Photo Of The Day: A tomb guard from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) walks the mat during a snow storm at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va. This happened on January 3, 2022.
From the website of The Society of the Honor Guard, on the subject of which firearms that have been and that are carried by the sentinels (Source):
The weapons used by the Tomb Guard are more than just for show. These weapons are fully functional and are kept ready for use at all times. The weapon inspection conducted prior to the new Sentinel assuming the post, is a real inspection.
Over the years there have been many different types of weapons used by the Tomb Guards. The changes in weapons reflect the changes in the Army, however each weapon system is picked for good reasons.
Today the M14 rifle is the standard ceremonial weapon used by the 3d U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) and is the current weapon carried by Tomb Guards.
Since the Beretta M9 pistols were retired – after over 11,000 days of service – the sentinels now carry the M17 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Pistols made by SIG Sauer.
For more pictures, with less snow, from the Arlington National Cemetery please check “M17 Pistol specially made for the Sentinels at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” and “NASA Day of Remembrance” articles.
Photos and caption source: U.S. Army, Elizabeth Fraser / Arlington National Cemetery.