By: Mahmuda Afreen / Read more about us.
Compare to the time which is a century, the number of unknown soldiers is few. Because the candidates have to go through such a tough training process that everyone cannot withstand. However, the toughness does not end with the training. During the time of their service, they will have to maintain the dignity of the Job. They will have to perform their duty at any cost even in the worst weather.
As of the topic, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Guard Salary, it is not quoted anywhere officially. We can assume that it will not be less than $55000 annually, according to different job circulars of National Guard. Moreover, the guards and their families get other benefits like health insurance, no income tax, and more from the state.
Below, one will find more information on the guards of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to think beyond the wage.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Guard Salary
The Job of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is one of the most respected jobs in the USA. That particular person has the honor to preserve the respect and honorary of the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of this country and its people.
They came from every state of the United States and bounded to this Job forever. Even if they get retired they have the responsibility to save the dignity of their past responsibility. As the name says The Honor Guard, they perform a virtuous job. So, measuring that respectful and dignified work with a range of salaries will be such a shame.
However, the person who gets the responsibility to do the Job is all a military person. They are assigned to the Job after intense training on physical, mental health, psychology, behavior, and many other things. As for their pay range, it will depend on their rank and the level of their work. Moreover, they get other benefits alongside a fixed salary of around $55000 annually which is also a big Wow.
Moreover, most of the benefits and wage ranges of many positions in the U.S. army are hidden. They barely disclose any information to the public or provide open access data on those. It is to honor and maintain the dignity of their serviceman. So, one will not get any official statement of the salary that they pay to the guards of the Tomb.
But we can know about the history of it and the guards who have served and are serving. Then we can think about this position beyond money but with infinite respect.
History of the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers
Starting with, one will find this glorifying symbol of the selfness of thousands of soldiers in Virginia. The exact location is the Arlington National Cemetery. It is a United States Military Cemetery that start with the World War. The Cemeteries are of the martyr soldiers of world war. Here the Tomb of the Unknown soldiers is the most iconic memorial.
The sophisticated white marvel tomb is situated with honor atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. since 1921 with the quote “HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD”. First, in 1920, the congressman decided to build the Tomb to ease the grief of the families of those brave soldiers. Because of the poor capability of keeping records and the cruelty of the war that left it impossible to identify bodies.
To give their family hopes a place where they can mourn and pray for their loved ones that they will never see again, the government of the great United States took that sensible initiative. Also, to bring back home the thousands of martyrs to rest in peace. This is the Tomb of all the members of the military or war who died in World War 1. As of the history, the name of the unidentified soldiers of World War 2, Korean War, and Vietnam War are listed here.
After the establishment of the Tomb, the U.S. army announced a civilian guard at the tom because of the high number of visitors and disrespectful behavior. Later on, in 1926, they decided to assign Military Guard to the Tomb to show the highest honor and responsibility to the soldiers and their families.
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It has now become a century or 100 years since the Tomb is built, it is a long time. But the respect and the honor they and their family deserve will not get old or minimized for a bit. Their sacrifice will be remembered and reverenced forever. This century in upcoming centuries, this structure will stay high as it was back in thousands of years ago.
Everything about the Guard of the Tomb of Unknown Solider
We all know the person wearing black or red black cloth with a high cap and high shoes guarding the Unknown Soldier’s Tomb. That person standing with a gun with no emotion but respect on his face. The guards do not even unshape their hands. This intense Job with tons of responsibilities even standing in a place requires advanced training.
According to the Society of Honor Guard, they hand pick every guard from their serviceman and trained them rigorously. They select men and women from every state of the U.S. representing every walk of life. They are from different backgrounds and specialized in various fields working for the Army for the first unit or years.
The vast selection for such an easy job may unfair. We need to clear the thing that the Job may look easy from the outside but it is not. The majority of soldiers quitting the training in the middle and unable to meet the standard is proof of that.
An individual needs to have a strong military bearing, discipline, mental and physical stamina, and outstanding appearance. They have to perform seven different types of work, honors, and ceremonies flawlessly. Moreover, all the sentry of the Tomb must have a vast knowledge of the history of the Tomb, Arrington National Cemetery, the U.S. Army, and their units.
How to be a Guard
First of all, the Army themselves pick the person for guarding the Tomb. They prefer the members of the Army. They can be from the first unit or others. Both men and women are eligible for the position of any state, any city, and any walk of life. However, they will have to fulfill some requirements.
The Tomb Guard society has already set the requirements for the Job. One will have to fulfill those to become one. It is cited that they will pick initials from the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment with the maximum age of 22, highly motivated personality, and performance. After that, all the soldiers need to go through some learning and training and pass all the requirements to become one.
