Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is under constant vigil, with members of “The Old Guard” from the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment keeping watch 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in one of the most honorable duty assignments in the service. But even the most disciplined soldiers aren’t immune from missteps, as this instance shows.
[Scroll down for video]
Every half hour during the summer and hour in the winter, the iconic Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place. At that time, the lone soldier guarding the tomb is met by the relief Commander, who conducts a white glove inspection of the weapon carried by the Sentinel.
During one Changing of the Guard, the firearm slips for the relief Commander’s hands. Though the Commander attempts to recover, he is unable to regain control of the weapon immediately. As the gun falls, the bayonet points downward and ends up stabbing the sentinel in the left foot.
After only wincing briefly, the Sentinel continues through the ceremony without complaint, maintaining his composure and completing the procedure with the utmost level of professionalism.
The only sign that something went awry ends up being the blood dripping from the boot on his left foot, showing just how much commitment is required of those chosen to keep watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.