Training Information on the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard)
Tomb of the Unknowns Sentinels
Sentinels are recruited on an "as-needed" basis in one of the following ways:
There are three stages to training, with the second and third stages being essentially one. It is divided in the following manner:
More than 50 soldiers apply or are recruited annually. Of those, one quarter are accepted or choose to accept duty as Tomb Sentinels. Few soldiers resign from duty in Company E after they begin formal training.
Soldiers who volunteer or are referred by their company commanders for consideration are interviewed by the commander of Company E, or the Sergeant of the Guard. Each soldier is evaluated for motivation and dedication, based upon their responses to questions that center on personal and military history, and expressed interest in, and reasons for wanting to be Tomb Sentinels.
If the candidate is married, the spouse is invited to meet with the commander and express his or her opinions. There are no physicals required for selection as a Tomb Sentinel. The Department of the Army requires its soldiers to be in top physical condition.
All of the training takes place at ANC. Soldiers selected as Tomb Sentinels are assigned full time. Their training takes up to eight months to complete.
Once the sentinel has completed his or her training, he or she is examined formally for proficiency in performing the duties and in knowledge of ANC. He or she must first pass a written examination of 100 questions about ANC and then be evaluated on proficiency in keeping watch at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Upon successful completion, the soldier is awarded a temporary Tomb Guard's Badge at a ceremony presided over by the company commander. The Badge is one of the Army's higher honors and can be taken away from the soldier if he or she does not continue to maintain the highest military standards.