Thursday, June 4, 2009

Something Totally Different

Dad received this in an email the other day, and mom thought it was fascinating. So she decided to share.

On Jeopardy the other night, the final question was: How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns?
All three missed it.

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 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.

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 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 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.


the TN Bull Terrors said...

That is cool, thanks for sharing!

Feather, Darla, Pappy & LizzaBella ^..^

Puglette said...

that's awesome! such dedicated men. thanks for sharing such inspiring information.

Karen Jo said...

Thanks for sharing this very interesting information. I am glad that we have such dedicated people in our armed forces.

Millie said...


Pearl said...

Thank you so much for posting about this! How interesting. I am forever in awe of the service men and women in our country. So selfless and dedicated.

Nevis said...

Very, very interesting information! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

OMG that is incredible. Thank you so much for sharing.

Fred said...

Very interesting! By the way, I'm Fred, and I just stopped by to say hello!

The Furry Kids said...

That's amazing. We didn't know any of that. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Melissa and Emmitt said...

what an amazing post. we did not know any of that!
thank you for sharing it.
m & e

meemsnyc said...

Wow, those are such interesting facts. Thanks for sharing.

Tweedles -- that's me... said...

That was quite eduacational.
We had no idea that it tool that great a training and dedication,
Thank you for sharring

Rosie said...

Pure dedication - we really have to admire these soldiers that sacrifice so much for those that were lost. Truly amazing individuals!
Loves from pugs,
Rosie Marie

Hank said...

Ya know, Roxy, honey.....I thought about applyin' fer that honorable job BUT:

I'm not between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall, and I'm pretty sure my waist size exceeds 30".

That business o' not talkin' fer the first six months would never happen.

No alcohol fer the rest o' my life??? Well, let's just say I have great admiration fer those fellas.