Shooters Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
During a trip to the Capitol, I visited Arlington Nat'l Cemetry, and watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Every American should visit each site. However, I do have a question knowbody can answer. I assume the rifles are loaded, but what defensive action are the guards allowed to take? Even more so these days with terrorist alerts. Can they use deadly force?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
A.J.
Good question- Now before 9/11 I would have said no to them having loaded weapons (Wtih D.C being very Anti-gun and all) , but now seeing that they are a highly visable target for someone just wanting to shoot at a uniform I wouldn't be a bit surprise they are fully loaded. I wouldn't press the test on betting they are not. Those soldiers are highly skilled to be picked for that duty- Cream of the crop!! Good indicator would be if they have a side arm as well as a rifle. But as with all military folks right now we are in the War mentalty so messing with anyone in uniform right now probably would not be a good idea for continued good health:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,088 Posts
I can guarantee that their arms are unloaded. The post is a highly prestigious but ceremonial duty. The guards are an honor guard. All security duties are carried out by military police units.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Back in the early 70's, I had a buddy that was a 2ndLT in charge of that detail. At that time, the weapons were unloaded. When the detail was present,there was always a MP or SP unit in the area. They were,of course,armed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,931 Posts
Arlington, the location of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located in the front yard of Robert E. Lee's home, in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
I would be very surprised if the guards have ammo. Like wise I'd be surprised of the MPs, etc have ammo. You remember when the barracks in Beirut got blown up and the military went on alert all over Europe? None of the grunts put out to guard the installations, were issued ammo!
Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
arkypete
Beruit was a political screw-up, politics was the reason why those marines did not have ammo!! The only time I was angry with Reagan, bad choice that cost alot of good men there lives. I also diagree with Guard at Oversea's bases not being armed with ammo-at all the loacations I've been we had ammo and authorization to use it if nessary!! I was An SP augmentee in Britain after we struck Libiya in 86 believe me I had a fully loaded M16 and 200 rounds everytime I stood post. I **** near had to shot an Officers wife when she failed to stop at the intial check point the second day after the raids -was the closet I've ever came to actually shooting someone while on duty- slack was removed from the trigger that's how close she was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
When i was in the Navy a young Marine almost shot the Captain's wife when she insisted on trying to board the ship when we were locked down. We were a cruiser(CLG-4) and carried nuclear weapons and 50 Marines to guard them.

On another subject,when I was detailed to guard a military high school during a period of civil unrest(strike) ,we were isued .45 pistols and M14 rifles with plenty of ammo to stand watch at the school. This was in Naples,Italy ,1970.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
I was in DC in the summer of 2000 for the Millenium 4th of July Parade, I played in the TV production and in a band that marched in the parade. We went to the Tomb of the Unknown and being the gun buff that I am, I had my binoculars trained on the gun at the changing of the guard. When they change the guard the inspecting officer examines the guard and the weapon, including checking to see that it is unloaded, and it was, the follower was very obvious, nice and shiny, so no, the gun is not loaded.
Selmer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
selmer:

Thanks for that info. I must admit I'm a little surprised.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
As was I AJ, these are supposed to be our elite of the elite ground forces, and I'm not saying they aren't, but they dont' give them a loaded weapon?!?! If they are to defend our country, the most technologivally advanced, they would need to do it with the butt of their rifle since there is nothing in it, it's sad that I have more ready access to defending my home under my bed than the soldiers do that guard the tomb.
Selmer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Gentlemen,

The "old Guard" is the nickname for the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, which is based at Ft Meyer, Va. They do have very strict rules for assignment, and a soldier must be very sharp, , no previous disciplainary trouble, over 6 feet tall, and exceed the army standard for height /wieght, and appearance. Although I do think the standard has been relaxed in the last few years, around the same time when females began to be assigned.

They have several compaines, and I am currently serving with two soldiers that were past members of the Old Guard, one of which was in the howitzer platoon, the other in the cassion platoon. Both are excellent men, real stand up guys that you can count on with the chips are down, and can really soldier.

The Honor guard unit, which I am thinking is a company furnishes the tomb guards, and also does funeral details, specail events, etc. They are not locked and loaded when they stand guard, and are there as a fucntion of respect and tradition. I am confident though, if some ner'do'well tried to disgrace the tomb, he would have to contend with a kid that could near bench press 300 pounds, and a very very sharp fixed bayonet.

I was stationed in D.C. this time last year, and attended sunrise easter service at the marble autotorium that is located behind the tombs. I will never forget the sun coming up over the DC skyline, illuminating the headstones, TAPs echoing off the hills. It made my hair stand up on the back of my neck, and my heart fill up, I was both proud and humble at the same time. It will stand as one of the highlights of my military career.

The Chairman, Joint Chiefs, and the Chief of Staff, USA were both in attendance, and security was tight, magnomitors and serches were used, on everyone, in uniform and out. This security was furnished by soldiers of the 3rd US. Weapons were not visable, but most certainly were present, more than a fellow could probably reckon.

I imagine the Rules of Engagement for this exercise was, "meet force with the minimum force necessary". Which means more than likely a guy with a knife gets one warning, a guy with a gun/ bomb, well.......he ought be plenty warned when the first 5.56 round splits his wig. Fortunately, such a thing was not necesary.

Truly a great thing to see, I encourage you all to do so. I am sure willing to assist you in anyway I can if I can.

Hooah!

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Whitehunter35:
Thanks for that explanation. However, like I said earlier, I sure wish those young troops had ammo. God forbid it happen, but in these times it may not be some punk kid with a knife or spray paint can, but a terrorist with a loaded gun or bomb. To me it would be like telling cops to carry guns for affect, but keep them unloaded. None the less. It was an honor to see. I went to every military monument in D.C. A Viet Nam vet friend of mine once told me every American citizen must see those monuments in this nations capitol. After he died I did just that. And you know what, he was absolutely right. GOD BLESS AMERICA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,197 Posts
i know a guy who was being stupid and trying to get the guard to do anything other than just blink, after having a few faces made at him, the guard put his gun out and told him (i can't remember exact words) but something like it is unlawful to harrass the guard of the tomb of the unknown soldier, needles to say, he sheepishly turned and walked away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
I am awed by all the honor and baravery as well as the unbelivable disipline of the gurads of the tomb.

However I think the single greatest dis-honor that can be had on any active duty soldier is a gun with no ammunition!

Notice I did NOT call it a weapon. Because a gun with no ammo is nothing more than an elaborate and expensive club!

I honestly believe that it dis-honors the person and the military in general to not issue ammunition. Now does a bullet need to be in the chamber? That is another question. But to not have ammunition is just total BS!!!!!

We should, and I personally DO have the complete trust in our military soldiers. And to not trust the most elite of the elite with a few rounds of ammuntion is simply disgracful!

If we trust some of the local police I see in the doughnut shops with a loaded side arm, Then surely we can trust the well disiplined guards at the tomb of the unknows!

I for one WANT my police and my military soldiers armed with weapons. Not expensive clubs!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,165 Posts
Probably just a safety issue. I don't know that ammo is used in any parade situations. If this was an actual security situation it would be different. I don't think the Marines are unarmed in any security job no matter how public it might be. I am just talking through my hat though.
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,425 Posts
Um, you guys ever heard of a bayonet? :eek:

I wouldn't call a soldier unarmed.... with anything larger than a toothpick, personally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,197 Posts
good point
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top