The 3rd United States Infantry Regiment has three active battalions, and is identified by its nickname, “The Old Guard.” The regiment is a major unit of the Military District of Washington (MDW) and is the oldest active duty regiment in the U.S. Army. Originally called the First American Regiment in 1784, its mission is “to conduct memorial affairs to honor fallen comrades and ceremonies and special events to represent the U.S. Army.”
A sentinel on duty marches 21 steps back and 21 forth across the Tomb of the Unknowns (symbolizing the twenty-one gun salute given any military or foreign dignitary). Every thirty minutes he is replaced. Since 1930, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, regardless of the weather, a guard has marched. Five hours are spent each day preparing for this sacred duty.
An Old Guard must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb. He will live in a barracks under the tomb. He will swear not to drink any alcohol on or off duty or to swear in public for the rest of his life. He cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way. The first six months he cannot talk to anyone outside his unit nor watch television. All his off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. He will memorize who they are and where they are interred.
After two years, each guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on his lapel signifying his service as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. So long as members obey these rules they may keep and wear the wreath.
Daniel 1:8—Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank. So he asked permission from the chief official not to defile himself.
King Nebuchadnezzar tasked Ashpenaz, the chief of his court officials, to select Israelites captured from the royal family and nobility. They had to be free of physical defects, handsome, teachable, and capable of serving in the king’s palace. Daniel was one of the Israelites selected. Already assigned a tough regimen to follow, he proposed even higher standards for himself and three of his close friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. These four men insisted on eating only vegetables and drinking water. Although hesitant to comply with their request for fear that they might become weaker than the others, Ashpenaz found after ten days that they were clearly the healthiest!
When I think about the Old Guard and Daniel and his three friends, I cannot help but wonder what it would be like if we as men and women committed to uphold godly standards. Imagine if we swore off bad habits and foul speech, daily studied Scripture to prepare for duty, faithfully worshiped God, and, in appearance and resolve, bore faithful witness to our Savior. What if to wear a cross demanded faithfulness to the One who sent His Son to bear that pain? If we don’t look or act any different than the rest of society, why should the rest of society want anything to do with our Lord? Something to think about . . . in reveration.
The Indians observed that many nominal Christians were guilty of wicked acts, and assumed that all white people were alike.—John Thornbury “David Brainerd” in Five Pioneer Missionaries
©2016 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)