Jeopardy Question:

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 contestants missed it!

This is really an awesome sight to watch if
you've never had the chance . Fascinating.

of the Unknown Soldier

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.

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

Why are his gloves wet?

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

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.

How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes,
twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

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.

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 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

President Taft,
Joe Lewis {the boxer}
Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the
most decorated soldier of WWII and 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 service person. The tomb has
been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

God Bless and keep them.
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