snow Leopard on a Mac Mini)
 
 

A mixed bag of true, partially true, and false that has circulated since '04.

For example:
Sentinels at the Tomb do not have to commit to serving there for any fixed period of time, and the average tour of duty is only about half the two year period claimed here. Like most servicemen, Tomb guards may live either on-base (at nearbyFort Myers) or off-base in housing of their choosing. There are no restrictions on guards' off-duty drinking.

Ref:
snopes.com: Tomb of Unknown Soldier Honor Guard


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Thank you seavixen32 for the great post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

You're welcome Layback Bear.

I have to say I did wonder about the off-duty drinking claim.

That said, it's only proper and fitting that every country should honour its war dead.

As for how many guards are on duty each day I'm not sure. Although I used the term he when talking about the guards there has been three female guards who have served a term of duty.

The UK also has a National Memorial in Staffordshire as well as the Cenotaph in London.

http://www.thenma.org.uk/index

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cenotaph,_Whitehall
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #6

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

" he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall with a waist size not exceeding 30"."

While I have no wish to query your article in any way, how many people could claim to be 6' 2'' tall and have a 30'' waist?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by beauparc View Post
" he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall with a waist size not exceeding 30"."

While I have no wish to query your article in any way, how many people could claim to be 6' 2'' tall and have a 30'' waist?

Quite easy I would imagine.

When I joined the Royal Navy at the age of 16 I was 6' 1" tall and had a 30-inch waist and I was by no means the only one who joined at the same time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #8

Windows 2000 5.0 Build 2195
 
 

I have always found the tomb of the unknown soldier fascinatiing. It is already sad that none can identify the remains of the soldiers buried on that spot. Yet, the Army makes sure they get their just respects by giving them a guard worthy and truly is of honor.

Hooah to the 3rd Inf Rgt!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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