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All-female guard change makes history at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Tomb at Arlington National Cemetery has been guarded continuously for 84 years.

ARLINGTON, Va. — A historic first happened at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider on Friday.

The Tomb at Arlington National Cemetery has been guarded continuously for the past 84 years. The changing of the guard takes place every hour or half hour, depending on the time of year.

On October 1, for the first time ever, there was an all-woman shift change. Leaders from the Third U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as The Old Guard, say it's the first time that's happened in the Tomb's nearly 100-year history.

“We commemorate the achievements of these trail-blazing Tomb Guards. While this historic event may be a first, it is not the last. With diversity in our ranks, race, gender, or any characteristics will never hinder, but only enhance the execution of our sacred mission," The Old Guard said in a statement on social media.

"As we recognize this monumental day, we reflect on the Unknowns and their ultimate sacrifice. The world will never know their names. Their life’s poetry was silenced in the defense of this great nation. We will never forget their sacrifice, and we will never falter as our standard will remain perfection."

The changing of the guard happened under the direction of Sergeant First Class Chelsea Porterfield, who is also the first woman to lead the Tomb guards as a sergeant of the guard.

Arlington National Cemetery is planning a public celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for Veteran's Day. 

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