John C Bolen Jr
Tomb PositionSergeant of the Guard
Highest Military Rank1st Sergeant
Tomb DatesMar 1984 - Nov 1984
Military DatesOct 1971 - Feb 1992
Home City / StateCisne, IL
Current City / StateFayetteville, IL
Tomb ReflectionsInternment of Unknown Solider from Vietnam War.
Sergeant of the Guard during Reagan administration.
"The climate of the Vietnam Internment I can tell you that the feelings of the Sentinels was a combination of pride and heartfelt emotion. As the bearer of the Presidential wreath I can tell you that it was the highlight of my ceremonial career … my proudest moment though was when the joint pallbearers were relieved by Sentinels from TUS and I felt that the Unknown remains had arrived “home”. "
Units & Campaigns3d United States Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard)
3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division
Awards & DecorationsBronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal (4 OLC)
Army Commendation Medal (1 OLC)
Army Achievement Medal (2 OLC)
National Defense Service Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal
Army Service Ribbon
NCO Professional Development Ribbon
Combat Infantryman Badge
Expert Infantryman Badge
Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Identification Badge
Drill Sergeant Badge
Master Parachutist Badge
Air Assault Badge
German Parachutist Badge
Canadian Parachutist Badge
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The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS) is able to provide our programs, events, assistance, scholarships, and services due to the generosity of its members, organizations, and individuals. SHGTUS does not receive institutional funding. Note: The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your contributions may be fully tax deductible.
Did you know?
How long does the Sentinel hesitate after the facing movement to begin the return walk? Is the rifle carried on the same shoulder all the time?
The Sentinel does not execute an about face, rather they stop on the 21st step, then turn and face the Tomb for 21 seconds. They then turn to face back down the mat, change the weapon to the outside shoulder, mentally count off 21 seconds, then step off for another 21 step walk down the mat. They face the Tomb at each end of the 21 step walk for 21 seconds. The Sentinel then repeats this over and over until the the Guard Change ceremony begins.