The requirements to be a guard at the tomb of a fallen soldier include being a soldier of the third infantry regiment of the U.S Army and applying for appointment as a tomb guard. An appointed soldier must then attend tomb training and pass the relevant tests.
Tomb guards are members of the third infantry regiment of the U.S Army, which is the oldest infantry unit still in active military service. To be a tomb guard, an infantry soldier must apply through the sergeant of the guard. The application must include evaluation and recommendation letters and a photograph. The soldier must possess a soldierly appearance and high military bearing, and he must be disciplined and highly motivated to qualify for appointment.
An appointed soldier attends an initial training for two weeks. The training focuses on uniform preparation, basic change of guard sequences and memorizing basic knowledge packets about the tomb. After two weeks, soldiers undertake tests, and those who pass join a relief for intense training, while those who fail return to their companies.
Tomb squads include first, second and third reliefs with each relief having five to eight soldiers of similar height. Tomb guards view their service as a great honor and privilege. Their training is rigorous, and a majority of soldiers who enrol for training end up failing.