The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a sacred memorial dedicated to honoring unidentified soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It is a symbol of remembrance and gratitude, representing all fallen soldiers who remain unknown.

Guarding this solemn monument requires a special level of commitment and reverence. Let’s explore who the guards of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are and the significance of their duty.

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The guards of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are known as the Sentinels. They are elite soldiers who belong to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as “The Old Guard.” The Old Guard is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the United States Army and is responsible for conducting military ceremonies in the nation’s capital.

Sentinels are carefully selected based on their exemplary military performance, conduct, and dedication to duty. They undergo a rigorous training program before assuming their role at the Tomb. This training includes mastering the precise movements and steps required for the Changing of the Guard ceremony and learning about the history and significance of the Tomb and the Unknown Soldier.

The Sentinels maintain a constant vigil at the Tomb, guarding it 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, regardless of weather conditions. They are known for their impeccable discipline, sharp appearance, and unwavering commitment to their duty.

Each guard must adhere to a strict code of conduct and maintain a level of professionalism and dedication that honors the sacrifice of the unknown soldiers they represent.

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The Changing of the Guard ceremony is a solemn and precise ritual that takes place every hour from October 1 to March 31 and every half-hour from April 1 to September 30. During the ceremony, the new Sentinel relieves the guard on duty with a meticulous and calculated series of steps. This symbolic act represents the continuity of the Sentinel’s commitment to safeguarding the Tomb and its significance.

The guards of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are a symbol of honor, respect, and remembrance. Their role is a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who have served their country, and their commitment to duty serves as an inspiration to all who witness their solemn vigil at the Tomb.