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Old 05-02-2006, 12:25 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Facts

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 in
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.
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:35 AM   #2
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:40 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bentgixxer
im not a midget , i was actually born with a type of dwarfism, but i took medication for 12 yrs to reach just 5'6"
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:58 AM   #4
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Wow - good info
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:20 AM   #5
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"I get a total charge out of inspiring others to follow their dreams and not to fear change. Embrace it. Realize that money isn't the end-all, be-all. What is important, what really has value, is Time. As motorcyclists, we all face increased risks on the road, and on the track. Do something with your time; don't have a bag full of regrets when the train comes to a stop. "
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:11 AM   #6
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More info but not necessarily refuted:
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dancinman
and his waist size cannot exceed 30."
Count me out
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:40 AM   #8
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:31 AM   #9
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The job would make me wacky in a short time, one up for the four hundred though.
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