Well I'm pretty excited about this so I thought I'd share it with you fine folks. Also, if you're ever in the DC area I highly suggest visiting Arlington National Cemetery and viewing the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
So being a member of The Old Guard I have been given the opportunity to go through the Tomb Guard training cycle early next year. I'm pretty excited and thought I'd share this video. Upon completing the 6-9 month training cycle one earns the Tomb Guard Identification Badge, it is the least awarded badge in the US Army, second only to the Army Astronaut badge. As of now only 624 badges have been awarded.
Once you past the first test, the requirements get more difficult. To become a fully qualified sentinel you must pass the 4th test. Here are the requirements:
1. Uniform: You may have 2 minor infractions and no major infractions. A minor infraction is if any one item on your uniform is more than 1/64″ out of place. There are more than 100 points on inspection. Think of it as taking a test at school, a 97 is a failing grade. There has NEVER been a 100 given.
2. Knowledge: Newmen are required to memorize a 17 page packet of information on the cemetery and write it out, including punctuation. In order to pass, you must have no more than 10 mistakes. If you miss a comma on each page, that is a double fail. Fun Fact: Some of what they have to memorize are poems that reflect the solemnity and honor of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.
3. Performance: With over 200 points of inspection, you may have no major infractions and only 2 minor. From foot placement on the mat to cadence. They aim for a 72 beats per minute cadence.
There is a 10% completion rate of passing this 4th test.
The writing on the tomb reads "Here rests in honored glory an american soldier known but to god." pretty neat.