David R Roberts
Tomb PositionCommander of the Relief, Sentinel
Highest Military RankE-5
Tomb DatesApr 1972 - Apr 1974
Military DatesOct 1971 - Oct 1974
Home City / StateGainesboro, TN
Current City / StateKnoxville, TN
Tomb ReflectionsOn a very snowy day, as relief commander, I went up for an early a.m. guard change. Because of the snow the cemetery was so quiet and peaceful and there were no civilians present for the guard change. After the guard change, I happen to look down into the cemetery. I saw a lady all by herself kneeling at one of the graves. It was one of the most moving moments I had as either a sentienel or relief commander.
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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.