March 23, 2021 – TUS100 Update
1 year ago
Did you know? On March 24, 1926 the Secretary of War issued orders to the Commanding General of the Military District of Washington to the "Establishment of an Armed Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery".
View the press release HERE
Flowers can speak for us when we struggle to express our feelings in words. One of the more moving experiences as a Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is witnessing how flowers expressed the...
My recent documentary, “Sentinel: Inside the Sacred Duty”, has officially released sooner than expected and is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video! It can be seen in the US and UK, and DVDs are...
Sentinel Documentary: Showing in San Francisco! The documentary "Sentinel: Inside the Sacred Duty" was officially selected to screen on December 10, 2022, at the San Francisco Veterans Film Festival....
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Did you know?
How many Sentinels have been female?
There have been over 680 tomb guards awarded the badge since 1958 when we started counting. There are hundreds more from the year 1926 when the Army started guarding the Tomb. The 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard) is the unit that has been given the duty of guarding the Tomb. It was given this sacred duty in 1948. The Old Guard was -- and still is -- considered a combat unit. As an Infantry unit, females were not permitted in the ranks for many years. It wasn't until 1994 that females were permitted to volunteer to become a Sentinel when the 289th Military Police Company was attached to the Old Guard. The MP branch is a combat support unit and includes females.
In 1996, SGT Heather Johnson became the first female to earn the Tomb Guard Identification Badge. She volunteered for duty in June 1995 and earned her badge in 1996. However, SGT Johnson was not the only female Sentinel. Since then, there have been a total of five female Sentinels awarded the Tomb Guard Identification Badge:
SGT Danyell Wilson earned
her badge in 1997
SSG Tonya Bell received hers in 1998
SGT Ruth Hanks earned her badge in June 2015
SFC Chelsea Porterfield earned her badge in 2021
Several other units have since been attached to the Old Guard -- food service, transportation, medics, etc. -- so now females have an ever greater opportunity to become a Sentinel. Females must meet the same requirements as the male soldiers to be eligible to volunteer at the Tomb. the only difference is that females have a minimum height of 5'8" -- which is the same standard to be a member of the Old Guard.