Staff Sergeant gives spectator knife hand for disrepecting Tomb of Unknown

While the Tomb of the Unknown soldier is guarded with M14s and bayonets, one tourist received the sharp end of the dreaded “knife-hand” after behaving in a manner deemed disrespectful by the Tomb Guard’s relief commander.

In a video that surfaced last year, the Staff Sergeant responsible for the changing of the guard carefully inspects the incoming Sentinel who is scheduled to relieve the female Sentinel standing post at the venerated Tomb.

As the NCO leads the incoming Sentinel to the Tomb, he notices an individual who appears to be sitting down, when the ceremony requires all show respect by standing during the duration.

Smartly turning into position, the Staff Sergeant springs his knife hand toward the offender, demanding that the person “Remain standing for this ceremony.”

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded by members of the United States Army 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in all weather conditions.

The Sentinels come from the 3rd Infantry Regiment and must become ceremonially qualified before they are assigned to Company E, where they can then take on the most sacred of duties.

According to the Arlington National Cemetery website, “Each soldier must be in superb physical condition, possess an unblemished military record and be between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet, 4 inches tall, with a proportionate weight and build. An interview and a two-week trial to determine a volunteer’s capability to train as a tomb guard is required.”

The Third US Infantry Regiment, Known as “The Old Guard,” is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the US Army, serving proudly since 1784.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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