History of Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

History of Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Guard of The Tomb

This post has absolutely nothing to do with the Rabbit Ranch however it has everything to do with being an American.  A friend of mine shared it with me and I thought the least I could do is share it with you with Veterans Day rapidly approaching. 

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As very interest read

Most of us are aware there is monument in Washington DC to pay homage to the unknown soldiers who died fighting in an American battle. Most refer to this monument as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; however its official name, as designated by Congress, is the Tomb of the Unknowns.

To help appreciate and understand this monument here is an interesting fact you might want to read.

As Hurricane Isabelle approached the east coast back in 2003 members of the Senate and House scurried to evacuate Washington DC and for the first time in history the military sentinels assigned to Guard The Tomb were given permission to suspend the assignments and evacuate the city.

Every guard respectfully declined, they all volunteered to stay and man their posts. Subjected to hurricane force winds and hit with pelting rain the guards continued to march. Their refusal to suspend their duties meant The Tomb has been continuously guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since it was inaugurated back in 1930.

If you enjoyed that fact you might enjoy this trivia as well.

The military personnel who apply for Tomb Guard Duty must be between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and have a waist size that does not exceed 30 inches

Individuals selected for this assignment must serve a 2 year tour of duty. During this two year assignment all guards take an oath not to drink any alcohol on or off duty

Newly assigned guards are required to study and memorize the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. Among the notables interned at Arlington are President Taft, Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII, and Joe Lewis the great American boxer

Guards are assigned shoes that have specially made thick soles to keep the heat and cold from affecting their feet. Each shoe also has a metal heel plates that extends to the top of the shoe to ensure a loud, distinctive click is made when the guards come to a halt

Every guard is required to wear gloves while on duty. All guards wet their gloves before reporting to duty to prevent them from losing their grip on the rifle they carry 

Guards take 21 steps to cross the tomb – the 21 steps allude to a twenty-one gun salute

After walking across the Tomb the guards execute an “about-face” then wait 21 seconds before they begin their return walk back across the tomb

Guards carry their rifles on the shoulder facing away from the tomb. After walking across The Tomb and executing their “about-face” guards move their rifles to the outside shoulder

During the summer month’s guards change shifts every 30 minutes; during the winter months every hour

The Tomb is guarded twenty-four hours a day - 365 days a year

When guards successfully complete their two year assignment as a sentinel they are awarded a special lapel pin – a Wreath - to signify they served as a

Guard Of The Tomb.
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