Tuesday, November 08, 2005

With Veterans' Day approaching

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."  After 9 months of service, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are over 500 that have been awarded.
       Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.


For additional information:
Society of the Honor Guard
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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