To Provide a Military Guard
9 years ago
On March 2, 1926, Allen J. Furlow, a newly-elected Representative from Rochester, Minnesota, introduced what would become known as House Joint Resolution Number 185. The joint resolution called for ”a military guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington”. The Resolution was then sent to the Committee on Military Affairs. The result was a formal military guard posted at the Tomb on March 25, 1926. Although only posted during the hours of cemetery operation, this was a formal beginning to what eventually evolved into the Sentinels that are present at the Tomb to this day. It would be another 11 years before the guard was posted for 24 hours in order to maintain a constant vigil – one that has gone unbroken to the present day.
The picture that accompanies this article is truly remarkable. According to the Library of Congress this picture represents the first permanent guard at the Tomb. It remains an amazing part of the history of not only the Tomb, but also that of the Sentinels. It caused me a moment of reflection – perhaps this man is the first military guard posted. His name may be lost to history, but his mission will never be forgotten by those that came after him.
Written by Kevin Welker
Congressional Record: 69th Congress, 1st Session, Vol.67, Part 5 (Washington, DC: G.P.O), 4880.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress (Retrieved 18 March 2013).
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....
Support the Society
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?
Is it true after two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as Guard of the Tomb, that there are only 600 presently worn, and that the Guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin?
The Tomb Guard Identification Badge (TGIB) is awarded after the Sentinel passes a series of tests. The TGIB is permanently awarded after a Sentinel has served nine months as a Sentinel at the Tomb. Over 600 have been awarded since its creation in the late 1950's (on average 10 per year). And while the TGIB can be revoked, the offense must be such that it discredits the Tomb of the Unknowns. Revocation is at the 3rd Infantry Regimental Commander’s discretion and can occur while active duty or even when the Sentinel is a civilian. The TGIB is a full size award, worn on the right pocket of the uniform jacket, not a lapel pin.