The 4th Battalion of the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment know as, "The Old Guard" stand watch at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetary in Arlington Virginia.
Why are there guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?
To ensure the continued respect and security of one of the nation's most sacred symbols
When do the guards change at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?
The guards are changed every hour, on the hour, from October 1 to March 31. From April 1 through September 30 another change is added on the half hour. The tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. During nighttime hours the measured and precise step of the on duty sentinel remains unchanged from the daylight hours.
How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?
The guard takes 21 steps and then pauses for 21 seconds after his about face to begin his return walk. The significance of '21' reflects the twenty-one gun salute, the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.
Why are the guards gloves wet at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?
To prevent losing the grip on the rifle.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Guards in Arlington National Cemetery iperform their duties 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Their dedication to their sacred duty and their eternal vigilance is reflected in the 'Sentinel's Creed'
The Sentinel’s Creed
My dedication to this sacred duty
is total and whole-hearted.
In the responsibility bestowed on me
never will I falter.
And with dignity and perseverance
my standard will remain perfection.
Through the years of diligence and praise
and the discomfort of the elements,
I will walk my tour in humble reverence
to the best of my ability.
It is he who commands the respect I protect,
his bravery that made us so proud.
Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day,
alone in the thoughtful peace of night,
this soldier will in honored glory rest
under my eternal vigilance.