Posts tagged ‘The Old Guard’

FRIDAY FOTO (July 3, 2020)

Solemn Masked Men.

Military Funeral Honors with Modified Funeral Escort are Conducted for U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jesse Lewis Jr.

(U.S. Army Photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

The U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Caisson Platoon conducts military funeral honors with a modified escort for Navy Commander Jesse W. Lewis Junior at Arlington National Cemetery on June 29, 2020.

It was the first funeral service since March 26 to include a caisson, the next step in Arlington National Cemetery’s phased plan to resume greater support to military funeral honors as COVID-19 cases within the national capital region trend downward.

According to the Arlington website:

 Military funeral honors with modified escort consists of individual service branch body bearers, a firing party, an escort commander with guidon, escort, bugler, drummer, national colors and chaplain. The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment’s caisson platoon may also be requested. Additionally, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps service members with ranks O-6 [colonel] and above may receive a caparisoned horse and flag officers [generals and admirals] from all services may receive the appropriate presidential salute battery (PSB) gun salute. 

The U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard also participated in the ceremony for the Navy veteran.

Military Funeral Honors with Modified Funeral Escort are Conducted for U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jesse Lewis Jr.

(U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

July 3, 2020 at 4:42 pm 1 comment

SHAKO: Memorial Day 2020

Tradition, Updated.

Flags-In 2020

(U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

A soldier assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” places flags at headstones as part of Flags-In at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on May 21, 2020.

For more than 50 years, soldiers assigned to the unit have honored the nation’s fallen military heroes by placing U.S. flags at grave sites of every service member buried at Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., just before Memorial Day weekend.

Things are a little different at Arlington this year, from the face coverings members of the “Old Guard” wear as they plant the flags to the terse message on the National Cemetery’s website:

ANC remains open only to family pass holders during the Memorial Day weekend. You must be in possession of a both a face covering and a valid family pass to enter. Access is for gravesite visitation only, no touring.

As we’ve said in the past, everything’s different in the midst of World War CV.

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SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

 

 

May 24, 2020 at 11:57 pm 2 comments

SHAKO: Veterans Day 2019

A Terrible Beauty.

In late May — on Memorial Day — America remembers the honored dead, those who gave their lives in this country’s wars since 1775.

But on Veterans Day every November, Americans honor the living who served or continue to serve in uniform. November 11 is the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I – the “War to End All Wars” in 1918. Unfortunately, history has proven that was an overly optimistic term for what turned out to be the First World War.

Veterans Day 2019 Arlington Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery, Nov. 3, 2019 (4GWAR photo copyright John M. Doyle)

A few years after that conflict, the United States buried an unknown soldier killed on the battlefields of France in a new tomb, a monument to all the slain, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington. On Memorial Day and Veterans Day there is always a solemn ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown (the original soldier has been joined by fellow nameless warriors from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

On Sunday November  3, your 4GWAR editor joined more than 50 fellow Norwich University alumni at a much smaller ceremony in Arlington, to locate the graves of Norwich grads buried in the National Cemetery. We had the privilege of joining a small group of Norwich vets, including two serving Army officers, to do the honors among the fields of white headstones.

Veterans Day 2019 Arlington with Norwich

Norwich University alumni search the rows of gravestones in Arlington National Cemetery. (4GWAR photo copyright John M. Doyle)

Once a grave on our list was located, a small American flag and the Maroon and Gold flag of Norwich, a 200-year-old Vermont military academy, were planted in front of the headstone and a Norwich commemorative coin was placed atop it. The Army officers, a lieutenant colonel and a brigadier general saluted the fallen. Then we retrieved flags and coin and moved on to the next grave site.

Veterans Day 2019 Arlington with Norwich2

Honoring Norwich’s dead at Arlington. (4GWAR photo copyright by John M. Doyle)

Our task accomplished, we headed to the Tomb of the Unknown for a Norwich Maroon and Gold wreath laying ceremony at the tomb in the waning afternoon sunlight.

Veterans Day 2019 Honor Guard Tomb Norwich wreath

Third Infantry Regiment honor guard passes the Norwich wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown (4GWAR Photo copyright John M. Doyle)

 

 

 

 

November 11, 2019 at 11:59 pm 2 comments

SHAKO: Defenders Day Blast

Purple Cannons Majesty.

Old Guard Artillery Baltimore

(U.S. Army photo by Sergeant Jacob Holmes)

Soldiers assigned to the Presidential Salute Battery of 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” participate in a Defenders Day performance at Fort McHenry in Baltimore on September  14, 2019. Defenders Day commemorates the successful defense of Baltimore from a British invasion force during the War of 1812.

Based at Fort Myer, Virginia, the 3d U.S. Infantry is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, serving the  nation since 1784. “The Old Guard” is the Army’s official ceremonial unit that accompanies honor funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and serves as escort to the president. Other units in the regiment include the Continental Color Guard, red-coated Fife and Drum Corps, and the U.S. Army Drill Team.

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.west point cadets.pdf

 SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

 

October 11, 2019 at 2:18 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (March 23, 2018)

Snowfall, Arlington Virginia.

Spring Snow Storm 2018

(U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser)

We had snow in the Washington area this week. Pretty as it fell, there was enough to closes area schools and many Federal government facilities for the day, but not Arlington National Cemetery.

In Virginia, just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment’s Caisson Platoon trooped through the snows in a funeral procession on March 21, 2018.

This scene calls to mind the last lines of Irish writer James Joyce’s novel, The Dead.

The snow “lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears   of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”

Known as “The Old Guard,” the 3rd Infantry is the oldest, active duty regiment in the U.S. Army. In addition to honor guard duties at Arlington, the White House and elsewhere, the soldiers of the 3rd Infantry guard the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington.

March 23, 2018 at 1:03 am 2 comments

SHAKO: Memorial Day 2014

The Long Remember.

Unknown Union dead at Memphis National Cemetery in Tennessee. (National Park Service photo)

Unknown Union dead at Memphis National Cemetery in Tennessee.
(National Park Service photo)

Memorial Day, by federal law, is commemorated annually on the last Monday in May to honor those who gave their lives for their country. The holiday grew out of local ceremonies throughout the North and South after the American Civil War (1861-1865). In many places the day — traditionally May 30 — was known as Decoration Day for the flowers and flags locals used to decorate soldiers’ and sailors’ graves.

As part of that tradition, there are ceremonies at military cemeteries throughout the United States, as well as speeches, wreath laying and parades of veterans and military units. Over the years, however, the holiday has morphed into the unofficial start of the summer vacation season for picnics, fireworks, concerts, and summer retail sales. But with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan being waged for over a decade, a wider number of Americans are taking time to pause and remember the real reason for the holiday.

Each May in Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., the soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment – known as The Old Guard because it is the oldest serving unit of the Army –  fan out across Arlington National Cemetery’s rolling lines of graves — and in a matter of just a few hours — place thousands of small U.S. flags before each marker and then salute.

Soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) place flags in front of the gravesites in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., May 22, 2014.  (U.S. Army photos by Specialist Cody W. Torkelson)

Soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) place flags in front of the gravesites in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., May 22, 2014.
(U.S. Army photos by Specialist Cody W. Torkelson)

SHAKO

SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

May 26, 2014 at 8:12 pm Leave a comment


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