Tomb of the Unknown Soldier remains guarded throughout storm

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #1
    It may not compare with those soldiers overseas who've seen themselves and their buddies wounded in action, but the worst job stateside must be the poor guy who gets to stand motionless through godawful weather, posted to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    [​IMG]
    That is dedicated.

    I just hope they change shifts two or three hours, because I can't imagine getting snow and wind smacked in your face for longer than that, no matter how warmly you're dressed.

    It also makes me wonder some things. Maybe someone here who was in the military would know. Say that wreath and its stand get knocked over by the wind. Does the guard fix it, or does he remain motionless?

    And the accompanying article says the guard never leaves his post. Well, what if a tornado is coming right at you? Or he sees a child being abducted? Unlikely I know, but I'm just wondering how far those parameters go.

    Anyway, I think you'll agree that even those of us who are not soldiers have to toss a huge salute to these guys.​
     
  2. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #2
    That's a very specific duty that not many have or will ever do so I don't think you'll find anyone who can answer those questions with any degree of confidence.
     
  3. stroked Suspended

    stroked

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    #3
  4. XrayTed macrumors regular

    XrayTed

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    #4
    Cool post.
    Guard would remain motionless in all but the most exceptional conditions/circumstances.

    ie He would not break character to pick up a blown over stand, but would more than likely haul ass like anyone else if a tornado was bearing down on him. If he saw "a child abducted" or any innocent person being accosted/threatened, that would be an exceptional circumstance and he would be required to act without fear of being disciplined for breaking protocol.
     
  5. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    #5
    These guys are the American equivalent of the British Palace Guards who stay at attention for hours and do not break step - except these guys are in Arlington Cemetery. Also it’s probably unlikely that they will need to break character as there is more than one person on duty at any given point (to change shifts). Second, this is Arlington National Cemetery - a major tourist attraction. There are likely Arlington cops or security to deal with the unlikely crime being committed.

    On the other hand, they have a guard there for a reason and there has to be allowable reasons to break form if necessary.
     
  6. XrayTed macrumors regular

    XrayTed

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    #6
    I am ex military, never even remotely considered this detail but I've had a couple good friends who did just that, so I have some decent 2nd hand knowledge of their protocol.
    Never really asked them very extensively about their inner workings, we tended not to talk shop very often when socializing, and they were more interested in what I did in the field than I was with their duties, which seemed pretty self explanatory at the time. But I did pick up a few things, and I know they are not required to just stand there like rocks if things going on around them demand attention.

    Figure it this way - Would not be very good press if a woman was mugged while a soldier just stood there staring at the trees.
     
  7. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #7
    At least some of the Palace Guards appear to be frustrated thespians:

     
  8. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #8
    All of that makes perfect sense and was what I hoped to hear. Thanks!
     
  9. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #9
    I have seen videos of the changing of the guard where folks were VERY sternly addressed for doing things like crossing the barrier. In those instances, I have no doubt that the guards would have acted had their verbal warning not been enough.

    Here's one found with a quick Google search



    BTW, not to nitpick too much, but every time I've been to Arlington the guards don't stand stock still but rather pace back and forth in front of the monument. There is a specific-and symbolic-manner in which they walk. I'm working strictly on memory, but I believe it's 21 steps in each direction to represent a 21 gun salute before stopping, turning on the spot, and going the other direction. There are several other very precise actions that take place.

    That's not to demean what they do, as the are indeed there doing the same things over and over 24 hours a day and it takes a very dedicated individual to give to ensure the tomb receives the proper respect it deserves.
     
  10. Easttime macrumors 6502

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    #10
    My understanding is that those guards have already distinguished themselves elsewhere in other service. But they certainly distinguish themselves at the Tomb. Salute to them all.
     
  11. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #11
    They recruit out of basic training or did when I was there.
     

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