As Hurricane Sandy has the East Coast heading for shelter to protect them from the winds and rain, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers will remain guarded.
This picture, circulating on Twitter and Facebook is a tribute to the tomb, to the guards who diligently dedicate their life to guarding the tomb:
The guards are changed every thirty minutes, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Tomb of the Unknowns was erected post World War I. It honors the memory of unidentified soldiers killed in any way and has been guarded continuously by members of the 3rd Infantry’s Honor Guard since 1948. The Guard is changed every thirty minutes during the summer (April 1 to Sep 30) and every hour during the winter (Oct 1 to Mar 31). During the hours the cemetery is closed, the guard is changed every 2 hours. The Tomb is guarded, and has been guarded, every minute of every day since 1937.
After a Sentinel serves nine months on duty they are awarded a badge. This tradition has been in place since Jan. 7, 1958. It is believed that the Tomb Guard Identification Badge is the second least awarded badge in the united States Army, (second only to the Astronaut Badge). Only 500 identification badges have been awarded.
The Tomb Guard Identification Badge is also the only badge known to be revoked even after leaving active duty military service. There have been nine badge revocations since its origination in 1958. Badges can be revoked for a number of reasons. They are primarily revoked for bringing dishonor upon the tomb.
So back to the picture above and Hurricane Sandy. The mission and welfare of the Sentinel is never put at risk. There are procedures ready to be excuted SHOULD the weather conditions ever place the Sentinel at risk of injury or death. The Chain of Command from the Sergeant of the Guard to the Regimental Commander ensure mission accomplishment and soldier welfare always.
The photo above was not taken today, during Hurricane Sandy.According to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, while the tomb is constantly guarded it may not be in the open air. IN situations of extreme weather, like Sandy, Instead, they wear camouflage and keep guard from a protected area. Rest assured, it is guarded, and according to a post on the Society of the Honor Guard, it is considered a great honor to be on duty during a storm.
You can learn more about the Tomb of the Unknown, the Sentinel that guard it and more by visiting the Society of the Honor Guard: Tomb of the Unknown website.