Our membership consists of former and current Tomb Guards, family members of deceased Tomb Guards, and patriotic individuals and organizations that have an affinity for the Society mission. Membership in The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, shall be voluntary and open to all eligible applicants regardless of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. Membership in The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, shall be voluntary and open to all eligible applicants regardless of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
I. Classifications of Membership
A. ACTIVE SENTINEL MEMBERS: (Voting) Upon application, Tomb Guards actively serving in the Tomb Guard Platoon may hold membership without payment of annual dues. This membership shall end one (1) year after the date on which their tour in the Tomb Guard Platoon ends.
B. REGULAR TOMB GUARD MEMBERS: (Voting, dues paying) All individuals who honorably served in the Tomb Guard Platoon, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at any time since the assumption of a military guard on March 24, 1926.
A “Tomb Guard” is defined as:
- An individual who has been officially awarded The Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Identification Badge under the provisions of AR 672-5-1 without any subsequent official actions for its revocation.
- An individual who can document that they served honorably for a minimum of 9 months, subsequent to February 1, 1958, in the Tomb Guard Platoon but were never officially awarded The Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Identification Badge (AR 672- 5-1, Chapter 5-43, Para. b.)
- An Individual who can successfully document that they served honorably as a Tomb Guard, prior to Department of the Army approval of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Identification Badge, February 1, 1958.
- An individual who served honorably in the Tomb Guard Platoon for a minimum of 9 months but did not complete a full tour because of:
- An involuntary official transfer from the Tomb Guard Platoon based on the needs of the United States Army.
- An honorable separation from active-duty service.
- A medical condition.
- Honorable service is defined as serving without separation from the Tomb Guard Platoon due to failing to meet training standards, or standards of military bearing and fitness.
C. LEGACY MEMBERS: (Non-Voting, dues paying as applicable) Individuals who are the surviving spouse and/or dependents of deceased Tomb Guard Platoon members may name one family descendent for Legacy Membership at no cost. Others from that family desiring Legacy Membership may do so by paying Regular Tomb Guard Member dues (Annual or Life). The Legacy Membership at no cost is transferrable at any time at the discretion of the designated individual holding said membership or will become available if upon their death. Legacy Membership shall be for life or until removed by either the holder of the Legacy Membership or removed by the Board of Directors.
D. HONORARY MEMBERS: (Non-voting, non-dues paying) Any individual whose accomplishments have been of such exemplary nature as to enhance The Society's purpose, morale and spirit may be nominated, by voting members, for Honorary Membership.
E. HONORARY MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS: (Non-voting, non-dues paying) Honorary membership positions may be conferred by majority vote of the Board of Directors.
F. ASSOCIATE MEMBERS: (Non-voting, dues paying) Any individual who is not otherwise eligible for Tomb Guard Membership, may enroll for Associate Membership.
G. AFFILIATE MEMBERS: (Non-voting, dues paying) Corporations, organizations or individual representatives of the same may enroll for Affiliate Membership.
H. LIFE MEMBERS: Life Memberships shall exist in three different classifications (in inclusion to those indicated above):
- Regular Tomb Guard Members (voting): Any former or current Tomb Guard properly vetted may obtain life membership, upon payment of dues for this classification. Any voting member in good standing shall receive, at no cost, a complimentary Life Membership upon reaching the age of 85 and be recognized as a “Senior Sentinel”.
- Associate Life Members (non-voting): Any individual who is not otherwise eligible for Tomb Guard Membership, may obtain a Life Associate Membership upon payment of dues for this classification.
- Affiliate Life Membership (non-voting): Corporations, organizations or individual representatives of the same may obtain a Life Associate Membership upon payment of dues for this classification.
II. Membership Eligibility
No individual who has been dishonorably separated from the service or convicted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice shall be eligible for membership. Membership may be approved or withdrawn from The Society by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
The Tomb Guard Platoon includes the following positions: Sentinels, Assistant Relief Commanders, Relief Commanders, Assistant Sergeant of the Guard, Sergeant of the Guard, Commander of the Guard/Platoon Leader.)
III. Membership Fees
- Active Tomb Guard – Current Sentinels Stationed at the TUS: $0.00
- Annual Memberships
- Associate: $50.00
- Associate – Active Duty Military: $25.00
- Tomb Guard Member: $30.00
- Tomb Guard Member – Active Duty Military (Proof of Service Required): $15.00
- Affiliate: $100.00
- Life Memberships
- Associate: $500.00
- Associate – Active Duty Military (Proof of Service Required): $250.00
- Tomb Guard Member: $300.00
- Tomb Guard Member – Active Duty Military (Proof of Service Required): $150.00
- Legacy: $0.00
- Affiliate: $1,000.00
- Life Affiliate Special Donor Member: $10,000.00
IV. Membership Responsibility
Applicant must agree to conform to The Society Bylaws.
Membership shall be for life or until removed by the honoree or the SHGTUS Board of Directors.
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?
Are the shoes specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet?
The shoes are standard issue military dress shoes. They are built up so the sole and heel are equal in height. This allows the Sentinel to stand with a straight back and perpendicular to the ground. A side effect of this is that the Sentinel can "roll" on the outside of the build up walking down the mat. Done correctly, the hat and bayonet will appear to not "bob" up and down with each step. It gives a more formal, fluid and smooth look to the walk, rather than a "marching" appearance.
The soles have a steel tip on the toe and a "horseshoe" steel plate on the heel. This prevents wear on the sole and allows the Sentinel to move smoothly during his movements when he turns to face the Tomb and then back down the mat.
Then there is the "clicker". It is a shank of steel attached to the inside of the face of the heel build-up on each shoe. It allows the Sentinel to heel click during certain movements. A guard change is considered great when all the heel clicks fall together and sound as one click. The guard change is occasionally done in the "silent" mode (as a sign of devotion to the Unknowns) with no voice commands - every thing is done in relation to the heel clicks and on specific counts.