Moreover, the men need to be between 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 4 inches tall. Besides, the female member must be at least 5 feet 8 inches tall. These are the minimum requirement, and as of the record, there is no maximum height requirement. After the application and initial selection, all the applicants will have to go through three-step. Those are,
In the starting assignment, the sergeant must complete a 2-week training. This training will teach them uniform preparation and memorize the history of the Tomb and the cemetery from the very beginning. Also, they have to memorize the sequence of changing guards from time to time. End of the training they will have to seat for an exam to prove that they have learned enough. To go to the next step they must have to pass this exam.
The successful candidates of initial training are appointed to the relief training. They will be assigned three reliefs where they will earn intensive responsibilities of their Job. The relief is selected as the height of the soldiers.
-1st Relief: 6’2″ to 6’4″
-2nd Relief: 6′ to 6’2″
-3rd Relief: 5’11” to 6′
In every relief, they will learn all the basics to advance rules and regulations that they need to maintain and guard. This training will run for 7.5 to 8 months in a row. Some of the soldiers have completed the training in four months which is rare.
In the training, they perform their work at the Tomb and recite the history until they become natural. Also, it is important that they retain their uniform perfectly as far as the rules. To complete this part of the training they will have to pass a number of exams which is quite hard.
This is the end of the training program. Here they will have to take some written and practical exams. The written exam will include the history of the Tomb and the U.S. war and its cemetery. As for the practical exam, they will have to pass uniform inspection, ceremonial patrol, reciting information, identifying people’s intentions before they act, etc.
The successful candidates will have the graduation honor to become an official guard. Moreover, they will get a Tomb Guard Identification Badge (TGIB). This 3rdthe least given award in American history, only 10 badges are honored every year.
According to the record, only 600 badges are awarded in one century. So, one can understand the weight and importance of it. In case one revoked the rules and does some dishonoring to the Tomb, the authority will dismiss his or her responsibility and take the badge away.
These are all the information to give in order to guide them to join as tomb guards in Arlington cemetery. Since it is one of the sensitive and prestigious responsibilities, the process will be hard to go through.
Rotation of guards, how does this work?
The rotation of the guards is pretty fixed and they get trained about it in the relief training. After intense learning and passing exam, they become quite sure about what they are doing and will do. According to the rules, the rotation of the guard’s duty runs in three relief or teams. Every relief has 6 different positions where they perform their duties.
The position of Servant is the one who guards the Tomb. Others are Assistant Relief Commander (ARC), Relief Commander (RC), Assistant Sergeant of the Guard (ASOG), Sergeant of the Guard (SOG), and Commander of the Guard (COG).
The Tomb is guarded 24 hours and 7 days a week. Even in bad weather, a guard is always there to protect the dignity of the martyr soldiers. However, the commander of the guard always looks for their high security of them. Even though the guards are bowed to sacrifice their lives to preserve the honor of the Tomb, their safety is one of the main priorities. Necessary measures are taken in need like extreme rain, snow, lightning, and others.
Specifically, the structure is 24 hours on, 24 hours off, 24 hours on, 24 hours off, 24 hours on, and 96 hours off. Every soldier gets 8 hours of free time before they start the next day. In the meantime, they prepare their uniform, have physical exercise, have a haircut, and get ready for the day mentally and physically.
At present, individual guards work for 30 minutes in summer which from 1st April to 30th September. For winter which is from 1st October to 31st March, the duration is 2 hours. Every end time a new guard takes place and the existing one goes for rest.
After signing off from their duty, they walk 21 steps forward to face the Tomb and stay for 21 seconds. Then they turn back and count 21 seconds and walk 21 steps forward and face the Tomb again. Till the area of the Tomb, they do the same and then leave for their resting place.
What responsibilities does the guard perform?
The sole responsibility of the guard of the Tomb of unknown soldiers is to guard the Tomb and maintain the dignity and respect of the soldiers. If they see anything happening that dishonors the Tomb like dancing in front of it, making weird actions, taking photos, crossing the border, or anything, they take the necessary steps. This is why the government assigns military persons to guard the Tomb so that the general people do not do such acts consciously or unconsciously to dishonor the unknown martyr.
If they see something, they will shout loudly to prevent it. In need, they can even point their gun which is a fully functional M14 rifle. Maintain the rules they can do anything with the people who do not respect the rules and regulations of the Tomb of unknown soldiers.
Hopefully, one has gotten enough information from this article to see this Job beyond the regular basis. Not everyone can have this Job or we can say honor to serve for the unknown heroism of this nation. Maybe this is not a lifetime job but the honor will be for a lifetime.