Jan H. Lilly
Highest Military RankSP5
Tomb DatesAug 1959 - Jun 1960
Military DatesFeb 1959 - Feb 1965
Society MembershipFounding Father
Home City / StateMorgantown, WV
Current City / StateRaleigh, WV
Tomb ReflectionsDuring my days at the Tomb, there were 3 Reliefs consisting of 4 sentinels and 1 Relief Cdr. each. Each Relief was on duty at the Tomb for 24 hours (0700-0700) and off duty for 48 hrs.. Beginning at 0700 the first Sentinel was posted and walked the mat for one hour and then relieved. This rotation of the 4 Sentinels continued throughout the day until the cemetery closed. At this point in time the Sentinel was posted for a 2 hour tour, but did not walk the mat in the same manner as during the day(more relaxed). We had to remain on the mat however. There were no lights to illuminate the plaza as is the case today. If one Sentinel should go on leave or be ill the rotation was covered by the 3 remaining Sentinels - made for a very long 24 hours. Our quarters at TUS were under the amphitheater consisting of a small kitchen, bunk room, small lounge area and a uniform room.
Upon completion of our tour we would return to HG Co. and our quarters. We did not pull any other duties! Great Duty, demanding and an HONOR to have been selected to serve as a member of such an elite group of soldiers. The proudest memory of my life - a TOMBGUARD, thanks to: Neale Cosby, PL; Wm. Daniel, SOG; Tom Bone, RC; Bill Rigsby, SOG; Jos.\\\"Zach\\\" Zachwieja, PL.
Awards & DecorationsTombguard Badge
Good Conduct Medal
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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?
Do you guard in a blizzard or a bad thunderstorm?
YES, but the accomplishment of the mission and welfare of the Soldier are never put at risk. The Tomb Guards have contingencies that are ready to be executed if the weather conditions ever place the Soldiers at risk of injury or death (i.e. lightning, high winds, etc). This ensures that Sentinels can continue the mission while ensuring safety. It is the responsibility of the Chain of Command from the Sergeant of the Guard to the Regimental Commander to ensure mission accomplishment and soldier welfare at all times.
It was erroneously reported that during Hurricane Isabel, the Sentinels were ordered to abandon their posts for shelter and that they refused. No such order was ever given. All proper precautions were taken to ensure the safety of the Sentinels while accomplishing their mission. Risk assessments are constantly conducted by the Chain of Command during changing conditions to ensure that soldier welfare is maintained during mission accomplishment.