The 3rd United States Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard, is easily identified by most people as the military unit that conducts all official ceremonies and special events for the United States Army, as well as providing honor to the Nation’s fallen Soldiers. On September 11, 2001, much of the unit’s focus
changed, as was evident in their participation in the search and rescue operation immediately following the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Most recently, and for the second time in their long and distinguished history, The Old Guard deployed an Infantry Company to the Horn of Africa in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Other recent and notable events in which The Old Guard has participated and conducted are the State Funerals for the late Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.
The Old Guard’s origin dates back to the Revolutionary War when General George Washington personally selected a group of Continental Soldiers to be his
personal escorts. These Soldiers were hand picked because of their high standards of discipline, conduct, military proficiency, and professionalism. Today,
these standards of excellence are the hallmark of the unit and make it the Army’s oldest active duty
Infantry Regiment. The monument project is designed to honor and pay tribute to the thousands of Soldiers who have served in the unit’s distinguished ranks throughout its celebrated history.
“The Soldiers of ‘The Old Guard’ both past and
present have represented our Military and our Nation in an extremely dignified and professional manner. The Old Guard has been honored to have the finest Soldiers and Leaders our Army has had to offer. Their selfless service and relentless drive for perfection is legendary. This monument dignifies all Soldiers who have served in this great Regiment along with their families. It is a superb tribute to this great Regiment,” stated Colonel Robert P. Pricone, the Regiment’s
The project consists of three, larger than life-size,
military figures representing Soldiers of past, present, and the future that have and will serve with this
distinguished and highly visible Infantry Regiment. Each of the three bronze figures represents a different aspect of The Old Guard. One Soldier is dressed in the ceremonial Blues uniform that many are accustomed to seeing at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or performing honors at a funeral in Arlington National Cemetery. The second is clad in the 1700’s traditional Fife and Drum Corps uniform and the third Soldier is wearing his Combat Uniform. Together, they represent the past, present, and future of the Regiment. Centered between the three figures will be a replica of the
traditional grave marker used in Arlington National
Cemetery paying tribute to the Nation’s fallen heroes.
The gravestone also represents one of the most
important missions of The Old Guard—providing the last military honors for passing Soldiers. Tying all three figures and touching each as it makes its way down to the gravestone is the United States flag. The purpose of the flag is to recognize the important role of the military in our Nation’s history.
Conducts official joint and Army ceremonies,
special events, and memorial affairs
representing the United States
and the Armed Forces to the highest standard.
Each year the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) participates in
literally thousands of ceremonies and special events throughout our
Nation’s capital and the world. In addition, The Old Guard provides the military
honors for all Army funerals conducted in Arlington National Cemetery, laying
our Nation’s fallen comrades to their final resting place.
deploys by air or land to conduct
operations in an urban environment.
The Old Guard is the largest military unit stationed within
the National Capital Region. When alerted, The Old Guard has a requirement
to respond to any emergency situation.
The events of September 11, 2001, witnessed The Old Guard
response to the terrorist attack on the Pentagon.
to conduct combat operations.
Aside from the ceremonies, special events, and memorial affairs,
The Old Guard maintains its ability to support the Global War on Terrorism
through the deployment of Soldiers as needed by the Department of the Army.
The Old Guard’s most recent support of the Global War on Terrorism
is with a company conducting security missions
in the Horn of Africa.
• The Regiment, originally called the 1st American regiment, was established
on 3 June 1784.
• Redesignated as the 3d US Infantry: May-October 1815
• First use of historical uniforms for official purposes (in a color guard): 1992
• Inactivation: 20 November 1946
• Reactivation: 6 April 1948
• Military District of Washington, D.C. (MDW) Ceremonial Company becomes
A Company: 6 April 1948
• President Truman presents the Presidential Baton to the Regiment, naming it
“Honor Guard to the
President”: 10 April 1952
• Organization of the US Army Drill Team: 1957
• Organization of the Fife
and Drum Corps: 1960
• Official “traditional designation” of 3d US Infantry as “The Old Guard”
was recognized: 1963
• H Company was activated: 10 September 1971
• Activation of Commander-in-Chief’s Guard: December 1973
• Inactivation of the 3rd Battalion, 3d Infantry: 15 August 1994
• 289th Military Police Company attached to The Old Guard: 1 November 1994
• Unit activated for contingencies involving rescue and recovery of the disaster
site at the Pentagon:
11 September 2001
• B Company, 1st Battalion, 3d US Infantry deploys to the Horn of Africa
in support of the Global War
on Terrorism: December 2003
• D Company, 1st Battalion, 3d Infantry deploys to the Horn of Africa in support of
the Global War on
Terrorism: March 2007