One of the Army’s first Sergeant Majors is buried at Arlington with “modified honors” due to COVID-19

U.S. Army Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Robert M. Belch was buried in Section 68 of Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday.

Given current health protection guidance from the Secretary of Defense, Old Guard Soldiers wear face coverings to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while executing the Memorial Affairs mission.

Command Sgt. Maj. Belch served in the Army for 26 years, where he was a Combat Engineer with the 42nd Infantry, 142nd Combat Engineer Battalion, Rainbow Division.

He was among the first 192 Soldiers to wear the rank of Sergeant Major when it was created.

As a decorated World War II veteran, he earned several commendations that included the Legion of Merit.

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